DFA in the News

DFA in the News

Pelosi waves off impeachment, says it would divide country

MARY CLARE JALONICK and LISA MASCARO Associated Press

Neil Sroka of the liberal advocacy group Democracy for America said Pelosi’s comments were “a little like an oncologist taking chemotherapy off the table before she’s even got your test results back.”

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former New York mayor will not run for president in 2020

David Smith in Washington

"Neil Sroka, spokesperson for the progressive political action committee Democracy for America, said: “No surprise. No constituency. He had an additional challenge as a billionaire at a moment when the last thing people want is someone with ungodly sums of money telling them what to do. More importantly, he was pushing an agenda that has little support in the Democratic party and even less outside the Democratic party.”

There will not, after all, be a battle of the septuagenarian New York billionaire businessmen, between Trump and Bloomberg. Sroka added: “It shows Bloomberg has one thing over Trump: he’s not so blindly narcissistic that he got into this race.”

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Democrats delay vote on anti-Semitism resolution to include other types of bigotry

LINDSEY MCPHERSON

"Outside progressive groups, such as Democracy for America and CREDO Action, issued statements Tuesday criticizing Democratic leaders for using the anti-Semitism resolution to attack Omar.

"The Democratic Party is united in its opposition to anti-Semitism. Full stop," Democracy for America Chair Charles Chamberlain said. "At the same time, everyone paying attention knows that the particular resolution being pushed right now, not to hold Republicans accountable for the countless times they have stood silently as the president whitewashed neo-Nazis, but instead to tell a newly elected black, Muslim, refugee congresswoman to sit down and shut up."

Chamberlain added that if Democrats are serious about standing up to hate, they should do so with a resolution that "condemns anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-black racism, xenophobia, as well as the disgusting physical and verbal threats that Rep. Omar herself has faced in recent weeks."

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Rep. Omar is rebuked by her own party. But what will the consequences be?

MARIANA BARILLAS, Sinclair Broadcast Group

Democracy for America communications director Neil Sroka expressed concern that one of the potential consequences of actions like the resolution could be "a chill on discussions of American foreign policy among Democrats." Sroka said he doesn't expect Rep. Omar to be silenced by the resolution, and said that some of the questions she has raised including the influence of lobbying on lawmakers deserve consideration.

“All of us can do a lot better and be a lot more clear about how we talk about folks, but that’s no excuse for avoiding important questions about the work that has to be done to make American foreign policy more in line with our values,” said Sroka. Democracy for America has asked lawmakers to pass a comprehensive resolution that condemns all hateful speech, including anti-Muslim harassment Rep. Omar says she has received. The FBI is currently investigating a reported assassination threat against Rep. Omar.

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Democracy for America: How Encouraging a Truly Representative Government Can Combat Rising Income Inequality

Matt Walker

But, those feelings are justified, according to Neil Sroka, the Communications Director of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee.

[Democracy for America Logo] Sroka said the issue of income and wealth inequality is a very real issue in America, and it is crucial for the future of the country to address it now.

“There’s no doubt that things are radically out of control when the richest 1% of Americans hold 38% of the wealth in this country and actually own more than the bottom 98% combined,” he said.

Sroka said that, 400 of the wealthiest Americans held more wealth than half of all Americans combined in 2011. And it’s only gotten worse in recent years, particularly under the Trump administration, he said.

“The truth is we haven’t seen these levels of wealth and income inequality rise to levels like this since prior to the Great Depression,” he said. “The real challenge is where income inequality and wealth inequality connects with racial inequality.”

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Have House Democrats lurched left? Not those from swing seats

Ronald Brownstein and Aaron Kessler

Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, a liberal group that has described the Jayapal bill as "the gold standard" in single-payer legislation, says it's not surprising that the legislation's initial support tilts toward members from "bright blue Democratic districts." Sroka agrees that advocates must expand support for the idea among Democrats from more contested terrain, but he argues the key to that is creating a more visible national debate around the issue -- preferably behind a 2020 Democratic presidential nominee advocating the idea.
"The key is having a robust national discussion about the failures of our current health care system and what Democrats imagine is necessary to make it better," Sroka says. "And the easiest way to do that is having a nominee who supports a robust plan of Medicare-for-all."

