Archive for go Dems

Black voters in South could play big role in midterm elections

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chris christie fear of black voters

Republicans don't treat black voters well at all. They disenfranchise them, they suppress their votes, they make it nearly impossible for them to get to the polls, they put up all kinds of obstacles to keep them from registering, and they do everything they can to make those Voter I.D.s they insist upon as inaccessible as possible.

Or as I like to call it, GOP outreach.

Thank you, Supreme Court, for your decision last year to gut the Voting Rights Act. How impartial of you.

Consequently, African American voters won't exactly flock to the Republican party any time soon. Nor will they be inclined to fill in a dot next to anyone with an R after their name on the ballot. Can the GOP be any more shortsighted?

Ironically-- with a twist of karma-- black Southern voters are about to play a prominent role in the November elections.

Via Nate Cohn for the New York Times:

Nearly five decades after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, black voters in the South are poised to play a pivotal role in this year’s midterm elections. If Democrats win the South and hold the Senate, they will do so because of Southern black voters. [...]

This year’s closest contests include North Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia. Black voters will most likely represent more than half of all Democratic voters in Louisiana and Georgia, and nearly half in North Carolina. Arkansas, another state with a large black population, is also among the competitive states. [...]

If Democrats win this November, black voters will probably represent a larger share of the winning party’s supporters in important states than at any time since Reconstruction. Their influence is not just a product of the Senate map. It also reflects the collapse in Southern white support for Democrats, an increase in black turnout and the reversal of a century-long trend of black outmigration from the South... Southern black turnout today rivals or occasionally exceeds that of white voters.

You know what this means, right? Say it with me:

gotv 3

As Cohn reminds us, black voters played a big role in Thad Cochran's primary win against a tea party candidate. Please read his chock full o' info, background, and history article in full, here.

And then help everyone you can to register, and in November, to get to the polls. Swarm the polling places. Vote in droves. Use your voices. Because it doesn't do much good to have winning numbers without access to the ballot box.

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If you think speaking out is pointless, think again.

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think before speaking out did I just say that

Speaking out is the one thing we can still do of effect change. We are still able to use our voices in print, in letters to the editor, in blogs, on the Tee Vee, Radio, and Internet Machines, and most importantly, at the ballot box. Speaking out is our strength, our peaceful show of force, our (non-lethal) weapon against discrimination, inequality, and oppression.

Yes, it can be frustrating, ineffective, an exercise in futility, and drive us nearly insane when we are ignored. However, occasionally, speaking out leads to victories, big and small. Here is one of the smaller ones that could morph into something huge. Via the Los Angeles Times:

Responding to a sharp public backlash, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler revised his proposed Internet traffic rules as he tries to secure support for the agency to start formally considering them this week. [...]

In a nod to criticism from many Democrats, Internet companies and public interest groups, Wheeler tried to soften the most controversial part of his proposal by allowing broadband providers to charge higher fees for faster delivery of content as long as consumers and competition are not harmed, an agency official said.

We may have a long way to go in this area and so many others, but as I have said repeatedly (scroll), our voices matter.

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"The Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party definitely are showing that they have growing influence"

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elizabeth warren wing of dem partyPhoto credit: Tim Pierce

As I said in this post, for medical reasons (and unfortunately, more have arisen) I have to cut back, so I'll be posting much less often. This is one of those times when I felt compelled to jump in, because this is positive news, something we all need to jolt us out of our constant state of frustration with Washington DC.

It comes via the Los Angeles Times in an article that explores the recent move by Senate Democrats that changed the filibuster rules:

After pushing through one of the most significant rule changes in Senate history, Majority Leader Harry Reid struck a solemn tone: "This is not a time for celebration."

I understand but disagree. In a sense, it is time for celebration. We can celebrate the recent infusion of a few stiffer spines to the Democratic party, as in: not caving on the GOP government shutdown fiasco.

And we can celebrate the Democrats actually acting on their more-than-justified, long overdue resolve to end filibusters against most presidential nominations. Kudos Dems, you threw cold water all over the endless sabotage by Senate Republicans and their incessant obstruction that created a dysfunctional, do-nothing government. Or as I like to call it, Democracy Demolition.

Now it looks like there's more good news in our future:

Next on their agenda is extending the filibuster rule change from presidential appointments to legislation, which would enable the Senate to move on issues including gun control and climate change. [...]

"The Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party definitely are showing that they have growing influence in the caucus, and in government in general," said Matt Wall of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a group that works to promote progressive candidates and issues in Democratic primaries. On Friday, Warren circulated a fundraising letter to supporters on behalf of Merkley and Udall, thanking them for their role in changing the rule.

So yes, there are a few positive outcomes after the years and years of blocking, dirty tricks, and efforts to derail and destroy President Obama and the Democratic agenda. Hopefully, a gobsmacked GOP is getting a taste of things to come.

gobsmacked 2

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Poll-itics: So much for NRA and GOP popularity.

