Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress
BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 10 2012
The Obama political operation took a big step today, sending out an email to its millions of supporters asking them to call Members of the House of Representatives to pass a Senate-approved bill aimed at preventing the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on the bottom 98% of U.S. taxpayers. In some cases, recipients are being asked to call their own Member; in others, where their Member is already in favor of the Senate bill, Obama activists are being asked to call Obama supporters whose representatives may be a swing vote. In case there's any doubt, these emails are aimed at putting heat directly on Republican House members.
"We know we can affect change in Washington when we raise our voices together," says the email from Stephanie Cutter, the 2012 deputy campaign manager. "So pick up the phone and make a few calls. Republicans in the House need to hear from their constituents."
This email represents a critical shift in Obama's political strategy. Paid for by the Obama Victory Fund 2012, it is not aimed at re-electing the President--the ostensible purpose of that campaign entity--but at moving his legislative agenda. It is the President using his army to go directly in the face of Members of Congress who are perceived to stand in his way. Apparently, OFA's lawyers have decided that they can use their email list in this manner, after some earlier doubts. (It's not clear that this crosses any lines; for example, John Kerry continued to use his 2004 campaign email list to advance his political agenda for years after losing his run for the White House.)
Here's the full text of the email, which is titled "Help the president by picking up the phone."
Who will decide if your taxes increase in just 22 days? A few dozen members of the House of Representatives, that's who.
Cutting taxes for the middle class shouldn't be difficult, especially when Republicans claim they agree with the President on the issue. But some Republicans are still holding middle-class tax cuts hostage simply because they want to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires.
Here's what's going on right now: President Obama is asking Congress to move forward on a plan that would prevent 98 percent of American families from paying higher taxes next year. The Senate has passed that bill, and the President is ready to sign it -- but the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives won't even bring the bill to the floor for a vote. House Democrats have filed a petition that would force a vote if it attracts 218 signatures.
If a bill has enough votes to pass, Congress should vote on it and pass it. It's a pretty simple proposition. And every Member of Congress who hasn't signed on to keep taxes low for the middle class needs to hear from you.
Your representative in Congress, [deleted], has already done their part to help bring the bill to the floor. But there are dozens more who still need to step up and do the right thing.
Use the call tool today to reach out to fellow Obama supporters and make sure they contact their Republican representative.
Let's get one thing straight: If your taxes go up, Republicans will have made a conscious choice to let that happen. They'll have missed the opportunity to prevent it, just to cut taxes for the wealthy.
Republicans need to stop using the middle class as a bargaining chip. If they fail to act, a typical middle-class family of four will see a $2,200 tax hike starting in a few short weeks. Middle-class families could face some tough financial decisions simply because Republicans didn't want to ask the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to pay their fair share.
That's not what President Obama and you campaigned on, and that's not what millions of Americans voted for just one month ago.
We know we can affect change in Washington when we raise our voices together. So pick up the phone and make a few calls. Republicans in the House need to hear from their constituents. You can help:
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America