DFA in the News

DFA in the News

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary: report

By Sylvan Lane and Ian Swanson - 11/23/20 03:23 PM EST

Democracy for America, another progressive group, called Yellen “a historic, progressive choice.”

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Wiley for mayor endorsed by Democracy for America

Shant Shahrigian New York Daily News

The organization, founded by former presidential candidate Howard Dean but no longer linked with him, said Wiley is “fearlessly progressive, unbought, unbossed, and ready to make history the very moment she’s sworn in.”

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Wiley, a former top legal adviser to Mayor de Blasio, shook up the packed race when she officially launched her campaign last month.

“A nationally recognized leader in the fight for racial justice and equity, Maya Wiley understands that building-back after the pandemic requires a New York City Mayor who’ll be ready to take on the status quo, confront systemic inequities, and put forward solutions that ensure that every single New Yorker can thrive,” Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson said in a Tuesday statement.
 

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Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage

By Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley - 10/22

“We don’t need to be promised a nice report about reform delivered to the White House, we need Vice President Biden to assure Americans that he will take bold action to ensure our courts don’t remain dominated by a right-wing fringe installed by Mitch McConnell to attack abortion rights, destroy health care reform, and dismantle our democracy.” – Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America.

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Too Hard to Vote? Fired-Up Black Voters Are Doing It Anyway

Joseph Tanfani, Michael Martina

Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, said the progressive group has used text messages to target 1.7 million mostly Black and Latino voters in 13 battleground states with a simple message: “’Your right to vote is at stake,’” Simpson said. “’We need you to exercise that right against all odds, and here is the information you need to do that.’”
 

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The Democrat Who Could Prevent Democrats From Winning a Georgia Senate Seat

John Nichols

Early in October, 10 progressive groups—Democracy for America (DFA), Be a Hero Fund, Blue Future, Justice Democrats, Progress America, Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), RootsAction.org, Social Security Works PAC, and the Working Families Party—begged Lieberman to quit the race.

“We urge you, with everything we have, to do the right thing for our country, end your race for U.S. Senate, and ensure Democrats stand united behind Raphael Warnock in this unique election,” wrote the groups in a letter released shortly after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The letter to Lieberman explained the importance of winning an outright victory on November 3, and concluded, “Unfortunately, your continued presence in this race poses a very real and potentially disastrous threat to Democrats’ chances of winning Georgia’s special election for the U.S. Senate.”

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Progressives have knives out for Heitkamp as USDA race intensifies

LIZ CRAMPTONHELENA BOTTEMILLER EVICH

On a recent ABC "This Week", Heitkamp sparred with Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, a progressive group, over how the Democratic Party should move forward.

Heitkamp argued for a moderate approach in tackling big problems. She noted, for example, that most North Dakota voters do see climate change as a problem but they “get concerned when they see radical ideas being introduced to completely upend the energy system.”

“There is a place you can go in solving these problems that speaks to all sides and does not radicalize important issues in this country,” she said.

Simpson pushed back forcefully: “You called the base of the Democratic Party — progressives — radical ... that's a Republican talking point.”
 

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Progressives blast Biden plan to form panel on Supreme Court reform

By Jonathan Easley - 10/22/20 03:32 PM EDT

Progressives at leading left-wing groups panned the idea.

“We don’t need to be promised a nice report about reform delivered to the White House, we need Vice President Biden to assure Americans that he will take bold action to ensure our courts don’t remain dominated by a right-wing fringe installed by Mitch McConnell to attack abortion rights, destroy health care reform, and dismantle our democracy,” said Yvette Simpson, the CEO of the progressive group Democracy for America.
 

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NYC mayoral candidate Maya Wiley lands endorsement from progressive group

Shant Shahrigian

Maya Wiley scored an endorsement from progressive group Democracy for America.

The organization, founded by former presidential candidate Howard Dean but no longer linked with him, said Wiley is “fearlessly progressive, unbought, unbossed, and ready to make history the very moment she’s sworn in.”

Wiley, a former top legal adviser to Mayor de Blasio, shook up the packed race when she officially launched her campaign last month.

“A nationally recognized leader in the fight for racial justice and equity, Maya Wiley understands that building-back after the pandemic requires a New York City Mayor who’ll be ready to take on the status quo, confront systemic inequities, and put forward solutions that ensure that every single New Yorker can thrive,” Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson said in a Tuesday statement.
 

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Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives

JORDAIN CARNEY

“There is no excuse for inaction or a failure to deliver by this Senate if we have all three branches of government,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chairman of Democracy for America.
 

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Black And Latino Leaders Push Newsom To Pick A Woman Of Color To Succeed Kamala Harris In Senate

LIBBY DENKMANN

"There's a life experience that comes with growing up and being a Black person in America," said Charles Chamberlain, chairman of the progressive group Democracy for America. The group is officially pushing for a Black progressive woman, like Lee or Bass, to replace Harris. "Gavin Newson should be honoring Kamala, and thinking of his legacy, by making sure that he replaces her with someone who is in her vein."

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Biden's message is unity, coronavirus in homestretch

By Amie Parnes - 10/24/20 08:56 AM EDT

Neil Sroka, a strategist for the progressive group Democracy for America, said progressives back Biden’s tone. “I know progressives are very much included in the majority of Americans who want a president committed to working to bring the country together rather than driving us apart, fanning the flames of deep hatreds and feigning ignorance about difficult truths about our history because it might work to his short term benefit.”

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As Trump Refuses to Concede, G.O.P. Remains Divided

LIZ CRAMPTONHELENA BOTTEMILLER EVICH

The tensions were encapsulated on the ABC program “This Week” in an exchange between former Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a centrist Democrat, and Yvette Simpson, the chief executive of the liberal group Democracy for America.

“They get concerned when they see radical ideas being introduced to completely upend the energy system,” Ms. Heitkamp said of conservative Democrats in her state. “There is a place that you can go in solving these problems that speaks to all sides and does not radicalize important issues in this country.”

Ms. Simpson took issue with Ms. Heitkamp’s description of left-wing environmental policies as “radical,” calling it “a Republican talking point.”

“You just called the base of the Democratic Party, progressives, ‘radical,’” she said. “If parts of our party, when we bring home the bacon as we did just yesterday, call us ‘radical’ like Republicans did, that’s not the starting place of a good family conversation.”

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80 Percent of Trump Voters Believe False Voter Fraud Claims

Community

“The polling is profoundly disturbing,” Democracy for America spokesperson Neil Sroka said in an interview. “It shows the strength of the right-wing echo chamber within the GOP and illustrates why GOP elected officials are cowering right now from their base. Anyone who has any sense of decency or experience with the electoral process knows that what Trump is saying is patently false. They know it is not true and that it is a lie. The fact that you have sitting senators giving these allegations credibility–even a tinge of credibility–shows you exactly what you need to know about who these people are and who they have been during this administration.”

The progressive pressure group believes the incoming administration should “thoroughly anticipate” Republican Party “intransigence” through 2022 at least. Sroka said that while Americans expect Biden to make some overtures to the Trump-loyal GOP, Democrats should not let the “olive branch drag us into the muck” because that would mean a failed White House that resigns itself to the fate of getting nothing done.

“What this polling underscores about what Donald Trump has done to this country is there is a divide between Americans’ perceptions of reality right now,” he said. “The only thing that would be surprising about GOP elected officials’ response to the lies and baseless allegations by the Trump campaign is if they were rejecting them. That would be surprising. What we have right now is a Republican Party that has been thoroughly dominated and hollowed out from the inside by Trumpism. That hollowing out and the debasement of the Republican party by the Trump administration is why we should be extremely skeptical that we’re going to see any response from the GOP during a Biden administration that is different from the response during the Obama administration.”

“Of course we have to be ready to be surprised by the GOP during a Biden administration,” Sroka continued. “But I don’t think we should expect Mitch McConnell or Republican leadership in the House to act responsibly with an eye toward governing rather than an eye toward regaining power. I think what Democrats are looking for from Joe Biden is to demonstrate a willingness to work with Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans but also a commitment to fight for a bold agenda and not cave to obstruction.”

