As patriotic citizens, it is our responsibility to vet and elect candidates who will uphold and protect our Constitutional rights and dutifully represent the values of our communities. When we discover that our elected officials have not been forthcoming with their personal views and political agenda and act in a manner that does not represent the views of the majority of their constituents, by playing partisan politics and lying, they need to be exposed and held accountable. As one of Congressman Bera’s constituents, I am extremely concerned with his performance in Congress and the deceit he puts forward through statements on his website and on his Facebook page. He has focused a great deal of his time, at our expense, catering to the extreme left factions of our community. Within this paper, I document some little known facts about Congressman Ami Bera. Despite party affiliation or your core beliefs, we should know who our representatives are and what they stand for.
Last year, I came across an Internet posting that caught my attention and, through additional research; I discovered that Congressman Bera has alliances to very far left Socialist, Progressive and neo-Marxist organizations. For several years, Congressman Bera has aligned himself with the principles of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), the Socialist Alliance, and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) from which he received a great deal of his support leading up to the 2010 and 2012 elections and it continues today. Congressman Bera considers himself to be a political moderate (a centrist) with a goal of bipartisanship. If that were true, why does he focus so much on progressive initiatives and deride anyone who questions or opposes those views? That doesn’t sound very centrist to me.
What is progressivism? According to American Progress.org, progressivism, at its core, is grounded in the idea of progress—moving beyond the status quo to more equal and just social conditions consistent with original American democratic principles such as freedom, equality, and the common good. Progressivism as an intellectual movement emerged between 1890 and 1920 as a response to the multitude of problems associated with the industrialization of the U.S. economy—frequent economic depressions, political corruption, rising poverty, low wages, poor working conditions, tenement living, child labor, lack of collective bargaining power, unsafe consumer products, and the misuse of natural resources. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/progressive-movement/report/2010/04/14/7677/the-progressive-intellectual-tradition-in-america/
There are many well recognized names that came out of the Progressive movement of the early 20th Century including President Woodrow Wilson, Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, A. Philip Randolph, Saul Alinsky, Woody Guthrie, and Thurgood Marshall, just to name a few. However, a big part of the ideology of the majority of these Progressives was population control through eugenics (a plan to produce more of the “fit” and, eventually, eliminate the “unfit”). But that’s a whole other topic in itself. For more information on that subject, read my September Blog at WordPress “Planned Parenthood and Black Genocide—Fact or Fiction? https://norcaloasis.wordpress.com/2014/09/
Progressive ideologies are far different from traditional Democratic and Republican values and the vitriolic hatred towards anyone who opposes their views, often expressed in today’s media, is quite repulsive to most Americans. The current administration is the embodiment of Progressive ideologies and has continued to enact policies that are diametrically opposed to the founding principles of the U.S. Constitution.
Dr. Michael Coffman, Ph.D. is an accomplished researcher and writer and, in an article he wrote in 2012, he summed up what I have found in dealing with many of today’s progressives and confirms my own research. He briefly explains the evolution of the progressive movement and how their expansive worldview has crept into both political parties, displaying anti-American and anti-Constitutional agendas and he warns of the looming threat to the foundations of the greatest nation in the history of mankind.
Progressive Democrats are always ultra-left liberals, but less than half of the 21 percent of the population that call themselves liberal, are progressives. Progressives demand that our Constitution be based on social and environmental justice whereby the government applies positive rights. With positive rights, the government defines what is right and wrong in order to assure equality between citizens, and between citizens and the environment. They see social and environmental crises under every rock, which must be fixed by creating new and implementing big government and massive spending programs. If that doesn’t work, then bigger government and more spending is always the answer.
Over the past one hundred years, progressive administrations (both Democrat and Republican) have systematically deconstructed our Constitution that protects us from government. Tragically, we have forgotten why Constitutional principles are important to the American Dream, and have allowed big government to begin denying us liberty while driving us off a financial cliff. It is time America reversed its course by weeding out progressive ideology from government. http://www.libertyroundtable.com/2012/03/07/what-are-modern-day-progressives/
Congressman Bera has ties to the 5,000 member strong Sacramento Progressive Alliance (SPA), which is run by Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) members Paul Burke and Duane Campbell. According to PDA’s website, Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. They are a grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice. Their inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles.
