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NSDP Chair’s Newsletter

JUNE 20-21, 2014

Dates3RememberThe NSDP Convention will be held at the Circus Circus in downtown Reno, Nevada.  The Awards Cocktail Reception at 7pm Friday night and the Convention will be all day Saturday followed by our first SCC meeting.  Attendees can register through EventBrite online or via mail after the County Conventions to avoid confusion.

The room block is now open to reserve rooms at $89/night.

Link to Circus Circus Room Block  http://

Marla Turner is Chair of the Convention Committee.  Her committee will be working on the Reception and various details of convention day.

Luke McCarthy is Chair of the Platform Committee.  Shortly you will receive information on Platform Hearings.

Chris Wicker is Chair of the Credentials Committee.


 Friday, April 25, 5:30 – 7:30p

for more details click here


The Democratic Women’s Alliance’s (DWA) primary focus is to grow and engage the number of women involved in the party at all levels from those who want to make educated decisions at the ballot box to women who decide to run for office.

For more information please visit:  Make sure you click on the “Get Updates” tab to register and get updates.

DWA also hosts webinars.  Following is an example:

To sign up for the DWA list serve click here


Voting is one of the most fundamental rights in our democracy. That’s why we’re launching the Voter Expansion Project. We’re leading the charge to expand the vote, because it’s not enough anymore for us to simply protect against voting restrictions.

Join President Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party in our fight to protect and expand the right to vote.   


The Voting Rights Institute of the Democratic National Committee is a permanent organization created to monitor developments in election law, advocate to make voting more accessible, and provide guidance on voting rights and election administration issues. This work is integrally tied to our Party’s platform, which commits to fully protecting and enforcing the fundamental right to vote.

The Democratic National Committee is dedicated to ensuring that the process of voting remains open and fair for all eligible Americans. We continue to work to defeat any legislative or political effort that erodes the most fundamental of American rights—the right to vote.

Under the leadership of its chair Donna Brazile, the Voting Rights Institute focuses on the protection and expansion of voting rights in a variety of ways, including:

  • Voting Rights Policy Development
  • Research and Publication
  • Voter Protection Organizing
  • Redistricting Support
  • Voting Rights Litigation Support

If you want to join the fight to beat back Republican attempts to limit the right to vote, and support leaders across the country who are working to expand and modernize access to the ballot, sign up here:


This week, as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker kicked off his reelection campaign and Texas Governor Rick Perry underwent a renewed ethics investigation, we examined the corruption and illegal behavior of Republican governors across the country. The DNC has released a new video, “Law and Disorder: Republican Governors Unit,” which emphasizes that the scandals in these administrations rival any reality TV drama. For more information about the many investigations into corruption, unethical behavior and other illegal activity engulfing GOP governors across the country, please see the Weekly Communications Update, which is attached.

Also included in the Update is this week’s news from the Congressional Budget Office, which released new estimates that show premiums for health care plans purchased through Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges will be lower than previously anticipated. The revised estimates come as recent poll numbers indicate that more Americans are supportive of the ACA. You can watch the President announcing that 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the ACA by clicking here. For recent headlines about the ACA collected by our factivists, please click here. Also on social media this week, Vice President Joe Biden returned to Twitter in advance of the 2014 election. You can get his tweets by following @JoeBiden on Twitter, or take a look at the pictures (including a selfie with the President!) on his brand new Instagram.
To read about President Obama and Vice President Biden’s joint speech on skills based job training, updates on the Ryan Budget, and news from the states, please review the Weekly Communications Update, and share with your networks.



Clark County JJ Dinner
Special Guest Speaker Governor Martin O’Malley
Friday, May 2
Tropicana Hotel

Lyon County JJ Dinner
Sunday, June 22


Thursday, April 24
Douglas County Central Committee Meeting

Saturday, May 3
Clark County Central Committee Meeting
(following the County Convention)

Tuesday, May 6
White Pine County Central Committee Meeting
Elko Central Committee Meeting

Tuesday, May 13
Humboldt County Central Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 15
Nye County Central Committee Meeting

Saturday, May 17
Lyon County Central Committee Meeting

Monday, May 19
Douglas County Central Committee Meeting

Wednesday, May 21
Churchill County Central Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 22
Douglas County Central Committee Meeting

Experts Warn: US ‘on Course to Repeat’ BP Gulf Disaster

“The risk of another blowout is real,” write former MMS head Elizabether Birnbaum, Oceana’s Jacqueline Savitz

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig ablaze on April 21, 2010. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. is “on a course to repeat our mistakes” and face another oil disaster like BP’s Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, two experts warn.

