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Jeb Bush Calls For Overturning Citizens United To Stop Super PAC Spending

When asked about the NED pipeline at the VFW Town Hall in Hudson, Bush responded:  "There's a trade-off in this, which is how public policy works. The trade-off is how do you balance the economic interests of working-class families with environmental considerations? And those are best sorted out at the state level, not in Washington, DC," said Bush. After the town hall, Bush told News 9 that he won't be taking sides. "Governor of Florida Jeb Bush at VFW in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 8th, 2015 by Michael Vadon a 09" by Michael Vadon - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Governor of Florida Jeb Bush at VFW in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 8th, 2015 by Michael Vadon a 09” by Michael Vadon – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

NH Rebellion claims a victory as more candidates adopt #FightBigMoney agenda before First-in-the-Nation Primary

In New Hampshire campaign stops today, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush added his voice to the national movement to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, a victory for the anti-big money grassroots group NH Rebellion.  In an interview with CNN, later repeated at other events, Bush said “I would turn that [ruling] on its head if I could.”

NH RebellionNH Rebellion Executive Director Dan Weeks welcomed Bush’s shift, even after the former governor raised over $100 million in unlimited contributions to his affiliated Super PACs.  “I am glad Governor Bush has come to agree with the majority of Americans that Citizens United needs to be overturned to end the disgrace of unlimited Super PAC spending in campaigns,” Weeks said.  “Ironic though it is coming from the #1 beneficiary of Super PAC money, Bush’s evolution shows that voters in both parties are finally being heard when they say, overwhelmingly, that our current campaign finance system is corrupt.”

In addition to overturning Citizens United, Bush has called for complete disclosure of campaign donations and for eliminating the dollar-limit restrictions on contributions to candidates’ campaigns.

“Full transparency would certainly be better than the current system, which allows high-dollar political spenders to hide their identities through shady c4 organizations,” Weeks said. “But disclosure doesn’t fix the real problem:  Americans aren’t just angry that we don’t know who is buying our politicians, we’re angry that our politicians are being bought, period.

Weeks noted that, during the course of the New Hampshire primary, several Republican and Democratic candidates have shifted their positions on campaign finance reform.  “There has been a lot of movement in the right direction, as candidates have seen thousands of Granite Staters take to the streets as part of the NH Rebellion, and answered countless questions in diners and town halls,” he said. “Last month, we issued a preliminary candidates scorecard showing how far the candidates have come since we began the marches and birddogging, and it’s encouraging to see the continued movement since.”

Weeks noted that the leading GOP candidate in New Hampshire, Donald Trump, had already endorsed a ban on Super PACs and expressed support for small donor citizen-funded elections, although he had yet to release specifics. “Trump has been speaking about the problem since day one of his campaign – easy enough for a billionaire who doesn’t need outside support.  But just talking about the need for campaign finance reform isn’t enough.  Voters deserve to have some idea of how he plans to fix the system,” Weeks said.

Just yesterday, the NH Rebellion concluded its We the People Convention to #FightBigMoney bringing together over 700 activists from across the political spectrum to hear from issue experts, elected officials and celebrities including actor Sam Waterston, comedian Jimmy Tingle and best-selling author Marianne Williamson.  The Convention included presentations by conservative political consultant John Pudner and former Bush administration official Richard Painter, as well as remarks by GOP presidential candidate Gov. Jim Gilmore and surrogates for the Kasich, Trump, Clinton, and Sanders campaigns.

In the press release sent earlier today, Weeks predicted that the outcome of tomorrow’s First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primary will be driven largely by citizens’ concerns about campaign finance corruption and the candidates’ positions on the issue.  

“Big money in politics has been the ‘silent story’ of this presidential election – and it’s becoming less silent by the day,” Weeks said. “The American people are way ahead of the political establishment in their condemnation of how our government is being corrupted by the political spending of billionaires and special interest groups.”  

Former NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous Endorses Sanders

 

MANCHESTER, N.H. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders Friday picked up the endorsement of former NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous.

