April 4th and 5th, 2019, Jennifer Sullivan (FLA): Greens today met with these legislators: Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez (NY) Jim McGovern, Joseph Kennedy Jr, Richard Neal (MA) Russ Spano, Greg Stuebe and Brian Mast. Tomorrow we are planning some in state follow-ups with a couple of potentials.
We did drop offs to Republican Reps of FL – Russ Spano, Greg Steube and Brian Mast and also Joseph Kennedy (MA). We did have a meeting with Richard Neal (MA) that Darlene led a very promising encounter there. Also, that very day he requested #45’s tax returns – since Rep Neal is the chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
That night we took a break and enjoyed being studio guests on Redacted Tonight and meeting Lee Camp. Darlene won his autographed book and Kai a t shirt.
Day Five- Back at it in the Senate buildings. The weather was quite nice every day so far. Today cold and rainy, nevertheless we were cooking inside as we had lots of stops. We stopped at Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Bernie Sanders’ (VT) offices’ with our bill for public funding. Keeping in mind we have been targeting POTUS candidates – especially to challenge the HR 1 clause making the bar higher for 3rd parties by raising the amount from $5K to $25K from 20 states. Also Tammy Baldwin (WI) a possible ally. Elizabeth Warren’s (MA) was an interesting office. We looked over to the next door office to watch her on TV speaking in a session. Also had interesting conversations while waiting for the person we needed to see. It was a good connection and Darlene will be following up. He not only took a copy of our bill but also asked us to send it to him electronically.
Our next scheduled meeting was with Rick Scott’s aide who was very accommodating, but had a typical Republican viewpoint on campaign finance reform. Still maybe we made a few points in other areas. Darlene spoke to Puerto Rican statehood. The last schedule appointment was with FL Rep Debbie Mucarsell- Powell’s assistant Courtney Fogwell who was another skeptical Democrat about how funding would work.
Jennifer flew out that afternoon and on the plane I noticed the young woman sitting next to me was studying a binder full of banking papers. I was curious whether she was a student or if she was any sort of aide in Congress. She turned out to be Calli Shapiro, the legislative director for Representative Sean Casten (IL) who was the other rep from the split county (McHenry) that I own property in that we did not have time to see. What are the chances? In any case, we had interesting conversation on many topics – of course public funding of elections – and I just happen to have our bill – right here. From what she said they seem on board with it. Also, very good with other things like opposing fracking – he is on the banking committee so we talked state banks and Wall Street fraud. Monday,
April 6th- Josh Pritchett dropped off our new bill to Alcee Hastings (FL) and I will follow up with Krystal Delores Milam on this because they are on our side. In the first lobby that was done with all Florida reps and senators in 2010 right after Citizen’s United Alcee Hastings was one of the only two who were on our side about this then (the other being Alan Grayson who is not longer in Congress).
So! Now the challenge is to keep this issue on the front burners. This is where all Greens can help. We have the bill that you can down load and get to your representatives and Senators. Visit them, if you can, when they are in your district and do follow up calls. Expect some encouragement for that from us.When reviewing all the business cards that we had of Senators, aides and Representatives it was interesting to see that they could chose plain white or an ivory colored card and that was up to the person. The interesting part was that Democrats all had the union bug on their cards and not one Republican did. So as a member of our GPUS merchandise team, I have informed the other members that we must never stray from having our products union made. This concludes my report.