Tulsi Gabbard & Elizabeth Warren & The New York Times – 2019-02-10 00:36:22
No Fear. A Combat Veteran
Says No to a New Cold War
Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / Tulsi 2020
(February 9, 2019) — When I raised my hand and took an oath to serve my country as a soldier, against all enemies foreign and domestic, willing to sacrifice all, I did so because I love our country. I love our people. All of our troops place service above self every day — this what drives me, and why I’m offering to serve you as President and Commander in Chief. I will bring a soldier’s values to the White House, restoring integrity, honor, and respect to the Presidency.
Today, our freedoms and democracy are being threatened by media giants ruled by corporate interests who are in the pocket of the establishment war machine. When journalism is deployed as a weapon against those who call for peace, it threatens our democracy as it seeks to silence debate and dissent, creates an atmosphere of fear and paranoia, and stokes the rhetoric that could lead to nuclear war.
This danger is not new — we saw it take hold of our nation during the last Cold War, as McCarthyite hysteria.
Russia-baiting propaganda is being deployed against our campaign along with anyone else, on the left or the right, who speaks out against regime change war or the new Cold War. The corporate media is doing everything they can to stop our campaign before it gets started — including using fraudulent journalism and discredited sources to launch their biased attacks. â€¨
What are they so afraid of?
The warmongers in Washington are trying to bury our campaign before it even gets off the ground — but they don’t know who we are and what they’re up against. I’m a soldier, not a politician. I’m not afraid of their attacks because I’m not worried about a “political career.”
My mission is to serve the interests of the American people and our country. Our campaign is made up of people from all walks of life, from all parts of the country, who are called to a higher purpose — putting service above self. We are patriots, not political operatives, and we are here to serve.
Our interest is national security and peace. It is not the interest of the American people to sacrifice the lives of our men and women in uniform and waste trillions of our taxpayer dollars on counterproductive regime change wars, on a new Cold War and nuclear arms race.
This is why I’m offering to serve. As Commander-in-Chief, I will work to bring an end to regime change wars. I will work to end the new Cold War and move us toward a world free from the dark shadow of nuclear war.
Will you stand with me? They are trying to silence our voices. We can’t let them. We need your help to fight back. Donate whatever you can to stand up against corporate media’s attempts to shut down our campaign â€”
PO Box 75255 Kapolei HI 96707
Warren for President: 2020
(February 9, 2019) — Today I was in Lawrence, Massachusetts where I made a big announcement: I’m running for President.
Let me tell you why. It starts with a story about Lawrence.
A little over 100 years ago, the textile mills in Lawrence employed tens of thousands of people, including immigrants from more than 50 countries.
Business was booming. The guys at the top were doing great. But workers made so little money that families were forced to crowd together in dangerous tenements and live on beans and scraps of bread. Inside the mills, working conditions were horrible. Children were forced to operate dangerous equipment. Workers lost hands, arms, and legs in the gears of machines.
One out of every three adult mill workers died by the time they were 25.
But one day, textile workers in Lawrence — led by women — went on strike to demand fair wages, overtime pay, and the right to join a union.
It was a hard fight. They didn’t have much. Not even a common language. But they stuck together.
And they won. Those workers did more than improve their own lives. They changed America. Within weeks, more than a quarter of a million textile workers throughout New England got raises. Within months, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to pass a minimum wage law.
And today, there are no children working in factories. We have a national minimum wage. And worker safety laws. Workers get paid overtime, and we have a forty-hour work week.
The story of Lawrence is a story about how real change happens in America. It’s a story about power — our power — when we fight together.
Today, millions and millions of American families are also struggling to survive in a system that has been rigged by the wealthy and the well-connected.
And just like the women of Lawrence, we are ready to say enough is enough.
We are ready to take on a fight that will shape our lives, our children’s lives, and our grandchildren’s lives: The fight to build an America that works for everyone.
I am in that fight all the way. And that’s why, today, I declared that I am a candidate for President of the United States of America. I can only build this campaign if you’re with me [. . .] from Day One.
The truth is, I’ve been in this fight for a long time. I grew up in Oklahoma, on the ragged edge of the middle class.
When my daddy had a heart attack, my family nearly tumbled over the financial cliff. But we didn’t. My mother, who was 50 years old and had never worked outside the home, walked to Sears and got a minimum-wage job answering phones.
That job saved our house, and saved our family.
I ended up at a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. And that is how the daughter of a janitor managed to become a public school teacher, a law professor, a United States Senator, and now a candidate for President.
I’ve spent most of my life studying what happens to families like mine. Families caught in the squeeze. Families that go broke.
And what I found was that year after year, the path to economic security had gotten tougher and rockier for working families, and even tougher and even rockier for people of color.