“Bernie Sanders has been principled, courageous and consistent in fighting the evils that Dr. King referred to as the ‘giant triplets’ of racism, militarism and greed,” Jealous said. “Bernie Sanders has the courage to confront the institutionalized bias that stains our nation. Bernie Sanders is the type of leader we can trust to fight for the future of all our nation’s children as if they were his very own. It is for all these reasons that I am proud to endorse Bernie Sanders for president of these United States.”

Jealous was the youngest-ever president of the century-old NAACP, serving from 2008 to 2013. He’s credited with leading the storied civil rights group back to prominence.

“I think the proposals that we have brought forth in this campaign are proposals that will go a very, very long way to improving the lives of people of color in this nation,” Sanders said. The senator cited raising the minimum wage, ensuring pay equity for women, creating millions of decent paying jobs, Medicare for all and tuition-free public colleges and universities among the plans he’s put forward that would directly impact communities of color.

Jealous will travel to South Carolina on Saturday for a series of campaign stops and events

Days Ahead of Primary, Fight for $15 Spreads to New Hampshire

Fight For $15 - Rally and March - 04/15/15 Image by Barry Solow FLIKR CC

Fight For $15 – Rally and March – 04/15/15 Image by Barry Solow FLIKR CC

Fast-food cooks, cashiers in Granite State to wage first-ever strike for $15, union rights before GOP debate in Manchester

With 45% of N.H. workers paid less than $15/hour, underpaid workers to push candidates from both parties to back $15, union rights

Manchester, NH — Just days before the New Hampshire primary, cooks and cashiers from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and other chains will walk off their jobs for the first time across the Granite State on Saturday to demand $15/hour and union rights. With voters in the state citing the economy as their top concern, fast-food workers also announced that they will protest with other underpaid workers outside the GOP debate in Manchester Saturday evening to stress that the 45% of workers in New Hampshire who are paid less than $15/hour are a voting bloc that cannot be ignored. 

The workers’ strike follows a wave of walkouts coinciding with presidential primary debates in Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Iowa, and comes as low-paying jobs are dragging down communities across New Hampshire: 45% of workers in the state, or some 281,000, are paid less than $15/hour, making the need to raise pay a major issue in the run-up to the primary.

“My three young kids are growing so quickly, and on $8 an hour I can’t even afford jackets for them in the winter,” said Megan Jensen, who is paid $8/hour at KFC in Manchester and who will be a first time voter in the New Hampshire primary. “I’ve never walked off the job before, but I can’t wait any longer for fair pay. Everyone deserves at least $15/hour and the right to a union, and candidates who are flying into New Hampshire this week need to know that we are taking this demand to the polls.” 

Fast-food workers started organizing in New Hampshire after seeing how workers in neighboring Massachusetts have won pay increases and made $15/hour a top-tier political issue by joining together and going on strike. Workers at a string of Boston-area hospitals including Boston Medical CenterTufts Medical Center, and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital have won pay raises to $15/hour in recent months. In July 2015, 35,000 home care workers across Massachusetts won an unprecedented statewide $15/hour minimum wage through a contract negotiated with Gov. Charlie Baker. And in January, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called for raising the city’s minimum wage to $15/hour during his State of the City address in January.  

Fast-food workers started organizing in New Hampshire after seeing how workers in neighboring Massachusetts have made $15/hour a top-tier political by joining together and going on strike. In January, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called for raising the city’s minimum wage to $15/hour during his State of the City address. Workers at a string of Boston-area hospitals including Boston Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center, and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital have won pay raises to $15/hour in recent months. And in July 2015, 35,000 home care workers across Massachusetts won an unprecedented statewide $15/hour minimum wage through a contract negotiated with Gov. Charlie Baker.

Saturday, Feb. 6: Schedule of New Hampshire Fight for $15 Strike Actions and Events

Ongoing Media Availability

Striking fast-food workers available throughout the day for interviews. Contact Jack or Anna above to arrange.

2:00pm ET Strike | Wendy’s 675 South Willow St., Manchester, NH 03103

Striking New Hampshire fast-food workers available for interviews. Strike to feature compelling visuals.

6:00pm ET Protest | Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, NH 03102

Massive crowd of underpaid workers will march to St. Anselm College to protest at the GOP debate.

