October 14, 2017
Yesterday Education Secretary Betsy DeVos paid Washington State a visit. Did she meet with students or public school teachers? No. She met with Congressional District 8 candidate Dino Rossi and a room full of high-dollar Republican donors to discuss how to privatize education here in Washington, aiming to take resources from our public schools and hand them over to their Republican friends. Thanks, Betsy and Dino. But no thanks.
Before the visit, Washington State Democrats Chair Tina Podlodowski released a special video message for DeVos, imploring her to talk to real parents, teachers, and kids while she was here in the Evergreen State:
We also reached out to you this week, and asked you how you would grade Betsy DeVos’ performance as Secretary of Education. The results were resoundingly clear. You gave DeVos a failing grade in every category: support for public schools, campus sexual assault policy, student loan programs, and equality. And we agree with you. DeVos has failed to do her job across all these different categories.
But Dino Rossi and a room full of Republicans weren’t the only ones in Bellevue yesterday to greet Betsy DeVos. Thousands of people who oppose DeVos’ agenda held a rally in front of the fundraiser to let her know that our schools are not for sale.
The rally featured a lineup of fantastic speakers, including King County Executive Dow Constantine, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and our very own chair, Tina Podlodowski. We livestreamed all the speakers through our Facebook page. You can watch the event here.
On Friday, Donald Trump announced that he would not recertify the Iran nuclear deal that was negotiated under President Obama and entered into force in 2015. In a disturbing set of saber-rattling remarks full of half-truths, fuzzy facts, and baseless conclusions, Trump said that he wouldn’t pull out of the agreement just yet, but that he would not certify Iran’s compliance with its terms. He also reiterated his view that the nuclear deal was “one of the worst...transactions the United States has ever entered into.” He then complained about trade agreements.
Trump’s attack on the Iran nuclear deal defies his national security team, our allies who are parties to the agreement, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the entity responsible for inspections and verification of treaty compliance within Iran. Donald Trump is damaging America’s credibility, playing games with the safety of Americans, and manufacturing a crisis with Iran when we are already facing a nuclear threat from North Korea.
After several failed attempts by Republicans to enact Trumpcare and rip access to health care away from tens of millions of people, the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. But now Donald Trump is laying siege to the ACA, trying to starve it and sabotage it by refusing to pay the law’s cost-sharing reduction payments-- payments made by the administration to insurers to help cover the cost of insuring low-income patients.
On Thursday night, Trump ordered that all of these cost-sharing reduction payments stop immediately, specifically targeting those Americans at or just above the poverty line. Experts predict that Trump’s reckless decision will drive up premiums, will possibly force more insurers out of the market, and will cost the federal government far more than simply continuing to make the payments.
This came shortly after Trump signed an executive order that will likely create a loophole allowing insurers to sell stripped-down plans that do not even cover essential health benefits. Donald Trump is gambling with American lives, hoping to score political points with his base while harming millions of American families. Luckily, the attorneys general of 18 states--including our own Bob Ferguson--have sued to keep Trump from stopping the payments. Side note: This marks Ferguson’s 20th lawsuit against Trump.
Jinyoung Englund Opposes Bob Ferguson
Speaking of suing Trump, Republican state Senate candidate Jinyoung Englund made it clear that she does not support Bob Ferguson, and she criticized him for defending Washingtonians--and all Americans--from Trump’s illegal agenda.
You can watch her cringeworthy criticisms here:
The video is only about a minute long. As a bonus, watch until the end to see Democrat Manka Dhingra answer the same question about Ferguson’s lawsuits. She hits it out of the park.
This week Chair Tina Podlodowski held town halls in Snohomish and Olympia to hear from folks in both locations and discuss getting Democrats elected across Washington State.
The house was packed in Snohomish, where we had a passionate discussion about the direction of the party and what it will take to turn all of Washington blue. In Olympia, Tina had frank conversations with folks about how we can all make real impacts in our communities and resist the Trump agenda by persisting in our own vision of what our neighborhoods, state, and country can be. Thank you to everyone who came out!
Women of Valor
Senator Elizabeth Warren joined Senator Maria Cantwell on Friday to honor women around Washington State who are improving their communities. Thank you to the honorees for doing fantastic work around the state. Thank you to Senator Elizabeth Warren for coming to Washington State to help honor these tremendous Washingtonians. And thank you to Senator Maria Cantwell for bringing us together to celebrate the many accomplishments of Washington women.