This is why I support this man. Change takes time and occurs in stages, but I have faith and awnt to see him serve as the Commander-in-Chief for the full 8 years.
This is why I support this man. Change takes time and occurs in stages, but I have faith and awnt to see him serve as the Commander-in-Chief for the full 8 years.
All I can say is that this is one huge f*ckin disgrace and it seems that the threads of this country’s integrity are quickly and devastatingly unraveling. What happened to playing fair?
Earlier this month I reported how Ohio Republicans were limiting early voting hours in Democratic counties, while expanding them on nights and weekends in Republican counties.
In response to the public outcry, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who intervened in favor of limiting early voting hours in Democratic counties, issued a statewide directive mandating uniform early voting hours in all eighty-eight Ohio counties. Husted kept early voting hours from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays from October 2 to 19 and broadened hours from 8 am to 7 pm from October 22 to November 2. But he refused to expand early voting hours beyond 7 pm during the week, on weekends or three days prior to the election (which is being challenged in court by the Obama campaign)—when it is most convenient for many working Ohioans to vote. Rather than expanding early voting hours across the state, Husted limited them for everybody. Voter suppression for all!
Montgomery County, Ohio—which includes Dayton—is now at the center of the early voting fight. (Obama won Montgomery County by 6 percent in 2008). On two separate occasions, December 28, 2011, and August 6, 2012, the four-member county board of elections unanimously approved expanded weekday and weekend early voting hours. But in a meeting on August 17, the two Republicans on the board reversed their position and opposed expanding early voting hours. With the committee deadlocked between Democratic and Republican members, Husted broke the tie in favor of the GOP, like he’s done in Cleveland, Columbus, Akron and Toledo.
Yet before breaking the tie, Husted ordered Democratic board members Tom Ritchie Sr. and Dennis Lieberman to hold a new meeting and rescind their votes in favor of early voting. When they refused, arguing that Husted’s directive did not apply to weekend voting, Husted suspended them from the county board of elections. (A third of the 28,000 in-person early voters in Montgomery County in 2008 voted on the weekend.)
As we leave the “silly season” of the presidential campaign, we’re about to enter the “leadership” phase. From now until the election, but especially during the soon-upcoming conventions, you’re going to hear endless claims about one candidate or another’s extraordinary ability to “lead” … and, of…
Truth be told, the Presidential/Executive branch of government is relatively weak. The bigger picture of government extends far beyond and below the “Top Spot.” What we, as the politically and civically-active public voters, must do is to choose to be informed. What we must do is to be able to set aside the rhetoric and look beyond; we must look into the policy choices and inclinations of our candidates. If all of the public were, in a more perfect world, informed and knowledgeable of the democratic system, there would (arguably) be no need for the campaign season. (By this, I do not mean that there would be no need for elections, but instead, there would be less need for these extravagant fundraisers, speeches, etc.) The campaign race seems to stand as a marking point, as an event which serves to convince and persuade. We deserve a little more respect and credit than that. Additionally, our candidates and elected officials require a system of actors (whom we also elect to office) energetic about a better democracy, and less dedicated to self-aggrandizement. So next time you go to the polls for local elections, think twice before checking off any ol’ box simply due to partisan lines. These Assembly(wo)men, Representatives, and Congress(wo)men are the ones who ultimately affect how much of our President’s agenda and interests go into effect, and also the form in which they are passed.
On Friday, two counties in Southern states requested that the Supreme Court reconsider a key element of the Voting Rights Act. Both Kinston, North Carolina and Shelby County, Alabama hope the Court will find that Section 5 of the Act—the one that requires states and counties with a history of voter suppression to get permission from the feds before implementing changes to election law—is unconstitutional. The government has previously justified Section 5 under the Fifteenth Amendment, which guarantees the right to vote and prohibits discrimination based on race. The counties—both in states with new voter-ID laws—argue that the provision violates the Tenth Amendment, which gives states the right to regulate elections. Furthermore, they claim it unfairly gives states different levels of sovereignty by treating some differently than others.
With voter-ID laws proliferating around the country, the Voting Rights Act has been in the national conversation for months now, and Section 5 has played a major role in the debate. Voter-ID laws create barriers to voting, particularly for poor and non-white voters who are more likely to lack the necessary photo ID. The effort to suppress the vote is exactly what the Voting Rights Act sought to prevent, and it’s come in handy. While the Bush administration’s Department of Justice approved Georgia’s strict voter-ID law—which became a national model—under Obama, the DOJ has blocked Texas and South Carolina from implementing theirs, finding them to have a discriminatory effect. (Decisions on Mississippi and Alabama’s laws are still pending.) Thanks to the proceedings, we’ve learned a lot more about the impact of these laws. Documents from Texas revealed that Hispanic registered voters were between 47 and 120 percent more likely to lack the necessary ID, while in South Carolina, minorities were almost 20 percent more likely to have no government-issued identification.
What do yall think of this seemingly overnight emergence of new voter-ID laws, just in time for what is shaping up to be a very crucial and tight presidential campaign in crucial swing states? If there was such concern regarding “voter fraud,” which, by the way, comprises only .00004% (as told by Rev. Al Sharpton earlier today on msnbc) in the state of Pennsylvania since 1999), why were these new laws not put in place for the Republican primaries?
Democracy in America
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican congresswoman from Florida, has officially confirmed that she supports marriage equality, making her the first Republican member of Congress to do so.
Ros-Lehtinen was the only Republican co-sponsor of legislation to repeal DOMA, but she officially confirmed to the Washington Blade this week that this does, in fact, make her a proponent of marriage equality (since repealing DOMA and supporting same-sex marriage are definitely not the same thing). An excerpt from the interview transcript:
Washington Blade: Just to be clear, are you a supporter of same-sex marriage?
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: Well, I co-sponsored the repeal of DOMA.
Blade: But does that make you a supporter of same-sex marriage?
Ros-Lehtinen: I don’t know why you’re asking that. It’s such a weird way.
Blade: President Obama for a long time didn’t support same-sex marriage, but supported DOMA repeal.
Ros-Lehtinen: Oh, yeah. I am. I thought you were trying to get some tricky thing here. No I am.Ros-Lehtinen has officially endorsed Mitt Romney for the 2012 election, but this does position her somewhat differently in the grand scheme of Congress. Hopefully some more people of Congress can step forward with similar support.
Just goes to show you that partisan lines are not all-inclusive. Politicians, as well as the public voters whom they affect, must be aware of their own individual interests and stances.
Quite frankly, I do not buy this whatsoever. Maybe it’s because I have studied this system enough (and being that I’m young, I am implying that it does not take much to see behind the deceiving veil of liberty and justice “for all”). It just seems like another way to prevent a vast amount of minorities from voicing their opinions. Ok, ok, I understand there are hundreds of thousands of white men and women locked up, too. However, it’s clear that a general consensus from that demographic will not be as easily threatened with silence and/or jeopardized.
There’s the one argument that citizens who have acted with such disregard and disrespect toward the law should not be allowed to the freedom to influence the laws of the land, for which they have no concern. Excuses. I mean…wouldn’t hushing/ignoring the opinions of some (in the words of Tupac Shakur) cause them to “just rebel more against society?”
I’d support prohibiting currently incarcerated inmates from submitting a vote, but this ridiculous statute prevents hundreds of thousands (and possibly even, millions) of members of our citizenry from speaking out and being heard. Some of these individuals being those with clean records, convictions of non-violent crime, and single-offenders, who may have either committed an ignorant error in youth or who have just simply been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. No one likes for their past blunders to be repeatedly and mercilessly thrown back in their face, just ask Chris Brown. But seriously, stripping ex-cons of their ability to be recognized and heard can do nothing but harm not just for them, but for our society. These are individuals who have been through our judicial and prison systems, seeing the ugliest of the ugly, and as such, they have valid opinions and a worth that must be honored. We just love to kick ‘em while they’re down, can we at least restore a little dignity to the lives of citizens who could be out there trying to “turn their lives around?”
I never would have even fathomed that this would be possible, but thanks to 50 Cent’s interview last night with Oprah, I decided to look deeper into this travesty.
Let me just say here before I get marked red or anything, I do support America, for all of her flaws. I’m just saying…those closest to the system are often the most qualified to criticize it, for better or worse. We’re in this thang together.
Weigh in; what do you think?
Geez, it seems that these Florida politicians just can’t shake their fear of an actual, honest vote, huh?
Over at the new Mischiefs of Faction blog — go there for serious political science insight from my friend Seth Masket and a group of his friends — Jennifer Victor writes about the impact of the Citizen United ruling and of money in politics more generally. She suggests that there’s more to the story than just how much money gets spent on any given election.
