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Ros-Lehtinen Voted Against Medicare Accountability Banked $180,000 From Special Interests Released Jointly with the Florida Democratic Party Miami, FL Sundays Miami Herald reported billions of dollars in Medicare fraud takes place in South Florida every year by far the worst record in the nation for Medicare abuse. In 1998, the largest home health care provider in South Florida was charged with bilking Medicare for more than $45 million in fake services. The companys founder had been a donor to Ileana Ros-Lehtinens campaign for re-election to Congress. Congress did have the opportunity to fight back against Medicare fraud before it reached crisis proportions, but Ros-Lehtinen voted against allowing Congress to pursue its Constitutionally-mandated oversight role. In 1995, she voted for the so-called Medicare Preservation Act (HR 2421, Roll Call 731, 1995). The Act that Ros-Lehtinen voted for crippled the efforts of law enforcement agencies to control health-care fraud abuse in the Medicare program, according to the then-inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. Even then, Ros-Lehtinen voted with the Republican Party line and against the best interest of the people of her district, a pattern that continues almost 15 years later. Annette Taddeo, Ros-Lehtinens opponent in this Novembers election, responded by saying she was not surprised. This vote does not surprise me. It fits a pattern. For 18 years, Ros-Lehtinen has been claiming to be a moderate, but consistently places the interests of her party above the interests of the people of she is elected to serve. As Congresswoman, Taddeo says she will work to give every American access to affordable, quality healthcare. She supports allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with the prescription drug companies to get the lowest possible price for Seniors, and she will fight for a prescription drug plan that really works and doesnt just benefit the big drug companies. It is time for a change in South Floridas leadership, said Taddeo. It is time for a new beginning, where government is transparent and accountable to the people. Ros-Lehtinen has taken nearly $200,000 in campaign gifts from Big Pharma and HMOs. She has voted to cripple law enforcements ability to control Medicare fraud, and a year later, she simply refused to vote on a bill that was written expressly to stop Medicare fraud in 1996 (HR 3103). Rather than working to crack down on Medicare fraud, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen instead chose to profit off the people who are stealing millions of dollars from our seniors, said Eric Jotkoff, Florida Democratic Party spokesman. Ros-Lehtinen is either complicit or easily bamboozled, but any way you cut it she has no business representing South Florida in the United States Congress. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry while betraying her constituents, said Daniel I. Medress, Communications Director for DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nations largest progressive political action community, which has endorsed Annette Taddeos campaign. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen cares more about protecting her big money donors than she does about protecting the American people from fraud, waste, and abuse. ###
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Released: July 24, 2008 BURLINGTON, VT DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nations largest progressive political action community, has endorsed Ed Zipprichs campaign for Red Bank Borough Council. Ed Zipprich has the experience, qualifications, and judgment that are needed on the Red Bank Borough Council and Democracy for America is proud to endorse his campaign. said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. Ed Zipprich is just the type of progressive candidate the Red Bank Borough Council needs to bring change to Red Bank and Monmouth County. Ed Zipprich has lived with his partner in Red Bank since 1997. He was born and raised in Staten Island and had a long career in purchasing, facilities management, and business operations in international law firms in New York City. Ed is the proud father of a teenage daughter. Ed Zipprich has worked on planning and preservation issues for much of his life. He continues to do so in Red Bank as a member of the Borough Planning Board and as an active member of the Historic Preservation Commission. Ed is currently working with others on the historic commission to document homes in Red Bank to help create the first residential historic district in town. In 2008, Ed was appointed to the Vision/Master Plan Review Committee by the mayor to reexamine the plan and move the borough into the future. He is a member of the Red Bank Centennial Committee and Preservation Red Bank. Ed is currently helping the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation reestablish itself and serves as Treasurer and Membership Chair of the foundation. Democracy for America is the key endorsement in this race, bringing donations from progressives and providing volunteers to participate in door-to-door, grassroots outreach. DFA has helped elect over 550 progressives to office from Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts to Rep. Jerry McNerney in Californias 11th Congressional District. Receiving an endorsement from Democracy for America is truly an honor. I worked locally on Howard Deans presidential bid in 2004 and have worked closely with NJ for Democracy over the years to educate citizens about the importance of grassroots involvement, said Ed Zipprich. I take seriously the ideals of DFA and have learned a great deal from the organization. I never thought I would run for office until learning from DFA that citizens can and should run for positions at every level of government. I am grateful for DFAs support. Ed Zipprich is a phenomenal candidate who will take the lead on historical preservation, smart growth through controlled development, fiscal responsibility, and public safety, said Arshad Hasan, Excecutive Director of DFA. Ed Zipprich is dedicated to Red Bank and he will be a great leader for the Borough. ###
