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With key vote just days away, activists ramp up pressure on DNC to hold #ClimateDebate

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“Only a climate-specific debate will show whether the candidates are climate ready or not.”

The Democratic National Committee faced increased pressure on Monday to hold a climate debate from progressive organizations demanding the party live up to its own governing platform and “treat this crisis like the emergency it is.”

Efforts to change the DNC’s mind appear headed to a headed to a fever pitch as the committee will meet later this week and reportedly vote (pdf) on a proposed resolution to hold a climate debate—and potentially a resolution put forth by DNC Chair Tom Perez that critics believe represents an effort to kill a climate-focused debate.

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Eyeing that potential snuff-out—as well as the severity of planetary crisis— Progressive Democrats of America on Monday called on the Democratic presidential candidates to sign on to an open letter to Perez.

The document (pdf), which has already nabbed signatures from noted figures in the movement including 350.org founder Bill McKibben, Greenpeace executive director USA Annie Leonard, filmmaker Josh Fox, and activist Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., admonishes the party’s “deeply problematic” stance to not make “the existential threat of global climate breakdown” the focus of one of the dozen Democratic presidential debates.

The letter points to the party platform’s own Global Climate Leadership plank, which says, in part, “We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II.”

Given that stated commitment, says the letter, it “defies common sense” that the party refuses to hold a climate debate.

Russell Greene, and advisor to PDA and an author of the platform’s climate emergency language, said in a statement that if the platform “actually guides anything, the Democrats will sponsor a climate debate.”

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“Chairman Perez needs to stop dodging the issue,” said Greene, “and let the candidates debate their plans. Only a climate-specific debate will show whether the candidates are climate ready or not.”

CNN and MSNBC will hold climate-focused forums featuring 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates, a development the youth-led Sunrise Movement welcomed as a sign of their pressure working.  But the upcoming forums did little to quell activists’ demands for a climate debate.

“If you needed another reason why the @DNC *must* plan a full-fledged #ClimateDebate, here it is,” Oil Change US tweeted Monday, responding to news that White House hopeful Kamala Harris will be attending a fundraiser instead of the CNN event.  “Major candidates may skip a forum, but they wouldn’t skip a #DemDebate.”

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Sunrise, in a Monday morning tweet, drew attention to this week being decision time for the resolution for a climate-focused debate. “We need all hands on deck if we want to win the vote,” said Sunrise.

The youth-led group has been putting steady pressure on the DNC, launching a seven-week campaign to demand a climate debate. Their actions have included a three-day sit-in at the DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C. in June.

“This pressure worked,” Sunrise declares on its website. “The day after the sit-in ended, the Democratic National Committee confronted internal pressure to hold a climate debate, and scheduled a vote on this issue at their national meeting from August 22-24 in California, where representatives from every state will come together.”

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To make sure the party acts in accordance with the urgency the climate crisis demands, Sunrise is calling on people to “mobilize in every corner of the country to turn up the heat on local and state party officials.”

“It’s time,” the group says, “to turn up the heat for a #ClimateDebate.”

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2020 Election

White House adviser warned colleagues Nancy Pelosi would eventually bring Trump down: ‘She’s an assassin’

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In an excerpt from the new book "A Very Stable Genius," former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon predicted that now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would eventually attempt to bring the president down one way or the other.

According to Axios, the book states, "The night of January 23 [2017], the first Monday of his presidency, Trump came face‑to‑face with House and Senate leaders from both parties at a White House reception ... At a long table in the State Dining Room, Steve Bannon ... could not stop looking at Nancy Pelosi..."

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2020 Election

These 6 GOP senators have negative approval ratings — threatening Republican control in 2020

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may not be in control of the body following the 2020 elections. In fact, he might not even be a senator.

On Thursday, Morning Consult released a new poll on all 100 senators, based on 494,899 interviews with voters. The survey had some major red flags for Republicans hoping to hold control of the chamber in 2020.

President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is putting enormous pressure on vulnerable Republicans, Morning Consult's Eli Yokley explained.

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2020 Election

It’s 2020 and Florida’s Supreme Court just ruled in favor of a poll tax

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"Florida cannot violate the U.S. Constitution's protections. The right to vote cannot be contingent on the ability to pay."

Florida's state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of denying convicted felons the right to vote if they do not pay fines and fees associated with their incarceration, a decision that was immediately assailed by rights activists as an unconstitutional and immoral poll tax.

In a statement condemning the ruling (pdf), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Florida, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund said the ruling "does not—indeed, cannot—alter what the U.S. Constitution requires."

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