Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pressure Remains On SFPD and Mayor To Clean Up Their Acts Post-Suhr-- Medical Professionals Join Fight For Reforms


UCSF Do No Harm Coalition at City Hall in San Francisco

-by Denise Sullivan

Following last Thursday's SFPD shooting of Jessica Williams in San Francisco's Bayview District, the campaign to Fire Chief Suhr succeeded when Mayor Ed Lee called for his resignation by day's end, while the push to reclaim the City by the Frisco 5 and their growing community of supporters, including medical professionals, remains in full force.

"The guy is no longer the chief and it's our victory, your victory," said the Frisco 5's Maria Cristina Gutierrez. "It took the sacrifice," she said of SFPD's latest victim, "But if we had not done what we did, it would've been business as usual." Gutierrez and three of the four hunger strikers, in partnership with Dr. Rupa Marya, assembled on Monday night at UCSF Hospital in San Francisco where the doctor presented her research on police violence. Dr. Marya who served as the Frisco Five's physician during its hunger strike and is part of the Division of Hospitalist Medicine at the school, has also been researching the toll gentrification and over-policing over a 30 year period has taken on Black and Brown lives in the Bay Area. Addressing a crowd of healthcare workers and community members, she deems police violence to be a public health crisis.

"Racism is influencing the killings and so is police impunity," said Dr. Marya, who has formed the UCSF Do No Harm Coalition of healthcare workers committed to ending police violence. "Police killings need to be counted and reported."

Dr. Marya sees no contradiction in the "political" issue of police brutality and the "science" of medicine. As a doctor, saving lives is her business. She believes in the idea of doctor and patient advocacy and demonstrates an extraordinary compassion and integrity in her work. Noticing the gap in the way communities of color are served by the healthcare systems, she became more motivated to get involved in the movement for medical justice while studying the case of Alex Nieto, shot 59 times by police in his neighborhood. Described as "a foreigner" by the 911 caller who perceived him as a threat, "He was a San Franciscan," said Dr. Marya, who is California-born and was raised by her parents in India and South of France.

Beyond mortality issues, Dr. Marya asserts police violence has an impact on the well being of the community, especially loved ones left behind; the violence and impunity may also lead to civil unrest and the immediate and longterm traumatic effects that go with it (she pointed to Baltimore, where a CVS pharmacy was destroyed and the people who needed medication went without, while others who didn't need it became vulnerable to a free flow of opioids on their streets). The takeaway? Police violence does harm to the body politic, and in case there is any further doubt about it, Dr. Marya noted the shooting in Bayview last week occurred as she was preparing slides for her talk. Here in San Francisco, though African Americans account for anywhere from just three to six percent of the overall population, they are five times more likely to be shot by police than whites.

"A movement is going to require everyone sit at the table," said SFPD Sergeant Yulanda Williams who was also a panelist in attendance at UCSF. An African American and longtime member of Officers for Justice, Williams admits her department suffers from "endemic" racism ("They don't like to say systemic," she says) though one thing she's certain of is issuing the force tasers is not a likely solution for reducing harm. "I have no more room on my gun belt and am not looking for any more toys," she said.

Williams vouched for now acting chief Toney Chaplain who she's known since the police academy and believes he will hold officers accountable---"I'll make sure that happens," she said---but she also admits reform is easier said than done. "You have a department that supports nepotism, cronyism and legacy police officers," she said, and "a union that constantly disrespects people."

The Frisco 5 also believes accountability to be the top priority. It also wishes to have a say in the search for a new chief, among other demands. "We need to see the officers who did the shooting charged," said Frisco 5's Edwin Lindo. "Ed Lee is next."

Preparations to recall the Mayor have been underway for some time (various straw polls indicate there's the will and even a candidate), and while no such action can take place until November, the coalitions for police and ultimately city government reform continue to gather funds, signatures, and steam for the long road ahead. If this show of support from the medical community is sign of what's in store, perhaps more institutional bodies will get ready to sign on in the fight to save San Francisco from itself. Asked if there are other hospitals and healthcare workers initiating these kinds of radical shifts in the way police violence is perceived, Dr. Marya answered. "So…This is a revolution and it's starting now."

Oh yes, and while we're here: Dr. Marya is also a professional musician who fronts Rupa and the April Fishes (look for the cameo by musician/activist Boots Riley in this clip).

Denise Sullivan writes about music and gentrification issues from San Francisco for DWT. Her most recent book is Keep on Pushing: Black Power Music From Blues to Hip Hop.

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Can Bernie Spread The Revolution Downticket?


Jonathan Clarke, Long Island Berniecrat

Bernie's endorsement of Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Lucy Flores (R-NV) and Zephyr Teachout (D-NY) has raised about $400,000 for each of them in about a month. His endorsement over the weekend of Tim Canova brought Tim $250,000 in the first 24 hours! Yesterday he endorsed 8 candidates for state legislatures. "I'm proud to announce," he wrote to his followers, "that I am endorsing seven progressive candidates for state legislatures across this country. These seven candidates-- activists, civil rights attorneys, and the children of immigrants-- will help lead progressive policy in the states, and some will be a part of one of the most important political powers: re-drawing Congressional districts after the 2020 elections. For decades, Republicans have been very good at winning elections at the state level, meaning conservative control of state laws and of Congressional districts, as well as a deep bench of Republican legislators who eventually run for Congress, governor, or even president. Democrats haven't been as effective. We need that to change, starting with these seven progressives... What this moment also requires is people in the streets fighting for change and legislatures across the country willing to stand with them. That is the political revolution, and that’s why splitting your contribution to Bernie 2016 and these candidates' campaigns is so important."

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Justin Bamberg (D-SC)
David Bowen (D-WI)
Clara Hart (D-SD)
Terry Alexander (D-SC)
Carol Ammons (D-IL)
Chris Pearson (D-VT)
Jane Kim (D-CA)
Joe Salazar (D-CO)
You can contribute to Justin Bamberg and Joe Salazar and to other dedicated progressives running for state legislative seats around the country by clicking on the thermometer on the right. Meanwhile, sources inside the Bernie camp have indicated he will also be endorsing candidates running for Congress. I don't know which ones. Maybe because I went to the same elementary and high schools in Brooklyn as he did-- albeit enough years apart so that we were never in the buildings at the same time-- several of the candidates endorsed by Blue America have asked me if I could help get Bernie to consider them. I can't. I've only spoken to him once and he has his own advisors telling him who to consider. I was pretty overjoyed he went for Canova, that's for sure.

