Category Archives: National Politics

New Hampshire Progressives Demand Electoral College Change Its Votes


[Please see more pictures and video posted on the Progressive Action NH facebook page!]

Last night in Manchester just before dusk, around 4pm people starting gathering at City Hall based on a call to action on Facebook regarding Trump’s recently declared win of the presidency. The event started at 4pm and lasted until between 8 and 8:30.

Organized by MC Auger, an 18 year old college student at NHTI and a few of her friends, the event grew way beyond what they had imagined, ” I was one of the ones who initially created it.  I just kind of decided that something needed to be done and I just put something up on Facebook and I invited a couple of my friends and I never expected in a million years that it would get half of the traction that it did.

“It was amazing and it really kind of restored my faith in humanity and basically the whole community came together and basically even the opposition came together and it showed that we can get our message across without violence.”
When asked if she’d been involved in politics before, “Well my entire family is made up of people who are Republicans and heavily support Donald Trump and I was frustrated with the results of the election, I guess I felt I had to do something about it in order to feel better.

“I was raised in Catholic school for all of my life and I gradually didn’t like what I was hearing both in school and at home and decided to do my research and found out that there’s more than one way to tackle an issue.

“In the past I was very involved in politics because my parents would take me to big campaign rallies and bring me along to meet candidates or something.  But I’ve never done anything like this before.  I definitely think I’m going to get more involved in politics than I already am, probably I would do something like this again, most likely before Donald Trump is inaugurated.”

Danny Keating, organizer for Socialist Alternative and one of the marshals for the event said that although there was no real trouble, there were some tense moments, “The event started out with people on both sides of the street [Elm Street] chanting with each other.  When we marched down to Veteran’s Park and then came back most of the people went to the other [City Hall] side.  I tried to get everyone over to that side of the street.  There were some counter-protesters, one with Nazi symbol neck tattoos on the other side still with about a hundred or so protesters.

“Some of the protesters started to gather around the four or five or so counter-protesters and they argued with them and chanted at them.  Me and about four other marshals came over and stood between the two groups and then gradually most of the people moved to the other side of the street.  We stayed over there and formed a mini-circle around the counter-protesters for about a half hour.

Counter-protesters gloating.

Counter-protesters gloating.

“Then again a Trump supporter came over to the other side [City Hall side] and started trying to argue with the people and a cop came up and basically said to him, ‘Ok you had your say, move on.’ and he moved on.  That was about it.”

Danny said he got involved on his own, “I saw the event page and saw a lot of threatening on that page, I didn’t know the two young woman that were organizing it but I said, ‘Hey you guys should have some marshals for protection.’ and at first they said, No we’ll be fine’ but then some people who had done events in Manchester before, like the Black Lives Matter folks said, ‘No, we’d like them to be there.’

I asked Danny to explain what a marshal does, “Essentially its security and de-escalation; you are protecting the crowd. Our focus is to look all around the rally and find potential threats; we form a barrier between the two.  Most people go along and it works out very well.”

Another marshal, Julizabeth Gonzalez said what struck her most about the night “For me it was people coming up and saying ‘How dare you think its ok to get an abortion.” They were just saying stuff that didn’t make any sense and the people I was with were just women drinking coffee and weren’t saying anything, it was ridiculous.  Everyone else though was really friendly, a lot of support and a lot of love.”

As for what spurned Gonzalez to get involved, “For me because I’m Spanish and I’m part of the LBGTQ community, for everything after the election because I have felt really uncomfortable and we don’t feel very safe and welcome anymore, so it was nice to be out yesterday and be out there and be embraced by the community and people letting you know you are going to be ok.
“I feel that since the election people have been more rude to me, staring at me making comments right to me, saying like, “Are you legal?”  I always give them a look and say ‘Pretty much, I came from Massachusetts; I didn’t need a green card.

“I know that a lot of the counter-protesters are missing the whole fact, its about also what the election stands for after the fact.  I did think it was hilarious that there was only a handful of counter-protesters and they were so angry and I wanted to walk over to them and tell them that’s how it feels to be minority in this country, but they didn’t see it like that, but its funny because that must have been how they were feeling, but they didn’t see it like that.

“We also had safety pins, it started in the UK, it was started to signify you are safe around this person, if you are refugee, or gay, or feeling harassed, those people are safe to be around.  One of the marshals had a bunch of safety pins and was handing them out to people who agreed to be ‘safe people’.”