I also found that this wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t inevitable. No. Over the years, America’s middle class had been deliberately hollowed out. And families of color had been systematically discriminated against and denied their chance to build some security.
The richest and most powerful people in America were rich, really rich — but they wanted to be even richer — regardless of who got hurt.
So, every year, bit by bit, they lobbied Washington and paid off politicians to tilt the system just a little more in their direction. And year by year, bit by bit, more of the wealth and opportunity went to the people at the very top.
That’s how, today, in the richest country in the history of the world, tens of millions of people are struggling just to get by.
This disaster has touched every community in America. And for communities of color that have stared down structural racism for generations, the disaster has hit even harder.
We can’t be blind to the fact that the rules in our country have been rigged against people for a long time — women, LGBTQ Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, immigrants, people with disabilities — and we need to call it out.
When government works only for the wealthy and well-connected, that is corruption — plain and simple. It’s time to fight back and change the rules.
First: We need to end corruption in Washington. That’s why I’ve proposed the strongest and most comprehensive anti-corruption law since Watergate.
Second: We need to put more economic power in the hands of the American people. Make it quick and easy to join a union. Make American companies accountable for their actions and raise wages by putting workers in those corporate boardrooms where the real decisions are made. Break up monopolies when they choke off competition. Take on Wall Street so that the big banks can never again threaten the security of our economy.
And when giant corporations — and their leaders — cheat their customers, stomp out their competitors, or rob their workers, let’s prosecute them.
Let’s make real investments in child care, college, Medicare for All, creating economic opportunity for families, housing, opioid treatment, and addressing rural neglect and the legacy of racial discrimination.
Stop refusing to invest in our children. Stop stalling on spending money — real money — on infrastructure and clean energy and a Green New Deal. Start asking the people who have gained the most from our country to pay their fair share.
That includes real tax reform in this country — reforms that close loopholes and giveaways to the people at the top, and an Ultra-Millionaire Tax to make sure rich people start doing their part for the country that helped make them rich.
Third: We need to strengthen our democracy. That starts with a constitutional amendment to protect the right of every American citizen to vote and to have that vote counted.
Let’s overturn every single voter suppression rule that racist politicians use to steal votes from people of color. Outlaw partisan gerrymandering — by Democrats and Republicans. And overturn Citizens United. Our democracy is not for sale.
Real democracy also requires equal justice under law. It’s not equal justice when a kid with an ounce of pot can get thrown in jail while a bank executive who launders money for a drug cartel can get a bonus. It’s not equal justice when, for the exact same crimes, African Americans are more likely than whites to be arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced. We need criminal justice reform and we need it now.
To get all this done, we’ve got to fight side by side. We must not allow those with power to weaponize hatred and bigotry to divide us.
More than 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. went to Montgomery and warned us about the danger of division. He talked about how bigotry and race-baiting are used to keep black Americans divided from white Americans so that rich Americans can keep picking all their pockets.
That playbook has been around forever. Whether it’s white people against black people, straight people against gay people, middle-class families against new immigrant families — the story is the same. The rich and powerful use fear to divide us.
We’re done with that. Bigotry has no place in the Oval Office.
We come from different backgrounds, but our movement won’t be divided by our differences. It will be united by the values we share.
We all want a country where everyone — not just the wealthy — can take care of their families. Where everyone — not just the ones who hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers — can participate in democracy. Where every child can dream big and reach for opportunity. And we’re all in the fight to build an America that works for everyone.
This won’t be easy. A lot of people will tell us it isn’t even worth trying. But we will not give up.
I’ve never let anyone tell me that anything is “too hard.”
People said it would be “too hard” to build an agency that would stop big banks from cheating Americans on mortgages and credit cards. But we got organized, we fought back, we persisted, and now that consumer agency has forced these banks to refund nearly $12 billion directly to people they cheated.
When Republicans tried to sabotage the agency, I came back to Massachusetts and then ran against one of them. No woman had ever won a Senate seat in Massachusetts, and people said it would be “too hard” for me to get elected. But we got organized, we fought back, we persisted, and now I am the senior Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
So, no, I am not afraid of a fight. Not even a hard fight.
Sure, there will be plenty of doubters and cowards and armchair critics this time around. But we learned a long time ago that you don’t get what you don’t fight for. We are in this fight for our lives, for our children, for our planet, for our futures — and we will not turn back.
So here is the promise I make to you today: I will fight my heart out so that every kid in America can have the same opportunity I had — a fighting chance to build something real.
This is our moment in history to dream big, fight hard, and win.
And here’s a big piece of how we’ll get it done: We’ll end the unwritten rule of politics that says anyone who wants to run for office has to start by sucking up to rich donors on Wall Street and powerful insiders in Washington.
