Voter Restrictions

The steady disenfranchisement of the american people.

Don’t Burden Middle,-Low-Income in ALEC Tax Plan–NC to Get Hit Again?

It wasn’t mere coincidence that a day before N.C. Senate leader Republican Phil Berger (R-ALEC)  unveiled a plan to overhaul the state’s tax system that Nebraska’s GOP Gov. Dave Heineman was giving his State of the State address focusing on the same thing.

And it’s not just happenstance that the centerpiece of both plans is eliminating corporate and personal income taxes.

North Carolina and Nebraska are joining a slew of states with Republican-controlled legislatures or GOP governors – we’ve got both in the Tar Heel State – that are grabbing the opportunity to push the idea of tax reform through redistributing the tax burden from those with higher incomes to those with middle and lower incomes. The idea of replacing taxes based on income and from corporations with increased sales taxes that disproportionately affect those with lower incomes has been championed by the American Legislative Exchange Council.
More →

The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics

A month after President Obama won reelection, America’s most powerful liberal groups met to plan their next moves. Here’s what they talked about.

It was the kind of meeting that conspiratorial conservative bloggers dream about.

A month after President Barack Obama won reelection, top brass from three dozen of the most powerful groups in liberal politics met at the headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA), a few blocks north of the White House. Brought together by the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Communication Workers of America (CWA), and the NAACP, the meeting was invite-only and off-the-record. Despite all the Democratic wins in November, a sense of outrage filled the room as labor officials, environmentalists, civil rights activists, immigration reformers, and a panoply of other progressive leaders discussed the challenges facing the left and what to do to beat back the deep-pocketed conservative movement… More →

Michigan Right to Work Law Was the Brainchild of ALEC, The Most Dangerous Group in Politics

From article written by Bob Sloan and published on Policy Mic...

Fact: 282 bills were passed in Michigan during the lame duck session. 42% of all the bills passed in the last two years were in this last lame duck session, with 180 votes taken on the last day of the 2012 session alone.

Fact: In the session from Dec 13 to Dec 14 (ending at 4:29AM), 180 roll-call votes were held. This took place in the 18 hours leading up to the ending of lame duck.

No sooner had the GOP secured total control of Michigan in 2010, holding majorities in both houses and winning the governorship, than the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing ultra-conservative “bill mill” and THE source of money and corruption in politics today, lept into action. ALEC wasted no time in sending many of their most onerous “model legislation” bills to Michigan. These included the Emergency Manager law, , expansion of charter schools, HB 5221 (Voter ID Act), which required voters to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote, and HB 4305 with language similar to ALEC’s model “Immigration Law Enforcement Act.” More →

Dr. Martin Luther King on Ensuring Voting Fairness – VIDEO

Broadcast 12.12.12 on the Rachel Maddow Show.  She showed this Meet The Press footage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on 4/1/60 calling for national uniform voting standards to ensure election fairness.

Please click here to view this remarkable piece of history–that you are seeing being attacked today, some 62 years later

ALEC Wins and Defeats in 2012 State Races

“The Center for Media and Democracy reports several ballot measures backed by the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) went down to defeat yesterday.

Most notable was in Michigan, where voters overturned the state’s emergency manager law. Known as “financial martial law,” it allowed Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to declare a “financial emergency” in a city or school district and appoint a manager with broad powers, including the ability to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input.

In Minnesota, voters defeated an ALEC-designed voter suppression/ID initiative and voters in Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming defeated ALEC-inspired measures to block parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare” as the GOP has named it).

Marriage equality ballot measures won approval in Maine, Maryland and Washington State, while a ban on gay marriage was defeated in Minnesota.

Proposal 2 in Michigan, which would have made permanent collective bargaining rights in the state Constitution, failed.

In state legislative races, Democrats took back control of the Colorado House, the New Hampshire House, the New York Senate, the Maine House and Senate, the Minnesota House and Senate and the Oregon House.’

Read the full article and all the ALEC wins and defeats here

Walking the Walk – Engaging the Community

On Saturday, 11/3, a new grass roots organization had an impact in the city of Charlotte (NC) by running an event in uptown Charlotte, on a busy corner next to an early voting station.  The overall message of the event was to inform the public about just who their politicians are working for.  Naturally this involved exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to those who did not know about their involvement in the money and corruption that has become symptomatic of our state legislators and even our members of the U.S. Congress.

A second objective of this event was to start a petition demanding the resignation from, and the denouncement of ALEC by Thom Tillis, Speaker of the NC House, member of ALEC’s International Relations Task Force, and ALEC’s 2011 Legislator of the Year.  How can Tillis, among other members of ALEC in the state legislature honor their oaths of office, while also abiding by ALEC By-Laws?  They can’t, and Tillis among others should not be re-elected or even considered for positions representing the voting public while writing and introducing legislation designed to further the goals of the Corporate Members of ALEC.

