voter suppression

Records: Ohio House office aided conservative group

Activists say the council improperly influences the state’s legislative process

Hundreds of emails were sent through an Ohio lawmaker’s office last year to arrange free meals and other perks for legislators from lobbyists at events sponsored by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, records show.

The Ohio House scheduler was asked to arrange session dates around council events and obliged, raising questions about the council’s sway at the Statehouse.

Seventy-two of 132 lawmakers serving at the start of this session — including every member of GOP leadership in both legislative chambers — are members of the council.

The state pays a blanket fee to belong to the council, and many member lawmakers — including Seitz — pay their $100, two-year membership through campaign accounts.

“Having the state pay dues is their loophole for not having to report these events,” Rothenberg said. “It clearly flouts the ethics law.”

To read this informative article in its entirety, please click here

Coalition letter to DNC: Tell Duke Energy to Dump ALEC!

Today, Greenpeace and the Coalition to March on Wall Street South sent a letter to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, highlighting the DNC’s connection to the American Legislative Exchange Council through Duke Energy.

In May, Duke gave ALEC $50,000 for its meeting in Charlotte, NC and has consistently offered staff support at multiple levels of ALEC operations. Now it’s providing office space and a ten million dollar loan for the Democratic National Convention, also in Charlotte. Beyond acting as a political double-agent, Duke Energy’s heavy support for ALEC’s anti-environmental work goes against its own commitments to take climate change and clean energy seriously.

To read all of this excellent Greenpeace USA article by Connor Gibson and to download the pdf file of the complete letter sent to DWS, please click here.

Judge Won’t Block Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law

I wonder if Judge Robert Simpson is among those judges who have been paid to attend right wing “seminars”–Trips For Judges.  Watch for a future report on www.vltp.net

A state judge on Wednesday refused to block Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson’s 70-page order ruled that opponents of the law failed to establish “that disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable.”

Simpson did not rule on the case’s merits, only on whether it could be enjoined. Opponents of the law are expected to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court.

Simpson ruled that the law “does not expressly disenfranchise or burden any qualified elector or group of electors. The statute simply gives poll workers another tool to verify that the person voting is who they claim to be.”

To read the entire article about this miscarriage of justice, please click here

Election Fraud? Look at the Republican Party for Actual Election Fraud.

10+ recent cases of voter fraud by very high-profile GOPers…

…you’d think there was an epidemic of Democratic “voter fraud” in this nation. That’s certainly the way the GOP has framed it, fooled the corporate mainstream media into reporting it, and even scammed the White House and Congressional Democrats into going along with it when they signed legislation that defunded ACORN, a four-decade old community organization never found to have committed voter fraud, or even helped to see a single fraudulent vote cast in any election anywhere.

As it turns out, not only is there no such epidemic of Democratic voter fraud, but the opposite is true. Over the past year, very high profile Republicans — including this year’s presumed standard bearer, Mitt Romney; the Sec. of State of Indiana (the first state to institute polling place Photo ID restrictions) Charlie White; one time GOP front-runner Newt Gingrich; MO’s new GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate Todd Akin; and the group hired the Sacramento, CA Republican Party to collect voter registrations this year for Rep. Dan Lungren; among others (all detailed below) — have each been revealed as having committed or participated in election fraud — both voter registration fraud and actual voter fraud — in state after state.

For the details about these hypocrites and what they have been doing, please click here.

New ID Laws, More Voter Suppression. Will Obama Campaign Engage?

http://youtu.be/YnjJBTkXEIc  (click on this link to watch this video on the VLTPVideoChannel)

This is a composite of successive segments of the Rachel
Maddow Show on MSNBC 8/10/12

(1)  New ID laws, Purges, Reduced Access Advance GOP
War on Voting

Rachel Maddow reports on new Republican-set obstacles
to voting around the country, from Voter ID laws in
Pennsylvania, to voter purges in Iowa, to reduced voting
access in Democratic counties in Ohio

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/48621094#48621094

(2)  Will Obama Campaign Engage Ohio Voting Access
Battle?

