Sunday, August 9, 2015

Trump: "Our system is broken"

Donald Trump says our system is broken. Does Congressman Palmer agree? What is Congressman Palmer doing about it?

EDIT 8/11: Below sent to Rep. Palmer and rest of Alabama's Senators and Representatives in Washington.

Edit: 8/20:  Donald Trump is coming to Mobile tomorrow, Friday, August 21st. The event has been moved to a larger venue due to the large crowd expected. The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office says more than 30,000 people have confirmed they will attend the ‘Donald J. Trump for President Pep Rally.’ It will be held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, located at 1621 Virginia Street, Mobile, AL 36604. WHNT 19 News

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Who will debate this?

Set forth below is the cover page of a document entitled Fighting Big Money, Empowering People: A 21st Century Democracy Agenda. The document was published this month by the organizations listed below. The full document can be found at the preceding link.

I call for a debate of this document to be conducted in our Birmingham area. I call for the debate to be joined by Republicans, Democrats and independents.

I will start with Democrats.

I call on Rep. Terri Sewell, Professor Mark Lester, and local Democratic organizations to issue statements along the lines of
The recently published political document Fighting Big Money, Empowering People: A 21st Century Democracy Agenda raises issues of utmost importance that should be addressed by all residents of our Birmingham area. I/we call on  Rep. Gary Palmer and local Republican organizations to engage in debate with local Democratic leaders and organizations. Our local political news media and commentators should participate and assist in publicizing this debate to the residents in our Birmingham area. 

[Cover page of document]
Fighting Big Money, Empowering People:A 21st Century Democracy Agenda

Like every generation before us, Americans are coming together to preserve a democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people. American democracy is premised on the consent of the governed, and on the idea that we all deserve a say in the government decisions that affect our families. We stand united supporting commonsense protections that recognize the people as the ultimate check on the corrosive influence of money in politics, which is eroding the very foundation of self-government.

Brennan Center for Justice
Common Cause
Democracy 21
Democracy Matters
Every Voice
Issue One
People for the American Way
Public Citizen

July 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Gary Palmer's Tele-Townhall today

For over a year, Gary Palmer has communicated no response to me relative to Just answer the question, Gary Palmer.

I don't think there is any reason for me to try to call in to his Tele-Townhall today.

I have been endeavoring the past couple of days to publicize, via Twitter, Just answer the question, Gary Palmer.

I don't know whether I have caught any other constituent's attention who will call in today and ask Gary Palmer to Just answer the question, Gary Palmer.

If there are constituents who are interested, I think there are two recent developments that Gary Palmer could be asked about.

One development is Jeb Bush's proposal announced yesterday that all lawmaker-lobbyest meetings should be made public. For more information, see Jeb Bush re Lobbyist-Lawmaker meetings and Matt Murphy 5/19/14.

A second development is the below email I received last Friday from Take Back Our Republic, based in Auburn, reporting the results from a survey showing "Conservative Alabamians Support Specific Rules on Money in Politics":

From: Justin Hill, <>
Date: Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 9:20 AM
Subject: Survey: Conservative Alabamians Support Specific Rules on Money in Politics
Most conservative Alabamians support specific measures to address the problem with money in politics, according to a new poll released by Take Back Our Republic (

Certain campaign reform measures have appealed most broadly to liberal groups, but Take Back Our Republic specifically surveyed previously identified active conservatives and determined that specific measures to curb the influence of big money in politics are supported by those who back conservative causes and are likely to vote in Republican primaries. The following measures had support among a clear majority (not just a plurality) of the state’s conservatives who were surveyed in the past week:

Survey of Conservative Alabamians
Strengthen and Enforce Laws Against Foreign Money (e.g. FEC case) 84%6%10%
Verify Credit Card Contributions? 66%19%14%
Disclose Contributions to Outside Groups/Raise Limit for Candidates 64%25%11%
Get Tax Credit for $200 Contributions 54%34%12%

A total of 691 state residents who have previously identified themselves as active conservatives or libertarians participated in the survey. The results will be distributed to the 63 founding members of the State Chapter of Take Back Our Republic.
“After years of running conservative political campaigns, this research verified that the most active conservatives do believe money in politics poses a problem,” said TAKE BACK Executive Director John Pudner, who last year launched the political campaign that overcame Eric Cantor and his political war chest of millions.
“There are some clear first steps conservatives would like to take to address money in politics, and these are not all the same steps liberals might choose,” Pudner said. “The state conservatives we interviewed were divided on other campaign finance issues, and Take Back hopes to continue to encourage discussions. Some strongly support tax credits for small donors to balance off big donors. Some want protection from employment retribution for contributions, while others worry that would lead to too much legislation. Some want limits put on donors, while others feel strongly this is a limit on their 1st amendment rights to free speech.”

