Voter Restrictions

The steady disenfranchisement of the american people.

Ohio’s Secretary of State – and ALEC Alum – Ignores Court Order To Expand Weekend Voting

From an AlterNet article / By Steven Rosenfeld

VLTP: The legislation popping up in numerous states to disenfranchise millions of predominantly Democratic voters who are students, elderly, Black or Hispanic, come from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  There have been many articles tracking these efforts back to ALEC.  An article published on PolicyMic and VLTP last week exposed that in Ohio, three top state officials; Governor Kasich, PUCO Chairman Todd Snitchler…and Secretary of State, Jon Husted are all ALEC alumni: http://www.vltp.net/prvt-edu-s….

This helps voters understand why Secretary Husted is deliberately attempting to ignore the court’s decision and mandate.  By claiming that Ohio is awaiting the conclusion of the “Appellate” process in disregarding the lower court’s ordered injunction, I believe Husted is overstepping his authority in an effort of advancing a deliberate voter suppression and thus, ALEC led agenda.

From the AlterNet article:

“If you want to see what voter suppression looks like in 2012, parse the logic and rehetoric in Husted’s latest directive—which his office has the authority to issue:

Announcing new hours before the court case reaches final resolution will only serve to confuse voters and conflict with the standard of uniformity sought in Directive 2012-35. Therefore, there is no valid reason for my office or the county boards of elections to set hours for in-person absentee voting the last three days before the election at this time. If the appellate courts ultimately reverse the trial court’s decision, in-person absentee voting for non-UOCAVA voters will end the Friday before the election. If however, the appellate courts uphold the trial court’s decision, I will be required to issue a consistent uniform schedule for statewide in-person voting hours for the last three days before the election. I am confident there will be sufficient time after the conclusion of the appeal process to set uniform hours across the state.

Obviously Ohio is an important swing state and the issues and positions of the candidates be damned – the GOP controlled state is demonstrating quite clearly that under the unholy ALEC held “trifecta” of Kasich, Husted and Snitchler they, like Pennsylvania are willing to do whatever is necessary to hand Romney their state in November.  They are willing to go so far as to deny hundreds of thousands of Ohio voters their right to vote in order to prevail at tossing “the Black guy” out of the White House…

Read the entire AlterNet/Rosenfeld article here

The Romney-Koch Handshake: Network TV Misses Revealing Moment Between Nominee & Billionaire at RNC

From Democracy Now

Many would have completely missed the handshake between Mitt Romney and financier, David Koch if it weren’t for Democracy Now’s great footwork with a camera.  Koch’s money helps the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) continue their work legislating on behalf of large corporations such as Koch Industries and their subsidiaries.

Not surprisingly, the major networks all cut away precisely when Romney was pointing to David Koch with that now all to familiar “Romney smirk”, shaking Koch’s hand and laying his other hand on the industrialist’s shoulder.

Over the past few years David and Charles Koch have done their part in paving the way for Romney (or any GOP candidate) to have a better chance at winning election this November by funding the national pursuit of voter ID laws disseminated through their financially controlled ALEC, Americans For Prosperity and a dozen other conservative organizations.

Full video of Romney making his way into the RNC last Thursday – complete with the Koch-Romney moment can be seen here...

 

One Percenters Buying Themselves an Aristocracy

The U.S. Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. What this nation needs now is separation of wealth and state.

Without such a protection, Americans stand to lose their democracy. They’ll be ruled instead by an aristocracy of 1 percenters.

That’s the 1 percenters’ plan. To them, it was no more than a perk when the U.S. Supreme Court enabled politicians to open their wallets for unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions. That’s because way before the 2010 Citizens United ruling, 1 percenters were working on a takeover. If the 99 percent don’t stop them soon, don’t establish some sort of separation of wealth and state, then the nation will lose its founding precepts — that all men are created equal and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Aristocracies can ignore the governed.

Already the 1 percenters have been extraordinarily successful. The rich really do enjoy advantages. They’ve succeeded in stuffing Congress with their peers. In America, fewer than 1 percent of all people are millionaires. In Congress, 47 percent are. The median net worth of a U.S. senator in 2010 was $2.56 million.

To read this incisive article by Leo W. Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers, please click here

This Is What Voter Suppression Looks Like – VIDEO

Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews discuss the rapid decrease of Democratic voting registration in Florida and discuss the voter suppression in the state.  Please click here to watch the video.

Following up on this at The Maddow Blog:

…Republicans in Florida set out to make registering voters harder for this election. The new rules took effect last year, and the results are clear. Republicans are still reaching and registering new voters, if not quite as many. Democrats, as you can see on the chart (below), are scarcely registering new voters at all.

