Wisconsin GOP out of control!


Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate voted yesterday to issue arrest warrants for the Senate Democrats who have left the state heroically to halt Gov. Walker’s unwarranted attack on workers. Eight of those Republican Senators are eligible for recall for their overreach. They are:

– Robert Cowles

– Alberta Darling

– Sheila Harsdorf

– Luther Olsen

– Randy Hopper

– Glenn Grothman

– Mary Lazich

– Dan Kapanke

In a move that many are contending is in direct violation of the state constitution and a departure from normal Senate rules, Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate yesterday approved an order for the state’s police to detain the Senate Democrats, who have left the state to block Gov. Scott Walker‘s attack on the middle class and workers’ rights, and bring them to the Senate chambers. Gov. Walker also threatened that he would start sending layoff notices today to state workers.

Now they’re running roughshod over state law and the rules of their own chamber … and Gov. Walker has gone from simply acting like a dictator to acting like a hostage taker, with state jobs as his hostages. Unwilling to even consider compromise on his proposal to gut workers’ fundamental rights, he is now threatening to start eliminating those state jobs if he doesn’t get his way.

Perhaps the most outrageous part is that the layoffs are completely unnecessary to address the state’s budget problems … the same way his plan to destroy collective bargaining for public employees and make the middle class bear the entire economic sacrifice in fixing the state’s budget is completely unnecessary.

If you’re like me, you are wishing more than anything right now that Gov. Walker was eligible for recall this year — especially since polling shows he would lose in an election between him and his 2010 gubernatorial opponent. Unfortunately, he can’t be recalled until 2012, but eight of the Republican Senators backing his extreme power grab are eligible to be recalled now, including:

Randy Hopper, who won his last election by just 184 votes …

Alberta Darling, who won her race by just over 1,000 …

And Glenn Grothman, who on MSNBC‘s The Last Word, called protesters at the Wisconsin state capitol “slobs,” and insisted that they were just a bunch of “college students having a fun party.”

Here’s what you can do today:

1. If you have not already done so, sign our petition indicating your support for the recall effort now underway in Wisconsin. If you have signed, make sure to spread the word! Share on Facebook and ask others to visit http://www.pfaw.org/Recall.

2. If you live in or near Wisconsin, you can start volunteering to help gather recall petition signatures. We have 60 days to get enough signatures to hold recall elections and our friends at the SEIU will be sending out a sizable wave of canvassers this weekend to get us off to a good start. Sign up here: http://action.seiu.org/page/s/wisconsinrecall

3. If you know ANYONE in Wisconsin, please call or email them as soon as you can and urge them to support the recall effort.

4. Make a contribution to PFAW‘s work on the recall campaign.

Thanks for your activism and your support!

— Ben Betz, Online Communications Manager

EMERGENCY ALERT: CARE responds to the crisis in Libya


With fighting in the streets of Libya and more than 180,000 refugees flooding into neighboring countries, CARE‘s emergency teams have deployed to Egypt and Tunisia to assess the humanitarian situation and determine how CARE — with your help — can assist with this rapidly-expanding emergency.

Just today, CARE Egypt’s country director told us that 70,000-80,000 Egyptians working in Libya have fled the fighting. These people have lost their jobs and most of them were not able to collect their last paychecks.

The sudden influx of people without money and without their possessions into Egypt is causing a strain on many of country’s poorest families. Many of these families were scraping by on the money that their family members sent from Libya. Now, already short on food and cash, these families must house, feed and take care of the returnees. The situation is serious.

CARE’s response to this and other crises, as well as our ability to help people living in many of the world’s poorest countries access the tools and resources they need to escape poverty, depends on the support of people like you.

Sincerely,

CARE www.care.org

A Sudanese migrant who fled the unrest in Libya holds her child as she walks at the Libyan and Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jdir. Reuters/Zohra Bensemra, courtesy Trust.org – AlertNet

Tell Sens. Murray and Cantwell: Stop the Republicans’ radical assault on EPA funding


Republicans have launched an unprecedented budget assault on clean air and public health protections — and Senate Democrats have two weeks to stop it.

The House Republicans’ Continuing Resolution spending bill slashes this year’s remaining EPA budget by almost 60%, and contains numerous amendments that hamstring the Clean Air Act, block the EPA from limiting greenhouse gas emissions for any reason, eliminate funding for climate science and climate pollution monitoring, and make it easier for coal plants to dump certain toxic wastes into lakes and rivers. And the list of radical amendments to defund the EPA Just. Keeps. Going.1

http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=7259&id=17506-2591629-Ehd1dhx&t=9

The passage of a temporary spending bill on Wednesday keeps the government funded through March 18th and gives the Senate more time to take a stand against Republican attempts to hold EPA and Clean Air Act funding hostage with threats of forcing a shutdown.

Sadly, the Obama administration is already caving on a number of Republican budget demands.2 So it’s essential that Senate Democrats oppose this budget attack, draw a line in the sand, and filibuster any bill that blocks funding for the EPA to enforce the Clean Air Act.

There are just enough votes to do it. Barely. Strong EPA supporters — especially strong Clean Air Act supporters — are in a minority in the Senate. But if all of our environmental champions stand strong, and we pressure a few of the more tentative supporters to join them, we can protect the Clean Air Act’s ability to limit carbon pollution, and stop the draconian cuts to EPA funding.

http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=7259&id=17506-2591629-Ehd1dhx&t=10

Republicans claim these cuts are about reducing the deficit. If they actually believe that, then Republicans are telling us that they are incapable of achieving deficit reductions without endangering the lives of millions of Americans.

