Democrats Expand Healthcare Access to 70,000 Montanans

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CONTACT:  Carolyn Fiddler, National Communications Director, DLCC
                fiddler@dlcc.org

Democrats Expand Healthcare Access to 70,000 Montanans
DLCC’s Grassroots Victory Program Helped Secure Votes Needed for Medicaid Expansion

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Today Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Michael Sargeant congratulated Montana Democrats for voting to expand Medicaid and provide an estimated 70,000 low-income Montanans with access to healthcare. The measure has just received final approval from the state legislature and heads to Governor Steve Bullock’s desk for his signature.

“We congratulate Montana Democrats on their commitment to the well-being of tens of thousands of uninsured Montanans as they successfully bypassed the obstructionism of some of their Republican colleagues to expand Medicaid.

Gun Safety Opponents React to Common-Sense Background Check Bill With Recalls

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CONTACT:  Carolyn Fiddler, National Communications Director, DLCC
                fiddler@dlcc.org

Gun Safety Opponents React to Common-Sense Background Check Bill With Recalls
Oregon Democrats Vote to Enhance Gun Safety; Right-Wing Activists Retaliate

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Today Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Michael Sargeant congratulated Oregon Democrats for voting to close a loophole in the state’s background check law, and he blasted anti-gun safety activists for filing a recall petition against several of the bill’s sponsors, including House Majority Leader Val Hoyle.

“While Majority Leader Val Hoyle and her fellow Democrats are standing up to anti-gun safety special interests by advocating background checks on private gun sales, right-wing activists have been plotting revenge. This recall petition is naked retaliation by anti-gun safety activists who object to common-sense firearms laws.

Happy Equal Pay Day, Ladies! These Republicans Think You Don’t Deserve It.

April 14 is Equal Pay Day, an annual opportunity for hardworking men and women to pause and reflect on the fact that, on average, women still only make 78 cents for each dollar men earn.

Republicans in Congress have repeatedly blocked Democrats’ attempts to pass pay equity legislation, and Republicans in state legislatures are in on the act, too. This year alone, the GOP has stymied equal pay bills in no fewer than five states.

In Colorado, where women earn about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, Republicans in a Senate committee voted in unison to kill the state’s Pay Equity Commission. The PEC was established by Democratic majorities in 2010 to study and suggest solutions to eliminating pay disparities encountered by women and minorities.

  • Shortly after Senate Republicans killed the commission, a bill reviving it was introduced in the state House, where Democrats – who hold a majority in the lower chamber – supported it in a party-line committee vote.
  • And then Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate re-killed the commission in yet another party line committee vote just a week ago.

This experience was echoed in Washington (where women also earn 80 cents for every man dollar), where the Democratic majority in the Washington House of Representatives passed equal pay legislation, only for Republicans to let the bill languish in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Republicans in Virginia and Tennessee have spiked equal pay bills this year (79 and 83 women cents, respectively, on the man dollar). Republicans killed a similar measure in Montana, where women earn 74 cents for every dollar earned by men.

B for Bigotry

Even as national outrage over Indiana’s new right-to-discriminate law continues to escalate, yet another GOP-controlled statehouse has passed a so-called “religious freedom restoration act.” Meanwhile, a red-faced Indiana legislature scrambles to “clarify” its shameful new law.

Despite some Arkansas lawmakers’ best efforts to include specific anti-discrimination language to House Bill 1228, the state legislature gave final approval to the measure. The bill’s Republican sponsor refused the change, despite his earlier insistence that the legislation was not meant to allow discrimination.

The Arkansas right-to-discriminate bill is substantively the same as Indiana’s despicable new law. The broad language in both measures potentially grants businesses and private citizens license to discriminate against gays and lesbians by using religious prejudices as a shield.

 Now that they’ve been thoroughly embarrassed by the outrage – both national and local – over the law, Indiana legislators will seek to “clarify” it before their session ends at the end of the month. They should spend their remaining weeks of session repealing the measure instead of attempting to tweak something so fundamentally and deeply flawed.

Will Arkansas similarly seek to retcon their new right-to-discriminate law after the backlash spreads southward?

And which state will pass the next one?

GOP Senator: “No reason” to protect women from doctors like me

Seventeen years ago, future Alabama state Senator Larry Stutts was new mother Rose Church’s OB/GYN.  Rose was discharged from the hospital just 36 hours after giving birth. She returned about 36 hours later with complications and was treated and released. In another 36 hours, Rose was dead. 