I’m not taking a dime of PAC money in this campaign or a single check from a federal lobbyist. I’m not taking applications from billionaires who want to run a Super PAC on my behalf. And I challenge every other candidate who asks for your vote in this primary to say exactly the same thing.
We’re going to keep building this campaign at the grassroots. Right now, I’m on my way to an organizing event in New Hampshire, and in the next week, I’ll hit the road to Iowa, South Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, and California.
Person to person, face to face — that’s how we’ll win. And that’s how we’ll put power back in the hands of the people. It’s a long way to Election Day. But our fight starts here.
Thanks for being a part of this,
Sanders and O’Rourke Are
Way Ahead in Race for Small-Dollar Donors
Shane Goldmacher, Lisa Lerer and Rachel Shorey / The New York Times
(February 9, 2019) — Senator Bernie Sanders would begin a 2020 presidential bid with 2.1 million online donors, a massive lead among low-dollar contributors that is roughly equivalent to the donor base of all the other Democratic hopefuls combined.
Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who narrowly lost a Senate race last year, is also poised to be a fund-raising phenom if he runs for president: He has twice as many online donors as anyone eyeing the race besides Mr. Sanders.
Three senators who are already running have their own solid track records with small donors. Senator Elizabeth Warren, with the third-highest number, has notable strength in New Hampshire, even topping Mr. O’Rourke there. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has built up broad national support among small donors, despite a reputation as a big-money fund-raiser, while Senator Kamala Harris raised $1.5 million online in her first 24 hours as a presidential candidate.
Small-dollar donations are expected to be a huge deal in 2020 — the renewable resource that Democratic candidates will depend upon to fuel their campaigns. And those five Democrats represent a distinctive top tier with the most formidable followings, each counting a base of at least 230,000 online donors, according to a New York Times analysis of six years of federal election filings from ActBlue, the Democratic Party’s dominant donation-processing platform.
The findings provide a window into one of the most closely guarded and coveted resources of a modern campaign: the digital donor lists that bring in the vast bulk of low-dollar donations. These online donations average just under $40, and candidates like to point to such modest amounts as evidence of the breadth and depth of their support among regular people.
In the early stages of a presidential race, when polling measures little more than name recognition, the relative size of donor networks can provide one of the best metrics of strength.
“The people who have a strong base right now have a material head start,” said Teddy Goff, who served as a top digital strategist for the campaigns of President Barack Obama in 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016. “And more often than not, there is a good reason they have that base, and it’s that they have a talent for connecting with the grass roots of our party.”
For Mr. Sanders and Mr. O’Rourke, the enormous early edge in their donor rolls has afforded them the flexibility to wait longer before deciding to jump in, and has sparked a sense of urgency in other campaigns. Both men have signaled they would rely overwhelmingly on small donors to fuel any campaign.
The particular power of Mr. Sanders’s list was on display in late December when he emailed supporters with the provocative subject line, “If I run.” That single email netted $299,000 from 11,000 donations, according to a senior Sanders official.
That is almost the exact amount that Ms. Warren raised on the day she announced she was entering the race, data shows.
The Times’s analysis estimated the size of the online donor armies for current and potential candidates by comparing hundreds of millions of dollars in donations processed through ActBlue. The analysis does not include candidates who have not run for federal office, such as mayors or governors, nor those who did not use ActBlue.
To get a sense of scale, if Mr. Sanders’s 2.1 million donors constituted a city, the closest approximation would be to Houston, the country’s fourth-largest by population. For Mr. O’Rourke, it would be Seattle (742,000). For Ms. Warren, Honolulu (343,000). Ms. Gillibrand would be Toledo, Ohio (271,000). Ms. Harris would be Winston-Salem, N.C. (239,000).
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who entered the race at the start of February, would be Grand Forks, N.D. (56,000) â€” a sign of how Mr. Booker has not yet converted his vast social-media following into financial contributors.
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., despite being nationally known, would probably also begin far behind because he has not run for office on his own in a decade. His political action committee reported about $925,000 in donations of less than $200 since mid-2017, but since Mr. Biden does not use ActBlue there is no estimate of his number of donors. A spokesman for Mr. Biden declined to comment.
Mr. Biden does have one unusual asset: access to the Obama campaign’s vaunted email list, which was 9 million-strong when turned over to the Democratic National Committee in 2015, according to the party. But email lists rapidly atrophy, and one that is seven years old is seen as a relative relic.
Donors lists can take years to compile, and the biggest ones are often only developed through running a high-profile race. Email remains the dominant way to raise money online, and campaigns heavily advertise efforts like petition-signing drives on Facebook to harvest new donor email addresses. Those lists, in turn, generate volunteers and a network of potential supporters who can amplify candidates’ messages on social media to build further support.
Grass-roots giving is seen as so important in 2020 that the Democratic National Committee has included it as part of its presidential debate qualification rules.
