Category Archives: Daily Kos

Pallone: The Fight Begins Today

Not many people realize that Congressman Frank Pallone is also a blogger extraordinaire, he contributes regulary to the Daily Kos.

This morning he published the following piece that announces his campaign for re-election kick-off event in Long Branch on Sunday afternoon:

With yesterday’s primary election in the books, the journey to November’s general election starts right now.

While we still don’t know who our opponent will be, we do know she will either be a self-funding billionaire or the darling of the tea party. We also know that, no matter what, we will be facing a well-funded right-wing assault seeking to turn back the clock to the Bush/Cheney policies that have caused so many problems for our state and nation.

Congressman Frank Pallone’s diary :: ::

I treat every election the same, no matter who is on the ballot: run hard and let the voters know of the work we’ve done to make their lives better. I’ve been fighting hard every day to deliver real results for the 6th District. I’ve fought to create and protect jobs, while opposing trade agreements that destroy jobs and give tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. I’ve safeguarded our beaches and am holding corporate polluters accountable by forcing them to foot the bill for cleaning up their toxic waste sites. And I’ve worked hard on health care reform that will help everyone across the nation.

But there is still much work to be done, and I simply can not continue my work without your support. So I hope you will join me at my hometown headquarters, as we kick-off my re-election campaign. It’s not going to be anything fancy – just some food and refreshments – but it will give us all a chance to get to work, making sure the 6th Congressional District stays blue.

Sunday, June 13th
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Pallone for Congress Campaign Headquarters
495 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ
Please RSVP on
Facebook
or to matt@pallonefornewjersey.com

Over the coming months, I am going to need help from all of you – the progressive activists who have always made up the backbone of my grassroots campaigns. Together, we will keep fighting to put people to work, make continued investment in renewable energy sources and our infrastructure, and make sure our most vulnerable citizens – children, the impoverished and our seniors – have access to quality, affordable healthcare.

Although it may almost be summer – when many of us are dreaming of days at the beach and barbecues with families and friends – we can not afford to be lackadaisical. Today is when the real fight begins.

So please stop by on Sunday, and be sure to bring your friends and family. As always, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates on what I’m doing for New Jersey’s 6th District, both here at home and down in Washington.

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Filed under 6th Congressional District, campaign kickoff, Congressman Frank Pallone, Daily Kos, Long Branch NJ, Tea Party candidate

Raw Story Exclusive: ‘Ellie Light’ regrets damage done to Obama, blasts right-wing ‘conspiracy theorists’

Rawstory.com

WASHINGTON — In an interview with Raw Story, prolific Obama supporter and letter-writer “Ellie Light” slammed conservatives claiming the published writings were part of a White House “astroturf” operation, and regretted the “damage” they’ve done to the president.

The interview was conducted before the Cleveland Plain Dealer revealed that the deep, husky-voiced “woman” publicly calling herself “Ellie Light” was actually a man named Winston Steward. Most initially believed he was a woman, probably due to his mannerisms and tone, including this reporter.

Steward, 51, is a traveling health care worker based in Frazier Park, California. He admitted to being the author of letters published in dozens of newspapers across the country — sent with fake addresses from a variety of locations — under the name “Ellie Light.”

“The damage has been done,” Steward told Raw Story, “with blog posts and YouTube videos. I don’t think anything can undo that.”

He ripped conservatives for their unsubstantiated allegations about his ostensible affiliations with the White House.

hey are conspiracy theorists, there’s no doubt. Apparently I’m a space alien, that’s the newest thing on one Web site, so it just goes on and on. The Michelle Malkin people — they’re clowns. We know they’re clowns.”

Steward’s alias, Ellie Light, became the subject of widespread conservative fascination after one letter he wrote in defense of President Obama, first published by Politico’s Ben Smith, subsequently appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country.

The story about his letter’s numerous appearances with different addresses was first broken on Friday, January 22 by Sabrina Eaton of The Plain Dealer newspaper before catching the attention of conservative Web sites such as Michelle Malkin’s blog, Patterico’s Pontifications and the National Review.

Following allegations that he wasn’t a real person and merely a ghost-name for an Obama official, Steward posed as a woman and claimed his name was “Ellie Light” in a radio interview on Tuesday, claiming that name was real but admitting he was “wrong” for “giving false address” while submitting the letter to various regional newspapers.

A flurry of conservative bloggers have since suggested — and outright accused — Steward of being an Obama administration plant. Many of them, including Michelle Malkin, declared he was part of White House “astroturf” activities to deceptively burnish its credentials.

He told Raw Story he believed the whole issue had been blown far out of proportion.

