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BLOOMBERG: Elizabeth Warren Gets Her Own Folksong on Park Avenue

Chanting and clapping outside Citigroup Inc.’s (C) Park Avenue headquarters today, about 50 protesters tried to thrust the bank into the 2016 presidential race.

“As part of running for president, you have to answer ‘The Citigroup Question’ -- where do you stand on breaking up Citigroup?” said Zephyr Teachout, who challenged Andrew Cuomo for this year’s Democratic nomination for New York governor. “Do you think Citigroup should be broken up, or do you think things are OK?”

The protest, organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, singled out the bank that Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren denounced in the Senate last week, saying its lobbyists drafted the derivatives deregulation that Congress added to its $1.1 trillion spending bill. The lawmaker became the subject of a reworded folksong.

“If I had a Warren, I’d end too big to fail,” a circle of protesters sang to the tune of Pete Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer.” “I’d strengthen Volcker, bring back Glass-Steagall too! Use those laws to help my brothers and sisters all over this land.”

MSNBC: Pro-Warren protesters take their fight to Wall Street

The growing anti-Wall-Street movement led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren took its fight from the halls of Washington, D.C., to the streets of New York City on Thursday.

Outside Citigroup, about 120 protesters called for the breakup of the big banks, chanting: “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out.” Around half of the crowd marched to Lazard’s office at Rockefeller Center, where they called for Weiss — whose name they pronounced “weece” — to come down and explain why his background made him suitable for the Treasury Department job.

“This is not a democracy anymore,” said protester Donna Romo, lamenting the weakening of banking regulations at Citigroup’s request. “This is really owned by the big corporations.”

The protest was organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which says it represents the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of the Democratic party.

CNN MONEY: Elizabeth Warren allies march outside Citi: 'Break big banks'

A group of protesters gathered outside Citi's headquarters in New York chanting "break big banks."

Made up largely of Senator Elizabeth Warren's supporters, the protesters on Thursday specifically targeted Citigroup (C) because of the bank's role in watering down Wall Street regulation.

"We need to break up the big banks that have too much power in our democracy," said TJ Helmstetter, one of the protest organizers. "They literally wrote the law and Washington let them do it."

Protesters carried signs that read "#StandWithWarren" on a chilly morning outside Citigroup's Park Avenue tower with about a dozen police officers standing by.

Organizers called for a modern day Glass-Stegall Act, the 1933 legislation that separated the money lending arm of banks from their investment banking operations. They claimed to have 15,000 signatures on a petition calling for this sort of law to be reinstated.

THE HILL: Clinton aide meets with liberal group backing Warren

An aide to Hillary Clinton recently met with the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), which strongly supports Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the group confirms.

The meeting with PCCC founder Adam Green, first reported by Politico, could be a sign that the Clinton camp is reaching out to liberal groups that are more enthusiastic about Warren than about Clinton ahead of the 2016 presidential race. It is unclear which side requested the meeting, who the Clinton aide was or what was discussed.

The PCCC is an enthusiastic backer of Warren, who some liberals hope will challenge the former secretary of State from the left in the presidential primary.

"It is time for Democrats to remold the party around Elizabeth Warren's big economic populist ideas -- like breaking up 'too big to fail' banks, expanding Social Security, and making college way more affordable," the group said in a statement earlier this week.

POLITICO: Clinton aide met with Warren-aligned liberal group

A Hillary Clinton adviser recently met with the head of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, the liberal issues group most closely affiliated with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, both sides confirmed.

The meeting is the first sign that Clinton’s team is trying to build a bridge with those who are actively supporting Warren, whom many on the left want to see challenge Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

MSNBC first reported that the meeting might take place. On Thursday, PCCC co-founder Adam Green confirmed that he had met with a Clinton aide in the past few weeks, but declined to identify the aide or describe what was discussed.

Although Green’s group has been tied to Warren, whose progressive stands have earned her adulation but who insists she’s not running for president, the PCCC has not joined the “Draft Warren” efforts being led by MoveOn.org.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: If Elizabeth Warren Says No, What Is Progressives' Backup Plan?

Elizabeth Warren's fans refuse to take no for an answer, but soon enough they'll almost certainly have to.

That means it's tough to tell where Warren backers will go in a Warren-less primary. Some could decide they're OK with Clinton; others might migrate to more left-leaning candidates like Sanders or O'Malley. Without Warren in the race, groups supporting her may also look to down-ballot races to build up the "Warren wing" instead.

Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee—the group that drafted Warren into the 2012 Senate race against Republican Scott Brown—said progressives' main goal is making sure their issues are front-and-center in the 2016 primary, no matter who the candidates are. The PCCC isn't directly involved with the draft-Warren efforts for 2016, but Green said it's an overall positive because even if the field doesn't include Warren, it will bring prominence to her agenda.

"If the net effect is that there are hundreds or thousands of rallies around the country showing visibly how much Americans agree with Elizabeth Warren's economic populist agenda, that serves the goal," he said. "What success will look like is multiple Democratic candidates campaigning in six months to see who can outdo each other and be more like Elizabeth Warren."

THE HILL: What does Warren want?

She has a spot in Democratic leadership, a swelling alliance of liberals in Congress and a rabid following in the Democratic Party.

The question is: What does Elizabeth Warren want to do with all that power?

Groups on the left are trying to draft the Massachusetts liberal into the presidential race, viewing her as the perfect populist counterweight to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The initiative marks the second time there has been a grassroots effort to pull Warren into a race. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched a "Draft Warren for Senate" campaign after reports she was being eyed by Democrats as a candidate in Massachusetts in 2012.

“In many ways, Elizabeth Warren’s economic populist message is the North Star for the Democratic Party,” said Adam Green, PCCC’s founder. “It’s entirely possible that Democrats lose the presidency if our standard-bearer is not actively campaigning on an Elizabeth Warren-style populist message.”

BLOOMBERG: Our Nation's Most Important Verb Conjugation Is All About Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren said it again, and again. She's not running for president. This time, Warren was talking to NPR's Steve Inskeep, who like many in Washington, pointed out that Warren keeps using the present tense when she describes her presidential aspirations–leaving open the possibility that she might decide to run in the future, like in the first quarter of 2015.

The interview caught the attention of both the right and the far left—with the Republican National Committee blasting out the remarks in an email where they noted that "Democratic insiders aren't buying" her denials. Within minutes, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee also focused on Warren's words, shooting out an email that recounts the work that the group has done for her. "The way for Democrats to inspire the public is to give Americans the debate about big ideas that we deserve–and that means following Elizabeth Warren's lead," said Stephanie Taylor, the committee's co-founder.

DAILY MAIL: Elizabeth Warren stands by claims she's not running for president in the face of progressives' push for her to enter the 2016 race (but she won't say 'never')

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren again said this morning that she's not running for president, regardless of pleas from the progressive base for her to seek the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Even if Clinton does continue to track well, the Warren wing of Democratic Party wants the Massachusetts Senator to enter the 2016 horse race to force the party to the left on marquee issues.

In a statement released by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee today, the organization's co-founder Stephanie Taylor said 'it is time for Democrats to remold the party around Elizabeth Warren's big economic populist ideas -- like breaking up "too big to fail" banks, expanding Social Security, and making college way more affordable.'

'The way for Democrats to inspire the public is to give Americans the debate about big ideas that we deserve -- and that means following Elizabeth Warren's lead,' she said.

BLOOMBERG: Senate’s Spending Votes Seen as Litmus Tests for 2016 Candidates

The litmus-test votes: passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill that Democrats criticized for being too kind to big banks and campaign donors, and Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s failed constitutional objection to President Barack Obama’s immigration policy.

CREDO Action and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which support Democrats, urged their members to pressure lawmakers to vote against the spending bill. PCCC took credit on Dec. 11 when the House was forced to delay action on the bill so that Republican and Democratic leaders could round up votes.

“When progressives in Congress stand up and fight for big ideas like Wall Street reform and campaign finance reform, they deserve our support,” PCCC co-founder Adam Green wrote in an e-mail to supporters. The strength of the Democratic base was more evident in the House vote on the bill. Fifty-seven Democrats voted for it, and 139 voted against it.

THE HILL: WH insists things are good with Warren

The White House says President Obama has a good relationship with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is battling Obama on a host of high-profile issues.

Liberal groups see her as a check on the White House for their causes.

Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee — an outside group that has swung support behind Warren and repeatedly criticized Obama — said her stand against the government-funding bill left progressives on Capitol Hill “more united and ferocious in fighting for a big idea than ever.”

Green contrasted her vision to “corporate Democrats who were willing to sell out to Wall Street.“

BLOOMBERG: Obama's Left-Side Headache

From trade to taxes, President Barack Obama is looking for areas to cut deals with the new congressional Republican majority and burnish his legacy. Judging by the budget debate this week, at least one obstacle to bipartisanship will be the progressives in his own party, who will have a more influential voice in a slimmed-down caucus when Congress returns in January.

