2014 could be a disastrous year for Democrats and progressives. President Obama's poll numbers are way down, even compared to 2010, when the Republicans staged their biggest pickup in Congress in 80 years. In mid-term elections, the voters tend to punish the president's party when they don't approve of the president. Experts are also projecting turnout to be very low, which heavily favors Republicans.
DAPAC is working hard to fight against these challenges. We are recruiting and endorsing exciting and dynamic candidates. We are helping them run better campaigns and raise more money. But we are running out of resources to recruit candidates and energize their campaigns. We can turn this around, but it is in your hands. We need your support in the next thirty days. You can donate here.
The January newsletter covers these topics:
I would like to take a moment to talk about a few of these.
First, our exciting efforts in Pennsylvania. Besides recruiting and endorsing campaigns all across the country, we have a specific campaign in Pennsylvania. We are working to overturn Republican control of all three branches of state government in Pennsylvania. We are building a permanent organization to reverse a partisan gerrymander, to take back 5 extra seats from Republicans in the US House. We are already endorsing and assisting several good strong progressives running in local races.
Late last year, a national campaign to raise the minimum wage erupted. The campaign Fight for Fifteen joined over two million supporters in a few weeks, in over 100 cities, and in over 200 demonstrations. Last year was a disaster for the poor, working class, and middle class people. 77% of people saw their income go down. They got hit with higher payroll taxes, and stagnating or declining wages. Don't let the higher-than-ever stock market fool you – for regular working people, the job market is dismal. Most people are making less than $15 per hour. People that make these wages are struggling, and cannot buy homes or send their kids to college. This restrains the economy in general, and thus restrains the economic potential of us all, rich or poor.
Back in the 1960s, I was able to work my way through college as a janitor during the summer. With the low minimum wage, rapidly rising college costs and lack of good paying jobs, today that would be impossible. Many people who support our organization are feeling this burden, helping children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews get through college. We have to invest in the American people again, or even those lucky enough to be able to go to college now will not have jobs when they graduate.
Progressive Democrats are winning the most rapidly-growing groups in America – youth and people of color. Fortunately, the demographics increasingly favor us. Unfortunately, these are the demographics that have the poorest voter turnout in years like this, with no presidential election. We can't sit this election out. We have to get our supporters to the polls on election day, or we will lose. Please look at the enclosed sheet stating specifically the values we and our candidates have pledged to support.
The bottom line is: Republicans are ahead. Fight back against selfishness and intolerance. Please donate here. Thank you for your continued support.
Alan Cohn, FL-15
Cohn is a journalist and Peabody winner who has been working the Tampa area for the last 30 years. He sees immigrants as a resource, not a burden, to our economy and that immigration reform is a must. His ideas for protecting working families included laws regulating banks and other financial institutions and holding them accountable. Cohn understands the need and promise of Medicare as he is now caring for his own mother who is 87. He will fight the GOP as they try to end Medicare and/or increase its cost. cohnforcongress2014.com
Kerri Condley, CA-42
Kerri Condley is running in CA-42 as a strongly pro-choice woman business leader. She will fight for new jobs, protect every penny of Social Security and Medicare, and will protect people's homes and farms from the devastation brought by climate change. Her opponent is anti-choice Ken Calvert, who has corrupted the federal government by pushing for legislation that made his real estate much more valuable and then pocketing millions of dollars in profit. Kerri wants a path to citizenship for all people. Her opponent wants a flat tax that will tax 77% of middle class people more, while lowering taxes on the wealthiest people. www.kerricondleyforcongress.com
April Freeman, FL-19
April Freeman is running in the 19th district of Florida. A strongly pro-choice businesswoman who owns and operates her own company, she is fighting incumbent Trey Radel, a radical conservative radio talk show host who is against a woman’s right to choose and doesn't believe in climate change. Trey Radel wants to balance the budget and reduce the deficit by taxing seniors and the middle class more. Freeman wants to protect seniors by protecting Social Security and Medicare, and by raising the minimum wage to produce good paying jobs for Americans. www.aprilfreeman.com
Robin Kelly, IL-02
Kelly won the special election this year to replace Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned. Throughout her decades-long career in public service she has lived a life guided by progressive values. She is running for the full term election in 2014. robinkellyforcongress.org
Daylin Leach, PA-13
Daylin has been representing the people in the Pennsylvania state legislature sine 2002. In the legislature Daylin wrote the PA Contraceptive Equality bill, introduced bills for marriage equality, and has led the fight against efforts to restrict women's reproductive choices. He understands that our current political system is broken and Washington politicians too often fail to lead us in the right direction. As he did in Harrisburg, he will lead the fight for women’s rights, access to reproductive services, LGBT equal rights, workers’ rights, access to justice, environmental protection, and voters’ rights. votedaylin.com
Gwen Moore, WI-04
Gwen Moore is co-chair of the women's caucus in Congress. She has become the leading voice on health insurance reform and on the protection of reproductive rights. She is the first African American and the second woman to represent Wisconsin. Gwen has defended Planned Parenthood against the Republicans in Congress. She has also been a staunch supporter of gay rights and supports same sex marriage. She valiantly opposed the all male Senate Judiciary Committee that voted" no" in March, 2012, on reauthorizing the Violance Against Women Act.