No evidence has been unearthed linking Steward to the Obama administration or the Democratic Party. He said he is not and has never been a activist for a political advocacy group.

“Affiliated with an organized group? No,” he said bluntly. “I’ve never been affiliated with anyone like that.”

Steward, who for a brief period after Obama got elected wrote diaries for the Daily Kos, said he hopes people will take the time to understand the situation rather than jump to conclusions.

“For those who pay attention a little longer, it could end up being good, but for the people who are only going to pay attention for the ‘Balloon Boy’ period it’ll be ‘oh, another one of those Obama things’.”

He said if he could go back in time, he “probably would have written the letter and told them all I was in the Los Angeles area.”

Criticizes Democrats: ‘not as loyal’ as Republicans

Steward declined to criticize Obama, calling him “the most remarkable elected official,” and criticized Democrats and progressives for allegedly wanting instant gratification of their wishes.

“Democrats have abandoned the president that they practically worshiped such a short time ago because he couldn’t tend to their needs in the first twelve months of office. And they’re behaving like a bunch of babies,” he said.

“They need to show that there’s a groundswell of support for the president so that the yahoos have nothing to talk about.”

Though he accepted that there are genuine critics of Obama on the left, he criticized Democrats for not being as loyal to Obama as Republicans were to former President George W. Bush.

“Think about the Republicans that had to suck it in in 2003 and 2004 when Bush was caught lying over and over and over again,” he said. “All the Republicans stood there and said ‘the president has his reasons, we trust the president.'”

“And we laughed at them, because they were all liars. But at least they were loyal.”

Steward said he will continue writing letters to newspapers in support of Obama and hoped more Democrats will do the same.

(Editor’s Note: Article originally confused Winston Steward’s last name. Thanks to the multiple readers who noticed the mistake. Raw Story regrets the error, and hopes Eric Arthur Blair’s estate will not mind.)

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Filed under Cleveland Plain Dealer, Daily Kos, Democrat, Ellie Light, health care reform, National Review, Politico.com, President Obama, Raw Story, Republicans, Winston Steward

Pallone: Learning By Listening: An Epilogue

In a diary piece cross published on the Daily Kos and Blue Jersey, Congressman Frank Pallone talks about his expirences during his recent town hall meetings to discuss health care reform.

He states, among other things:
“…Families in New Jersey’s 6th District and all across the United States need strong, decision action when it comes to health care reform.Behind the statistics are real stories. Right now, our health system is working against our families, not for us. When dealing with illness and at their most vulnerable, the last thing people need is an insurance company fighting tooth and nail about coverage they need and deserve….”


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Filed under Blue Jersey, Congressman Frank Pallone, Daily Kos, health care reform, Red Bank NJ, town hall meeting

Are "Christie’s" U.S. Attorneys Stonewalling the Corzine Campaign?

by Steve Singiser – Daily Kos
Sat Aug 22, 2009

Since early in the Spring (over 150 days ago, according to a clock helpfully placed in an online ad on PolitickerNJ), the campaign of New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has been waiting on a Freedom of Information Act request. Back in March, Team Corzine began asking for documents pertaining to Chris Christie and his tenure in the U.S. Attorneys Office. A fishing expedition, perhaps, but one that is pretty common in campaigns.

The response, shall we say, has been lacking. Therefore, on Thursday, Team Corzine looked to kick it up a notch, filing several administrative challenges to the D.O.J. complaining about the stonewalling:

“The United States Attorney’s office has many fine, dedicated, professional lawyers,” said Corzine strategist Tom Shea. “But, in light of recent reports that Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra is under investigation to determine if he has used the office to help further the Christie campaign, Second Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown has an ongoing financial relationship with Christie and Christie was communicating with Karl Rove about his run for governor from that office, we feel it is even more important we receive the information requested.”

Friday morning, in a press release, they took it a step further, as Corzine’s nominee for Lt. Governor, state Senator Loretta Weinberg, made what would seem to be a pretty reasonable request:

Senator Loretta Weinberg today called on Assistant United States Attorney Michele Brown to be removed from having any participation in fulfilling the Corzine ’09 campaign’s FOIA requests after it was revealed in the Star-Ledger that Brown is “playing a role in the process of retrieving” the documents requested by the Corzine ’09 campaign.

In recent days, it was revealed that Christie has an ongoing financial relationship with Brown, the number two lawyer in the U.S. Attorney’s office, which he failed to disclose in either his personal financial disclosure forms or tax returns. Citing Brown’s potential conflict of interest, Weinberg called today for Brown to be removed off the task of retrieving any of the FOIA requests.