Striking fast-food workers will be joined by child care and other underpaid workers from across the state who are fighting for $15/hour and union rights: 

“Child care workers and parents are struggling to get by on low wages, and our children are paying the price,” said Jen Cole of Pittsfield, NH, who’s paid $13.25/hour after working in child care for nearly 20 years. “When I started in child care, my husband and I relied on food stamps and Medicaid to care for our three kids. Politicians talk a lot about protecting our kids’ future, but they’re not doing enough about it. In 2016, I’m looking for the candidates who support $15 and affordable care for all working people.”

Wherever 2016 candidates go this election season, fast-food and other underpaid workers are following to demand $15/hour and union rights. Days before the Iowa caucus, fast-food workers walked off the job for the first time in the state, drawing widespread attention hours before a GOP debate in Des Moines. Earlier this year, a walkout by hundreds of fast-food workers in Charleston prompted a statement of support by the Democratic National Committee and an impromptu visit from  Sen. Bernie Sanders, who grabbed a bullhorn and  praised the strikers just moments before he took the floor for that night’s Democratic debate. And in November, following a nationwide strike in 270 cities and an evening protest outside the GOP debate in Milwaukee, the first question directed at candidates that night asked them to respond to the demands of fast-food workers seeking $15 and union rights. 

The Fight for $15 strikes in key primary states shows the political power of underpaid workers who, just three years ago launched their movement for higher pay and union rights in New York City. By repeatedly going on strike and raising their voices, fast-food, home care, child care, and other underpaid workers have made income inequality a dominant theme in the 2016 presidential race. Entrance polls from Iowa revealed that inequality weighed heavily on voters’ minds, and candidates are responding: In June, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told fast-food workers at a national convention in Detroit, “I want to be your champion,” and said that “what you’re doing to build the Fight for $15 movement is so important.” In recent months, Clinton has held round-table meetings with home care and child care workers fighting for $15/hour and union rights. Prominent elected officials including U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison have called for raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. And the Democratic National Committee voted in August to make $15/hour an official part of its 2016 platform. 

Workers will also continue to collect signatures on their Fight for $15 Voter Agenda, a five-point platform that launched late last year and calls for $15 and union rights, affordable child care, quality long-term care, racial justice and immigration reform—issues identified by underpaid workers as key factors in whether they will go to the polls for a candidate. They will put politicians on notice that, as a voting bloc, workers paid less than $15 could swing elections all across the country.

A recent poll of workers paid less than $15/hour commissioned by the National Employment Law Project showed that 69% of unregistered voters would register to vote if there were a candidate who supported $15/hour and a union; and that 65% of registered voters paid less than $15/hour would be more likely to vote if there were a candidate who supported $15/hour and a union. That’s 48 million potential voters paid less than $15 who could turn out if there were candidates who backed higher pay and union rights.

ICYMI: NH Republicans Confirm What We All Know: Trump/Cruz Nomination Would be “Devastating” to Ayotte

Concord, N.H. – WMUR’s Primary Source ran an interesting item today: a recent Republican study confirmed New Hampshire Republicans’ fears—Kelly Ayotte is in deep trouble if Trump or Cruz — the current frontrunners — win the presidential nomination. After seeing the study, one Republican insider stated the obvious, noting that a Trump or Cruz nomination would be “devastating” to Ayotte and New Hampshire Republicans.

 Meanwhile, Ayotte has continued to decline to criticize Trump and has said she would support Trump or Cruz as her party’s nominee. 

Click here for the full WMUR column or see excerpt below:

With the final countdown to the leadoff presidential primary well underway, several Republican sources have told New Hampshire Primary Source that there is concern in high places of the party about the effect certain presidential candidates would have on down-ticket state races in November. 

Sources say a pro-Republican group has completed a study predicting how U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte as well as a Republican candidate for governor and the rest of the ticket – down through the state House of Representatives – would fare under scenarios with each of the leading presidential candidates plugged in at the top of the ticket.

The findings, sources say, aren’t pretty if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz were the GOP nominee.

