2014 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report

  • The New Progressive Alliance (NPA) continued to expand our organizational outreach and are now allied with nineteen other national and international organizations including 350, America Changes Today, Antemedius, Corporate Reform Coalition, Global Campaign for Climate Action (Tck Tck Tck), Green Party of Washington State, Green Party of Monmouth County New Jersey, Move to Amend, North Carolina Independents,  Old Elm Tree, Peaceful Uprising, Peoples’ Truck, Popular Resistance, Qualiatica Press, Radicals’ Clothing, Rootstrikers, Take Back America for the People, 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 by the end of the year exceeded 1,400.
  • Our application for 501c4 status is pending. We have ceased operating as a 527. The reason we are doing this is it more accurately reflects our organization and the administrative requirements are less. (Remember we are not corporate funded and must rely on our volunteers and contributions.) We still hold transparency as a value for both our government and our organization. We will gladly answer any question about our operation or email our public comments to anyone who requests them.
  • On January 11 The NPA helped present a forum in Duluth, Minnesota  around the politics of: 1) Full employment; 2) Minimum/Living wage; 3) Real Health Care Reform; and 4) Environmental Sanity. Presenters included: Liane Gale (Minnesota Green Party); Buddy Robinson (Minnesota Citizens Federation - Northeast); Dr. Jim Hart (Physicians for a National Health Program); Reyna Crow (Northwoods Wolf Alliance and Idle No More); Allen Richardson (WaterLegacy); Kristin Larson (Friends of the Cloquet Valley Forest); Nathan Ness (Minnesota Organizer); Michael Cavlan (New Progressive Alliance); Dennis Leahy (The Reset Button); Alan Maki (Uniting People); Allan Hancock (Green activist) and Virgil Boehland (Duluth MoveToAmend). Supporting organizations included Occupy Duluth, Vet for Peace Chapter 80, and the Twin Ports MoveOn Council. It was a big success and follow up meetings were also planned.
  • We continued our transition to a new more useful website.
  • In February we joined with Amazon Watch and 40 other organizations to condemn the actions by Chevron in its efforts to silence critics and ignore a $9.5 billion judgment against it for environmental damage in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Chevron's actions set a dangerous precedent and represent a growing and serious threat to the ability of civil society to hold corporations accountable for their misdeeds around the world.

Since Chevron launched its attack on those who have been working for decades to pressure the company to clean up the environmental damage caused by its operations in the Ecuadorian Amazon, independent journalists have been forced to turn over their material and nonprofit watchdog groups have faced massive legal actions designed to cripple their ability to work and undermine their ability to grow support for their efforts. 

In a move opposed by The New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, Dow Jones, the Associated Press, the Hearst Newspapers, the Daily News, and the Gannett Company, Chevron used its legal might to launch a major threat to independent journalism when it won a decision to force documentary producer and director Joe Berlinger to turn over to Chevron more than 600 hours of raw footage.  Chevron has also targeted nonprofit environmental and indigenous rights groups and individual activists with subpoenas designed to cripple their effectiveness and chill their speech. Using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a law created to pursue mobsters, Chevron has cast its victims and virtually anyone who has supported their campaign, or been critical of Chevron – including NGOs, journalists, and responsible investors – as criminals. In an alarming affront to the principles of justice, they have managed to overwhelm opponents with unprecedented legal force (hiring 60 law firms and more than 2,000 legal professionals) and have convinced a U.S. court to brand their opponents as criminals while formally excluding all evidence of Chevron's environmental harms. Chevron has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to witnesses in the case, including a former judge who has admitted to accepting bribes in other cases. Chevron's critics – and the very people harmed by the toxic pollution – have found themselves in a court process where they face secret witnesses, are unable to discuss evidence of environmental destruction, and can present their case only to a judge, rather than a jury – the same judge that suggested that Chevron should file the RICO suit. In a threat to the nature of national sovereignty and an independent judiciary, Chevron took the unprecedented step of attempting to use an obscure arbitration procedure under the mantle of the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty to nullify the ruling of a sovereign domestic court even though Ecuador was Chevron's chosen forum. This despite the fact that Ecuador was not even party to the 19-year court case as the plaintiffs were the 30,000 affected indigenous and campesino people, and the case itself began before the Investment Treaty was even signed. The affected peoples have no right to participate in the arbitration, which will be decided by three private lawyers, who purport to have the authority to overrule the Ecuadorian courts – raising threats to the sovereignty of justice systems around the world, which could be rendered powerless in the face of truly unlimited corporate power. The New Progressive Alliance joined with the below organizations to condemn Chevron's actions as legal "scorched earth" tactics and as an unacceptable practice to respond to those who challenge corporate acts that damage human rights and the environment.

Amazon Watch
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Center for Environmental Health
Climate Mama
Corporate Accountability International
CT Citizen Action Group (CCAG)
Crude Accountability
EarthRights International
Eyak Preservation Council
Family Farm Defenders
Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity
Food and Water Watch
Friends of the Earth US
Global Exchange
The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
Greenpeace USA
Institute for Policy Studies, Climate Policy Program
International Accountability Project
Justice In Nigeria Now
Marin Task Force on the Americas
Media Alliance
NorthStar Asset Management
OilChange International
The Pachamama Alliance
Rainforest Action Network
Responsible Endowments Coalition
Richmond Progressive Alliance
Rights Action
Sierra Club
Story of Stuff
350 Bay Area
Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services
Turtle Island Restoration Network
West County Toxics Coalition

  • In February 2014 Peace and Freedom Party candidate Cindy Sheehan, running for Governor of California, endorsed the Unified Platform, thereby earning our endorsement. Sheehan was a member of the steering committee which guided the NPA's formation. She was instrumental in making "Peace" the Unified Platform's first plank and believes until we can learn to live peacefully in our world, achieving other people-first goals will remain much more difficult than necessary.
  • In March of 2013 the NPA publicly commented on and opposed the false Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton made about the XL Pipeline concerning Tar Sands Oil. In February 2014 we again made a public comment to the State Department opposing the equally false EIS about the XL Pipeline concerning Tar Sands Oil made by present Secretary of State John Kerry.
  • In February the New Progressive Alliance made a public comment to the Environmental Protection Agency supporting their new carbon pollution standards for new power plants. We need standards of performance for new affected fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units and stationary combustion turbines for both coal and natural gas.  There are two weaknesses in the proposals. First, it is not logical to have standards “based on partial implementation of carbon capture and storage as the best system of emission reduction” because carbon capture and storage is an illusion that has not been successfully demonstrated anywhere. Second, eventually old plants need to be phased out or we will become overly reliant on the most inefficient and most polluting plants. To do that eventually we should have standards for old plants and a time when they will not be “grandfathered” out of needed regulation.  Coal Plants also emit   mercury, sulfur, arsenic, cyanide, soot, and lead. They are not responsible for the health effects or clean up when coal ash spills. We should be strengthening – not weakening – reasonable restrictions on coal.  Though there is room for improvement, we urged the EPA to forge ahead with their proposals as a necessary first step.

The overwhelming consensus of qualified scientists publishing peer reviewed articles say climate change caused in no small part by carbon pollution. This in turn causes extreme, erratic weather. In 2013 alone our precious planet was subject to flooding, unprecedented wildfire, crippling drought, and devastating super storms. The clear and unmistakable trend shows this is accelerating. Further scientists believe the earth may be on the verge of several tipping points which we can’t come back from. These measures will protect public health, create jobs, and help grow our economy by encouraging investment in cleaner energy sources. Our Comment Tracking Number was  1jy-8aik-1402  for EPA Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0495

  • In February we commented on IRS, U.S.  Department of Revenue (comment  number1jy-8anr-er0r) proposed changes in  501c4 organizations. (The New Progressive Alliance operates as a 501c4 organization.) There is widespread misuse of corporations masquerading as charities under 501c4 to improperly influence elections through huge influxes of money. While it is important to stop corporate misuse of the 501(c)(4) designation, it is also important to consider organizations such as ours which have formed and pursued our work completely and quite purposefully free of corporate influence. Our comments addressed both concerns.
  • The NPA has made several public comments to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). In May of 2012 we urged regulation of corporate contributions – less kindly known as bribes. Though in line with both Democratic and Republican administrations of the past from Eisenhower to Bush Senior, regulation of corporate contributions is no longer politically feasible and we are now fighting just for disclosure. In July 2012 and January 2013 we again asked for disclosure and other measures which would increase transparency. In April of 2013 the Obama administration appointed Mary Jo White as Chairperson of the SEC. She was the first women Chairperson of the SEC and many wrote joyously that she would hold corporations accountable. Though we were skeptical, we made a formal comment congratulating her and urging her to require disclosure (not regulation) of corporate political contributions as a minimum first step. Our skepticism turned out to be well founded. Despite support for the rule from investors managing assets worth some $700 billion, and more than 700,000 supportive comments for the rule (a record for the SEC), Chairperson Mary Jo White caved to special interests and excluded it by removal from even being on the SEC’s agenda. In March 2014 we took the opportunity to comment again and encourage transparency by disclosure of corporate “donations” to politicians and political groups for the SEC’s Four Year Strategic Plan, file 265-28. This is consistent with the Unified Platform on Election Reform (point 8) and Corporate Accountability/Reform (point 9).
  • In March Green Party candidate Paul Glover running for Pennsylvania Governor endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our support. For the years 2013-2015 in numbers of candidates this makes Minnesota first, Georgia second, Texas third, and California, New York, Ohio and Washington tied for fourth place. For details and a full list of those who have endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our support please visit our website at http://www.newprogs.org/2013_2015_candidates
  • In March the New Progressive Alliance made a formal comment opposing the pipeline in Utah to transport extra dirty tar sands oil. The 135 mile pipeline puts several communities at risk, uses pipelines with bad reliability, and burns especially dirty oil after using huge amounts of water to obtain the fossil fuel which scientists say should remain in the ground. We sent 2 emails and one fax.
  • In March Green Party candidate Lena Buggs running for Minnesota State HOR District 65A has endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our support. For the years 2013-2015 in numbers of candidates this makes Minnesota first, Georgia second, Texas third, and California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington tied for fourth place. For details and a full list of those who have endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our support please visit our website at http://www.newprogs.org/2013_2015_candidates
  • In March as a candidate for the 2014 Minneapolis, Minnesota Board of Education, Doug Mann again endorsed the Unified Platform and again has earned our endorsement. This is our third endorsement for Doug Mann.
  • In April Green Party candidate Asher Platts running for Maine State Senate has endorsed the Unified Platform and again earned our support. Asher Platts is an early adopter who also earned our support running for the same office in 2012.
  • In April Green Party candidate Gary Swing from Colorado running for US HOR CD6 endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our support. Gary Swing is an early adopter who early on recognized the importance of cooperation between progressive organizations and candidates. We proudly endorsed him in 2012 and proudly endorse him now.
  • In April Green Party candidate Kenneth Kendrick running for Texas Agriculture Commissioner has endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our support.
  • In April Green Party candidate Bob Hart running for Ohio US HOR District 12 endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our support.
  • In April Green Party Candidate Daniel Stromgren running for Maine HOR District 54 endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our support.
  • In April Howie Hawkins running for New York Governor endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our support.  Howie and the Green Party support progressive taxation, fully-funded schools, renewable energy, single-payer health care, $15 minimum wage and a New York that works for the 99%. We were pleased to support him in his 2013 bid to be on the Syracuse City Council and are proud to endorse him as New York Governor.
  • In April Green Party candidate Barry Hermanson running for California Congressional District 12 has endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our endorsement. He hopes to be a real alternative to Nancy Pelosi on the June 3, 2014 election.
  • In May the New Progressive Alliance made a public comment to the SEC to support Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”) and urged the SEC to impose a uniform disclosure regime on all public companies. Despite an unprecedented level of public support for this cause – at least700,000 signatures – and the inclusion of this matter on the SEC 2013 regulatory agenda, the SEC has apparently now abandoned consideration of regulations that would require public companies to disclose political activity spending. Unfortunately, however, the need for and public interest in these regulations have increased exponentially.


