- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
- Civil Rights
- Economic Justice
- Government Accountability / Whistleblowers
- Gun Violence Prevention
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Was Darren Rainey Tortured and Killed by Prison Guards at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida?On June 23, 2012, Darren Rainey, a mentally ill black man serving a two-year prison sentence for drug possession, was killed by four prison guards at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida. The Florida correctional officers kept Darren Rainey locked in a shower for two consecutive hours with the water turned up to a scalding 160 degrees — even though Florida state law mandates 120 degrees as the highest available temperature allowed. According to the assigned medical examiner, when Mr. Rainey was removed from the shower, his skin was falling off of his body. Darren Rainey entered the shower around 7:30 p.m. on June 23, 2012 and was pronounced dead around 10:00pm later that night. One prisoner said he heard Rainey screaming, begging to be let out. Another stated that he helped clean up chunks of Rainey's skin from the shower the following morning. Multiple inmates have revealed that the shower was used against them too, as a torture device. Last week, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle's office revealed that, after a five-year legal dispute, no charges will be filed against the four prison guards who allegedly tortured and killed Darren Rainey. In addition, the four accused guards will be allowed to keep their jobs as Florida correctional officers. Prosecutors concluded that Rainey's death was an "accident,” stating that he died from a combination of factors, including health complications of his mental disorder, heart disease that had gone undiagnosed, and what they described as "confinement in a shower." According to prosecutors, the medical examiner's report played a key role in their decision not to press charges against the four prison guards. The Miami-Dade prosecutor's office maintained that the DCI medical examiner report reveals no burns on Darren Rainey after discovering him in the shower, and that any deformed skin was a result of skin "slippage" from being in the shower for too long. When that same medical examiner's report was reviewed by investigators at HuffingtonPost, however, it was discovered that Britney Wilson, a licensed practical nurse at DCI, examined Rainey’s body approximately 10 minutes after he was found, and noted “1st degree burns to 90% of his body.” An additional medical examination conducted by Lt. Alexander Lopez, a firefighter and paramedic with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, reported that Darren Rainey was found “with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on approximately 30 percent of his body." This obvious cover-up is not just an attack on the neglected prisoner community — it is a blatant disregard for the families and communities of anyone who is black, poor, disabled, elderly, and/or lacking health-care and incarcerated. We should all be disturbed, not only by the horrific death of Darren Rainey, but by the failure of the state of Florida to protect him and hold those who are responsible accountable for their actions. The four accused correctional officers are: Sgt. John Fan Fan, Officer Cornelius Thompson, Officer Ronald Clarke, Officer Edwina Williams. Harold Hempstead, former prisoner at FCI, first reported Rainey's death and was a key witness in Darren Rainey's case. http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article140015793.html Hot Water Temperature Laws: Anti-Scald Regulations (Florida) http://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Hot_Water_Temperature_Laws.php#FL The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Report on Darren Rainey’s death. https://cbsmiami.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/darrenraineyincustodydeathcloseoutmemo.pdf Investigation of evidence conducted by HuffingtonPost http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/darren-rainey-inmate-death-dade-correctional-institution_us_58d94c9fe4b03692bea82e1b?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Officials%20Ruled%20Inmates%20Boiling%20Death%20An%20Accident%20But%20Documents%20Show%20They%20Omitted%20Key%20Details&utm_content=Officials%20Ruled%20Inmates%20Boiling%20Death%20An%20Accident%20But%20Documents%20Show%20They%20Omitted%20Key%20Details+CID_8215adfc57846c1e7159b4870e1301a9&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Read%20More&ncid=newsltushpmgnews Other Sources: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article56108525.html
Demand Congressmembers pass H.R.676 Expanded & Improved Medicare for All ActH.R. 676 would be funded from existing sources of government revenue for health care, by increasing personal income taxes on the top 5% of income earners, instituting a progressive excise tax on payroll and self employment income, and by instituting a tax on stock & bond transactions. Amounts that would have been appropriated for federal public health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), are transferred and appropriated to carry out this bill.
