Archive for dirty tricks

WI GOP State Senator not "willing to defend them anymore... There is no massive voter fraud."

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Per The Cap Times, WI GOP State Senator Dale Schultz was on on The Devil’s Advocates radio show discussing voter suppression, specifically bills that cut back on early voting. Schultz's own party, the party o' dirty tricks, has been doing whatever it can to make voting harder, because when turnout is high, it usually translates into Democratic wins.

So of course, rather than fighting for victories in the good old fashioned, all-American, patriotic, apple pie honest way, Republicans resort to cheating, because they know they'd never win by approaching elections, you know, fairly.

Democracy, schmemocracy. Endlessly long, discouraging lines rule!

This isn't the first time WI GOP State Senator Dale Schultz has bucked his own party. See: GOP State Sen. Dale Schultz Slams Walker, Calls Union-Busting "Classic Overreach". Now he's expressing his disdain and distaste for the way they're obstructing Wisconsinites from voting.

Schultz:

“I began this session thinking that there was some lack of faith in our voting process and we maybe needed to address it. But I have come to the conclusion that this is far less noble...

"We are not encouraging voting, we are not making voting easier in any way shape or form by these bills...

"I don't see how you can claim to be improving things by actually reducing hours... but maybe this is Never Never Land, who knows?

"It’s just, I think, sad when a political party — my political party — has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. And again, I’m a guy who understands and appreciates what we should be doing in order to make sure every vote counts, every vote is legitimate. But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud.

"The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted. And that we should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future, rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at our voting sites and trying to suppress the vote...

“I am not willing to defend them [his colleagues] anymore. I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this...

"[Voter suppression is] plain wrong...

"It is all predicated on some belief there is a massive fraud or irregularities, something my colleagues have been hot on the trail of for three years and have failed miserably at demonstrating.”

And that concludes another episode of "Republicans eating their own."

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WI GOP fast-tracks "dark money" bill in midst of "John Doe" campaign finance violations probe

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By now you've probably heard of dark money. I've written about it often. It is when nonprofits spend money on elections by exploiting loopholes in campaign finance disclosure laws. In other words, they don't reveal who their donors are, but use their wealth to influence election outcomes by funding "issue ads." Thank you, Citizens United.

Here's how Rachel Maddow described the practice:

...Millions and millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars, that are intentionally made difficult to trace, funneled to networks that build networks that you can disown when you want to, if you want to.

In that particular segment of her show, she was describing how the Koch brothers operate.

Now we get to see how Republican legislators in Wisconsin operate, or as I like to call it, Dark Money Central.

Via PRWatch.org:

A proposed bill that would keep the public in the dark about the sources of money in Wisconsin elections could also make it easier for dark money groups to coordinate with candidates, an issue of particular salience given the ongoing "John Doe" probe into alleged campaign finance violations in the state. [...]

And most importantly, it could open the door to direct candidate coordination with issue ad groups, potentially undermining what remains of Wisconsin campaign finance law. Prosecutors in the John Doe campaign finance probe are reportedly pursuing a theory of illegal coordination between independent "issue ad" groups and the Walker campaign during the 2011-2012 recalls. [...]

Wisconsin courts have held that if a group is coordinating on issue ads with a candidate, their spending -- regardless of whether it includes express advocacy -- can be considered a contribution, which under Wisconsin law encompasses both cash donations and the giving of anything of value.

If those "contributions" exceeded donation limits and were not reported to the state elections board, the group running coordinated issue ads would be violating election law.

And that is the whole reason for the bill. It would change the "political purpose" definition which would also end up changing the interpretation of "candidate contributions."

Nothing new here, just your typical GOP approach: If you can't get what you want honestly and openly, cheat, lie, defraud, slither, smear, steal, and/or hide.

what's the big secret

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#Obamacare will 'reduce budget deficits over 2012–'21 period.' Get it? Reduce the deficit, not add to it."

