2012 Annual Report

The New Progressive Alliance (NPA) continued to expand our organizational outreach and are now allied with thirteen other national and international organizations including 350, America Changes Today, Antemedius, Corporate Reform Coalition, Global Campaign for Climate Action (Tck Tck Tck), Move to Amend, North Carolina Independents, Occupy Washington, DC; Old Elm Tree, Peaceful Uprising, Rootstrikers, Tar Sand Actions, and We Are the Democracy. (see http://newprogs.org/our-allies)

  • Facebook likes (readers who subscribe to our articles) have grown steadily and are now over 1,000. Many readers share our articles for wider circulation and NPA members publish to a wider audience with their own money. (see https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Progressive-Alliance/172365886150915?sk=wall&filter=1)
  • Together with the Corporate Reform Coalition we petitioned the Security and Exchange Commission to mandate disclosure of corporate political activity. (See http://www.citizen.org/documents/corporate-reform-coalition-statement.pdf)
  • We petitioned the House Ways and Means Committee encouraging congress to extend and make permanent the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit. It would be a very small fraction of those tax breaks for fossil fuels. We did succeed in that and by years end President Obama signed it into law.
  • We petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency encouraging them to limit CO2 for new coal plants. Though a mild measure, it is a step in the right direction.
  • We joined with a coalition of good government groups including Common Cause, Public Citizen, People For the American Way and others are calling on Connecticut Governor Dannell Malloy to sign H.B. 5556, “Changes to Campaign Finance Laws and other Election Laws,” which just passed by the General Assembly. The bill would require public disclosure of major corporate and individual donors to Super PACs and other independent groups, bringing increased transparency and accountability to Connecticut’s elections.   Though Governor Malloy folded and vetoed the bill, the NPA with other groups publicly held him accountable.
  • We continued throughout the year coordinating with the United Nations to become an officially recognized Non Government Organization (NGO) so as to better carry out the ten goals of our Unified Platform. The NPA made the deadline in 2012 by submitting much documentation to be considered as an NGO in 2013. The United Nations later did not accept the proof of our organization’s existence for two years and we will reapply in 2013.
  • In May we signed on with 13 other groups on short notice including Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, and Union of Concerned Scientists to oppose Senate Bill 1100. This bill would block public disclosure of campaign contributions and political spending by government contractors. We believe disclosure is the solution, not the problem. On July 18, 2012, Representatives Ellison and Eshoo offered the same amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill (HR 5856) and asked that we send a similar letter of support. Though we had only a few hours to react, the NPA was again able to publicly support the disclosure requirements for government contractors.
  • The New Progressive Alliance was one of 38 organizations that urged the passage of Senate Disclosure Act of 2012 - US Senate Bill S2219. The legislation would provide the public with basic information about campaign expenditures made by outside groups that are influencing federal elections and the donors financing these expenditures. The legislation would also provide timely disclosure by Super PACs and require outside groups which make campaign expenditures to take responsibility for their campaign ads. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse – the chief sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act – later sought a senate floor vote on the DISCLOSE Act immediately upon the senate returning from recess in mid-July and to highlight the importance of the issue by pushing for an all-night debate session on the senate floor at that time. Whitehouse recirculated the coalition letter endorsing the DISCLOSE Act with the NPA again one of the list of organizations supporting the S2219. Another attempt was made in July and new Disclosure Bill S3369 and the New Progressive Alliance again urged its passage – this time with 156 total signatories.
    • The NPA is concerned about the recent discovery that Aetna tried to secretly funnel more than $7 million through American Action Network and the Chamber of Commerce to influence elections. We therefor in July joined with other organizations such as CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calling on them to adopt a model rule or add additional questions to its annual statement requiring insurance companies to disclose all their political spending. We also joined with CREW in a similar letter to the Security and Exchange Commission urging more disclosure.
  • The NPA is asking the Governor Perdue of North Carolina to veto H819 - a bill which would require a four year ban on using scientific data in coastal policy and regulatory applications despite the fact that North Carolina faces one of the highest sea level rises in the world. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and other organizations support us in this matter. Politicians outlawing science they disagree with is almost comical.
    • The NPA supports preserving the unique cultural and ecological environment of the Korean Jeju Island by opposing the building of a Naval Base. We support both the International Forum on Globalization (http://www.ifg.org/) and the International Action Week (http://cafe.daum.net/peacekj/I51g/440) in their efforts in this matter.
  • We  supported a “Boycott Walmart” on Black Friday November 23, 2012 for its low wages and poor working conditions.
  • Ever wonder why the Canadian XL Pipeline gets to condemn US property in Texas? All they had to do was check a box on a single page government form. The New Progressive Alliance, supported by our friends in Texas, recently wrote the Sunset Commission about the abuse of due process and eminent domain law by the Texas Railroad Commission. We said, “The solution would both save money and follow the law.  Allow the TRC to expire and have the Texas Legislature pass the following laws.
  • Aldous Tyler endorsed our platform and engaged in a serious issue oriented campaign for president by running in the democratic primary. Earlier in the year 2012 after endorsing the Unified Progressive Platform and having discussions with our Facilitator, the NPA endorsed him. The democrats then engaged in stonewalling actions indicating not only did they not want a discussion of the issues, they also did not want a fair election causing Aldous Tyler to eventually drop out. In May Jill Stein of the Green Party endorsed the Unified Progressive Platform followed in June by fellow Presidential candidates Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party and Kent Mesplay of the Green Party.