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John Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor, enters 2020 presidential race

Seth McLaughlin

But Neil Sroka, communications director at Democracy for America, said it is hard to imagine a moderate candidate capturing the nomination at a time when the progressive wing of the party is ascending. “Nothing excites people more than lukewarm milk,” Mr. Sroka quipped. “The only path that these more corporate Democratic candidates have is by hoping that the progressive vote is split literally 10 different ways and that somehow a moderate could slip through.”

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Ayanna Pressley Fought To Get Her Party's Attention In 2018. Now Democrats Running For President Are Fighting For Hers.

Darren Sands

“Ayanna will be a key endorsement in the 2020 presidential race, both because she reflects the growing power of the next generation of progressive black women in the Democratic Party and because she’s one heck of a campaigner,” said Yvette Simpson, the CEO of Democracy for America. “The grit, determination, and raw political talent it takes to credibly take on, let alone beat, a nearly 20-year Democratic incumbent in a state like Massachusetts would be a tremendous asset to just about any Democrat running for president.”

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Sanders seeks 2020 nomination from Democratic Party that has veered left since 2016 loss

Stephen Loiaconi

Yvette Simpson, executive director of Democracy for America, a political action committee that endorsed Sanders in 2016, applauded him for driving a transformative grassroots movement, but she noted supporters of a progressive agenda have more choices this time around—including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

“With Sanders joining Warren, Harris, Gillibrand, and a number of others, we're more confident than ever that Democrats will find the candidate we need to defeat Trump and start delivering the kind of economic, social, and racial justice needed to improve real people's lives,” Simpson said in a statement.

 

"What’s so strange about it is the Republican Party of 2019 seems to think we’re still in 1981 or something and the American people can’t see through the blind attacks on socialism for what they are,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America.

 

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A totally different world': As the party lurches left, can Sanders still stand out?

Alex Roarty

“2016 and 2020 are totally different elections,” said Neil Sroka, spokesman for the liberal group Democracy for America. “It’s about the policy agenda, but it is also about the political dynamics of the race. It’s just a totally different world.”

 

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We will only get stronger': Inside a liberal leader's balancing act on pushing the House to the left

Rachel Bade

"It's very smart for progressives to choose their battles, but they probably need to choose more of them, and they're going to need to flex their power," said Charles Chamberlain, a liberal organizer at Democracy for America. "They shouldn't be afraid to kill a bill - even a bill that is very important to Democratic leadership - to make it clear that progressives are here."

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Leaders of House liberal caucus consider new membership rules

Rachel Bade

"It's great to have the largest values-based caucus, but the most important part of our power comes from when we are a voting bloc," said Charles Chamberlain, who heads the liberal group Democracy for America. "And so the more Pramila and Mark and the whole caucus can stick together in supporting the positions of the caucus overall, the better."

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$6 million later, Bernie Sanders' return reveals the strength of a base in waiting

John Verhovek

"It was foolish for anyone in the Democratic establishment not to take Bernie seriously before [Wednesday]," said Neil Sroka, communications director for the progressive PAC Democracy for America. "But it's absolutely laughable to not take him seriously after the fundraising haul he was able to bring in, in a certain day." Sroka, like Petkanas, emphasized the power of in having more than 225,000 donors on Day One, especially when those supporters can turn into volunteers who can knock on doors, man phone banks or sign on for recurring donations. He also warned the Democratic Party, which largely underestimated Sanders's appeal to progressives in 2016, against making the same mistake."More than anything, the surprise that might exist about the numbers Bernie was able to post [Tuesday] is indicative of a chattering class in Washington that doesn't understand the Democratic base and hasn't understood it in years," said Sroka, who was part of a group that urged Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run in 2016. That loyal base outside of Washington -- the quarter of a million people who donated to Sanders right out of the gate -- proved Tuesday that they're still hanging on.