If its funding continues, the Clean Air Act will save 4.2 million lives, and prevent 43 million cases of Asthma from 1990 to 2020. These health benefits, and avoiding costs that would otherwise be passed onto citizens and the government, makes the Clean Air Act one of our most cost effective pieces of legislation, saving us 30 times more than it costs to implement.3

Americans know this. Numerous recent polls show that overwhelming majorities of the public support tighter Clean Air Act limits on carbon pollution, and explicitly oppose Republican attacks on the EPA.4

Of course, these cuts aren’t about our deficit, or the will of the people. At all. They are about handcuffing the EPA, and pushing the legislative agenda of big polluters like the Koch brothers, the Chamber of Commerce, and other oil, gas and coal giants who were able to spend unlimited funds to elect the most polluter-friendly congress in history, and are now spending millions on lobbying to preserve their ability to freely pollute our nation and avoid the massive public health costs they pass on to us. (“You’re welcome. Love, polluters.”)

The Continuing Resolution budget battle is just the first of these attacks on the Clean Air Act. There will be more. On Thursday, Rep. Fred Upton and Sen. Jim Inhofe introduced a bill to permanently block the Clean Air Act from regulating climate pollution. It is co-sponsored by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller has cosponsored legislation to delay the Clean Air Act’s climate limits for two years — that bill has six Democratic co-sponsors.

This battle may be won or lost in the Senate. And with few if any votes to spare, supportive Senators must make clear right now that they will oppose this attack on EPA funding, and filibuster all future attempts to gut the Clean Air Act.

http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=7259&id=17506-2591629-Ehd1dhx&t=11

Thank you for fighting the Republicans’ radical anti-environmental agenda.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager

CREDO Action from Working Assets

Amnesty Program … (Paymytax.org)


This temporary amnesty program waives penalties and interest on certain unpaid Washington State business taxes.

Program dates:

February 1, 2011 through April 30, 2011

This program waives penalties and interest on:

State business and occupation (B&O) tax

State public utility tax

State and local sales and use tax including:

General retail sales and use taxes

Rental car taxes

King County food and beverage tax

Additional sales and use tax on motor vehicle sales/leases

Lodging taxes, but not including tourism promotion area lodging charges

Brokered natural gas use tax

Important: If you have filed and paid all tax returns as of November 25, 2010, you are not eligible for amnesty on tax returns due after that date.

Who’s eligible:

Registered businesses

Unregistered businesses

How to apply:

By April 18, 2011 you must:

Submit an Application (pdf)

File all outstanding tax returns and any amended returns for which you are requesting a waiver.

Requirements:

For amnesty to be granted, you must:

Pay all tax due by April 30, 2011, on any invoice for which you are requesting a waiver. You must also pay penalties and interest on taxes not included in this program.

Pay all filing and other fees on any tax warrant for which you are requesting a waiver.

File and pay all tax returns on time during the amnesty period.

Waive your right to seek a refund or challenge the amount of taxes paid under the program.

Exclusions:

Taxpayers are excluded from this program if they:

Have ever been assessed a penalty by the Department for evasion or misuse of a reseller permit or resale certificate.

Are in bankruptcy and payment of tax debt would violate federal bankruptcy laws.

Have ever been prosecuted for failing to pay or collect the proper amount of any tax administered by the Department under RCW 82.32.

For more information:

See the Amnesty Q & A. For specific questions, send an email to communications@dor.wa.gov or call us at 1-800-647-7706 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-647-7706 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Texas school bans gay-straight alliance


When Nikki Peet recently asked for a safe space for students to meet and discuss issues like anti-gay bullying at Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, she expected the support of her school district.

But instead, Dr. Julia Carbajal — Flour Bluff’s Superintendent — decided to cancel all extra-curricular clubs in order to prevent Nikki’s “Gay Straight Alliance” (GSA) student group from forming. It’s her way of getting around the federal “Equal Access Act” law mandating simliar access on school grounds to student groups, regardless of their politics or philosophy.

We know what happens when schools fail to address the bullying of LGBT kids: depression, isolation, and suicide. So we need to help.

http://www.change.org/petitions/let-nikki-peet-start-a-gay-straight-alliance-in-corpus-christi-texas?alert_id=eugiUuWWNO_LvfvIMydvo&me=aa

Nine out of ten LGBT students experience harassment in school because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. At least two-thirds feel unsafe in the classroom. LGBT teens can be up to four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers.

In just a few days, nearly 4,000 Change.org members have signed the petition supporting Nikki, sharing the story on Facebook and forwarding emails like this to their friends.

This Friday, Nikki and members of the Corpus Christi community are organizing a major demonstration outside Flour Bluff High School. At the protest, Nikki and her supporters will be delivering petition signatures to Flour Bluff administrators, sending a strong message that it’s time to provide a safe, caring and effective learning environment for all students — including LGBT youth.

The superintendent’s outrageous actions have garnered attention throughout the U.S. Students, parents, and school officials everywhere are watching to see what happens — and the outcome in Corpus Christi will have reverberations across the country.

Sign our petition today, so Nikki can deliver the signatures of as many people as possible this Friday in Texas:

http://www.change.org/petitions/let-nikki-peet-start-a-gay-straight-alliance-in-corpus-christi-texas?alert_id=eugiUuWWNO_LvfvIMydvo&me=aa

Thanks for taking action,

– Eden and the Change.org team