JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

June 20, 2014 

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

JAC met with Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17) in Chicago. (r to l: Bruce Balonick, Marcia Balonick,
Hollis Wein, Joy Malkus, Rep. Bustos, Ada Terman,
Jim Terman, Linda Rae Sher, Howard Swibel.

JAC member Judith Bloom met with
Representative Ami Bera (CA-7) in San Francisco.

JAC member Jackie Cohen met with
Representative Raul Ruiz (CA-36) in Washington, DC.

Call the House and urge them to repeal the law prohibiting abortion coverage from Peace Corps Volunteer's health care plan.


Women make up 60% of volunteers in the Peace Corps, many in situations where they are at risk of sexual assault. Tell Congress it is time to do the right thing in the next budget.

It is time to protect our women who help so many. 

Call Today.
Stay informed,
share your knowledge.

Upcoming JAC Events

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

Upcoming Candidate Events  

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

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
July 1st
Chicago, IL

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 strong 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 voted to support 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 Partnership
* 2015 Appropriations 
* Federal 20-week abortion ban
* Voting Rights Act
* Unemployment Benefits
* Paycheck Fairness
* Immigration Reform 
* HR 1565 - Public Safety & 2nd
   Amendment Rights Act
Why It Matters:
The Facts 
Did you know?  
  • 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook - including last week's shooting at an Oregon high school
  • Law enforcement fatalities are up 53% from 2013 - including last week's murder of two Las Vegas police officers
  • Ambush attacks of law enforcement officials have risen dramatically and were the leading cause of fatal shootings of officers for two years in a row - from 2012-2013.
  • Legal loopholes are fueling a growing market in gun trafficking across state lines
  • In Chicago alone, 60% of guns recovered in crimes were first sold in states with weaker gun laws than Illinois
  • More than 21 million guns were purchased in 2013, a record high from 2012
  • Federal background checks have blocked more than 2.1 million gun purchases since the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act went into effect in 1994
  • There are more gun related deaths in the U.S. annually than traffic deaths
  • Safety regulations for cars have significantly reduced traffic fatalities - but no regulations for GUNS have been passed
  • Americans are 20 times more likely to be murdered by a gun than those in other developed countries

It is time for common sense.

It is time for GUN SENSE. 

sources: FBI, Brady Campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety, City of Chicago Office of the Mayor, Chicago Police Department, National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence  
Visit Us Online  
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 
Knowledge is Power
Test your knowledge today!

Welcome to JAC's NEW weekly Quiz Corner. Test your knowledge of JAC issues - if you are the first correct answer, your name will be featured in next week's EZ READ!


Name the House Majority Leader who unexpectedly lost his election last week.

BONUS: Who was just selected to replace him as Majority Leader?


Have a question you think will stump fellow JAC members? Submit it and we just may use it!
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 
teensSearch for abducted teens faces complicated political landscape 
Since the three teenagers were abducted last week, Israel's goals have been simple: Find them and punish their kidnappers. Realizing those goals, though, is far from a simple task.  The international community has condemned the kidnappings, and Israel has spread its forces across the West Bank to search for the teens. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to stop at nothing to find Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach.  But the effort is taking place amid an increasingly complicated period in Israeli-Palestinian relations. 
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Israeli students Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel were kidnapped last week near Gush Etzion.
US ambassador offers 'strong support' to Frankel family

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

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on Thursday visited the family of the Naftali Frankel, one of three Israeli teens kidnapped a week ago. Frenkel is a dual American-Israeli citizen.

Read Full Article

Hamas and Fatah clash over conciliatory Abbas speech

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

Hamas and Fatah clashed on Thursday over a conciliatory speech delivered by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which he justified security cooperation with Israel, saying that the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers last week was "destructive" for Palestinians.

Read Full Article

At kidnapping site, Jews and Muslims join in prayer

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

Jews and Muslims conducted a joint prayer session for the safe return of three Israeli teenagers abducted five days ago near the site of their kidnapping south of Jerusalem Tuesday.

Read Full Article

Israel concerned about any U.S.-Iran cooperation in Iraq

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

Israel voiced concern on Monday at the prospect of its closest ally, Washington, cooperating with its what it considers its deadliest foe, Iran, to stave off a sectarian break-up of Iraq.

But, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told Reuters, the United States and other major powers have pledged that any such cooperation would not set back their drive to curb Tehran's nuclear program.

Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
Peace Corps Volunteers Deserve Fairness -  
Abortions should be covered by insurance
Women make up more than 60 percent of the Peace Corps, volunteers who are often put in situations where safe and reliable medical care is difficult to find and where they face the risk of sexual assault. Yet federal law does not allow abortion coverage in the volunteers' health care program, even in cases of rape or incest, or when a pregnancy endangers a woman's life. Next week, subcommittees in both the House and the Senate will begin work on a Peace Corps budget for the next fiscal year. The lawmakers should repeal this unfair prohibition.
obamacareHow Obamacare can reduce abortions

Birth control lets women determine whether and when to have children. But that's not all. Women also need contraceptive care for other medical reasons, such as preventing ovarian or uterine cancer and regulating painful periods. There's a reason why the Affordable Care Act includes contraceptive care at no cost to the individual -- it's basic health care.

