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WAND, Inc (Women’s Action for New Directions, Inc) is a national membership organization that works to increase women's political power for the purpose of reducing violence and militarism and redirecting excessive military resources to unmet human and environmental needs. WAND, Inc urges your support for these women candidates.



Image of Tammy Baldwin

Tammy Baldwin

WI-Sen

Tammy Baldwin is running for Wisconsin's open Senate seat. She was born and raised in Wisconsin by her grandparents, and she understands the needs of the middle and working class people and families in her state. She graduated from Smith College with degrees in political science and mathematics. She went on to get a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison while also serving on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. WAND was proud to count Tammy as a member of the Women Legislators' Lobby when she served in Wisconsin's General Assembly and to endorse her when she decided to run for Congress. Tammy was the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in the House of Representatives. If elected, Tammy would be the first woman to represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate. As a member of Congress, Tammy opposed the war in Iraq and has fought to bring troops home from Afghanistan. She has worked hard for veterans. She is also the lead sponsor of the Buffett Rule, which would ensure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share in taxes and she is dedicated to ensuring all Americans get affordable health care. WAND Distinguishing Points: Tammy is a vocal champion of many issues important to WAND. She opposed the war in Iraq and she has long called for an end to the war in Afghanistan. She wants to shift the money spent on the war in Afghanistan toward nation building at home and reducing the national debt. The seat: Tammy faces Republican former governor Tommy Thompson. Thompson emerged from a bruising primary fight with very little money for the general election, but this race will undoubtedly attract huge amounts of outside spending. Wisconsin has a long tradition of electing progressive leaders but as everyone knows, conservatives have seen a resurgence there in recent years.

Image of Julia Brownley

Julia Brownley

CA-26

Julia Brownley is a member of the California State Assembly with a history of dedicated public service in California. She is finishing her third term in the Assembly, where she is chair of the Education Committee and a member of several other committees. She was first elected in 2006 after winning a very competitive primary, and she introduced her first bill the day she was sworn in. Before joining the Assembly, Brownley served as president of the Board of Education for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. In 2006, her work for the board, which helped provide the school district millions of dollars, earned her the title of YMCA Woman of the Year. She has history in marketing and degrees from George Washington and American Universities.

WAND Distinguishing Points: Assemblywoman Brownley advocates for creating jobs, improving public education, protecting the environment, advancing women’s rights, and providing affordable, quality health care to everyone.

The Seat: Brownley is running in the heavily redistricted 26th district of California. There is no incumbent running in this now swing district. With California’s new open primary policy, Brownley will be running in her June 5th primary against all candidates, not just other Democrats, and the two earning the highest number of votes will move on to the general election, regardless of party. Her top opponents, are Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, a Republican turned Independent and Republican State Senator Tony Strickland. Park is a moderate aiming for environmentalist votes, while Strickland is a Tea Party Republican with significant financial backing. Brownley will have to defeat one or both of them in the primary and then campaign for the general. She needs our support today!

Image of Cheri Bustos

Cheri Bustos

IL-17

Former journalist and healthcare executive Cheri Bustos is running for Congress in Illinois' 17th Congressional District!

A native of Illinois, Bustos has been elected twice to the City Council of East Moline. She reported on many issues during her journalism career including government corruption, crime, and healthcare. Bustos was the Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Trinity Regional Health System in Illinois and served as the Vice President of Public Relations and Communications at IHS. She currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Connection and was an Alderwoman on the City Council in East Moline, Illinois. As part of her commitment to economic development, Bustos founded and chaired the East Moline Downtown Revitalization Committee.

She has said she will seek a seat on the House Armed Services Committee if elected to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional district. Bustos’ top three issues as a first term Member of Congress would be creating jobs, increasing access to quality affordable healthcare and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

WAND Distinguishing Points: Bustos answered all of the questions on our questionnaire to our satisfaction.