The DSA formed in 1982 from a merger of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the New American Movement (NAM). NAM grew out of the experience of the “New Left” radical student and anti-war movements of the 1960s and existed to help organize a movement for socialism in the US. The DSA is now the largest socialist organization in the US and is one of two official US affiliates of the Socialist International. While claiming to be socialist, the DSA is actually a neo-Marxist organization that draws heavily from the ideas of the late Italian Communist Party leader, Antonio Gramsci. The Orange County California branch of the DSA acknowledged its debt to Gramsci in its February 1984 newsletter.
Congressman Bera has met and worked with organization members and leaders, and has received personal endorsements from Michael Lighty, Policy Director of the California Nurses Association and PDA Advisory Board Member; Sacramento Progressive Alliance; ActBlue; Contribute Now to Democrats for ‘Medicare for all’ by Daily Kos; and Jim Shoch, Associate Professor of Government at Sacramento State and the former West Coast Coordinator for the Democratic Socialists of America. A Google search of Democratic Socialists of America and Ami Bera reveals his ties to these socialist organizations and their members and even some Progressive Republicans.
Michael Lighty wrote in an email blast, leading up to the 2012 election: “The RNs of National Nurses United have found a natural alliance with PDA, who never slow in the fight against austerity to win prosperity for all. RNs and PDA activists joined in campaigns across the country for insurgent Progressives like Elizabeth Warren, now Senator-elect from Massachusetts, Medicare for All supporter Ami Bera, soon to be Congressman from California (emphasis added)…”
The Sacramento Progressive Alliance describes itself as a multi-racial, multi-issue, rainbow coalition dedicated to the struggle for social justice and peace. The Progressive Alliance network was established in 2005 and aligns itself with organizations such as: United for Peace and Justice; MoveOn.org; DSA; and a variety of Occupy movements.
ActBlue is a political action committee established in June 2004 that enables ANYONE to raise money on the Internet for Democratic Party candidates. Just prior to the 2012 elections, ActBlue posted a request for donations for supporters of Medicare-for-all, with Ami Bera’s picture featured in their ad posted by Daily Kos.
What is Medicare-for-all? ‘The Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act’ (H.R. 676), sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, Jr., was introduced and referred to committee on February 13, 2013. Several Progressives, including Congressman Bera, promoted this as a better alternative to ObamaCare when, in fact, Medicare For All was actually a plan to implement universal health care. The bill was designed to allow all individuals residing in the United States, including any territory of the United States, to be covered under the Medicare For All Program, entitling them to a “universal, best quality standard of care.” According to the bill’s language, a Medicare For All program would also have been available to illegal immigrants, as no Social Security Card would be required as proof of eligibility. On multiple occasions, via multimedia outlets, Congressman Bera has stated that the Affordable Care Act is “not what I would have done.” Publically, however, Congressman Bera has offered no alternative solutions. Despite Congressman Bera’s documented support for Medicare For All, I have found no media coverage on this issue, only public endorsements and postings from the proponents of this legislation.
According to Project Vote Smart, Congressman Bera avoided expressing an official stance on many important issues leading up to the 2012 election and, so far, has refused to do so again for the 2014 campaign. However, published statements, from both he and his wife, reflect a strong progressive, socialist philosophy. On healthcare, Congressman Bera has previously stated: “The new health care law is a step towards increasing access to basic medical coverage. However, this is only the first step and we must continue fighting the insurance companies.” On more than one occasion, Congressman Bera has spoken out against insurance companies. However, in both the 2012 and 2014 campaigns, health professionals, including Kaiser Permanente, has lead all others in the industry category in campaign contributors for Congressman Bera, nearly $250,000.
It’s hard to know exactly where Congressman Bera stands on health care issues, in general. His current mantra, in step with other Progressives, is that Medicare must be protected for seniors, despite the fact that no one has proposed eliminating Medicare. This is quite an about face since he previously wanted to make it available to everyone, regardless of age or citizenship status and, since the enactment of the ACA (Obamacare), he has repeatedly voted to fully fund it, despite the fact that the ACA will extract approximately $750 million from Medicare over the next ten years to help fund the ACA. Regardless of what he says in his ads or to his constituents, or how he actually votes, Congressman Bera opted out of the ACA to receive his own health care coverage through his wife’s Kaiser Permanente plan.