Olivia Rose, 19 worked with the organizers during the planning stages, “I’m not one of the creators [of the event] but I helped with organizing things such as police being there and like part of leading the chants and stuff and making sure that everything and everyone was safe.

Participant showing her "I am safe" designating her as a safe person to go to if someone feels uncomfortable or harassed.

Participant showing her “I am safe” designating her as a safe person to go to if someone feels uncomfortable or harassed.

I really like protesting.  I’ve been to two Black Lives Matters protests before here in Manchester.  I work at a grocery store part-time and I work at Old Navy part-time as holiday help.  I’m saving up money for that and school and everything costs so much money.  Wow, nobody told me it would be like this.  I really want to go to school for special effects and theater.

Asked what got her to get involved, “Well Trump, so I was watching his campaign and he just seems have a lot of hate and when I saw him talking about conversion therapy it just hit a nerve and I don’t want a country filled with hate.  I feel like we’re not all together and I feel like it should be.”

As the actual vote counts continued to roll in long after the mainstream media had declared Trump the winner and Clinton had made her official concession speech, it appeared that Clinton did in fact dominate the popular vote by a small margin.  Considering the divisive nature of Trump’s positions and campaign that was enough for many people to hit the streets and demand that the electoral college switch their pro-Trump positions and put in a vote for the candidate that actually won the popular vote.

Willow Pfahler, another protest participant came to the rally with the distinct goal of being seen by the electoral college voters in NH and elsewhere so that possibly they’d change their vote. “I participated in the protest to draw attention to the electoral college has a constitutional obligation to step in and right this.  The electoral college was originally put in place to give the slave owners the majority vote, but part of the reason as well was to step in and do what’s right.

“To give you an example; there’s the ‘faithless vote’ which is when somebody votes against their pledge, there’s a woman in DC that did not vote at all in 2000, she was protesting the voter discrimination in DC, Barbara Lett-Simmons.  There’s some folks in the electoral college that already pledged not to vote for their pledged candidate.  There’s a many in Texas who has said he will be a ‘faithless voter’ because of Trump’s stance on immigration.

“Many Republicans are saying that electoral college voters cannot change their vote, but its unconstitutional to be prevented from changing their votes, although throughout history there’s never been any prosecution of faceless voters.   img_4026

“Additionally I think that people need to understand that this isn’t something that doesn’t happen.  Even up to 2015 there’s been an estimated 157 instances of faceless voters through the history of the country.  This is what the American people want, this is the idea; the electoral college has an obligation to look at the public voting and see who the American people want and the vote says they want Clinton over Trump.

“Historically, if you look at the facts that she’s receiving a historic number of votes for her, additionally we’re seeing a historic voter decrease and we also, Clinton didn’t win the black vote and didn’t win the Hispanic vote, well consider all the factors I just said, consider the increase in voter suppression relating to Trump’s campaign, consider the number of polling places closed, consider the changes in voter ID laws; it all adds up.

“Right now the electoral college petition on has 4.3 millions signatures, a petition asking the electoral college to change its mind.  Even Fox News did a good article on the issue and outlined the process, especially that regardless of state law, they have to follow the constitution.

“People need to think of why the gap between the election night and the time of the inauguration, it isn’t just what about counting the last of the votes, its about giving the electoral college the chance to look at all the information and make an informed decision.”

Keep an eye on Progressive Action NH’s facebook page for more upcoming events!img_4051

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Yes! Clinton Violated Election Law!

The internet exploded last night with news that Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton entered four polling places in areas around Boston. People on facebook complained that they were cordoned off and kept from voting as the royal procession of Clinton, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh their assorted security entourage were given way into the polling places.

Major news outlets have hounded the Secretary of State’s office with questions about how they interpret Clinton’s behavior or intentions. Unbelievably, as the Boston Globe quotes, Secretary of State Galvin didn’t seem too bothered by it all explaining, “He can go in, but he can’t approach voters,” Galvin said. “We just took the extra precaution of telling them because this is not a usual occurrence. You don’t usually get a president doing this.”

But Brian McNiff, the assistant for the Secretary had a different take earlier in the day, according to, “McNiff was asked if Clinton’s presence would, on its own, constitute a solicitation.

“He’s a well known person. And he’s a spouse of a candidate,” McNiff said. “That should answer the question.”

He declined to further elaborate.”

No doubt he was holding the bullhorn to warn voters of his presence at the New Bedford polling station and the law. “I must stay 150′ from you!” voters did not hear him say.

