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Women to Watch: Jane DittMar, working to thread the needle in Virginia's 5th District (October 24, 2016, 08:36 PM)
Continuing with our ?Focus on the House? series, we bring you Jane Dittmar, running for Virginia?s 5th District. Dittmar is working to win a district that voted 53-46 for Romney. She has consistently outraised her opponent, more than doubling his haul for the entirety of the race, and she picked up an endorsement from President Obama on Monday.
I became a Virginian when I was six years old, attending Arlington County Public Schools after my family moved from rural Illinois. I graduated from the University of Virginia where I received a degree in Economics. Since then, I?ve attended the UVa Darden School?s Executive Program and Virginia Tech?s Center for Public Administration and Policy.
I am a certified mediator for both General District and Circuit Courts and have served as court coordinator for the General District, Juvenile and Domestic Relations, and Circuit courts of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Louisa. I?m also a principal in Positive Solutions Group and a business consultant specializing in strategic planning. My background is business and I have owned and worked with many businesses in the Commonwealth, particularly when I served as President of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce from 1992-2000.
My husband, Frank Squillace, and I reside in Albemarle County, Virginia. We have raised six children (Will, Mary, Virginia, Leia, Jed, and Joe), four of whom are in college. I will bring my experience and action-oriented approach to Congress, to make sure it is accountable, transparent, and responsive to our needs in the 5th District.
Kerry Eleveld: What about your biography makes you uniquely suited to represent your district?
Jane Dittmar: My background as a certified mediator is a unique qualification?not just for solving the problems in our district but in helping to bring my colleagues on the Hill together to discuss positive solutions for the challenges we face as a nation. I?ve spent the last sixteen years studying the science of conflict resolution and helping people move from conflict to solution. Voters from all across our district tell me that?s the kind of leadership we need more of in Washington.
Women to Watch: Christina Hartman, surging in Pennsylvania's 16th District (October 24, 2016, 06:28 PM)
Continuing with our ?Focus on the House? series, we bring you the story of Democrat Christina Hartman, running in Pennsylvania?s 16th District. Her latest internal poll has her within three points of her opponent and President Obama endorsed her Monday.
Raised in Lancaster County, I am proud of my family?s Pennsylvania roots. My mother, Julia Hartman, is a first grade teacher at Sacred Heart School, and my dad, Bob Hartman, worked as a store manager. My grandparents were small business owners who taught me the value of hard work, volunteering, and the benefit that entrepreneurship brings to a community.
I credit the Manheim Township public schools and St. John Neumann Catholic Church for showing me first-hand the importance of helping neighbors, organizing fundraisers for those in need, and giving back to the community.
These lessons about community took hold, and I knew I wanted to make a career of sharing them around the world. Here at home, I have continued to focus on community development initiatives. I worked with the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national organization pursuing justice for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors. Today, I bring my expertise to organizations in Lancaster such as Church World Service, the Non-Profit Resource Network at Millersville University, and the Parish Resource Center, providing leadership in strategic planning, fundraising, and communications to enhance the services that these organizations provide to the county and beyond.
Kerry Eleveld: What about your biography makes you uniquely suited to represent your district?
Christina Hartman: I have built a career negotiating and advocating for human rights around the globe often in politically toxic environments and across the table from people who often disagreed with me. I believe that experience makes me uniquely qualified to tackle the partisanship in Congress and to work with people from different perspectives to strengthen Social Security for future generations, expand access to affordable higher education and job training, and create tax breaks that help small businesses add local jobs.
Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams: Elect Trump, and I'll 'help kill him' if he turns out 'Hitler-ish' (October 24, 2016, 05:11 PM)
Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams is a Trump supporter. Like most Trump supporters, he's quite certain Trump has been getting an unfair rap, what with people reacting negatively to all those things he keeps saying out loud.
So Adams would like to put your mind at ease about Trump in the most Trump Supporter way ever. Fine, let's hear him out on this one:
To me, those illusions about Trump are ridiculous on face value. I can?t change anyone?s mind if they see Trump as a monster. So instead I will make you a promise.
So we can take a chance and elect Trump, and if Trump's white ultra-conservative supporters agree later on that he's gone out of control and is doing bad things According To Them? Why, they'll just rise up in armed revolution and topple the American government and everything will be fine again, you Trump-hating babies.
Yeah, let?s just leave that there. Not gonna touch that one. We?re out.
It certainly does give Trump's What have you got to lose? motto a bit of extra zing, though.
Donald Trump says people are taking his threats to bring down America too seriously (October 24, 2016, 04:01 PM)
Donald Trump is concerned that people are taking Donald Trump too seriously when he says little things like how he might not accept the outcome of the election, leading to tiny fears that he intends to try to de-legitimize the next president, turn his rally circuit into a tent revival of unrest, and generally force us to all keep paying attention to Donald Trump?which is the last thing that anyone wants. He wants us to know that he really, truly means it, but we shouldn't take it so hard.
He threatened democracy ?knowingly,? but ?too much is being made? about it. I mean, you had your little democracy for a couple of centuries. Really, who?d have thought it would last that long? Oh, and the ?everyone? who had him winning the last two debates would be Eric, Bannon, and an army of twitter bots. He?s learned not to ask anyone else. But wait, there?s more. There?s ? this.
