human rights

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

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show#50182721

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.

GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal Widens: Arrest in VA–Video

“A man originally reported to have been working for the Republican Party of Virginia was arrested by the Rockingham County, VA Sheriff’s office on Thursday and charged with attempting to destroy voter registration forms by tossing them into a dumpster behind a shopping center in Harrisonburg, VA.

Prosecutors charged him with four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of failing to disclose voter registration applications and one count of obstruction of justice,” and more charges could be forthcoming, according to officials…

“Some of those questionable applications included address changes for existing voters, such that FL election officials  worry voters could find themselves disenfranchised come Election Day. In Florida, as in many states, provisional ballots cast at precincts other than where voters are officially registered will not be counted. So changing the addresses on voter registrations without voters’ knowledge is a serious crime with potentially very serious consequences.
…”It was PinPoint Staffing, in fact, which reportedly hired the man Strategic blamed for the fraudulent registration forms turned in originally in Palm Beach. But while PinPoint continues to seek workers for GOP-related efforts around the country, and as Sproul’s (Strategic Allied Consulting) operations continue in “as many as 30 states”, it is the Republican National Committee’s response to the entire affair, including to the arrest today, that may be the most troubling…Sproul’s firms, including what appeared to be a “clone” operation of Strategic Allied Consulting, calling itself Issue Advocacy Partners, were still found working for Republicans and Rightwing ballot initiatives in at least 10 states. Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported that, in fact, Sproul was still “hiring workers for a voter canvassing operation this fall in as many as 30 states.”

…”Strategic was said to have been hired by state Republican Parties, at the request of the RNC, for voter registration drives in five states (Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado) and for “Get Out the Vote” campaigns in Ohio and Wisconsin. When both RNC and state GOP officials claimed to have fired them, it seems they didn’t really mean it.

In the LA Times report late Thursday Sean Spicer, the RNC’s Communications Director, confirms that it may have only been Sproul who the party claimed to be “boldly” cutting ties with. The operations Sproul created for the Party beginning in August, the ones that led to fraudulent voter registrations in Florida and destroyed applications reported in Colorado and Nevada as well, are still in place.

“After Sproul was dumped,” the LA Times reports, “the registration operation that he assembled continued working under the supervision of party officials, Spicer said. He said the workers will continue to do get-out-the-vote work until the election.”
The firing of Sproul and Strategic Allied Consulting was a deception.

Strategic Allied Consulting “was registered as a corporation last June out of the same law office run by top-level Republican National Committee election attorneys where both Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super-PAC and the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity are also based.”

“In one YouTube video that went viral last month (click here to view), a young Colorado registration worker — who, it turned out, had been working for Sproul’s Strategic Allied Consulting on behalf of the state GOP — is seen doing exactly that.
Al Sharpton weighed in on this in his Block the Vote series of reports on MSNBC.  Please click here to watch this video.
Please click
here to read the entire story–there is a lot more to this– as reported by Brad Friedman, who gets a shout out from VLTP for providing the finest coverage of this expanding story.

What the PA Photo ID Ruling Means for the November 2012 Election – Story and Video

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, a Republican, enjoined just a part of the law, but it effectively strikes down the most onerous provision of it — but only for this November’s Presidential election. There were also a number of troubling caveats with what he left in place, rather than striking down the entire statute as the petitioners had sought.

Tonight, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow also discussed the confusion likely to be brought by the state’s continuing ad campaign along with the other vagueries allowed to continue by Judge Simpson’s ruling today…

She correctly notes that the effect could be that voters are misled into believing that they should stay away from the polls if they do not have the type of ID previously required under the law this year, as advertised in the state’s “education” campaign. In short, she argues, Republicans are likely to get the many “benefits” of the law (disenfranchisement of Democratic-leaning voters), even with the most onerous elements of it barred for now.

Maddow also discussed similar confusion, purposely imposed by Republicans in Mississippi, concerning their Photo ID initiative, as well as some of the latest details in the GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal.

To read the latest about the shortfalls of the judge’s decision in PA, please click here.

To watch the complete Rachel Maddow video GOP war on voting succeeds despite legal failures, please click hereThe section on PA starts at about 4:22.

Fight for early voting continues in Ohio – VIDEO

In Ohio, the Obama campaign had to go to court to try to force Ohio Republicans to comply with a judge’s ruling that restores early voting in the state.  Ohio isn’t the only
state where Republicans are making it more difficult to vote.

Please click here to watch this video of history in the making.
Politics Nation with Al Sharpton
September 5, 2012

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45755884/#

‘Workers’ Rights Are Human Rights’

On Up with Chris Hayes, the entire first hour was devoted to the role of unions in the economy, its tenuous relationship with partisan politics and the how the diminishing union participation has hurt the average American worker.

Union member Saladin Muhammad reminds viewers that workers’ rights are in fact, human rights, providing workers with the dignity of honest pay, benefits and safety in the workplace.

To watch a composite video of consecutive segments on Up with Chris Hayes, please click here.

To read the entire article with one segment of the show embedded, please click here

Objects in the Mirror May be Closer Than They Look – VIDEO

New Back Alley Emerges as U.S. Abortion Restrictions Rise

Thanh Tan, reporter for the Texas Tribune, talks with Rachel Maddow about how increasing abortion restrictions in the U.S. are contributing to a “new back alley”, manifested in part in a new trend in American women seeking dangerous abortion alternatives from Mexican
pharmacies.

To watch the video on the VLTPVideoChannel please click here or read the transcript at the MSNBC link below.

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-rachel-maddow-show/48759449#48759449

The Main Street Movement – Struggle in the Heartland

Oklahoma public sector workers and activists speak out on the attacks on workers civil rights by corporations.

Please watch this great video on the VLTPVideoChannel by clicking here

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