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GOP obamacare dirty trick

In the video above, Chris Hayes covers one of the multitude of dirty tricks that Republicans are using to undermine the Affordable Care Act. In this instance, they've been creating bogus websites to divert potential customers away from legitimate sites that would actually sign people up rather than print lies intended to discourage enrollment.

My favorite Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik chimed in about that particular Healthcare.gov's evil twin today to set readers straight and expose the GOP and their systematic attempts to derail Obamacare and prevent those interested in getting better coverage from doing just that.

Here is an excerpt from Michael's piece, but please read the entire thing, because he does his usual thorough job of debunking the right wing bunkitude:

For example, the website claims that the Affordable Care Act will increase the federal deficit, asserting that the "non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in a March 2012 report that coverage expenses under the Affordable Care Act will cost the country a total of $1.76 trillion total by 2022 and add over $1 trillion to the federal deficit."

Is that so? The site links to this report by the CBO, which states on page 2 that the act will "on net, reduce budget deficits over the 2012–2021 period." Get it? Reduce the deficit, not add to it. The GOP's nasty trick is to consider only the costs of coverage, without netting out the cost reductions and new revenues in the law. Oh, by the way, the CBO also projects that the ACA will reduce the number of uninsured people in the United States by more than 30 million. That's a plus, by most reckoning. [...]

One can certainly sympathize with the California GOP's desire to become relevant again to the lives of Californians, who have all but voted the party out of existence in the Golden State. Given that California is one of the real bright spots in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, one might think that the state's Republicans would recognize its value to voters, instead of trying to fill their constituents' heads with irrelevancies, misinformation, and misrepresentations. One would be wrong.  

And Hiltzik, as usual, would be right.

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VIDEO: Dems didn't lose the House in 2012. Gerrymandering won.

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Rachel Maddow, December 2012:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Short version: Gerrymandering delivered disproportionate representation.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Chuck Todd, October 2013:

But let's remember, this is a gerrymandered house. Democrats actually won the generic ballot in 2012.

More people voted for a Democratic member of Congress than a Republican one in 2012, and yet there are more congressional held Republican seats, 234.

Democrats only have 201 even though they won a majority of the vote in 2012.

When gerrymandering wins, democracy loses. We lose. All of us.

Here is the entire segment:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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GOP finds solution to their failures: Virginia purges 40,000 names off voter rolls

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The GOP just suffered a huge defeat for the infantile, idiotic games they've been playing with our lives and the world economy. The more sane Republicans in the Senate have the appropriate concerns about the behavior of their House colleagues, whose only concerns seem to be getting re-elected and avoiding being primaried by right wing extremists.

The party's approvals are in the toidy and they know it. So what the heck is the Party of Fail to do to become relevant again? Simple!

WaPo:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Virginia elections officials say they have already purged nearly 40,000 names from the voter rolls that are the subject of a lawsuit filed by Democrats seeking to keep those voters registered.

The Democratic Party of Virginia has already filed a federal lawsuit to fight a plan to purge up to 57,000 names. And is it even necessary to mention that Dems say that the list is "riddled with errors"? In fact, county registrars who did their own reviews kept 11,000 names on the rolls.

But 38,870 names are gone. At least for now.

Remember this? Virginia Dems ask Justice Dep't. to investigate GOP firm for alleged voter fraud.

Apparently, Virginia is taking its cues from Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

The moral of the story: When you throw a public tantrum and still don't get your way, eliminate those who are now dying to vote you out.

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Tea party "would have called opening day at Disneyland a train wreck and shut the park down."

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Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Federal budget talks make little progress," Oct. 14

There's one obvious fact that no one appears to be acknowledging: If a Republican were president, none of this dangerous nonsense would be happening.

Under a Republican administration, no GOP lawmakers would question raising the debt ceiling. It would be approved routinely, as it was under Reagan and both Bushes. And if it were a Republican president having the guts and imagination to try to address America's shamefully uneven access to healthcare, Republicans would be all for it. It goes without saying we would not be suffering through a protracted government shutdown.

