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Released: May 15, 2008 DFA Mobilizes Members Against Anti-voting Laws BURLINGTON, VT DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, today, kicked off the Right to Vote Campaign to stop Republican efforts to require citizens to present government-issued photo identifications before voting. DFA sent a message to its membership asking them to participate in the multi-pronged campaign to defeat the Republican anti-voting plan. "The progressive community is not going to sit idly by while Republicans work to dismantle our democracy," said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. "These photo ID laws are just literacy tests dressed up in new clothes." Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law that requires voters to present a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot in an election. Republicans say these laws are designed to protect against voter fraud, but the truth is that this is a solution in search of a problem. The real aim of these voter ID laws is to disenfranchise traditionally Democratic voters: the elderly, the poor, people of color, and new voters. Already, six states in addition to Indiana Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, and South Dakota now require voters to show a photo ID before voting. 19 more states are considering passing such requirements. And, Missouri is trying to take all of this a step further and require voters to prove their citizenship before voting. In his message to Democracy for America's members, Jim Dean said, "Republicans can't win elections based on their failed philosophies, so, they've latched onto a new plan: make it as hard and expensive as possible for people to exercise their constitutionally protected right to vote." Democracy for America recognizes that voter ID laws are just the latest attempt to disenfranchise voters and place additional hurdles before citizens who want to participate in our political process. As a stunning example of how voter ID laws disenfranchise and punish voters, just last week in Indiana, as many as 12 nuns were turned away from their polling place because they did not have photo identifications. Democracy for America has a long track record of successful grassroots action. DFA has helped elect over 550 progressives to office from Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts to Rep. Jerry McNerney in California's 11th Congressional District. DFA has been instrumental in the ongoing fight to block President Bush's attempt to grant retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies that participated in his illegal wiretapping program. "The Right to Vote Campaign starts today with a petition that will be delivered to Democratic legislators and it will continue with online and offline action to beat back this outrageous attempt by Republicans to strip people of their right to vote," said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy for America. "DFA and its members will be active across the country and, together, we will protect the right to vote." ###
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Press Release

Missouri Voter ID: A Solution in Search of a Problem BURLINGTON, VT DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, is standing firm in its opposition to Missouri's House Joint Resolution 48; a resolution that would require voters to prove citizenship before exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. This morning, DFA sent a message to its Missouri members calling on them to contact their state Senators and demand that they vote No on HJR 48. "HJR 48 is as bad as it is unnecessary," said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. "HJR 48 is a big government power grab that will disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of American citizens." Republicans forced the resolution through the Missouri House of Representatives over the weekend and it will likely be voted on by the Senate this afternoon. The resolution will force American citizens who vote in Missouri to prove their citizenship by presenting an approved form of government-issued photo identification. "It's a sad day when the General Assembly spends the people's time crafting legislation that is intended to disenfranchise elderly and poor citizens," said State Senator Joan Bray (St. Louis), an opponent of HJR 48. "My Republican colleagues try to talk a good game about protecting elections, but in the end this is just another example of big government run amok." Democracy for America recognizes that voter ID laws are just the latest attempt to disenfranchise voters and place additional hurdles before citizens who want to participate in our political process. HJR 48 follows in a long line of measures designed to prevent people from voting. Like poll taxes and literacy tests, voter ID laws are intended not to protect the integrity of elections, but to disenfranchise traditionally Democratic voters. As a stunning example of how voter ID laws disenfranchise and punish voters, just last week in Indiana, as many as 12 nuns were turned away from their polling place because they did not have photo identifications. "Republicans know the American people have rejected their failed philosophies, so, all they have left is to stop as many people as possible from voting," said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy for America. "HJR 48 is a despicable and desperate attempt by Republicans to win an election through Draconian means when they can't win on their own merits." ###
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Press Release

Released: May 2, 2008 Republican Shocked to Learn that Individuals Care About Their Community BURLINGTON -- DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nations largest progressive political action organization, endorsed Joe Garcia for the U.S. House because, unlike his opponent, he knows its the job of a Congressman to represent his constituents and not just high-dollar donors, lobbyists, and corporate PACs. Rep. Diaz-Balart, being unfamiliar with the idea of small-dollar donations from individuals concerned about their neighborhoods and country, tried to make a controversy out of Joe Garcias robust fundraising. In yesterdays Miami Herald, Lesley Clark reported that U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is accusing Joe Garcia of 'hiding' the source of campaign contributions. As the article makes clear, campaign finance regulations do not require disclosure of donors' identities for contributions under $200. Joe Garcia is supported by real men and women who give $5, $10, or $20 contributions. This manufactured attack shows how little respect Mario Diaz-Balart has for small-dollar donors, said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. Mario Diaz-Balart is, once again, showing how out-of-touch and unfit he is to serve in the United State House of Representatives, said Wendy Sejour, resident of Floridas 25th Congressional District. Democracy for America has helped Joe Garcia raise over $30,000 from over 1000 donors for an average contribution of $28. These small-dollar donations have made his campaign a true threat and that is why Rep. Diaz-Balart is now blindly lashing out and making ridiculous, false accusations. Mario Diaz-Balart has been living in his ivory tower for too long, said Daniel I. Medress, Communications Director of Democracy for America. Rep. Diaz-Balart is frighteningly misinformed about how campaigns work and this is further proof that his days of misrepresenting South Florida are numbered. ###
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Press Release

