Government Ethics Committee Proposing Resolution, local ordinances

The PCDO Government ethics committee is planning to propose a resolution to the PCDO for adoption at its April membership meeting. PCDO members are invited to submit comments.

The committee has proposed local ordinances to the Princeton governing bodies. Visit the Ethics Committee web page for more details and to view the draft ordinances.

In June of 2006, the PCDO adopted a resolution in support of the New Jersey Clean Elections Program and urging our local governing bodies to enact local ordinances banning pay-to-play at the local level.


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PCDO hears talk by Jeffrey Laurenti of the Century Foundation

Jeffrey Laurenti on “Lebanon: Harbinger of the New Middle East”

PCDO Meeting for September 17, 2006

by Anne Waldron Nuemann

On Sunday, September 17, PCDO members enjoyed—well, perhaps “enjoyed” isn’t the right word, though the lecture was brisk, balanced, and amusing—learned about recent events in Lebanon, about the Middle East more generally, and about America’s Middle East policy in particular. The speaker, Jeffrey Laurenti—an expert on international relations and security—is a senior fellow of The Century Foundation, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the president of Trenton’s East Ward Democratic Club.

Laurenti began his talk by explaining that the Bush administration focuses on the Middle East for two reasons: (1) several of Bush’s important constituencies care intensely, and (2)—surprise, surprise—the Middle East has oil. Bush’s focus endangers not only our security, Laurenti warned, but also our liberties. So Democrats too should focus on the Middle East because November’s elections could decide America’s foreign policy.

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PCDO Resolutions

At our membership meeting on Sunday, June 18, the PCDO voted on and approved resolutions concerning the Darfur Genocide, Health Care and Government Ethics Reform. The final resolutions are below.

Resolution on Darfur Genocide

Submitted by Judy Leopold, Beth Healey, Jim Healey and Jenny Crumiller

The slow reaction of the international community to the savage fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan, especially the brutal campaign against Darfur's tribal people by the janjaweed militias backing the Sudanese government, has been appalling. Sixteen months have gone by since a United Nations commission of inquiry documented the atrocities being perpetrated in Darfur, yet governments continue to calculate the most expedient political alliances and advantages.

Still, citizen pressure is making a difference. International efforts to halt the killings and mass expulsions in Darfur have made some headway, and intense pressures have pushed the Sudanese government and the largest of three rebel militias to accept a shaky peace agreement -- for which credit needs to be given to the Bush administration (especially Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick), the United Nations, and the African Union, all of whom have worked to put together a peace deal that would stop the terrible killing of the Darfurian people.

With the peace agreement signed, the following actions should be implemented:

  1. The UN should immediately establish a UN peacekeeping command, with immediate transfer of existing AU peacekeepers to be under the UN command.
  2. The UN should move immediately to recruit troop contingents from other countries — both from developing countries in Africa and Asia and from NATO countries — to expand that peacekeeping force and make it more militarily capable.
  3. The United States should announce its willingness to participate in the peacekeeping operation with logistical support units (e.g. helicopter and ground transportation, food service, etc.).
  4. Congress should make prompt payment of the US share of the Darfur peacekeeping dues.
  5. European governments and the United States government should immediately redouble their financial support for relief supplies, which have all but dried up in recent weeks.

We call upon the Congress and the President to move swiftly on the items that are within their jurisdiction to decide, and to join other countries in pressing for the items that require international action through the United Nations.

Resolution on Health Care

Submitted by Toby Israel, Nancy Hall, Toshi Abe and Lawrence Kane

A Resolution of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization Relating to Health Insurance Reform in the United States.

WHEREAS, The PCDO believes that the current system of tying health insurance to employment is unsustainable; and

WHEREAS, Serious changes need to be made to address the rising costs of medical care and health insurance; and

WHEREAS, It is also unacceptable that, in the richest country in the world, 46 million of its population are uninsured; and

WHEREAS, Health care is an internationally recognized human right, not a privilege

RESOLVED by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization that we support the creation of a universal health insurance program.

Resolution on Government Ethics

Submitted by Marvin Reed, Russ Weiss, Anne Reeves and Jenny Crumiller

The Princeton Community Democratic Organization commends the efforts of the New Jersey Legislature and the Governor to reduce corruption in our government by creating a pilot project for public financing of elections. For too long the image of New Jersey has been tarnished by the corrosive effect of special interest money seeking influence on government decisions. Public campaign financing is the single most direct and effective way to deal with this problem. Therefore, it is the view of the PCDO that the New Jersey Citizens' Clean Elections Commission's Final Report of May 8, 2006 should be given priority attention by the state legislature and the Governor. The PCDO supports the expansion of the project as an important milestone on the road to clean elections and clean government in New Jersey.

Additionally, the PCDO urges the governing bodies of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township ban “pay-to-play” campaign contributions at the local level.


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First 2008 Presidential Debate Announced...

While it is a GOP-announced debate, the Democratic one probably will not be too far behind.  This is from

The South Carolina Republican Party is planning a presidential debate in May 2007 for GOP candidates running for the White House, according to CNN's Morning Grindnewsletter. Specific details for this forum are still being worked out.

Said the state GOP executive director: "Since 1980, no candidate has ever lost the (South Carolina) primary and gone on to be elected president. We believe it is a great test for Republican candidates."

Hotline On Call: "Recall that in 2003, ABC's George Stephanopoulos hosted the first-in-the-nation debate for Democra
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The State Budget

Update: A budget compromise has been reached. Click here for the story from AP.

Here are links and to information on the budget.

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Save the Internet

Update: Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Commerce Committee, voted in favor of the amendment. It was a tie vote.

The Senate Commerce Committee is debating a sweeping telecommunications bill, the S.2686 Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006. Without the the proposed Snowe/Dorgan amendment, the bill will allow telecom companies such as Verizon and AT&T to give priority access to paid internet content. Instead of the internet as we know it where all content is treated equally in terms of speed and access, this legislation will promote a new system whereby money, rather than ideas, will determine the power of content.

For more information see these sites:

Save the Internet - a coalition of media and democracy organizations
MyDD posts on net neutrality -- a good democracy blog following the issue closely -- good place for up-to date information.
Don't Mess with the Net -- corporate sponsored pro-net neutrality site (content providers such as Google and Microsoft are on the pro-neutrality side)
Hands Off the Internet -- a telecom sponsored organization against net neutrality

-- Jenny Crumiller

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