“By golly is it voting day here? Hey don’t mind me!”


Former president Bill Clinton appeared in New Bedford, Mass., on Super Tuesday in support of his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

150′? What do you think?

Unfortunately once Secretary Galvin made his judgment clear to the press, the press then backed off and the dismissal was no more apparent than the top-running story on Google this evening posted by CNN Politics wherein Mr. McNiff, clearly stepping back in line told CNN that “…shaking hands alone isn’t prohibited. Explicit campaigning is what’s banned within 150 feet of a polling places.

“Just meeting people doesn’t constitute campaigning,” McNiff told CNN. “We received no information that anything like that happened.”

Celebrity power to influence? No way!

His office said it reached out to the Clinton campaign Tuesday “just to remind them about the 150 foot rule.”

So long after the fact, long after Clinton and his entourage had paraded through polling places barricaded to enable him to  shake hands, kiss babies and little old ladies, coming into the polling places to thank poll workers, Clinton was kindly reminded of election law.  Just in case this beginner in the ways of electioneering might forge, we suppose.

As Galvin admitted, one doesn’t usually have the experience of a presidential candidate having a spouse that ran the country as president for two terms.  No other presidential candidate or figure has ever had a spouse that just by virtue of their presence sends a message of Democratic and presidential power like Bill Clinton, much less the typical controversy and celebrity.  No other individual, certainly not a first lady, acting in such a close relationship to a candidate has gone and “worked” the polls the way Clinton did.

And on Super Tuesday, one could argue that there was no more contested or symbolic state than Massachusetts.  No other state could, if turned to Sanders, signal their possible defeat in all of New England.  No other state in the union has the legacy of Democratic power and strength than Massachusetts, no other state holds the tradition of establishment liberalism, than possibly California.

The Clintons knew they would have the south in the bag, but they knew that Massachusetts, as shown the night of the election as the returns bounced back and forth between Sanders and Clinton would be a bitter fight to the end.  They also knew they had an advantage; a tag team that could make that personal appearance, jump in the ring at the last minute and put the Sanders campaign in a twist with that final deadly move.

What’s most disturbing remains the fact that despite this flagrant violation of standard election law, officials decide to turn a blind eye.  With Trump’s making his presidential pitch sound more and more like a fascist take-over by an infomercial star and now this, one has to wonder does the slide down the slope get faster from here?

The Democratic National Committee has started a petition with to demand that Clinton’s forfeit their Massachusetts delegates:

We Demand the DNC Rescind Clinton’s Massachusetts Delegates Due to Breaking the Law!

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Environmental Concerns About the TPP

As the TPP negotiations continue to wind their way through the legal and legislative system, many of the environmental concerns expressed have largely gone ignored or stayed out of the mainstream of the public’s awareness.  This course of action; of not informing the public or politicians giving people tacit assurances, happened with the NAFTA agreement in the 90’s.  The NAFTA agreement allowed companies to avoid environmental regulation by moving their operations to out of country localities in Mexico that bordered their US market.

In the 90’s, Republicans made little effort to hide this fact and often blamed the over regulatory environmentalist lobby for moving companies out of the United States.  People bought this line and thus the NAFTA trade agreement moved through Congress and became law.  But now after many years the environmental damage of NAFTA is now a generally undisputed fact, even though most people are not aware of the extent of pollution that effects every living creature within its wake.

Now we have a public much wiser to consider the ramifications of these open trade agreements. Most people realize that these agreement enable mutli-national corporations to fatten their pockets while doing sometimes irreversible damage to our vital natural resources.  Mexico and South America has suffered with polluted water ways and land, habitat of humans and animals is constantly threatened and even our own planetary breathing apparatus; forests, are being stripped away permanently for the hardwoods they contain (many taking hundreds of years to grow).

The Citarum River, the biggest river in West Java, Indonesia provides drinking, cleaning and ... / Credits: Reuters

Here are some studies on NAFTA’s affect on environmental regulation and the environment as a result:

NAFTA : 20 Years of Costs to the Community and the Environment

Public Citizen: NAFTA’s Broken Promises, 1994-2013

Multinational Monitor – 1993 – NAFTA and the Environment: Free Trade and the Politics of Toxic Waste

New Report Reveals Environmental Costs of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 2014

According to a short summary from the National Geographic, a leaked copy of the draft TPP already shows the extent to which business interests have trumped preserving the health of people and the planet.   Check out their resport, 4 Ways Green Groups Say Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Hurt Environment

The environmental group has a petition up based on the very specific and disconcerting charge that the TPP will put into law the ability of fossil fuel producers to sue town, city and state governments that impose environmentally conscious rules or ordinances aimed and cutting fossil fuel consumption.  This of course is translated in market speak as “if climate action hurts their profits”.  In other words, the profits of global corporations matter more than our planet staying alive.  In addition, fossil fuel companies have managed to negotiate that the government should prevent environmental oversight of fracked gas imports.

