Courage California in the News

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THE BUZZ: COURAGE CAMPAIGN'S "HALL OF SHAME" STRATEGY -- Amid ongoing tension between the Democratic Party’s liberal and more progressive wings, the Courage Campaign plans to spend money for the first time this year in legislative primaries.

-- The liberal advocacy group plans to use its annual scorecard on state lawmakers — and a “hall of shame” for Democratic politicians out of step with its liberal agenda — as a basis for its primary involvement. The group told POLITICO it is making an initial commitment of $100,000 to play in California primaries.

Cooper, who is in his second term representing the state's 9th Assembly District was recently added to one group's "Hall of Shame." Cooper and eight other California legislators earned that distinction from California-based Courage Campaign, in partnership with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action.

In the past 72 hours, two of California’s longest-serving Republicans in Congress announced they are not seeking re-election this fall, scrambling state politics and dealing a blow to their party’s chances of hanging onto the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nine-term Rep. Darrell Issa, of San Diego County, became the latest incumbent to announce his retirement Wednesday morning.

Several liberal political groups celebrated Issa and Royce’s departure as a bellwether for Republican incumbents nationwide. “Districts in California like Issa’s – where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump – will start the wave that will roll across the country,” predicted Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the Courage Campaign.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo hosted state Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De Leon in a news conference outside City Hall yesterday morning to introduce a new net neutrality bill, proposing blocking internet service providers from using deceptive and discriminatory business practices in California.

Organizing director Tim Molina of the Courage Campaign was among the speakers at the conference. Molina discussed a petition in favor of SB 460 that was created last week and already has over 10,000 signatures. It asks all California legislators to support the bill in an effort to lead the pursuit for unimpaired access to free internet.

Orange County Congressman Ed Royce, a targeted Republican, announced Monday he will not run for re-election in one of several seats Democrats hope to capture in 2018.

Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the left-leaning Courage Campaign, painted Royce’s announcement as a reflection of the political danger ahead for California Republicans.

“Rep. Royce knows that if he ran for re-election in 2018, he would lose,” Kurtz said in a statement, adding that it is “proof positive that Democrats are gaining momentum and ready to retake the House in 2018 with a wave election ... Let this be a clear message to all remaining members of California’s Republican congressional delegation: Your days are numbered, and come November, you will be out of a job.”

Nestle’s longstanding bottled-water operation in California sprang a leak this week after state regulators warned the Swiss business giant to drastically cut the water it pipes from the San Bernardino National Forest.

The notice follows a 20-month investigation by the State Water Resources Control Board sparked in part by public outcry over Nestle piping millions of gallons of Southern California spring water for its Arrowhead brand during a historic drought.

In 2016, a federal judge ruled that Nestle gave the U.S. Forest Service proper notice of its intent to renew a 1988 permit in a case brought by the Courage Campaign Institute and Story of Stuff Project.

Despite weeks of consternation from some California House Republicans, a dozen of them joined their colleagues to pass a tax overhaul Tuesday, saying it would give most of their constituents a tax cut even as it retained cuts to popular deductions. 

Hours before Tuesday’s vote, several activist groups rallied outside of Walters’ Irvine office.

“We will not rest while we have a chance to stop this thing,” Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the California-based progressive group Courage Campaign, said before the vote. “We will not rest until the final gavel falls."

Groups, including the California-based Courage Campaign and “United We Dream,” are lobbying lawmakers today as part of a national day of action, seeking to pressure lawmakers into passing a fix by the end of the year. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris have called on Congress to take up the federal legislation, which includes a path to citizenship for some undocumented residents.

Courage Campaign joined with more than a dozen progressive groups in urging the Democratic National Committee’s post-2016 Unity Reform Commission to recommend the party end its superdelegate system.

“We urge the members of the Unity Reform Commission to recommend an idea whose time has come: to end the superdelegate system and create a fair, transparent, and inclusive presidential nomination process in which Democratic primary voters can rest assured their voices will not be overruled by well-connected elites,” the letter wrote.

In August, an FDA official reversed an earlier position and backed the company, saying the agency wouldn’t object to labeling bottled water from its sources in the forest as spring water. 

Two environmental groups, the Story of Stuff Project and the Courage Campaign, said the FDA wrongly reversed itself and urged the agency to thoroughly investigate. The FDA has said it’s reviewing the matter.