On October 28, 2010, a Progressive Election Forum convened at Sacramento State University. Speakers included Prof. Jim Shoch, Dr. Ami Bera, and student advocates. The event was sponsored by the Faculty Progressive Alliance, Sacramento Progressive Alliance, the Sac State Coalition, CFA-Capitol Chapter, and Capitol Area Progressives.
So, who is Jim Shoch? He is currently an Associate Professor of Government at Sacramento State and the former West Coast Coordinator for the Democratic Socialists of America. He is also a writer/editor of a book, titled What’s Left of the Left, published in 2011, which explores the roles of the center-left, social democracy and liberalism in today’s society. What’s Left of the Left notes in the acknowledgements, “Having participated in the upheavals of the 1960s and spent the next two decades on the socialist left in different parts of the country, the three of us met in the late 1980s on the Boston collective of the journal Socialist Review. Although our faith in the socialist project subsequently ebbed, we remained both committed to Progressive politics and fast friends.”
So, what is the difference between Socialism and Progressivism? There are several different thoughts on this subject but all agree that Socialists and Progressives use government power to control economic outcomes. The methods they use, however, are different. In a socialist economy, there are no private corporations that manufacture goods and all factories and companies belong to the state. Progressives, by contrast, believe in private ownership and control of corporations and manufacturing but also support extensive government administration of business, mostly through heavy regulation and taxes. Congressman Bera is a member of the New Democrat Coalition whose members support an agenda that is described as moderate and pro-growth. However, Congressman Bera still reflects views of far left Progressives, offering little in the way of bipartisanship, as he vowed to do during his 2012 campaign and throughout his two years in office. His voting record, since he first took office, is totally in line with other Progressives in Congress.
In early 2013, DSA activists, and many elected officials across the U.S., including Dr. Bera, came together to urge President Obama to award, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a legendary organizer, Fred Ross, Sr. From 1947 to 1952, Fred Ross worked for Saul Alinsky (a Communist/Marxist who helped establish the tactics of infiltration and often promoted confrontation, central to revolutionary political movements in the US) and the Industrial Areas Foundation (a Chicago based community organizing network). Fred Ross was the first to organize people through in-home meetings and became a mentor to both Cesar Chavez and DSA activist Dolores Huerta (honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America and a strong supporter of expanded rights for illegal immigrants). Dr. Ross was considered a pioneer in Latino voter outreach since 1949 when “he helped elect Communist Party USA affiliate Ed Roybal” as Los Angeles’s first Latino council member. Ross’ influence on social change movements remains strong more than two decades after his death in 1992.
WHO SUPPORTS CONGRESSMAN AMI BERA FOR CONGRESS?
Sacramento Progressive Alliance – June 3 Voter Guide — Congressional District 7 Ami Bera
The Sacramento Progressive Alliance serves as the local affiliate of UNITED FOR PEACE & JUSTICE (UFPJ). UFPJ is an anti-war coalition and is co-chaired by pro-Castro socialist Leslie Cagan. The coalition launched a Nuclear Disarmament Campaign because it perceives that the U.S. is aggressively pursuing world domination and wants the US to aggressively pursue total disarmament. A few of the 100 plus member organizations, as of July 17, 2007, include the following: Black Radical Congress (BRC); CODEPINK; Community Party USA (CPUSA); League of Revolutionaries for a New America; Progressive Democrats of America (PDA); Socialist Party USA – National; Young Communist League (YCL); and Young Democratic Socialists of America.
Council for a Livable World
Like the United for Peace and Justice coalition, the Council for a Livable World promotes world peace through nuclear disarmament. However, the council works to help elect congressional candidates who will support their efforts to dramatically downsize and, eventually, eliminate America’s nuclear-weapons stockpile.
Communist Party USA (CPUSA) – CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 7
According to an article published at cpusa.org on January 24, 2014 (2014 Elections: A Framework for Struggle to Turn the Tide), the Communist Party is targeting several seats that are up for re-election in 2014, including CALIFORNIA CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 7 (Ami Bera’s district). The site links to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) web page where people are encouraged to donate. Their stated goal is to elect more officials like the leaders in the Congressional Progressive Caucus to stand firm for progressive taxation like the Robin Hood Tax, support massive investments for social needs, aid Detroit and other cities to protect workers’ pensions, end deportations, and reform immigration laws, just to name a few. http://www.cpusa.org/2014-elections-a-framework-for-struggle-to-turn-the-tide/