And yet though the Supreme Court has consistently acknowledged the validity and utility of corporate disclosure requirements, the SEC has yet to propose regulations that would require public companies to disclose their political spending. This is the weak link in making the system work. The evidence of this is detailed in CREW’s details of the following.

  • increasing shareholder actions asking for disclosure so they can properly guide the company’s actions
  • difference between claims of transparency and real dealings
  • dramatic and continuing increases in corporate political spending
  • increasing contributions to dark money groups
  • a lack of uniformity and clarity in corporate disclosure policies to the point that some companies’ policies are written in ways likely to mislead or confuse investors and shareholders who are not well versed in campaign finance matters or to keep some contributions secret. The irony is this is done while promoting an appearance of transparency.


The solution? As CREW suggested, the solution is “a clearly delineated, unambiguous, and uniform set of disclosure requirements for all public companies.” We are just talking about disclosure, not regulation. There is an increasing lack of confidence in both shareholders and citizens in the rule of law in this country.  The SEC could help repair this through simple effective disclosure requirements.

  • In May the NPA made a public comment to the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC Head, and the four FCC Commissioners opposing the change from internet neutrality. In April 2008 during his presidential campaign, Barack Obama said “The most important thing we can probably do is to preserve the diversity that’s emerging through the Internet…something called net neutrality. I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality.” While he campaigned as a populist he has governed as a plutocrat – on this issue and so many others. He appointed industry lobbyist Wheeler – who was unanimously approved by the Senate. Wheeler wasted no time in trying to destroy net neutrality by moving it to a class based internet where big corporations would buy speed and bandwidth while freezing out smaller competition such as future Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook.  The next generation of inventions would automatically be frozen out of top tier service. More importantly, it would freeze out independent reporting that is not available with the main stream media. The web is one remaining effective tool to fight against corporate and government domination of information and the NPA will fight to keep it that way.  The reply we are getting from Wheeler and his commissioners is, "I'm a strong supporter of the Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet open." Of course, what we asked for is a neutral internet.
  • In May we made a public comment urging the SEC to neither delay nor dilute with amendments and exceptions in reissuing a strong final rule on Section 1504 of the Dodd–Frank Act. It’s what the American people expect, it’s what investors want, and it is needed to prevent another economic collapse. We noted with concern that oil and gas companies – already the beneficiaries of federal loans, tax write offs, land grants, and subsidies unavailable to renewable energy – want to block transparency by not publishing what political contributions they make or details of other deals. This lack of transparency was a leading cause of the last economic collapse and a big reason for the creation of the Dodd–Frank Act.
  • In June the NPA with other organizations supported by communication with congress  the Real Time Transparency Act of 2014, introduced by Sen. Angus King (I-ME) as S. 2207 in the Senate and by Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) as H.R. 4442 in the House. This bill is an important step to shining a light on the likely massive hard money contributions that SCOTUS opened the door to first in Citizens United and then McCutcheon.  By expanding the current 48-hour disclosure requirement, it helps to ensure that large contributions from very few, very wealthy individuals are reported in time for voters to react and respond to such contributions, whether they come right before an election, a hearing or a vote. In this day and age of the Internet, there is no excuse for not having real time disclosure of large contributions to candidates and committees.
  • In June the NPA joined with the Corporate Reform Coalition - a group of more than 80 organizations including investors, corporate governance experts, and civil society organizations - to comment to the Securities and Exchange Commission on the ongoing review of disclosure. We agree with the objective of the disclosure review to improve the disclosure process and hope for strong new corporate governance rules as required under Dodd-Frank. The Commission’s rulemaking petition political spending disclosure has attracted a record level of support for SEC rulemaking.  Nearly 1 million comment letters have been submitted – the vast majority in support of increased disclosure. Those in favor include retail investors, institutional investors, state Treasurers, and the public. There is a clear and ongoing demand from investors for this information. As 10 prominent securities law professors wrote, “Absent disclosure, shareholders are unable to hold directors and executives accountable when they spend corporate funds on politics in a way that departs from shareholder interests.” We called upon the SEC  to live up to the mandate found in the agency’s mission, “to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.”
  • The NPA has long taken a position of refusing to invest in fossil fuels. We were disturbed that Fort Lewis College in the beautiful Four Corners area of Colorado refused to divest despite holding only a very small investment in fossil fuels. In July we wrote a letter to the FLC Foundation supporting the student divestment movement there and urging them to do the responsible thing and follow the lead of other colleges and universities by divesting.
  • In July we wrote the following to the EPA concerning their proposal to reduce carbon pollution.