Friends of the Earth also points up a couple other troubling areas about the TPP’s possible effects on the environment.

effectively banning the regulation of chemicals used in food production such as pesticides and other compounds and enabling rules and proofs (such as cost-benefit analysis requirements before regulation could be put in place –effectively placing profit before the health of the planet and people) that regulation would not hurt the company’s bottom line.

changes in how regulatory bodies enforce rules in the treaty also effect the ability of any enforcement at all; provide for the ability to corporations to sue municipal bodies for attempts at regulation that slow down their profit stream.  The sweeping of this change is the proposal to install international regulatory bodies that would supersede the authority of United States courts.  This basically would mean that international “tribunals” would come together to install their own regulatory mechanisms and they would only have to follow the lowest-common denominator for the standard to putting in place environmental regulation in the first place.

Public Citizen, a washington watch-dog group also points up the extensive intellectual property protections inserted into the trade agreement. These protections, written by and for global corporations, would mandate the international recognition of genetic patents on living things such as plants and animal life.  This would enable corporations to place ‘ownership’ on living organisms, allow them to create and modify living organisms as they please and allow their marketing worldwide.  This threatens the integrity of our international food supply and most seriously threatens the natural practice of sustainable farming and creates a frightening dependency on corporate commercial power for our food supply.  No group of individuals or corporations should have the ability to control the food supply globally, but this trade agreement will do just.

Already American farmers have suffered the bullying tactics of Monsanto and other seed companies in an obvious strategy to create a captive market for their seed product.  While Monsanto currently uses the court system as a means to force monopoly of their product, the TPP will in fact put into law what they now must fight case by case in court.

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Call Your Girlfriends in Wisconsin

and tell them if they already don’t know; Scott Walker hates women and doesn’t care about their health.  In a new move Walker has stated that he will sign a bill that bans abortions for any reason after 20 weeks.  The bill also changes the estimated time of gestation to “post-fertilization” thus imposing, as these bills always do, upon common medical practice.
pro life are men
Women in New Hampshire need to pay attention.  We have extremists in our midst at the state house and to assume they wouldn’t attempt to take this step in would not be prudent.  Its become practice now to “test” extremist bills in states with a high liklihood of passage and then use that success to create momentum to move onto other states.

And we have our share of crazies already, even one legislator going so far as to ruin a day’s visit to the state house for a bunch of school kids.  Just because he couldn’t stop obsessing about the babeez to the point where he forgot how to respect the real, living breathing children before him and not just the imaginary “unborn children” in his head [note: children are born, in utero they are fetuses).

Walker has said he’ll sign the bill even if it has no exemption for incest or the life of the mother.  Oh and yeah, like the title of the piece says, men are given a little piece of the action too:

Wisconsin Abortion Bill Would Allow Men To Sue For ‘Emotional Distress’

Author: June 4, 2015 8:04 am

A Wisconsin abortion bill seeks to punish abortion providers for providing women with access to safe, healthy options if they wish to terminate their pregnancies. Assembly Bill 237, if it were to pass, would allow men to sue abortion providers for “emotional and psychological distress” if a man who has gotten a woman pregnant does not agree with what she does with her body.

This attempt to punish abortion providers is a lesser-discussed aspect of a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks “postfertilization” (about 22 weeks, since pregnancies are usually measured from the woman’s last menstrual period) — legislation Governor Scott Walker says he will sign with or without an exemption for rape and incest victims.

“I mean, I think for most people who are concerned about that, it’s in the initial months where they’re most concerned about it,” Walker said. “In this case, again, it’s an unborn life, it’s an unborn child, and that’s why we feel strongly about it. I’m prepared to sign it either way that they send it to us.”

If the bill becomes law, doctors who perform abortions after that time could be charged with a felony, fined up to $10,000, and face up to three and a half years in prison. In addition, men would be able to sue abortion doctors for damages, “including damages for personal injury and emotional and psychological distress,”if a doctor performs or attempts to perform an abortion after the time limit.