The chilling cautionary words are given by former offshore drilling regulator Elizabeth Birnbaum and Jacqueline Savitz, vice president for U.S. Oceans at conservation organizationOceana, in op-ed published in the New York Times days ahead of the fourth anniversary of the epic oil catastrophe.

Birnbaum was head of Minerals Management Service at the time of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but in a move seen by some as “scapegoat firing” was ousted from the position weeks after the well began to spew oil into the Gulf. She is now a consultant at SEB Strategies.

Birnbaum and Savitz write that the Obama administration has yet to act on recommendations which could make offshore drilling safer.

“We would never have imagined so little action would be taken to prevent something like this from happening again. But, four years later, the Obama administration still has not taken key steps recommended by its experts and experts it commissioned to increase drilling safety. As a result, we are on a course to repeat our mistakes,” they write.

One the remaining threats Birnbaum and Savitz highlight has to do with blowout preventers, a point outlined in a “detailed and damning” December 2011 report of the National Academy of Engineering. The report found fault with the Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer, and indicated that that same equipment “may be present” at other drilling operations. Yet new standards for blowout preventers have yet to be enforced, deepwater drilling continues, and new drilling leases in the Gulf are issued each year.

“The risk of another blowout is real,” they write.

Rather than scale back drilling, oceans face another assault with the administration’s proposal to allow the use of seismic air guns for oil exploration along the Atlantic coast, which Oceana has warned could amount to “death sentence” for marine mammals.

“We have seen this pattern before. The expansion of drilling into deeper water and farther from shore was not coupled with advances in spill prevention and response,” Birnbaum and Savitz write in their op-ed.

This captures the ‘risk addiction’ award-winning journalist and author Naomi Klein described in her TED talk delivered months after the Macondo well blowout. Klein said that “even more striking than the ferocious power emanating from that well was the recklessness with which that power was unleashed — the carelessness, the lack of planning that characterized the operation from drilling to clean-up.”

“If there is one thing BP’s watery improv act made clear, it is that, as a culture, we have become far too willing to gamble with things that are precious and irreplaceable, and to do so without a back-up plan, without an exit strategy,” Klein continued.

That reckless gamble is all too real for the wildlife in the Gulf still suffering and community members still awaiting compensation for the catastrophe that is far from over.

“The request by coastal residents four years later is the same as in 2010,” stated Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy. “Clean up the oil. Pay for the damage. And, ensure that this never happens again.”


Meet Vance Alm, M.D. – Candidate for United States Congress

This voting season, Northern Nevada has only one federal level election – Nevada’s Congressional District 2, which encompasses most of Northern Nevada.

Dr. Vance Alm, who currently practices family medicine in Sparks, Nevada, is also a military veteran, serving four years enlisted in the army, then completing his career in the United States Air Force as a Navigation Officer.  Dr. Alm is scheduling several Town Hall style meetings throughout Washoe County over the next few weeks.  He will also be visiting several of the rural counties.  He has specific ideas on how to solve many of the challenges currently facing Nevadans and all Americans.

We invite you to join Dr. Alm at one of these meetings to hear his ideas, ask your questions and to have an opportunity to meet with one of your potential federal representatives one-on-one.

The meetings are being held at the following public libraries and are free to attend:

Friday, April 25, 2014
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
South Valleys Library
15650A Wedge Parkway
Reno, NV  89511
(775) 851-5190 – Library
Saturday, April 26, 2014
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
North Valleys Library
1075 North Hills Blvd., #340
Reno, NV  89506
(775) 972-0281 – Library
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Sparks Library
1125 12th Street
Sparks, NV  89431
(775) 352-3200 – Library
Thursday, May 8, 2014
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Spanish Springs Library
7100A Pyramid Lake Highway
Sparks, NV  89436
(775) 424-1800 – Library
Saturday, May 31, 2014
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Northwest Reno Library
2325 Robb Drive
Reno, NV  89523
(775) 787-4100 – Library

For more information on Vance Alm, please visit his campaign website: and our Facebook page:

We will be listing additional meeting dates and times on the website and on Facebook as they are added.  We hope you can attend and we hope you will extend the invitation to your friends, family and colleagues.  Please help us to get the word out, so we can all get the vote out!  Thank you for your support!