So, if the Corzine campaign is correct on this one, the person who was working on fulfilling those requests for information on Chris Christie was someone who owes Chris Christie almost fifty grand. Armed with that nugget of information, it is not hard to see why the delivery on said requests has been a tad tardy.

For their part, the U.S. Attorney’s office is denying that Brown is in charge of such requests, saying that she has played a role, but only because some of the documents pertained to her.

This whole episode, nonetheless, is why the financial arrangement between Christie and Brown was a horrific idea on Christie’s part, if he was contemplating a political career (and, from all reports, he was contemplating one for quite some time).

Even taking Christie at his word (that he was simply giving a hand to a friend in need), the optics of a political candidate shelling out what we presume was an unsecured loan for that amount, to someone in a capacity to assist him politically (perhaps by…say…sitting on an FOIA request for said candidate’s opponent), looks just awful. The appearance of impropriety is glaring, even if everything is on the up-and-up.

This also, it would seem, is going to put the U.S. Attorney’s office in Jersey into an incredible bind, even to the point of potentially jeopardizing some of their prosecutorial ability, if some of their targets can paint the office as driven by partisan political motivation. Given how many bad guys come before that office over the course of time, offering them that kind of potential “out” is terribly troublesome.

Christie could, of course, dampen the effects of that by coming completely clean on the present state of his relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s office. At this point, however, he seems to have clammed up:

On Thursday, Christie refused to answer questions for a second day. His campaign had said he’d be available.

Appearing at a senior center in Garfield, Christie said he and running mate Kim Guadagno would “take the heat when it comes.” However, he went in through a side door, held off press queries during the event, then pointedly refused to answer who he’s still in contact with at the U.S. attorney’s office and how informed he is about day-to-day activities there.

The conventional wisdom a while ago was that the only way Jon Corzine could be re-elected was if (a) the economy recovered faster than expected or (b) Christie’s reputation as the “corruption fighter” could be tarnished. The first condition might prove a difficult get by November (although New Jersey did add jobs in the month of July), but the second condition seems to be becoming more and more plausible.

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Filed under Chris Christie, Daily Kos, Jon Corzine, Kim Guadagono, Lorretta Weinberg, Michele Brown, NJ-Gov. Race, PolitickerNJ, US Attorneys Office

Healthcare: Change the Debate Support a Real Public Option

Hat tip goes to Blue Jersey for beating me to the posting of the following article I saw on the Daily Kos Thursday but didn’t have time to post myself:

by Dennis Kucinich
Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:38:08 PM PDT

Dear Friends,

In mid-May, in an effort to reach consensus, President Obama secured a deal with the health insurance companies to trim 1.5% of their costs each year for ten years saving a total of $2 trillion dollars, which would be reprogrammed into healthcare. Just two days after the announcement at the White House the insurance companies reneged on the deal which was designed to protect and increase their revenue at least 35%

The insurance companies reneged on the deal because they refuse any restraint on increasing premiums, copays and deductibles – core to their profits. No wonder a recent USA Today poll found that only four percent of Americans trust insurance companies. This is within the margin of error, which means it is possible that NO ONE TRUSTS insurance companies.

Then why does Congress trust the insurance companies? Yesterday HR 3200 “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act,” a 1000 page bill was delivered to members. The title of the bill raises a question: “Affordable” for whom?.

Of $2.4 trillion spent annually for health care in America, fully $800 billion goes for the activities of the for-profit insurer-based system. This means one of every three health care dollars is siphoned off for corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing and the cost of paper work, (which can be anywhere between 15 – 35% in the private sector as compared to Medicare, the single payer plan which has only 3% administrative costs).

50 million Americans are uninsured and another 50 million are under insured while for-profit insurance companies divert precious health care dollars to non-health care purposes. Eliminate the for-profit health care system and its extraordinary overhead, put the money into healthcare and everyone will be covered, everyone will be able to afford health care.

Today three committees will begin marking up and amending HR3200. In this, one of the most momentous public policy debates in the past 70 years, single payer, the only viable “public option,” the one that makes sound business sense, controls costs and covers everyone was taken off the table.

In contrast to HR3200 … HR676 calls for a universal single-payer health care system in the United States, Medicare for All. It has over 85 co-sponsors in Congress with the support of millions of Americans and countless physicians and nurses. How does HR-676 control costs and cover everyone? It cuts out the for-profit middle men and delivers care directly to consumers and Medicare acts as the single payer of bills. It also recognizes that under the current system for-profit insurance companies make money NOT providing health care.

