Congress

The Udall Resolution to Amend U.S. Constitution is Inadequate

On September 11, the U.S. Senate voted 54-42 to break the filibuster on the resolution to send to the States a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.  The Democrats all voted to break the filibuster but did not invoke the "nuclear option" that would allow that 54-42 vote to prevail.  Instead, the Democrats allowed the Republicans to "win" with only 42 votes, thereby blocking a vote on the resolution itself.  Thanks, Democrats.  Of course, since such a resolution requires 2/3 affirmative votes in both houses of Congress, it would not be adopted by the current Congress.

The piece below shows that the resolution left much to be desired, anyway.

-- Dan Meek

As the US Senate moves to vote on the Udall proposed constitutional amendment to address the effects of the US Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, let's be clear.

by David Delk

We need a single constitutional amendment that says:
*Corporations are not people and do not have constitutional rights, and
*
money is not speech, it is property and shall be subject to regulation at all levels of government.
 
From the sounds of the letters received as well as the emails, our democracy can only be saved from the plutocrats and corporatists if we sign the petitions and contribute some money to endorse passage of Senate Joint Resolution 19, the so-called Udall amendment. According to the letter dated August 13, 2014, from Public Citizen, “Senators Cantwell and McCaskill just announced that they will vote for our constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, McCutcheon and all the other disastrous Supreme Court decisions that are handing effective control of our democracy over to giant corporations and a tiny cabal of super-wealthy individuals.”
 
We agree with Public Citizen that this is a crucial time for our democracy and that urgent action is required. But is Senator Tom Udall's (D-NM) Amendment (SRJ19) the right amendment? Will it do what it is hyped to do?
 
Oregon Progressive Party says “Get some teeth in that”
 
We need a proposed constitutional amendment with some teeth, something that will really do what Public Citizen suggests the Udall Amendment will do, but actually would not.

Senate Democrats Again Voluntarily Allow the DISCLOSE Act to Fail

Today the Democrats in the U.S. Senate voluntarily allowed the DISCLOSE Act to fail, again. This is the bill that would require disclosure of the sources of some independent expenditures in races for U.S. Congress and President.

The Democrats allowed the Republicans to filibuster the bill. The vote to end the filibuster (called cloture) was 51-45 in favor of ending the filibuster and thus allowing a vote on the bill itself. The chair then declared that the cloture motion failed, because it requires a 60% affirmative vote.

At that point, the Democrats could have invoked the "Constitutional Option" and have challenged the ruling of the chair.  That ruling could be overturned with a simple majority vote, as it was last year when Harry Reid invoked that option (also known as the "nuclear option") to disallow introduction of a series of amendments to a bill about Chinese currency manipulation.  The Hill reported on Oct 6, 2011:

In a shocking development, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid triggered a rarely used procedural option informally called the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules.

Reid and 50 Democrats voted to change Senate rules unilaterally to prevent Republicans from forcing votes on uncomfortable amendments.

Reid’s coup passed by a vote of 51-48, leaving Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fuming.  The surprise move stunned Republicans, who did not expect Reid to bring heavy artillery to what had been a humdrum knife fight over amendments to China currency legislation.

The Democrats use "heavy artillery" on bills of marginal importance but wield a  rubber sword when it comes to campaign finance reform.

Letter in Oregonian (and dozens of comments) Support Steven Reynolds for Congress

Oregon's 1st District: My choice for Congress

Letter to Editor by Robert Enninga (Beaverton)
January 20, 2012

Note: This letter is followed, on the Oregonian website, by dozens of comments, the vast majority in support of voting for Steven Reynolds. To see the comments, click on the title above.

I have always proudly and enthusiastically voted and returned my ballot the day after it arrived in my mail. But this "special election" for representative in the 1st Congressional District became anything but special as we once again suffered the ad nauseam bombardment of negative attack ads from both the Republican and Democratic candidates and their supporting organizations. Disgusted, I found for the first time in my 40 years of voting that I was prepared to write in "None of the above" on my ballot, rather than vote for either perpetrator of the same old hyper-partisan "politics as usual."

When I opened my ballot envelope, though, I was thrilled to find that I had another choice: Progressive Party candidate Steven Reynolds, an "Unemployed, Disabled Veteran" and "West Point Graduate." I know nothing at all about Reynolds other than what he submitted for publication in the Voters' Pamphlet. But I found that I agree with every word that Reynolds wrote.

I too believe that Congress is a "dysfunctional organization" that has become an "embarrassment." And I also know that Reynolds has not participated in the politics of personal attack, as have the Democratic and Republican candidates in this race. And that counts, for me.

This one is simple. Steven Reynolds, thank you for your service to our country and for the personal sacrifices you have made. You earned my vote, and I very much hope that my fellow voters of Oregon's 1st Congressional District, regardless of their party affiliations, will see the wisdom of saying "no more politics as usual" and will join me in voting to send you to Congress to represent the state of Oregon.

Our Candidate Pulling 8% of All Voters Under 35 Years Old

Survey USA issued poll results on January 4 for the special election for U.S. Congress in Oregon. Our candidate, Steven Reynolds, is pulling 8% of all surveyed voters under the age of 35 and 2% of all voters overall.  This bodes well for the future.  Younger voters are waking up!

Seattle Weekly Writes of Our Candidate for Congress

In Oregon, #OWS Has a Golden Opportunity to Get a Representative In Congress

by Krist Novoselic
Seattle Weekly
December 22, 2011

Krist and StevenKrist Novoselic, seen here with Steven Reynolds, was the founding bassist in Nirvana, and is the chairman of Fair Vote.

Occupy Wall Street has an extraordinary opportunity with next month's special election for Oregon's U.S. House District 1. One of the four candidates on the ballot that voters will receive in the mail is Steven Reynolds, the nominee of the Oregon Progressive Party. This group's platform is a virtual mirror of OWS issues. It's all there: anti-corporate personhood, controls on banking, and an equitable democratic system, among other proposals.    Read more ...

Party Protests Exclusion of Our Candidate from Portland City Club Debate

Steven ReynoldsThe Portland City Club has refused to allow any minor party candidates to participate in its January 6 noontime "debate" for candidates running to replace David Wu in Congress.

The minor party candidates are Steven Reynolds of the Oregon Progressive Party and James Foster of the Libertarian Party of Oregon.

These candidates present views that are far different from the Democrat or the Republican.  See the Table of Issues on this page.  But the Portland City Club believes that their views should not be shared with its members or the public by means of the broadcast of Friday's noontime program.

Progressive Party members, including Steven Reynolds, protested this decision outside the City Club's meeting at the Governor Hotel on December 17.  Here is a KBOO Interview with Steven Reynolds outside the hotel.
    Read more ...

OPB Covers Our Candidate for Congress

CD-1 Race Draws Alternative Views

Steven Reynolds

Another candidate for the general election in the first Congressional District has been nominated.

The Oregon Progressive Party nominated Steve Reynolds, an Army veteran who spent a year teaching English in China. This is his first run for office. He says the debt ceiling debate motivated him to think about how he could improve on the way incumbent representatives handled themselves.

"I got angry, you know? They're doing nothing. And I can do nothing better than they can do nothing as far as I'm concerned."

The Progressive platform calls for protecting Medicare and Medicaid, cutting military spending, and providing universal employment, simialr to the WPA programs enacted during the Great Depression.

Reynolds joins Democrat Suzanne Bonamici and Republican Rob Cornilles on ballots that will be mailed starting January 13th.

The Pacific Green Party of Oregon was scheduled to hold its nominating convention Saturday as well. 

OPP Nomination Process for CD 1 Congressional Special Election

The Oregon Progressive Party has adopted this process for nominating a candidate to run in the January 31, 2012, special election to fill the currently vacant seat of U.S. Representative for the 1st Congressional district of Oregon.

Steps for Candidates

1.    Complete the Candidate Questionnaire, including the Federal Candidate Questionnaire, by October 26.

2.    Make a statement at public meeting of the Oregon Progressive Party:

People's Food Co-op Community Room (upstairs)
3029 SE 21st Ave
Portland, Oregon
November 8, 2011
7:00 p.m.

3.    Commit to following campaign protocol, supporting the OPP platform, and running a good campaign

4.    Comply with all laws regarding campaigning and reporting of contributions and expenditures, including all federal laws and rules.

Steps for the Party

1.    Any OPP member (as of October 1, 2011) who has attended at least one prior Party meeting may participate at the November 8 meeting and vote on the candidates.

2.    The OPP State Nominating Panel will officially select the nominee, based upon the recommendation of the members.

3.    The Party will issue a Certificate of Nomination for the candidate to file with the Secretary of State or or before December 1, 2011.

Wanted: Candidates for U.S. Congress (to replace David Wu in the 1st District of Oregon)

David Wu will soon resign as the U.S. Representative for the 1st District of Oregon.  Governor Kitzhaber must call a special election to fill the vacancy.  He says he will allow sufficient time for the major parties to conduct primaries, which means that the special election to fill the seat will take place sometime 80 days after Wu resigns.  A somewhat likely election date would be November 8, 2011, which is when the normal off-year election will occur in any event.

The Oregon Progressive Party has the right to place a candidate on the ballot for this seat.

The deadline for the Party to choose a candidate is to be set by the Secretary of State of Oregon.  It could be as soon as September 8.

The legal qualifications are simple.  The U.S. Constitution specifies:

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

So a candidate needs to be at least 25 years old, a U.S. citizen for 7 years, and an inhabitant of Oregon at the time of the election.

There is no legal requirement that the candidate be a resident of the 1st District, but it would help.  Here is the current 1st Congressional District of Oregon Map, which we believe will not apply to the special election.  It zooms all the way in to the street level.  The District includes most of Portland west of the Willamette River as well as Clatsop, Columbia, Washington, and Yamhill Counties.  And here is the Redistricted Map of the 1st Congressional District of Oregon, which the redistricting law enacted by the 2011 Legislature indicates is in effect as of July 2011 for congressional elections.  The new boundary lines are very, very similar to the old ones, except that the new district will include the area between Scapoose and NW Portland that is currently in the 3rd District.

If you are interested in being the nominee of the Oregon Progressive Party, please fill out the short Candidate Questionnaire.

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