In May, a federal court blocked enforcement of the law. The Florida Times-Union reports that June and July posted the highest numbers of new voters all year.

Has Rick Scott gotten away with disenfranchising poor people of all races, and people of color– who’ve historically had to do battle with laws preventing them from voting; as well as senior citizens and college students. Then, there are groups like newly-married couples, or newly-divorced ones, the transgendered community, Native Americans, American citizens with immigrant family members, and, to add insult to injury……those who may have recently lost their homes due to the foreclosure crisis?

Hey, you there in Florida, your voting apathy in 2010 is why you (and the rest of America) are stuck with Rick Scott in the first place.

This is much bigger than one presidential election. This is about the future of our democracy. Please, register to vote.  Then be ready to either fill in and mail your absentee ballots—give them a week or two to be delivered–or get in line on November 6.

Center for Media and Democracy Comes Under Attack For Reporting on ALEC

A VLTP OP-ED in response to an article from PRWatch today  by Lisa Graves — August 29, 2012

“The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) sent a message to hundreds of legislators across the country attacking the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), the creator of ALECexposed.org. Among other things ALEC claimed, “CMD is an attack-dog, not a watch-dog.”

The error-filled missive, which was intended to buck up the ALEC faithful as more and more corporations flee the organization, has us here at CMD pondering the old adage, “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they want to attack you and then you win…”

You should read this important article by Lisa Graves here

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It appears the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is tiring of losing legislative and corporate members and support due to exposure of their ultra-conservative activities.

For years bloggers, citizen journalists at Daily Kos, PFAW, Think Progress and even foreign news services have reported on various activities and actions of ALEC.  Until 2011 those reports and mentions of ALEC were rare, sporadic and lacked any real depth about the organization.  This was because while many were concerned about the activities of this registered U.S. charity’s involvement in crafting and supporting partisan legislation, they had few facts and little documentation to work with.

Concerned citizen journalists at Daily Kos worked for a couple of years developing facts and documenting activities of ALEC.  In April of last year students activists from Cincinnati and many of the DK writers worked to plan and implement a protest and rally at ALEC’s Spring Summit held in that city. By anyone’s measurement the event held on April 29th could best be described as a “small but enthusiastic” event with Teach-Ins to educate Ohioans about ALEC and report on their activities.  There were speakers, a rally at Fountain Square and a couple of hundred of us marched around the hotel where ALEC’s corporate and legislative members were meeting to determine new laws they wanted imposed upon Americans.

ALEC members strolled through the rally, laughing and shaking their heads at such foolishness aimed at them.  Many smirked, asking; “ALEC? Alec who…Baldwin?”  Legislative members came out of the hotel during the march, attempting to speak with marchers and inform that “they” were not the ones supporting SB 1070 style legislation, or in favor of attacking collective bargaining…while around the corner at another entrance to the Hilton Netherland Plaza hotel corporate members laughed and pointed at marchers passing by, shaking their heads at the futile protest while they smoked their cigarettes and cigars, holding drinks in their hands.

Though all of this took place in view of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s windows, not one word about the protest march was reported in the Gannett owned paper. To the ALEC contingent and their supporters, the rally, march and teach-ins were nothing more than a minor inconvenience and served to fill them with a sense of pride that their power and influence were so vast – and opposition to both so small.

That all changed after the CMD and Nation Magazine went public with documents and materials turned over to a protest organizer in Cincinnati by a whistleblower associated with ALEC.  As the site “ALEC Exposed” went up in July 2011 with public access to all of the “model bills” in ALEC’s arsenal, the Nation and CMD published several articles detailing the model legislation disseminated by ALEC to every state and chronicled the impact that legislation had upon various segments of our society.

Mich. Court of Appeals smacks down Snyder & Schuette, orders collective bargaining amendment onto ballot

Score one for the good guys

The Michigan Court of Appeals has once again ordered the Republicans on the Board of State Canvassers to halt their efforts to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Michigan voters and directed them to place the Protect Working Families, formerly Protect Our Jobs, ballot initiative on the November ballot. The measure will ensure that collective bargaining rights are protected in our state constitution and prevent the wholesale destruction of those rights by extremist anti-labor majorities like we have in our state legislature today.

To read this important story, please click here

Voter Suppression in Ohio

The ALEC “Trifecta”

Over the past two years we’ve seen a very partisan form of state government in Ohio.  Governor John Kasich promoted and signed legislation that directly attacked organized labor (SB-5, a collective bargaining overhaul) which became the centerpiece of the Ohio Republican Party agenda last year and an issue championed by the GOP Governor.  Kasich has been pursuing a specific agenda along with other highly placed state appointed and elected officials.  The Governor and at least two top Ohio state officials share alumnus status with the developer of that agenda – ALEC.Kasich pushed for privatized education – K-12 through  college – accomplished through cuts to education spending, signed legislation allowing fracking,  and slashed funding for the Ohio Consumer’s Counsel  (OCC) which has interfered with Duke Energy’s attempts to pass along storm damage repairs to their customers.