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Klobuchar Banks on Middle Road Leading to Democratic Nomination

Bloomberg News

"Progressives express skepticism about Klobuchar’s candidacy. “I think it is exceedingly unlikely at this point that someone like Senator Klobuchar and the kind of campaign she seems to be intent on running is going to go very far in a party that is looking for a lot more than just not Donald Trump,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the activist group Democracy For Americ

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Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren sell differing messages in each other's backyards

Liz Goodwin

Charles Chamberlain, the chair of the grass-roots liberal group Democracy for America, said it can be risky for Democrats to campaign on a return-to-normalcy message. “Democrats are hungry for real change and I would argue that’s part of why we lost in 2016,” he said.

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Bernie Sanders, Once the Progressive Outlier, Joins a Crowded Presidential Field

SYDNEY EMBER

"A lot of people still believe he is the one who can take trump out," said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the political group Democracy for America. The bigger question now, she said, is "how does he distinguish himself in that bigger field?"

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Sanders seeks 2020 nomination from Democratic Party that has veered left since 2016 loss

Stephen Loiaconi

Yvette Simpson, executive director of Democracy for America, a political action committee that endorsed Sanders in 2016, applauded him for driving a transformative grassroots movement, but she noted supporters of a progressive agenda have more choices this time around—including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

“With Sanders joining Warren, Harris, Gillibrand, and a number of others, we're more confident than ever that Democrats will find the candidate we need to defeat Trump and start delivering the kind of economic, social, and racial justice needed to improve real people's lives,” Simpson said in a statement.

 

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2020 Democrats embrace populist message against corporations and the wealthy

Athena Jones

With Sanders considering a second bid and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who built her political career railing against big corporations, already in the race, any perceived closeness to Wall Street will likely be seized upon in a crowded field of candidates looking to differentiate themselves from one another.
"It's going to matter, and it's going to be an issue," said Neil Sroka, spokesman for the progressive group Democracy for America. "In the minds of Democratic activists, the big problem in American politics today is the power that millionaires, billionaires and the wealthy, powerful industries have over our politics. That's where willingness to confront powerful interests is going to be an important point of differentiation."

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Democrats' coveted 2020 prize? It may be endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez

David Smith

Neil Sroka, communications director of the progressive group Democracy for America, said: “She’s built a profile with a savvy way beyond her years, but she also has an agenda that feels right for the moment. AOC does not exist without the bold, inclusive, populist agenda she’s pushing. The vitriol she has inspired speaks to how afraid everyone is; Republicans see her as representing a country they don’t even know how to speak to.”

Experts predict that, by polling day in November 2020, millennials will have overtaken baby boomers to become the biggest voter-eligible age group. Sroka noted: “Millennials are not a young age group any more. I’m 35 in April and I’ve got a wife, a child and a house in Michigan. AOC is 29 and speaks to the range of millennial experiences. There is no one national figure more directly attractive to millennials and that’s what makes her such a potentially powerful endorser in the primary.”

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Great War Between American Billionaires

NLD.COM.VN

"I don't think Michael Bloomberg will win the support of the Democratic Committee for America (DFA - a radical political action committee) if he looks at his connections with Wall Street" - Mr. Neil Sroka, a DFA spokesman, said. "It will be difficult for any billionaire (to run for election) because of concerns about the impact of money on politics."

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DFA on Trump Border Speech: U.S. Has 'National Security Disaster in Oval Office,' Not Crisis

Targeted News Service

"America doesn't have a national security crisis on our southern border, we have a national security disaster in the Oval Office.

"The bizarre rant Donald Trump delivered tonight was not only a dangerous escalation of white supremacist fear-mongering, it was a crystal clear indication that there is no limit to the lies he's willing to tell or the American families he's willing to hold hostage to pursue his racist agenda.

