JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

June 13, 2014 

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

JAC member Laura Lauder hosted an event for Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) at her home outside San Francisco.

JAC met with Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) in Chicago.

Call TARGET and tell them no one needs GUNS to buy COOKIES.


Open-carry in their stores  does NOT make for 
family-friendly shopping and is #OFFTARGET. 

Sign the petition today urging Target to implement common sense gun policies in their stores.

#gunsense #notonemore
Stay informed,
share your knowledge.

Upcoming JAC Events

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

Upcoming Candidate Events  

Senator Jeanne Shaheen
June 13th
Chicago, IL

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

Women for Brad Schneider
with special guest
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
June 22nd
Highland Park, IL

Michelle Nunn
Senate Candidate for GA
June 25th
Chicago, IL

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
June 27th
Chicago, IL

Rep. Gary Peters (MI-14)
Senate Candidate for MI
June 29th
Bingham Farms, MI

Call the JAC office for details on these
and other upcoming events.

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

People You Should Know

Mary Landrieu  

This week we focus on Louisiana, where 3-term Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is running for reelection in a very contentious race against  

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). 


Landrieu has been a great friend on JAC's issues, with an excellent record on reproductive rights; a supporter of the US-Israel relationship, she is leading the way to enhance US-Israeli collaboration in energy development. She cast a strong vote in support of expanding background checks for gun purchases.

She is facing a Tea Party-backed opponent who voted for government shutdown and voted "yes" on the anti-choice HR-7 bill.


As a strong proponent of all of JAC's issues, we strongly support Mary Landrieu for Senate.    

Please support her today.   



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 
* Senate Confirmation of Surgeon
   General Nominee Vivek Murthy
* HR 1565 - Public Safety &
   2nd Amendment Rights

Why It Matters:
The only real way to make your voice heard this election season is to  
Did you know?  
Women's votes speak louder
than words! 
  • Women consistently show their strength at the ballot box
  • Women cast 4.7 million more votes in recent elections than men
  • Since 1964, more women voted in presidential elections than men - and the trend keeps growing
  • There are more registered women voters than men
  • Women cast 53% of all votes in the 2012 election
  • Battleground races will decide control of the Senate - those races will be decided by women voters
  • Some Senate and Congressional races have been decided by less than 1%
  • If you want to protect reproductive rights and implement common sense gun laws, the MAKE SURE YOU VOTE (and everyone you know votes, too)!
  • Voting in Primary elections is VITAL to a strong ballot in November 
  • Eric Cantor's historic loss was really not surprising to the people who voted AGAINST him
Voting is the easiest and fastest way to make a difference in your life.

Your vote - it's your voice.  
It's your chance.

Click on the button below
to make voting as easy as possible. Check your state voting dates, your registration status, new laws in your
state that effect voting rights - all in one easy to use location.

Then take the pledge to vote and get your friends to, as well! This November, we will ALL make our voices and our votes heard.
sources: Center for American Progress; Center for American Women and Politics
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JAC Video 2014
Stand with JAC!
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 
House Mideast Panel's top lawmakers want Kerry explanation on Hamas  
The leading Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives Middle East subcommittee sent a letter to Kerry on Monday seeking an explanation from the Obama administration regarding Hamas, which the United States and Israel designate as a terror organization.Top  lawmakers on a congressional Middle East subcommittee want Secretary of State John Kerry to explain his decision to continue dealing with the Palestinian Authority now that it is backed by Hamas.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
unityrocketsIsrael, US call on Abbas to act against rocket fire

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

Officials in the US and Israel urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to disarm terrorists in the Gaza Strip Wednesday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's chief spokesman characterizing Abbas's condemnation of rocket fire on Wednesday morning as "empty rhetoric."The statements came hours after a rocket shot out of Gaza struck a major road in southern Israel, causing damage, but no injuries.  

Read Full Article

Pope says Israelis, Palestinians must 'persevere undaunted in dialogue'

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

Pope Francis, President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday prayed together, embraced and planted an olive tree as a symbol of the desire for peace.Francis invited Peres and Abbas to the Vatican last month, during a three-day trip through the Holy Land, for what was repeatedly termed a spiritual rather than diplomatic gathering.

Read Full Article
Presidents Peres and Abbas plant a tree with Pope Francis at the Vatican Peace Summit

Reuven Rivlin Elected As Israel's New President

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

Israel's parliament on Tuesday chose Reuven Rivlin, a veteran nationalist politician and supporter of the Jewish settlement movement, as the country's next president, putting a man opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state into the ceremonial but influential post.

Read Full Article

Israel: General Has Hopeful View About the Nuclear Talks With Iran

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
As Iran and the United States began two days of talks in Geneva on Monday to advance the stalled negotiations over Iran's disputed nuclear activities, a top Israeli intelligence official said he believed that Iran was serious about ensuring the success of the negotiations. The assessment of the official, Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, the chief analyst of Israeli military intelligence, appeared more optimistic than that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who has persistently warned against what he has called a bad nuclear deal with Iran.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
"No one expects to need an abortion ..." A Q&A with Dr. Chastine
It has been five years since Kansas abortion provider, Dr. Tiller was murdered. Last week, msnbc's Irin Carmon reported on the heroic leaders who've continued to run his Wichita clinic. Among them is Dr. Cheryl Chastine, a 32-year old Chicago-based practitioner who travels to the clinic once a month to provide Kansas women and families with the medical services and support they need. Despite the danger Dr. Chastine faces daily from anti-choice extremists, she took msnbc reader questions. Here are the highlights from the Q&A. 
Louisiana bill would keep brain-dead pregnant women on life support

A bill that requires physicians and hospitals to keep brain-dead pregnant women on life support has landed on Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk. The Louisiana legislature last week passed the bill by an overwhelming majority to keep an unborn fetus alive should its mother remain mentally incapacitated. The bill, HB 1274, sponsored by Republican Rep. Austin Badon, aims "to permit the continuing development and live birth of the unborn child," regardless of the wishes of the mother's immediate family.

Read Full Article 


bufferzoneRunning the Gauntlet  
The Supreme Court is about to decide whether America's abortion clinics become dangerous no-go zones. In McCullen v. Coakley, the Massachusetts buffer-zone case currently before the Supreme Court, which will be decided by the end of June, lawyers for abortion protesters have tried to portray their clients as "plump grandmothers" wanting to quietly hand out pamphlets. "What these people want to do is to speak quietly and in a friendly manner, not in a hostile manner, because that would frustrate their purpose, with the people going into the clinic," Justice Antonin Scalia said during questioning, echoing the plaintiffs' lawyers. 
Angelina Jolie And William Hague Pledge To End Sexual Violence In Conflict Zones At London Summit

Hollywood actress and U.N. special envoy Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague pledged on Tuesday, at the beginning of a four-day international event in London, to undertake practical measures to eliminate sexual violence in conflict zones.

Read Full Article 

Separation of Religion & State
gohmertGohmert grills pastor at hearing about who will 'go to Hell'

Those watching a House Judiary Committee hearing on Tuesday were treated to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) grilling a pastor about Christian beliefs and why certain people "go to Hell." The hearing was about religious freedom and Rev. Barry Lynn, the executive director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State was before the committee.

Read Full Article

Louie Gohmert Challenges the Rev. Barry Lynn on His Christian Faith
Rep. Louie Gohmert discusses concept of Hell in Congressional Committee hearing.

Religious Constriction, by Charles Blow 

I am both shocked and fascinated by Americans' religious literalism. One Gallup report issued last week found that 42 percent of Americans believe "God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago." Even among people who said that they were "very familiar" with the theory of evolution, a third still believed that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago.

Beyond the Core
Sen. Barbara Boxer: 'We all have to speak up' on guns

In the wake of more deadly shootings across America, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., talks with Melissa Harris-Perry about her bill, "Pause for Safety Act," that aims to curtail gun violence, and her push for "common sense" gun laws at the federal level. 

Read Full Article

Guns in America After Newtown

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=cpy
Here's a look at some stats on guns - the deaths and school shootings, America's public opinion and the failed Congressional attempt to take action - in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 27 people, including 20 children and the shooter.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=c
Gun deaths reported since Newtown shooting. Source: Slate.com
ohiovotingOhio must restore three early voting days, court says

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

Ohio must allow voters to cast in-person ballots on the final three days before an election, a federal judge ordered Wednesday.The order wraps up one segment of long-running dispute over early-voting days in the quintessential swing state. Most notably, the decision allows voters in the November gubernatorial election to cast ballots on one Sunday, a popular voting day for urban churches whose largely African-American congregants organize "souls to the polls" caravans after services.

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

Justice Department considers making request that would add polling sites to tribal lands

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=cpy
The Justice Department is considering making a recommendation to Congress that would require any state or local election administrator whose territory includes part of an Indian reservation, an Alaska Native village or other tribal lands to locate at least one polling place in a venue selected by the tribal government.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=c
Political Byte
cantorHow and Why are Two Separate Questions in Cantor Loss

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary in convincing fashion, but there appears to be two separate questions: How did he lose? And why was it a surprise?

One thing that everyone should be able to agree on is that Cantor's loss was historic. According to Roll Call's research, he is the first majority leader to lose in a primary since the creation of the position in 1899. So how did Cantor lose?

Meet David Brat, the man who brought down House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

David Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., has just taught Washington - and one of its most powerful leaders - a lesson in humility.

Brat was dismissed by many Republicans inside the Beltway and beyond. They saw an upstart without the brawn, dollars or organization to depose the second-most-powerful man in the House.

Read Full Article

Abortion becomes issue in Louisiana Senate race

Louisiana's rightward tilt on abortion rights is opening up one of the brightest political contrasts in the race between Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy.

The rivals have, for now, battled to a stalemate on some of Louisiana's parochial issues like flood insurance and energy expansion. But Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) Thursday signing of restrictive abortion rights legislation is underscoring the yawning gap between the two candidates on social issues.

Read Full Article

In Mississippi, Senate hopeful McDaniel embodies what GOP fears about tea party

Amid the Confederate flags, the guns and the pigs - in pens and on plates - Chris McDaniel worked the Tate County Fair in search of votes in his quest to beat Sen. Thad Cochran in a runoff election in two weeks. "I need you," McDaniel said to Brandy Davis, before also greeting Bobby Goodwin, a heavyset man carrying a handgun, at a booth for the Citizens Militia of Mississippi. The members of the militia, whose motto is "Any fate but submission," implored the Republican to take a hard-line stance on immigration and gun rights. McDaniel assured them that he would and that he is not "going to join any club" in Washington. 

startupnationFind Out Which Hollywood Celebs Are Betting Their Money On The Startup Nation

If you thought startup investments are just for tech geeks, think again. Celebrities the world over are looking to get in on the Startup Nation action. From Jay-Z to Ellen Degeneres and Leonardo Dicaprio, here are 10 celebs who know that Israel is the hottest place for innovation.

Israel, Rwanda to build agriculture center

As part of his tour to strengthen ties with Africa, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited Rwanda on Wednesday, June 11.  The highlight of the visit was the inauguration of the Rwanda-Israel Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development by Rwandan Minister of Agriculture Agnes Kalibata and Foreign Minister Lieberman, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.  

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 

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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.