From noon until 2:00 PM, a number of volunteers engaged the public on how much they actually knew about their elected representatives.  Many individuals of the Charlotte community learned details about ALEC, including how its legislation impacts the voting public and identified the North Carolina politicians who are currently in ALEC and who have had past ties with ALEC.  Those who stopped and engaged with the volunteers were generally outraged by the shady dealings of their elected representatives who have paid to be members of ALEC and who have pushed for such legislation as Voter ID Laws, Tort Reform Laws, laws to restrict the rights of women’s health, and many other laws.  Without a governor who has been willing to veto such legislation, voters need to understand what they can look forward to, courtesy of the money and corruption spread by ALEC and the Koch Brothers.

After dealing with some technical problems, including an inability to get a consistent Skype feed, a number of speakers addressed ALEC and how it is impacting the people of North Carolina.

First up was Ron from VLTP, the Voters Legislative Transparency Project, with an explanation of what ALEC is and what it does, so that people who had not previously heard about ALEC would have an overview of this “sinister” organization.  He also spoke about VLTP’s Whistleblower Complaint against ALEC which has been accepted for further investigation by the IRS.

Lisa Graves, head of CMD and the ALECExposed project – and the true face of the anti-ALEC movement – tried to speak next, but was blocked by the inability to get a consistent signal from Skype.  She did, however extend her thanks to the activists in Charlotte who participated in the events surrounding ALEC’s Spring Summit in Charlotte, and praised them for being able to use the facts to talk down ALEC members who came out of their sanctuary in the Westin Hotel to try to convince the protesters that the ALEC view was the correct view.  She also thanked the activists who have been exposing such ALEC Corporate Members as Duke Energy, Bank of America, and RJ Reynolds for what they have done to take advantage of their money and power to hurt the lives of the people of North Carolina.

Pamela Grundy, of MecklenburgACTS and Parents Across America—an expert on Education–then spoke to explain how and why ALEC is attempting to destroy public education, and the vital importance of public education in NC and America.  Education was a common theme throughout the day, as ALEC must be stopped in their efforts to “dumb down” Americans through the privatization of our public schools.

Local activist Ayende Alcala gave a riveting speech about ALEC’s connection to prison privatization.  He addressed the use of prisoners as “slave labor”, working the in factories owned by these prison privatizers for 23 cents per hour in competition with free enterprise.  He spoke with great passion about how and why ALEC has done this, and how badly this impacts people of color.  He addressed the need for better education in the poor and often black schools, so that they can benefit from the public school system and become more involved in the economic recovery .  He also spoke to the need for people to go out and vote as a way of changing the existing corrupt system.

Michael Zytkow, who is investigating an independent campaign for a seat on the Charlotte City Council, spoke about the importance of voting and knowing what your candidates really stand for.  He also spoke about ALEC Corporate Member Duke Energy and how their head, Jim Rogers, has backed the both the DNC and the RNC; contributed to the campaign of Thom Tillis; all while funding ALEC activities, particularly the Spring Summit which was held in Charlotte.  He asked the question that should be on a lot of voters’ minds—how is Rogers and Duke going to pay the shortfall they guaranteed for the DNC while keeping his promise that this would not impact the rates of consumers.

Tony Ndege of Occupy Winston Salem in his talk, stressed the importance of knowing who from ALEC was running for re-election and not voting for them.  He addressed the two-faced (etch-a-sketch?) actions of legislators who pay to belong to ALEC while proposing legislation to benefit big corporate money instead of the needs of the majority of the electorate.  Tony, and Kim Porter asked people to sign petitions calling on Thom Tillis to renounce ALEC and leave the legislature.

After the speeches were over, all of the people who were involved engaged the community in the downtown area.

But the true highlight of the event was the community members of Charlotte who learned about ALEC.  Although events like this too often serve to highlight the individuals who are a part of the event, this rally was strictly constructed with the mindset of engaging the community about the importance of education and learning about those who want our votes.  Petitions were signed, with over a hundred people in this past week pledging themselves in the fight against exposing and denouncing those who are in ALEC.

This event was not meant to be a one time thing.  An organization such as ALEC, which has a vast amount of corporate sponsorship and legislative representatives, will not be exposed in only one event.  This event was set up to show the community commitment to exposing ALEC.  This is the start of an anti-ALEC movement.

MN Housewife Donates $1.3 Million to Voter ID

This was pretty f#cking amazing when I saw this!

And it is an excellent example of how
“those who have”
“what they have”
screw us
“that don’t have”.

