After the Presidential election we at Speak Out California were rejuvenated and renewed in the hope and expectation that the divisive politics of Republican extremism were
over.   Sadly, it is clear that they are not and so we must re-commit
to our values and Speak Out loud and clear.

Please join us in our first action-alert of 2009 with as many clear
and strong voices as we can to say to our new President and the Congress:
 WE WON this election, now let’s get to work putting our nation and
our state back on track!

Thanks to Rush Limbaugh, US Senators report the calls they are receiving
about the Stimulus Package are running 100 to 1 against passage. Our voice needs to be heard.  And thanks to California right-wing talk radio,
Republican legislators think the public supports their sabotaging budget talks.
need to step up!

ACTION: Tell California’s US Senators that you support the stimulus package and tell
California Republican legislators that the Democrats have agreed to cut after cut
and they just can’t cut any more — now they need to agree to raise revenue!  Details below.

The Stimulus Package

President Obama has tried to fulfill his campaign promises of reaching
across the aisle, taking the almost unprecedented step of going to Congress in
his first week to appeal to Republicans to engage in a rational and reasonable
dialog.   Unfortunately it is clear that they are unwilling to heed
the public’s clear call from the election. 

The President has warned Republicans against taking their cues from Rush
Limbaugh, who said he “hopes Obama fails.”  Nonetheless they
continue to be obstinate.  Every single Republican in the House voted
against the President’s stimulus package!
 And now the Republicans in
the Senate are threatening a filibuster! 

support the Stimulus Package.  Then call friends and relatives and ask
them to call their Senators as well.  Phone the United States Capitol
switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be put through to your Senators!

California State Revenue

In California it is the same.  The Republicans in the legislature unanimously
refuse to help solve the state’s terrible budget shortfall.  The only
solution they support is forcing layoffs of thousands of state workers along
with dramatic reductions in services like medical care for the elderly – in the
middle of a recession! 

So far right-wing radio is drowning out progressive voices, demanding that
Republicans in the legislature vote against any bill that raises revenue. 
When talk radio and news outlets tell the public that “both sides”
are to blame the public does not see that there is a bad actor in this fight.

California progressives do not have the kind of media megaphone that
Republican extremists do.  We need to change that.

ACTION 2: Call your Assemblymembers and Senators and
tell them you support raising revenue to fix California’s budget. You can find your
Assemblymembers and Senators by entering your zip code at

Some Progress

Fortunately eleven
California newspapers
including Sunday’s San Jose Mercury News carried a
near-unprecedented front-page editorial titled, Outrageous
budget fiasco has shamed California
, calling on the Republicans to
participate in the budget process, saying,

“… [M]ost of the blame for the
immediate crisis falls on Republicans in the Legislature, who this past summer
— to a person — signed a pledge to not raise taxes. 
  Democrats and the Republican governor have offered
significant compromise, but GOP lawmakers cling to ideological purity —
schools, health care and other essential responsibilities be damned.”

It is clear that national and state Republicans continue to
stand by their extreme right wing agenda.  We must make sure
that their spin machines and extremist views do not drowned out progressive

Let’s remember who won this election. Let’s be the wind
beneath the wings of the new administration and send that same clarion call to
California where the failed policies of the right wing cannot be allowed to
flourish any further – and that the progressive message of hope and fairness
and equality and competence have their full measure of support in this new
administration and this new era.