The man does not need to be married to the woman, or in a relationship with her to sue the doctor, or even care about the child one way or another. He just needs to want money. The only hitch is that a man cannot sue if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest — if that exemption makes it into the final text. The bill also allows the woman to sue if she receives an abortion after this time.

The punishments for doctors under the legislation create quite an issue, as the majority of women who seek abortions after 20 weeks (less than 1.5 percent) do so because of severe health issues, because they do not learn they are pregnant until after 20 weeks, or cannot afford the procedure.

Republicans claim that the bill is necessary because a fetus can feel pain at the 20-week mark — an assertion that has been laughed out of the legitimate medical community:

Read the rest of the story: Wisconsin Abortion Bil Would Allow Men to Sue for Distress

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Oh Facebook Meme, Oh Facebook Meme, Not Always What You Seem

We ran across this meme on Facebook critical of Rand Paul.  To a regular progressive person this might seem innocuous and typical enough, but then if you read through it you’ll find one glaringly important error committed by just one word.  The sentence “I’m a libertarian, but…” then goes into how he has stated he believes the Civil Rights Act goes too far.  The exact quote came from an exchange between him and someone else on television.

But that’s not what’s germaine here.  The problem is that the meme uses the contrasting word “but” in the first statement that he is a Libertarian and then goes on to summarize his position on civil rights.

The meme does not inform, it misleads.  Libertarians have stated over and over again in public, in their writings, on Facebook, on blogs and even in person, that they do not support any regulation by the “state”.  That includes any efforts to equalize systemic oppression.  The reasons for this are varied, but in a nutshell, Libertarians base an individual’s success or failure entirely on that individual’s agency to act.  Libertarians believe we all have equal agency to act on our behalf.  They do not recognize privilege, whether class, race, gender, tribal association or whatever else required to obtain power in a hierarchical social system.

They believe in a meritorious system they proclaim, wherein all people succeed by the sweat of their own brow — that is their merit.  That’s all well and good, we can all get behind that.  But there isn’t a social system on earth today that doesn’t have a structural system based on privilege. Whether adopted upon birth, obtained by service, by gender, by racial affiliation or group affiliation, certain people get a lot of the resources and certain people get none.  That’s a fact and its got a lot more to do with complexities of social and economic power than it has to do with the simple rationalization that poor people don’t work hard enough.

Thus the meme effectively makes a wrong turn down the road and fails to connect Rand Paul’s extremist views with Libertarianism, within which Rand Paul, just like daddy-Paul, is fully entrenched.  Also, all the listed antis of Rand Paul’s positions reflect his anti-government, libertarian philosophies and those of his father.  While the Paul’s have no problem with restricting a woman’s right to liberty over her body and they both have had no problem living off the government dole (pretending to be civil servants) themselves, everything else about them both is pretty consistent with Libertarianism.

Messaging is everything and unless the maker of this meme can’t proof read well, one could infer that the intention of this meme was not to call into question Rand Paul and Libertarianism, but instead to alienate Rand Paul from Libertarianism and simultaneously white-wash Libertarianism.  Sometimes messages and propaganda appear like this; to provide information to a specific audience about something which they agree on, but buried within the message, usually only due to a turn of phrase or as in this case, one word, context changes and thus the message changes as well.

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So Trump Comes to New Hampshire

and this is the bag of mixed nuts he decides to stick his pudgy hands into…

Harrison 2

For the viewing challenged, the money quote: known Free Stater Harrison De Bree and an Andy Stachura who both add to the conversation about the frustration of getting their agenda through:

Stachura: “SHILLS and Traiters! These usurper [sic] need a stiff heavy hand and proper punishment!

Harrison: “Complaining on Facebook won’t get you anywhere.  So who is going to be the first one to string a rep up on the birch tree in front of the statehouse?”

Nice sentiments.  These are Josh Youssef’s colleagues.  Josh Youssef will head up Trump’s initial ground campaign work in New Hampshire.  For more on Youssef refer back on this blog to Donald Trump Starts in NH on Questionable Footing

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Donald Trump Starts in NH on Questionable Footing

As Miscellany Blue reports below, Donald Trump has named a local New Hampshire curmudgeon and accomplished liar to spear-head his presidential “exploration” team in New Hampshire.  We think he couldn’t have picked anyone better to represent his values.  Read below:

Donald Trump names controversial figure to N.H. leadership team

(Photo: Michael Vadon / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Josh Youssef, the Laconia businessman named to Donald Trump’s New Hampshire leadership team, has an extensive history of provocative remarks and controversial conduct. The 2012 Republican state senate nominee in District 7 will serve as the Belknap County chair for Trump’s exploratory presidential campaign.