The Seat: The seat to represent the 17th Congressional district of Illinois is currently held by Bobby Schilling (R), elected in 2010, who is running for re-election. After re-districting, the new 17th district is slightly more favorable to Democrats. Recent public polling shows that only 39% of voters said they would re-elect Bobby Schilling and 32% have a favorable opinion of the Republicans in Congress. A Democratic challenger leads 44-40 when voters were asked who they would support for Congress between Schilling and a Democratic challenger. In the Democratic primary, Bustos faces three opponents: Greg Aguilar, Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp, and attorney Eric Reyes. State Senator Dave Koehler was previously the most credible opponent for the Democratic nomination; however, he dropped out of the race in early December to keep his state Senate seat. Bustos raised more than 15 times the amount of her next closest opponent in the most recent fundraising quarterly report and is a strong Democratic candidate. She anticipates main issues in the election race to be jobs, Medicare and Social Security, and healthcare. Primary elections are on March 20, 2012.

Cynthia Dill

ME-Sen

Dill is a state senator for Maine’s 7th District. Before her election in 2011, she served in the Maine House of Representatives for the state’s 121st District. She currently serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and while she was in the House she was a member of the Judiciary and Ethics Committees, as well as chair of the Broadband Strategy Council. Before her election to the House in 2006, she served on the Cape Elizabeth Town Council for two years, acted as Director of the Common Cause Digital Democracy Project, and taught at Southern Maine Community College. On top of these positions, Dill is an award-winning civil rights lawyer. Between her work for her community and for national broadband access, she managed a private civil trial practice for 20 years.

WAND Distinguishing Points: On defense spending, Dill states, “The FY 2012 budget request for Pentagon spending will consume 56% of the discretionary budget… This percentage of discretionary spending is too high in light of our dire domestic needs, particularly in the areas of job retraining and infrastructure reinvestment, and I would vote our military spending priorities accordingly.” On nuclear weapons, “The U.S. nuclear arsenal is wasteful and far too large for deterring a nuclear attack on this country. We need to take new steps, beyond the New START Treaty, to reduce the U.S.nuclear arsenal. I support negotiations for deeper cuts in nuclear weapons arsenals.” On missile defense, “It makes little sense to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on defenses that don't work, don't deal with the more likely threats from terrorists, and could be easily overcome by decoys and other countermeasures.” Finally, on Afghanistan, she says, “It is time to end the war and transition to sustainable peace-building efforts, reducing the enormous costs in blood and treasure and redirecting our priorities to domestic needs.”

The Seat: Senator Dill is looking to take the seat of moderate Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, who recently announced that she will not be running for reelection. She entered the race prior to Senator Snowe’s announced retirement. On the Democratic side she faces Matt Dunlap, a former secretary of state and State Rep. John Hinck. Republicans in the race include current Secretary of State Charlie Summers, Attorney General William Schneider, State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, State Sen. Debra Plowman, former Maine Senate President Rick Bennett and Scott D’Amboise, a Tea Party candidate who entered the race before Snowe announced her retirement. Very popular former Governor Angus King has announced he will run as an independent. King has not announced with which party he might caucus and he is considered a moderate in his political positions.

Image of Val Demings

Val Demings

FL-10

Val became the first woman appointed to Chief of Police in Orlando, FL in 2007. She worked as a social worker before joining the Orlando police force, where she served in various departments such as Criminal Investigations Division, Internal Affairs and worked her way to the top. During her tenure as Chief, Demings committed herself to protecting the public by staying tough on crime. She significantly reduced incidences of robbery, shootings and murders in Orlando by forty percent before retiring after 27 years in the force.

WAND Distinguishing Points: In her own words, Val is a proponent of “creating an economy that grows jobs that last, health care that doesn’t harm seniors and implementing an energy policy that breaks our destructive addiction to oil.” If elected to Congress, Demings will continue to work on growing the middle class, creating sustainable jobs, and protecting Social Security and Medicare

The Seat: Florida’s 8th District is located in central Florida. It consists of Orange County, Lake County, Marion County, Osceola County and parts of Orlando. This district is currently represented by Daniel Webster. Val faces a tough race ahead of her. Not only is she challenging the current congressional representative, Daniel Webster, she may also run against former US Rep. Alan Grayson and current State Senator Gary Siplin.