Keep the pressure on! Demand Mumia & all affected prisoners get the hep C cureThe Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has shown a blatant disregard for both judicial authority and the thousands of PA prisoners affected by hepatitis C. In January 2017, Pennsylvania Judge Robert Mariani ordered the Department of Corrections to provide Mumia Abu-Jamal with hepatitis C treatment. Mumia has an active, chronic hepatitis C infection, and is at serious risk of experiencing medical complications. The debilitating symptoms of an active hepatitis C infection include extreme skin irritation, limb numbness, vision problems, and swollen feet. Mumia’s organs are extremely vulnerable due to the infection. Despite Judge Mariani’s order, the Pennsylvania DOC has not provided Mumia Abu-Jamal with the hepatitis C treatment. Mumia's lawyers have filed a motion for contempt against the Department of Corrections. The PA-DOC and their private health care provider, Correct Care Solutions, have retaliated by filing an opposition motion to the contempt motion with the 3rd Circuit. Throughout this petty battle over court orders, Mumia's life and the lives of over 6,000 hep C+ prisoners have been disregarded. It is imperative that Mumia, and all other prisoners who need it, get the hepatitis C treatment they need.
Hold the insurance industry accountable for its many abuses.For the last 3 decades, many Americans whether they are regular patients, injured workers or veterans are being denied access to real medical care and other benefits. This effects the poorer folks, the elderly, minorities, the disabled & the sick. Under the Affordable Care Act, this was to stop. It has not. The conditions to deny are worse.Why? Because the insurance industry has impunity against its many humane rights abuses which include denial and refusal of the proper medical care, paying for the wrong care & "care" that will make a patient medical condition worse which will create more injuries or illnesses. such as injecting patients with unknown drugs that not only make the condition worse but actually harms the patient immeasurable for life, preventing them from ever working again. Patients that try to fight back in getting the right care or speaking against the denial or refusal of medical care are retaliated against. One way is to have them under constant and illegal surveillance, in many cases, years of surveillance even by local or top law enforcement such as the FBI. Surveillance that involves stalking the patient while out in public and public or private business and while in vehicles with GPS monitoring and causing car accidents, phone tapping, computer hacking, breaking & entering a patient's home or other owned properties. The police break into patients homes under guise that there are illegal drugs in the home. Private investigators are hired to go into churches to spy on ill or injured patients. There is also the theft of U.S.mail evidence that could prove to win against the insurers. Patients are now claiming that they are afraid of their medications and their food being tampered with. Patients or family members who try and speak out for themselves or their families have been stopped by police, looking for "drugs" and or arrested with no charge. Then there are the insurance doctors reports that are falsely altering medical reports and these same doctors will then deem these patients as mental cases. Now it is happening to our veterans, those who are coming came back from the wars in the Mideast. After listening to patients and injured workers for many years, it has become quite clear that being injured or ill makes one a target of inhumane treatment which includes not getting their right medical care treatment or any other benefit. The SSA & Medicare (tax payer money) should not be the only insurance companies to pick up the tab for insurers who continue to ultimately deny any rightful and owed benefits. This has to stop! AND the only way is for our leadership in our Washington D.C. leadership should hold the insurance cartel/monopoly fully accountable with enforcement of the laws that guarantee us our civil, constitutional & human rights. No insurer should have impunity or immunity that results in the delays and denials for the right to receive medical treatment and benefits or in the targeting with inhumane AND illegal practices on those of whom are the most vulnerable, the sick and injured.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS: DO YOUR DUTY!The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College to safeguard America against an unqualified candidate for president. That is why they, not the public, decide who will be president. Who could have known that this ancient anachronism would suddenly be available to save America? According to even Republican leaders and virtually of all America’s newspapers, Trump is not qualified to serve as President. Most Electors are legally allowed to vote their conscience for Clinton, the popular vote winner. There are hundreds of reasons to do so. One reason not discussed is that Trump’s creditors will now be able to more easily recover their money, and this could lead to him being deposed or in trial for most of his term, unqualified due to absence. Another is because Trump will continue to own his unknown foreign assets, the Dept. of Justice will be forced to assign permanent teams of investigators to determine how each foreign policy action or “pronouncement” might procure or pay for a Trump business bribe or "deal." Republicans cannot complain if the Electors vote for Clinton. They have fought for decades to preserve the Electoral College because it rigs the election in their favor when they lose the popular vote, now and in 2000, too. The Electors can start a public dialog to educate America about their Constitutional Duties. Then, they can elect the qualified candidate. Electors: Do Your Duty! Vote for Clinton, the popular vote winner!