The study showed a Trump-led ticket, for instance, would lose Ayotte’s seat, the governor’s race, and majorities in the state Legislature. The Republican membership of the state House of Representatives would drop from the current 239 to about 150. 

That would be, as one party insider put it, “devastating.”

The study was completed late last year and has been a subject of quiet discussion at the State House for about a month now. 

Who did the study? That’s unclear at the moment, but several sources say it was by a legitimate pro-GOP conservative group that in 2014 accurately forecast that the Republicans would win about 240 New Hampshire House seats. They won 239.

“We The People” Convention Adds More Speakers

NH RebellionJim Gilmore, NH Gubernatorial and
Congressional Candidates, others to speak at
“We the People” Convention starting today in Manchester NH

The NH Rebellion three-day “We the People” Convention kicks off today in Veterans Park, Manchester with additional speakers, including

  • Presidential candidate Gov. Jim Gilmore, confirmed to speak at 2:30 pm today;
  • NH gubernatorial candidate Rep. Frank Edelblut (R- Wilton NH), confirmed to speak at 1:45 pm today;
  • NH gubernatorial candidate Mark Connolly (D, former NH Deputy Secretary of State), confirmed to speak at 10:00 am tomorrow;
  • NH gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern (D, Executive Councilor), confirmed to speak at 10:30 am tomorrow; and
  • Democratic candidate in NH first Congressional District, businessman Shawn O’Connor, confirmed to speak at 2:15 pm tomorrow.

“In this campaign we have seen how the media and their pollsters have controlled the debate process and limited voters access to the candidates by continuous coverage of celebrity candidates and the highest bidders,” said Gov. Jim Gilmore. “While individuals are limited in their personal contributions, access to the debates has been controlled by the corporate media with few limitations.  Now it’s time for the New Hampshire voters to reject the attempt to narrow their choices and speak.”

“The powerful interests have plenty of champions already – it’s time we stood up for the people of New Hampshire and of our country,” said Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern.  “Together, we’ll build a state and a country where everyone has the chance to get ahead, not just those at the top who rig the game in their favor.”

Hundreds of Granite State #FightBigMoney activists are expected to attend today’s session of the Convention, which also features:

  • at 2:00 pm: a keynote address by Richard Painter, who served as associate counsel to President George W. Bush and is now a professor of corporate law at the University of Minnesota Law School, and author of “The Conservative Case for Campaign-Finance Reform” (op-ed in Wednesday’s New York Times)
  • at 5:00 pm, remarks by John Pudner, the conservative political consultant who helped Dave Bart unseat Eric Cantor who now heads “Take Back our Republic”;
  • at 7:00 pm: dinner with “Law & Order” star Sam Waterston, interviewed by veteran reformer Nick Nyhart;
  • at 8:00 pm, the comedy show “Jimmy Tingle for President” with top political humorist and former 60 Minutes II correspondent Jimmy Tingle;
  • at 3:00 pm: remarks by former Chief Justice of the NH Supreme Count John Broderick and Tiani Coleman, head of NH Independent Voters;
  • at 4:15 pm: remarks by former Republican Congressional candidate Mike Peabody of “Issue One”;  and
  • at 12:45 pm: a roundtable discussion with former state Sen. Jim Rubens, chair of the NH Liberty Caucus Aaron Day, and NH Rebellion activist Brian Tilton.

Full Convention schedule for today available at http://www.nhrebellion.org/friday_schedule

As-updated schedule for Saturday and Sunday available through the links at  http://www.nhrebellion.org/convention.

The Convention is being held in a huge heated tent across the street from the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.

National groups cosponsoring the Convention include: Avaaz, Common Cause, Every Voice, Franciscan Action Network, Free Speech for People, Issue One, People for the American Way, Public Citizen, Represent.US, the Stamp Stampede and Take Back Our Republic.

The NH Rebellion is best-known for its cold-weather “Walks for Democracy.” To date, more than 2,000 activists have walked a total of 30,000 miles to bring attention to the corrupting influence of large campaign contributions.  The movement was inspired by the efforts of the legendary New Hampshire reformer Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who walked across America beginning in 1999 in support of campaign finance reform.

“This is going to be a ‘Big Tent’ event – quite literally,” explained NH Rebellion Executive Director Dan Weeks.  “We’re bringing together people who hold all kinds of political viewpoints in one big heated tent just in time for the New Hampshire primary. Despite all the differences between the parties, this is one issue just about everybody agrees on.   Our polling shows that 96% of New Hampshire voters believe money has too much influence over politics.” 

“Our members have been working for two years to make campaign finance reform the number one issue in our presidential primary,” Weeks said.  “The more money that has been poured into this election cycle, the stronger our grassroots movement has grown.  People are sick and tired of thinking that our politicians only represent the big donors, and that our government doesn’t belong to the people anymore.”

NH Rebellion members have attended hundreds of events during the primary season, asking each presidential candidate “What specific reforms will you advance to end the corrupting influence of money in politics?”  Candidates’ replies are available at www.QuestionR.us

The group also sent each campaign a formal questionnaire, asking for support of six solutions to restore democracy detailed in the group’s We the People Pledge www.nhrebellion.org/pledge and members have met with several of the presidential candidates and campaigns.

“Last year’s midterm elections broke all kinds of records. Here in New Hampshire, spending by campaigns and outside groups added up to more than $106 million.  This election, we’re expecting that number will double or even triple,” Weeks added.  “Candidates who think they have to raise that kind of money from large donors, in order to be competitive, are going to pay attention to what their donors want in return.  That’s how our government gets bought.  And voters have a right to be angry about that.”

“It’s time to fix the problem, and reclaim our democracy,” Weeks said. 

 

Obama Drops the Ball with Proposed 1.6% Pay Raise for Federal Workers

Employees deserve a meaningful increase to make
up for years of neglect, AFGE says

WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement:

“President Obama has again set the bar far too low by proposing a 1.6% pay raise for federal employees in 2017, continuing a regrettable record of denying federal employees even the most basic cost-of-living adjustments.

“According to the federal law governing the civil service pay system, federal employees should receive an across-the-board increase of 1.6% next year, plus additional locality adjustments to help close the pay gap among employees in the federal and private sectors.

“For six consecutive years, federal employees received no locality increases to their pay, and for three of those years they received no pay raise at all. Since 2010, the inflation-adjusted value of federal wages and salaries has fallen by 6.5%, leaving all federal employees with a lower standard of living than they had at the start of the decade.

“We believe federal employees deserve a meaningful pay raise next year to help make up for years of neglect by elected officials. AFGE is calling on lawmakers to approve a 5.3% pay raise in 2017, which reflects the 1.6% national increase employees should receive plus a partial catch-up for the national and local pay adjustments denied for the past four years.”

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

Hillary Clinton Releases New Ad “Real Progress Now”

Manchester — With the New Hampshire primary just a week away, Hillary for America is airing a new ad highlighting that families in New Hampshire need a President who will be able to make progress on  their first day in office and encouraging Democrats to vote for Hillary Clinton.

The ad, “Real Progress Now,” makes the case that Hillary Clinton is the one candidate who will make a real difference in people’s lives and that the people of New Hampshire “can’t wait” to achieve those results.

The ad encourages Granite Staters to vote on February 9th. The new 30-second spot is part of the campaign’s ongoing buy in New Hampshire and will run alongside previously released ads.

REAL PROGRESS NOW

Below is the script of “Real Progress Now:”

“The American people can’t afford to wait for ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in the real world. The grandmother that has to choose between paying for medicine and paying rent, can’t wait. A single mom who desperately needs a raise, can’t wait. A student with a mountain of debt can’t wait. We can make real progress right now for people and families that need it.”

NATCA Announces Position on Air Traffic Control Reform Proposal

NATCA LOGO

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a message to NATCA members earlier today, the NATCA National Executive Board announced the organization would be supporting the House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster’s proposal to reform the air traffic control system and establish a stable funding source that will help fuel its growth well into the future. Excerpts are as follows:

“After extremely careful review, consideration, and deliberation, we have reached a decision: NATCA supports this bill.”