Released: April 30, 2008 BURLINGTON, VT DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, has endorsed Roy Carter's campaign for the United States House of Representatives. "Roy Carter, unlike his Republican opponent, will be able to give the 5th Congressional District what it needs in Washington: a dedicated and intelligent advocate for working men and women," said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. "Roy Carter will represent all his constituents and not just big-money donors, corporate PACs, and lobbyists." A native resident of Western North Carolina and a lifelong Democrat, Roy Carter has been a public school educator for the past 40 years. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Roy Carter was the Head Coach of the North Wilkes High School football team and has served the students of Ashe, Wilkes, and Surry countiesall of which are in the 5th Congressional District. Roy Carter has dedicated his life to educating young people and motivating them to achieve their goals by being a positive and affirming influence in their lives. Leading by example, he has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, working to build homes for hard working families. Through his leadership and innovation several student and community programs were created to combat drop-out rates, drug and alcohol abuse, and illiteracy. As a Congressman, Roy Carter will give the people of the 5th Congressional District the leadership they need and deserve. Mr. Carter will be the kind of Congressman who will stand up for what is right, tell you the plain truth, and never forget that the trust, needs, and best interests of his constituents are more important than anything any special interest could offer. Roy Carter is committed to bridging the partisan divide that has polarized the 5th District and our country for too many years. Mr. Carters opponent, Virginia Foxx, is nothing more than a mean and out-of-touch mouthpiece for the Bush administration. She has voted against such important legislation as the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Head Start, and aid to the victims of hurricane Katrina. Her insensitivity to the needs and concerns of her constituents even extends to insulting relatives of soldiers who have been killed while bravely serving the United States in uniform in Iraq. Rep. Foxxs office, not only, refused to meet with Summer Lipford, a gold star mother in Statesville whose son, PFC Steven F. Sirko, was killed in Iraq, but went so far as to belittle Ms. Lipfords fallen son. Rep. Foxxs office brushed Ms. Lipford off by saying that her son was just a paid volunteer and his death in Iraq was not worthy of a meeting. I am proud to be the Democracy for America Grassroots All-Star and to have received the support of so many concerned citizens in our district and throughout our country, said Roy Carter. Voters are speaking loud and clear. They have responded to my campaigns message by an overwhelming margin because they want a leader who believes that people always come before politics. Democracy for America is a 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. "Roy Carter served his community for 40 years as a public school teacher and coach and now he is ready to serve in the halls of Congress," said Daniel I. Medress, Communications Director of DFA. "Roy Carters opponent, Virginia Foxx, has failed the 5th District time and again. Roy Carters grassroots campaign and its commitment to the culture of activism will mop the floor with Virginia Foxx in November." ###
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Press Release

Released: April 22, 2008 BURLINGTON, VT DemocracyForAmerica.com, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, announced Tuesday that it has endorsed Richard Holober, Democrat for Californias 19th State Assembly seat. "Richard Holober is a proven champion for better schools, environmental protection, and affordable health care. Democracy for America is proud to endorse his campaign," said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. "Richard Holober is just the type of leader we need in Sacramento." Richard is an education leader who knows what it takes to improve California's public schools. He has 14 years of experience on the San Mateo County Community College Board and the Millbrae School Board. He successfully reduced classroom overcrowding and updated curriculum so students can be successful in a changing economy. As a member of the State Assembly, Richard will stand up to the Republicans who are trying to cut education funding at all levels, including K-12, community colleges, state colleges and universities. Richard Holober has been at the forefront in the fight for universal health care coverage and affordable prescription drugs, and he successfully fought for better protections for H.M.O. patients. He has the experience and independence to stand up to the insurance companies and drug companies. Richard will work hard to protect our air, land and water. He was a leader in the fight to stop the clear cutting of old-growth redwood forests, and has supported legislation to make toxic polluters pay for clean up costs. He has led the San Mateo County Community College District in its pioneering "green building" program for new classroom construction, which has dramatically reduced greenhouse gas emissions. "I'm proud to be supported by Democracy for America, because it is a refection of my commitment to Democratic values," said Richard Holober. "As the grassroots Democratic candidate, DFA support means a great deal to me. Together we can prove that grassroots campaigning can overcome the biggest special interests -- and our victory will result in more progressive policy and good government. 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. "Richard Holober is a strong, progressive candidate with the skills and experience needed in the California Assembly," said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of DFA. "Richard Holober will be the peoples advocate for universal health care, education reform, and he will be a leader on issues like renewable energy and protecting the environment." ###
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