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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE06/22/2006
Progressives Release Election-year Issues Book
WASHINGTON -- With nearly two-thirds of Americans convinced the country is headed in the wrong direction, the Campaign for America’s Future today released a new handbook designed to help progressives make the case for a bold new direction in the national political debate. Key initiatives in the handbook were presented at the group’s “Take Back America” conference in Washington last week that brought together more than 2,000 progressive leaders, activists and thinkers from across the country.
The Campaign for America’s Future’s “Straight Talk 2006” handbook provides activists and leaders with a manual to argue the positive progressive case for a new direction. The manual details the progressive argument on the economy, on security and on strategic initiatives from energy independence to health care to reclaiming our democracy.
Campaign for America’s Future co-directors Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey also released a new opinion survey conducted by Stanley Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner that shows majorities of Americans are not only turning against the signature issues of the Bush administration – the war in Iraq, privatization of Social Security, top-end tax cuts – but are now questioning the basic tenets of conservative thinking – from deregulation at home to unilateralism abroad.
Greenberg joined Borosage at last week’s conference to talk about the findings of the new poll.
“We were asked, with this poll, to find out if the country has reached a tipping point,” said Greenberg. “The answer is yes. The conservative worldview is in the deepest possible trouble at its very core philosophical underpinnings.”
Borosage said progressives should be emboldened, not simply in the hope of taking back Congress because of corruption and incompetence, but because the public is eager for a bold reform agenda that asserts a new politics of the “common good,” putting government back on the side of the people.
“In area after area, the majority of Americans stand with progressives against the conservative idea,” said Borosage. “Similarly, on broad policy initiatives – in area after area progressive initiatives receive remarkable levels of support with far more intensity and support than signature conservative policies. Washington has been consumed by scandals and incompetence, but there’s a far larger, potentially far more momentous sea change taking place.”
Progressives are driving campaigns designed to reach Americans around the kind of positive ideas outlined in “Straight Talk 2006.”
--The Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor, environmental, civil rights, national security and business leaders is advancing a bold agenda for energy independence from foreign oil. The group launched the “Apollo Challenge” last Monday, enlisting hundreds of thousands of Americans to challenge legislators and candidates to declare their support for a bold plan for energy independence this election year (http://www.apollochallenge.org).
--The Campaign for America’s Future joined with Moveon.org to announce a new effort to take the case for affordable health care to the American people. The first part of this campaign focuses on fixing the prescription drug plan, which – in a costly sellout to the drug companies – prohibits Medicare from negotiating a better price for drugs. Led by Americans United, activists are challenging candidates to tell the public whether they stand with the drug companies and big insurance companies or whether they would fix the plan through Medicare. This fight will lead to a campaign for health care for all (http://www.americansunitedforchange.org).
--Groups are mobilizing to save democracy. The Abramoff-DeLay scandals led many groups, including the Campaign for America’s Future and MoveOn.org, to campaign on the “cost of corruption” — the high energy and drug prices, rising college loan costs, and other painful results of corporate money in our political system. Common Cause, Public Campaign Action Fund and other groups unveiled their “Voters First” pledge on Wednesday. The pledge calls for making elections fair, restoring accountability and protecting voters’ right-to-know (http://www.commoncause.org/CleanElections).
These efforts represent the beginning of a growing effort to challenge the failed policies of the right, lay out alternatives and drive them into the political debate.
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**NOTE: Electronic copies of the “Straight Talk” manual and the new Campaign for America’s Future poll are available at www.ourfuture.org.**