    “Administrator Gina McCarthy
    Environmental Protection Agency

    The New Progressive Alliance at http://newprogs.org/ encourages you to proceed with your proposal to reduce carbon pollution from existing coal and gas plants. It is absolutely necessary to address climate change as verified by the vast majority of scientists who are published in legitimate recognized scientific journals.
    Our most vulnerable citizens - including children, older adults, people with chronic diseases and people living in poverty - are most at risk. Carbon pollution already worsens air quality resulting in more asthma attacks, heat-related deaths, and respiratory complications. Carbon pollution also contributes to warmer temperatures which is speeding the spread of infectious diseases. These have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities here in the Southeast, most notably children, the elderly, communities of color and low-income residents. This has already been documented in the EPA Fact Sheet that came with this proposal.
    Unfortunately, these rules fall far short of what is needed. This is because the standard baseline year for measuring emissions — employed for decades by governments, scientists, advocates, and journalists around the world, and codified in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — has always been 1990. Given the proper 1990 baseline, this proposal amounts to a reduction of less than 4 percent. Much of the 2020 goal of 25% emissions reduction has already been achieved, leaving only an additional 5% to be achieved over 10 long years. The new power-plant regulation relies on similar accounting tricks. EPA should call for more ambitious reductions and insure states stick to the schedule by allowing for no extensions on plans for 2020.

