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A State Democratic Party Tells Congress: Reject More War Spending

by John Nichols

Working with Progressive Democrats of America, anti-war delegates to the state convention of the Wisconsin Democratic Party passed a floor resolution urging Congress to block Obama's  "emergency" proposal to spend an addition $33 billion to maintain the pay for the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So it is that, in one a state where grassroots Democrats in a state that provided earlier and enthusiastic support for Barack Obama's presidential run, members of the president's own party are saying "no" to Obama's plan to surge more troops and tax dollars into Afghanistan.

"This is a major shift in thinking on the part of a lot of the Dem party base, who only a year ago were refusing to oppose the war in Afghanistan, arguing that we needed to support President Obama and his plans for escalation of the war," says Steve Carlson, a veteran peace activist and PDA organizer.

PDA and other groups are working this year within state Democratic parties around the country to generate resolutions and activism against expanding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Carlson and other activist are now contacting Democrats in Wisconsin's congressional delegation -- including some, such as Senator Russ Feingold and House members Tammy Baldwin, Gwen Moore and Steve Kagen, and Dave Obey, who have anti-war records or have made anti-war statements, and others, such as Senator Herb Kohl and Congressman Ron Kind, who have been war backers -- to "tell them the news" that their state party opposes steering more money toward the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In addition to opposing the supplemental, the Wisconsin party resolution urged members of the state's congressional delegation to co-sponsor Florida Congressman Alan Grayson's "The War Is Making You Poor Act," which would have the Pentagon prosecute the wars with the $549 billion dollar base budget requested by President Obama and use the money the "emergency spending" the administration is seeking to cut taxes for working Americans.

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