Image of Tammy Duckworth

Tammy Duckworth

IL-08

Tammy Duckworth was one of the first women to fly combat missions in Iraq. In 2004, her helicopter was hit and she lost both legs and part of the use of one arm. As she recovered, she became an advocate for Veterans. She decided to run for Congress in 2006 and after narrowly losing her race, she served as Director of Illinois' Department of Veterans Affairs. She implemented many first in the nation programs to address Post Traumatic Stress, improve traumatic brain injury screening and reduce homelessness among Vets. Later, as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for President Obama’s administration, she focused on solving Veteran homelessness and led programs for women Veterans. She continues to drill as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.

The daughter of a Veteran and an immigrant from Thailand, Tammy understands the struggles America's families are experiencing now. Her father lost his job when she was in high school, and she had to get a minimum wage job and rely on grants to get through college. Her family also used food stamps to help make ends meet.

WAND Distinguishing Points: Tammy understands the true cost of war and takes seriously Congress’ role in setting foreign policy. She is also a strong believer in the value of diplomacy. We also value her incredible, tireless commitment to our men and women in uniform. Finally, as a Veteran, she can speak with authority about the most sensible ways to reduce Pentagon spending while still ensuring our nation stays safe.

The seat: She faces Rep. Joe Walsh, the incumbent in Illinois’ 8th district. However, this seat, located in the suburbs north of Chicago, changed substantially in re-districting and it now leans Democratic. Rep. Walsh has a record of incendiary comments, including saying that Tammy talks about her military service too much. And last year his ex-wife sued him for failure to pay child support.

Image of Jessica Ehrlich - do not reactivate

Jessica Ehrlich - do not reactivate

FL-13

Jessica Ehrlich is running for U.S. Congress in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Jessica worked in international business before attending law school at Southern Methodist University Law School, during which time she clerked for the Chief Judge of the U.S. Federal Court for Middle Florida in Tampa and held a fellowship in human rights law. Jessica has worked as counsel for members of Congress on some of today’s most pressing issues: Social Security, the budget, and financial sector regulation. After returning home to care for her ailing father, Jessica saw how her neighbors, family, and friends are struggling as a result of the recession. She decided that now is the time to get off the sidelines and make real change. Jessica is running for Congress to be a fighter for women, the middle class, and our seniors.

WAND Distinguishing Points: Ehrlich has important experience in national security policy - she served for two years as chief counsel for the Task Force on Terrorism and Proliferation Financing in the U.S. House of Representatives. During this time, Ehrlich became well versed in smart policies that work to track and stop the flow of funds to terrorist groups. She will be an advocate for smart budget priorities that strengthen the middle class and create good jobs.

The Seat: Ehrlich is running for Florida’s new 13th congressional district. This district contains politically moderate Pinellas County, which is near Tampa. The district’s largest city is St. Petersburg, Ehrlich’s hometown. She will be running against 80-year-old incumbent Republican C.W. “Bill” Young, who was first elected in 1970. Though he once had a fairly moderate voting record, he has become increasingly conservative.

Image of Elizabeth Esty

Elizabeth Esty

CT-05

A former state legislator, Elizabeth served two terms as a Democrat on the Cheshire Town Council and one term as a state representative in the 103rd district. Elizabeth grew up in a close-knit middle class family herself, the third of four children, and with the help of scholarships, graduated from Harvard in 1981 and from Yale Law School in 1985

As a local official, Elizabeth ensured that budget surpluses were used to pay down debt and establish a Rainy Day Fund, while providing property tax relief to seniors and strong support for our public schools. As a legislator, Elizabeth made her mark as a “deficit hawk,” taking on her own party leaders for responsible budgeting and cutting her own pay by returning 10% of her salary to taxpayers. She has a long record of advocacy for pro-choice and marriage equity causes as well.

WAND Distinguishing Points: In a meeting with WAND and other women’s PACs, she spoke to the importance of making responsible cuts to the military budget and emphasized that her three main priorities would be jobs and the economy, breaking the partisan deadlock in Congress, and energy and the environment.

The Seat: Connecticut’s fifth district is located in the northwestern part of the state, running from Meriden and New Britain in central Connecticut, to Waterbury, the Litchfield Hills, and the Farmington River Valley- including Esty’s state seat. The district is currently represented by Democrat Chris Murphy, who is seeking the open Senate seat in 2012.