This is an e-mail I got yesterday from Jonathan Clarke, the Berniecrat running for the Long Island North Shore seat Steve Israel was forced to relinquish, presumably by the FBI for his role in the scam that landed Ami Bera's father in prison.
Below is my official request I sent to Senator Sanders asking for his endorsement. I emailed it to him and Jeff Weaver.  I know he will be endorsing a little over 12 more candidates this week. I hope I am one of them.  Is there any way you can see that he gets this letter or if you can speak with him about his endorsement for me. This race is one of the most important congressional races in the country. Whoever wins the primary wins the general. I have only 5 weeks left on the campaign and I have worked so hard, but I worry since my opponents have the advantage of name recognition over me that anything could happen. I would really appreciate it.  Thank you in advance!  ~Jonathan

Dear Senator Sanders,

My name is Jonathan Clarke, and I am running for New York's Third Congressional seat. I am writing to you to ask for your endorsement.

I am a progressive and your historic run has inspired me to run for Congress. I believe in the vision you have for this country, and I want to help you make that happen with a progressive Congress.

New York’s Third Congressional race is a very interesting district and has been called by Newsday and community leaders as "Ground Zero" for corruption. It is also the only Congressional District in which a Sanders’ Democrat has a very real chance of victory.

I am one of five democratic candidates running in a primary to replace Steve Israel who recently stepped down. All four of my opponents are strong Clinton supporters, and I am the sole candidate who supports you. My four opponents are essentially the same candidate with the same corporatist agendas and deep ties to Long Island’s highly corrupt political system.

It is highly likely I could win this race since my opponents will divide the establishment vote four ways while I can garner the entire progressive vote. My only obstacle is name recognition. Your endorsement would catapult me to victory in this primary. Since the Third Congressional district leans democratic, the winner of the democratic primary has a distinct advantage in the general election. Therefore, your endorsement would be highly effective in getting a Sanders Democrat into Congress.

My strong support of you and your platform has earned me the support of many Sanders supporters here on Long Island. We all have worked very hard volunteering on your campaign when it was here on Long Island, and we would all love to have your endorsement for my congressional race.

I do want to say, whether you endorse me or not, I and the hundred or so volunteers on my campaign stand with you. We have seen the way your message has had an enormous impact here on Long Island. You have already inspired many people on Long Island to take back the Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Democratic parties. Hundreds of us are committed to becoming committee people in the local party so that we can fundamentally change the political system from the ground up. Similarly, there are many of us who are priming ourselves for local elections. Your race has truly been an inspiration, and you have started a groundswell that will fundamentally alter the political system of Long Island.

Thank you for reading my letter.


Jonathan Clarke
Candidate for Congress
New York District 3
Bernie didn't do that well in NY-03. The people who have sent Steve Israel to Congress over and over, seemed to be more comfortable with the establishment candidate. Bernie's Suffolk County total was 45.3% but in Nassu County he only scored 37.4% of the vote. And, alas, nationally, the Bernie voters by and large haven't been been especially supportive of congressional Berniecrats at the polls, a big disappointment for those of us who have been hoping the revolution would catch on for real. But, whether Bernie endorses him or not, you can contribute to Jonathan's campaign-- and to any of the other Berniecrats we've vetted at Blue America-- by tapping on the BernieCongress thermometer, which is, of course, different from the legislature thermometer up above:
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New Candidate Alert In Florida-- Ileana Finally Has A Real Opponent


Florida's 27th congressional district is a majority Hispanic district (almost 75%)-- in fact, of all the congressional districts with a GOP congressmember, the 27th is the one with the highest percentage of Hispanics anywhere in the country. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has been the Representative for decades-- since 1989-- ever since she drew her own district lines when she was a state senator. The district has changed demographically and it's no longer the red hellhole she meant it to be. In 2008, Obama won against McCain with 51% and in 2012 he beat Romney with 53%. The district stretches from just north of the Airport in Hialeah Estates and Miami Springs, and encompasses all of Little Havana, West Miami, Coral Gables, South Miami, Kendall, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.

Demographically, the district gets bluer by the day and would be a natural takeover target for the Democrats except for one problemo-- well, 2 actually: Debbie WassermanSchultz and Steve Israel who have adamantly protected their conservative Republican crony Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, usually by sabotaging plausible Democratic challengers early in the process and guaranteeing that Ros-Lehtinen never has a serious election. This year, this could all change. The DCCC will never change until Pelosi and Hoyer are gone, but progressives in Miami-Dade aren't waiting. They have a Berniecrat running now, Adam Sackrin, a 27 year old native-born Miami attorney. I asked him to introduce himself to DWT readers:

A New Day Is Dawning In South Florida
-by Adam Sackrin,
Democratic candidate, FL-27

I am a two-time Obama voter, and now-- as a result of the ominous state of American political discourse-- a progressive candidate for the Democratic Party nomination in Florida’s 27th congressional district. There is a daunting road ahead, I am a political newcomer and we are admittedly late to the game; but, this election cycle is unique. If there were ever an election for a relative unknown to come from out of nowhere and deny the longest-serving Republican woman in Congress a 15th consecutive term, it is right now. Howie has discussed FL-27 at length since 2006... here are some of his relevant posts.

Voters aligned with all political parties can agree that there are countless legitimate issues facing our country that need real, smart solutions. The representative democracy upon which our nation was founded, in Article I of the United States Constitution, provides for a bicameral legislature, representative of the states and of the people, through which the issues and needs of this country are to be addressed and resolved. When that “democratic” body is no longer representative of the people, but is actually representative of the corporations and special interests contributing enormously to their campaigns instead (mostly to re-elect incumbents who favor or have favored those interests), those issues and needs cannot be addressed and resolved properly. What results is what we see far too often portrayed on TV and in mainstream media: gridlock, obstruction, defiance, and “business as usual.” Congress either acts contrary to the interests of the people it purports to represent, or Congress does nothing at all. The House bends its own rules to sneak discriminatory language into an amendment, and the Senate refuses to hold hearings on a federal appointee. Congress obstructs, or Congress takes action that would only serve to harm the American people, and progress is never made. It is a dysfunctional system where everything, for the most part, stays the same. Powerful incumbents stay in office; policies and regulations stay favorable to their wealthy campaign donors; donors make more money, enabling them to contribute even more the next election cycle; and repeat. Politics stays the same and none of the countless legitimate issues get resolved, all to the detriment of the American people. Isn’t it time for Congress to make progress?

This election is shaping up to be unique, far beyond the options we have been given for our 45th President. Yes, those candidates are big names, with bigger personalities and the biggest campaigns, but the stakes are also much higher this year: all three branches of our federal government are up for grabs. The President, head of the executive branch, will be elected in November. The High Court of our judicial branch has a cavernous, formerly-conservative seat to be filled. One-third of the Senate and every seat in the House will hold elections that could transform the dynamic of our legislative branch moving forward, possibly for the better. This election is much bigger than the President.

The “issues” the mainstream media feeds us surrounding the Presidential race are not the real issues affecting real Americans. Those issues, and that race, are distractions. There are deeper questions that must be answered, legitimate needs that are not being met, and fundamental issues with our democracy that must be addressed if we are to make progress as a nation. Those questions, needs, and issues are all going to be resolved in Congress, or they won’t. I am certain that our 45th President will be a Democrat, and I have some peace of mind knowing they will appoint a qualified, reasonable, ethical Justice to the Supreme Court, if one is not confirmed sooner. But I have no faith in our legislative branch-- “Congress”-- as currently comprised, and you should not, either.

Florida’s Congressional District 27, in my hometown of Miami-Dade County, is held by an entrenched incumbent, an “establishment” Republican, a career politician with an enormous campaign war-chest. Her campaign, as of April 2016, has nearly $2 million cash on hand, much of that from corporations and big-moneyed interests determined to keep her in power-- forever. She has been in Congress since 1988, the year I was born. Many of her campaign donors from then still support her campaign today. Most of those donors are rich people and rich corporations, and because they have been successful in keeping her in office so long, they keep getting richer. Each year elections cost more money, campaigns get bigger, and policy and influence, which we now know is for sale, gets more expensive.

To bring this full circle: yes, there are countless legitimate issues facing our country that need real, smart solutions. But until we get big money out of our politics, there will be no possibility of doing the things we need to do as a nation, of devising real, smart solutions. There will be no possibility of progress.

Why must we continue debating the existence of climate change and how humans contribute to it, instead of formulating proactive, aggressive solutions? Because the fossil fuel industry contributes enormous sums to fund re-election campaigns for incumbents. Across all of sunny South Florida, where district 27 is located, the effects of climate change are already being felt. Construction projects on Miami Beach to literally raise sidewalks and streets and hopefully alleviate the threat of rising sea levels are underway. Nearly every month becomes the hottest on record in South Florida, and yet the incumbent representative from FL-27 did not sponsor one bill concerning climate change during the 114th Congress.

If our elected officials refuse to take action on #ClimateChange, then it’s time for #CongressChange.

As an attorney, I swore an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. I provided a link to Article I earlier, but with so many obvious threats to the values and principles on which these United States were founded, it is incumbent upon us (for lack of a better word) to review once more the supreme law of the land. Supporting the Constitution means reading it, understanding why our founding fathers chose those specific values and principles as central to the formation of our great nation, and keeping a vigilant, critical eye on our American politics and governance, not merely what the mainstream media feeds us. The influence of big money on our politics is obvious and far-reaching; its effects are felt at all levels of our government. The prosperity of our nation hinges on having crucial, “little-d” democratic discussions about climate change, equality for all, women’s rights, good jobs and support for the working class, access to quality affordable healthcare, education, and a litany of other domestic and foreign policy objectives I look forward to discussing over the coming months, each vital if we are to truly flourish as people and as a country.

You may not know me very well yet, and I may not bring the most experience, but I subscribe to a certain set of progressive, democratic values-- passionately-- and I owe it to my County, my State and my Country to do everything I can to make sure democracy is restored and upheld. As a candidate who has never run for public office before, and having never accepted one dollar from a corporation or special interest to fund a campaign, I promise first and foremost to support the Constitution, to protect democracy, and to be an uncompromised voice of the people: for reason, common-sense and progress in Congress.

That is why I am running for Congress. I cannot sit and watch any longer, it must be now. I would be honored to have your support.

Adam R. Sackrin

The primary election is August 30, and the flippable FL-27 is located immediately to the South of FL-23, where Tim Canova and his remarkable, unwavering staff are waging a crucial primary battle. Including Alan Grayson’s efforts to take Marco Rubio’s old Senate seat, there are now at least three progressive Democrat candidates running winning campaigns in winnable races in a perennial swing state that could use a collective boost. You can contribute to Adam-- as well as to Canova and Grayson-- by tapping on the thermometer below.
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Chuck Schumer Is Still Trying To Ram Patrick Murphy-- Damaged Goods-- Down Florida Democrats' Throats


Please click on the picture to read the funny little ad

What a mess Wall Street's campaign to drag Patrick Murphy into the Senate has turned into! The Finance Industry has already poured more money into Murphy's campaign than into any non-incumbent running for the Senate from either party-- $1,403,150. But there are now so many campaign finance scandals that no one can keep up with them all-- although it does look like, at the minimum, Murphy's parents will be charged with some of the same criminal activities that Ami Bera's father is awaiting sentencing for. The even bigger scandal involves one of Saudi Arabia's richest and most powerful families financing Intelligence Committee member Murphy's political career, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, some legal and some decidedy not legal. And let's not forget the EB-5 visa scandals and the flood of bribes from Nicholas Mastroianni.

Murphy has a way of getting his friends and allies into trouble. After voting to establish the Benghazi Committee/witch hunt against Hillary, he managed to bring to the country's attention that Saudi Royal family top adviser, shady billionaire Nasser Al-Rashid, gave between one and five million dollars to the Clinton Library, the same Al-Rashid family that is funding Murphy and many of his crooked congressional cronies. Those crooked congressional cronies have been sending back Al-Rashid's tainted money as fast as they could-- even Dirty Harry Reid returning a $100,000 check from Ibrahim Al-Rashid that he gave Dirty Harry to help Murphy's primary against Alan Grayson. Ibrahim was found guilty of brutally beating up his wife, who just happened to be... Patrick Murphy's Finance Director. The scandal has spilled over to tarnish Nancy Pelosi (who insists on holding onto the $150,000 Ibrahim gave her PAC), Joe Garcia, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lois Murphy, Steve Israel, Eric Swalwell, Charlie Crist, Alcee Hastings, etc. The list of congressmembers the Al-Rashids have donated to reads like... a list of Patrick Murphy endorsers.