In 2013, the state Attorney General’s Office ruled Youssef violated the state’s election law when he published a deceptive and misleading website during his unsuccessful senate campaign.

The charges grew out of a public spat between Youssef and attorney Ed Mosca, who was representing Youssef’s ex-wife in their contentious divorce case. In August 2012, the Concord Monitor reported Youssef had accused Mosca of trying to sabotage his campaign by posting court documents related to the divorce on his blog,

A few weeks later, an anonymous website (first reported by Miscellany Blue) appeared that was virtually identical to Mosca’s blog in look and feel. The copycat site,, praised Youssef and accused Mosca of waging a “personal vendetta” against him.

Mosca filed a formal complaint and the Republican leadership of the state Senate called on Youssef to publicly address the allegations. “These allegations are serious and deserve to be fully investigated,” Senate President Peter Bragdon and Majority Leader Jeb Bradley said in a statement.

Youssef eventually admitted creating the copycat site. The state Attorney General’s Office ruled the act violated a state law that prohibits falsely representing someone else for the purpose of influencing an election.

In a YouTube video, Youssef defended the anonymous copycat website as protected political speech, which he called “the underpinning of our entire political process.” Mosca’s complaint, he said, was “just a politically-motivated trick to try to derail my bid for the state Senate.”

Court documents from Youssef’s divorce also revealed he failed to file federal income tax returns between 2004 and 2008. Concord Monitor reporter Annmarie Timmins confirmed the records indicated Youssef owed $60,000 to the IRS, which began garnishing his wages in January 2012.

Jump on over to Miscellany Blue to read the rest:Trump Names Controversial Figure to N.H. Leadership Team


New Democrats Expect Growing Support for Fast-Track

New Democrats? Didn’t they die out after George W. rode in on the wave of “New Democrat” fervor that elected Clinton who then shoved the country further right?  Wasn’t “New Democrat” a fad of the 90’s wherein the late Georgia Senator Sam Nunn and others came together figuring that the old liberal Democratic party had to go and make way for a newer, shinier, more conservative version.  A version that wouldn’t let such matters as labor and social policy stand in the way of getting elected? Remember them? NAFTA? Welfare Reform? the Telecommunications Act which while historically did destroy Ma Bell’s monopoly on phone service, opened up a brave new world on technology law that still confounds many.

Yes the New Democrats have apparently risen their ugly heads again and it seems that we can with confidence, this time around call them what they have always been: Republican Lite.  Content to enjoy the traditional support of middle Americans, shameless in their promotion of corporate power and hawkish in their support of imperialist intervention worldwide, the New Democrat comprises a creature that at the very least deserves healthy skepticism and a watchful eye.

Case in point: their coming out in support of the Fast Track process to pass the TPP without debate; in short, without democratic process.  For more look no further than Politico to proudly that some Democrats have pulled that old mothballed sweater out of the closet and are wearing it with pride, despite the holes we can all see clearly from here:

| Getty

The bill would allow Obama to submit trade deals to Congress for straight up-or-down votes without any amendments. | Getty
New Democrats expect growing support for fast-track

By Doug Palmer

4/30/15 9:03 PM EDT

A small group of House Democrats who back President Barack Obama’s effort to win “fast-track” trade legislation said Thursday they expect more party members to step forward in favor of the bill, but indicated Republicans would still have to provide the bulk of the votes to win its approval.

“I think members realize it’s coming closer [to the time] to ultimately to make a decision, and that’s what they’re trying to do,” Wisconsin Rep. Ron Kind, chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, told reporters after more than a 90-minute meeting with Obama. “I think to the credit of the majority of the New Dems in the coalition, they’ve kept their powder dry to give the administration and the president the chance to make the case.”

Obama invited all 46 members of the moderate, business-friendly group to the White House to urge their support for the bill, which many Democrats have already made up their mind to oppose. About 27 piled into a bus for the trip, including some who have already endorsed the bill and many others who are undecided.

Just 13 House Democrats — most of them from the New Democrat Coalition — are on record in support of the legislation, which would allow Obama to submit trade deals like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership pact to Congress for straight up-or-down votes without any amendments.

Read more:Politico: New Democrats Expect….