League of Women Voters

ALEC an Issue in Weston, CT Election

Hat’s Off to Leon Karvellis–Way to paint conservatives with ALEC’s legislation record.  After all, they pay to sell their votes to corporations and promote radical right wing legislation to the benefit of Corporations and the 1%

…The candidates were asked how special interests influence legislators, and particularly how they would deal with ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Mr. Shaban said he attended an ALEC conference but the group “hasn’t pitched a bill to me.” He compared it to the League of Conservation Voters, saying it is a special interest group like thousands of others “I’m not going to get steered by one,” he said.

Mr. Karvelis took umbrage with Mr. Shaban’s comparing ALEC with the conservation league.

ALEC is not an above-board lobbying group, he said. It “holds meetings behind closed doors” and then asks legislators to bring ideas and bills back to their legislatures, Mr. Karvelis said. These people do not have the public’s interests in mind,” he said, adding ALEC’s goals include privatizing education and prisons. He said it was “ludicrous” Mr. Shaban would attend such a meeting.

To read the entire account from the Weston (CT) Forum, please click here.

If you are a politician–take note of this strategy.  It’s a winner.

ALEC draws attention of the League of Women Voters

The League has supported transparency in government for years.

What is new is that the resolution names, specifically, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The LWV adopted the resolution because some Casper members were concerned about legislators who received ALEC scholarships to attend its meetings and promote model bills, said Amy Williamson of Laramie, LWV president.

The LWV resolution says in part, “There is evidence that members and committees of the Wyoming Legislature sponsor legislation written by political, business and other interest groups that promote their agendas.”

“Efforts by any organization to direct the passage of laws in Wyoming’s Legislature must be transparent to citizens and legislators of Wyoming, consistent with the fundamental principles of openness and accountability,” the LWV resolution adds.

Please click here to read more about this important action by the League of Women Voters to fight back against ALEC.  And demanding transparency on all legislation is necessary to be sure our representatives in government are representing their real constituents and not out there selling their votes to organizations of any political persuasion. 

Wyoming LWV–you have our respect and admiration.

 

Suppressing Votes By Law–Bill Moyers

this post jumps right in to the middle of a conversation regarding voter suppression and Photo ID laws.

KEESHA GASKINS: Again, our research shows us that African American voters, Latino voters, voters over 65, young people 18 to 24 are all in populations that lack this type of ID at rates well beyond the 11 percent of the general population.

BILL MOYERS: You have some startling statistics on your website. Of the states with the highest Hispanic population growth, seven have passed restrictive voting laws. Of the ten states with the highest black turnout, five have passed restrictive voting laws. Of the nine states covered by the Voting Rights Act, six passed restrictive voting laws.

You call it in your report the first rollback in voting rights since the Jim Crow era.

KEESHA GASKINS: Yes, and it is. I mean, when you look at the laws that were passed between 1865 and 1967, the laws that could be ascribed to, sort of, voting and voting rights, depending on how you count, were about 29 laws. In the last 18 months, 23 laws have passed in this country, in comparison between 18 months and that entire period. There has been a concerted effort to limit access to the polls during this period. And this is unprecedented since that time.

BILL MOYERS: Do you think that these efforts to select out certain voters, to discriminate against certain voters that one party or another might not like anything to do with race?

KEESHA GASKINS: It has to do with race because it’s clearly affecting voters of color in this country. The Department of Justice identified that, and pursuant to the Voting Rights Act said the laws in Texas, the laws in South Carolina were unfairly discriminatory. And so, whether or not it was the intention of those legislators to do so, the fact is these laws disproportionately impact voters based on race.

There is so much more to be read in this article, or you can watch the embedded video.  All you have to do is 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. 

Photo ID factions gather supporters, devise strategies

from 2old2care:

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, a Democrat, joined former Gov. Arne Carlson, a Republican, and former U.S. Rep. Tim Penny, a Democrat-turned third-party member, in strongly denouncing the proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday. They said it was an unneeded attack on a fair and honest system, a cookie-cutter plan that came from a national campaign stoked by moneyed conservatives…

…”It comes from the Koch brothers,” said Carlson, referring to David and Charles Koch, owners of Koch Industries and major funders of a number of conservative causes nationally…

…”Minnesota has the best record of openness, of honesty, of voter participation, of any state in the union,” said Mondale. “This is a clean, solid, exemplary state. This constitutional amendment is designed to discourage voting”…

…Carlson and Mondale said they became involved after reading about the proposed amendment and the push to get it on the ballot. Carlson blamed the issue on the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of conservative legislators and business leaders that offers model bills to state legislators. Kiffmeyer is listed as the state chair for ALEC in Minnesota.

To read more of this breaking news, and how the ALEC state chair claims not to know who the Koch Brothers are, please click here.

How Do You Fight Voter Suppression?

The single most effective way to fight voter suppression is to register to vote, and then vote on election day.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) made news this week when they announced that they were discontinuing their Public Safety and Elections Task Force. This Task Force was responsible for the promotion of ‘model’ voter identification and stand-your-ground legislation that has recently been in the news. This announcement came after many organizations put pressure on corporations to withdraw their support from ALEC.

 This retreat by ALEC is an important step for organizations like the League that have worked so hard to protect voting rights and protect the public interest in many other areas.  We must still remain vigilant against special interest influence on our government and democracy which has too often been hidden from the public.

The League always encourages voters to stand their ground. Special interests cannot prevail when confronted by an informed and engaged electorate. In order to do this, Leagues across the country will continue to work hard registering and educating voters, while also seeking to improve our government and elections.

To this end, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg League of Women Voters will be on hand from 11AM-2PM on 5/12 at the ALEC Teach-In to register people to vote.  Please be sure to bring all materials that you will need to register.

And remember, those who will be 18 by election day in November can register to vote in the 5/8 Primaries.

To find out more about this vital organization, please click here