And, as though this wasn't enough for Privileged Patrick, the Miami Herald broke a story this week about how he bullshitted voters about his academic credentials-- or lack thereof. He lied when he claimed he earned "degrees in accounting and finance" from the University of Miami, a school where he is remembered as someone who was drunk and stoned every day. The Herald calls his premeditated lie "an exaggeration," pointing out that he earned a single degree in business administration.

That’s not the same as the “dual degrees” Murphy claimed to have earned in the biography on his U.S. House website or the “degrees” he mentioned in his campaign biography... Internet archive records show how Murphy’s descriptions of his education evolved in recent years.

Murphy first falsely claimed “earning dual bachelor’s degrees” during his first U.S. House race in 2012. After he took office, Murphy’s House and re-election campaign biographies were correct and had accurate descriptions of his single bachelor’s degree.

But the embellishment resurfaced-- on both biographies-- when he announced his bid for U.S. Senate in March 2015... Shortly after Murphy was first sworn in to Congress in 2013-- as the chamber’s youngest member at the time at 29 years old-- his official House biography correctly described him as having “earned his B.S. in business administration from the University of Miami, graduating with dual majors in accounting and finance.”

It remained that way for more than two years, until at least Feb. 22, 2015, internet archives show. But by a month later-- March 24, a day after Murphy launched his U.S. Senate campaign-- it changed, sounding slightly more impressive.

“He earned his B.S. in business administration from the University of Miami, graduating with dual degrees in accounting and finance,” reads an archived copy of the webpage captured that day.

About six months later-- sometime between September and October last fall-- the biography was amended once again with a simpler, but more inaccurate, description:

“He graduated with dual degrees in accounting and finance from the University of Miami,” Murphy’s House website read. It still had that claim as of Monday morning, before his staff amended it to read “dual majors.”
I guess this explains why Joe Biden, whose own presidential hopes were dashed when he was caught plagiarizing a speech by British Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock in 1988, called Murphy the "real deal" while campaigning for him recently. Biden was confused at first, thinking Murphy was the former working class congressman and Army vet from Pennsylvania, also named Patrick Murphy, but just went with the flow anyway since he was already down in Orlando. And this story in yesterday's Tampa Bay Times about Murphy's dishonesty, is just the tip of the iceberg. Florida is abuzz with the major scandal about to break over the serial liar who his father, the Saudi ruling class, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer decided should represent Florida in the U.S. Senate. He long bragged about helping clean up the BP oil spill. But he didn't. He didn't do a damn thing but get drunk, party and chase hookers. And then lie about it to invent a fictitious résumé.

If you want to help keep this kind of garbage out of the Senate-- don't we have enough corrupt conservatives in the Senate already, please consider contributing to Alan Grayson's grassroots campaign by tapping the thermometer:
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Democrats Overcome GOP Opposition To Medical Marijuana In Veterans Hospitals


The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll dug into how independent voters view the two parties. It's just a snapshot in time but 23% of independent voters saw the Democratic Party positively and 37% saw them negatively. Pretty horrible. But it was far worse for the Republicans. Only 8% of independent voters have a positive view of the GOP, while a staggering 52% see the Republicans negatively. Knee-jerk, systemic Republican congressional obstructionism helps explain the numbers.

Voters see the inability of the Republicans to deal with even things as basic as voting on a Supreme Court vacancy or protecting the citizenry from the spread of the Zika virus in a very negative way. If Americans-- or even just independents-- voted on those feelings, there would be just a small handful of Republicans left in Congress.

It isn't even just on the big matters of state where the GOP seems deranged and filled with destructive hatred. They can be counted on to be wrong on almost everything. When I was a teenager I used to smoke pot. It's what teenagers were doing in the 1960s. By the 70s, I had stopped completely. I had zero interest in marijuana for 4 decades until I started feeling the effects of chemotherapy. I still didn't want to use marijuana... until I was persuaded it would help me to survive; and it did. That was over a year ago. I have plenty of the stuff left but now that I'm well, I have no use for it and no interest in it. It saved my life though, so... I respect it. It's lucky for me that I live in California, where medical marijuana is legal.

Last Thursday, Congress moved towards making medical marijuana legal everywhere. The House voted 233-189 by an amendment by Oregon's Earl Blumenauer to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act that will "prohibit use of funds to implement, administer, or enforce any Veterans Health Administration Directive relating to the prohibition on VA providers from completing forms seeking recommendations on opinions regarding a veteran's participation in a state marijuana program." It was widely seen among Members of Congress for what it is: a step towards medical marijuana legalization.

Only 5 Democrats, led by reactionary anti-pot psychopaths Dan Lipinksi (IL) and Henry Cuellar (TX)-- 2 Blue Dog throw-backs-- opposed it. Even anti-marijuana crusader Debbie Wasserman Schultz voted yes! And so did 57 Republicans! Of course-- and this helps explain why independents have such negative feelings about the Republican Party-- 184 Republicans voted NO! The Senate passed a companion amendment with several senators from both parties noting that it would help veterans avoid using dangerous and addictive opiates. Tuesday, California Republican Dana Rohrabacher, who has been a major advocate for legalization in Congress, told marijuana activists he has been using a marijuana-rub to relieve the pain of arthritis.

Among the Republicans voting against the amendment was the ridiculously placed chairman of the House Science Committee, Lamar Smith of Texas-- Austin no less!-- who's living (and legislating) in a different era. No medical marijuana relief for veterans living in Austin, San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos or the Texas Hill country! This morning we contacted a military veteran and winner of the TX-21 Democratic congressional primary, Tom Wakely, who had a very different perspective than Lamar Smith's. "It seems par for the course that Congressman Smith, who refused to provide a hearing on Ron Paul and Barney Frank's resolution to end the federal prohibition of marijuana, would try to make it more difficult for veterans to get access to legal medication in their home state. The constituents of our district favor medical marijuana. San Antonio is a military town and I can guarantee the veterans of this district are just as confused as I am on why Republicans seemingly favor our 10th Amendment except in the case of a proven, harmless drug. I stand with the majority of House Democrats and the few Republicans who recognized this was a common sense vote. Personally, I'd like us to go further and put an end to the federal prohibition of marijuana, allowing the drug be turned over to the states for regulation. By definition that's supposed to be the conservative viewpoint. Then again, it's becoming harder and harder to define the platform of the modern Republican party."

