News Release

* Direction of Democrats * Money at Conventions * Peace Voices Squelched * 9-11 Families March

GWENDOLYN MINK
Author of the book “Welfare’s End,” Mink is currently writing a book about the Democratic Party, “Retreat from Democracy.” She said today: “For decades, the Democratic Party was hogtied from within by a powerful Dixiecrat faction. That faction has for the most part left the party, leaving behind a coherent, progressive Democratic electoral base. But at the very moment unionists, people of color, feminists, environmentalists, peace activists, lesbian and gay activists, and advocates for global justice formed the core of the party’s electoral base, the ‘New Democrat’ Clinton presidency turned the party against its base. NAFTA, the 1994 Crime Bill, welfare reform, and the Defense of Marriage Act are the signature accomplishments of a party at odds with its soul. It’s not clear whether a Kerry presidency will close the gap between the official party and the party’s core. What is clear is that if the Bush presidency is continued the democratic process will be so disrespected and distorted that programmatic debate may well be impossible.”
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STEVEN WEISS
Weiss is communications director of the Center for Responsive Politics and editor of Capital Eye, which recently published the article “Conventional Wisdom: Increasing Number of Corporations Are Giving to Both Party Conventions.” Researchers found that each of the following companies has contributed more than $1 million to both the Democratic and the Republican conventions: Altria Group (Philip Morris), American International Group, AT&T, Bank of America, Ernst & Young, Fannie Mae, Metropolitan Life, Microsoft, Pfizer and Verizon.
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MEREDITH O’BRIEN
Currently in Boston, O’Brien is author of a series of recent reports released by the Center for Public Integrity on conventions and the money involved in them. Among the reports she has authored: “It’s Their Party: DNC Demands Boost Cost of Convention, Paid for By Special Interests,” “The Party’s Parties: Lavish Parties Lead to Access at Nominating Convention” and “Wining and Dining the DNC: When Cities Vie to Host a Convention, It’s the Party Insiders Who Win.”
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VINCENT LAVERY
Currently in Boston, Lavery is a delegate from Fresno, Calif. He had a “No War” sign taken from him by convention organizers as he entered the convention hall and was handed a Kerry sign. Lavery said today: “How ridiculous, it’s like we’re robots, we’re given signs to wave on cue. They take all signs people bring in. The convention is very controlled.”

DAVID POTORTI
(and via Adam Eidinger)
Currently in Boston, Potorti is co-director of September 11th Families For Peaceful Tomorrows. He lost his brother, Jim, at the World Trade Center. David is participating in a “Stonewalk,” as he and other peace activists walk from Boston to New York City (in time for the Republican convention) pulling a 1,400-pound granite memorial honoring the “Unknown Civilians Killed in War.” Potorti said today: “With public attention focused on both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions this summer, there is no better time for Americans to consider and to call for sensible, effective political policies which place a priority on principles of democracy and human rights. We need to recognize the human cost of war, and explore new directions for our nation, and our world, toward peaceful tomorrows for all.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167