  • Other candidates quickly followed the lead of the candidates running for President of the United States. We had 54 candidates from 23 states endorse the UPP ranging from four presidential and vice presidential candidates to candidates and both houses of congress to state representative, sheriff, state and local school boards, Justice of the Peace, county commissioner, township clerk, and Mosquito Control Board.
  • In June we joined with other allies to urge congress to support of the Clean Construction requirement in the Transportation bill.  It is important because the World Health Organization confirmed with the highest level of certainty that exposure to diesel engine exhaust can cause cancer, diesel exhaust poses three times the lung cancer risk of all other air toxics in EPA’s latest NATA assessment combined, diesel exhaust causes over 21,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year, and the black carbon (BC) in diesel pollution is 2000 more potent than CO2 in promoting climate change.  Reducing BC is one of the few actions that achieve immediate climate benefits, and a necessary complement to CO2 reductions which take decades to achieve climate benefits. Other organizations we joined with include ALA national, Clean Air Task Force, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Clean Air Carolina, Clean Water Action national, and the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago.
  • On June 16, we discussed NPA Unified Progressive Platform in Atlanta, Georgia with members of the Occupy Movement and Green Party and then shared political and contact information. Kwabena Nkromo running for the 57th district Georgia HOR on the Green ticket seemed interested in getting an NPA endorsement. The NPA also contacted other members of the Green Party running in Georgia and urged them to endorse our platform.
  • We always hear about how expensive renewable energy is, but little how fossil fuel subsidies dwarf those of renewable energy. A recent example is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to give Peabody Energy the rights to 721 million tons of publicly owned Wyoming coal for about $1 a ton, just so Peabody can sell it in Asia for $80 a ton, unleashing a massive amount of climate-change causing carbon pollution in the process. Coal companies get a huge windfall, the U.S. government gets a pittance in revenue, and climate change gets worse for all of us. The New Progressive Alliance joined Credo and the Governor of Oregon in formally protesting to the Secretary of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management this bad decision. The Obama Administration went ahead with the give-away.
  • The New Progressive Alliance through Alan Maki encouraged the National Priorities Project to get information from third parties and not just the legacy Uniparties on our budget. As Virgil Bernero, the Mayor of Lansing, Michigan said, "Budgets are a reflection of our true priorities." Only by comparing all options can we make an informed choice. Alan also tried to get Bill Moyers News program to do the same. Both choose to blindly follow the main stream press and ignore third party proposals and alternatives.
  • You would think that Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac could not get into any more trouble by foolish decisions, but they are. The Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) is interfering in a homeowners right to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy! FHFA is saying it will not accept such properties for insured mortgages through Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. FHFA is ignoring the fact that such investments as PACE  (Property Assessed Clean Energy) increase the value of a home, mean more jobs, and increase the ability of a homeowner to pay through less utility bills. This is in addition to a cleaner environment and less global warming for the next generation. Out of approximately 37,000 special assessment programs across the United States, the only one FHFA is going out of its way to invalidate an entire home loan is this one concerning clean energy and energy efficiency. In September 2012 the NPA wrote Mr. Alfred Pollard, General Counsel of FHFA, to urge him to allow programs such as PACE with a proven track record to continue.
  • Kimberly Rivera may be deported from Canada  to face trial for desertion and reporting war crimes. In September the NPA wrote to Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to urge him to let Kimberly Rivera remain in Canada on compassionate and humanitarian grounds as well as the legal grounds concerning the necessity of reporting war crimes. Despite our efforts, Kimberly Rivera was deported and arrested by military authorities.
  • Alan Maki of the NPA has worked to help Native Americans working in casinos organize in Minnesota for better working conditions. One of the many conditions we are fighting for is to obtain smoke free casinos.
  • The “Fighting Bob Fest is an annual get together to further many of the items in the Unified Progressive Platform. When it changed to just electing those of one political party, the NPA protested by writing letters to the Capital Times, Facebook, and participants to get it back on track.
  • The New Progressive Alliance as part of the Corporate Reform Coalition released a press release showing a new poll indicating Americans condemn high levels of corporate political spending and overwhelmingly support strong transparency and accountability reforms for corporate political spending.  Public Citizen, Demos, Common Cause, the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending, U.S. PIRG, Greenpeace, People For the American Way, Public Campaign, Service Employees International Union, New Progressive Alliance, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Main Street Alliance, Alliance for a Just Society, Green Century Capital Management, NorthStar Asset Management, Inc., West Virginia Citizen Action Group, Friends of the Earth, Corporate Accountability International, Corporate Ethics International/ Business Ethics Network, and the Responsible Endowments Coalition work together as part of the broader Corporate Reform Coalition to bring transparency and accountability to corporate political spending.
  • After the November 6, 2012 elections the NPA devoted the rest of the year to develop appropriate strategies to implement our vision of peace, people, and the planet through the ten goals of the Unified Progressive Platform.

-Require full disclosure through a Material Data Safety Sheet on any hazardous materials transported. Tar Sands/Dilbit is much more toxic to both humans and the environment than conventional crude oil. There should be no “proprietary chemical” rights. Public safety is far more important.

-That common carrier status be granted only after public hearings with full notice to landowners. The landowners should have a right to contest and appeal any adverse findings. The landowners should also be entitled to be compensated for the diminished value of their land because of any pipeline.

-That there be a fee for any common carrier to cover court proceedings.


Both justice and long established case law suggest these common sense remedies.”

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment