Fascism is the union of government with private business against the People.
"To The States, or any one of them, or to any city of The States: Resist much, Obey little; Once unquestioning obedience, at once fully enslaved; Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, ever afterward resumes its liberty." from "Caution" by Walt Whitman

Thursday, March 6, 2014

State "Tea Party" Governors stand against "MoveOn" campaign for wider health-care, state lawsuit in Louisiana

"MoveOn.org is being sued"
2014-03-16 from "MoveOn.org":
Breaking news: The state of Louisiana is suing MoveOn.org in federal court (for more info, see 2014-03-14 "Louisiana sues MoveOn.org over Bobby Jindal billboard" from The Times-Picayune [http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=297409&id=93173-26426469-bXUXJZx&t=10]).
They're trying to force us to take down a billboard that calls out Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal—an aspiring presidential candidate—for denying health care to 242,000 people.
After carefully discussing the matter with our lawyers, we've made a decision: We're leaving our billboard up—even if we have to take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
We need to go all-in to fight this lawsuit. But, at the same time, we simply can't de-fund our campaigns in the other 24 states where Republicans are blocking their own people from getting Medicaid. And our other critical work needs to be maintained.
Without the resources we need to fight back, this legal battle could amount to a costly distraction from our real work. But on the other hand, if we can muster a full response and keep our core campaigning going, it's actually great news because:
1. We've drawn a future presidential candidate into a fight over health care—on our terms.
2. This lawsuit is completely baseless. As Tulane University constitutional law professor Keith Werhan said last week: "The government can't legally silence those who are criticizing them." (quote from 2014-03-06 "Louisiana, MoveOn group tangle over political billboard" from The Times-Picayune, [http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=297273&id=93173-26426469-bXUXJZx&t=11])
3. The deeper the state of Louisiana takes this—and the more national press we get—the more attention we bring to the real substance. Which is that Gov. Bobby Jindal—who wants to be president someday—is denying health coverage to 242,000 Louisianans.

We haven't been served yet or gotten a court date. But we're already fighting this lawsuit in the court of public opinion. Last Friday night—just as Gov. Jindal took the stage at a conservative event in New Hampshire to establish himself as a presidential contender—MoveOn members greeted him on the ground, while we flew an airplane above him in the sky, with a clear message: "Stop denying 242,000 Louisianans health care." Here's a picture:

"MoveOn members made big news yesterday"
2014-03-06 from Victoria Kaplan, MoveOn.org Civic Action:
This week, MoveOn members were all over the news as we launched the next phase of our campaign holding Republican officials accountable for blocking health care for millions of Americans.
MoveOn members in key states from Nebraska to Florida unveiled creative billboards, jammed governors' phone lines, held press conferences, and barraged Twitter handles to call out Republicans who are standing in the way of Medicaid expansion. And we were heard: Over two dozen local, state, and national outlets covered this campaign; national celebrities weighed in; and key decision-makers showed they were listening. ("MoveOn targets GOP governors over Medicaid", 2014-03-03 from "The Hill"
Take a look at some of the billboards, all inspired by state tourist industry themes, that went up in six states yesterday thanks to small-dollar donations from MoveOn members like you. Examples of New Medicaid billboards from MoveOn in six states:

Putting these up in state capitals and on major highways in states where Republican governors like Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal—all Tea Partiers with presidential ambitions—are refusing federal Medicaid expansion money was the next step in our campaign to call out Republicans for denying, in total, more than 5 million Americans access to quality health care.
Gauging the amount of media so far, the campaign is gaining steam. Everyone from arch-conservative Grover Norquist to progressive powerhouse Howard Dean is tweeting about this campaign. (2014-03-03 tweet from Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) [twitter.com/GroverNorquist/status/440511814561189888]: "@maravillage44 Actually the broke states are those who have been raising taxes. CA, IL, MD, NY....vs. TX, FL, WS") (2014-03-05 tweet from Gov. Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) [twitter.com/GovHowardDean/status/441239711860813826]: "Welcome to Scott Walker's Wisconsin: http://bit.ly/1ookqw0")
To build on this momentum, we need to ramp up our campaign to expand Medicaid before more state legislatures start adjourning with our Medicaid expansion campaign to more states in the next two weeks.
Thanks to their strong campaigning, MoveOn members have been all over the news this week.
In Tallahassee, Florida, the local ABC affiliate featured MoveOn member Caroline Rone in a seven-minute interview the day before her press conference outside Governor Rick Scott's office. She had this to say about Gov. Scott: "We voted him in for the best interests of our Floridians. I don't see any best interests going on here for me or any other Floridian .... How can you turn away so many people that need medical coverage?" (Watch the MoveOn.Org Interview with Caroline Rone, WTXL-TV, March 3, 2014
(Photo caption: MoveOn member Caroline Rone was interviewed on ABC 27 in Tallhassee, Florida)

