Archive for bad law – Page 2

Graph: How long it took blacks, whites, Hispanics to vote in 2012. One guess who waited in line the least amount of time.

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tweet ari berman ohio early voting lines

In January it was reported that at least 201,000 did not vote in Florida because of frustration with long lines. In fact, former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer came right out and said that Florida Republicans tried to suppress the black vote.

Now the New York Times has a series of graphs depicting exactly how long it took different groups to vote. One guess who waited longer among African American, Hispanic, and white voters. Hint: White voters waited an average of 12+ minutes. Black and Hispanic voters waited an average of 20+ minutes.

surprise

Democrats waited an average of 15 minutes, but Republicans? A little over 12 minutes.

Here is a peek at the results. Source: 2012 Survey of the Performance of American Elections, conducted by Charles Stewart III of M.I.T. Much more at the link and here:

Overall average: 14 minutes

The dotted line represents the 14 minute mark.

chart graph how long it took to vote 2012 black, white, hispanic

 chart graph how long it took to vote 2012 states

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At least 201,000 did not vote in Florida because of frustration with long lines

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rick scott 2

Former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer came right out and said that Florida Republicans tried to suppress the black vote. He called his fellow GOPers “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies.”

But that didn't stop Florida Governor Rick Scott, who gladly went along with legislation that resulted in endlessly long lines and cutting back early-voting days.

Then Scott had the unmitigated nerve to say, hey, don’t blame me for that lousy election law, I only signed it! Of course, his voter suppression law did its damage in more ways than one, as you can see via the Orlando Sentinel:

The long Election Day lines around Florida may have turned away more than 200,000 frustrated would-be voters who gave up and went home before they cast ballots — or else saw the lines and elected not to join them.

Analyzing data compiled by the Orlando Sentinel, Ohio State University professor Theodore Allen estimated last week that at least 201,000 voters likely gave up in frustration on Nov. 6, based on research Allen has been doing on voter behavior. [...]

[A]ccording to Allen's analysis of the data, the lengthy lines lowered actual turnout by roughly 2.3 percent per hour of delay [...]

[T]he lost voters appeared to favor President Barack Obama. Of the 201,000 "missing" votes, 108,000 likely would have voted for Obama and 93,000 for Republican Mitt Romney, he said.This suggests that Obama's margin over Romney in Florida could have been roughly 15,000 votes higher than it was.

jim crow smaller jimmy

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Fla. Gov. Rick Scott: Don't blame me for that lousy election law, I only signed it!

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bart simpson i didn't do it

Gov. Ricky got an earful from black legislators, voters, and political commentators about Florida's restrictive voting law that resulted in endlessly long lines and cutting back early-voting days. Or as I like to call it, voter suppression.

His response to the criticism: Moi?

i didn't do it, blame

Via the Tampa Bay Times:

Scott agreed with black lawmakers that the 2011 election law contributed to the chaos at the polls in November, including long lines all over the state and up to seven-hour waits in Miami-Dade. But Scott, who is seeking re-election in 2014, said it was largely a decision of the Legislature.

"It was not my bill," Scott said. "We've got to make changes, I agree. … The Legislature passed it. I didn't have anything to do with passing it."

Hey, guys, back off! I had nothing to do with that piece of crap bill! It was all their fault! I only signed the thing!

Digital StillCamera

Blame Obama.

who me

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VIDEO-- How to overturn Citizens United: Drive in a carpool lane with a corporation and get ticketed

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corporations are people romney

Savor this one while you can, because you and I both know it's going to get thrown out of court. There was this guy, see, and he got ticketed for driving alone in a California carpool lane. But he says there's no way he was alone, see, because he had his corporation papers with him right there on the front seat, and as we all know...

"Under the law, a corporation is a person."

Via NBC:

He waved his corporation papers at the officer, he told NBCBayArea.com, saying that corporations are people under California law. [...]

Frieman, who faces a traffic court on Monday, plans to tell the judge that this isn’t about carpool lanes; it’s about corporate power.

"I'm just arresting their power and using it for my service to drive in the carpool lane," he told NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle.

University of San Francisco law professor Robert Talbot says Frieman’s argument may not hold up because it steers too far from the intent of carpool lane laws.

Intent inschment. The law allows corporations to be people when it comes to donating to greedy politicians, so it should apply here.

If not, then it's time to dump Citizens United, the terrible SCOTUS ruling that got us into this mess in the first place.

But admit it, isn't corporate personhood fun when it works for the average citizen?