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Released: July 21, 2008 New Poll Shows Overwhelming American Jewish Opposition To Alliance With Hagee, CUFI WASHINGTON Today, activists delivered a petition with over 42,000 signatures to Senator Joe Liebermans office demanding that he cut ties with Pastor John Hagee and his organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI). The petition delivery comes as CUFI today begins its annual Washington-Israel Summit. Sen. Lieberman is the most senior elected official confirmed to address the conference and has been actively involved in raising money for CUFI. The Senator will speak Tuesday evening at a dinner that is the only event of the conference open to the media. The purportedly pro-Israel views of Rev. Hagee and his supporters bear little to no resemblance to the consensus of the vast majority of American Jews, who strongly support a negotiated, two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and active engagement by the United States to facilitate it, said Jeremy Ben-Ami, Executive Director of J Street, the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. CUFI which describes itself as pro-Israel, opposes efforts by the Israeli government to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through territorial compromise. Trading land for peace is viewed as antithetical to Gods will and as an impediment to the groups apocalyptic quest to precipitate the biblical Battle of Armageddon, in which all Jews will either be killed or converted to Christianity in advance of Jesus' return. The Dont Go Joe campaign, launched jointly by J Street and Democracy for America, gathered the signatures after footage surfaced last month of Rev. Hagee preaching that Hitler was doing God's bidding. In response to these remarks, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain severed all connections to Rev. Hagee. To date, Senator Lieberman, who has likened Rev. Hagee to the biblical prophet Moses and called him a Man of God, has steadfastly refused to follow suit. Joe Lieberman still has a chance to do the right thing, said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy for America. Pastor Hagee is a bigot and a sexist. If Joe Lieberman speaks at his conference, he is giving a seal of approval to a man who thinks its fine to use fear and hatred to demonize Americans. We will not allow such unholy alliances as Senator Liebermans relationship with Hagee, which are inimical to the core values and principles that the Jewish community holds dear, to go unchallenged for the sake of political convenience, said Ben-Ami. With these petitions, we plan to make it loud and clear and very public that, in his unwavering support for Hagee, Lieberman does not speak for us. A J Street poll of 800 American Jews, conducted by Gerstein/Agne and released last week, found deep disapproval within the American Jewish community for forming with right-wing Christian Zionist organizations, such as CUFI, and with the public figures who cultivate such ties: Rev. Hagee himself is quite disliked by American Jewish, 7 percent having a favorable opinion of him and 57 percent an unfavorable opinion. Senator Joe Lieberman, once highly regarded in the Jewish community as the first Jewish vice-presidential nominee, has become a highly contentious figure whose unfavorable now exceed his favorable ratings, 48 percent to 37 percent. Without any description other than CUFI is led by Reverend John Hagee and works to build support for Israel among evangelical Christians, 51 percent of Jews have a negative impression of CUFI while only 19 percent have a positive impression. When presented with CUFIs own words to describe its mission and statements opposing CUFI (one critiquing Hagees public comments about Catholics, women, gays, and Hurricane Katrina and another critiquing his ties to extremists in Israel who oppose the peace process), Jews by a 4-to-1 margin say that Jewish organizations and leaders should not form alliances with the pastor or his organization. In addition to closing most of the CUFI conference to media, Rev. Hagees lawyers quietly removed from YouTube over July 4th a series of videos concerning the pastor, charging copyright infringement. The clips include J Streets own video tying Sen. Lieberman to Rev. Hagee, as well as footage taken from sermons Hagee had already made public and others filmed by media inside Hagee's conventions. Most had been online for well over a year. ###
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Press Release