“It is hard to see someone winning this nomination who isn’t at or near the top of ability to generate small donations, because they are a measure of enthusiasm,” said Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist and veteran of the Obama White House.
Candidates are under intense pressure to lock down donors, big and small, in an already sprawling race. Whether small-dollar donors and larger bundlers give to multiple candidates or stay “monogamous” remains an open question, as Democrats have not had such a sizable field since the rise of online fund-raising.
The findings represent the best snapshot of small donor strength at the starting gate of a campaign where the ability to raise tens of millions of dollars from small donors will be crucial, particularly as leading candidates are disavowing super PACs that allow for unlimited sums from wealthy backers.
Of course, in a race likely to stretch over the next 18 months, early advantages can dissipate quickly. A strong poll or viral moment can prompt donors to give to new candidates, thereby growing their lists by huge numbers — so long as they are positioned to capitalize. Ms. Harris’s launch-day haul, for instance, rivaled that of Mr. Sanders in 2015.
Ms. Dunn said she saw the initial rankings less as a predictor for the coming primary’s outcome and more as a revealing indicator of “who was able to use their 2017 and 2018 effectively to prepare for a presidential race.”
Both Ms. Harris and Ms. Gillibrand landed on the leader board despite having not faced a competitive election in recent years. The two senators spent heavily to bulk up their small donor lists, investing in multimillion-dollar campaigns on Facebook in 2017 and 2018 to add email addresses to their supporter list and lure in new contributors.
“It’s almost like growing vegetables,” said Tim Lim, a veteran Democratic digital strategist. “You have to be mindful. You have to be aware of major events. You have to be patient. But then, within six months or so, your investment will pay back.”
While it is no surprise that Mr. Sanders is ahead with small digital donors — he is the only potential candidate to have a previous run for president included in the analysis — the sheer magnitude of his opening advantage is striking.
Mr. Sanders had 369 days during his 2016 presidential campaign where he processed more online donations than Ms. Gillibrand did on her single best day in the Senate — the day after President Trump tweeted about her “begging” him for money — through the end of 2018, according to the data. (Ms. Gillibrand’s biggest days were notably smaller than those of her rivals with large bases of support.)
The advantage that Mr. Sanders and Mr. O’Rourke enjoy is not just the size of their lists but the exclusivity of their donors — the vast majority of whom (an estimated 87 percent for Mr. Sanders, 72 percent for Mr. O’Rourke) have not contributed to any other potential 2020 candidate. In contrast, less than half of Ms. Warren’s donors have given only to her among the potential 2020 field.
Ms. Gillibrand actually had slightly more donors who were exclusive to her than Ms. Warren — even though she counted 70,000 fewer donors overall.
Critical questions remain about almost every candidate’s donor lists: Will donors to Mr. Sanders from his 2016 primary challenge to Hillary Clinton stick with him in a 2020 race with progressive alternatives?
How much of Mr. O’Rouke’s flock were drawn to the chance to defeat Senator Ted Cruz, a favorite liberal villain? And how many of Ms. Warren’s boosters backed her against then-Senator Scott Brown but may not be on board for a run for the White House?
Behind the top five candidates, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who is traveling through the early states as he considers a run, finished next with 114,000 donors. Next was Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, who was the only senator to endorse Mr. Sanders in 2016 and is now mulling a campaign; his 105,000 online donors suggest his fund-raising potential is relatively underrated.
Mr. Booker is among the most widely followed potential presidential candidates on social media (he has 4 million Twitter followers) but the New Jersey Democrat had the seventh-most donors among senators looking at 2020 bids. Mr. Booker’s campaign website intermittently used ActBlue in 2013, 2014 and 2015, suggesting his full number of online donors is likely at least somewhat higher.
“He’s the perfect case study to show what it takes to build a large online grass-roots following today. It’s folly to think you can just grow that organically,” said Mr. Lim, the digital strategist. “Just because you have a lot of followers or people who like you or talk to you, that doesn’t translate to an organized and impactful community of donors.”
Mr. Booker has announced that Jenna Lowenstein, a former top digital strategist for Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign, would serve as his deputy campaign manager, a move seen as focusing on improving his online donor footprint.
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who is expected to announce a 2020 bid on Sunday, lags far behind her colleagues, with fewer than 38,000 donors. That figure was about on par with Richard Ojeda, who briefly declared his presidential candidacy after losing a House race in West Virginia before abruptly quitting in late January.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who announced her bid for president in January, had 41,000 donors, but more than 75 percent of her donors overlapped either with Mr. Sanders, whom she endorsed in 2016, or with at least two other potential candidates.
Ms. Gabbard’s single best day for online donations came two and half years ago. That was the day Mr. Sanders sent a fund-raising email for her.
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