Kasich appointed former Representative Todd Snitchler (R) to the position of Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) in 2011. One of Snitchler’s first acts was to approve rate increases proposed by Duke Energy and American Electric Power (AEP). Snitchler touted consumers would see smaller energy bills under the plans. Within 60 days of approval, PUCO and Snitchler repealed the approval after schools, residents and businesses saw rate increases of as much as 50% by both Duke and AEP.

More recently a furor has arisen over early voting hours, voter ID fraud and “election reform,” with Kasich signing a reform bill that overturned last year’s bill actually providing election reform.  The net was that it would restrict early voting in Ohio.

Ohio’s current Secretary of State Jon Husted served six terms as a member of the Ohio House and 1 year in the state Senate before being elected as Secretary in 2010. He has been at the center of a maelstrom of controversy over allowing some Republic counties to extend early voting hours while restricting Democratic counties to shorter hours.  Last week he suspended two election board officials who voted to keep weekend early voting – only to reinstate those member this week.

All of the issues mentioned above are parts of an agenda advanced by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Nationally they have pursued a suppression of minority voters through voter ID “model legislation”, support for state legislation to allow fracking, unlimited drilling, and opposing renewable energy initiatives.

What most Ohio voters and consumers are unaware of is that Kasich, Husted and Snitchler are all ALEC Alumni:

Election Fraud in America

This database contains all cases reported to News21 of alleged election fraud across America since 2000.  Search it to find specifics about such cases by state, individual and category of fraud. Read our story and the methodology explaining how the data was gathered and its limitations.

National

The nation has 2,068 cases of alleged election fraud since 2000. By category, Unknown had the highest percentage of accused at 31 percent (645 cases), followed by Voters at 31 percent (633 cases). The most prevalent fraud was Absentee Ballot Fraud at 24 percent (491 cases). The status of most cases was pleaded at 27 percent (558 cases). Responses to requests for public records varied from state to state. Some state and local officials were quick to respond by sending available records; others failed to provide a single document.

To access and use the voting fraud database, please click here

 

 

 

 

Key fundraiser for DNC has close links to right wing bill mill

All the way from Northern California we found this take on the letter that Greenpeace sent to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Chair of the Democratic Party about Duke Energy’s duplicity,  In conjunction with the Coalition to March Against Wall Street, this is going to be the largest protest that Charlotte has ever seen.

Key sponsor of the Democratic National Convention, Duke Energy, has strong connections to ALEC, including staff that work with the group and a history of large donations.

“The DNC is shooting itself in the foot aligning itself with organizations that have such close ties to ALEC. ALEC is directly working to undermine the democratic process,” said Greenpeace spokesperson Monica Embrey.

ALEC, while best known for its work on the infamous Stand Your Ground laws, is behind many of the current voter suppression laws. ALEC also promotes an array of anti-environmental policies, often to the benefit of the fossil fuel lobby.

ALEC regularly launches attacks on clean energy programs and regional climate agreements, efforts Duke claims to support in its corporate literature, but is clearly working to undermine behind closed doors.

“Duke Energy may be fronting up the money for the Democrats, but contrasting their work with ALEC clearly shows they are just playing political games to increase their own dirty influence at every turn. We encourage the DNC to end its relationship with Duke until it renounces its membership in radical front groups like ALEC,” Ms Embrey said.

To read Greenpeace’s entire letter to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, please click here.

To read this entire article, please click here

 

Ohio GOP Elections Board Member Admits Desire to Exclude Blacks From Voting

What a surprise!  I am only surprised any more by those who persist in denying this.

At least Ohio GOP Election board member Doug Priesse is honest. In an email to The Columbus Dispatch he admitted that he’s not really interested in extending early voting. Here is his reason:

“You would almost have to be as blind as a bat not to see the politics,” said Anthony, former chairman of the county Democratic Party. “Listen, call it what it really is.”

“What it really is” to many Republicans is simply an attempt to help President Barack Obama win re-election.

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine,” said Doug Preisse, chairman of the county Republican Party and elections board member who voted against weekend hours, in an email to The Dispatch. “Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

I see. Fair and reasonable. Of course. That would be fair and reasonable to Republicans, because black people tend to vote for Democrats, and those dirty urban voters should not under any circumstances, not any, no way no how, be allowed to vote if it is possible to exclude them.

To read this article, which unabashedly admits the racism inherent in Ohio politics, please click here