Read Full Article 


Want to Understand Why Abortion Clinics are Disappearing? Look No Further Than Ohio  
This week, Ohio moved closer to shutting down the last abortion clinic in Toledo, the latest installment in a yearlong battle over a harsh new law that's threatening clinics across the state. If state officials are eventually successful in what anti-choice activists refer to as an "incremental strategy" to end women's access to legal abortion, the women who live in the northwestern area of Ohio will quickly run out of options.. 
Florida Governor Signs Bill Further Restricting Later Abortions

Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill into law Friday that places additional restrictions on abortions performed in the third trimester, and bans abortions at any point in a pregnancy if a doctor determines the fetus could survive outside the pregnant person's body.

Read Full Article 

Separation of Religion & State
hobbylobbyHobby Lobby aims for Obamacare win, Christian nation

The evangelical owners of Hobby Lobby made a fortune selling crafts supplies and made headlines fighting government-mandated birth control coverage. They're also using their billions to sell the American public on the literal truth of Scripture - through a public school Bible curriculum, a huge museum around the corner from the Smithsonian and public forums on the faith of the Founding Fathers.

Supreme Court declines to hear appeal in Elmbrook graduation

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from the Elmbrook School District, leaving in place a federal appeals court decision that said holding a public high school graduation in a church was unconstitutional. The decision neither enforces a penalty nor changes practice, but it sheds light on the range of understanding regarding the relationship between organized religion and civic life. 

Beyond the Core
SCOTUS Rules On 'Straw Purchaser' Gun Law

The Supreme Court says federal law does not allow a "straw" purchaser to buy a gun for someone else, even if both are legally eligible to own firearms. The justices ruled Monday that the federal background check law applied to Bruce James Abramski, Jr. when he bought a Glock 19 handgun in Collinsville, Virginia, in 2009 and later transferred it to his uncle in Easton, Pennsylvania. 

Read Full Article

badyearnraThe NRA's Very Bad Year at the Supreme Court

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=cpy
The Supreme Court smacked down the National Rifle Association on Monday, when the justices voted 5-4 to ignore the gun group's arguments and uphold a law that forbids lying about buying a gun for another person. But Monday's ruling was only the latest in a string of setbacks the high court has dealt the NRA and other national gun groups.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/10/4051905/for-miami-dade-county-a-dispute.html#storylink=c
Read Full Article
22 states have rolled out new voting restrictions since 2010.
Since 2010, New Laws in 22 States Restrict Right to Vote

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

Since Republicans gained control of many state legislatures in the 2010 elections, 22 states(see map above)-nearly all of them in the South and the Midwest-have rolled out new restrictions on the right to vote. Voters in many of those states were protected by a key section of the Voting Rights Act that covered parts of 16 states with long histories of voter discrimination until the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it in 5-4 ruling last year.

The new laws range from photo ID requirements to early voting cutbacks to voter registration restrictions and are squarely aimed at reducing voter turnout and, according to a new study, many of those new voting restrictions "were previously blocked by the Voting Rights Act."

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

mccarthyHouse Republicans elect McCarthy to take Cantor's job
House Republicans on Thursday elected Kevin McCarthy as majority leader, succeeding Eric Cantor, who is relinquishing the job after losing his primary election in an upset. The California Republican defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador for the No. 2 position, which is responsible for the day-to-day running of the chamber and deciding which bills come to the floor for a vote.

Americans Are Dangerously Politically Ignorant -- The Numbers Are Shocking

The health of a democracy is dependent on an educated citizenry.  Political illiteracy is the manure for the flourishing of political appeals based on sheer ignorance. So how bad is America's political literacy?

Republicans come out of the 2014 primary season with little to guide them forward

The 2014 primary season, while leaving the Republicans in good shape for the fall elections against the Democrats, has done little to quiet their internal turmoil or to provide a winning formula going forward. As Republicans struggle to understand the electoral earthquake that cost House Majority Leader Eric Cantor his suburban Richmond seat Tuesday, the party confronts a paradox: It is dominated more by conservatives than at any time in memory and yet riven with divisions, including over issues that barely registered even two years ago.

shabbatdinnerWorld's Largest Shabbat Draws 2,226 to Tel Aviv

History-at least the Guinness Book of World Records kind-was made in Israel this weekend, as more than two thousand people gathered for what was officially deemed the world's largest Shabbat dinner. The record-breaking event, which was organized by White City Shabbat, drew an impressive crowd of 2,226 (with 3,000 more people on the waiting list) and required "800 bottles of wine, 80 bottles of vodka, 50 bottles of whiskey, 2,000 challah rolls, 80 long tables, 1800 pieces of chicken, 1,000 pieces of beef, 250 vegetarian portions," according to the jubilant press release. 
Read Full Article

World's largest Shabbat Dinner in Tel Aviv

Do Good Detroit: Israeli investing in Michigan creating a stronger business economy

One year ago, June of 2013, Governor Rick Snyder visited Israel with members of MEDC and the Michigan Israel Business Bridge (MIBB), an organization that facilitates business and investment opportunities between Michigan and Israel for their mutual economic benefit. Snyder said at the time, Israel is "a start-up nation and a high-tech nation," and Michigan is well positioned to build stronger ties in areas such as automotive, water technology, defense and links between universities. Michigan companies exported nearly $117 million in goods and materials to Israel. Transportation equipment was the largest export item, at nearly $70 million, followed by machinery, chemicals and food manufactures.   

Watch the 2014 JAC Video!
JAC Video 2014
Stand with JAC!

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.