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FISA Bill Tabled After Thousands of Calls from Democracy for America Members

Released On: December 18, 2007 Burlington, VT Members of Democracy for America, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, scored a victory in the battle to protect the Constitution last night. In an unexpected move, Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reauthorization bill from the Senate floor. The version that was tabled until January included retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies who participated in President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program. Senator Chris Dodd, joined by Senators Edward Kennedy, Russ Feingold, and others, had stated their intent to filibuster the bill because of the inclusion of retroactive immunity. Before the filibuster even began, Senator Reid came to the floor and said he was pulling the bill because he had received "thousands of communications from across the country." In large part this was due to the work of Democracy for America. Over 2,443 DFA members reported calling Senator Reid's office in a bold display of the people-powered grassroots organizing for which DFA is best known. President Bush had vowed to veto any version of the bill which did not include retroactive immunity. In his remarks on the Senate floor yesterday, Senator Kennedy explained the logical inconsistencies of the President's position, "The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA. But he has also said that he will veto any FISA bill that does not grant retroactive immunity. No immunity, no new FISA bill. So if we take the President at his word, he is willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies." "The FISA bill was another example of President Bush using scare tactics to push through legislation that benefits special interests instead of the interests of American citizens," said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. "Thanks to our members getting involved, making phone calls, writing letters, and believing in the idea of government of the people, by the people, and for the people it is clear that Senator Reid got the message." ###
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Does Anyone Care About Joe Lieberman?

Released On: December 17, 2007 Senator Lieberman's Irrelevant Endorsement of John McCain Burlington, VT Democracy for America, our nation's largest and most active rogressive political action organization, has called out Senator Joe Lieberman for his endorsement of John McCain's flailing presidential campaign and McCain's policy of sending more troops to Iraq. In 2006, Senator Lieberman was reelected to the Senate as the sole candidate of Connecticut for Lieberman; a political party created out of whole cloth after Senator Lieberman was resoundingly defeated by Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary. At the time, Senator Lieberman promised to caucus with the Democratic majority in the Senate and work to elect a Democrat to the White House in 2008. "With his endorsement of John McCain, Senator Lieberman has, once again, shown himself to be nothing more than an irrelevant Republican who is willing to say anything to get elected and curry favor with the Beltway establishment while he continues his quest to get appointed to a cabinet position," said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy for America. John McCain's status as a "maverick independent" has taken serious hits with his continued support for President Bush's policies and the War in Iraq. Senator Lieberman's endorsement should do nothing to enhance his campaign or change Senator McCain's prospects in the presidential race. "At this point, it is clear that Joe Lieberman is done with the taxpayers of Connecticut and we are done with him," said Democracy for America Chairman and Connecticut resident, Jim Dean. "Majority Leader Harry Reid needs to pull Senator Lieberman's committee assignments. His presence in the Democratic caucus is an insult to Connecticut voters and taxpayers, Democrats, progressives, and activists all over the country." ###
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Unite for a Progressive President Campaign Sends a Message to Iowa's Democrats

Burlington, VT Democracy for America, our nations largest progressive political action organization, has ramped up its recently launched Unite for a Progressive President Campaign by placing an ad in the 12/13/07 edition of the Des Moines Register. The ad asks Iowas Democratic caucus-goers not to split their vote and stand together for a progressive president. Progressive voters are the key constituency in this election. Americans want a progressive president who will embrace grassroots engagement and have the backbone to fight for real change. Iowas voters need to know we are depending on them to make sure one of the top progressives wins their caucus location, said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy for America. With 675,000 members nationwide, including 9,000 in Iowa, Democracy for America is at the head of a national movement that will profoundly alter the traditional landscape of the presidential primary season. The Unite for a Progressive President Campaign is bringing together members, supporters, and activists throughout the country in a new and historic way. Democracy for America has always been committed to harnessing the power of direct, grassroots activism and empowering Americans to play a substantive role in their community and their government, said DFA Chairman Jim Dean. With the participation of our members and supporters in the Iowa caucus, we are uniting voters behind a progressive candidate. DFA members are essential to winning the Democratic nomination.
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Democracy for America Endorses Illinois Congressional Candidate Mark Pera

Burlington, VT-- Earlier today the political organization founded by Howard Dean, Democracy for America (DFA), endorsed Mark Pera for Illinois 3rd Congressional district in a Democratic Primary. DFAs involvement is an indication that this contentious Primary is garnering national attention. Mark Peras challenge to Congressman Dan Lipinski is a consequence of the incumbents numerous votes supporting President Bushs positions including banning stem cell research, expanding domestic wire tapping, and repeatedly voting to stay the course in Iraq. Were sending a message to Congress: You're on notice. Regardless of political party, when Congress won't represent the will of the American people, DFA will replace them with someone who will. Mark Pera is the more consistently progressive candidate in this election, so the choice is clear, said Jim Dean, brother of Howard Dean, and currently the Chair of Democracy for America. Although the organization has been involved in contentious Primaries in the past, it is unusual for any organization to get involved this early. According to Dean, DFA endorsed early because the contrast between the two candidates backgrounds highlighted a problem that goes beyond voting records. This election isnt just about bad votes, its also about leadership and community. Hand-picked by the party machine to take his fathers seat in Congress, Dan Lipinski is a poster child for the culture of incumbency, Dean added. Mark Pera worked his way up from the steel mills of East Chicago to the Lyons School Board to the State Attorneys office by taking action and engaging members of the district.Pera has built a relationship with the community and many say this has proven his ability to lead. Area activists from Northside Democracy for America a local group modeled after the national organization - have been supporting Mark by knocking on doors, making phone calls, and recruiting volunteers for what they call their People-Powered Campaign. DFA decided to offer formal support after the organizations local membership brought this race to their attention. Founded by Governor Howard Dean in 2004, DFA is a political action committee dedicated to supporting progressive candidates at all levels of government -- from the school board to the presidency. DFA empowers everyday Americans to reform their political system: www.democracyforamerica.com/candidates. ###
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DFA Chair Jim Dean & Houston City Council Member Melissa Noriega To Speak At Four Steps to Victory Tour in Texas

Building on the momentum of the 2006 electoral victories and the DFA Training Academy in March, Democracy for America (DFA) returns to Houston as a part of its national Four Steps to Victory Tour: Building a People-Powered America with Chair Jim Dean and Houston City Council Member Melissa Noriega on Thursday, October 4 at Kobains, 33 Waugh Drive at 6:30pm. Councilwoman Noriega is enthusiastically supported by members of Democracy for America Texas. The Four Steps to Victory Tour brings together the progressive activists (who are already doing amazing work in their state) and empowers them with the tools to win in 2007 and 2008. DFA Chair Jim Dean and Councilwoman Noriega are scheduled to discuss people-powered politics. We're building a movement of progressive Americans working to take our country back. With a little over a year until America elects a new President, there are a lot of actions we can take right now to make victory happen. In Texas alone, we have state and local races, gubernatorial campaigns, a presidential primary and an upcoming Senate race. We have to power to get active, get connected, get smarter, and become progressive leaders, said Democracy for America Chair Jim Dean. Currently, DFA has trained over 10,000 activists across America leading to over 500 electoral victories at all levels of government. These DFA members will strategize at the national Four Steps to Victory Tour as it travels across the country. Democracy for America, which was founded by Governor Howard Dean in 2004, is a political action committee dedicated to campaign training, grassroots activism and supporting progressive candidates with a backbone at all levels of governmentfrom the school board to the presidency. DFA is empowering everyday Americans to reform their political system. ###
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