2024 PRESIDENTIAL CAUCASING

The 2024 Republican Presidential Caucus is on March 2. Only those registered as Republicans are eligible and you must attend in person to participate. Therefore, if you work weekends, are disabled, or serve in the military, you will be excluded.

The Democratic Presidential Caucus, on the other hand, is on May 23rd. Unlike the Republican Caucus, you will be able to vote absentee. Moreover, as usual we will welcome all voters no matter your party affiliation. If you are currently registered as a Republican, it may be better to re-register as a Democrat and caucus with us. More details about our caucus will be shared in the coming weeks.

IMMIGRATION

When your republican and independent friends and relatives tell you they would support a Democrat if only “Biden’s Border Crisis” could be brought under control, tell them the following. The border is a persistent and perennial “crisis” that serves the Republicans’ political purposes. There have been many bi-partisan efforts to solve this intractable issue but when given the chance Republicans choose chaos. The US Senate’s border bill offers $8 billion in emergency funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and allocates more than $3 billion for increased detention capacity. The proposal also aims to speed up the review of asylum claims which can currently take up to 10 years to adjudicate.

The point is the immigration issue is complex and will not be solved by building walls. It requires establishing bilateral regional policies that address the underlying issues that are causing population displacement and migration. Ironically, the US is suffering from a labor shortage that would benefit from increasing legal immigration. According to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) Fact Sheet, immigrants (legal and illegal) boost tax revenue, enlarge the taxpayer base, and help to keep down the price of goods. So, tell folks to keep the pressure on our US Representatives and let them know that the status quo is not a solution.

REGARDING JOHN FETTERMAN

I have received concerns from a few people about the IDP’s choice of Senator John Fetterman as the keynote speaker for the Frank & Bethine Church Gala in March. These folks disagree with Fetterman’s support for Israel in the Gaza war. I want folks to know that I have passed on these concerns to those in charge.

In response, the IDP said that “Fetterman has committed to showing up in red often forgotten about states, to ask for every vote. In our party there is room for people to disagree on issues and still hear each other out. It’s one of the things that separates us from the GOP, and we should be proud of that.” 

CONTRACEPTIVE HELP FOR IDAHO WOMEN

Senator Melissa Wintrow’s bill S1234 passed in the Senate. The bill requires insurance companies to provide a six month’s supply of contraceptives, rather than just one month. As one Republican senator remarked: “male senators can find birth control ‘at any gas station or convenience store any day that you would like.’” If the Governor signs on, access to contraceptives will be more readily available for women as well.

DEFEND OUR LIBRARIES

As you know, our libraries are under continuous threat by ultra-conservatives with an axe to grind. Please contact your representatives and tell them to vote NO on S1234. The bill allows for censorship of books and discriminates against already marginalized LGBTQ+ readers.

SUPPORT LABOR

Our friends in the labor community request that we ask our representatives to OPPOSE House Bills H0480 and H0481. H0480 caps the amount of unemployment benefits a worker can receive at 10 weeks and H0481 makes unemployment eligibility requirements more stringent.

JOIN US THIS SATURDAY

And finally, our very own Big Blue Democracy Dinner is on Saturday, February 17 and we are happy to report that it is essentially sold out. However, a few tickets do remain. However, today, Wednesday, February 14, is the absolute deadline for registering because we must confirm our attendance numbers with the hotel. So, if you see this message on Wednesday, there is still a chance to Get Tickets at ActBlue. And don’t forget that scholarships are available for those who cannot afford the $95. So don’t hesitate to push that scholarship button on the registration page.

I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

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