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Rep. Silvestre Reyes: Deal or No Deal?

Released: March 5, 2008 DFA Members Tell Rep. Reyes No Telecom Immunity BURLINGTON, VT Democracy for America, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, is putting the pressure on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D TX). Rep. Reyes indicated he is open to a deal with the White House on immunity for the telecommunications companies who participated in President Bush program of warrantless wiretapping. DFA members are calling Rep. Reyes' Washington and El Paso offices demanding that he stand with Speaker Pelosi and the majority of House Democrats against telecom immunity. "In just a few hours, Democracy for America members have made thousands of calls to Rep. Reyes letting him know he has a duty to uphold the Constitution," said DFA Chair Jim Dean. "House Democrats have been firm in their opposition to telecom immunity and Rep. Reyes should follow their lead." Earlier today, Democracy for America Political Director Charles Chamberlain sent a message to DFA's 675,000 members asking them to take action and call Rep. Reyes: He needs to know we are counting on him. He needs to know that if he won't stand up to President Bush, then DFA members will find someone to replace him who will. DFA is supporting Ed Fallon, an opponent of telecom immunity, in his primary challenge of incumbent Bush-Democrat Leonard Boswell in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District. Rep. Boswell has already voted for telecom immunity. Last month, Democracy for America was instrumental in Donna Edwards' primary victory over incumbent Bush-Democrat Al Wynn in Maryland's 4th Congressional District. A staffer at Rep. Reyes' El Paso office told a caller that no decision on telecom immunity had been made and she could not imagine why Rep Reyes would go against his close friend Speaker Pelosi. Grassroots pressure from Democracy for America members has been essential at every stage of the battle to stop telecom immunity. "Rep. Reyes has a choice: is he with the American people or is he with President Bush and his cronies from AT&T and Verizon," said Democracy for America Executive Director Arshad Hasan. "We hope Rep Reyes makes the right decision." ###
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Democracy for America Endorses Joe Garcia for the United States House of Representatives

Released On: February 28, 2008 BURLINGTON, VT Democracy for America, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, has endorsed Joe Garcia's campaign to represent Florida's Twenty-fifth Congressional District. "Joe Garcia is a tough, dynamic Democrat and Democracy for America is proud to endorse his campaign for Congress," said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. "Joe's opponent, Mario Diaz-Balart, has lost touch with the needs of his constituents and has been a consistent vote for the failed policies of the Bush administration. Rep. Diaz-Balart even voted three times against health care for kids because he didn't want to offend his tobacco lobbyist buddies. Joe Garcia offers the type of leadership the district needs in Washington." Joe Garcia is a community leader who has the vision to bring real change to South Florida and help fix Washington. Joe worked his way through the University of Miami Law School while serving as director of the Exodus Project of the Cuban American National Foundation. Joe continued this work after law school, traveling to 17 countries to meet with dozens of world leaders, reuniting thousands of families that had been scattered throughout the world. In 1991, Joe was appointed Chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission where he led the deregulation of the state's telecommunications industry, which led to lower prices for consumers. Later on, he worked closely with state lawmakers from both parties to sign the largest energy rate cut in Florida's history. For 20 years, Joe Garcia has been a leader on the issues that affect the lives of real people. In Washington, he will be a leader on key issues like strengthening our middle class, providing all Americans excellent health care, and re-establishing America as the moral and economic world leader. "Across the country DFA is making a difference by motivating young people to become actively involved in politics. The work of DFA is important to our community because it advocates a new kind of politics; one that breaks from the divisive special interest politics of the past," said Joe Garcia. "It is an honor to have the endorsement of such an important national organization that is committed to promoting the kind of grassroots activism that will lead to real change in South Florida." Democracy for America is a key endorsement in this race, bringing hundreds of donations from progressives around the country and providing volunteers to participate in door-to-door, grassroots outreach. The DFA Training Academy has trained tens of thousands of activists across the country in the strategies and tactics of successful campaigns and will be coming to Miami in July. "Joe Garcia supports progressive values like ending the War in Iraq, expanding access to affordable health care and, protecting the economic well-being of working men and women. DFA will stand with candidates who stand up for progressive values." said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of DFA. ###
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Donna Edwards Defeats Incumbent

