ACLU

BREAKING: Michigan Judge Allows RTW Lawsuit to Move Forward

BREAKING: Michigan Judge Allows RTW Lawsuit to Move Forward

A small victory was won today in the battle against Right-to-Work. Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and labor unions against the law. The ACLU argued that the law is invalid because it was passed while the public was locked-out of the capitol building in the 2012 lameduck session — a violation of The Open Meetings Act.

The Assoicated Press reports that Collette referred to the plaintiffs case as a “real uphill battle”. However, this development means the discovery process will move forward, with lawmakers, staff, and state police among those tentatively to be deposed. The Detroit News reports that the ACLU alleges that lawmakers filled the galleries with staff members to block the public from entering.

Legal discovery will be interesting to say the least.

Amy Kerr Hardin from Democracy Tree

democracy tree-vltp

ALEC Experimental Privatization Agenda: Public Policy Failure, Corporate Success

While ALEC legislators still insist on implementing ALEC experimental policies and legislation claiming they are cost effective.  But, at the same time, the public is being inundated with more and more research that privatization of governmental agencies does not benefit anyone – except the ALEC corporate profit sector member who gets the state contract or buys state assets.

Two of the on-going experimental legislative projects that ALEC has pushed for several decades include:

  •     Privatization of governmental goods and services
      “government cannot provide goods or services as cheaply as the private sector can.”

and

  •     Turn Capital Assets into Financial Assets: Sell or Lease Government Assets and Enterprises
    states own over $226 billion in infrastructure assets that could be sold to the private sector.”

A current case in point is the on-going privatization issue: More →

N.C. switches stance on drivers licenses for illegal immigrants

Crap!  We’ve know it was coming, but the shitstorm of rad-right legislation that is only to be expected by a state led by a Duke Energy exec–paytoplaypat, Art Pope, an ALEC-dominated State Legislature – a supermajority in Raleigh.

Recently I reposted an article from Mother Jones talking about the Democracy Initiative where they reported that this new, amply funded liberal action group (” The groups in attendance pledged a total of millions of dollars and dozens of organizers to form a united front on these issues…) would be making North Carolina one of its top targets, where “the fight is more about countering the influence of a single powerful donor, the conservative millionaire Art Pope, whose largesse helped install a Republican governor and turn the state legislature entirely red.”

  • North Carolina was the first state to file against Obamacare.
  • North Carolina will not have a state insurance exchange, a recommended action in ALEC’s Plan to Repeal Obamacare. More →

Texas AG threatens to arrest monitors observing US election

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has monitored several previous elections in the US. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

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State Attorney General calls international group’s plan to watch for fairness at the polls ‘legally irrelevant in the United States’

The Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, has threatened to arrest international election monitors invited by liberal groups to observe the conduct of next month’s presidential vote in states accused of attempting to disenfranchise minorities.

Abbott has written to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe warning that its monitors have no right to monitor the vote even though they have observed previous US elections.

“The OSCE’s representatives are not authorized by Texas law to enter a polling place. It may be a criminal offence for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance,” he said. “Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE’s representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law.”

The OSCE is sending 44 observers to voting stations across the US at the request of various groups, including the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union, because of “an unprecedented and sophisticated level of coordination to restrict voting rights in our nation”. These include attempts by several states, including Texas, to introduce voter identification laws and other measures blocked by federal courts which have ruled they were motivated by racial discrimination.

Well, we’re finally regarded as a nation that cannot conduct honest democratic elections, as reported in this article from the Guardian U.K., and as essentially verified by conservatives’ reaction to this action by the OSCE.  Isn’t that something to be proud of.  Brought to you by the same Party that increased our deficit by getting our nation’s credit rating lowered.  There is a lot more to read in this article, so please click here to read it all.

“I Don’t Know What The Photo ID Law Says”

Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Carole Aichele, testifying Tuesday during a state trial on the state’s controversial voter ID law, said she wasn’t sure about the details of the law, but stood by her unsupported claim that 99 percent of voters had valid identification.

…Aichele also couldn’t provide any evidence that 99 percent of voters already have a valid form of ID, as the state has claimed. CBS reported that when lawyers cited testimony from a Department of State official calling the number likely inaccurate, Aichele responded “I disagree.”

Aichele is a Republican. Her husband is Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s chief of staff. Corbett was recently forced to admit that he had no clue what type of ID was now required to vote under the new law he recently signed.

To read more about the know-nothings who are suppressing voters without knowing how or why, please click here

ACLU Challenge to Photo ID Ballot Measure May Succeed in MN Supreme Court, Yet Fail in Court of Public Opinion

Thanks to a failed MSM and timid DoJ, most Americans do not realize true purpose of voter suppressing photo ID laws…

[note:  this is perhaps the finest reporting that I have seen on Voter Suppression]

It is ironic that so many citizens in the Land of 10,000 Lakes — as high as 80% — would still be taken in by the thick layer of lies that surround the ALEC/GOP push for voter suppressing photo ID laws. After all, it was Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) who so thoroughly demolished the credibility of GOP “voter fraud” salesman Hans Von Spakovsky and his “voter fraud” canard during the September 2011 hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. The hearings were convened in response to the billionaire Koch brothers-funded, Paul Weyrich co-founded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-fueled GOP effort to enact new state voting restrictions across the country.

If a majority of Minnesotans either watched Franken’s demolition of the “voter fraud” canard on C-SPAN during the September 2011 Senate hearings or read The BRAD BLOG with any regularity at all, they would realize that polling place photo ID restrictions have nothing to do with preventing “voter fraud” and everything to do with disproportionately disenfranchising poor, elderly, student and minority citizens.

But, alas, the vast majority of U.S. citizens have neither watched the C-SPAN video of the September 2011 hearings nor read any of nearly ten years of articles at The BRAD BLOG. The vast majority are bombarded daily, on the other hand, by an all-pervasive right-wing media that entails not only Fox “News” and right-wing radio, but multiple right-wing newspapers and think tanks — all of whom have no problem at all repeating the lies in service of what they see as the greater good: holding or obtaining political power.

Please click here to read how the ACLU is taking this information and is fighting Voter Suppression in MN.  It has already fought and won in MO. 

ACLU: U.S. is paying dearly for elderly inmates

On Wednesday, the ACLU released “At America’s Expense: The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly,” a report examining the mushrooming number of prisoners in the U.S. over 50 and the resultant stresses exerted on the corrections system and on our society as a whole. The civil rights group said that states on average could save $66,000 per year for each elderly prisoner they release from the system.

To read this article, see the embedded video, and access the full ACLU report, please click here