Mario Diaz Balart joined the reactionary Republicans voting against the amendment, the only South Florida congressman to do so. Every Florida Democrat plus Florida Republicans Carlos Curbelo, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Tom Rooney voted in favor of the amendment but, for some reason, Diaz-Balart decided that veterans in Miami-Dade, Collier and Hendry counties, whose doctors want to prescribe marijuana for pain, sleep or to help with appetite will just have to do without. This morning we contacted the progressive Democratic physician running for the seat Diaz-Balart is sitting in, Alina Valdes, who has a very different perspective than Diaz-Balart, one based on science and humanity. "I have been practicing medicine for over 30 years," she told us, "and that time has been spent in physician shortage areas where people feel disenfranchised because they do not have the resources to make their voices heard especially after the Citizen's United and Corporate Personhood decisions. Many have given up on the political system which does not care about them and their needs. This vote on the use of marijuana to relieve pain and suffering is wrong as many studies have shown the benefits to neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, which many of our vets suffer. To insist that they use traditional opioid BigPharma medications to relieve their symptoms is causing further suffering. Many patients have expressed the desire to be pain free without needing to feel like a zombie while also risking an unintended overdose due to tolerance that is known to develop with these narcotic medications. Many of them use street marijuana and risk arrest and imprisonment because it helps them feel both physically and therefore mentally better.  This is a natural weed with medicinal benefits and is available to many living in states that allow physicians to write these prescriptions. As a general internist, I took an oath to serve, heal, and relieve pain and suffering in so doing. I would personally have no problems prescribing medical marijuana under the appropriate circumstances. To continue to classify marijuana as a class I controlled substance in the same category as heroin and peyote makes no rational sense. It just feeds the inhumane thinking of profits over people in both the pharmaceutical and private prison industries. Our vets especially deserve better than this and it is time for Congress to educate themselves rather than allow their votes to be swayed by big corporate interests funding their re-election campaigns."

And then there was backward Republican multimillionaire and Chris Christie's puppet-congressman Tom MacArthur. He voted against the amendment too, even though every New Jersey Democrat plus New Jersey Republicans Frank LoBiondo and Scott Garrett voted to give the vets a break. MacArthur thinks he has the right to override physicians who want veterans in Burlington and Ocean coutnies to have the opportunity to use medical marijuana if it will help their conditions. This morning we contacted the progressive Democrat running against MacArthur, Jim Keady. "This issue shows a clear difference between myself and my GOP opponent. I believe that we need to make marijuana legal for both medicinal and recreational use at the federal level. We then can regulate it, tax it and use the revenues for tax relief or for a range of social programs," said Keady. "Specific to our Veterans, I was just listening to two Vets who were at my family's tavern the other night; both of them wanted to be able to use marijuana to deal with PTSD. They should be able to do this, legally, anywhere in the United States."

Isn't it time to retire these Republican wastes and replace them with more forward-thinking progressives? Please consider contributing to the grassroots congressional campaigns of Tom Wakely, Alina Valdes and Jim Keady, progressive Democrats in Texas, Florida and New Jersey.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

That Lindsey Graham Magic


Lindsey Graham has always had a tart tongue and he was one of the first of the Deep Bench Republican losers who hissed back at Trump (before dropping out of the race with approximately zero percent support... give or take. He must have been traumatized to see Trump win all 50 South Carolina delegates-- with 32.5%, 10 points higher than second-place finisher Marco Rubio. Trump won every congressional district in the state and every county except Charleston and Richalnd-- and they were both pretty close. Earlier Lindsey got fewer voters than Jim Gilmore's 12 votes in Iowa and just 70 votes in New Hampshire to Trump's 100,406. (Yes, Jim Gilmore beat Lindsey in New Hampshire too-- with 133 votes.)

Back in early March Lindsey was on CNN, saying the GOP should have expelled Trump from the day he came down the escalator to call Latino immigrants "rapists." Lindsey to Wolf Blitzer: "He took our problems in 2012 with Hispanics and made them far worse by espousing forced deportation,” Graham said. “Looking back, we should have basically kicked him out of the party... The more you know about Donald Trump, the less likely you are to vote for him. The more you know about his business enterprises, the less successful he looks. The more you know about his political giving, the less Republican he looks. We should have done this months ago."

Instead they gave him the party and, as you've probably heard, Lindsey has hopped on board the Trump train. Gone are the days of him telling audiences that "This is not about who we nominate anymore as Republicans as much as it’s who we are. This is a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. What is conservatism? If it’s Donald Trump carrying the conservative banner I think not only do we lose the election, but we’ll be unable in the future to grow the conservative cause." Poor dear. By mid-May he was changing his tune, giving Trump suggestions to try to act less insane because if he's going to beat Hillary he'd have to remember that "crazy loses to crooked." (Never mind that he's well aware businessman Trump is a fraud and a cheat whose picture belongs in a dictionary next to the definition of the world "crooked.") And then a few days ago, he was back on CNN saying Trump has a 50/50 chance to win and that he's warming up to him. Ah, yes, the evil of two lessers now haunts American politics.

And now, ole Lindsey is campaigning for Trump among rich Republicans in Florida. No more of that "unfit for office" stuff and no more hissing about he wouldn't vote for Trump or Hillary. Today, after Trump petted him on the head with a phone call about Middle East policy, Graham is wagging his tail and-- at the very least-- it's now all about... the lesser of two evils.

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Bernie's Never Taken Any Bribe Money From Trump-- But Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid And Hillary Clinton Sure Have


Who was Trump talking about when he talked openly about bribing politicians? The two most corrupt Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid, have always gotten Trump to write sizable checks to the DSCC-- $60,000 in 1998, $25,000 in 2002, $25,000 in 2004, $30,000 in 2008... What happened in 2006? Rahm Emanuel got him to give $20,000 to the DCCC-- and then-- literally, another $15,000 on the same day (June 19, 2006). And he gave the Schumer and Reid $7,500 for the DSCC 3 months later, up from the $5,000 checks he had given them in 2000 and 2005. Some of the corrupt Democrats, widely known for being open to selling both access and their votes for big checks, he gave campaign cash to:
Charlie Rangel's PACs- $24,550
Hillary Clinton- $11,800
Charles "Little Chucky Schmucky" Schumer- $9,900
Harry "Dirty Harry" Reid- $9,400
Kirsten Gillibrand- $6,350
Anthony Weiner- $4,300
Robert Menendez- $2,000
Honorable mention goes to South Jersey crook, Donald Norcross, who gets his thousands of dollars (about $10,000 so far) in Trump payoffs laundered through Ivanaka. In fact Ivanka wrote Norcross 3 checks for $2,600 each on June 3, 2014, which is over the campaign finance limit. Of course, Trump has sunk far more into the GOP cesspool and given much more money to their organizations and to a plethora of corrupt right-wing politicians who have helped his shady business interests over the years, especially Giuliani, Miss McConnell, John Cornyn, Chuck Grassley, Peter King, Dean Heller, Charlie Crist, and John McCain.