Here’s her conclusion:
[T]he pace of spending on elections has increased in recent years and the total sum of spending on campaigning, to some, is alarmingly high. Recent legal shifts have opened the door for outside groups to engage in unlimited “uncoordinated” spending on campaigns, but all this money may only contribute to election outcomes under specific circumstances. Typically, the rate of change in third quarter GDP or unemployment are likely to be much better predictors of the election outcome than any amount spent by any group on campaigning.
I mean, if the American public were fully informed and rationally aware of their own true personal interests, would so much exorbitant campaign spending even be necessary? It can argued, without a doubt, that campaigns are simply a manipulative ploy by our money and power hungry candidates, who feel that it is their duty to persuade us. In a way, campaigns seem to inform us (We, the People) of “what our interests are/where our priorities should lie,” instead of allowing us to see where our interests differ from those of the candidates. I would go on…but it seems that I’m running late for work. :)
If you’re a politician who wants people to give money to your campaign — but I repeat myself — it helps to convince those well-off donors that you can win. To that end, Mitt Romney’s pollster has prepared a strategy presentation that argues that Romney has a clear “route to 270,” the number of electoral votes it takes to win the presidential election.
There’s just one problem: The route to 270 doesn’t arrive at its destination, at least not through the states cited alone. If Romney wins the seven states his pollster points to, he winds up with 260 electoral votes.
Read more. [Image: Romney for President]
As I may (or may not have?) already stated, Romney can continue to pull in big bucks from the fat cats, but how much weight does his money really hold? Of course, many of us in key swing states will be flooded with Romney campaign ads/distractions. In the end, though, with a party so preoccupied with preventing the Democratic voting base, how can they possible form a solid one for themselves? Will continuing to attempt to shut out the “Latino” voting bloc be advantageous? Doubtfully so, as the country’s fastest growing minority group will require an increasing need to be sufficiently, respectfully, and appropriately represented by our governing system, and not shut out by it. Pres. Obama was able to attract large amounts of votes from youth, Independents, and Black and Latino minorities; the major question will be, can he secure these blocs? Can he expand them? No amount of money will reach the magical number of 270 votes from the electoral college. Not to be redundant, but only the votes themselves can do that.
Don’t be one of them. Get out, get registered, go vote. 21st century adaptations of literacy tests to keep the young and the minority votes from being unheard are absurd. We cannot stand for it; we must not.
Today, approximately 51 million eligible Americans are still not registered to vote, according to the Pew Center on the States.[vi] This represents almost one in four citizens, disproportionately low-income voters, people of color, and younger Americans.[vii] This suggests that a major focus for increasing citizen participation in elections should be to decrease the bureaucratic barriers to becoming registered to vote.
Eligible Americans should never find themselves shut out of the system and denied the right to participate in choosing their government representatives because of bureaucratic error. Yet a Cooperative Congressional Election Study by Harvard Professor Stephen Ansolabehere reported that in the 2008 election 2 to 3 million registered voters were prevented from voting because of registration or other administrative problems, and 9 million eligible Americans were not registered because of residency rules or registration deadlines.[viii] Reportedly, the number of people barred from voting in 2008 exceeded the popular vote margin of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.[ix] The study concluded that “registration continues to create significant barriers to getting into the electoral system and to voting on Election Day.”
Here’s an interesting, insightful perspective for the American public and any other people just remotely interested in the issues that have massive potential to influence and factor into our presidential elections this fall.
At a time in history where the polled public is more concerned than ever about domestic policy, economics, and the job market, foreign policy issues remain low on the list of concerns in the minds of many Americans. Yet, these sorts of issues are precisely what hold the amazing ability to affect the campaign rhetoric throughout these next few months leading up to the elections.
These issues can change the perception of American presence and actions abroad, possibly threatening (or helping) the American foreign policy agenda, and while voters may be more worried about things that affect them directly, our candidates and their advisors are very much aware of these crucial points. In a world of increasingly connected powers and international organizations, America has a reputation to keep up, and this election year will be no different.
“JFK in reference to democracy, “informed voters vs. ignorant ballot bastards”“”
Democracy: A Very Short Introduction, Bernard Crick
So true. We, the People are allowed to influence our government’s agendas and policy interests…but how informed are we, really? How much does the average citizen even know about the policymaking process? Should we be elitists and allow only the educated to contribute to our supposedly representative society, or should we allow for the possible errors to be made by the ignorant voter? Oh, democracy at its finest.