Released: July 8, 2008 BURLINGTON, VT DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nations largest progressive political action community, has endorsed Annette Taddeos campaign to represent Floridas 18th Congressional District. Annette is running against the increasingly irrelevant, Bush lapdog Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Annette Taddeo is a strong, independent thinker whose years of experience as an entrepreneur and community leader make her the progressive choice in this election, said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. Annette Taddeo represents a clear break from the failed policies of George Bush, John McCain, and the Republican Party. For the past 15 years, Annette Taddeo has run her own successful company and proven that hard work and dedication pay off. Annette is the founder & CEO of LanguageSpeak, a comprehensive language services company offering translations, conference interpretation, and private tutoring in over 100 languages. Annette is the Chair of the Womens Enterprise National Councils Leadership Forum and serves on the Executive Board of WIPP-Women Impacting Public Policy. She is also immediate Past-Chairman of the Coalition of Dade-County Chambers of Commerce and Past-Chairman of the Womens Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County. Annette Taddeos community activities and strong business leadership have resulted in numerous honors and awards, including being named South Florida Business Journals Business Woman of the Year, Small Business Administration Minority Business Champion of the Year, and one of the Top 50 Latina Entrepreneurs in the U.S. by Hispanic Magazine. Like Democracy for America, I am passionately committed to cleaning up the mess in Washington. When I am elected to Congress, my focus will be on creating jobs and restoring strength to our economy, making healthcare affordable and accessible to every American, and help bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq, said Annette Taddeo. I am proud to have the endorsement of Democracy for America because they share my passion for building a better America we can stand hand and hand as we fight for a stronger community and country. Democracy for America is the key endorsement in this race, bringing donations from progressives and providing volunteers to participate in door-to-door, grassroots outreach. DFA has helped elect over 550 progressives to office from Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts to Rep. Jerry McNerney in Californias 11th Congressional District. This year in South Florida, DFA has raised over $35,000 for Joe Garcias congressional campaign in Floridas 25th District. The DFA Campaign Academy, which has trained over 16,000 progressive activists in the skills and techniques of running winning campaigns, will be in Miami this weekend. Annette Taddeos opponent, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, has failed her constituents with her bizarre and misguided loyalty to President Bushs disastrous policies, said Daniel I. Medress, Communications Director of Democracy for America. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has failed on job creation, has done nothing about providing affordable health care for Floridians, and has walked in lockstep with George Bush on the War in Iraq. It is time for her useless time in Washington to come to an end. ###
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Released: July 2, 2008 BURLINGTON, VT DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nations largest progressive political action community, has endorsed Marian Harris campaign to represent Ohios 19th State Representative district. Marian Harris is a true progressive fighter and Democracy for America is proud to endorse her campaign, said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. Ohio needs Marian Harris to tackle problems like our broken health care system and a lack of quality jobs. Marian Harris spent more than 30 years working in and out of government and the non-profit sector. Marians experience as a constituent aide for Senator Howard Metzenbaum made her very aware of the impact policy makers and legislators have on the person on the street. When she coordinated Capital for a Day for Governor Celeste, Marian took the Governor and his Cabinet to 34 different cities - a true grassroots program that put policy makers next to the people their policies impacted. Marian Harris graduated from Mt. Holyoke College and has been a medical researcher, a pre-school teacher, and an elementary school teacher before getting into politics and going to work for Senator Howard Metzenbaum. In addition to working for Governor Celeste, Marian has worked for Mental Health America of Franklin County and has had her own business as an event planner and volunteer manager for non-profits. Democracy for America speaks my language with their opposition to the War in Iraq and bottom-up, grassroots approach to campaigning, said Marian Harris. I truly believe that DFA represents the best of a grassroots approach to accomplishing change and I am very proud to have their endorsement. Democracy for America is the key endorsement in this race, bringing donations from progressives and providing volunteers to participate in door-to-door, grassroots outreach. DFA has helped elect over 550 progressives to office from Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts to Rep. Jerry McNerney in Californias 11th Congressional District. Marian Harris has shown time and again she has the vision and foresight to take on the tough issues and work to advance progressive values, said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy for America. Marian Harris will bring her years of experience to Columbus for the benefit of her constituents and all Ohioans. ###
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