Current Republican tactics are driven purely by the tea party's animus toward President Obama. It is willing to throw the whole country under the bus just to oppose him, regardless of the consequences.

Ultimately the Republicans will fail, but it will be a crying shame if they take us all down with them.

Barbara Carlton

El Cajon

***

Holding America's creditworthiness hostage to the GOP-controlled House's desire to defund Obamacare has resulted in a congressional approval rating of 11%. Now the Republicans are crying that the Democrats are trying to humiliate them because they can't get their way.

Isn't that like the schoolyard bully crying "no fair" because he was losing the fight he started?

Marcy Bregman

Agoura Hills

***

Thank God the Republican tea party wasn't around in 1955.

Why? It would have called opening day at Disneyland a train wreck and reason enough to shut the park down. On that day in July 1955, Disneyland ran out of food, the water fountains weren't working and several rides broke down. Plus, someone counterfeited thousands of tickets for opening day. As a result, the place was packed.

Likewise, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges experienced problems. Today, Disneyland is a smoothly run attraction. Affordable healthcare can be too, if the Republicans quit being saboteurs and decide to be part of the solution.

Norm Wilkinson

Whittier

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VIDEO: House Republican awkwardly explains why GOP rigged rules to keep #GOPshutdown going

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Earlier David posted, GOP Rigs Congress So Majority Can't Rule. Now who's to blame for shutting down the government again? Oh yeah, Republicans are.

Desperation drives people to do very destructive things, as is made very clear here, by Chris Van Hollen's YouTube entry:

Late in the evening on September 30, 2013, the House Rules Committee Republicans changed the Rules of the House so that the ONLY Member allowed to call up the Senate's clean CR for a vote was Majority Leader Eric Cantor or his designee -- all but guaranteeing the government would shut down a few hours later and would stay shut down. Previously, any Member would have had the right to bring the CR up for a vote. Democracy has been suspended in the House of Representatives.

The vdeo evidence is pretty hard to dispute, isn't it GOP?

Via BuzzFeed:

Normally, any member of the House can force a vote on legislation which the Senate and House are unable to agree on. Although it is a rarely used mechanism, House Republicans were taking no chances in the days leading up to the shutdown.

Republican leaders were nervous about the possibility that the Senate’s clean spending extension bill would pass the chamber on the strength of Democratic votes — or worse, that it would fail, taking it off the table permanently as a solution.

Destroying the economy and American lives is more important to the GOP than doing what is right for the entire country. They've made it clear that they are so worried about losing their jobs (aka being primaried) that they're willing to force many of us to lose ours.

Hmm, kind of like women being forced to endure unnecessary vaginal probes because their "small," white, male government demands that, too.

Now my buddy @Anomaly100 over at FreakOutNation adds this:

Cue: Democrat and Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise Slaughter.

She said, “Oh mercy, it just gets deeper and deeper”, after Sessions admitted that he and his House Republican colleagues manipulated the traditional rules of the House by taking away the power to bring the resolution to the floor from any Representative to the US Congress.

When asked about this unprecedented change, Sessions admitted, “That’s right, we took that away.”

Occupy Democrats reports, “At this point, she pointed out several inconvenient truths for Sessions and his Republican conspirators, to which he had absolutely no answer. She ended her shaming with this powerful quote,”I think it is an atrocity to the rules of the house, and I think you’re putting the whole country through this angst and aggravation that we did not need to go through. This one, we could have done without, and I must tell you that I’m more and more angry now that I understand what you have done is take away our ability to really make a motion for that Senate vote.”

Why, here Louise is now! Check this out:

“Despite the fact that all have you have said ad nauseum, that you didn’t want to shut the government down.”

“For people that haven’t see this before, wait until the phone calls come  into your office.”

And the response she got, essentially: "Ummm, err, derrr, ummm." Or as I like to call it, Republicanese.

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