Ted Strickland, former Ohio Governor, co-chairman of
President Obama’s re-election campaign, talks with Rachel
Maddow about the Obama campaign’s reaction to the
Republican effort to make voting more difficult in 2012
and whether the Obama campaign plans to take action
against the new partisan voting access disparities in Ohio,

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/48621160#48621160

Ohio Limits Early Voting Hours In Democratic Counties, Expands In Republican Counties

From Think Progress By Aviva Shen and Adam Peck

Starting October 1st, voters in Democrat-leaning urban centers including Cleveland, Columbus, Akron and Toledo will now only be allowed to vote between 8 am and 5 pm on weekdays, when the majority of people are at work. The board of elections in these counties, which are split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, was gridlocked over a Democratic effort to expand hours. The Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted stepped in to deny expanded hours in these counties. But Republican-heavy counties have actually expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends, when most people have time to go to the polls. The Nationreports:

According to the Board of Elections, 82% of early voters in Franklin County voted early on nights or weekends, which Republicans have curtailed. The number who voted on nights or weekends was nearly 50% in Cuyahoga County.

“I cannot create unequal access from one county board to another, and I must also keep in mind resources available to each county,” Husted said in explaining his decision to deny expanded early voting hours in heavily Democratic counties. Yet in solidly Republican counties like Warren and Butler, GOP election commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends.

Read the full TP Article here

Voter Suppression in Florida part of Long Term Planning

Jim Greer, ex-Chair of the Republican Party of Florida, is feuding with the radical right wing that forced him out of his job.  For a few days now he has been talking about how the Republicans in Florida met to discuss disenfranchising black voters back in 2009.

He talked with Al Sharpton today about this, and you can watch the videos of the conversation on Politics Nation on the VLTPVideoChannel at   http://youtu.be/MiXHTvhLefI and the continuation of the conversation at http://youtu.be/iYEp-i4BnKk

 

Think for yourself

…among the many provision of the Voting Rights Act was the prohibition on the notorious poll tax, which was specifically designed to eliminate large (and poor) groups of otherwise eligible voters from casting their ballot. In inflation-adjusted dollars, your average 1965 poll tax cost $10.64. In contrast, today it can cost $25 for a birth certificate, up to $100 for a driver’s license, $97 for a passport, and over $200 for naturalization papers, all of which could be required under various versions of voter ID laws. More →

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

Amgen Drops ALEC – Pfizer Leaves ALEC Board & Dreyfus Not Funding ALEC in 2012

From an article published at PRWatch by Rebekah Wilce

Continuing and unrelenting pursuit of ALEC and their corporate members by activist and labor groups, having huge impact upon the ultra right organization.  Thirty plus companies, four foundations and more than 50 legislators have already left ALEC – an organization operating under the banner of being a “Charity”, much like their former UK partner, Atlantic Bridge. The AB charity was disbanded by the UK government earlier this year when it was discovered their agenda was solely conservative and that it performed no real charitable operations – again much like ALEC.

Common Cause and Clergy Voice have already challenged ALEC’s charitable and IRS exemption status through whistleblower claims to the IRS filed earlier in 2012.  As the controversy continues to make headlines, more and more companies are finding it more prudent to separate themselves and their “brands” from ALEC and their numerous legislative pursuits that includes the disenfranchisement of voters and privatizing state education systems.

Amgen, a $15.3 billion pharmaceutical company based in California, announced its determination not to renew its membership on August 3 in response to a letter from a group of concerned shareholders and advocates led by Walden Asset Management and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, has dropped its seat on ALEC’s corporate board, according to the agenda from ALEC’s 2012 annual meeting. Even commodities and energy trading corporation Louis Dreyfus confirmed to CMD that it had decided not to fund ALEC this year.”

ALEC Exposed lists the following companies and foundations that have now dumped ALEC:

Companies:

Foundations:

Read the full CMD article here