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Recipe for chaos: 2020 election threatens to snap a US already pushed to the limit

David Smith

Neil Sroka, spokesperson for the progressive group Democracy for America, said: “Donald Trump has his fingers on the levers of power and is clearly manoeuvring them in every way possible, legal and arguably illegal, to try to secure a narrow victory in November.”

“The threat of voter suppression is very real. We’re already seeing robo calls going out in places like Pennsylvania that dissuade people from voting early or voting absentee or putting out misinformation.”
 

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Democrats urge Biden to resist filibuster, court-packing calls

By Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes - 09/22/20 08:03 PM EDT

Neil Sroka, a strategist for the progressive group Democracy for America, says Democrats need to use the GOP’s move to fill the Supreme Court vacancy to push for all manner of reforms, including “right-sizing” the Supreme Court, eliminating the filibuster, reforming the Electoral College and moving on statehood for the District of Columbia.

But he said Biden taking a side on adding justices to the Supreme Court would only move the debate onto the GOP’s preferred terrain.

“Republicans want to avoid accountability for this blatantly hypocritical power grab by changing the discussion to what Democrats would do in response,” Sroka said. “Joe Biden shouldn’t get bogged down in these details.”

Sroka said that when Biden is asked about adding justices to the Supreme Court, he should talk in broad terms about how as president he’d work with congressional leaders to support legislation to ensure the country is not ruled by a “minority of reactionary extremists.”

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It will shift the focus'

By David Sherfinski

Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the liberal advocacy group Democracy for America, said Mr. Biden correctly steered the conversation back to what Republicans are trying to do rather than Democratic reaction.

“Biden is right to re-center on what the actual issue is right now, which is what the Republican majority in the Senate and Donald Trump seem intent on doing in less than 40 days before an election,” Mr. Sroka said.

He said the only mistake Mr. Biden could make is unequivocally ruling out more seats.

“That would miss the moment,” he said. “I don’t think it really matters what Joe Biden’s position is as long as he recognizes the moment that we’re in.”
Some Democrats see the politics differently.

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Markey won the Senate seat, but AOC can claim victory

Michael Graham

“Sen. Ed Markey’s win in this race was the perfect capstone to a 2020 primary season packed with transformative progressive victories that underscore the simple fact that progressive voters and leaders are and will continue to be the future of the Democratic Party in the years ahead,” Yvette Simpson, CEO of the far-left group Democracy for America said.`

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Democrats back away from quick reversal of Trump tax cuts

Alexander Bolton

Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, a liberal political action committee, said waiting to raise taxes on the rich is a “terrible idea.”

“Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen billionaires make $600 billion since March while the minimum wage hasn’t been raised in over 10 years,” he said. “I think the billionaires and millionaires, they have benefited from the [Trump] tax cuts and many of them have benefited from the pandemic itself.

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Will DNC's olive branch to Republicans keep progressives from the polls?: ANALYSIS

ABC News

"Fmr. Governor Kasich and Secretary Powell are not only irrelevant in the Republican Party, but their presence at the Democratic convention is also a slap in the face to anyone who believes our party needs to be crystal clear about where we stand on abortion rights, organized labor, marriage equality, the threat of guns in our communities, police brutality against black people and the greatest foreign policy disaster in a generation," said Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America and an ABC contributor, in a statement.

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Warren touts Biden's plans - drawn from her own - to animate ...

Jess Bidgood

“The risk is that they’re seen — and what they’re saying on the stage — is seen as a middle finger to the people that the Democratic Party are going to rely on to make the phone calls, to send the text messages, to contribute the small dollar donations,” Neil Sroka, of the progressive group Democracy for America, said of the Republicans featured at the convention.

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The dam is breaking on playing in primary battles

MELANIE ZANONA & HEATHER CAYGLE

“What we’re seeing right now is the Democratic establishment really being honest in public about what they’re doing. What’s not a change is them taking sides in primaries — they have long done it for years and years and years, they’ve just been more private about it,” said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America.

