MPEN e-Newsletter No. 2018-0401

MPEN e-Newsletter No. 2018-0401

  • FW: This 60 Minutes interview was the highest rated in a decade
  • FW: Laura Ingraham faces Christian backlash after ridiculing Parkland students
  • FW: “When our children act like leaders and our leaders act like children you know change is coming.”
  • FW: Important petition to defend the census
  • FW: This is how we end gerrymandering
  • FW: Think you know gerrymandering? [QUIZ]
  • FW: You can help pass National Popular Vote
  • FW: Follow us (National Democratic Redistricting Committee)?
  • FW: Winning Richmond: How a Progressive Alliance Won City Hall, by Gayle McLaughlin
  • FW: Preauthorized to open fire
  • FW: WATCH: In Unison, Sinclair’s Local Stations Denounce ‘One-Sided News Stories’


From: Andrew J. Tierman
Subject: FW: RED ALERT: Total abortion ban in Ohio

I imagine you are receiving this news item on an Ohio bill to ban all abortion as a capital offense from several sources.

—– Forwarded from: Ilyse Hogue; President, NARAL Pro-Choice America ———

RED ALERT: A bill just introduced in the Ohio legislature would ban all abortion—punishable by life in prison or even the death penalty for both the doctor and the woman.1

That’s right. The death penalty. For abortion.

This bill already has 20 total cosponsors—nearly one-third of the entire Republican caucus in the Ohio House of Representatives.

This is one of the most horrifying pieces of legislation we’ve ever seen. Will you chip in $75 to help defend choice and stop Ohio’s radical “death penalty for abortion” bill?

Donald Trump said during his campaign that women should be punished for abortion, and Mike Pence has repeatedly pledged to send Roe v. Wade to the “ash heap of history.”2

Anti-choice politicians in Ohio are now showing us what it would actually look like if they were allowed to make these goals a reality. Under this radical proposal, both doctors and women could be charged for homicide. There are no exceptions for any cases whatsoever—not rape, not incest, not even to save a woman’s life. No exceptions.

This bill is blatantly unconstitutional. But if Trump gets the chance to appoint another Neil Gorsuch-style right-wing justice? Then all bets are off, and we can’t be sure it will be struck down by the Supreme Court.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio is fighting to make sure this bill is stopped, and we need to make sure people nationwide know that this is what the true anti-choice agenda looks like. All abortion banned, in all cases, with women punished—just like Donald Trump promised.

Will you chip in $75 to help defend choice and stop Ohio’s radical “death penalty for abortion” bill?

Thank you for helping to make reproductive freedom real for all women.


  1. Ohio GOP Introduces Bill To Ban Abortion
  2. A Trump-Pence administration absolutely would “punish” women who have abortions


From: Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kathy, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Shannon, Emma, Pilar, Natalie, Melody, Pam, Lindsay, and Ryan, the UltraViolet team
Subject: This 60 Minutes interview was the highest rated in a decade

National media is paying close attention to Trump’s record as a serial abuser and right now is a ripe opportunity to use it to increase pressure for a full investigation. The news that Summer Zervos’ defamation lawsuit against Trump will move forward made national headlines.1 And Stormy Daniels’ interview on 60 Minutes this past weekend–where she revealed someone threatened her infant daughter on behalf of Trump–generated the highest ratings for the CBS program in a decade.2

That means the media will and should keep investigating, and it’s time to use all this scrutiny to demand a full investigation from the courts and Congress. Trump should face accountability over the allegations of sexual assault from the more than 20 women the media have largely ignored. Right now, local and national outlets are more likely to accept public comment on Trump’s abusive record with women. If opinion pages are suddenly full of calls to Congress to investigate, it would be hard to ignore.

Can you take a moment to write a letter to the editor about why we need a full investigation to hold Trump accountable?

It’s best to speak in your own words, but here are some things you can include in your letter:

  • The President has been accused of abusing more than 20 women.3 We need a full investigation, including Trump testifying under oath.
  • The list of survivors includes Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” in 2005. She accused Trump of kissing her against her will in New York in 2007 and later groping her at a Beverly Hills hotel after she interviewed for a possible job.4
  • With a serial abuser in the White House, this investigation must be as speedy as possible–it cannot drag on.
  • As Judge Schecter, who presides over Zervos’ case, wrote in her decision, “no one is above the law.”5 It’s critical to show powerful men like Trump will face consequences for abuse–and that’s why we need a full investigation, including Zervos’ lawyers taking a deposition, demanding documents, and putting Trump on the witness stand, under oath.

Click here to write a letter to the editor.