Image of Lois Frankel

Lois Frankel

FL-22

Lois Frankel is running for Florida’s 22nd Congressional District to unseat radical Tea Party favorite Allen West.

The first woman minority leader of the Florida House and a former member of WiLL, Lois served from 1986-1992 and again from 1994-2002, leaving because of term limits. In 2003, she beat incumbent West Palm Beach Mayor Joel Daves and was re-elected in 2007. Throughout her career, Lois has supported increased social services, stood up against relentless efforts to limit reproductive freedoms, and has been a tireless advocate for seniors, families, and small business owners.

WAND distinguishing points: Frankel supports an accelerated timetable for withdrawal Afghanistan. One of her top priorities, both in the race and in office, will be protecting social services.

The seat: The 22nd Congressional District is in South Florida, including West Palm Beach and the majority of Fort Lauderdale. The district was the center of the 2000 presidential election recount, and has voted for the Democratic candidate in the past three presidential elections

Current Congressman Allen West won the seat against incumbent Ron Klein when he ran for a second time in 2010, with 54.36% of the vote. West is a Tea Party candidate who has publicly called to end Medicare, voted to decrease financial aid for college students, and said that the women of Planned Parenthood and Code Pink are “neutering” American men. West recently made news over a high-profile spat with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the DCCC and Representative of Florida’s 20th Congressional District. When Wasserman Schultz criticized legislation that would cut Medicare, West responded with an e-mail in which he insulted her repeatedly.

In the primary, Lois faces Patrick Murphy. Murphy is a moderate businessman who has never run for public office and recently switched from the Republican party to the Democratic party. This election will be very expensive as Frankel, Murphy, and West have already been noted as some of the top fundraisers for 2012.

Image of Michelle Lujan Grisham

Michelle Lujan Grisham

NM-01

Grisham currently serves as the Bernalillo County Commissioner in New Mexico and is a health care consultant. She was formerly appointed Director of the Agency on Aging in New Mexico, a position she held for 14 years. She was then appointed Secretary of Health in 2004 and served for three years. She currently serves as commissioner with the New Mexico State Bar and co-founded a small business specializing in management and consulting services for non-profits in health care reform.

WAND Distinguishing points: Grisham has been active in the fields of health care reform and protecting and promoting women’s rights. Her top three issues as a first term Member of Congress would be creating jobs, expanding business opportunities for women, and reducing the deficit. Grisham explained her decision to enter the election race by saying, “A band of right wing radicals in Congress has hijacked our country and put the interests of their corporate masters ahead of the middle class, seniors and the most vulnerable among us."

The Seat: New Mexico’s first district is currently represented by Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), who is running for Jeff Bingaman’s Senate seat in 2012. Grisham ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008 in the same district and finished third. She has two opponents in the Democratic primary both of whom have out-fundraised her thus far: state Senator and progressive Eric Griego and former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez. An internal from Lake Research for Chavez gives him a substantial lead over his more progressive challengers in the open seat Democratic primary thanks to a big name rec advantage. Chavez leads Griego and Grisham 32-15-8, with 41% undecided. Grisham’s campaign claims that she will be able to mobilize both swing women and Latino voters saying she successfully earned their support in her race for the County Commission. Primary elections are on June 5, 2012.

Image of Ann McLane Kuster

Ann McLane Kuster

NH-02

WAND endorsed Annie in her first bid for Congress in 2010, where she came within 1% of winning this seat. We're thrilled that she is running again!

Annie is an attorney, longtime activist, and lifelong resident of New Hampshire. She is an active leader of her community, serving on numerous boards and the statewide steering committees of both Barack Obama and John Kerry’s presidential campaigns, as well as the current Obama re-election campaign. She helped New Hampshire’s colleges create a savings program that helps parents save for their children’s education and she worked with a coalition of healthcare providers to establish a program that provides medication to seniors and families who cannot afford the prices of their prescription drugs.

WAND Distinguishing Points: During this election and the last, Ann has been a vocal advocate for withdraw from Afghanistan. Ann’s statements indicate that even though she has campaigned for Obama, she will not be afraid to ask questions of him and hold him accountable for his strategy in Afghanistan.