"Americans sent a historic, progressive wave to Washington last November, because they wanted leaders in Congress committed to fighting for an inclusive populist agenda, standing up to Donald Trump, and stopping the monument to bigotry, hate, and division he's obsessed with constructing on our southern border.

"As they fight to get more than 800,000 federal workers back to work and stand strong against a senseless border wall being built, Democrats are being the kind of leaders America needs. It's time for Congressional Republicans to quit their cowering, find their backbones, and join them."

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Why the sexist 'likability test' could haunt female candidates in 2020

David Smith

Neil Sroka, the communications director of the progressive group Democracy for America, notes that in 2016 Sanders had a “gruff demeanor” but pulled off a “curmudgeonly grandfather” act that proved popular. “That wouldn’t work for a female candidate and that speaks to sexism. There is a double standard.”

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Democratic leaders face backlash if they compromise on wall

Alexander Bolton

Americans overwhelmingly voted for Democratic control of the House to put a check on Trump on exactly this kind of reckless behavior," said Charles Chamberlain, chairman of Democracy for America, a grassroots liberal advocacy group.

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Elizabeth Warren sticks to her talking points as she steps forward

Erin Durkin

“Senator Elizabeth Warren’s formal entrance into the 2020 race for president today helps launch what we believe will be a vibrant discussion of bold, inclusive populist ideas in the Democratic primary, and we look forward to the wide array of progressive candidates that we expect to join her in it in the year ahead,” said Charles Chamberlain, the Democracy for America executive director.

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Elizabeth Warren declares she is running for US President

Denyse O'Leary

Our country needs a 2020 Democratic nominee defined by bold, inclusive populist ideas and a vision for the future of the country that wins the support of the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters.

“Senator Elizabeth Warren’s formal entrance into the 2020 race for President today helps launch what we believe will be a vibrant discussion of bold, inclusive populist ideas in the Democratic Primary, and we look forward to the wide array of progressive candidates that we expect to join her in it in the year ahead.” — Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America

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Progressive groups launch ads, website to draft Gallego for Arizona Senate

Laura Barrón-López

“Whether at home in Arizona or serving in the Marines in Iraq, Ruben Gallego is a battle-tested patriot who has always put the interests and needs of his constituents first,” said Latino Victory Fund President Cristóbal J. Alex and Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson, in a statement first provided to POLITICO. 

"Arizonans deserve a leader who reflects the state’s rich diversity — someone who understands what it’s like to grow up poor, to work hard to achieve his potential and to selflessly devote his life to his country and community.”

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2020 Democrats Agree: They're Very, Very Sorry

Astead W. Herndon and Sydney Ember

“There is no perfect progressive candidate, there is no perfect anyone,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, a political group that is trying to build grass-roots support for the Democratic nominee.

“We’ve also got to give people grace and space to grow and to acknowledge that,” she added. “I’m always open and willing to hear how people grow.”

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Elizabeth Warren tries to quell DNA controversy with apology

Sahil Kapur Bloomberg News

“She was likely damned if she did respond and damned if she didn’t,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the progressive activist group Democracy For America. “It’s never too late to do the right thing and that’s exactly what Warren did” by apologizing, he said.

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Democrats in presidential race call on Virginia governor to quit over KKK photo

Hernan Porras Molina

“After his refusal this evening to be completely transparent about his past actions, it’s clear that Ralph Northam has no business remaining Governor of Virginia,” Chamberlain said in a statement.

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Cory Booker thinks his message of love can win back the White House. Will angry Dems listen?

Claude Brodesser-Akner

"“Candidates have been calling themselves ‘progressive' all over the political spectrum because they realize that’s where the energy and momentum is in the Democratic Party,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for the left-leaning advocacy Democracy for America, which grew out of Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont’s 2004 bid for the White House.

“But 'progressive’ in politics has become like ‘whole grain’ in cereals ," Sroka said. "So Democrats are like, ‘Yeah, I want that, but I need more before I trust you just because you call yourself that.’ 

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