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gop fail irrelevant

Public Policy Polling has a few new polls out today. Here's a sample, but please link over to their site for more:

...PPP's newest national poll finds more voters consider [an NRA] endorsement to be a negative than a positive. 39% say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had the NRA's support to just 26% who say they'd be more likely to, with 32% saying it wouldn't influence them one way or the other. Among independents 41% consider an NRA endorsement to be a turn off to 27% who say it's a plus. In general 53% of voters say they support stricter gun laws in the country [...]

We continue to find voters more reluctant to identify themselves as Republicans after the party's loss in November. Our final pre-election poll found Democrats with a 2 point party identification advantage at 39/37. Our three national surveys since the election have found it at 44/32, 43/34, and 42/33. Democratic identification is up an average of 4 points since the election and Republican identification is down by an average of 4 points.

So the NRA and the GOP are pretty much in the toidy. Works for me.

Full results here.

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The Voter Empowerment Act to be reintroduced by House and Senate Dems

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flex muscle

voter empowerment act voter suppression

TPM has brought something very important to our attention, especially in light of all the voter suppression and attempts at voter suppression that occurred last November:

House Democrats, including civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis, are reintroducing a bill that would expand early voting as well as online and same day voter registration.

Ex-felons would have the right to vote, but not felons serving prison terms during an election.

Additionally, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is introducing a companion bill in the Senate.

Read it and learn the meaning of democracy, integrity and honor, GOP. If this makes any headway, which it would if Republicans actually believed in fair and honest elections, they'll have to rely more on their sneaky, despicable little gerrymandering schemes.

Subtitle A—Promoting Internet Registration
SEC. 101. REQUIRING AVAILABILITY OF INTERNET FOR VOTER REGISTRATION.

  • Amends the NVRA to require the availability of online application, assistance, completion, submission, and receipt of voter registration applications.
  • Allows online signature through use of state agency databases, submitting a supplemental paper copy, or other state-established means.
  • Permits individuals to submit an application using postage-free mail.
  • Requires that services be provided in a nonpartisan manner.
  • Requires the protection of all information provided online.
  • Allows states to use a telephone-based system that provides the same services as are available online.
  • Requires that voters registered online be treated the same as those registered by mail.

SEC. 102. USE OF INTERNET TO UPDATE REGISTRATION INFORMATION.

  • Allows registered voters to update their registration information online.
  • Mandates that States implement necessary security measures to prevent unauthorized changes to voters’ registration information.
  • Requires State to send receipt of registration update.

SEC. 103. PROVISION OF ELECTION INFORMATION BY ELECTRONIC MAIL TO INDIVIDUALS REGISTERED TO VOTE.

  • Adds a space to voter registration form for applicant to provide email address
  • Restricts the use of voter’s email address to official election purposes only
  • Requires that voters who provide an email address be sent an email not later than 7 days before an election including the name and address of the polling pace, the hours of operation, and a description of any identification required

SEC 104. CLARIFICATION OF REQUIREMENT REGARDING NECESSARY INFORMATION TO SHOW ELIGIBILITY.

  • State shall consider an applicant to have provided a valid voter registration form if the applicant accurately completes the application and attestation and, in the case of online registration, the applicant provides a signature.

SEC. 105. EFFECTIVE DATE.

  • Subtitle takes effect on January 1, 2014.

Subtitle B—Automatic Registration of Certain Individuals
SEC. 111. AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION.

  • Mandates that all NVRA voter registration agencies send the name, date of birth, residential address, mailing address, electronic signature and the date of the last change to the information to the chief election officer of each person that has received services, appears eligible to vote, and has not declined to register to vote.
  • Requires this list be sent daily.
  • If a person on the list is not currently registered, the chief election officer verifies eligibility, registers the person to vote, and notifies the person of their registration.
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Wisconsin Dems aren’t waiting around, already taking aggressive steps to defeat Walker, regain Senate in 2014

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momentum smaller

Wisconsin Democrats are no dummies. They're not sitting around and waiting until six months before the 2014 elections to get off their hineys to start an "unprecedented" statewide organizing strategy, nosireebob.

Via the LaCrosse Tribune:

Starting later next month the party plans to put people on the ground in an effort to build on the momentum of the 2012 presidential race and to address what the party chairman called “underperformance” in state legislative races. [...]

[Party Chairman Mike Tate] said the effort — expected to cost about $500,000 a year — is geared toward defeating Gov. Scott Walker, regaining control of the state Senate and making gains in the heavily GOP-controlled Assembly. [...]

“We’re not going to beat Scott Walker on money,” Tate said. “But we believe people are on our side.”

Tate went on to say that their goal is attainable. We do know one thing: It's far more attainable with aggressive plans like these. If only Democrats in every state had this much energy, foresight, and ability to aim high and follow through.

We can't afford to lose in 2014, in state elections nor nationally, especially considering all the dirty tricks the GOP has been pulling. Even smaller local elections are important, so heads up, Dems. Follow Wisconsin's lead.

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Party sources: Democrats are set to include a pro-gay marriage plank in their convention platform for the first time in history

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Yes!

Via email alert:

POLITICO Breaking News

Democrats are set to include a pro-gay marriage plank in their convention platform for the first time in history, party sources confirm to POLITICO. The language was approved unanimously by a platform draft committee and now heads for approval by the full platform committee in August.

For more information... http://www.politico.com

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