‘This is what the fight for a habitable planet looks like in real time.’
By Julia Conley Common Dreams
April 9, 2022 – Organizers of the “Coal Baron Blockade” protest which targeted right-wing Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s coal empire Saturday afternoon reported that state police almost immediately began arresting campaigners who assembled in Grant Town, West Virginia.
“Sen. Joe Manchin’s policies hurt poor people and hurt our environment so deeply that activists are ready to put themselves on the line,” tweeted the Poor People’s Campaign, which joined grassroots group West Virginia Rising and other organizations in the blockade.
Hundreds of campaigners participated in the blockade of Grant Town Power Plant, which receives coal waste from Enersystems, the company owned by the West Virginia senator’s son. Manchin earns $500,000 per year from Enersystems—”making a very lucrative living off the backs of West Virginians,” said Maria Gunnoe, an organizer of the action, this week.
At least 10 demonstrators had been arrested as of this writing.
“This is what the fight for a habitable planet looks like in real time,” said Jeff Goodell, author of The Water Will Come, of the dozens of campaigners who risked arrest.
Speakers and other participants highlighted the need for a just transition away from fossil fuels including coal, carrying signs that read “Solidarity with all coal workers.”
“My dad worked in a chemical plant until he retired with a disability from acute exposure,” said Holly Bradley, a ninth-generation West Virginian. “We can all find common ground, but Joe Manchin is making it impossible.”
Jan 23., 2012 – The United Steelworkers union announced its support this morning of U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, in the increasingly competitive race for the new 12th congressional district.
Republican mapmakers combined the seats of Mr. Critz and fellow Democratic incumbent Jason Altmire of McCandless, forcing them to face off in the state’s primary April 24th. The endorsement by the union, and its 32,000 active and retired members, should help Mr. Critz introduce himself to voters in Mr. Altmire’s backyard in suburbs north of the city.
"Mark has always been there, not just for the Steelworkers union, but for working families," said union president Leo Gerard at the announcement at union headquarters Downtown.
Every local union president in the new district (which includes parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria, Cambria, Lawrence, Somerset and Westmoreland counties) endorsed Mr. Critz, and the union has committed to do phone banks, mailers and door-knocking on the candidate’s behalf. Steelworker and retiree volunteers will also phone members of other unions to urge support of Mr. Critz, the USW’s political director Tim Waters said.…
Before his speech the president also met for more than an hour with a job-creating council of nationwide business, labor and academic leaders as they try to wrestle with the nation’s chronic unemployment problems.
Little in the president’s address on his $447 billion jobs plan was new: he touted its calls for tax cuts and construction spending and questioned Republicans for not supporting it. He said he did not know why the GOP was in opposition “other than the fact I proposed it.”
But Democrats have not been rushing to support the effort either, even in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate, which is set to take its first votes on the plan tonight, a month after the president forwarded it. Mr. Obama has been barnstorming the country to try to whip up popular support for his plan and left the city for a similar event tonight in Orlando, Fla., before traveling next to Detroit.
Sept 21, 2011 – 4th CD Progressive Democrats of America at its every 3rd Wednesday ‘Brown Bag Lunch’ vigil at Altmire’s Aliquippa office pressing our Blue Dog Congressman to vote with labor and Obama on the Jobs for America Act
WASHINGTON, May 26 2011 – Democrats in House of Representatives sent President Barack Obama a strong message Thursday — speed up U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.
Though the House’s bid to push Obama to expedite the U.S. exit failed, it lost by a surprisingly close 215-204 vote. The outcome, and the fiery debate that preceded it, made it clear that the president’s party, as well as a growing number of Republicans, is growing impatient with the almost 10-year-old war as the 2012 election campaign approaches. In all, 178 Democrats and 26 Republicans voted to pressure Obama. Eight Democrats, most from more conservative districts, and 207 Republicans were opposed. Leading the charge to prod the president were the House’s top Democratic leaders.
“Americans are paying a big price there, we want to make sure we’re getting a return on that investment, and time is a very important factor,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “It’s time for our troops to come home.”
Treasurer,PA 4th CD Chapter, Progressive Democrats of America
Depressing the Vote – Depressing Democracy
“The Money & Media Election Complex,” an article in The Nation magazine, discusses the unprecedented $4 billion spent on the 2010 election and its influence on voter turnout.
To those bankrolling the system, voter cynicism and apathy are welcome…Their interests are best served by narrowing the range of debate and participation, since that makes it easier to buy the government.
This article intends to show that the analysis quoted above is valid based on the role of Jason Altmire’s campaign in the PA 4th Congressional District.
Jason Altmire’s 2010 campaign organization was well funded by corporate donors. His message depressed voter turnout and helped defeat the Democratic ticket. Altmire’s recent 2010 victory prepared the ground for a stronger Republican challenge to the Democratic Party in 2011.
If the Democratic Party is to carry forward the legacy of the New Deal, it must work for unity around a message that aggressively fights for peace and prosperity for the working families of our district and against the Republican agenda of war and austerity.
Representative Jason Altmire Wins Close Race
Congressman Jason Altmire, a member of the Blue Dog caucus and the New Democrat coalition was returned to the new 112th Congress to represent the PA 4th Congressional District. He defeated Keith Rothfus, a Republican attorney supported by local tea party activists.