Eloise Gomez Reyes, CA-31
Eloise has worked hard since she was 12, starting in the fields as an onion topper and paying her way through college and law school. She was the first Latina to open her own law firm in California's Inland Empire and she's been fighting for local working families for decades. For over 25 years now, she has been volunteering legal aid and providing pro bono legal services to needy families in the Inland Empire. As a small business owner, Eloise will bring those values to get the results we need in Congress. eloiseforcongress.com
Lee Rogers, CA-25
Lee Rogers is running in a newly configured district with more Democratic voters. The number of Democratic and Republican voters in the district are now about even. With an increased number of Democratic-leaning Hispanic voters, this district is now in play. We plan to help Lee get out an increased number of Hispanic voters registered and voting. He advocates refocusing on the creation of jobs, protecting Medicare and putting an end to U.S. Foreign wars that he says we have already won. http://www.leerogersforcongress.com/
Bill Taylor, TN-03
Bill Taylor is a certified public accountant and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University of Chicago. He has spent the last 35 years working in health care. His business background uniquely qualifies him to help solve the major issues in our country: health care, jobs, and fiscal reform. He is a staunch supporter of the Affordable Care Act, but recognizes ways to improve it. He supports the freedom of choice and freedom from government intrusion into our personal lives. taylorforcongress.org
Bruce Braley, Iowa
First elected to the House of Representatives in 2006 with our help, he is the founder and chairman of the House Populist Caucus, which fights for the middle class through equitable taxes, fair wages, a level playing field, and secure retirement plans. He is running to replace Republican Tom Harkin, who is retiring. www.brucebraley.com
Joe Sestak, Pennsylvania
Joe is a former House Representative whom we supported and he is now running for the Senate seat in 2016 against Pat Toomey. He will continue fighting for Social Security, health care, gay and lesbian civil rights and economic justice. Joe supports holding banks accountable for their policies and actions that ultimately affect people. joesestak.com
Mary Headrick, TN-03
The Republican supermajority in Nashville refused Medicaid expansion for the PPACA health reform, lowered Workers Compensation to injured employees, gutted teachers and other public service unions is privatizing 'public' education, phased out Tennessee's inheritance tax and granted many no-bid contracts. Thanks to them, there will be three dreadful amendments to the Tennessee constitution before voters (elect judges, attack choice, outlaw Tennessee income tax). Mary hopes to engage and inform voters. As a mother, medical doctor, public school teacher, computer analyst, and community activist,Mary intends to work for better government for the working class. http://www.maryheadrick.com/
Allyson Schwartz, Pennsylvania Governor
Under Republican Governor Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania is facing a crisis in education. Corbett has cut the state education budget dramatically. He cut the higher education budget by half, as well as removing over $1 billion from K-12 schools. Under the state constitution, the state is the primary funding source for local schools, across the state school districts have had to close schools, lay off teachers, and cancel all extracurricular programs. In addition, Corbett supported a bill introduced in the state legislature to require women considering abortion to receive an ultrasound and have their face turned toward the video screen while a doctor recorded their eye movement. In defending this abhorrent attack on human dignity, Corbett said, "I'm not making anyone watch, OK, because you just have to close your eyes." Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, who was elected to Congress in 2004 with our support, is now running to replace Corbett. A former social worker, she founded a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia and headed it for many years. She was later elected to the state senate, where she led an effort to create a health insurance program for Pennsylvania children. This same plan was used as a model for the federal children's health insurance program. Unsurprisingly, with this background she was one of the primary movers behind the Affordable Care Act, authoring the provisions banning exclusions for preexisting conditions and allowing children to remain on their parents' insurance plan until age 26. It is crucial that we back the best candidate to end Corbett's assault on the people of Pennsylvania. We endorse Allyson Schwartz for governor of Pennsylvania in 2014. allysonschwartz.com
Newly Endorsed Candidate
Shaughnessy Naughton, PA-08
We are proud to endorse Shaughnessy Naughton, the true progressive in PA-08’s Congressional race. She is a
strong leader who is committed to supporting the struggling middle class, getting Americans back to work,
and investing in the infrastructure that will grow our economy. Shaughnessy is the only candidate in the race
who has demonstrated her commitment to protecting our environment and combating climate change. She is
the kind of voice we need in Washington, and we are excited about her plans for the future."