Whether or not you are able to attend, Dr. Alm would like to remind everyone to honor those who have fought and sometimes died for our rights.  Please honor the military…Vote!

June 10, 2014 – Primary Election / November 4, 2014 – General Election

Vance S. Alm, M.D.
Candidate for U.S. Congress
18124 Wedge Parkway, Suite #2019
Reno, NV  89511
(775) 303-2377


It’s Decision-Making Time

— Brian Dempsey, Candidate for U.S. Representative (NV-CD2)

Dempsey03As you all know it is about 6 weeks until early voting for the Primary Election begins (May 24th thru June 6th).  That means its decision time for the Democrats to decide which of the candidates will give us the best chance to win this seat.  We all know this seat is going to be a challenge and a very long shot to win, but it is winnable!  I know that if we choose the right person, and we all come together we can do it.

I started my campaign just over a year ago.  I started early because I knew it would be hard.  People have told me that I can’t win, that I shouldn’t even try.  One year later I am still here!  I will not quit!  I will not let the negative thoughts of others persuade me to give up.  I have overcome enough bad times in my life to know that quitting is not an option.

I understand why the leaders of our party give up on this District.  I understand why they have so much negativity.  I understand I may lose this election.  I also understand leadership.  Real leaders find a way to make things happen. Real leaders don’t give up.  I may lose, but nobody will ever be able to look at me and say that I didn’t try.

I encourage you to research all of the candidates.  And you need to decide who will give us the best chance to win.  I hope that when you vote, it will be for me.  I want the chance to beat Mark Amodei.  I do not want a repeat of 2012 and have a person on the ballot that does not belong there.  If I lose the primary, whoever wins will have all of my support.  I am not running against the others, I am running against our “Do nothing Congressman.”  I feel that I give us the best chance to win.

This election is about the future.  I want to be a leader of the Party, the State, and the People.  I want to be your Representative in D.C.  Why?  Because you deserve better, Nevada deserves better, and the people of the United States deserve better!

We can do this!

Thank you everyone!

Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels

The American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) is promoting legislation with goals ranging from penalizing individual homeowners and weakening state clean energy regulations, to blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from fulfilling its currently legislated functions.  ALEC sponsored at least 77 energy bills in 34 states last year.  Those measures were aimed at opposing renewable energy standards, pushing through the Keystone XL pipeline project, and barring any oversight of fracking (hydraulic fracturing).  One such “ALEC” bill has recently come to fruition in Oklahoma, where they’ll now be charging homeowners who have Solar Panels or Wind Turbine generators to use the grid when they have excess generation.  (Those who don’t generate, will NOT be charged grid usage fees, just those who do generate … will.)  In other words, homeowners in Oklahoma with solar panels have to pay the Utilities to let their solar generation support the Utility’s peaking needs.  

I have a solar panel array on my rooftop.  Sometimes I manage to generate more than I use, but that doesn’t happen 24 hours a day.  Nevada Energy utilizes my less expensive generation to help supply its generation needs.  Thus, it’s a symbiotic relationship.  Why should I have to pay to provide them with generation they’ll turn around and sell for more than it cost me to generate it?  

If Nevada is so stupid as to pass the same ill-advised legislation, I’ll invest in batteries and go completely off the grid!  Nevada Energy will just have to figure out where it’s going to get the money to build more expensive generation capabilities to meet its customer’s peaking needs when enough of us have had enough and start dropping off the grid altogether. — Vickie Rock, editor


— by Kiley Kroh 



Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature and expected to be signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin (R-OK).

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.

“We knew nothing about it and all of a sudden it’s attached to some other bill,” Ctaci Gary, owner of Sun City Oklahoma, told ThinkProgress. “It just appeared out of nowhere.”

Because the surcharge amount has not been determined, Gary is cautious about predicting the impact it will have on her business. She has already received multiple calls from people asking questions about the bill and wanting to have solar systems installed before the new fee takes effect. “We’re going to use it as a marketing tool,” Gary said. “People deserve to have an opportunity [to install their own solar panels] and not be charged.”

