JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

May 9, 2014 

JAC Around Town
JAC met with elected officials, candidates and leaders around the country.

JAC's 2014 Michigan Membership meeting was a huge success! Senate candidate Rep. Gary Peters headlined a packed house outside Detroit highlighting the importance of the upcoming election. (l to r: Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), Lisa Lis)

We met with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in Chicago. (l to r: Hollis Wein, Susan Berk, Marcia Balonick, Senator Shaheen, Tiffany Keane.)

JAC met up with Rep. Bill Enyart (D-IL) at Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Women's Power Lunch this week. (l to r: JAC Executive Director Marcia Balonick, Rep. Bill Enyart, Susan Berk)

JAC also met with Texas Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis at Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Women's Power Lunch. (l to r: Stephanie Victor, Stella Black  Joy Malkus, Susan Berk, Hollis Wein, Eveyln Fisher, Wendy Davis, Cynthia Plouche, Deanna Drucker)

Upcoming JAC Events

4th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
Featuring Capricia Marshall
June 3rd

Chicago, IL

Want to host an event in your area?  Contact the JAC office.  

Candidate Events 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
June 9th
Chicago, IL

Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
June 16th
Chicago, IL

Women for Brad Schneider
June 22nd
Highland Park, IL


Want to host an event in your area?  Contact the JAC office.  

People You Should Know

Kay Hagan 

This week we focus on Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC). She will have a tough race against NC House Speaker Thom Tillis, under whose watch North Carolina enacted strict voting laws and refused Medicaid expansion. He is a proponent of "traditional family," and strongly anti-choice. With attacks against her from Americans for Prosperity and other outside groups totaling over $7 million already, Hagan is facing very stiff competition. 


As a strong proponent of all of JAC's issues, we strongly support Senator Kay Hagan.    

Please support her today.   



  Tell your Senator it is time to confirm Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General.

Pediatricians should be able to discuss guns in the home with their patients.  

Join in the

Thunderclap campaign
on May 12th. (Thunderclap is a social media campaign including Facebook and Twitter.)

Join this virtual rally and STAND UP to the NRA.

Click here and follow the directions to join the Thunderclap campaign to confirm Vivek Murthy.

Don't have Twitter?
Call your Senator!

Your voice DOES make a difference.
Call today.
(202) 224-3121

#gunsense #nomorenames
Stay informed,
share your knowledge.

On Our Radar

Federal Legislation we are watching:

* US-Israel Strategic 

* 2015 Appropriations 
* Federal 20-week abortion
* Voting Rights Act
* Unemployment Benefits
* Paycheck Fairness
* Immigration Reform 
* HR 1565 - Public Safety &
   2nd Amendment Rights

Why It Matters:
Voting Rights   
A new report looks at voting laws across the country.

Voting Access has been expanded in the following states.
Key Facts:
  • 190 laws to expand voting access have been introduced in 31 states in 2014
  • 12 of those bills are legislatively active in 7 states: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and Washington 
  • More Americans will have the ability to make their voices heard in the 2014 elections in these states 

Voting Access has been restricted in the following states

Key Facts:

  • At least 49 restrictive bills were introduced or carried over from 2013 in 19 states
  • Of those, 5 restrictive bills are legislatively active in 4 states - Nebraska, New Hampshire, Washington, and Wisconsin
  • If passed, fewer Americans will be able to cast ballots in the 2014 election and be disenfranchised from our democracy. 

Have you checked the voting laws in your state? Changes are happening in these key areas:

  • Early voting access
  • Early voting duration
  • Voter ID requirements
  • College student voting
  • Absentee ballot requirements
  • Vote by mail options
  • Voter roll purging 
For more details on recent laws, check out the
Brennan Center for Justice 


Check your registration status with your local county clerk or the
Election Assistance Commission 


Visit Us Online  
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 
If you are interested in US policy on Israel and Iran, we recommend that you sign up to receive
Steve Sheffey's
Chicagoland Pro-Israel Political Update.  
Steve was a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, is a former president of CityPAC, a Chicago-based pro-Israel political action committee. You can sign up to receive his weekly Sunday mornging newsletter here.

add my name

Happy Mother's Day from JAC!
Our mothers mean so much. Honor the moms in your life and support JAC this Mother's Day.
This week's issue highlights these key developments here and in the Middle East:
This week's EZ Read brings you these stories and some that may have slipped past your news feed.
Israel & The Middle East 
Obama: Recalling horrors protects the future
Saluting a Holocaust history foundation founded by Steven Spielberg, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the purpose of memory is not simply to preserve the past but to protect the future. Before a crowd of about 1,300, Obama offered a staunch defense of Israel. 

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
indykUS envoy Indyk insists peace process not dead

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

While delivering scathing condemnations of the behavior of both sides, Washington's chief negotiator in the recent Israeli-Palestinian talks denied Thursday that the peace process was over.

Read Full Article

Rice looks to reassure Israel on security

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

Security cooperation between the United States and Israel has reached "unprecedented levels" under President Obama, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Friday as she toured an Israeli Air Force Base.

"There can be no doubt whatsoever: America's commitment to Israel's security is unwavering and ironclad," she added.

Read Full Article

Israel's Declaration of Independence printed in major U.S. newspapers

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

 A full-page advertisement reproducing Israel's Declaration of Independence appeared in The New York Times and USA Today. "By publishing Israel's founding document in two of the most widely read newspapers across the country, we will reach many Americans who often don't have the chance to learn about the deep similarities between our countries due to media coverage that focuses primarily on conflict," Helmsley trustee Sandor Frankel said in a statement.  

Read Full Article

Hamas' Abu Marzouk says recognizing Israel a 'red line'

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
"Hamas will not recognize Israel," Mousa Abu Marzouk, deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau, told Al-Monitor in an exclusive interview. "This is a red line that cannot be crossed," said the 63-year-old Hamas leader who played a pivotal role in achieving the reconciliation deal with Fatah on April 23.
Read Full Article

The United States, Israel, and the Possibility of Formulating an Outline for a Final Agreement with Iran

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
The interim agreement between Iran and the world powers, led by the United States, entered into force in January 2014 and was designed to allow six months of negotiations on a final agreement. Now, halfway through this period, it appears that Tehran and Washington have begun to implement their negotiations tactics and have chosen respective strategies to shape the final agreement and market it as a strategic accomplishment. This situation requires both a more flexible Israeli position and improved US-Israeli coordination so that any agreement reached is tolerable for Israel.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
U.S. Women Saved $483 Million On Their Birth Control Pills Last Year
Women in the United States saved an estimated $483 million on their out-of-pocket costs for the birth control pill, according to new data from the IMS Institute on Healthcare Informatics. The health care data company found that Obamacare has "dramatically reduced" women's out-of-pocket costs now that insurers are required to cover preventative care without charging an additional co-pay.
abortionscotusDivided Rulings on State Abortion Restrictions Could Prompt Supreme Court Cases

Federal courts are divided in rulings over various state abortion-rights laws, making it increasingly likely that the Supreme Court will consider one or more of the issues. Legal experts on both sides of the abortion-rights debate think the high court is likely to take up two types of laws: those that require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and laws that restrict medication abortion.

Read Full Article   

MO lawmaker: Force 3-day abortion wait on rape victims - it's 'same thing' as my bad knee 

The Missouri Senate on Tuesday voted down an amendment that would have exempted rape victims from a proposed three-day waiting period for abortions, three times the current 24-hour wait.

Read Full Article 

How raped Peace Corps volunteers are left behind

When Christine Carcano found out she had become pregnant as a result of being raped in Peru, her challenges were far from over. She chose to have an abortion, but learned her insurance coverage wouldn't pay for it - and it cost more than a month's salary.  That's because Carcano was a Peace Corps volunteer.

Read Full Article   


Lawmakers Broadening Their Focus to Fight Against an Array of Sex Crimes

As the high-profile congressional fight over military sexual assault recedes, lawmakers are broadening their focus to an array of sex crimes like college campus assaults, preying on child and human trafficking.Unlike the military assault measures, these efforts - almost all bipartisan - have gone largely uncelebrated. But as a group they represent a far-reaching effort to combat sexual abuse.

Read Full Article 

Separation of Religion & State
religionSupreme Court upholds legislative prayer at council meetings
A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that legislative bodies such as city councils can begin their meetings with prayer, even if it plainly favors a specific religion.
Read Full Article

Justice Elena Kagan's wonderful dissent in Greece v. Galloway 
For centuries now, people have come to this country from every corner of the world to share in the blessing of religious freedom. Our Constitution promises that they may worship in their own way, without fear of penalty or danger, and that in itself is a momentous offering. Yet our Constitution makes a commitment still more remarkable- that however those individuals worship, they will count as full and equal American citizens.
Beyond the Core
appropriationsAppropriations Bill Advances After Democratic Gun Provisions Turned Aside 
House appropriators advanced a measure Thursday to fund the Justice and Commerce departments, along with science agencies, after endorsing a GOP gun proposal and sidelining a series of Democratic firearm policy amendments.

Read Full Article


Missouri House OKs Bill That Could Allow Babysitters, Bar Patrons, And Shoppers To Use Deadly Force

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=cpy

The Missouri House easily passed a bill this week to allow more individuals to use deadly force in self-defense. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Joe Don McGaugh (R) portrays the bill as authorizing deadly force by a babysitter or nanny "in the event of a home invasion."

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=c
Georgia's Catholic, Episcopal churches opt out of gun-rights expansion

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=cpy

Georgia's Catholic and Episcopal churches are opting out of the state's new expanded gun law.

Among other things, the expansive legislation signed by Gov. Nathan Deal (R) last week bans weapons from places of worship but gives religious leaders the authority to make exceptions to that ban for licensed gun owners. In the days since it was signed, senior religious leaders in the Catholic and Episcopal communities in Georgia have vowed not to allow such exceptions.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=c
Read Full Article

Keystone XL Vote Hopes Fade As Talks Fail

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=cpy
A bid by supporters of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline to force a vote on the controversial project fell apart Wednesday amid partisan bickering over how the vote should be conducted.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=c
Political Byte
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC). Photo Credit AP/Gerry Broome
How North Carolina Republicans may be helping Kay Hagan
Will Republicans take the Senate? The answer will hinge in part on the race between Sen. Kay Hagan and State House Speaker Thom Tillis in North Carolina.  Many analysts see this election as a referendum on President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. There is likely some truth in that.

teapartyTea party loses its bloom in series of defeats

Rachel Maddow runs through a litany of a bad news headlines for tea party supporters across America as the Republican establishment flexes its muscles to retake the party's identity.
Read Full Article
Voting Rights
Voting Rights Act fixes should get a vote in the House and Senate
IT SEEMS like virtually everyone on Capitol Hill is interested in fixing the Voting Rights Act. But who will step up and make something happen?

pavotesPennsylvania governor won't challenge ruling striking down voter ID law

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Thursday that the state wouldn't appeal a recent ruling striking down a Republican-backed voter ID law. It's the latest win for opponents of voter ID.
Read Full Article

Wine Talk: Beer from the cockpit

Israel is making some pretty good beers these days. From being virtually a beer desert, the country is beginning to develop a craft beer culture.

israelfyi18 Israeli inventions that could save your life

To celebrate the 66th Israel Independence Day on May 6, we bring you 18 innovations from Israel specifically designed to save lives - some already on the market and some coming soon. In Hebrew, the number 18 corresponds to the word "chai" ("life"). We're sure you will share our pride in Israeli ingenuity benefiting humankind everywhere.

Our members count on JACPAC to provide information on current events, candidates, and elections.  JACPAC depends on membership support to make this possible.


If you have not renewed your membership, please consider doing so today, to help us pursue a strong US-Israel relationship, reproductive rights, and separation of religion and state.  Together we can make this a better world!



Janna Berk, President
Marcia Balonick, Executive Director
Joy Malkus, Research Director 

Find Us Online:

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  Visit our blog 
better jac logo
Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a national network committed to the special relationship between the US and Israel and a social agenda that includes reproductive rights and separation of religion and state.  JACPAC supported US Senate and House candidates who uphold this agenda and maintains ongoing dialogue with those it helps elect.  In addition, JACPAC serves as a political resource for the Jewish community, furnishing information about candidates, elections and issues.