The media are the exact opposite and they represent the ? opposite. Forget the threat to democracy, just that sentence is horrifying.
Harry Reid: A Democratic Senate majority will nuke the filibuster for SCOTUS (October 24, 2016, 03:48 PM)
Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he is confident that he has laid the groundwork for Democrats to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if they win back the Senate in November. [?]
There's little in Mitch McConnell?s?or almost any other Republican's?behavior to suggest they'll do anything less than block President Hillary Clinton's nominees. At this point, that's just what they do. They may not know any other way of operating with a Democratic president.
Now, Reid won't be there to make sure it happens, and thus far heir apparent Chuck Schumer hasn't commented. At least not on this story. But he is on the record saying this: "A progressive majority on the Supreme Court is an imperative, and if I become majority leader, I will make it happen. I will make it happen."
Jason Kander's former Army commander: Kander 'saved lives ... We need that kind of courage' in DC (October 24, 2016, 03:23 PM)
If Democrat Jason Kander doesn?t win the Missouri Senate race, it won?t be because the military veteran didn?t run enough good ads. His latest offering stars retired Army Col. John McCracken Sr., who identifies himself as Kander?s commander in Afghanistan. McCracken tells the audience that, ?In the Army, we don?t care if you?re a Democrat or a Republican. We just want to know that you?re going to be there when the going gets tough.?
McCracken continues by saying that in Afghanistan, Kander?s military intelligence work ?saved lives, and he always chose the toughest assignments. We need that kind of courage in Washington again.? McCracken then insists that attack ads are trying to make Kander something he?s not, but ?he?s a solider. And he?s the kind of change we need in the Senate.? This ad doesn?t mention Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. However, Team Blue has been trying to frame this contest as a battle between a veteran who risked his life in combat and a political insider who has gotten rich in D.C., and ads like this are a key part of that strategy.
Republicans have a pretty simple strategy too. Polls show that Donald Trump is likely, though not certain, to carry the Show Me State, and Republicans want to do everything they can to make sure Kander doesn?t pick up enough Trump votes to win. The conservative Senate Leadership Fund is out with their latest spot, and it once again ties Kander to Hillary Clinton.
Wisconsin absentee voters face stealth change in deadline (October 24, 2016, 03:22 PM)
Gov. Scott Walker's administration is going all in on suppressing the 2016 vote?and from all angles. That even includes absentee voting, a favorite of young people attending college, because the state has quietly moved up the deadline for receiving ballots.
Under the law the absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, in order to count. Previously, mail-in absentee ballots had to be postmarked by Election Day and received by a clerk?s office by 4 p.m. on the next Friday. [?]
The USPS is indeed advising voters to allow one full week for delivery. This is a pretty big and apparently unannounced change, and one more way Gov. Scott Walker's Wisconsin is screwing over voters. So far, early voting in the state is going gangbusters, tripling the count at this point in 2012, when early voting restrictions were in place. Those were struck down by a federal court, allowing a longer early vote period. But voters who might be trying to avoid polling hassles by voting absentee?or all those college students who can't make it home to vote?face this new restriction.
So if you or someone you know or love is voting absentee in Wisconsin, make sure they?re aware of this new deadline.
The Election Protection Coalition is mobilizing thousands of volunteers to help Americans navigate the voting process?overcoming difficult roadblocks and dangerous conservative voter suppression tactics. Sign up today to help make sure all Americans have a chance to vote.
Obama going all in for 30 Democratic House candidates, including seven Daily Kos endorsees (October 24, 2016, 03:19 PM)
A very popular President Obama is switching on the afterburners in the final weeks of this election in hopes of helping Democrats retake the House of Representatives. It's an uphill climb, but Obama and Democrats are mounting an all-out offensive in 30 more congressional districts?exactly the number needed for Democrats to flip the House. Edward-Isaac Dovere writes:
Obama has already recorded endorsements for several Democrats, such as Daily Kos-endorsed Bryan Caforio in California's 25th District. His new slate of candidates also includes seven Daily Kos endorsees:
CA-10, Michael Eggman
CA-49, Doug Applegate
KS-03, Jay Sidie
MI-08, Suzanna Shkreli
NH-01, Carol Shea-Porter
PA-16, Christina Hartman
VA-05, Jane Dittmar
Election Roundup: Florida Senate, Virginia, school boards, and down ticket data (October 24, 2016, 03:01 PM)
The following stories are examples of this week's Election Roundup of 91 down ticket stories covering Sunday 10/16 through Saturday 10/22
Sunday 10/16 through Saturday 10/22
This is awesome: Clinton and Obama turn their focus toward electing a Democratic Congress (October 24, 2016, 02:41 PM)
For two solid weeks now, the Daily Kos Elections presidential forecast model has found that Hillary Clinton has at least a 95 percent chance of beating Donald Trump, and other prognosticators view the race similarly. Now, 95 percent is not 100 percent, and no one can relax or take anything for granted. But it does mean that Clinton and her No. 1 surrogate, the very popular Barack Obama, can concentrate their energies on making sure that the next president has a Democratic Congress to work with:
It?s not talk. Clinton?s backing this up with real resources:
And it?s not just Clinton?Obama?s putting his back into it, too:
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