This week, MoveOn members were all over the news as we launched the next phase of our campaign holding Republican officials accountable for blocking health care for millions of Americans.
MoveOn members in key states from Nebraska to Florida unveiled creative billboards, jammed governors’ phone lines, held press conferences, and barraged Twitter handles to call out Republicans who are standing in the way of Medicaid expansion. And we were heard: Over two dozen local, state, and national outlets covered this campaign; national celebrities weighed in; and key decision-makers showed they were listening.1
Take a look at some of the billboards, all inspired by state tourist industry themes, that went up in six states yesterday thanks to small-dollar donations from MoveOn members like you:
Putting these up in state capitals and on major highways in states where Republican governors like Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal—all Tea Partiers with presidential ambitions—are refusing federal Medicaid expansion money was the next step in our campaign to call out Republicans for denying, in total, more than 5 million Americans access to quality health care.
Gauging the amount of media so far, the campaign is gaining steam. Everyone from arch-conservative Grover Norquist to progressive powerhouse Howard Dean is tweeting about this campaign.2 To build on this momentum, we need to ramp up our campaign to expand Medicaid before more state legislatures start adjourning.
Thanks to their strong campaigning, MoveOn members have been all over the news this week.
In Tallahassee, Florida, the local ABC affiliate featured MoveOn member Caroline Rone in a seven-minute interview the day before her press conference outside Governor Rick Scott’s office. She had this to say about Gov. Scott: “We voted him in for the best interests of our Floridians. I don’t see any best interests going on here for me or any other Floridian …. How can you turn away so many people that need medical coverage?”3
In Lincoln, Nebraska—where the Legislature will vote in the next three weeks on Medicaid expansion—ABC 8 featured MoveOn’s press conference and the issue of Medicaid expansion in a five-minute long segment where it cited the billboard as an attack on Governor Dave Heineman, with one speaker challenging Nebraska Republicans to, “explain to the working low income constituents why turning away $2 billion in federal money was better than providing them with the basics to a healthy life.”4
Sharp billboards combined with incredible MoveOn members are gaining serious attention.
If we can raise $100,000 in the next 48 hours, we can get media-grabbing campaigns like this up in a bunch more states—keeping Medicaid expansion for millions a real possibility, and getting leaders like Caroline—and their entire campaigns—featured on local news across the country.
Together, MoveOn members are pushing every angle to make Medicaid expansion a reality—challenging stubborn governors, lobbing calls at state representatives and senators, making Medicaid an election year topic, and pushing big tactics to keep this issue in the media.
We can win Medicaid expansion, and make Republican governors pay the price for playing politics with their residents’ lives.
Thanks for all you do.
–Victoria, Rosy, Mark, Manny, and the rest of the team
P.S. Tuesday, legislators in Arkansas voted to extend their version of Medicaid expansion, protecting health care access for more than 96,000 people, and we can make this a reality for another 50,000 people in Maine and New Hampshire as early as next week.5 Can you chip in to ramp up our Medicaid campaigns in these states?
1. “MoveOn targets GOP governors over Medicaid,” The Hill, March 3, 2014
2. “@maravillage44 Actually the broke states are those who have been raising taxes. CA, IL, MD, NY….vs. TX, FL, WS,” Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist), March 3, 2014
“Welcome to Scott Walker’s Wisconsin: http://bit.ly/1ookqw0,” Gov. Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean), March 5, 2014
3. “Watch: Move On. Org Interview with Caroline Rone,” WTXL-TV, March 3, 2014
4. “Billboard attacks Gov. Heineman’s refusal to expand Medicaid,” KLKN-TV, March 4, 2014
5. “Arkansas Compromise Medicaid Expansion Plan Stays Alive,” The Huffington Post, March 4, 2014
We’ve got a time change coming up in the United States. Clocks go forward one hour on Sunday, March 9, which is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time (DST).
Most of the U.S. follows DST, but there are a few exceptions. These states and territories do not observe DST:
- States – Hawaii, most of Arizona
- Territories - American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
In a startling and disappointing vote, seven Democrats joined Senate Republicans to block the confirmation of Debo Adegbile, a voting rights legal expert, to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.1
Pointing to Adegbile’s participation while working for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the filing of a “friend of court” legal brief — along with hundreds of other attorneys — asking that a Pennsylvania Appeals Court commute Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence to life in prison, Republicans embarked on an all-out smear campaign designed to distract from Adegbile’s strong record of defending the freedom to vote.2
There’s still a chance to make this right. At the last moment, Senator Harry Reid cast a procedural ‘no’ vote, leaving the door open for another vote to confirm Adegbile.3
Join us in demanding that Senator Reid call for another vote and for the seven Democratic senators who opposed to reconsider Adegbile’s confirmation. We only need three Senators to change their votes.4 It only takes a moment.
The seven Democrats siding with the Republicans were Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Pryor (D-AR), John Walsh (D-MT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Chris Coons (D-DE). In a statement, President Obama called the 47-52 vote “a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant.”5
By all accounts, Debo Adegbile is the ideal candidate for a role at the head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. He is one of the nation’s top civil rights attorneys and the leading expert on voting rights. He has defended the Voting Rights Act before the Supreme Court twice — the first time, successfully — and he was the only Black attorney to argue before the Supreme Court last term.6 At a time when right wing legislators across the country are waging all-out war on the right to vote for Black folks, women, the elderly, students, and any other demographic group that might be inclined to vote Democratic, an appointment like Adegbile’s would ensure that there was someone in the Justice Department who knows what’s at stake and will take a principled stand to defend the rights we all cherish, including the freedom to vote.
Thanks and Peace,
– Rashad, Arisha, Matt, Aimée, and the rest of the ColorOfChange team March 6th, 2014
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1. “Democrats help block Obama’s DOJ pick,” Politico, 3-5-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3347?t=7&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE
2. “The Ugly Campaign To Punish A Civil Rights Lawyer Because He Helped Save A Man From Execution,” ThinkProgress, 2-10-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3348?t=9&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE
3. “Senate rejects Obama appointment of Debo Adegbile to top civil rights post,” Washington Post, 3-5-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3349?t=11&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE
4. “Senate Goes ‘Nuclear,’ Changes Nominee Filibuster Rules,” ABC News, 11-21-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3355?t=13&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE
5.”Obama Condemns the Senate for Blocking Confirmation of Voting Rights Advocate Adegbile,” PoliticsUSA, 3-5-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3350?t=15&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE
6. “Justice’s Civil Rights nominee has resume that includes ‘Sesame Street’ and voting rights,” Washington Post, 12-31-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3351?t=17&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE