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Press Office of Robert Powell (D-CO)


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Powell Introduces Bills to Help American Families and to Fix our Democracy

Today Senator Powell has introduced 4 bills into the United States Senate; the Fair Maps Act, the Minimum Wage Act, the FAMILY Act, and the Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act.

The Fair Maps act will effectively outlaw all forms of partisan gerrymandering. Gerrymandering has been a plague on our American democracy for hundreds of years. For hundreds of years it has been politicians choosing voters, not voters choosing politicians. Because of gerrymandering there are situations like in North Carolina in 2014 where Democrats won nearly 44% of the congressional vote but won only 23% of the seats. Or in Wisconsin where democrats won 47% of the vote but gained only 37% of the seats. This is undemocratic. This is plain old madness. Other examples can be found in Maryland, republicans got 41% of the vote but only won 12% of the seats. Americans of both parties are being hurt by gerrymandering. Their votes are not being heard. The Fair Maps Act will fix that. It will make it illegal to draw lines to purposely disadvantage a political party. This is how our democracy should be. Voters choosing politicians, not politicians choosing voters.

Image result for 2014 gerrymandering

 

The second bill introduced was the Minimum Wage Act. This bill will set the federal minimum wage progressively higher every year for the next 5 years to 1, keep up with inflation and 2, make it so American families and workers can survive with only one job. No american should be working multiple jobs to feed themselves or their families and the minimum wage should not be below the poverty line. For far too long wages have been stagnant while the cost of living has risen. For far too long working americans have been starving or not able to make payments. We must do better. We must raise the minimum and raise the standard of living for everyday, working class americans. 

 

The next bill is the FAMILY Act. This act will create a paid family leave system for all families. Any parent can tell you that having a newborn is hard work. I would know, I have a child of my own. Any parent will also tell you that they need time off from work to care for that child, to make a connection with them, and to nurture them to become the next generation. We need to make sure families can still live while caring for a child. This is why i've introduced this act so all new parents can have 60 days of paid family leave to execute this all so important duty as parents. This is a common sense bill. Anyone who stands against might as well where a sign that says "I am against families."

 

The last bill is the Respect States' and Citizens' Rights Act. This bill will make it so states can decide their marijuana laws. All politicians should agree that if the people of a state vote overwhelmingly to legalize something like marijuana, then that law should not be stepped on, voters should not have their voice reversed by some politician in Washington, thousands of miles away. 

We should pass all of these bills. These bills will help lift up Americans and they will help make our country more democratic. There should be nothing wrong with more democracy and more support for working families. These are not controversial bills. They should be passed and signed. 

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Powell on the USS Frank E. Evans Act

Senator Powell (D-CO) recently introduced the USS Frank E. Evans Act to the United States Senate and motioned to suspend the rules and pass. This motion was approved unanimously and this will become the first bill to pass the United States Senate this session. 

The bill will require the names of those servicemen and women lost while serving on the USS Frank E. Evans in 1969 during the Vietnam war to be placed on the Vietnam War Wall of Heroes. The 74 heroes were never put on the wall because they died in a collision with a friendly ship, the Melbourne. This despite the fact she provided covering fire for the Tet Offensive and serving 154 days in the war zone waters off of Vietnam. This is a great injustice to those brave men and their families. American's should be glad that both parties have come together to realize our mistakes in the past and to finally honor these men. 

We all look forward to this bills passage in the house and eventual signing into law by the President.

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Powell Initiates Efforts to Repeal Taft-Hartley

Today I have introduced a bill that will repeal the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, better known as the Taft-Hartley Act. This repeal will make it so workers have more bargaining rights against their employers so they can get things like health insurance and better pay.

What Taft-Hartley did is made it so workers had right to work for less. If you look at the statistics, right to work for less states have worse wages and lower standards of living. In RTWFL states, workers are paid on average, $5,333/yr less than non-RTWFL states. The poverty rate is also 2.3% higher in those states. Right to work also leads to higher rates of racial discrimination, 36% higher than non RTWFL states. 

Taft-Hartley as hurt our economy and our american families immensely. It is time congress repealed this act and gave rights to american workers. I am a firm believer that if workers are doing well then the american economy will do well. That is why we must pass this act.

image.jpeg.02cc7d111a319fb5c5958d4d24fbbab2.jpegImage result for why is right to work bad

 

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Powell Introduces Bill to Ban Revenge Porn

Today Senator Powell has introduced the ENOUGH Act of 2016. This bill will bad the practice of revenge porn, or sharing someones private photos without their consent. Under this law, any monster who does this will be fined and put in jail for five years. Its about time this is actually classified as a crime. Its a disgusting thing that's happening and it must be stopped. 

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Powell Calls on Speaker Tomblin to Resign in Disgrace

Following the disturbing report that Speaker Tomblin of the Illinois House engaged in bribery and corruption, I, on behalf of my senate democratic colleagues, am calling on Speaker Toblin to resign from the state house immediately in disgrace. Mr. Toblin should be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law as well. No person is above the law, that means no democrat, no republican, no independent, nobody. The Democratic party stands 100% behind this conviction as any patriotic american would.

To repeat, Mr. Tomblin should be ashamed of himself. He is a criminal. He needs to resign or the House must expel him. 

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Powell Moves to Advance Two Sex-Crime Bills

Today I have motioned to pass the ENOUGH Act and the Survivors Bill of Rights Act, both of which have support from members of both parties with both republicans and democrats sponsoring/co-sponsoring the bills.

The first Bill, the enough act will make revenge porn a crime. This crime, where someone shares (or threatens to share) private, explicit photos of someone without their consent, will now be punishable by up to 5 years and prison as well as a fine. 

The second bill, the survivors bill of rights act will so many things. The first is it makes it so a person cannot he charged monetarily for a rape kit examination. The second thing makes it so a rape kit must be kept in evidence for at least 20 years in order to make sure victims have a chance to achieve justice. The third thing the bill changes is that it requires a victim to be notified of the destruction of a rape kit or other evidence and that all of these policies will be shared with the victim.

Both of these bills will help Americans who are victims of these heinous crimes, especially women. These bills are common sense and I expect them to pass very quickly.

 

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Dems. Move to Expel Tomblin from Party

Today I have introduced an internal motion within the Democratic Party to expel Speaker Tomblin from the Democratic Party. Since he refuses to resign his post, he and his criminal activity is not welcome in this party of anti-corrupt and anti-cheat. 

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Tomblin expelled from national Dem. Party

Today the DNC has voted unanimously to expel Tomblin from the party. The democrats do not and will not ever be complacent with bribery and corruption and we continue to push for the resignation and prosecution of Speaker Tomblin

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Senate Dems Push for Lifetime ban On Lobbying from Members of Congress

Today Senate Minority Leader Robert Powell has introduced an amendment to a bill that would ban former members of congress and executive branch officials from lobbying, for life. For far too long Washington has been a revolving door from elected official to lobbyist. With this bipartisan amendment we democrats are championing, with support from Senator Pinnacle (R-AR), we will close that revolving door.

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Senate Dems Move Forward Bill go Permanently Authorize 9/11 victims compensation fund.

Today I have motion to begin debate on the Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund act. This bill will finally honor our first responders on that terrible day for this nation. In our darkest hour they came to our rescue and sacrificed nearly everything. It’s time we stop the partisan squabbling and give these heroes the compensation they deserve. I hope this bill, written by Senator Ward (D-MA) will pass unanimously and without any more partisan stonewalling.

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Powell Responds to Flair

 The facts of this situation are simple. I asked republicans to negotiate. I got a response from republican leadership and it was to call me “one of the biggest idiots alive.” The SML didn’t even respond. We want to negotiate. We’ve asked multiple times to negotiate. The majority whip says they want to negotiate but wants it through “official channels.” That’s just coded speak for back rooms. Well I want it a little different. I want this negotiation process to be public. I want the American people to see what’s going on. That’s exactly what I asked for and I was called and idiot by GOP leadership. The whip says I’m being partisan, but how can I be partisan by asking to negotiate? He can we dems be partisan if we’re putting forward bills that are passing with 60-70 votes. We don’t want to stop there. Senator Flair and Senator Fitzgerald, the offer is still open, let’s negotiate and let’s do it in front of the people. That ball’s in your court.

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Powell On Fitzgerald Tax Plan

For immediate release

Recently the majority leader in the senate has introduced a series of bills constituting his tax plan. Senator Powell has this to say:

”This tax plan is one thing and one thing only, a tax break for the rich. This bill will do nothing to help the middle class. 

“First he wants to repeal the estate tax. Republicans for years have lied and called it things like a “death tax” or a tax on farmers. This is frankly just a lie. The estate tax is a tax on 0.2% of estates; not even just the one percent. As Ross Maclean pointed out, a farmer with an estate worth $28 million still pays $0.00 in estate taxes. Though the republicans might try to gaslight Americans and say it will help the middle class, this is simply not true. All it is a tax break to make the rich richer and widen the income inequality in this country.

“He also wants to lower the corporate tax rate. This is yet another policy that will only help the richest in this nation and not real, everyday Americans. Unless an American owns some big corporation they will not see any part of this tax break.

”That brings me to my last point. This GOP and Kyle Fitzgerald is out of touch with Americans as evident by this tax plan. All these tax breaks do is help the richest business owners and top income earners, not everyday Americans who work 9-5 who live paycheck to paycheck. We need a real tax plan that helps Americans. We need to lower taxes on the middle class, the people who need it, not on the millionaires and billionaires in this country.”

 

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William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Senate Dems Tout Accomplishments 

The senate session is about to end and with that we can see just how accomplished the democrats were. We sponsored 40% of legislation that was passed. Nearly all of those bills came with opposition from the republicans. But dems came together and made bipartisan deals to get things done for America.

The first bill was passed, and that the senate as a whole passed, was the USS Frank E Evans Act which honored our veterans by finally putting their names on the Vietnam memorial wall.

Our next bill we passed was a bill to permanently fund the 9/11 victims fund. That fund had been fought against for 15 years and now, we have finally put aside our partisan squabbling and passed it under the democrats lead.

We then sponsored, motioned, and passed a bill to give sexual assault survivors more rights like the right to have their rape kit kept and tested. Along with this bill we also sponsored and passed another that would ban revenge porn. Both of these bills came with opposition from radical republicans like Senator Granata. His faction questioned whether or not women had the rights to photos of themselves and if it should be a crime to spread their private photos against their consent.

But we didn’t stop just with our bills, we joined with members across the aisle to give the minority more rights in the senate as well as to put a lifetime ban on members of congress from lobbying. 

We accomplished all of this as the minority with a GOP senate and house. If we can get this done as a minority, imagine what we can get done as a majority. That’s why we need you all to vote in November. Vote in your senate races to put the party of the middle class and the party of the worker in the White House and in the majority. We can only do this with your support!

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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Williams: Welcome to Top News Tonight! I’m Thomas Williams, here with an update on Speaker Tomblin’s bribery scandal, which some Illinoisans have termed ‘BriberyGate’. For those who are unaware, AMNC previously discovered and reported that Illinois Speaker of the House Henry Tomblin, a Democrat, has taken numerous substantial bribes throughout his tenure as Speaker in exchange for legislative favors. One of these bribes was even over $100,000, and that is just one. 

Well, folks, Speaker Tomblin has finally responded. In a statement provided to the press, Tomblin said,"I intend to remain as an advocate for the people of Illinois and will fight these inaccurate and slanderous accusations with the strength and determination that makes the great people of Illinois the best in the country. I will not bow to pressures from Washington to abandon my constituents." So, at least in his mind, he isn’t going anywhere. In fact, he just dismissed the claims, even though they are in fact legitimate. Personally, I find it troubling that he thinks he can get away with this without any problems from the IL Democratic Party, and I bet he has good reason to believe that. Luckily, he is facing pushback, though from a more curious place. Colorado Senator Robert Powell, a fellow Democrat, has called on him to resign among other things. He agreed to come on this show to speak with us about his efforts and about Speaker Tomblin. Thank you for coming, Senator.

Powell: Thank you for having me, Thomas. 

Williams: A pleasure to have you. Let’s start with what you think of Tomblin’s corruption. What do you have to say about it? 

Powell: Well I think it’s disgusting. I think he should be ashamed and man enough to admit it. I also know he should no longer be welcome 1, in the Illinois legislature and 2, in the Democratic Party. That’s why I have called on him to both resign and have started a vote to expel him from the party. 

W: Can the National Democratic Party expel him, though? Do they have the power to do that? 

P: We can say he’s no longer welcome in the party. Then once that motion passes, I hope the Illinois house will expel him from there. 

W: But would he still be a Democrat because he is a state official?

P: That’s for the state party to decide. Though I really hope they officially expel them from there. But know this, the National Democratic Party thinks that he should no longer be allowed in the party. 

W: Alright, so its a more "on principle" and symbolic push to the Illinois Democratic Party to expel him. Any word on how this motion is going through the DNC? 

P: Well, the voting is still ongoing but I can tell you this, so far every single member of the Democratic National Committee has voted to expel including myself. It looks like this will be a unanimous condemnation of corruption by our party. 

W: Good to hear. I do find it troubling that Speaker Tomblin seems to feel as if he has enough support behind him to stay seated within the Democratic Party and the Illinois House of Representatives. Do you know why other prominent Democrats haven't condemned Tomblin, especially ones that are closer to home? I mean, you're a Colorado Senator, which is probably why Speaker Tomblin neglects to take you seriously. I haven't heard condemnations or calls to resign from, well, anyone else in the national Democratic caucus, which is alarming considering y'all have Midwestern Senators, including Mr. O'Malley who announced a Presidential campaign. Do you know why everyone else is so silent? 

P: Well I am the Minority leader and as I said in my press release I spoke on behalf of all senate democrats. And as I’ve said, so far the vote in unanimous in the DNC. 

W: Right, but I mean public statements from other Democrats. A private vote in the DNC doesn't really mean all that much to Illinois or Midwestern politicians or voters, especially if they can turn around and ignore it. I find the silence from the others, even if we just get a Tweet, a little underwhelming. 

P: Like I said, I spoke on behalf of the entire Democratic Senate caucus. And I know others are in the process of finalizing their own PRs now

W: Well, it's not like one Tweet or some public statement takes that long to complete. All I'm saying is it would mean more to Speaker Tomblin if he felt pressure from more Democratic Senators. Moving on, though, do you feel like Illinois voters can still trust the Democratic Party, either on the federal or state level? 

P: Yes, they can. Speaker Tomblin does not represent ANY part of the Democratic Party. The response from our party to his crimes has been swift and fittingly harsh. Our party has also fought for anti-corruption measures both at state and federal level. We’ve fought for fairer elections and fought to get dark money out of politics. So, yes, I think they can trust us still.

W: When a party claims to be against, as you put it, "dark money" but has one of its statewide leaders take numerous gigantic bribes from corporations, it definitely does undermine the message. Speaker Tomblin seems to think he can survive an expulsion vote from either the Illinois Democratic Party or the House. I know you aren't an Illinois Democrat, but if you were, what would you tell voters come November about why they can trust the Democrats with control of the Illinois legislature? Why can't they just trust campaign financing issues to ballot initiatives or moderate Republicans or even Independents?

P: Because Tomblin is no longer welcome in the party. He simply isn’t. He isn’t a true Democrat and since he’s done this heinous crime, he never has been a true Democrat. 

W: Voters are going to worry about similar corruption in the Democratic caucus in Illinois due to Tomblin's confidence. In your opinion, though, the Democratic Party is still the best to tackle campaign financing and corruption?

P: Well, yes. We’re the ones fighting for electoral reform. We tried to get rid of gerrymandering, something 76% of Americans approve of, and republicans voted against it unanimously. We’re the only party with the platform of getting dark money out of politics, getting rid of gerrymandering, expanding access to voting, and passing an amendment to overturn citizens united. Republicans have none of that.

W: Well, I'm talking about purely on the state level. The Illinois General Assembly draws the maps, and it has been controlled by the Democratic Party in both chambers since the early 2000s. I think if gerrymandering was a big issue statewide, they would have changed how they voted. I wonder if voters are more concerned on statewide governance than what the platform just says. If the platform says less dark money but the top officials remain corrupt, as they have for years, one has to wonder if voters really can trust the Illinois Party. 

Well, we are almost out of time, but I have one last question for you: has there been any communication, besides the vote, between the Illinois Democratic Party and its Chair and the DNC?

P: We have not been able to reach out yet.

W: Well, that is unfortunate. We can only hope they listen to reason and common decency. Thank you for coming on today, Senator. 

P: Thank you for having me. I hope to do this again sometime. 

W: I hope so too. Coming up, manufacturing bills make their way through the federal government: will Obama sign them? And we discuss the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. I am Thomas Williams, and this is Top News Tonight!

*Commercials over Dawn dish soap, Ford F-150, Coca-Cola, Dodge Rams, and an NRA ad*

**End of transcript**

William C. Motter D-CO-02 (Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield)

 

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