February 7, 2020 
WEEK IN REVIEW
JAC member AnnDee Levy from Los Angeles joined JAC members in Iowa to Get Out the Vote for the Caucus this past week. Here are her thoughts from the experience.

Last Friday, I packed my boots and warm clothes and headed to Iowa from my sunny home in Los Angeles for the Iowa caucus. I met up with JAC in Chicago to travel to Cedar Rapids.

We canvassed for two days in Cedar Rapids, encouraging people to attend their caucus. Being on the ground gave me insight into who Iowans were supporting.

After knocking on more than 200 doors, we easily determined that there was a lack of enthusiasm for any one of the candidates. This was surprising given how much time the candidate had spent in Iowa. But I was mostly surprised and concerned that people had little desire to attend a caucus.

We saw young people sporting Bernie shirts, a few MATH hats from the Yang campaign, and yard signs from the Klobuchar, Buttigieg and Biden campaigns. Some homes even had numerous candidates' signs. In one neighborhood, the snow banks were deep enough for someone to carve out "Bernie" in the snow.

At a rally Saturday afternoon for Biden in a high school gym, we met up with a few JAC friends Rep. Abby Finkenhauer (D-IA), and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE). That evening, tired, cold and hungry from canvassing, we had dinner with Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and our newest friend, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE).

On Monday morning we traveled to Des Moines to meet with Ben Wikler, chair of the Wisconsin Democratic party. Wisconsin will be key to winning the White House. It was inspiring to listen to Ben's winning plan and ways we can help out in this important effort.

Highlights of our Des Moines day included a private tour of the massive media center and coffee at the infamous Java Joes Coffee House, where MSNBC's broadcast live while in Iowa.

Then at last, it was caucus time. Nothing can compare to witnessing the event in person. We attended a caucus at Drake University, where MSNBC Katy Tur was covering with her team.

It was immediately clear that the caucus was a messy process with little participation. There seemed to be more observers and media than Iowa voters in that gym.

It became clear by 10 pm that there was trouble brewing and no clear winner was emerging. It was time to hit the road and travel home. My Iowa adventure was over. But I will always remember this experience and watching political history made that night - perhaps the last Iowa caucus. I hope in some small way I played a part in getting some voters to the caucus.

There is more work to be done between now and election day. We all need to stay fired up and work harder than ever to keep the House majority, flip the Senate and send a Democrat to the White House.

I hope you will join me on future JAC trips to get out the vote. We all need to do our part. ELECTIONS MATTER.
 
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JAC AROUND TOWN
JAC travelled to Iowa to canvas and GOTV for the caucus this week. (l  to r: Hollis Wein, Linda Rae Sher, Marcia Balonick, AnnDee Levy)
JAC met Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) while in Iowa to Get Out the Vote. (l  to r: Sen. Carper, AnnDee Levy, Marcia Balonick, Hollis Wein,  Linda Rae Sher)
JAC bumped in to Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) while in Iowa. (l  to r: Hollis Wein,  AnnDee Levy, Abby Finkenauer, Linda Rae Sher, Marcia Balonick)
JAC had dinner with Sen Chris Coons (D-DE) and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) while working to Get Out the Vote in Iowa. (l to r. Chris Coons, Marcia Balonick, AnnDee Levy, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Linda Rae Sher, Hollis Wein, and Marla Blunt)
ISRAEL
Israel Puts Brakes on West Bank Annexation Plan
                  
Shortly after last week's rollout of the contentious American Middle East plan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government made a triumphant promise that the cabinet would vote this weekend to extend Israeli sovereignty over substantial parts of the occupied West Bank. But it looks as if the Israelis misread the signals from Washington. The White House, while fully supportive of Mr. Netanyahu, was not ready to endorse an immediate unilateral annexation.
Continued Reading

ANTI-SEMITISM & BDS
The FBI Just Put White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis on the Same Threat Level as ISIS

The FBI has elevated racially-motivated violent extremism to a "national threat priority," in yet another sign that the U.S. government has finally woken up to the threat posed by white nationalists and neo-Nazis at home and abroad.  FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined several concrete steps the agency had taken to combat violent far-right extremists, explaining that the "national threat priority" designation puts those groups or individuals on the same footing as ISIS" in terms of the resources the FBI will devote to it.
Continued Reading


CHOICE
The Long History of the Anti-Abortion Movement's Links to White Supremacists          
 
The anti-abortion movement in the United States has long been complicit with white supremacy. Coexisting in abortion opposition is an ideology that honestly seeks to end abortion for people of all races and ethnicities, alongside a white supremacist ideology that only desires to prevent white women from obtaining abortions, but uses universal opposition to abortion as a pragmatic screen for its goals. Per Kathleen Belew, author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement in Paramilitary America, for white supremacists, "opposing abortion, opposing gay rights, opposing feminism, in white power discourse, all of this is tied to reproduction and the birth of white children." 
Continued Reading

SEPARATION
Evangelical Groups Lobbied Pompeo to Fire Yovanovitch in 2018

Dozens of evangelical Christian organizations lobbied the State Department to fire Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, in 2018 over her support for an LGBT pride parade in Kyiv. [A] letter sent by 39 organizations to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited Yovanovitch's support for an LGBT parade that year in downtown Kyiv, which the groups said undermined President Trump's "conservative policy for the USA and its foreign policy."  
Continued Reading


BEYOND THE CORE
Congressional Watchdog Slams Homeland Security Over Election Security Prep  
 
A leading federal watchdog agency has admonished the Department of Homeland Security for its lack of election security preparation, with the 2020 presidential primary season already underway. The Government Accountability Office, which reports to Congress, said DHS's Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, is behind on its plans for elections security. CISA took on that mandate in early 2017, when election infrastructure was added to its list of "critical" industries with which it should coordinate a response to cyberattacks. 
Continued Reading

POLITICAL BYTE
GOP-Affiliated Group Intervenes in Democratic Primary for Us Senate Seat in North Carolina  
 
The first significant ad buy for state Sen. Erica Smith, a Democratic candidate for US Senate in North Carolina, appears to be backed by Republicans. Faith and Power, a new political action committee with ties to Republicans, formally launched on January 29 and spent more than $1.9 million to influence the Democratic primary, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission and the Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group. The television and radio ads aims to boost Smith over Cal Cunningham, who has been endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and has raised significantly more money. 
Continued Reading

IMPEACHMENT WATCH
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH): In Private, Republicans Admit They Acquitted Trump Out of Fear
 
Not guilty. Not guilty. In the United States Senate, like in many spheres of life, fear does the business. History has indeed taught us that when it comes to the instincts that drive us, fear has no rival. As the lead House impeachment manager, Rep. Adam Schiff, has noted, Robert Kennedy spoke of how "moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle." 
Continued Reading

FYI
Kirk Douglas: His On-Screen Jewish Legacy  
 
Kirk Douglas, who died on Wednesday at 103, was a Jew who Anglicized his name and became one of Hollywood's top movie stars, then found his way back to Judaism relatively late in life, embracing it with a vengeance after he survived a helicopter crash. But his Jewishness helped guide him throughout his career.   
Continued Reading

JAC II
Introducing JACII, a JAC group for young professionals, advocates, and those young at heart who are looking to get involved. Groups have started in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
 
Events will feature elected officials and speakers in lively settings. JACII is by and for young people. Now is the perfect time to get involved.
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Know someone who would be interested in joining or hosting a meeting? Let us know at info@jacpac.org. We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.

The Last Word
"Democrats will never stop extending the hand of friendship to get the job done."
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)  
Events
  
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An Evening at the Theater with JACPAC
What the Constitution Means to Me
Wednesday, March 11th
Dinner & Political Update with Jill Wine Banks: 5:30 pm
Showtime: 7:30 pm
Chicago, IL
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SAVE THE DATE
Talking Points with
Rep. Sean Casten (IL-6)
Monday, April 6
9:30 am 
Chicago Suburbs
Details to follow
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SAVE THE DATE
April 21-23, 2020
JAC's 2020 Annual Meeting
Celebrating 40 years of JAC
Washington, DC
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Want to host a JAC event? Contact the office and we will help organize it.
info@jacpac.org or 847.433.5999

Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.
Paid for by Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs. Contributions or gifts are not tax deductible.  Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in an election cycle. Corporate contributions and contributions from non-US citizens who are not lawfully admitted for permanent residence are prohibited. All contributions by individuals must be made from personal funds and may not be reimbursed or paid by another person.