Released On: February 13, 2008 The Real Democrat Wins Maryland Congressional Primary Rockville, MD Democracy for America, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, provided the critical support that propelled Donna Edwards to victory in the Maryland 4th Congressional District Democratic primary. Donna Edwards resoundingly beat the Bush-Democrat incumbent, Al Wynn, in Tuesday's Democratic primary. DFA raised over $40,000 for Ms. Edwards' campaign and local DFA members were the boots on the ground who staffed phone banks, walked precincts, and supplied the necessary grassroots support that was key to Tuesday's victory. "Al Wynn has a shameful record in Congress and thanks to Donna his days of ignoring his constituents are soon to be over," said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. "Al Wynn has been a consistent vote for George Bush's War in Iraq and for big oil companies, big banking companies, big insurance companies, and against working people. Donna Edwards is ready to provide the progressive leadership that the residents of Maryland's 4th Congressional District deserve." Ms. Edwards ran on a progressive platform that emphasized important differences with Mr. Wynn. In stark contrast to the incumbent, her campaign focused on issues like providing comprehensive health care for all Americans, repealing the bankruptcy law, standing up against wealthy corporate special interests, and ending the War in Iraq. "While Al Wynn was taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate special interests and lobbyists, Donna Edwards was working to pass the Violence Against Women Act. While Al Wynn was voting to allow President Bush to continue his War in Iraq, Donna Edwards was fighting the big pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost of prescription drugs," said Gina Angiola, local DFA member and Montgomery County Coordinator for the Donna Edwards for Congress campaign. "Democracy for America has stood by me since the beginning and their support was vital for my campaign," said Donna Edwards. "DFA knows that a progressive message and an effective grassroots campaign can beat out money, cynicism, and special interests." ###
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The Senate Stands Up Against President Bush and for the Constitution

Released On: January 28, 2008 DFA Members Flood Senate Offices with Thousands of Calls and Telecom Immunity is Defeated Burlington, VT Members of Democracy for America, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, made thousands of phone calls to Senator Harry Reid and played a key role in forcing the tabling of the reauthorization of the so-called Protect America Act just over one month ago. Today, DFA members responded to the call to action and have scored another victory in the battle against President George Bush's effort to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies who participated in his program of warrantless wiretapping. Republicans attempted to prevent debate and consideration of Democratic amendments to the FISA bill. GOP senators, working in tandem with the White House, tried to force through a version of the bill with retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies. The Senate voted 45 to 48 against cloture. A vote for a 30-day extension of the bill also failed with Republicans voting against cloture. After being targeted by Democracy for America, Senators Clinton and Obama, who had originally indicated they would not participate in today's vote, came to the Senate to vote against cloture. "Our members were making calls to the Senate at a rate of over 1000 per hour," said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. "The death of retroactive telecom immunity was an expression of the will of the American people and a victory for the United States Constitution." President Bush has indicated he will veto the 30-day extension or any version of the Protect America Act that does not include a provision for retroactive immunity. "For reasons passing all understanding, the Republicans voted against a 30-day extension of a bill the President says is vital to the safety of the American people," said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy for America. "Our members got involved and gave voice to what a vast majority of Americans believe: we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, not some place where the President can throw a tantrum and get what he wants." ###
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Democracy for America Sends a Message to Senators Clinton and Obama

Released On: January 25, 2008 DFA Runs Major Ad in New York Times on Telecom Immunity Burlington, VT Democracy for America, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, will place a full-page ad in the Monday, January 28 edition of the New York Times. The ad calls on Senators Clinton and Obama to show true leadership and fight retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies who participated in President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program. Currently, the Senate is considering unprecedented legislation that would grant the Bush administration a wide array of powers to spy on Americans. "President Bush has done real damage to our Constitution and any legislation that grants retroactive immunity would make the United States Congress and the American people complicit in his illegal activities," said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. "Senators Clinton and Obama and the senators who have endorsed their presidential campaigns are key to holding the Bush administration accountable for their actions." The ad makes clear that this is the last chance for the American people to discover the extent to which the Bush administration violated the Constitution by pressuring telecommunications companies to spy on American citizens without warrants, due process, or probable cause. Senators Clinton and Obama now have the opportunity to show the leadership we need in any future president. Twelve Democratic senators voted for cloture on yesterday's Judiciary Committee amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that did not include retroactive immunity. The cloture vote was successful by a margin of 60 to 36. Of these twelve senators, seven have endorsed either Senator Clinton or Obama. If these presidential hopefuls bring along the support of these senators, they can sustain a planned filibuster, defeat any cloture vote, and demonstrate that they have the integrity, vision, and judgment to be president. "Americans recognize that we live in dangerous times, but we cannot sacrifice our liberty and our freedoms every time the President says the sky is falling," said Arshad Hasan, Exceutive Director of Democracy for America. "I was born and raised in North Dakota and I said the Pledge of Allegiance everyday and I believe in it; especially, that we live in a country with liberty and justice for all. We expect Senators Clinton and Obama to stand up for these bedrock American principles." ###
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