  1. Judge rules defamation case against Trump may proceed, Washington Post, March 20, 2018
  2. Anderson Cooper’s Stormy Daniels interview draws highest ratings for ’60 Minutes’ in 10 years, CNN, March 26, 2018
  3. Donald Trump’s sexual assault allegations: The full list of women who have accused the President, The Independent, December 4, 2017
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid

Want to support our work? UltraViolet is funded by members like you, and our tiny staff ensures small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Join our rapid response team — sign up for UltraViolet text updates.


From: Michael Sherrard, Faithful America
Subject: Laura Ingraham faces Christian backlash after ridiculing Parkland students

Pope Francis began Holy Week, a day after the March for Our Lives, by condemning “the temptation to silence young people, to keep them from getting involved.”

Fox News host Laura Ingraham, a vocal Catholic, responded by continuing her weeks-long campaign of sneering derision against the student leaders who survived the Parkland shooting.

In a mean-spirited attack on a high-school senior, she tweeted about how David Hogg had not been accepted to some of the colleges he applied to. Hogg replied suggesting a boycott of her advertisers, several of whom promptly canceled their ads.

Suddenly backed into a corner, Ingraham offered a cursory apology “in the spirit of Holy Week.” While we can only pray that her apology is sincere, no one’s faith entitles them to a national television show or millions of dollars in corporate sponsorship.

Tell Ingraham advertisers: In the “spirit of Holy Week,” drop your ads


From: Eric Kramer
Subject: “When our children act like leaders and our leaders act like children you know change is coming.”


From: Munsup @SISCOM Seoh
Subject: Important petition to defend the census

Trump is trying to use the census to terrorize immigrant communities and suppress the vote. We need to make sure Congress stops him.
I just signed CREDO’s petition. Join me?


From: Eric H. Holder, Jr.; Chairman, National Democratic Redistricting Committee
Subject: This is how we end gerrymandering

Thank you for taking a stand against illegal gerrymandering. President Obama and I are making this fight one of our top priorities because our democracy and the civil rights of every American are under siege — and we need you with us. 

We heard a lot about “rigged systems” during this past election — but no system is more rigged than the effort to draw maps so politicians pick their voters rather than American citizens picking their representatives. In the most recent election, House Republicans got less than half of the vote nationwide — yet won 55% of the seats in the House. There’s something profoundly broken in our democracy when the majority of voters can’t be heard at the ballot box.

That’s why we’ve launched the National Democratic Redistricting Committee: to fight for fairer districts and ensure that all of us have an equal shot at the ballot box.

Winning these fights at the national and state level is crucial to the future of our democracy. I need you to become a Founding Member of this campaign. Be one of the first to help us launch our effort to restore democracy by giving $5 or more today.

Click here to give $5 or more to become a Founding Member of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and help secure fairer districts in 2021!

Before the 2021 redistricting, we have a rare opportunity to win back our democracy.

Our state-by-state strategy has three parts:|

  1. Win critical state elections. We’re targeting key down-ballot races to put Democrats in the governors’ mansions and state houses that draw the legislative maps.
  2. Fight for fair maps in the courts. We’re pushing an aggressive legal strategy to strike down gerrymandered maps in state and federal courts.
  3. Pass ballot initiatives. We’re investing in campaigns to pass redistricting reform at the ballot box.

But success depends on grassroots support. President Obama and I need you to stand with us from the very start. Donate $5 or more today to become a Founding Member of this critical effort to restore our democracy.

Click here to give $5 or more to help build a powerful grassroots movement for fairer districts.

We’re facing some tough fights in the years to come. But at the end of the day, the people are with us — and together we can win. Thank you for doing your part.



From: Stop Gerrymandering; Team National Democratic Redistricting Committee
Subject: Think you know gerrymandering? [QUIZ]

Most people know that state legislators redraw voting district boundaries every 10 years. But what they don’t know is how skewed those districts are after years of Republican map-rigging — or how far-reaching the effects of gerrymandering are.

We’ve developed a short, four-question quiz to test your knowledge.

Take the quiz now.


From: National Popular Vote
Subject: You can help pass National Popular Vote

You can make your vote for President count in 2020 in your state by helping to pass the National Popular Vote bill in a state where the bill has been blocked by a single obstinate state legislator.

The Oregon Senate President has repeatedly refused to allow the Senate to vote on the National Popular Vote bill — even though the bill has passed the House 4 times, and even though it has had majority support in the Senate and support from the Governor.

Please consider donating to Joyce Judy’s campaign to unseat Senate President Peter Courtney in the May 15 primary.

