Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Support Wellstone Action!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jeff Blodgett <>
Date: Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 6:00 AM
Subject: our hope.

We can’t let our best hope for 2010 fall off track.

Here’s to a new year full of promise and thousands of organizers working to move our progressive agenda forward.

Make a tax-deductible contribution now to help Wellstone Action ignite leadership in people and power in communities to win change.

Jeff Blodgett, Executive Director
Wellstone Action

Friday, December 25, 2009

Feeling empowered yet?

I ran across this battle thanks to my wife, and I had to share it here.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lets get Health Care for Christmas!

Dear Susan,

The health care reform debate is at a critical stage. Some days it appears that the Senate is about to break through the legislative logjam to pass the bill, only to run into more hurdles the next day.

One thing's for sure: The people of Washington have two outstanding Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, who are fighting for us and our health care every day on Capitol Hill.

As a member of the Senate leadership, Patty Murray is working around the clock to get health care reform passed – and I want her to know that we're standing with her.

Please sign my petition today: Show your support – and share your comments – with Patty Murray as she continues to fight for health care reform in the U.S. Senate!

Everyone knew that getting a health care bill passed would be a difficult task.

After all, the Republican Party is united in their efforts to filibuster health care reform in the Senate, leaving the Democratic leadership with no margin for error.

But the American people don't care about process – they care about results. So it's up to Senate Democrats to get the job done and pass a strong health care reform bill that will reduce costs, improve health care, and expand coverage to millions more Americans.

Senator Patty Murray is leading the charge. Let's show her that Washington Democrats are right there with her.

Please sign my petition today: Show your support – and share your comments – with Patty Murray as she continues to fight for health care reform in the U.S. Senate!

You and I along with many others have worked hard to see this opportunity to pass real health care reform become a reality.

We are so close – but now we need to continue to let our lawmakers know that we are behind them all the way as they enter into the final stages of the critical national debate.

Let’s show Patty Murray that we support her work to get this done.


Dwight Pelz
Washington State Democrats Chair

Update: How Port of Seattle is doing

Dear Friends,

People often ask me about how the Port of Seattle is doing in these tough times.

After two years of reform, our port is poised to take on the New Year.

Throughout 2009, the port commission worked closely with port CEO Yoshitani and port staff to eliminate programs that had outlived usefulness, to cut payroll, to increase employee medical contributions and to scrutinize expenditures. As we approach year-end, those tough decisions are producing positive results. Our projected net income is over budget and we were able to cut 2010 taxes.

Here is a summary of how we are finishing this challenging year (thru November):

Airport passenger traffic is down only 3.5%, much less of a decline than at many other airports.

Marine cargo through November is down 9.7%. As a comparison, Tacoma is down 16.5%, L.A. is down 15.4% and Long Beach is down 24.5%.

The Port of Seattle’s total operating revenue for the first eleven months of 2009 was 3.1% below budget, but expenses were 14.3% under budget.

Net Operating Income before depreciation was 11.6% over budget

In addition, starting in 2010, the seaport, like the airport, will cover its own capital costs from its own profits and should no longer rely on the property tax levy.

For 2010, the port commission reduced the property tax levy and increased reserves for future environmental and transportation expenses.

If you have a question or comment, please send it to me via my website, or email me at


Commissioner Bill Bryant

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fight against Casino Capitalism

Dear Friend,

Financial derivatives are extremely complicated financial instruments used to speculate on the future value of an asset. In other words, Wall Street uses derivatives to gamble. It was this kind of gambling that led to the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and brought the U.S. financial system to its knees.

But after everything we have been through, very little has been done to change the system. The $590 trillion - yes trillion - derivatives market is still largely unregulated, opaque, and poses an enormous risk to our financial future.

This is "casino capitalism," and the first step to reform is to treat derivatives trading for what it is - gambling. That is why I have introduced legislation to allow state gaming authorities to regulate derivatives markets.

Please sign the petition and show your support for regulating derivatives markets.

This is not a new concept. Until 2000, this is exactly how derivative trading was regulated. At that time Congress granted an exemption from gaming laws for derivative markets and opened the door for the irresponsible speculation that nearly destroyed the U.S. financial system. My bill would repeal this exemption and help avoid repeating our past mistakes.

This is going to be an uphill battle. Derivatives regulation may be one of the most complicated issues Congress must tackle to restore true stability to our financial system. Wall Street has some of the most highly paid and highly skilled lobbyists on Capitol Hill. They will continue to exploit the complexity and simply say, "this is impossible for you to understand, just let us self-regulate." This is exactly what happened last week in the House of Representatives, when lobbyists successfully inserted several terrifying loopholes in the House financial reform bill.