Less than a year later, “Rose’s Law” passed both the state House and Senate unanimously. The measure gives women a legal right to remain in a hospital for 48 hours after a normal vaginal delivery or for 96 hours after a cesarean section. Dr. Stutts was a named defendant in the wrongful death suit filed by Rose’s grieving husband.  (The case was settled out of court.)

Fast forward to November 2014: Dr. Larry Stutts was elected to the Alabama state Senate as a Republican.

Just a couple of months into his first term, Sen. Stutts is trying to repeal the law spurred by his own patient’s tragic demise. 

Senator Dr. Larry Stutts (R-Sheffield) has offered SB289, which would repeal a woman’s legal right to remain in the hospital for 48 hours after a normal live birth and 96 hours if the birth was cesarean or presented complication. …

Stutts took to Facebook to defend this measure saying, “I am proud to say that I am hard at work removing one-size-fits-all Obamacare-style laws from the books in Alabama.”

Sen. Stutts may hope that invoking the “Obamacare” bogeyman will distract his colleagues and constituents from the real impetus for Rose’s Law. (Never mind that Rose’s Law predates Obamacare by over a decade.)

Today, Stutts says he is joined by six “conservative colleagues,” to change the law.

However, Stutts did not make his Senate colleagues aware of [Rose] Church's death while under his care or her relationship to the bill he is trying to eliminate.

The “conservative colleagues” listed as co-sponsors of SB289 are all men, by the way. 

Sen. Stutts also wants to repeal a law requiring doctors to notify patients if their mammograms show signs of dense tissue, which has been known to mask breast cancer. The notification measure was introduced by Democrat Roger Bedford, the senator (barely) unseated by Stutts last fall.

Bedford introduced the bill after his wife was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, after months earlier receiving a mammogram in which her cancer had been masked by dense tissue.

Mrs. Bedford was not informed about the inefficiency of a mammogram to detect cancer in women whose breasts contain dense tissue; by the time her cancer was detected by other means, the disease had spread into her lymph nodes. 

Sen. Stutts further claims his bill that specifically undermines women’s healthcare is really about eradicating mandates and “emotional legislation.”

Advantage 2020 Director Mark Schauer's column on Huffington Post

Drawing the Line: Taking the Lead in the Fight for Redistricting

-By Mark Schauer - March 17th, 2015

As a former state legislator and member of Congress who's witnessed Republican gerrymandering in action and seen its implications up close and personal, I decided to do something about it. That's why I joined the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) -- the Democratic committee working to elect Democrats in the states to protect and win Democratic majorities -- and agreed to lead Advantage 2020, an associated federal super PAC that focuses on redistricting.

Democrat Pinny Beebe-Center wins special election for Maine House

Democrat Anne "Pinny" Beebe-Center has won the special election for Maine House District 93, a seat left open by retiring Democrat Elizabeth Dickerson.  Beebe-Center won by a solid 8.4%, despite being outspent 2-to-1 in a district that saw only a 4-point race last fall.

Congratulations quickly poured in:

DLCC Denounces Passage of So-Called "Right to Work" Bill in Wisconsin

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CONTACT:  Carolyn Fiddler, National Communications Director, DLCC
                fiddler@dlcc.org

DLCC Denounces Passage of So-Called "Right to Work" Bill in Wisconsin

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Today Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Michael Sargeant blasted Wisconsin Republicans for ramming so-called “right to work” legislation through the Wisconsin legislature. The measure has just received final approval from state Assembly Republicans and heads to Governor Scott Walker’s desk for his signature.

DLCC Announces Mark Schauer as Director of Advantage 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 19th, 2015

CONTACT:  Carolyn Fiddler, National Communications Director, DLCC
                fiddler@dlcc.org

DLCC Announces Mark Schauer as Director of Advantage 2020
Former Congressman to lead redistricting super PAC to strengthen Democratic influence in the next redistricting cycle

DLCC Announces National Communications Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:  Carolyn Fiddler, National Communications Director, DLCC
                fiddler@dlcc.org

DLCC Announces National Communications Director

WASHINGTON (February 9th, 2015) –– Today Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Michael Sargeant announced the hire of Carolyn Fiddler as the organization’s National Communications Director.

“We are thrilled to welcome Carolyn back to the DLCC,” said Sargeant. “She brings with her a wealth of experience and an extensive knowledge of state politics. Carolyn is a talented and proven communicator, and she will help us take the fight to Republicans in states all across the country as we work to build Democratic majorities in legislatures and prepare for the next round of redistricting. Her valuable experience will further strengthen our already extraordinarily skilled staff.”

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