In Lincoln, Nebraska—where the Legislature will vote in the next three weeks on Medicaid expansion—ABC 8 featured MoveOn's press conference and the issue of Medicaid expansion in a five-minute long segment where it cited the billboard as an attack on Governor Dave Heineman, with one speaker challenging Nebraska Republicans to, "explain to the working low income constituents why turning away $2 billion in federal money was better than providing them with the basics to a healthy life."
("Billboard attacks Gov. Heineman's refusal to expand Medicaid", 2014-03-04 from KLKN-TV
(Photo montage caption: MoveOn members in Nebraska were featured on Lincoln news)

Sharp billboards combined with incredible MoveOn members are gaining serious attention.
If we can raise $100,000 in the next 48 hours, we can get media-grabbing campaigns like this up in a bunch more states—keeping Medicaid expansion for millions a real possibility, and getting leaders like Caroline—and their entire campaigns—featured on local news across the country.
Together, MoveOn members are pushing every angle to make Medicaid expansion a reality—challenging stubborn governors, lobbing calls at state representatives and senators, making Medicaid an election year topic, and pushing big tactics to keep this issue in the media.
We can win Medicaid expansion, and make Republican governors pay the price for playing politics with their residents' lives.
Tuesday, legislators in Arkansas voted to extend their version of Medicaid expansion, protecting health care access for more than 96,000 people, and we can make this a reality for another 50,000 people in Maine and New Hampshire as early as next week. ("Arkansas Compromise Medicaid Expansion Plan Stays Alive", 2014-03-04 from "The Huffington Post" [moveon.org/r/?r=297240&id=92711-26426469-B%3D%3DKO0x&t=10])

"MoveOn under attack; Stop the Republican Attempt to Silence Our Medicaid Expansion Campaign"
2014-03-06 from Victoria Kaplan, MoveOn.org Civic Action:
The state of Louisiana is threatening to sue MoveOn over a billboard we've purchased as part of our campaign to expand Medicaid. We can turn this threat into a big media victory—and get one step closer to Medicaid expansion—if we vigorously defend ourselves against any lawsuit that comes, while doubling down on our Medicaid expansion campaigning.
MoveOn is being threatened with legal action by the state of Louisiana after we bought a billboard criticizing Governor Bobby Jindal for preventing 242,000 Louisianans from accessing Medicaid.
In politics, a frivolous lawsuit or the threat of it—combined with a smart reaction—can be a golden opportunity. On the other hand, the wrong reaction can be disastrous. That's why what we do now—which is dependent on you—is so important.
Here's what happened: This week, MoveOn put up billboards in red states criticizing Tea Party governors for refusing federal funds to expand Medicaid. The billboards are working really well, and are getting a ton of press coverage.
Now, the Republican lieutenant governor of Louisiana wants us to take down a billboard criticizing Governor Jindal—who has presidential ambitions—because it's a takeoff on the state's tourism slogan, "Pick Your Passion." This is a blatant attack on free speech. A state government isn't entitled to use trademark law to censor citizens who want to criticize the state for its heartless and stupid policies.
The good news is, legal action like this can be a dream when it comes to focusing press coverage on the need for Medicaid expansion. If we take this on from a position of strength, unapologetically doubling down on our Medicaid campaigning right now—while preparing to vigorously defend ourselves against a potential lawsuit—we can score a big win.
On the other hand, if we let Louisiana Republicans bully us into silence, then we could face similar legal battles in every other state where we put up billboards. We're committed to standing up to bullies. But to do that, it's crucial that we have the resources to take this on and win.
With your help, we'll expose these legal threats for the sham that they are, and leverage them to put even more pressure on Jindal and other right-wing governors who are refusing to accept federal funding for Medicaid—which is pure politics at its worst.
Under Obamacare, 100% of the costs of Medicaid expansion are covered by the federal government for three full years—and then 90% forever after that. There's no reason for any governor to say no—except for naked partisanship.
Now that we know this campaign is getting under Republicans' skin, the way to win this is to go all-in—by vigorously defending MoveOn against any potential lawsuit, doubling down on our campaigning, putting up more billboards, running more ads, getting more press, and doing what it takes to make our voices heard. In fact, this threat of legal action could be a golden opportunity: It could earn a ton of press for Medicaid expansion and shine a spotlight nationally on the real human costs of Republican extremism.
That strategy's going to cost money. But the cost of legal fees and ads could pale in comparison to the free publicity for Medicaid expansion from a baseless lawsuit.
If Republicans think they can shut up MoveOn members with baseless lawsuits—they're dead wrong. MoveOn won't quit campaigning until we expose the full truth about the despicable human cost of refusing to expand Medicaid and all 50 states expand Medicaid. But we do need your help to defend ourselves—and keep our campaigning going.
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

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