The only way we can overcome this massive opposition is with massive popular support -- and that starts with you. Financial reform is making its way to the Senate floor. Now is the time to regulate and now is the time for you to make your voice heard.

Please sign the petition today.

Thank you,

Maria Cantwell

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fw: Not Again

Dear Democrat,

Let me remind you about mid-term elections...

Historically, in mid-term elections - the elections between presidential years - the party occupying the White House does very poorly.

Fifteen years ago, Democrats woke up the day after the election to the news that conservative Republicans led by Newt Gingrich had taken over the United States Congress.

The mid-term elections of 1994 placed Newt Gingrich in charge of the Congress, allowed the Republican Party to rebuild and strengthen, and ultimately led to the election of George Bush!

Here in Washington, we went from a congressional delegation of seven Democrats to a delegation of two Democrats - a loss of five Democratic congressional seats in one year!

It took us 10 years to recover from that mess and regain our Democratic seats - we will be recovering from George Bush for years to come.

Mid-term elections are unpredictable - anything can happen! With our entire congressional delegation on the ballot and Senator Murray leading the ticket, we cannot take any chances.

We have learned our lesson... this time it's: Not Again in 2010.

Today we are launching our Not Again in 2010 fundraising drive. Our end-of-the-year goal is to raise $10,000 in the next three weeks - funding needed to begin our mid-term election mission. Please help us reach our $10,000 challenge goal by contributing today, before the December 31st end-of-the-year deadline:

Our Not Again in 2010 campaign is the first important step in the 2010 mid-term election cycle. The success of this campaign will allow the Washington State Democrats to begin - without delay - it's mid-term campaign mission to:

Build a strong statewide grassroots organization
Create state-of-the-art campaign resources
Recruit candidates
Train our campaign team

Your State Democratic Party is always the first on the campaign battlefield. After the New Year, we begin a 158-day countdown until filing week begins. We must begin recruiting candidates, training out campaign team, and building our grassroots organization for the 2010 campaign.

Your contribution of $15, $25, $50, $100 - or any amount you can afford - will enable us to begin our mission immediately.

Candidates depend on us to provide the support they need to effectively launch their campaigns and communicate with voters. Your generosity makes that possible.

Many Thanks,

Dwight Pelz
Washington State Democrats Chair

Fw: Balanced But Unjust


Today I presented a budget proposal that while balanced is unjust.

I am required by law to submit a balanced budget with existing revenue. Because of our continuing economic troubles, state revenue is down and has resulted in a one year revenue shortfall of $2.6 billion. This reduction is on top of a $9 billion deficit that we tackled last year. As a result, I had to make decisions to cut programs and services that will impact all Washingtonians.

Let me be clear – I do not support this budget. Our state budget should reflect our values and priorities as a state. These values include providing quality education for our kids, taking care of the elderly and most vulnerable and protecting public safety. This budget does not reflect my values or the values of the people of our great state.

I am committed to looking at ways to protect services important to you and the citizens of the State. I am reviewing tax exemptions and considering new sources of revenue. In January, I will submit another budget to the Legislature that I believe will be more reflective of our values.

In the coming weeks, I need your help.

You can learn more about the budget and its impacts at my website Please talk to your colleagues, your family and your neighbors about the impacts of this budget and the tough choices we are facing. Contact your legislators and let them know that we must keep all options on the table to deal with this crisis.

Thank you for your continued support. Together we will get through this challenging time.


Chris Gregoire

Let’s Win This One: Health care for the Holidays, Dec. 12th

From our allies in the choice community.

Dear Friend,

As we are heading toward the holidays, the Senate is rapidly moving toward a vote on health care reform.

It is time to let Congress know we need to pass quality affordable health insurance reform for all…now!

On Saturday, December 12th, thousands of Washingtonians in 9 cities across the state will do just that. Here in Seattle, we will be gathering at Occidental Park in Pioneer Square at 12pm on Saturday.

Will you join with us and our partners from Health Care for America NOW! to take this stand so that no one is left out of health care reform? With thousands of us standing together across Washington, we will send a strong message to Congress as the Senate debates this historic bill.

Rallies will be taking place in Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellingham, Vancouver, Spokane, Yakima and Bremerton!!!

Yes! I will Stand Up for Health Insurance Reform!

If you are attending the rallies in Seattle, Bellingham, Everett, Olympia, Spokane, Yakima, or Bremerton please bring two holiday greeting cards, one addressed to Sen. Murray and the other to Sen. Cantwell. Please write a personal message requesting Health Care for the Holidays. There will be large boxes available in each location to deposit your greeting cards.
Folks attending the Vancouver rally are asked to bring one greeting card addressed to Rep. Brian Baird, and organizers in Tacoma will be providing post cards.

Please join us, and add your voice to the valiant fight for health insurance for all this holiday season.

Yes! I will Stand Up for Health Insurance Reform!

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday at 12pm at Occidental Park/Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle and to send Congress the message that Americans want access to real health insurance reform NOW!

Thanks for all you do!

Dana Laurent, Political Director
Planned Parenthood Votes! Washington

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fwd: Rally Dec. 16 to support SeaTac security officers

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Groves, WSLC <>
Date: Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM
Subject: Rally Dec. 16 to support SeaTac security officers
To: Chad Lupkes <>

Washington State Labor Council


Rally Dec. 16 to support SeaTac TSOs
Show solidarity with Transportation Security Officers organizing with AFGE

The American Federation of Government Employees is engaged in an historic campaign in support of tens of thousands of Transportation Security Officers organizing at some 450 airports across the nation. December 13-19 is TSO Solidarity Week to support their efforts! 

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the M.L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO are demonstrating our local union movement's support for the TSOs and their effort to gain a voice at work with AFGE.  All union members are urged to attend a rally on Wednesday, Dec. 16 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in SeaTac Airport's Summit Room in the public area of the Central Terminal, behind Ticketing and adjacent to Seattle's Best Coffee. (Please download, post and distribute the event flier.)

BACKGROUND: Every year, more than 600 million people travel by air in the United States. Transportation Security Officers are the workers who staff security check points at our nation's airports and are responsible for screening all luggage and passengers. TSOs are the front-line defenders of our air safety in this country.

When the Transportation Security Administration was created in 2001, the Bush administration denied TSOs the right to bargain collectively. TSOs are not covered under the General Schedule System that regulates pay for other federal employees. Instead, they have an evaluation-based "pay-for-performance" system that many of the TSOs consider to be arbitrary, punitive and unfair, and that does not contribute to the improvement of TSO skills.

TSOs have virtually no whistleblower protections and are in constant fear of management retaliation. They are subject to unfair hiring practices, inconsistent agency regulations, and unjust leave restrictions and policies. Because of concerns about the low pay, discrimination and management harassment, TSOs suffer from low morale and the Transportation Security Administration has the worse attrition rates in the entire federal government.

But now, the Obama administration is committed to restoring TSOs' right to organize and bargain collectively. And the one union that has been there, organizing TSOs from the beginning has been the American Federation of Government Employees. Today, more than 11,000 TSOs are already members of the AFGE, which has been fighting to improve their pay and working conditions despite their lack of bargaining rights. 

As TSOs at SeaTac International Airport and other airports around our nation organize their union with AFGE, solidarity from other union members working at the airports and members using the airports will be crucial to their efforts!

TAKE ACTION!  What can YOU do to support the TSOs' effort to gain a voice at work with AFGE?

  • Attend the Dec. 16 rally at SeaTac Airport! And bring a friend or co-worker with you.

  • Talk to the TSOs. If you are a union member who works at the airport or for an airline -- or if you are planning to travel -- during National TSO Solidarity Week, December 13-19, talk to the TSOs about the benefits of union membership. Encourage them to get involved in AFGE's campaign and find out how the union can improve their pay and working conditions.

  • Check out the AFGE TSA web site -- -- to stay informed about the campaign, the election process and future opportunities to show solidarity with the TSOs.

David Groves
Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
206-281-8901 x19  cell: 206-434-1301

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Washington State Labor Council.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Papa Johns Fundraiser for Police Officers Families

Suzie and I felt this was worth sharing.

Attn: News Assignment/Photo Desks


Fundraiser to benefit the families of the four fallen Lakewood, WA police officers will held at all Puget Sound Papa John’s restaurants (40 locations). 100% of profits from all sales during two-day period will be donated.


Tuesday and Wednesday, December 8-9, 2009.
11:00 am – 11:00 pm

All 42 Papa John’s locations in the Puget Sound area.


Consumers may place orders next Tuesday and Wednesday to benefit the Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) Benevolent Fund online at, by calling their nearest Papa John’s location or by carryout.

Can order in advance.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fw: The Way Forward in Afghanistan & Pakistan

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 4:12 PM
Subject: The Way Forward in Afghanistan & Pakistan

Dear Party Leaders,
This came from the White House yesterday, and I wanted to be sure you all saw it.  This fact sheet details how we move forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and provides additional context on what the President said last night.
As you all know, it is my job to organize support for the President's agenda in our state.  Since we have been on the ground, all of our organizational attention has been directed toward passing health insurance reform.  That said, the significance of this speech last night and of the President's policy in the region was enough to warrant my sending this out to you all.
As with any issue concerning the President and the Administration, please let me know your own thoughts on the President's speech and this accompanying document.  I always appreciate hearing from the grasstops leaders of our party.
All the best,

Office of the Press Secretary



December 1, 2009

FACT SHEET: The Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan 

OUR MISSION:  The President's speech reaffirms the March 2009 core goal:  to disrupt, dismantle, and eventually defeat al Qaeda and to prevent their return to either Afghanistan or Pakistan.  To do so, we and our allies will surge our forces, targeting elements of the insurgency and securing key population centers, training Afghan forces, transferring responsibility to a capable Afghan partner, and increasing our partnership with Pakistanis who are facing the same threats.

This region is the heart of the global violent extremism pursued by al Qaeda, and the region from which we were attacked on 9/11.  New attacks are being planned there now, a fact borne out by a recent plot, uncovered and disrupted by American authorities.  We will prevent the Taliban from turning Afghanistan back into a safe haven from which international terrorists can strike at us or our allies.  This would pose a direct threat to the American homeland, and that is a threat that we cannot tolerate.  Al Qaeda remains in Pakistan where they continue to plot attacks against us and where they and their extremist allies pose a threat to the Pakistani state.  Our goal in Pakistan will be to ensure that al Qaeda is defeated and Pakistan remains stable.  

REVIEW PROCESS:  The review was a deliberate and disciplined three-stage process to check alignment of goals, methods for attaining those goals, and finally resources required.  Over ten weeks, the President chaired nine meetings with his national security team, and consulted key allies and partners, including the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The President focused on asking the hard questions, took the time to carefully consider all of the options, and united a variety of competing views in his cabinet before agreeing to send any additional Americans to war. 

As a result of the review, we have focused our mission and developed a common understanding regarding our regional approach and the need for international support.  We will deploy forces into Afghanistan rapidly and will take advantage of these additional resources to create the conditions to begin to draw down combat forces in the summer of 2011, while maintaining a partnership with Afghanistan and Pakistan to protect our enduring interests in that region.

The meetings were focused on how best to ensure the al Qaeda threat is eliminated from the region and that regional stability is restored.  We looked closely at the alignment of our efforts and the balance between civilian and military resources, both in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the efforts of the U.S. and the international community. 

A number of issues were explored in depth:  national interests, core objectives and goals, counterterrorism priorities, safe havens for terrorist groups in Pakistan, the health of the global U.S. military force, risks and costs associated with troop deployments, global deployment requirements, international cooperation and commitments for both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Afghan capacity in all areas to include Afghan security forces, central and sub-national governance and corruption (including the narcotics trade), and development and economic issues.

WHAT HAS CHANGED SINCE March:  Since the President announced our renewed commitment in March, a number of key developments led the Administration to review its approach in Afghanistan and Pakistan:  new attention was focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan, new U.S. leadership was established in Afghanistan, Pakistan increased its efforts to combat extremists, and the situation in Afghanistan has become more grave.

The United States assigned new civilian and military leadership in Afghanistan, with the appointments of Ambassador Karl Eikenberry as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and General Stanley McChrystal as the new Commander of ISAF military forces in Afghanistan.  Upon arrival in Afghanistan, both Ambassador Eikenberry and General McChrystal recognized that after eight years of underresourcing, the situation was worse than expected.  Together, Ambassador Eikenberry and General McChyrstal published a new Civilian-Military Campaign Plan to integrate U.S. efforts across the country. 

Afghanistan's difficult, extended election process and evident signs of the absence of rule of law made clear the limits of the central government in Kabul. 

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the Pakistanis showed new resolve in defeating militants who had taken control of the Swat Valley, just 60 miles from Islamabad.  Pakistani political leaders—including opposition party leaders—came together to support the Pakistani military operations.  This fall, the Pakistanis expanded their fight against extremists into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan along the border with Afghanistan.

THE WAY FORWARD:  The President has decided to deploy an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.  These troops will deploy on an accelerated timeline to reinforce the 68,000 Americans and 39,000 non-U.S. ISAF troops already there, so that we can target the insurgency, break its momentum, and better secure population centers.  These forces will increase our capacity to train effective Afghan Security Forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans get into the fight.  And by pursuing these partnerships, we can transition to Afghan responsibility, and begin to reduce our combat troops in the summer of 2011.  In short, these resources will allow us to make the final push that is necessary to train Afghans so that we can transfer responsibility. 

We will maintain this increased force level for the next 18 months. During this time, we will regularly measure our progress.  And beginning in July 2011, we will transfer lead security responsibility to Afghans and start to transition our combat forces out of Afghanistan.  As Afghans take on responsibility for their security, we will continue to advise and assist Afghanistan's Security Forces, and maintain a partnership on behalf of their security so that they can sustain this effort.  Afghans are tired of war and long for peace, justice, and economic security.  We intend to help them achieve these goals and end this war and the threat of reoccupation by the foreign fighters associated with al Qaeda.


We will not be in this effort alone.  We will continue to be joined in the fight by the Afghans, and the aggressive partnering effort envisioned by General McChrystal will get more Afghans into the fight for their country's future.  There will also be additional resources from NATO.  These allies have already made significant commitments of their own in Afghanistan, and we will be discussing additional alliance contributions – in troops, trainers, and resources – in the days and weeks ahead.  This is not simply a test of the alliance's credibility – what is at stake is even more fundamental.  It is the security of London and Madrid; of Paris and Berlin; of Prague, New York, and our broader collective security. 


We will work with our partners, the United Nations, and the Afghan people to strengthen our civilian effort, so that Afghanistan's government can step in as we establish better security.  President Karzai's inauguration speech sent the right message about moving in a new direction, including his commitment to reintegration and reconciliation, improving relations with Afghanistan's regional partners, and steadily increasing the security responsibilities of Afghan security forces.  But we must see action and progress.  We will be clear about our expectations, and we will encourage and reinforce Afghan Ministries, Governors, and local leaders who deliver for the people and combat corruption.  We will not reinforce those who are not accountable and not acting in the service of the Afghan people and the state.  And we will also focus our assistance in areas – such as agriculture – that can make an immediate impact in the lives of the Afghan people.


CIVILIAN ASSISTANCE:  A continuing significant increase in civilian experts will accompany a sizable infusion of additional civilian assistance.  They will partner with Afghans over the long term to enhance the capacity of national and sub-national government institutions and to help rehabilitate Afghanistan's key economic sectors so that Afghans can defeat the insurgents who promise only more violence.


Growth is critical to undermine extremists' appeal in the short term and for sustainable economic development in the long term.  Our top reconstruction priority is implementing a civilian-military agriculture redevelopment strategy to restore Afghanistan's once vibrant agriculture sector.  This will help sap the insurgency of fighters and of income from poppy cultivation.


An emphasis of our governance efforts will be on developing more responsive, visible, and accountable institutions at the provincial, district, and local level, where everyday Afghans encounter their government.  We will also encourage and support the Afghan Government's reinvigorated plans to fight corruption, with concrete measures of progress toward greater accountability. 


A key element of our political strategy will be supporting Afghan-led efforts to reintegrate Taliban who renounce al Qaeda, lay down their arms, and engage in the political process.  


OUR PARTNER IN PAKISTAN:  Our partnership with Pakistan is inextricably linked to our efforts in Afghanistan.  To secure our country, we need a strategy that works on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.  The costs of inaction are far greater.


The United States is committed to strengthening Pakistan's capacity to target those groups that pose the greatest threat to both of our countries.  A safe haven for those high-level terrorists whose location is known, and whose intentions are clear, cannot be tolerated.  For Pakistan, we continue to encourage civilian and military leadership to sustain their fight against extremists and to eliminate terrorists' safe havens in their country. 


We are now focused on working with Pakistan's democratic institutions, deepening the ties among our governments and people for our common interests and concerns.  We are committed to a strategic relationship with Pakistan for the long term.  We have affirmed this commitment to Pakistan by providing $1.5 billion each year over the next five years to support Pakistan's development and democracy, and have led a global effort to rally additional pledges of support.  This sizable, long-term commitment of assistance addresses the following objectives:


(1) Helping Pakistan address immediate energy, water, and related economic crises, thereby deepening our partnership with the Pakistani people and decreasing the appeal of extremists;

(2) Supporting broader economic reforms that are necessary to put Pakistan on a path towards sustainable job creation and economic growth, which is necessary for long-term Pakistani stability and progress; and

(3) Helping Pakistan build on its success against militants to eliminate extremist sanctuaries that threaten Pakistan, Afghanistan, the wider region, and people around the world. 

Additional U.S. assistance will help Pakistan build a foundation for long-term development, and will also strengthen ties between the American and Pakistani people by demonstrating that the United States is committed to addressing problems that most affect the everyday lives of Pakistanis as we work together to defeat the extremists who threaten Pakistan as they also threaten the United States. 




Dustin Lambro
Washington State Director
Organizing for America
(206) 583-0664 office
(253) 882-6126 mobile