“It is unfortunate that some utilities that enthusiastically support wind power for their own use are promoting a regressive policy that will make it harder for their customers to use wind power on their own,” said Mike Bergey, president & CEO of Bergey Windpower in Norman, Oklahoma, in a statement. “Oklahoma offers tax credits for large wind turbines which are built elsewhere, but wants to penalize small wind which we manufacture here in the state? That makes no sense to me.”

The bill was staunchly opposed by renewable energy advocates, environmental groups and the conservative group TUSK, but had the support of Oklahoma’s major utilities. “Representatives of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma said the surcharge is needed to recover some of the infrastructure costs to send excess electricity safely from distributed generation back to the grid,” the Oklahoman reported.

“We’re not anti-solar or anti-wind or trying to slow this down, we’re just trying to keep it fair,” Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Kathleen O’Shea told the Oklahoman. “We’ve been studying this trend. We know it’s coming, and we want to get ahead of it.”

But distributed energy sources also provide a clear value to utility companies. Solar generates during peak hours, when a utility has to provide electricity to more people than at other times during the day and energy costs are at their highest. Solar panels actually feed excess energy back to the grid, helping to alleviate the pressure during peak demand. In addition, because less electricity is being transmitted to customers through transmission lines, it saves utilities on the wear and tear to the lines and cost of replacing them with new ones.

As the use of solar power skyrockets across the U.S., fights have sprung up in several states over how much customers should be compensated for excess power produced by their solar panels and sold back to the grid — a policy known as net metering. Net metering laws have come under fire from the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group backed by fossil fuel corporations, utility companies, and the ultra-conservative Koch brothers. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have net metering policies in place and ALEC has set its sights on repealing them,referring to homeowners with their own solar panels as “freeriders on the system.” ALEC presented Gov. Fallin the Thomas Jefferson Freedom award last year for her “record of advancing the fundamental Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty as a nationally recognized leader.”

Oklahoma “could be the first complete defeat for solar advocates in their fight against utility efforts to recover costs lost to DG [distributed generation] use,”writes Utility Dive. Net metering survived attacks in Colorado  and Kansas  and Vermont recently increased its policy in a bipartisan effort. Last year, Arizona added what amounts to a $5 per month surcharge for solar customers, a move that was widely seen as a compromise, particularly after ALEC and other Koch-backed groups got involved.

While any extra charge placed on potential customers is a concern, Gary hopes that like Arizona, Oklahoma’s fee is modest enough to protect her business from serious damage.

Matt Kasper, energy research assistant at the Center for American Progress, contributed to this piece.

This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Don’t You Wish You Had Similar Tax Loopholes

— by Roberta Lange, Chair, Nevada Democratic Party

12.6% — that’s the effective federal tax rate the average corporation paid in America. I don’t know about you, but that’s a heck of a lot less than the rate I paid when I filed my taxes this week. I’m more than happy to pay my fair share — I appreciate having a military to keep us safe, roads to move commerce and Social Security to help protect our seniors. All I’m asking is that the wealthiest pay their fair share.

The top 1% of this country get tax breaks we could only dream of. Corporations can deduct private jet depreciation and oil companies get special subsidies. Flash traders on Wall Street line their own pockets by gaming the system and passing the cost along to retirement and pension funds that hard-working Americans depend on. Outrageously, corporations can deduct lawsuit settlements from their taxes, rewarding their bad behavior. Can you imagine if we were allowed to deduct speeding tickets from our taxes?

With loopholes like this, it’s no wonder billionaires like the Koch Brothers are spending hundreds of millions to support Republicans. The GOP is a do-nothing party — and that’s exactly what the Koch Brothers want. They want to keep oil subsidies going while the tax burden on the average American family increases.

Democrats are fighting to bring fairness to our nation’s tax system. But we’re up against the very deep pockets of the Koch Brothers and other dark money Super PACs. We’re in deep trouble without your financial support.  Your money gets used efficiently to go after Republicans. We maintain one of the best voter files in the country and hire organizers to target voters based on sophisticated models. Our research, communications and new media team is constantly churning out new attacks on Republicans — but they can’t do it with the support of dedicated Democrats like you.


The Economic Costs of Inaction on Immigration Reform

Last June, the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill that would grow our economy and shrink the deficit. But without action from the House to move forward in the last year, our country is losing out on these economic gains.

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