JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

October 24, 2014 

JAC with Vice President Joe Biden (l to r: Eli Wein, Hollis Wein, Dana Gordon, Lisa Lavin, Vice President Joe Biden, Marcia Balonick, Renee Kahn, Deanna Drucker, and Joy Malkus)
   JAC attended the Rally for Rep. Schneider with Vice President Biden this week. (l to r: Eli Wein, Hollis Wein, Betsy Brint, Sally Higginson, Rep. Brad Schneider,
Joy Malkus, Deanna Drucker, Renee Kahn, Lisa Lavin, and Jacki Parmacek)

JAC went to Personal PAC's Luncheon
(l to r: Carole Boron, Anat Hoffman- - Executive Director of Israel Religious Action Center & Chairwoman of Women of the Wall, Lois Zoller, Marcia Balonick, and Susan Berk)
Do you have photos with a candidate, at a fundraiser, getting out the vote, or with other JAC members? Send them to [email protected] with the details and we will share them here! 


featuring Gilda Jacobs
former MI st Senator & st Representative,
current CEO of MI League for Public Policy
at the home of Roz Blanck
Franklin, MI
Monday, October 27
7:30 pm
RSVP here

These are all 



Women for Brad Schneider


with Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)

3:30 - 5:30 PM

Sunday, October 26

Northbrook, IL 


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


Click for information on early voting, voting by mail, absentee ballots, polling sites, and much more. Share with friends and family!


COLORADO - SAY NO to Amendment 67

Amendment 67 would:
  • ban all abortions, including in cases of rape, incest or when the women's health is in danger
  • restrict access to emergency contraception and common forms of birth control
  • ban in-vitro fertilization
  • criminalize doctors who perform abortions
  • deny medical treatment to a pregnant woman, even in cases of cancer
  • result in potential criminal investigations for women who suffer a miscarriage

VOTE NO on Amendment 67


 find more details here 

SAVE Birth Control in Illinois!

VOTE YES on the
Birth Control Initiative.

In response to this summer's Hobby Lobby decision, which allows employers to determine if women can access contraception through their employer-based insurance policy, Illinois is asking voters to decide on the following question:
If employers offer prescription drug coverage under their health insurance plans, should they have to include prescription birth control?  
Tell Springfield that women deserve fair and equal treatment, regardless of their boss' personal beliefs.

Tennessee's proposed Amendment 1 would allow the state government full control to mandate abortion laws - without protections for victims or rape or incest, or to protect the life or health of the woman.

and keep the right to make private decisions free from government interference

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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 


YAYa'alon Says Israel Worried About Iran Deal, Slams Turkey's 'Cynical Game'

Israel is concerned about the shape of an international agreement with Iran over its nuclear aspirations, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Tuesday night after talks with his American counterpart Chuck Hagel in Washington, DC.


Israel Sees Gas As Key To Transforming Mideast Relations

After this summer's war in Gaza battered Israel's international reputation, the country's leaders say they have a new foreign policy tool to build relations with its neighbors: natural gas. By the the end of the year, Israel may have binding agreements to sell billions of dollars of gas to Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Preliminary talks are taking place with customers in Turkey, even though President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is among Israel's fiercest critics. Gas may even help improve relationships in the Gaza Strip.

Read Full Article 


Hamas Leader's Daughter Said to Receive Medical Care In Israel

An Israeli hospital confirmed Sunday that it had treated the daughter of Hamas's top leader in the Gaza Strip, weeks after a brutal war between Israel and the Islamist terror group. Avi Shushan, a spokesman for Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, said the daughter of Ismail Haniyeh was hospitalized for "a number of days" this month. He did not disclose what she was treated for. 

Read Full Article   

Reproductive Rights
Women's Issues Are Under Attack
"You Don't Own Me" PSA - Upworthy

THISThis Years Most Outrageous Abortion Strategy

You really don't want to take your eyes off the fight over reproductive freedom for even a minute. Because while you were watching abortion clinics closing across Texas and Louisiana, or the so-called personhood amendments coming back from the dead in Colorado and on the ballot in North Dakota, you were missing some of the really crazy stuff. It's true. All of that almost pales beside the truly imaginative new effort playing out in Tennessee. Starting Wednesday, and unbeknownst to many of us, state voters there will be asked to amend their constitution to provide that:

"Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother."

That's right. Tennessee is trying to amend its constitution to never protect abortion, ever, under any circumstance.

Read Full Article  

Dataports: ACA Ends Birth Control Copays for Many, States Delay Abortion Access & More
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked key parts of a 2013 law in Texas that had closed all but eight facilities providing abortions in America's second most-populous state. In an unsigned order, the justices sided with abortion rights advocates and health care providers in suspending an Oct. 2 ruling by a panel of the New Orleans-based U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that Texas could immediately apply a rule making abortion clinics statewide spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades.
Separation of Religion & State
EVANEvangelicals Road Test 2016

The evangelical movement wants to be back on top of national politics, and to do it it's borrowing from an unlikely playbook - Barack Obama's.