Maybe the Department of Justice should look into the bribery he's admitted to on national TV and see which politicians need to be put on trial. I'd start with Donald Norcross and his brother George.

Defining political corruption in New Jersey politics-- 2 Donalds

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Alienating Voters... A Rigged System


The big headline over the weekend is how all these polls came out showing that the electorate is pretty surly and taking it out on Trump and Clinton, both of whom they dislike. More and more Americans are becoming familiar with the term "lesser of two evils." The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, for example, shows them as the "two most unpopular presidential nominees in history."
Thirty four percent of registered voters have a positive opinion of Clinton, versus 54 percent who have a negative opinion (-20)-- a slight uptick from her minus-24 score last month.

Trump's rating is even worse than Clinton's: Twenty nine percent have a positive opinion of him, while 58 percent have a negative opinion (-29)-- an improvement from his minus-41 score in April.
Democrats may be cheering because voters seem to shudder at the thought of voting for her slightly less than they shudder at the thought of voting for Trump-- TRUMP!-- but why take the chance when there's a far better candidate, who would make a much better president and who the November electorate actually likes? Look at these two head-to-head match-ups:

On Meet the Press Sunday, Hillary made the false claim that Bernie isn't really better liked than she (and her pal Trump) are; he just hasn't had negative campaign ads directed at him. That isn't just self-serving on her part, it is-- like so much of what she says-- which is why she's so hated by the voters, twisted and false. PolitiFact looked at the latest Clinton lie about Bernie:
When Chuck Todd pointed out that Sanders fares better than Clinton in head-to-head matchups against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, Clinton suggested Sanders hasn’t been vetted as thoroughly as she’s been.

"Let me say that I don't think he's had a single negative ad ever run against him. And that's fine. But we know what we're going into, and we understand what it's going to take to win in the fall," she said. "And finally, I would say that, you know, polls this far out mean nothing."

Clinton has a point that compared with her, Sanders hasn’t really felt the burn of negative ad blitzes from Republican groups. But her claim that he hasn’t had "a single ad ever run against him" is an exaggeration.

Many of the attacks we found on Sanders in the Political TV Ad Archive actually come from other Democrats, including by Clinton supporters.

Generation Forward, a pro-Martin O’Malley super PAC, went after Sanders while O’Malley was still in the race. In an attack ad, the group highlighted Sanders’ and Clinton’s Saturday Night Live portrayals and less-than-serious moments on the campaign trail (i.e. dancing). It ended with O’Malley saying a presidency shouldn’t be about entertainment.

Another ad attacked Sanders for his record on guns: "Bernie Sanders voted against the Brady Bill-- background checks and waiting periods... Bernie Sanders is no progressive when it comes to guns."

...Though Sanders hasn’t been hit nearly as hard as Clinton, he has been attacked by the right a few times. Future 45, a conservative Super PAC funded by backers of Marco Rubio, ran a 30-second spot sounding the alarms on higher taxes to come under Sanders.

Sanders is also featured in Republican-on-Republican attack ads as an unfavorable comparison.

For example, the anti-Trump Club for Growth has highlighted similarities between Trump’s positions and Sanders’ (as well as Clinton’s and Obama’s). Similarly, American Future Fund, a conservative 501(c)(4) or "dark money" group, ran an attack ad against Ted Cruz by lumping him in with Sanders and other Democrats on national security issues.

Mike Huckabee’s campaign, meanwhile, warned voters about "a crazy old man named Bernie" in a rhyming Christmas-themed ad and crooned "Hello from the caucus night. If Bernie wins, I’m going to die" in an Adele-inspired attack.

We should also note 2016 is not the 74-year-old’s first time around the block. He has, after all, competed in political races since the 1970s.

Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs pointed to "blistering negative ads in his first Senate campaign." In 2006, Sanders’ Republican opponent Richard Tarrant spent millions on ads accusing Sanders of wanting to protect child molesters and voting against single-working mothers. They didn’t end up doing much for Tarrant, who lost to Sanders by 33 percentage points.

Our ruling

Clinton said, "Let me say that I don't think (Sanders has) had a single negative ad ever run against him."

The number of attack ads against Sanders pales in comparison to the number against Clinton, but she’s wrong that he’s been completely spared.

Democratic groups, including one supporting Clinton, and Republican outfits alike have gone after Sanders.

We rate her claim False.

Voting for Hillary Clinton in the primary is like buying a ticket on the Titanic, while already knowing it's outcome! Now, have you figured out why I started this post with that wonderful John Oliver video? Help save America from Trumpism here. Please.

Hillary Clinton: "Let me say that I don't think (Bernie Sanders has) had a single negative ad ever run against him."
Meet the Press – Sunday, May 22, 2016

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A Desperate And Drowning Wasserman Schultz Tries To Politicize The Iran Deal


One of the Wasserman Schultz's top henchmen, Steve Paikowsky, has organized a groups of people to creep around whispering to the growing number of Wasserman Schultz detractors that Tim Canova isa threat to Israel and that his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal proves it. I guess he hopes that no one remembers that Israel also opposed that treaty and that plenty of sincere progressives-- Ted Lieu is a perfect example-- were also very skeptical. Wassermann Schultz voted for it and Canova was very critical of the deal.

This morning, I mentioned to Canova that the Paikowsky squad keeps trying to turn people off to his candidacy by harping on his opposition to the Iran treaty, ostensibly from the left. Tim told me that he thought the treaty was "a terrible deal" but "now that it’s been adopted, I support its full implementation. The NY Times magazine published an article a week ago about Ben Rhodes, the White House communications person on the Iran deal, boasting about constructing a "false narrative" about how the moderates were really in charge in Iran, even though the administration knew the hard-liners were still calling the shots. Debbie Wasserman Schultz boasted about having been in on 20 meetings in the White House Situation Room. Was she duped by Ben Rhodes or did Debbie just keep quiet and go along with the false narrative? Many Democrats voted against the deal, including Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel and Alcee Hastings here in South Florida. I opposed the war in Iraq and the regime change actions in Libya and Syria."

Thug life
And he's a firm believer in legitimate Israeli security concerns. "The gravest threat to Israeli and American security," he wrote, "would be nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other authoritarian Middle East countries that promote radical and violent Islamic fundamentalism. The Iran nuclear deal was a flawed agreement in many ways. I am concerned that while Iran is required to decommission many of its centrifuges, they can simply mothball rather than destroy the centrifuges, thereby allowing them to restart a nuclear program for military use in the future. Just weeks after the nuclear deal was finalized, Iran began testing precision-guided ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. These missile tests also occurred after the lifting of sanctions and release of about $100 billion in frozen assets to Iran. A more measured and incremental lifting of sanctions and release of frozen assets would have provided continuing incentives for Iran to comply not just with the nuclear deal but also with its anti-ballistic missile commitments. Instead, the wholesale lifting of sanctions and release of assets may strengthen hard liners in Iran and provide the country with the resources to further aid Hezbollah and Hamas and other terrorist groups. Finally, I have concerns that the deficiencies in the Iran nuclear deal could lead other regional powers, such as Saudi Arabia, to seek nuclear weapons. While I have criticized many problems with the Iran nuclear deal, now that it has been entered into, I support its strict enforcement and implementation. U.S. policy should be to ensure that Iran abides by all of its nuclear and ballistic missile commitments. If there are any mate- rial violations by Iran, the U.S. should snap back to sanctions against Iran. Moving forward from this agreement, the U.S. must do everything in its power to prevent a nuclear arms race in the region, including diplomatic efforts to negotiate a general disarmament for the entire region that includes nuclear, missile, and conventional arms reductions. We should recognize that peace and security for Israel, the U.S., and the rest of the world is no longer possible without general disarmament and fundamental political and social reforms throughout the Middle East. We must work to bring about such reforms as much as possible through non-violent peaceful means using the full range of U.S. economic and diplomatic power."

A lot to think about... and Wasserman Schultz has a plateful of problems of her own, as you've probably noticed over the last few days-- a plateful of problems that are rapidly cascading out of control. Even Fox has started taking note of the fact that Canova is giving her a run for her (lobbyist friends') money. Watch that clip from yesterday on Fox News about her woes. They're going to get a lot worse. Meanwhile, please consider contributing to Canova's campaign to replace her as the Broward/Miami-Dade congressmember from the 23rd district:

Goal Thermometer

UPDATE: Karl Rove Weighs In On The FL-23 Race

American Crossroads explained, rather cynically, why they'd rather see Debbie Wasserman Schultz keep her seat than watch Tim Canova win it. Aside from the reasons in their press statement endorsing her, there's the obvious point that with no chance of a Republican winning in the deep blue district, Rove wants a conservative like Wasserman Schultz who will vote with the GOP against working families. Tim is someone the Republicans fear. Wassermann Schultz is someone they find entertaining.

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When "Good Guys" Do Bad Things


The way they finance their campaigns, Donald Norcross and Patrick Murphy are not just dancing with the devil, they're changing costumes, doing flips and ending the routine with a dip and kiss

We've been writing for almost a year about how the righteous-sounding PAC, End Citizens United is a scam. It was set up and is run by a gaggle of DCCC and DSCC losers to primarily funnel money to their corrupt conservative candidates and campaign finance criminals like Patrick Murphy, Lacy Clay, Ami Bera, Pete Gallego, Monica Vernon, Steny Hoyer, Val Demings, Scott Peters and Lon Johnson. In fact, on Saturday, the Sacramento Bee dug into the campaign finance abuse system Steve Israel thought up that is landing Ami Bera's father in prison and should send Ami Bera, Patrick Murphy, Murphy's parents, Scott Peters and Scott Peters' parents to prison as well. That's specifically the kinds of candidates "End Citizens United" is funding.
Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, whose father is awaiting sentencing on two felony counts of election fraud, for years has engaged in a complex series of campaign donations involving his parents and the families of other congressional candidates, federal records show.

Beginning six years ago, when he unsuccessfully challenged former Republican Rep. Dan Lungren, Bera and his family wrote checks to other Democrats, almost always for the maximum amount allowed under federal law. Those candidates or their families gave similar amounts to Bera, and the contributions often occurred within days of one another.

The practice differs from the reimbursement scheme perpetrated by Babulal “Bob” Bera, 83, in which he repaid donors as a way to direct more money to his son’s campaign committee. Federal officials and Ami Bera maintain the congressman, who has represented a suburban Sacramento County district since defeating Lungren in a 2012 rematch, was unaware of his father’s illegal activities.

The pattern of giving involving other candidates, known as donor swapping, is most often seen among deep-pocketed families. Campaign finance experts said such see-saw contributions generally do not run afoul of federal law, but say they are a way to sidestep individual donation limits and help show fundraising prowess. 
...Larry Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan election reform group, said an argument can be made that coordinated exchanges between candidates’ families evade the law, which prohibits making contributions in the name of another.

Some instances in which Bera’s parents engaged in a pattern of giving with families of other congressional candidates have been reported in the past. Following his father’s guilty plea, the Sacramento Bee reviewed contribution records for four election cycles, finding such a pattern between Bera and his family and at least six other congressional candidates. Nearly $240,000 changed hands. 
Bera’s father, listed in campaign finance records as Babulal, Babulal R., or B.R. Bera, and his wife, Kanta Bera, gave the maximum allowed to their son’s campaigns, and contributed at least $75,000 to candidates whose immediate families gave to Bera.

Candidates can give unlimited amounts to themselves, but donor-swapping makes it appear that they have a larger list of supporters and do not need to rely as much on their own wealth.

...The elder Bera this month admitted to recruiting friends, family and acquaintances to contribute nearly $270,000 to Bera, and then largely reimbursed them with his own money. Prosecutors said as part of the plea bargain the government agreed not to charge Kanta Bera. Ami Bera said he has since given the money to the U.S. Treasury. Babulal Bera faces 10 years in prison, though prosecutors agreed to recommend no more than 2 1/2 years.

...Another series of contributions occurred between Bera and Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida.

In 2011, three days after Janine Bera gave $5,000 to the “Friends of Patrick Murphy” committee, Murphy’s father, Thomas P. Murphy, provided $5,000 to “Ami Bera for Congress.” In 2013, the younger Murphy’s mother, Leslie, gave $5,200 to Bera. Babulal and Kanta contributed a total of $10,400 to Murphy two weeks later. Three months later, Janine Bera donated $5,200 to Murphy.

Murphy’s campaign sent $1,000 to Bera in 2014, and Babulal Bera sent $5,000 to Murphy last June.

Murphy spokeswoman Galia Slayen did not respond to specific questions from The Bee, including whether the families coordinated. Instead, Slayen pointed to a recent Treasure Coast Newspapers story quoting an email from her stating Babulal Bera did not arrange an exchange.

Murphy said he recently donated $10,200 he had received from Babulal Bera to a trio of nonprofits: Common Cause Florida, Big Bend Homeless Coalition and Renewal Coalition.
Another "liberal" PAC playing with Dark Money has gone bad-- the Patriot Majority USA SuperPAC and phony 501 (c)(3), which has always targeted Republicans (usually completely ineffectively, having lost nearly every race it got involved in) but is now targeting progressive Berniecrat Alex Law in order to assist the most right-wing Democrat in New Jersey, corrupt Machine candidate Donald Norcross. Patriot Majority USA just spent $67,486 sending several illegally coordinated mailings on behalf of Norcross in South Jersey, using messaging illegally originated from Norcross' congressional staff. Although this is the first time the group involved itself in a primary, warned about their shady practices in 2013.
A liberal, labor union-backed nonprofit that’s not supposed to be primarily political spent $23.7 million last year in the run-up to national elections-- 46 times what it spent in 2011, a non-election year, according to its new Internal Revenue Service tax return.

And although it describes itself as a grassroots group, a single $6 million donation from an unnamed source made up one-fourth of Patriot Majority USA’s $23 million in 2012 revenue. More than half of its haul, $12 million, came from anonymous donors that gave more than $1 million each, its tax return indicates.

Patriot Majority USA states on its website that it advocates for “comprehensive campaign finance reform that increases transparency and limits the influence of greedy special interests who ... buy elections.”

Unlike super PACs and traditional political campaign committees, nonprofits such as Patriot Majority USA aren’t required to disclose their donors because they supposedly exist to primarily promote the public good and social welfare. But nebulous Internal Revenue Service rules have led these “dark money” groups to proliferate and spend millions of dollars on politics. The agency proposed tightening the rules last week.

For its part, Patriot Majority USA reported spending $9.3 million on politics-- almost 40 percent of its expenses. It reported the political spending was for “expenditures and grants for issue advocacy to educate voters on candidates’ views.” More than half of its $1.4 million in grants went to groups considered politically active such as American Working Families Action Fund and No on 3 Inc. in Florida, a group that opposed a constitutional amendment changing the way state revenue caps are set.

Patriot Majority USA also fields a super PAC-- Patriot Majority PAC-- that spent just a small fraction of what its nonprofit sister group did during 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Patriot Majority USA’s overall expenses are nearly three times that of an arguably better-known liberal nonprofit group Priorities USA, which has ties to President Barack Obama.

And although the group doesn’t disclose its donors, the Huffington Post reported labor unions contributed $2.3 million to Patriot Majority USA last year, based on calculations from Department of Labor filings. The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, a trade association, also gave the group $750,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Patriot Majority USA was formed in 2008 and technically spun off into a separate entity in 2011. When it applied to do that, it told the IRS it didn’t plan to hire employees and would instead rely on a “large base of volunteers” to developing and disseminating the organization’s message.

This hasn’t proven true. The organization reported no volunteers last year and paid its founder and president, Craig Varoga, $144,053 last year for 25 hours of work per week, according to its 2012 tax return. Other expenses reported include $11.6 million on a “media buy,” $2.5 million for direct mail production and $1.5 million on voter registration efforts.

Varoga, who was national field director for Gen. Wesley Clark’s 2004 presidential campaign, did not respond to questions from the Center for Public Integrity.

Varoga instead emailed a statement that his group “has been recognized by the IRS and has a very well defined, multi-year, bipartisan primary purpose, which is to work on economic solutions and encourage job creation throughout the United States.”
The following year, the same author, Michael Beckel, followed up with an article for Slate called The Dark Arts that featured Patriot Majority USA's shady practices and gross hypocrisy. "Liberals," he wrote, "may blame conservatives for the ongoing surge of political 'dark money' dominating the 2014 midterm elections, but Democrats are now taking full advantage of these secretive, free-wielding political behemoths-- while bemoaning their influence. At the forefront is the nonprofit Patriot Majority USA, which is providing Democrats with a countervailing force against the political machine of conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch. This election cycle, Patriot Majority USA has spent more than $7 million on political advertisements, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That makes it the largest Democratic-aligned dark money operation in the country."

And now they've turned their guns on one of the most effective grassroots campaign's in the country, Alex Law's, to assist the most corrupt Machine in the Northeast United State, George Norcross'. (By the way, Norcross, who's is panic-stricken over Law's headway and is sending out coordinated mailings smearing Law, had raised $912,186 to Law's $46,380 as of the March 31 FEC reporting deadline.)
Among the newly identified contributors: the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare ($500,000), the International Longshoremen’s Association PAC ($50,000), the American Health Care Association ($25,000), and the American Association for Justice PAC ($10,000).

Patriot Majority USA’s top known donor is the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, which gave $1.25 million over two years. That health industry trade group-- which last year merged with the American Health Care Association-- was first identified as a contributor to Patriot Majority USA by the Center for Responsive Politics. Greg Crist, a spokesman for the American Health Care Association, declined to comment, saying, “As a general practice, we don’t comment on our political giving strategies.”

Patriot Majority USA has also collected seven-figure sums from at least two labor unions: $1.14 million from the Service Employees International Union, including $280,000 from the SEIU’s state council in Pennsylvania, and $1 million from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.
I wonder if the union members know their dues are going to fund an arch conservative and to try to bury a progressive reformer. If you'd like to contribute to Law's grassroots campaign, you can get to it by tapping the thermometer:
Goal Thermometer

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