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Sanders-AOC alliance puts stamp on Democratic convention, platform

Paul Steinhauser

Neil Sroka, communications director for the progressive group Democracy for America, acknowledged that “there are people that are really disappointed in how the primary came out and there are certainly going to be a number of restive elements among Bernie Sanders delegates.”

But Sroka, a locally elected official in Michigan and 2020 convention delegate who supported Sanders in this year’s nomination race, said that unlike in 2016, now “it’s very clear that the future of the Democratic Party is continuing to move in a progressive direction” and added that “Biden has underscored this by calling himself a ‘transitional’ president – that gives progressives much more room to feel like they have a stake in this party.”

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Progressives seethe as Democratic convention ignores Supreme Court

Kevin Robillard & Daniel Marans

“It was a missed opportunity and one that was likely rooted in the convention's misplaced focus on wooing disaffected Republicans and so-called moderates,” Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the progressive group Democracy For America, said.

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Obama, in scathing Trump rebuke, warns democracy on the line

JULIE PACE, AP Washington Bureau Chief

“When you think about folks who have the capacity to really unify us, there are only a few people,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee. “Certainly Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are among them.” “That’s the guy we remember from the election of 2008,” Simpson said. “It encouraged me that he might be the guy that pulls Joe Biden along a little bit.”

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DNC 2020 Live: Former Democratic rivals for president rally behind Biden

Adam Kelsey

Democracy for America CEO and ABC News Contributor Yvette Simpson says progressives "are going to have our voices heard, that (DNC) platform is not a progressive platform," but adds that Democrats "will have our family fight once we get rid of Donald Trump."

She added that "a lot of people" were unenthusiastic about Sen. Kamala Harris as Biden's pick for running mate, but the president's comments on the U.S. Postal Service may motivate them nonetheless.

"Donald Trump is actually helping motivate and rile up our folks more than Joe Biden is right now," she said on ABC News Live.

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DNC 2020 Day 3: Kamala Harris accepts VP nomination, Obama slams Trump's failures

LIBBY CATHEY

Simpson: Progressives frustrated at lack of focus on issues

Ahead of the start of night three of the DNC, Democracy for America CEO and ABC News Contributor Yvette Simpson addressed frustrations by progressives that they are "the only ones talking about issues."

"Why is the Democratic Party, the party of the people, not using their convention to talk about how we're going to serve our people?" she asked.

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Joe Biden's running mate - none will satisfy all sections of the party

Daniel Strauss

“The campaign needs to show progressives across this country that he recognizes that the future of the party is with progressives and the only way to do that is by choosing a really strong progressive to be his vice-presidential candidate,” said Charles Chamberlain, the executive director of the progressive Democracy for America outside group.

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Just How Far Will Joe Biden Go?

Michelle Cottle

“He’s not listening to the folks he needs to listen to,” said Yvette Simpson, who leads the political action committee Democracy for America.

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Chris Christie Defends Trump Sending Federal Agents to Cities

Josh Feldman

Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson said that “Portland looks like a war zone” and “authoritarian” right now, arguing, “And the idea that you’re trying to protect structures by destroying bodies of people who are protesting — you have moms on the front line. People are showing up with bruises.”

“This is not about public safety. This is about scaring people into believing that our country needs this kind of intervention. We do not,” she added.

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Trump's 2020 strategy: paint Joe Biden as a puppet for the 'radical left'

David Smith in Washington

Neil Sroka, a spokesperson for Democracy for America, a political action committee that endorsed Sanders in the Democratic primary, said: “The realigning of the left and centre has actually already happened. Joe Biden, if he wins in November, will be elected on the most progressive agenda a Democrat has ever been elected on in the history of the country. Period. End of story. “The movement behind Senator Sanders in 2016 and the response to Trump and the movement that grew behind Senator Sanders again in 2020 has fundamentally altered the trajectory of the Democratic party in a way that’s hard to really grasp looking at it from where we were in January 2015.”

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