    These long overdue common sense measures should not be a continued excuse to support the nuclear power industry. Over half a century of experience throughout the world indicates nuclear energy is not the answer. It is the most expensive, the most delayed, and dangerous. It is also carbon intensive in uranium mining and processing where fracking is used just as for natural gas, building the nuclear plant, and transportation of uranium to and used radioactive waste from the nuclear plant. We do not have an agreed upon place to store or agreed way to transport nuclear waste. Fusion and thorium reactors have always been theoretical but "just around the corner" and every country in the world has backed away from breeder reactors. See references 65, 70, 89, 103, 125, 126, 131, 223, 274, 344, 364, 378 - 380, 406 - 408, 412, 435 - 439, 484, 485, 519, 520, 558 - 565, 582 - 585, 603, 604, 692 - 705, 719, 720, 747 - 749, 834 - 836, 847, 848, 891, 942 - 963, 1072 - 1077, 1175 - 1196, 1320, 1364 – 1382 in this article: http://www.newprogs.org/the_environment_under_the_democratic_republican_uniparty
    EPA’s own estimates show the rule will “cut particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide and other toxic coal plant emissions and water pollution by more than 25 percent as a co-benefit” and “shrink electricity bills roughly 8 percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system.”
    We believe strengthening and energetically pursuing this proposal will protect public health and address climate change while ensuring reliable, clean power and that new clean energy technology will create a new generation of green jobs. We urge you to finalize this proposal.”
  • In July 2014 Green Party candidate Tom MacMillan running for the Maine House of Representatives District 38 has endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our endorsement in 2014 just as we endorsed him in 2012.
  • In July we with 16 other organizations urged congress to support the Real Time Transportation Act of 2014, known as S. 2207 in the Senate and H.R. 4442 in the House of Representatives. The Real Time Transparency Act would impose a similar 48-hour reporting requirement on candidates, parties and political committees of major donations of $1,000 or more throughout the calendar year. Candidates, parties and PACs already keep track of these donations as they are received; the Real Time Transparency Act would merely require them to let the public know as well. This would help restore the imbalance favoring the rich and corporations created by the Supreme Court in their Citizens United, McCutcheon, and Hobby Lobby cases. It also fits well with our Unified Platform on corporate accountability/reform.
  • In August - just as we had in July - we again urged Fort Lewis College in Colorado to divest from fossil fuels after their initial refusal. We wrote to both President Thomas and the Foundation Board.
  • In August  Farid Khavari, as the Independent candidate for Florida Governor, endorsed the Unified Platform. He is also endorsed by the St. Petersburg local of the Green Party of Florida.
  • In August the New Progressive Alliance in addition to the Sunlight Foundation, the Campaign Legal Center and Common Cause made a public comment to the Federal Communication Commission supporting its proposal to require cable and satellite TV providers, as well as radio stations, to post political ad contracts online. While all TV and radio operations are required to make political ad contracts available for inspection by the public, only broadcast stations must post those documents online. To see contracts for ads purchased from cable or satellite providers, or at radio stations, members of the public must physically visit stations and request paper files. Broadcasters fought online disclosure for more than a decade before the FCC in 2012 won a court decision to establish a pilot project which turned out very successfully. Such a requirement supports Corporate Accountability/Reform, one of the ten pillars of the Unified Platform.
  • In September Robin Hensel running for the Little Falls, MN mayor endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our initial conditional endorsement.
  • In a record-breaking demonstration of support, more than one million comments have been submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) calling on the agency to take immediate steps to require publicly traded corporations to disclose their use of corporate resources for political purposes to their shareholders. In a press conference outside the agency on September 4, 2014, members of the Corporate Reform Coalition (New Progressive Alliance and 51 other organizations) urged the agency to move swiftly on the rule in response to the overwhelming demand. A petition requesting this rulemaking was filed in 2011 by a bipartisan committee of leading law professors. The rulemaking was placed on the agency’s agenda by former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro in 2013 but was removed by Obama appointee Chair Mary Jo White earlier this year, sparking outrage among investors and the public. The SEC has broad authority to regulate for the protection of investors and in the public interest, and has clear statutory authority to determine what information companies must disclose to their shareholders. Requiring corporate political disclosure is in the interests of investors, the market, and the economy.
  • In October Public Citizen, the New Progressive Alliance, and seven other organizations made a public comment to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. We support including municipal financial advisers as well as municipal financial dealers within the scope of the proposed anti-pay-to-play Rule G-37. This is well within points eight and nine of the Unified Platform for election and corporate reform. At the very least, we recommend more comprehensive disclosure of all individual, firm and PAC contributions so that even if the MSRB opts not to accept our other recommendations then we may still monitor whether evasion is indeed occurring for later rulemaking. The full 33 page letter and attachments are at http://www.citizen.org/documents/public-citizen-msrb-g37-comment.pdf
  • In October Green Party candidate John Anthony La Pietra running for Michigan Attorney General has endorsed the Unified Platform and earned our initial conditional endorsement.
  • ·         We have already documented those candidates which support the Unified Platform as an educational “Consumer Reports” 501c4. Our series profiling particularly promising independent and alt-party candidates for seats in the November election who have endorsed the New Progressive Alliance’s Unified Platform continued in October as we reported in Fire Dog Lake on promising candidates in New York, Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, Colorado, Florida, and Texas. We also posted our ratings of each endorser on a range from “full endorsement” to “full censure” with a link to all profiles in this series for easy reference.
  • The 2014 election results showed an increasing number of voters are choosing options outside the traditional two major parties. With the Green Party alone, over twenty Greens were elected to local office and GP candidates helped put the Green Party on the ballot in over 20 states - their best positioning after a mid-term election this decade.  Ballot Access News reported 14 independents were elected to state legislatures as well as other gains.
  • In October the NPA made a public comment to the U.S. Department of Energy opposing further loans for expanding nuclear power. Over half a century of experience throughout the world indicates nuclear energy is not the answer. It is the most expensive, the most delayed, and dangerous. It is also carbon intensive in uranium mining, uranium processing where fracking is used just as for natural gas, building the nuclear plant, and transportation of uranium to and used radioactive waste from the nuclear plant. We do not have an agreed upon place to store or agreed way to transport nuclear waste. Fusion and thorium reactors have always been theoretical but "just around the corner" and every country in the world has backed away from breeder reactors.
  • In December we wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency urging them to soon make mandatory restrictions on methane gas. We agree with the EPA’s series of white papers determining the harmful effects of methane emissions on the environment and public health from oil and gas operations. In addition to its other deleterious effects, methane gas is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. There are also many indications that methane gas in the atmosphere is increasing drastically. (For the latest example see here:   http://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/1840/20141211/increased-seafloor-methane-released-pacific-ocean.htm ) We are concerned; however, that the EPA only wants to use the findings for voluntary reductions in methane gas. Voluntary emission reduction has never worked. Further, the President said the EPA would release a new plan to address methane emissions by the fall of 2014. The more this is delayed the less likely it will happen. The New Progressive Alliance encouraged the EPA to make regulations soon and make regulations mandatory for limiting methane gas in the atmosphere.
  • In December the NPA signed on with 50 organizations for the below “Unity Statement of Principles: Solutions to the Undue Influence of Money in Politics”

“Democracy requires a commitment to self-government passed from one generation to the next. We recognize our obligation to preserve our representative democracy as our way of resolving reasonable disagreements on public policy. Like generations before us, we come together as citizens setting aside policy differences and uniting to preserve our democracy, so that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this Earth. We stand united in support of a comprehensive set of public policies that recognizes the people as the ultimate check on the corrosive influence of money in politics that is eroding the very foundation of self-government.

This Unity Statement of Principles reflects policies already working in many parts of the country to ensure a democracy where everyone participates and everyone’s voice is heard; where everyone knows who is buying influence in our elections and government; and where politicians play by common sense rules and are held accountable with enforceable penalties to deter bad behavior.

Everyone participates: In a democracy, everyone should have a voice in the decisions affecting their lives. Our system of funding elections should not privilege any particular interest, nor suppress the voices of others. We need to provide incentives that encourage the active participation of small donors in our elections so candidates are accountable to, and dependent on, the people, not moneyed interests.

Everyone’s voice is heard: Our democracy is based on the principle of one person, one vote—not one dollar, one vote. From equal access to the ballot box to the right not to be silenced by big money, democracy requires we recognize each other as equals in the political process. When elected representatives only hear the policy preferences of the very rich it distorts government’s responsiveness to the people. We need limits on using money in politics so our democracy doesn’t just respond to wealthy and corporate interests but responds to the needs of the people.

Everyone knows: Voters have the right to know who is trying to influence our views and gain improper influence over our representatives. We need effective disclosure requirements for the use of money at all levels of government because transparency is a foundation for accountability.

Everyone plays by common sense rules: Access to and influence over our elected representatives should not be determined by the size of your wallet. We must overturn the effects of cases like Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC and reclaim our Constitution to empower people to adopt common sense rules to stop the improper influence of big money on our government.

Everyone is held accountable: We need a fair and accessible elections system so our elected officials will be responsive and accountable to the people. This requires the FEC, IRS, SEC, FCC, and state agencies to enforce our laws so those who break them face real consequences that deter bad behavior.”

The following organizations are among those who agreed to the Unity Statement of Principles. It fits well within the Unified Platform.

Appalachian Coalition for Just and Sustainable Communities

Ben & Jerry's

Center for Media and Democracy

Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Citizen Works

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Common Cause

Communications Workers of America

Conference of Major Superiors

Daily Kos

Democracy 21

Democracy Matters


Ethical Markets Media

Every Voice

Fair Share

Food & Water Watch

Franciscan Action Network

Free Speech For People

Friends of the Earth


Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Money Out Voters In

National LGBTQ Task Force

National Women's Political Caucus


Pay to Play

People Demanding Action

People For the American Way

Progressive Democrats of America

Public Campaign

Public Citizen


ReThink Media


Say No To Big Money

Sierra Club

Sisters of Mercy - Institute Justice Team

Stamp Stampede

Story of Stuff

The Main Street Alliance

The Other 98%

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries



Vermont PIRG

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Young Democratic Socialists


  • We are happy to announce that the United Nations will take a first look at the NPA as an official Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) from January 26 - February 3, 2015. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) share many of the same goals as the Unified Platform.  This is a multi-year process that we have been working on for some time.
Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment