The Nation reports that Charles and David Koch held yet another highly secret summit on June 16 in California for Republican mega-donors.
Called “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society,” the gathering was a who’s who of Republican billionaires — as well as some favorite recipients of their money, including Representative Cory Gardner, who is running against incumbent Senator Mark Udall in Colorado.
Reportedly, the goal of the gathering was to raise $500 million to win the Senate in the 2014 midterms and another $500 million “to make sure Hillary Clinton is never president.”
The conference attendees discussed strategy on campaign finance, climate change, health care, higher education and opportunities for taking control of the Senate. The draft agenda is available for viewing here.
While Gardner spends his time reaching into the pockets of the Koch brothers, Udall continues to personally reach out to voters in Colorado, fighting back against the onslaught of Koch money that has flooded the state with ads — and that has left every poll from Quinnipiac to Public Policy Polling showing the race is a toss-up, with Udall holding a slim 2-point lead.
Udall’s newest ad puts the spotlight on Gardner’s support as a state legislator for a bill that made abortion a felony and for two “personhood” ballot measures.
Candidate Sites: To learn more about Senator Mark Udall, visit his website, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
To support his campaign, please consider making a contribution.
For 40 years, the Voting Rights Act protected minorities against discrimination at the polls.
But this protection vanished last year when the Supreme Court handed down its disgraceful decision in the Shelby County v. Holder case. This decision essentially ended 40 years of protection against discrimination and unfair attempts to limit voting based on a person’s race.
That why 21st Century Democrats is partnering with USAction, urging our supporters to take action and sign our petition to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014.
USAction builds power by uniting people locally and nationally, on the ground and online. Together, we are urging our members to sign the petition for the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 to end discriminatory laws that restrict people from voting.
21st Century Democrats is working to ensure no American is denied his or her constitutional right to vote because of discrimination on the basis of race or color.
Please sign the petition today to support the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and cosponsored by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers and Representatives John Lewis and Bobby Scott.
Critical battleground states for Democrats at the national level, Ohio and Minnesota are also on the front lines of the national assault on voting rights.
In Ohio, the Republican-dominated state legislature passed a 2014 law that eliminates the first week of early voting in the state. Previously, Ohio voters were allowed to register and cast a ballot on the same day during that week.
The current Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted also issued a directive further cutting early voting by eliminating all voting hours during evenings, Sundays and the Monday before Election Day.
In the 2012 election, more than 157,000 Ohioans voted on the days that have now been cut. A disproportionately high percentage of those affected are low-income voters, and many are also African-American.
“The policies being pushed right now are immoral,” said the Democratic candidate for secretary of state, Nina Turner. “People are being faced with obstacles to thwart their access to vote.”
“The policies being used today might not be barking dogs or water hoses,” said Turner. “It’s a different battle but the same war.”
In Minnesota, conservatives pushed for a ballot initiative that would have required citizens present a photo ID to vote. In polls, 58 percent of voters supported the measure, and only 34 percent opposed it.
That’s when state legislator Steve Simon knew both voters and legislators needed to be educated. Simon helped lead the fight against the harsh voter ID law, debating its proponents six times. The measure was ultimately defeated.
Simon went on to author a groundbreaking “No Excuses” absentee voting law. Now, Minnesotans can use an absentee ballot without having to swear an oath that they will be out of town on Election Day. For the sick and the disabled, as well as those whose lives are simply busy, this is a major new reform.
Not stopping there, Simon also championed reform of Minnesota’s motor voter registration law, authoring a bill that allows eligible Minnesotans who get a new driver’s license to be automatically registered to vote.
Now the Democratic candidate for secretary of state, Simon’s reform agenda also includes reforming special interest domination of elections. An outspoken critic of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Simon supports legislation to require shareholder permission as a condition of direct corporate spending on elections.
These are two candidates who have earned our support.
To learn more about Nina Turner, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook. To support her campaign, please consider making a contribution.
To learn more about Steve Simon, visit his website, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook. To support his campaign, please consider making a contribution.