Peter Courtney has been in the legislature since 1981, and has not faced a primary challenge in 20 years. Willamette Weekly put its finger on the problem, namely “Senate President Peter Courtney — without whose approval nothing happens in Salem.”

Although the National Popular Vote organization (a 501c4 non-profit corporation) has never previously endorsed a legislative candidate, it is clear that the only way to break the logjam and pass the National Popular Vote bill in Oregon is for the voters of Senate district 11 to replace Peter Courtney.

Joyce Judy is a highly qualified candidate who has been motivated to run by Courtney’s lengthy history of obstructing National Popular Vote as well as other important bills.


The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It would make every vote for President equal throughout the United States.

The shortcomings of the current system of electing the President stem from “winner-take-all” laws that have been enacted at the state level. These laws award 100% of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in each state.

Because of these state winner-take-all laws, five of our 45 Presidents (including two of the last three) have come into office without having won the most popular votes nationwide. The average margin in the national popular vote since 1988 has averaged 5%, so undemocratic outcomes will continue to occur if the system for electing the President is not changed.

Another problem created by state winner-take-all laws is that presidential candidates have no reason to campaign in, or pay attention to, voters in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

In 2016, almost all general-election campaign events (94%) were in the 12 closely divided “battleground” states where Trump’s support was in the narrow range of 43%-51%. Two-thirds of the campaign events (273 of 399) were in just 6 states (OH, FL, VA, NC, PA, MI).

In 2012, 100% of the general-election campaign events and virtually all expenditures were concentrated in the 12 closely divided “battleground” states where Romney’s support was 45%-51%. Two-thirds of the events (176 of 253) were concentrated in just 4 states (OH, FL, VA, IA).

It does not take an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to change existing state winner-take-all laws. State winner-take-all laws were enacted by state legislatures under their authority under Article II of the U.S. Constitution:

“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”

These state laws may be changed in the same was as they were originally enacted, namely by action of the state legislature.

The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes was not the Founding Fathers’ choice. It was used by only three states in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (and repealed by all three by 1800). Winner-take-all was never debated at the Constitutional Convention or mentioned in the Federalist Papers.

Under the National Popular Vote bill, the national popular vote winner will receive all the electoral votes from the enacting states. The bill will take effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes — enough to elect a President (270 of 538). When the Electoral College meets in mid-December, the national popular vote winner will become President because the enacting states will provide him or her with at least 270 electoral votes.

A national popular vote for President is an achievable political goal that can be in place in time for the 2020 election. The bill has already been enacted into law in 11 states possessing 165 electoral votes. It will take effect when enacted by additional states having 105 electoral votes. The bill has previously passed one chamber in 12 additional states with 96 electoral votes and has been approved by unanimous bipartisan committee votes in two states with an additional 26 electoral votes. A total of 3,115 state legislators have endorsed it.


From: Kelly Ward; Executive Director, National Democratic Redistricting Committee
Subject: Follow us?

I’m Kelly Ward, Executive Director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. I want to start off by thanking you for supporting our work.

NDRC is a groundbreaking organization that’s already making waves in the fight against gerrymandering. With our three-point strategy — winning key state elections, fighting in the courts, and supporting ballot initiatives — we’re fighting for fairer districts all over the country.

I can’t tell you how much this work matters. As the Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, I saw first-hand how gerrymandered districts gave Republicans an unfair advantage.

So we’re fighting back. We’re building a broad-based organization to fight in the states and in the courts and, importantly, to expose what the GOP is doing. Because look — Republicans are going to great pains to redraw their district boundaries in secret. They don’t want you to know what they’re up to.

But we will bring you that information. Follow us on social media for breaking news, rapid response alerts, and takeaways from leaders like our Chair and former Attorney General, Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Things are already moving quickly (for example, courts in Virginia and Texas just told Republicans the districts they drew are unconstitutional), so don’t wait. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter now.



From: Tim Sheard
Subject: Winning Richmond: How a Progressive Alliance Won City Hall, by Gayle McLaughlin

The People Defeated Corporate Power in Richmond, CA

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” — Native American proverb

A California Bay area city long ruled by its huge Chevron oil refinery become an award winning “Green & Clean” community. How did they do it? They won City Hall thanks to the power of the people, who organized a Progressive alliance on the grassroots level to seize political power and to fight the entrenched corporate interests, inspired by the wisdom of the original Americans who first settled in the Bay area.

Gayle McLaughlin was at the center of that long-term struggle, organizing meetings, going door-to-door campaigning for City Council and eventually, serving as Mayor of Richmond California. This is her story. This is Richmond’s story.

Read Steve Early’s review, A Working Class Mayor Is Something To Be in the LAProgressive, click here.