The Seat: Current Congressman Charlie Bass regained this seat in 2010, after having lost to Democrat Paul Hodes in 2006. During the 2010 campaign, Bass faced a challenger from the right in his primary, and announced his support for the agenda of the tea party movement. He has since supported the Ryan budget plan. Rep. Bass beat Annie by less than 4,000 votes in the last cycle. Current polling suggests that he is seen highly unfavorably by residents of the Second Congressional District.

Image of Carol Shea-Porter

Carol Shea-Porter

NH-01

Carol Shea-Porter is running to regain the seat she lost in 2010’s Republican wave. Her opponent, Frank Guinta, has voted in lockstep with the Republican majority. He has also been named one of the 10 most corrupt members of Congress by CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington). He supports abolishing the Departments of Education and Energy, repealing the Affordable Care Act, and says that charities can serve the same needs that entitlement programs currently meet.

Shea-Porter grew up in New Hampshire and spent many years employed as a social worker. After working as a volunteer in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, she decided to run for office in her home state.

In Congress, Shea-Porter was known for her tenacious efforts on behalf of veterans. She also consistently voiced her opposition to the war in Iraq. She disagreed with the President’s decision to expand our forces in Afghanistan.

WAND Distinguishing Points: Shea-Porter has always held firm positions on WAND’s issues. In 2006, she made her opposition to the Iraq War a focus of her campaign, and she followed her words with action in Congress. She quickly began working on a plan for troop withdrawal and fought to cut spending for the war. She later voiced concerns about the war in Afghanistan. Shea-Porter has also been a strong advocate for veterans, and while in Congress, she pushed for the study of urological war wounds, protection from toxic waste during war, and improved healthcare for New Hampshire veterans. WAND PAC endorsed Carol Shea-Porter in her races in 2006, 2008, and 2010. This is a great chance to bring a champion back to Congress!

The Seat: District 1 covers New Hampshire’s southeastern region, including the cities of Manchester and Portsmouth. It is a moderate district that has elected mostly Republicans in recent years. However, because of Guinta’s extreme views and the serious ethical questions surrounding his 2010 fundraising as well as Shea-Porter’s tremendous grassroots strength, we think she has an excellent chance of winning back District 1 this year.

Image of Kyrsten Sinema

Kyrsten Sinema

AZ-09

Kyrsten Sinema is running for Congress in Arizona's 9th Congressional District. She was a long-serving state director in WAND’s Women Legislators’ Lobby program. She attended several WiLL/WAND conferences and she was honored with a Pacesetter award at the 2011 conference.

Born and raised in Arizona, Sinema was the child of an educator and homemaker. She grew up poor; when she was a child, her family lived in an abandoned gas station for two years while her stepfather tried to find a job. Kyrsten learned through adversity that she had to work hard to achieve. In order to help kids who had some of the same disadvantages Kyrsten did, she became a school social worker, a job she held for 10 years.

In Sinema’s view, Congress gets an “F” for so completely failing to get the job done for the American people—especially on the jobs and deficit front. “That is what prompted me to run for office, to be the voice of the forgotten middle and working class. The rich and powerful have a voice – trust me, I get badgered by their lobbyists all the time and I’m good at saying ‘no.’ It’s the rest of us who are now not getting heard because of the special interests. There are three words that I vow to never forget: We the People.”

Sinema is committed to helping our country return to the values that make America great—the same values that have guided her life so far: hard work, access to public education, fairness and opportunity.

WAND Distinguishing points: Kyrsten was a dedicated WiLL member and we believe she will bring a passionate, youthful, articulate voice to WAND’s issues and other progressive causes if elected to Congress.

The Seat: Kyrsten is running in Arizona’s newly created ninth congressional district. The district includes parts of Paradise Valley, south Scottsdale, north central Phoenix, downtown Tempe, west Mesa, west Chandler and Ahwatukee Foothills. The district is fairly evenly divided between Democratic, Republican, and independent voters. State Senator David Schapira and former Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Andrei Cherny are also in the race on the Democratic side. Seven candidates are vying for the nomination in the Republican primary.

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