UPDATE:

tweets citizens united carpool lane

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Got "Sheldonfreude"? Think again. Super PACs are still a threat.

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Michael Hiltzik has another illuminating column in today's L.A. Times, this time about Citizens United and the continuing practice of buying influence. The big bucks flowed and will continue to flow, despite the outcome of the presidential election, despite Sheldon Adelson's abysmal failure to purchase a president.

The Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling overturned limits on political spending that resulted in unprecedented donations from corporations and a handful of billionaires to presidential and congressional candidates.

But just because ridiculous amounts of cash were unsuccessfully thrown at Mitt Romney and others who lost their bids for office doesn't mean that corporate and individual influence doesn't count and won't get worse. We still have to demand campaign finance reform and somehow reverse that terrible SCOTUS decision.

As Larry Noble, president of Americans for Campaign Reform, a Concord, N.H.-based nonprofit seeking to dilute the influence of private money in elections, said:

"They may not have determined the election, but you can't say they didn't have any influence."

As Hiltzik wrote, super PACs are still out there doing their super PAC thing, raising unlimited amounts of big money from  unions, corporations, and individuals (supposedly) without coordinating directly with those they back. Key word: Directly.

Now, that whole "Fiscal Crossroads/Curb" issue is attracting big donors the way Susan Rice attracts GOP Sunday talk show attack dogs. Meantime, small donors are left in the dust:

The impulse to please big donors to keep the money flowing visibly narrows the breadth of debate in Washington, where raising the top marginal income tax rate by 4.6 percentage points, to 39.6%, is treated as the absolute limit on taxation of the wealthy. For most of the Reagan administration, the top rate was 50% or higher.

This mind-set reflects the outsized influence of a small clutch of wealthy individuals and corporate donors. According to a study by the nonprofit progressive organizations Demos and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, contributions to super PACs by just 61 large donors averaging $4.7 million each matched the combined donations of 1.4 million donors of $250 or less to the Romney and Obama campaigns.

Whose voices are likely to resonate more loudly in the halls of the White House and Congress — the 61 donors or the 1.4 million? [...]

The best counterweights to Citizens United lie in tightening up disclosure rules [...] Another good idea is to magnify the weight of small donations to tip the scale back toward the average voter. That's the goal of the Empowering Citizens Act, sponsored by Reps. David Price (D-N.C.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) By providing a public match of 5 to 1 for the first $250 of any individual's contribution to a presidential or congressional candidate, the measure aims to raise incentives for individuals to donate and for candidates to seek small donations.

If we don't do something about all the inequity and abuse of what's left of democracy, we'll continue to face this:

More here.

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Report: Rising sea level puts US Atlantic coast at risk, but N. Carolina bill would outlaw sea level projections

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Image by cristinalo

In North Carolina, House Bill 819, a measure that would require sea level forecasts to be based on past patterns, "would all but outlaw projections based on climate change data."

You don't like predictions based on sound science? Pfft! Ban them. Easy come, easy go. Without all that bothersome, imposing, well-researched data, the crisis simply ceases to exist. Easy as pie!

Hey! Why don't we do that with our economic woes, too?

So while that insane North Carolina bill would legislate science and inhibit research, a report has come out offering evidence that an uh-oh-sized area along the east coast could be in real trouble. Are all those states going to pass Ostrich Head-In-The-Sand bills too?

We're talking Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to north of Boston, and even major cities including Philadelphia and Baltimore.

But to hell with the health and welfare of people when profits are what really count. L.A. Times:

Comedian Colbert brought the debate to a national audience, wisecracking in a segment titled "Sea, No Evil" on the June 4 "Colbert Report": "If your science gives you a result you don't like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved."

AFP:

The sea level on a stretch of the US Atlantic coast that features the cities of New York, Norfolk and Boston is rising up to four times faster than the global average, a report said Sunday.

This increases the flood risk for one of the world's most densely-populated coastal areas and threatens wetland habitats, said a study reported in the journal Nature Climate Change. [...]

If global temperatures continue to rise, the sea level on this portion of the coast by 2100 could rise up to 30 centimetres over and above the one-metre global surge projected by scientists, it added.

The article cites other reports and studies, but, hey, maybe they can all be legislated away, too.

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VIDEO: Rep Hank Johnson rips into ALEC on House floor

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Keep ripping, :

Congressman Hank Johnson, who represents the eastern suburbs of Atlanta in the U.S. House of Representatives, talks about the "American Legislative Exchange Council," which influences state legislatures to pass pro-corporate legislation, including "Stand Your Ground" laws.

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