Groups like Faith and Freedom Coalition and Susan B. Anthony's List are beefing up their grass-roots efforts this year, turning to strategies more often embraced by President Obama than the Christian right, like using online data and micro-targeting to reach or visit hundreds of thousands of voters in key counties in states like Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina - states that will determine whether Republicans gain a majority in the Senate. 

Read Full Article 

Beyond the Core

Gun Violence Prevention Matters to the Faith Community  

This month, voters in Washington State will vote on two contradictory ballot initiatives related to gun violence. Ballot initiative I-594 would require universal background checks for all gun purchases, including private sales. Laws similar to this have been passed elsewhere, including Maryland where the law has already led to a significant drop in gun deaths. Confusingly, an alternative ballot initiative, I-591 would prevent state background checks unless a corresponding federal law was established. I-591 relies on the fact that a bipartisan federal background check law failed last year.

Read Full Article 


GABBYGabby Giffords Calls on Women to Highlight Gun Violence

Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords charged Tuesday that "dangerous people with guns are a threat to women" as she worked to rally female voters across Iowa and inject gun control into one of the nation's marquee Senate contests. "Women can lead the way," Giffords told domestic violence leaders gathered in Iowa's capital city during a 43-second speech that was halting and slurred at moments, but largely clear. "We can change our laws. We can change elections." The Iowa stop comes as Giffords nears the end of a two-week national tour that also includes a series of roundtable meetings in Minnesota, Oregon and Washington State this week alone.

Read Full Article 

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Supreme Court Eviscerates Voting Rights Act Texas Voter ID Decision

In 1963, only 156 of 15,000 eligible black voters in Selma, Alabama, were registered to vote. The federal government filed four lawsuits against the county registrars between 1963 and 1965, but the number of black registered voters only increased from 156 to 383 during that time. The law couldn't keep up with the pace and intensity of voter suppression.

The Voting Rights Act ended the blight of voting discrimination in places like Selma by eliminating the literacy tests and poll taxes that prevented so many people from voting. The Selma of yesteryear is reminiscent of the current situation in Texas, where a voter ID law blocked by the federal courts as a discriminatory poll tax on two different occasions-under two different sections of the VRA-remains on the books.

Read Full Article 


Republicans Target EPA

With fall elections just two weeks away, Republicans may be on the verge of wresting control of the Senate from Democrats who have blocked efforts to roll back environmental rules on carbon dioxide pollution from power plants, ozone and expanded Clean Water Act jurisdiction over U.S. waterways. A Republican-led Senate would energize House Republicans, who have few victories to show for their nearly four-year battle to roll back environmental regulations they see as overly burdensome to the coal industry and detrimental to economic growth.

Read Full Article 
Political Byte

It has been nearly a year since Vivek Murthy was nominated by President Obama to serve as the next Surgeon General, but thanks in large part to the gun lobby and their Republican allies in the Senate, there has yet to be any movement on his confirmation. That vacancy has become a central focus in the last week as government officials and medical professionals try to calm the public about the spread of Ebola. On Sunday, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) about the NRA's role in blocking Murthy's confirmation, but the Republican senator dismissed the question outright. Blunt blamed the vacancy on President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who has yet to put Murthy's nomination to a full vote, and dismissed questions about the National Rifle Association's efforts to block the nominee. "The NRA said they were going to score the vote and suddenly everybody froze him," said Chuck Todd. "That seems a little petty in hindsight, does it not?"

Read Full Article 


White House: Nazi War Criminals Should Not Be Receiving Social Security

Nazi war criminals should not be receiving Social Security benefits, a White House spokesman said. Deputy press secretary Eric Schultz made his comments Monday in response to an investigation by The Associated Press that found that dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars after being forced out of the United States. "Our position is we don't believe these individuals should be getting these benefits," Schultz said at an informal news briefing at the White House. "As the Justice Department has said, they have worked aggressively to pursue Nazi criminals with the aim of ensuring they're brought to justice. The Social Security Administration and the Department of Justice have to work together within the confines of the law to cut off these benefits for these criminals."

5 Reasons Why Your Vote Counts in the Upcoming Midterms

This election in particular is a boost to the spirit in difficult times.  I know you have received a hundred emails a day asking for support, that your favorite television is interrupted by scurrilous accusations about candidates and that you can't visit a web site without being reminded of your political inclinations.  The chance to vote is the reward for your patience and careful reflection. 

JAC is participating in a call-from-home program so you can make calls from your home, the coffee shop, or with
your friends.
All you need is a phone
and a laptop.
Contact the JAC office and we will put you in touch with a campaign.

Even 1/2 an hour will make a HUGE difference!


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.