September 2, 2014
RALPH NADER, PETER DAVIS, pdavis at timeforaraise.org
Available for a limited number of interviews, Nader recently wrote the piece “Democrats Are Doomed (Unless They Make the Minimum Wage the #1 November Election Issue).”
Nader notes that a rise in the minimum wage is backed by “Republicans like Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Bill O’Reilly” and polls between 70 and 80 percent. See from Gallup: “In U.S., 71 Percent Back Raising Minimum Wage.”
He said, “No more lip service or half measures! As corporate profits and CEO pay soar ever higher, 30 million hardworking Americans — two-thirds women and two-thirds employed by large corporations like Walmart and McDonald’s — are making less today, adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1968!”
Though the Republican House leadership has prevented a vote on the minimum wage bills, Nader writes: “Earlier this year, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) filed a discharge petition to force an up or down vote on H.R. 1010. To date, 195 House members have signed the petition. Only 23 more member signatures are needed to bring H.R. 1010 to a vote.” A discharge petition is a procedure to force a vote on an issue even if the House leadership is opposed.
Writes Nader: “The Time for a Raise campaign just released a study identifying 55 Members of Congress who have yet to sign H.R. 1010′s discharge petition to bring a federal minimum wage raise to a vote, but who could be susceptible to pressure on the issue. Visit Give1010AVote.org to see the report.” The report notes the vulnerability of “26 other House Republicans who voted for a minimum wage increase in 2007.” Similarly, Nader derides Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for caving when faced with the Senate Republican leadership’s “emailed intention to filibuster.”
Nader will be speaking at the National Press Club on Thursday with Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, on issues “where the left and right can come together” — especially issues like government transparency, civil liberties, military spending, trade deals, corporate crime and corporate welfare.
Nader’s latest book is Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. Earlier this year, Nader’s office hosted a conference on left-right alliance, which included remarks from Norquist. Video of the conference is here.
Davis is a campaign activist for Time for a Raise campaign, a project of Nader’s Center for the Study of Responsive Law. He said today: “I see us in the third round of the minimum wage raise fight: the first was getting the issue on the table in 2012; the second was getting it to the top of Democratic agenda in 2013; and now, the third is getting to a vote in the House. The discharge petition is 23 signatures away from forcing a vote and yet there has been insufficient effort to bring the petition to the finish line. This report aims to catalyze an effort to secure these 23 signatures by focusing in on the 55 Members who have not yet signed the petition, but should given their past votes, past statements and past district voting patterns.”
See Washington Post on discharge petition: “Democrats plan rare legislative maneuver to force vote on minimum wage. Will it work?“