“This book shows how much mobilized progressives can achieve against corporate domination. Important lessons for the big social changes we need to make.” —Richard D. Wolff, Democracy@Work

Available from Hard Ball Press, and independent booksellers everwhere.


Subject: Preauthorized to open fire

Right now Israeli tanks and snipers are firing at unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza. Fifteen have been killed already, and over 350 injured by live fire, rubber-coated steel pellets or tear gas. Organized by civil society and committed to nonviolence, Palestinians began gathering this morning for 45 days of peaceful protest. Right away, the Israeli military opened fire.

Eleven Democratic members of Congress just returned from a trip to Israel this week. Led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and including progressives Jan Schakowsky and Jamie Raskin, the Congressional delegation smiled for a photo shoot with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu while the state’s army was preparing its plan to attack the protesters. Tell these members of Congress they now have an obligation to speak out against Israel’s deadly attack on peaceful protesters in Gaza.

The Israeli army planned in advance to attack the protesters. It even gave preauthorization for soldiers to open fire, even though the protesters disseminated the plan for their nonviolent protest in advance: Peacefully, without any weapons, they would gather alongside the border fence that imprisons them. For six weeks they would erect tents, hold cultural events, and march for an end to the siege and the right to return to their homes and lands inside Israel in accordance with UN resolution 194.

Tell the eleven members of Congress they must immediately speak out: Condemn the attacks and demand that Israel stop shooting peaceful protesters!

The people of Gaza are living under unimaginable conditions. They have little to no water, only 2 hours of electricity a day, 80% of the population relies on food assistance. For organizing a peaceful protest, they should be commended, not murdered.

In support of justice for the Palestinian people,

Ann, Ariel, Brienne, Jodie, Kelly, Kirsten, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Paki, Rita, Sarah, Sophia and Tighe


From: Judy Burnette
Subject: WATCH: In Unison, Sinclair’s Local Stations Denounce ‘One-Sided News Stories’

WATCH: In Unison, Sinclair’s Local Stations Denounce ‘One-Sided News Stories’
By Matt Shuham | March 31, 2018 1:38 pm

Local newscasts nationwide last week decried “fake” and “one-sided” reporting by reading from a shared script written by one of the most powerful broadcasters in America.

The so-called “must-run” script, which local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group were required to read, according to several reports, blasts “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.”

“The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media,” the script continues, according to a copy published Friday by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

“More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first,” an anchor adds, according to the script. Another anchor continues: “Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.”

Sinclair Broadcast Group owns more television stations than any other broadcaster in the country, and stands to spread its influence even more if the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission approve a massive merger with Tribune Media.

“At my station, everyone was uncomfortable doing it,” one unnamed television anchor at a Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned station told CNN earlier this month, referring to the “one-sided news” script.

“They’re certainly not happy about it,” an unnamed KOMO employee told the Post-Intelligencer Friday, referring to their colleagues.

The Philadelphia Inquirer collected video of four separate Sinclair-owned Pennsylvania news stations — WHP, WJAC, WOLF and WJAC — reading the script on March 23, March 23, March 24 and March 28, respectively.

Timothy Burke compiled a few examples in a particularly jarring seconds-long clip:

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 31, 2018

CNN reported, citing internal Sinclair documents, that Sinclair stations were instructed to run the segments frequently, “to create maximum reach and frequency,” and during “news time, not commercial time.”

The same report noted that the required script was nearly identical to one Sinclair’s senior vice president’s of news, Scott Livingston, read on air a year ago.

“Promo messages, like the one you are referring to, are very common in our industry,” Livingston told CNN in a statement. “This promo addresses the troubling trend of false stories on social media [Livingston’s emphasis], and distinguishes our trusted local stations as news destinations where we are committed to honest and accurate reporting. This promo reminds our viewers of this mission.”

The broadcaster has aligned itself with the Trump administration: In addition to the “one-sided news” script featured last week, Sinclair stations are also required to run political commentary from the network’s chief political analyst, Boris Epshteyn. Epshteyn previously worked for the Trump White House and Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The Post-Intelligencer noted that another must-run segment aired on KOMO last week featured former Trump White House official Sebastian Gorka. (During a panel on Sinclair-owned WJLA in October, Gorka lamented “black Africans” killing each other “by the bushel” in Chicago.)

Gorka, Post-Intelligencer reported, spoke about an alleged “deep state” attempting to undermine the Trump presidency. The segment’s producer, according to the report, was Kristine Frazao, who before working for Sinclair was a reporter and anchor for the Russian state-owned network RT.

——— End of MPEN e-Newsletter ———