Blowback was coming from the outside, too. Americans for Financial Reform–a liberal advocacy group–was the first to alert Pelosi's office to a provision in the spending measure that loosened a banking regulation imposed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. That sparked an anti-Wall Street narrative and led to other liberal groups, like Progressive Change Campaign Committee, asking their members to contact lawmakers and register their opposition. The group also sought to raise money off the dispute.

AL JAZEERA AMERICA: Bill shaking up grand jury process proposed in Congress

Proposed legislation aimed at changing the grand jury process for indicting police officers accused of using fatal, excessive force has been put forward by a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Johnson cited those two cases as the impetus for proposing his bill during a Friday conference call with the activist group Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC).

THE HILL: House Dem urges grand jury reform after Brown, Garner decisions

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) wants to add additional oversight to investigations on police-involved deaths, just weeks after two high profile grand juries declined to indict officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men.

The “Grand Jury Reform Act” makes certain law enforcement federal funding contingent on a state agreeing to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate deadly-force cases involving officers and hold a public hearing in front of a judge to air evidence. The judge’s legal finding and the prosecutor’s recommendation would then be forwarded to a local district attorney, who then can make the determination whether to indict, impanel a grand jury or end the investigation.

“When the grand juries in Ferguson, [Mo.] and New York refused to indict those officers involved in killing those unarmed men,” Johnson said during a Friday call sponsored by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, “I think many people understood that the nation’s grand jury system is fundamentally broken, especially when police are investigated for the killing of civilians.”

NPR: Budget Bill Proves Perfect Flashpoint For Debate Among Democrats

Stephanie Taylor is co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

“We see a huge internal schism in the Democratic Party between the Wall Street wing and Elizabeth Warren wing. I think that the Democratic Party is really going to need to go through a soul-searching moment to figure out what its direction is going to be.”

Among progressives like Taylor, there is suspicion toward Pres. Obama. And concern that he will compromise too much over the next two years with the new Republican majority in Congress.

“People want to vote for fighters and leaders they don't want to vote for people who are caving, people who are compromising.”

As Taylor sees it, this is an inflection point for the Democratic Party.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Himes alone in delegation to back US budget bill

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes was the sole member of Connecticut's all-Democratic House delegation to vote for the $1.1 trillion federal spending bill, stoking more criticism from a liberal interest group that cited his Wall Street ties.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which backs the populist, anti-big bank message of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, said in an email Thursday that Himes favored the legislation for "deregulating Wall Street" even though the bill contained numerous other measures.

BLOOMBERG: More Democrats Oppose Weiss Nomination Over Tax Inversion

President Barack Obama’s choice of Antonio Weiss, an investment banker at Lazard Ltd., has put him at the center of an ideological fight within the Democratic Party over the finance industry’s clout in Washington.

So far, six senators have announced their opposition to Weiss. In addition to Manchin, Shaheen and Franken, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Richard Durbin of Illinois both said they would oppose Weiss, as did independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with Democrats.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has supported primary challenges to Democrats, urged its members in a Dec. 8 e-mail to press for opposition to Weiss.

RING OF FIRE RADIO: Progressives are rallying against Obama’s atrocious Treasury nominee

Financial reform groups that back Sen. Elizabeth Warren are joining the Massachusetts senator’s rally against Obama’s nominee for the Treasury, reported Talking Points Memo. This nomination is part of the revolving door between Wall Street banksters and public officials.

Joining Warren is liberal group, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), which sent an email to its supporters discussing the mistake that is Weiss’ nomination.

POLITICO MAGAZINE: Can the Left Launch Its Own Tea Party?

The extreme right has power, and that’s something the left hasn’t had much of for a long time. But in the aftermath of the party’s disastrous midterm performance, it’s very possible that the Democratic Party leadership will be facing its own Tea Party-style insurgency from the other side of the spectrum. “You’re going to get a fight within the Democratic Party. There is a substantial disagreement coming up,” Rep. Jerry Nadler, an outspoken Congressional Progressive Caucus member, recently told the Wall Street Journal.

The only question is, how serious a fight will it be? Will it be a polite spat that results in what has happened most often before—the fast marginalization of the left, with the best elements of the various critiques being stitched together by a centrist Hillary Clinton, or whoever is the nominee in 2016? Or are the populists ready to stage their own grassroots rebellion, setting their sights on eradicating all corporate influence from the Democrats and undermining any attempt by President Obama to compromise with Republicans by any means necessary?

Progressive activists such as the feisty Progressive Change Campaign Committee would love to be able to instill some of their own intraparty fear, sharpen their populist pitchforks and prod Democratic leaders leftward. And there is reason to believe this could be their moment.

The rebels offer a message about the chronic unfairness of the system so potent that even the Koch brothers aren’t above poaching it (a recent ad from the Kochs’ political arm chastised newly deposed Sen. Mary Landrieu for flying in private jets, even though the brothers have a few of their own.) The new liberal insurgency is savvy enough to stress issues that poll well and relate to the economic anxieties gripping the electorate, such as increasing Social Security benefits and shrinking the size of Wall Street, instead of chasing stale leftist pipe dreams like nationalizing the health insurance industry.

THE HILL: Liberals up pressure on key Dems over Treasury nominee

Liberal backers of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are throwing their support behind her latest cause: defeating President Obama’s pick for a top Treasury Department spot.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is sending emails to backers, calling on them to call members of the Senate Finance Committee and urge them to oppose the president’s nomination of Antonio Weiss.

The administration remains behind the Weiss nomination, and has touted his years of work on complex financial issues as a potential boon at a critical role.
But PCCC is working to scuttle the pick at the committee level.

In the email, the PCCC criticizes Weiss’s work on tax inversions – a corporate restructuring that reduces U.S. tax obligations that has been criticized by the administration — as well as his Wall Street resume.

Backers will also have the option of calling committee members to oppose the pick. A script provided by PCCC argues Weiss lacks the proper experience.

HUFFINGTON POST: Obama Nominee Antonio Weiss Takes More Hits Over Qualifications For Treasury Post

Concerns are continuing to mount over President Barack Obama's choice of Antonio Weiss for a top Treasury Department post, but now progressives aren't the only ones saying he's not a good fit. Prominent financial industry insiders are speaking out, too.

Simon Johnson, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, says Weiss has "no known relevant qualifications or experience" to become the next Under Secretary for Domestic Finance. The job requires, among other things, overseeing consumer protection and domestic regulatory functions at Treasury.

In the meantime, progressive groups are rallying behind Warren to try to sink the nomination. CREDO, a progressive activist group, has collected signatures from more than 115,000 people urging the Senate to reject Weiss. On Monday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee sent an email to its 1 million supporters urging them to contact their senators and tell them to vote no.

TALKING POINTS MEMO: Liberal Orgs Go Apocalyptic Over Warren's Treasury Nominee Crusade

Liberal groups aligned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are pushing supporters to help in Warren's fight to prevent banker Antonio Weiss from becoming undersecretary of the Treasury for domestic policy. And they are drawing a hard line in the sand.

On Monday another liberal-aligned organization, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) sent out an email to supporters saying that Weiss's nomination "is a big mistake."

US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: Warren Liberals Eye Webb to Pressure Hillary

Even if Elizabeth Warren isn't running for president, her liberal allies are determined to place the Massachusetts senator's vision at the fulcrum of the Democratic Party's 2016 primary debate.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has deployed one of its top organizers to the early primary state of New Hampshire to ask elected officials and political leaders there to pressure all candidates to take stands on Warren's agenda – one that includes expanding Social Security benefits, reforming the way Wall Street banks operate and making college more affordable.

“We’re trying to assess who is in and who is out in our strategy to exert pressure to get all Democratic candidates for president to embrace Elizabeth Warren-style ideas," says Adam Green, the committee's co-founder.

MSNBC: Progressives urge New Hampshire Dems to wait on endorsing Clinton

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), which is closely aligned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has a hired an organizer to work full time in New Hampshire ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation Democratic presidential primary in 2016.

But, with Warren unlikely to run for the White House, the group isn’t supporting any specific candidate. In fact, it’s hoping to convince Democrats and union leaders in the state not to support anyone for the moment, in order to build a non-aligned coalition that can pressure all candidates to adopt a populist economic agenda.

Adam Green, the group’s co-founder, said the PCCC is telling New Hampshire Democrats to “keep your powder dry, don’t rush.”

ABC NEWS: THE NOTE: IN THE NOTE’S INBOX — Warren Wing Mobilizes for 2016

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has deployed Democratic organizer Don Weigel to meet with local Democratic Party leaders, county chairs, union leaders, elected officials, and PCCC activists in New Hampshire and begin organizing a local coalition ahead of 2016, ABC’s Kirsten Appleton reports. “We’re organizing in New Hampshire to ensure that all Democratic candidates for president are pressed to actively campaign on an Elizabeth Warren-style agenda of big economic-populist ideas,” said PCCC co-founder Adam Green. “Big ideas like expanding Social Security benefits, reforming Wall Street, and making college more affordable are wildly popular in red, blue, and purple states — and are the path to primary and general election victory for Democrats.”

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