Examples just don’t get much better than this.

To fill you in – 
Minnesota has a UNFUNDED Voter ID Amendment on the ballot on 11/6.  The Voter ID Amendment has been pushed for years by – Mary Kiffmeyer (who needs to be defeated on 11/6) – State Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The Minnesota Voter ID Amendment is so vague it does not even say what types of identification would be acceptable to vote in Minnesota.  The Voter ID amendment may cost up to $100 million dollars and the MN legislature has not funded it – meaning that the counties and cities will need to raise their taxes on citizens to pay for it – if it passes.

There is one main group fighting for the passage of the UNFUNDED Minnesota Voter ID Amendment.  That group is “Protect My Vote”.

Now that you know that part of the story – here’s the other part of the story

Please visit my blog and read the facts behind this report by clicking here


How big business wants to shrink the electorate

From San Diego City Beat By Zach Hagadone

“Astonishing.” “Remarkable.” “Sinister.” Those are words that come up again and again when confronting the wave of voter-identification laws that has recently swept through more than 30 Republican-dominated state legislatures. The measures sound innocuous enough: When a voter shows up on Election Day, he or she must present valid photo ID in order to cast a ballot…

According to figures from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, as many as 11 percent of adult U.S. citizens do not have any form of government-issued photo identification, accounting for more than 21 million people. Among that group, 18 percent of citizens 65 years of age or older don’t have government-issued photo ID (more than 6 million seniors), and, based on 2000 U.S. Census figures, more than 5.5 million African-American adults lack photo ID—a full 25 percent of eligible black voters. Meanwhile, U.S. citizens, regardless of ethnicity, age or gender, who make less than $35,000 “are more than twice as likely to lack current government-issued photo identification as those earning more than $35,000 a year,” the Brennan Center reported, meaning at least 15 percent of voting-age Americans in the lowincome bracket lack valid ID.”
To read the full City Beat article, click here….

Corporate Control of Candidates & Elections – Topics, Contributions, Candidates and ALEC

It’s called “Corporatocracy” and as I’ve written for more than two years now, it is alive, well and on the rise.  Corporate involvement in government controls, regulations and programs has become dominant over the past two decades – and in the past four years it has increased exponentially following the election of America’s first African-American President.

Over the aforementioned twenty plus years, corporations have diversified their interest(s) from strictly business and manufacturing to an agenda of creating and urging the passage of pro-corporate friendly legislation beneficial to their bottom line(s) – regardless of the impact upon consumers, patients or voters.

Today more than three hundred and fifty multi-national companies are “officially” members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) where they take part in crafting/drafting legislation that limits consumer rights, suppresses voter rights, increases gun sales, privatizing; education (K-12 & college), prisons, prison services and public utilities.   Others are hidden members of ALEC including the businesses, companies and corporations who are members of the Chamber of Commerce, the National Foundation of Independent Business (NFIB – which claims a membership base of 350,000) and PhRMA (listing 53 member pharma companies) that has membership and key positions within ALEC.  This organization serves as the legislative voice of corporate interests, the “go to” charity used by companies such as Coca~Cola, Koch Industries, Microsoft, AT&T, PhRMA and Eli Lilly to lobby for and secure legislation reducing regulations on operations, lower taxation and less oversight and consumer protections.

Numerous other initiatives are pursued by these corporate players but this article isn’t about their anti-consumer activities or the legislation they have managed to pass (though for purposes of demonstration tort reform is explained below).  Rather it is about the pursuit of controlling our Legislative, judicial and executive branches of government (state and federal).   They are no longer content with paying huge sums of money to get the legislation passed…they want to cut out the middlemen.

Historically we have elected politicians who we believed would adequately and properly represent the rights and interests of our state citizens and the US population collectively.  Since the general election in 2008 all that has changed.  Corporations and businesses are no longer content with “owning” lawmakers with campaign contributions, bribes and expensive organizations such as ALEC.  Today they want to replace actual political candidates with current or former corporate executives and owners – who will advance a free-market, pro-corporate agenda. More →

The Voter Protection Hotline–Accept No Lies

Posted on our VLTP Facebook Page by member Dov Rosenberg.  Don’t let anyone illegally take away your right to vote!

PLEASE SHARE: The Voter Protection Hotline (855.868.3171) is staffed by attorneys who can quickly respond to questions and report any issues that may arise. If you have any questions, please call the voter protection hotline:
(855) VOTE-171 or (855) 868-3171

Most Common Voter Protection Issues:
· Intimidation

· Misinformation
· Voter does not have correct ID
· Long line
· Qualification or proof of residence questions
· Voter was convicted of a felony and completed both sentence and parole