“We applaud the very hard work that the Committee has done to think outside the box and come up with a comprehensive bill that addresses the concerns we have shared with them. While the legislation currently addresses NATCA’s primary issues of concern, we want to emphasize that today is only the beginning stage of the legislative process.”

“Part of that process will soon include a proposal by Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4). The Ranking Member will propose an alternate model for ensuring a stable, predictable funding stream for the FAA, while at the same time protecting employees and ensuring the safety of the NAS. We appreciate the effort he and his staff have made and look forward to giving that proposal’s language the same complete and rigorous review.”

“We want to assure you that we treat this decision with extraordinary care and precision. In reviewing this bill, we found that it is in alignment with all of our organization’s policies, practices, and principles. We made sure that we could clearly see how this bill will protect the NAS and allow it to continue to grow.”

“Last year, we told you – and stated publicly – that any proposed restructuring of the FAA and its funding mechanism through FAA reauthorization legislation must achieve these four things:

1. Safety and efficiency must remain the top priorities;

2. Stable, predictable funding must adequately support air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization projects, preventative maintenance, and ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure;

3. Robust and continued growth of the aviation system is ensured; and

4. A dynamic aviation system that continues to provide services to all segments of the aviation community, from commercial passenger carriers and cargo haulers, to business jets, to general aviation, from the major airports to those in rural America.

“We can tell you that this bill achieves each of these four things.

“As you all know, language in proposed legislation is often changed or amended at various points throughout the legislative process. We will continue to vigorously and carefully review this legislation at all times and push for its improvement. If at any time there are changes to this bill, we will immediately examine them to ensure the bill continues to align with our organization’s policies, practices, and principles. We reserve the right to withhold our support if any changes cause the bill to violate our principles.”

Read the NATCA National Executive Board full statement.


Certified in 1987, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association represents over 19,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers and other safety-related professionals.

One Million Anti-TPP Petitions Delivered to Congress


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TPP Signing in New Zealand Overshadowed by U.S. Presidential Candidate, Congressional Opposition

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Tulsi Gabbard, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Sierra Club, MoveOn, CREDO and Other Online Activist Groups Kick Off TPP Protest Activities

Washington, D.C. – As representatives of the TPP countries meet in New Zealand to officially sign the trade deal, its prospects of going into effect remain uncertain at best. The pact does not enjoy majority support in Congress, and changes that some members are demanding are strongly opposed by other TPP nations. No U.S. presidential candidate polling over five percent in any state supports the deal. At a press conference today, speakers addressed the failings of the TPP, and the political environment surrounding the deal.

“The American people have been left out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the beginning and the results show. From an ISDS process that allows foreign corporations to overrule our domestic rule of law, to unenforceable labor and environmental protections, to no protections against currency manipulation, this deal helps the corporate class while selling out working Americans and their families. The American people deserve a better future that empowers our middle class and domestic economy; that protects people and our planet,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02).

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Richard Trumka and Rep Rosa DeLauro

“The TPP agreement is toxic, and the American people are not buying it,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working people are determined to end the era of corporate trade deals that lower our wages and kill our jobs. To all those on the ballot in 2016, we have a simple message: either you’re with us or against us.”

Debbie Sease, Senior Lobbying and Advocacy Director, Sierra Club, had the following to say at the event, “Signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership puts our economy and our climate on the line. Congress should reject the toxic trade deal and build a new model of trade that puts the health and safety of people before the profits of big polluters.” 

Also at the event, the following national on-line activist organizations delivered to Congress more than a million signatures on anti-TPP petitions: Avaaz (http://bit.ly/1o36deO), CREDO (http://bit.ly/20n5iHA), Care2 (http://bit.ly/1VHxoGD), Corporate Accountability International (http://bit.ly/1KUEP7I), Fight for the Future, Public Citizen, MoveOn, SumOfUs (http://bit.ly/1Qa21R6), and the Sierra Club (http://bit.ly/20Eyab0).

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a corporate giveaway that’s bad for consumers, workers, and the environment. We don’t need our elected leaders to hand multinational corporations even more power over our daily lives. That’s why hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members have fought against the TPP and other deals like it over the years—and why we’ll fight it in Congress this spring,” said Ben Wikler, Washington Director, MoveOn.org Civic Action who spoke at the event. 