This week is the time to break the hold which the insurance companies have on our political process. Tell Congress to stand up to the insurance companies. Ask members to sign on to the only real public option, HR 676, a single-payer healthcare system.

Hundreds of local labor unions, thousands of physicians and millions of Americans are standing behind us. With a draft of HR3200 now circulating, It is up to each and every one of us to organize and rally for the cause of single-payer healthcare. Change the debate. Now is the time.

The time to act is now!

Sincerely Yours,

Dennis Kucinich
United States Congressman

Contact us at feedback@kucinich.us or visit us online at http://www.kucinich.us

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Filed under Blue Jersey, Daily Kos, Dennis Kucinich, Healthcare, HR676, Single-Payer

>Focusing on Palin was the smart approach

>Good news for the Obama campaign, it seems as though the Palin bounce has started its return to earth.  The Daily Kos is reporting that her poll number for the past week have taken a nose dive as people are beginning  learn more about her:

“Bloggers and tradmed reporters took a hard look at Sarah Palin and began raking her over the coals for myriad transgressions. She is a liar with theocratic tendencies, sports an intellect that makes Bush look like a Mensa member, and features an obvious fondness for Cheney-style abuses of power. And that’s not even the worst of it.

But then the worriers began to question, “Why are we focusing on Palin? McCain is getting a pass! We’re tilting at windmills, since she’s too popular to damage!” We were told to stop talking altogether about Palin, as if ignoring her would remove the spell she had cast on America. This Andrew Sullivan post must’ve been emailed to me two dozen times by panicked worrywarts. A few bad polls, and people seemed to be losing their minds and sense.

But we continued to focus on Palin. Republicans were busy trying to build a positive narrative about Palin — the “hockey mom” who was so folksy she could “field dress a moose” and had “said no to the Bridge to Nowhere and other government waste” and was overflowing with “small town values”. McCain had shot up in the polls because of Palin. Common sense dictated it would be hard to knock him back down as long as she consolidated her popularity. So we set out to build the negative narratives about Palin. This is stuff straight out of Taking on the System. I have a whole chapter on it, in fact.


So we focused heavily on Palin, and make no mistake, it’s exactly that intense focus that has taken its toll on her numbers”:

Approve Disapprove No Opinion
9/11: 52 35 13 +17
9/12: 51 37 12 +14
9/13: 49 40 11 +9
9/14: 47 42 11 +5
9/15: 47 43 10 +4
9/16: 45 44 11 +1
9/17: 44 45 11 -1
9/18: 42 46 11 -4

Click on the headline to read more  from the Daily Kos about Palins drop in the polls 

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Filed under Barack Obama, Daily Kos, John McCain, Polls, Sarah Palin

Focusing on Palin was the smart approach

Good news for the Obama campaign, it seems as though the Palin bounce has started its return to earth.  The Daily Kos is reporting that her poll number for the past week have taken a nose dive as people are beginning  learn more about her:

“Bloggers and tradmed reporters took a hard look at Sarah Palin and began raking her over the coals for myriad transgressions. She is a liar with theocratic tendencies, sports an intellect that makes Bush look like a Mensa member, and features an obvious fondness for Cheney-style abuses of power. And that’s not even the worst of it.

But then the worriers began to question, “Why are we focusing on Palin? McCain is getting a pass! We’re tilting at windmills, since she’s too popular to damage!” We were told to stop talking altogether about Palin, as if ignoring her would remove the spell she had cast on America. This Andrew Sullivan post must’ve been emailed to me two dozen times by panicked worrywarts. A few bad polls, and people seemed to be losing their minds and sense.

But we continued to focus on Palin. Republicans were busy trying to build a positive narrative about Palin — the “hockey mom” who was so folksy she could “field dress a moose” and had “said no to the Bridge to Nowhere and other government waste” and was overflowing with “small town values”. McCain had shot up in the polls because of Palin. Common sense dictated it would be hard to knock him back down as long as she consolidated her popularity. So we set out to build the negative narratives about Palin. This is stuff straight out of Taking on the System. I have a whole chapter on it, in fact.


So we focused heavily on Palin, and make no mistake, it’s exactly that intense focus that has taken its toll on her numbers”:

Approve Disapprove No Opinion
9/11: 52 35 13 +17
9/12: 51 37 12 +14
9/13: 49 40 11 +9
9/14: 47 42 11 +5
9/15: 47 43 10 +4
9/16: 45 44 11 +1
9/17: 44 45 11 -1
9/18: 42 46 11 -4

Click on the headline to read more  from the Daily Kos about Palins drop in the polls 

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Filed under Barack Obama, Daily Kos, John McCain, Polls, Sarah Palin