Replace US Two-Party Election System With Ranked VotingPractically speaking, the US is stuck in a two-party system of Republicans and Democrats. This system frequently results in having two candidates who both have very low levels of overall public support. Currently, supporters of non-mainstream political parties (e.g. Green, Independent, Libertarian) can't realistically vote for their own candidates because they are sabotaging the final election by taking votes away from either the Republican or the Democratic candidates. For example, a liberal Green party supporter would assist the conservative cause by removing a vote for a Democratic liberal candidate. They would actually increase their chance of getting their last-choice candidate by voting for their first-choice candidate. The same is true in reverse for a conservative voter. Being able to vote for only two candidates artificially polarizes many issues, reduces the possibility of introducing innovative ideas, and encourages both candidates to move towards centrist, status quo policies. Regardless of whether you are a Bernie supporter, right-wing evangelical, environmentalist, etc, you should be supporting a shift to a ranked voting system that lets you vote based on your beliefs, not based on fear of getting the worse of two candidates you don't want. Ranked-voting is used successfully by many other countries including Australia and is much more democratic than the current US system. If we had a ranked-voting system in the US during the 2016 elections it is less likely that Trump would have come out as the top republican candidate, and Bernie would realistically have been able to run as third-party candidate and stand a real chance of winning. In short, moving the US to a ranked-voting system will give us a foundation for more representative and innovative government in future elections.
"I'll vote for Jill if you will” pledge campaign to elect Jill Stein president.Vast numbers of voters are frustrated and angry! It’s come down to Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump? These are the two most unpopular candidates in the history of presidential elections. Of course, there is an excellent alternative. But understandably voters are afraid of “throwing their vote away”. Here’s the solution: We join together in a person-to-person pledge campaign, the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” initiative, supporting the presidential bid of Dr. Jill Stein. Together we’ll elect the first female President of the United States, one who will do a great job of putting America back on track. Here’s how . . . Step 1: When you take the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” personal pledge alone or with a friend, neighbor, relative, you let us know by officially signing the pledge at this site. Step 2: You find two other people who you respect and trust, let them know about Jill Stein if they don’t already, get them to take the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” pledge, and make sure they let us know by coming here to sign the pledge. Step 3: They likewise will each find two others to take the pledge and come here to add to the growing list of pledge takers. Step 4: When and only when we reach our target of 50 million pledges, we will vote for Jill Stein. Why 50 million? Because 50 million voters will guarantee a victory by plurality for Jill Stein, thus we will all know with absolute certainty we’re not throwing our votes away, that indeed our votes will go toward electing a great president! 50 million may seem like an impossible goal. But it’s all in the math. If one person tells two about this tomorrow, then the following day those two each tell two more, and so on and so on, how many days does it take to get to 50 million? The answer might surprise you. 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 … believe it or not, in ONLY 27 DAYS we will have 67,108,864 pledges! (Go to http://50-million-signatures.us/50-million/do-the-math/) It’s the power of numbers! It’s the power of people! It’s the power of joining together and saying NO MORE LESSER EVIL VOTING! Remember, there’s nothing at risk here. We honor the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” pledge when we get to our goal. On the other hand, there’s a lot at stake . . . a better America for ourselves and our children! It’s up to you. Take the pledge. Let us know. Then have two others take the pledge. Make sure they let us know too. Sorry, Hillary and Donald. The people will have spoken. We intend to celebrate Dr. Jill Stein as the 45th President of the United States!
Stop Unclear Voluntary Benefits PoliciesVoluntary benefits policies offering critical illness coverage is an important option for employees to have these days, but there are too many policies that are complicated and unclear about their coverage. We must put an end to this and demand that insurance companies make selecting and paying for health insurance coverage a simple and straightforward one, so that hardworking employees don’t get stuck with paying for the expenses they thought were covered when they unexpectedly get sick. We have a plan to help overcome this common issue. By making consumers aware that their coverage may not be what they think it is, hopefully causing them to take a closer look at their policies and current coverage to make sure they are getting the benefits they need and deserve in case of any unexpected health-related life event. What you can do today. Contact your benefits company and ask for an updated version of your policy. Once you get that policy, read it over. If you don’t understand what it says, then bring it to an attorney or someone you trust to help you understand what kind of coverage you actually have and learn if your condition or less common conditions are covered in your plan. So many individuals and families don’t actually know and understand what they are paying for and sadly, this has left them with little to no options or virtually no coverage when they get sick. Some people lose everything they have, unnecessarily adding more stress and pressure into the mix. We invite you to join the movement to gain greater awareness and understanding about your voluntary benefits policy, so you can feel confident with your choice, or shop around for better coverage if necessary. Sign our petition today!
Veterans Equality Act (S.5937/A.8174-A) service credit for all veteransFREEDOM IS NOT FREE and if a Veteran served his country during peace time they were still combat ready. Therefore they should receive the same opportunities as a Veteran who served during war time. Currently veterans who served during peace time are being denied certain opportunities because of the time period they served. This is not fair and can be changed with the approval of The Veterans Equality Act. Let the Governor know we the people want the bill approved so all veterans with honorable discharges can be treated equal. Veterans who served during peace time made themselves available to defend and serve our country and deserve the same treatment as those who served in war time. LEST WE NOT FORGET FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE.
Rich must pay fair share of Social SecurityOnly those earning $115,000 and below pay the full amount ie 15% of their total net imcome. One can make a billion dollars and still will only pay 15% on $115,000.00. This is not fair. This is regressive and the cap should be done away with and the richest among us should be forced to pay their fair share. Then Social Security would be solvent for milliniums.
American Lung Association: Cut Fossil Fuel Ties and Come Clean!The negative health impacts of fracking are scientifically proven. The ALA acknowledged that hydraulic fracturing for "natural" gas trapped in shale (fracking) causes cancer-causing air pollution. But after receiving hefty donations from a fracking corporation, it now promotes gas as "cleaner than other fossil fuels." Those supporting ALA campaigns deserve to know the shameful truth: The ALA has partnered with the fossil fuel industry — which contributes greatly to air pollution and respiratory diseases. The ALA in 2012: "We have seen irrefutable evidence of serious threats to human health from air pollutants emitted during oil and natural gas production. These pollutants can worsen asthma, cause heart attacks, and harm the circulatory, respiratory, [and] nervous . . . systems. They are also linked to cancer, developmental disorders, and even premature death.” The ALA reversed course when it received a big donation from Canadian corporation Encana Oil & Gas in support of its “Fighting for Air” campaign against coal (and supporting gas as a “cleaner” fuel). From the ALA statement supporting “natural” gas: The ALA "supports the increased use of natural gas as a transitional fuel for the production of electricity. . . ." Wimmer and the national board of the ALA make a mockery of the thousands of dedicated local chapter leaders, staff, and volunteers, whose efforts on various campaigns have saved untold numbers of lives. The ALA should not play politics or partner with fossil-fuel pushers. The only logical remedy is for the ALA to come clean — by denouncing fracking as the intolerable lung health-destroying corporate activity it is; severing all ties with board members, advisers, and volunteers from within the fossil fuel industry; and living up to its own mission.
Don't let Medicare impose "Competitive Bidding" for wheelchairs in ConnecticutWorking more efficiently will save Medicare by not wasting funds on repeated appointments. The disabled patients that Medicare is supposed to be helping will be supplied with the necessary equipment to live their lives with dignity. Since Medicare is paying for these unnecessary repeat appointments the money spent on them could go to the equipment instead. They have competitive bidders that don't supply the equipment listed which needs immediate attention!