“Time and time again CREDO’s 3.9 million activists have demonstrated their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other job-killing trade deals,” said Murshed Zaheed, CREDO’s Deputy Political Director. “The TPP is a massive giveaway to big corporations that will erode environmental, labor, and intellectual property standards and we are 100 percent dedicated to defeating it in Congress,” Zaheed continued. Since 2013, CREDO has generated more than  one million petition signatures and 40,000 phone calls in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority.  

In 30 locations nationwide, activists are holding protests against the TPP to oppose the signing and energize local opposition organizing. TPP signing-day rallies are also occurring in Auckland, New Zealand and capitals of other TPP signatory nations.

“The TPP is a dream come true for the Monsantos of the world, but for regular people it will be a disaster — a tool for big business to attack our public health, internet freedom, and the rule of law,” said Joseph Huff-Hannon with Avaaz. “That’s why more than 860,000 Avaaz members are calling on Congress to reject this corporate giveaway.” 

Corporate Accountability International representative Cloe Franko had the following to say about their actions around TPP: “This corporate-driven trade deal not only fails people and the environment, it represents an enormous threat to the democracy and sovereignty of all twelve nations involved. Negotiated in secrecy behind closed doors, this deal is poised to rewrite trade rules in the name of corporate profits. With allegations of corruption of one of the lead negotiators now calling into question the integrity of the entire TPP, Congress must heed the demands of the people rallying here today and the millions more around the world opposed to this agreement and reject it when it’s up for approval.”

Care2, who also participated in today’s event, said that their members tend to be the most concerned about ISDS and the lack of enforcement for the wildlife and environmental protections in the TPP. “The TPP was negotiated in secret for seven years with very little congressional oversight, but a lot of corporate influence. As a result, we now have a trade deal that would allow corporations to sue the U.S. government. We have a deal that has sold out environmental and wildlife protections, food safety, and human rights. We have a deal that will turn democracy as we know it up-side-down. And that is why over 135,000 Care2 members are demanding that Congress vote ‘no’ on the TPP. We will never support a trade agreement that attacks everything we care about and have fought to protect,” said Lacey Kohlmoos, Care2 Online Organizing Strategist.

“The TPP signing today is largely theater. Everyone knows the real fight here will be in Congress, where this unpopular and anti-democratic deal faces fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle. A massive coalition of activists are gearing up to fight the TPP. Once we’ done with it, secret trade deals will be as politically toxic in DC as SOPA after the Internet Blackout,” said Evan Greer, campaign director, Fight for the Future.

And finally, Ledys Sanjuan, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs.org, concluded “The TPP is one of the largest corporate power grabs we’ve seen. Not only will it cost hundreds and thousands of US jobs but it will significantly reduce internet freedom and give power to corporations to sue our governments for regulating them. We need to come together and stop our governments from ratifying this dangerous trade deal.”  

One Million Anti-TPP Petitions Delivered to Congress


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TPP Signing in New Zealand Overshadowed by U.S. Presidential Candidate, Congressional Opposition

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Tulsi Gabbard, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Sierra Club, MoveOn, CREDO and Other Online Activist Groups Kick Off TPP Protest Activities

Washington, D.C. – As representatives of the TPP countries meet in New Zealand to officially sign the trade deal, its prospects of going into effect remain uncertain at best. The pact does not enjoy majority support in Congress, and changes that some members are demanding are strongly opposed by other TPP nations. No U.S. presidential candidate polling over five percent in any state supports the deal. At a press conference today, speakers addressed the failings of the TPP, and the political environment surrounding the deal.

“The American people have been left out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the beginning and the results show. From an ISDS process that allows foreign corporations to overrule our domestic rule of law, to unenforceable labor and environmental protections, to no protections against currency manipulation, this deal helps the corporate class while selling out working Americans and their families. The American people deserve a better future that empowers our middle class and domestic economy; that protects people and our planet,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02).

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Richard Trumka and Rep Rosa DeLauro

“The TPP agreement is toxic, and the American people are not buying it,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working people are determined to end the era of corporate trade deals that lower our wages and kill our jobs. To all those on the ballot in 2016, we have a simple message: either you’re with us or against us.”

Debbie Sease, Senior Lobbying and Advocacy Director, Sierra Club, had the following to say at the event, “Signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership puts our economy and our climate on the line. Congress should reject the toxic trade deal and build a new model of trade that puts the health and safety of people before the profits of big polluters.” 

Also at the event, the following national on-line activist organizations delivered to Congress more than a million signatures on anti-TPP petitions: Avaaz (http://bit.ly/1o36deO), CREDO (http://bit.ly/20n5iHA), Care2 (http://bit.ly/1VHxoGD), Corporate Accountability International (http://bit.ly/1KUEP7I), Fight for the Future, Public Citizen, MoveOn, SumOfUs (http://bit.ly/1Qa21R6), and the Sierra Club (http://bit.ly/20Eyab0).

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a corporate giveaway that’s bad for consumers, workers, and the environment. We don’t need our elected leaders to hand multinational corporations even more power over our daily lives. That’s why hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members have fought against the TPP and other deals like it over the years—and why we’ll fight it in Congress this spring,” said Ben Wikler, Washington Director, MoveOn.org Civic Action who spoke at the event. 

“Time and time again CREDO’s 3.9 million activists have demonstrated their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other job-killing trade deals,” said Murshed Zaheed, CREDO’s Deputy Political Director. “The TPP is a massive giveaway to big corporations that will erode environmental, labor, and intellectual property standards and we are 100 percent dedicated to defeating it in Congress,” Zaheed continued. Since 2013, CREDO has generated more than  one million petition signatures and 40,000 phone calls in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority.  

In 30 locations nationwide, activists are holding protests against the TPP to oppose the signing and energize local opposition organizing. TPP signing-day rallies are also occurring in Auckland, New Zealand and capitals of other TPP signatory nations.

“The TPP is a dream come true for the Monsantos of the world, but for regular people it will be a disaster — a tool for big business to attack our public health, internet freedom, and the rule of law,” said Joseph Huff-Hannon with Avaaz. “That’s why more than 860,000 Avaaz members are calling on Congress to reject this corporate giveaway.” 

Corporate Accountability International representative Cloe Franko had the following to say about their actions around TPP: “This corporate-driven trade deal not only fails people and the environment, it represents an enormous threat to the democracy and sovereignty of all twelve nations involved. Negotiated in secrecy behind closed doors, this deal is poised to rewrite trade rules in the name of corporate profits. With allegations of corruption of one of the lead negotiators now calling into question the integrity of the entire TPP, Congress must heed the demands of the people rallying here today and the millions more around the world opposed to this agreement and reject it when it’s up for approval.”

Care2, who also participated in today’s event, said that their members tend to be the most concerned about ISDS and the lack of enforcement for the wildlife and environmental protections in the TPP. “The TPP was negotiated in secret for seven years with very little congressional oversight, but a lot of corporate influence. As a result, we now have a trade deal that would allow corporations to sue the U.S. government. We have a deal that has sold out environmental and wildlife protections, food safety, and human rights. We have a deal that will turn democracy as we know it up-side-down. And that is why over 135,000 Care2 members are demanding that Congress vote ‘no’ on the TPP. We will never support a trade agreement that attacks everything we care about and have fought to protect,” said Lacey Kohlmoos, Care2 Online Organizing Strategist.

“The TPP signing today is largely theater. Everyone knows the real fight here will be in Congress, where this unpopular and anti-democratic deal faces fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle. A massive coalition of activists are gearing up to fight the TPP. Once we’ done with it, secret trade deals will be as politically toxic in DC as SOPA after the Internet Blackout,” said Evan Greer, campaign director, Fight for the Future.

And finally, Ledys Sanjuan, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs.org, concluded “The TPP is one of the largest corporate power grabs we’ve seen. Not only will it cost hundreds and thousands of US jobs but it will significantly reduce internet freedom and give power to corporations to sue our governments for regulating them. We need to come together and stop our governments from ratifying this dangerous trade deal.”  

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