As a 501c3 under the IRS code, Take Back hopes to educate the public on the various issues and potential solutions surrounding money in modern campaigns.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Matt Murphy 5/19/14

Relative to Jeb Bush's proposal for a law that all lawmaker-lobbyist meetings be made public (see Jeb Bush re lobbyist-lawmaker meetings), please listen to what I say in this May 19, 2014 interview with Matt Murphy, starting at time 7 min 11 sec.

Audio recording and upload >>

Jeb Bush re Lobbyist-Lawmaker meetings

Posted By Alex Pappas On 10:46 AM 07/20/2015 In | No Comments

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Monday he would like to see a new law requiring lawmakers to disclose all meetings with lobbyists.
“We need to reform disclosure rules in Washington,” Bush said in a speech Monday morning in Tallahassee. “Here is what I propose: every time a lobbyist meets with any member of Congress, that should be reported online – every week, and on the member’s official website.”
Bush said the “definition of the term ‘lobbyist’ should be expanded to address the cadre of ‘government relations’ and ‘government affairs’ specialists now populating the Capitol.”
The Republican also said he wants a law that would increase the amount of time between lawmakers leaving the House and Senate and becoming lobbyists.
I will use all of my influence to enact into law an immediate, unequivocal six-year ban on lobbying – a full Senate term – for ex-members of the House and Senate,” he said.
As for the executive branch, Bush said, “We will take similar measures at the White House. I will strengthen existing prohibitions that prevent departing executive branch employees from lobbying members of my administration.”
During his speech at Florida State University, Bush presented his plan for reducing the federal workforce by implementing a freeze on hiring.
“We will go by a simple three-out, one-in rule across the federal workforce, with exceptions for critical positions related to our security and safety,” he said. “Only one new hire for every three who leave.”
Added Bush: “This policy can, on its own, reduce the size of the federal bureaucracy by 10 percent within 5 years.”

Read more:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

How about bare knuckles in AL?

Last November, Professors Lessig and Teachout talked with Bill Moyers about their bare knuckle fight against money in politics.

For 2015 MAYDAY has been practicing "nice guy" to knock politely on doors of Representatives in Congress and importune, "Will you please do what is right for the American people?"

Will this work?

Right now, MAYDAY seems to think so.

I don't know what they think about Alabama.

I have been laboring to fight the battle in Alabama for over a year. I can't say I have made any headway.

I have tried "bare knuckles" within my capacities. See, e.g. Just answer the question, Gary Palmer and Rep. Palmer: Do you #FeelTheBernHeat? 

Who can help me with "bare knuckles" against Gary Palmer in his Tele-Townhall next Tuesday (per the below)?

News from Congressman Gary Palmer
Participate in Congressman Gary Palmer's Tele-Townhall!

Join Congressman Gary Palmer of Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21, for a tele-townhall. Participate by calling a toll-free number and join your friends and neighbors in discussing the issues important to you with Gary. Simply dial the number listed below, listen in, and, time permitting, ask your own questions directly of Gary.  You can also sign up with the link below to be called, rather than having to call in. Don’t miss this opportunity to share your views with your U.S. Congressman.

Who: Congressman Gary Palmer and The People of Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District

Where: Anywhere where you have access to a phone

 July 21, 2015 at 5-5:30pm CST

 Click this link to sign up to be called: 

Or, call (877) 229-8493 toll-free, then enter the call number: 114449.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dear @ALforBernie and @BhamForBernie

Dear @ALforBernie and @BhamForBernie,

It appears that yesterday's first Bernie Meetup in Birmingham was a great success.

I know you have much organizing work to do, and it will take awhile for your campaign for Bernie in Alabama to take shape.

I am in the campaign finance reform movement.

I have previously written about how I would like Alabama for Bernie 2016 to push strenuously the campaign finance reform issue, regarding which Bernie Sanders is now the leading spokesperson. (Please see To: Alabama for Bernie 2016 Community.)

As you sort through the political issues that Bernie Sanders is raising and make decisions which you will emphasize, I would like the opportunity to meet with one or more of your leaders and discuss why I think your Sanders effort in Alabama should emphasize the campaign finance reform issue.

Please contact me if that is possible.

Thank you.

Rob Shattuck