Archive for minority voting

Texas is blue-ming

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BLUEm bloom

Previously I posted a quickie that's worth a read: Three things that Texas needs to become a blue state (betcha Rick Perry can only name 2 of them). Here's the sequel.

Dear Democrats,

One word of advice: Persistence.

Love,

Laffy

Via the Los Angeles Times:

But after a generation's worth of Democratic failure, many are convinced the state is on the cusp of competitiveness, thanks to the rapid growth of Texas' minority population, especially Latinos, and a slow rebuilding of the party from the ground level — city, county, legislative offices — up.

"It's inevitable," said Matt Angle, a Democratic consultant [...]

Among those drawn by the prospect are some of the data-driven strategists of President Obama's campaigns, whose targeting and mobilization boosted black and Latino turnout and twice helped win such battlegrounds as Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada. They have dispatched field teams throughout the state, hoping to apply their organizing techniques to Texas, where millions of eligible minority voters have either failed to register or haven't bothered voting.

Three other words of advice: Turnout, turnout, turnout.

Bluing up Texas will take years, of course, but it didn't hurt to have the wonderful State Senator Wendy Davis filibuster the GOP's egregious proposals intruding upon women's privacy, bodies, and reproductive rights. She was the right kind of person who brought the right kind of attention to the wrong kind of legislation.

The Asian American population, though much smaller than that for whites or Latinos, is growing even faster.

If these citizens, many of them new voters, are registered and cast ballotstwo big ifs — Democrats are convinced they will transform Texas politics.

Of course, Republican-run states have made it tougher to register and cast ballots. Want to vote? Democrats need not apply.

Steve Munisteri, the Democratic party's state chairman, said, "No one's going to vote for you if they think you don't like them, even if they agree with you." And the GOP has made it crystal clear that they don't like people who don't look, sound, and think exactly as they do. Or who have vaginas.

Unfortunately, Democrats don't have anyone exciting "on the bench," meaning, few, if any, viable statewide candidates. We hear a lot about San Antonio's mayor Julian Castro and his twin brother, Joaquin, a congress member who pops up on the Tee Vee Machine a lot these days. However, neither seem interested in running for higher office, per the Times.

And then there's Wendy Davis, who hasn't ruled out a run for governor. She also hasn't ruled out the extreme difficulty of such an undertaking.

As I've written over and over again, and as the Times confirms, building Democratic strength by getting candidates into office from the bottom up (school boards, city councils, etc.) is the way to go. Meanwhile, Texas is and will turn bluer. But it won't happen quickly or easily.

Persistence.

Turnout.

Please.

chart texas blue gop v dem

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Three things that Texas needs to become a blue state (betcha Rick Perry can only name 2 of them)

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texas blue

Ruy Teixeira has a post at Think Progress that is encouraging if you're a Democrat. He discusses what it will take to turn Texas blue, even though the white vote in Texas remains overwhelmingly Republican. Please read the whole thing, but here's a sample:

[T]he quest for a blue Texas is going to have to be built on three pillars, only one of which is ongoing demographic change.  The other two are matching minority, particularly Hispanic, turnout to white turnout and elevating white support for Democrats.  In the latter area, if the Democrats can simply get their support to the 30 percent level — in other words, make the typical landslide among whites for the GOP just a little bit less of a landslide — they will be in a good position to stand on all three pillars and make their dream (and Greg Abbott’s nightmare) of a blue Texas come true.

Of course, of those three pillars, Rick Perry would only be able to remember two of them... maybe... on a good day.

oops rick perry smaller

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What I will not write about today

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frustrated18

Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

  • 15 States Have Loosened Gun Restrictions-- Because providing gun manufacturers with more cash, coveting phallic symbols, pretending you can outgun murderers under stress, and endangering more lives is a priority. USA! USA!

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

drunk wine crafts corks

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"Romney sees people who work as 'suckers.' He can't go away quickly enough."

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Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Romney blames loss on Obama ‘gifts,' ” Nov. 15

Will somebody please let Mitt Romney know that the election is over and he lost? He had many, many months to present his vision for the future, and America (which he might not realize includes women, minorities and young people) rejected it. He should have let his eloquent concession speech serve as his final words.

Instead, he spewed a fictitious, bigoted and condescending view of why he lost: It wasn't because he was poised to roll back women's healthcare rights, give tax breaks to the rich or dismiss 47% of the country as takers; it was because young people, minorities and the working class were bribed with gifts and blindly made their decision based on free stuff.

In reality, the only gift they received was not getting stuck with a president who thinks access to healthcare, control over your own body and reproductive choices, and the chance at an affordable college education are handouts.

Eric Cook
Redondo Beach

***

I guess I'm one of the “takers” Romney was talking about.

And he was right; I do want “stuff.” I want stuff like affordable healthcare for my family, affordable college loans for my children, a Social Security system that won't be privatized and a Medicare system that won't be “voucher-ized.”

I want stuff like a woman's right to choose what happens to her body, and a country that rewards hardworking immigrants rather than punishes them. Those are the reasons I voted for President Obama.

Eric Gardner
Redondo Beach

***

Romney's conclusion that people voted for Obama because he was giving them gifts only demonstrates how completely out of touch he is with the American electorate.

If anyone was offering gifts, it was Romney, who promised his wealthy donors and supporters that they would receive yet another tax cut.

I would have personally profited from a reduction in capital gains, but I am more interested in saving the country from becoming an oligarchy.

The gift Obama is giving to me is his intellect, his good judgment and his support of the middle class, who built this nation. That's quite enough for me.

Barbara H. Bergen
Los Angeles

***

To Romney: If you really want to see political gifts in action, please remember your support of multibillion-dollar Big Oil tax credits, tax breaks for wealthy Americans on capital gains/ordinary income, and deregulation of Wall Street after it brought the world economy to its knees in 2008.

Don Mackay
Torrance

***

I'm neither young nor unemployed. I get no gifts from Obama. I do work 60 hours a week to annually earn less than 5% of what Romney makes without working at all.

Yet for 2011, I paid a greater percentage of my income in taxes to the federal government than Romney.

Romney sees people who work as “suckers.” He can't go away quickly enough.

Bill Serantoni
Thousand Oaks

***

Would Romney have us believe that the Koch brothers and businessman Sheldon Adelson were total altruists who didn't expect multimillion-dollar tax breaks and other gifts in return for their multi-figure donations to his campaign?

The wonder isn't that Romney lost but that he got as many votes as he did.

David Riley
Laguna Woods

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"How hypocritical [the GOP] brand of democracy must look to the rest of the world."

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Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Tea party polices voter rolls," Sept. 27

It is disturbing to learn of the Republicans' plan to win by curtailing voting. In other words, they are depriving the poor and minorities of their voting rights.

What I find absolutely horrendous is the lack of outrage by Republican leaders as they allow a basic right to be jeopardized so they can win.

How hypocritical their brand of democracy must look to the rest of the world.

Fran Gale

Laguna Niguel

***

Perhaps some independent Third World observers should come to the United States to ensure that a fair and open election takes place in November.

Maureen Cobas

Pomona

-----------------------------------

Re "Shoddy care for veterans becomes campaign issue," Column, Sept. 26

I'm not in Rep. Henry Waxman's district, so I have no dog in his political fight over healthcare for veterans.

But I am a disabled Vietnam War veteran who has received treatment at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs hospital. Nurses and doctors there have saved my life. I have had my eyesight restored and a life-threatening condition caused by Agent Orange treated on an ongoing basis.

During this time, the repair and rehabilitation of old clinics has continued. Yes, there are more patients per doctor than I would hope for, but nobody eligible wants for care. I have been treated with courtesy and dignity at all times.

More must be done for my homeless comrades, but the West L.A. facility is at the mercy of a national budget crisis. And President Obama has given the VA a bigger budget than at any time since World War II.

Marvin J. Wolf

Mar Vista Heights

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VIDEO: What fighting back against voter suppression looks like

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True the Vote is a Texas tea party organization "that has recruited volunteers nationwide to challenge voter rosters and work as poll watchers.” To learn more about them, go here. This self-appointed bunch of intimidators is doing everything they can to scare voters-- who coincidentally don't happen to agree with them --away from the ballot box.

While they're doing that, GOP-controlled states are doing everything THEY can to make it impossible for people to register, mostly Democratic-leaning voters.

But there's some good news, too, some very welcome, reassuring news. Volunteers have been coming out in droves to help people fight back. This is awesome:

Think Progress:

Last year, Texas passed some of the worst anti-voter legislation of any state in the country. They enacted a voter ID law, which allowed voters to bring a gun license to the polls but not a student ID; it has since been blocked by the Department of Justice. In addition, they are on the leading edge of states passing new, onerous restrictions on voter registration groups like the League of Women Voters.

But as you can see in the video, a little organization can go a long way.

And this short clip also got me smiling. Rachel Maddow reminds us that there's also the Go Vote NOW effort:

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

It's good to see that this time around, the Dems are all over the voter suppression efforts, and that the Obama campaign's ground game is in great shape. Let's hope all of that can overcome the Republican effort to disenfranchise voters.

How patriotic of them to make every attempt to stop people from exercising their right to vote, and how adorable that they resort to lying, cheating, and stealing, because hey, that's the American way!

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Tea party poll watcher's Moment of Blatant Hypocrisy

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If you're not already aware of this, there are tea party groups that have been trying to remove names from Ohio's voter rosters. This is happening all over the country, in fact, thanks to an organization called True the Vote.

As the L.A. Times article points out, "the Republican secretary of state said in an interview that he knew of no evidence that any more than a handful of illegal votes had been cast in Ohio in the last few presidential elections."

The poll watchers go "under the banner of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project. It is an offshoot of True the Vote, a Texas organization that has recruited volunteers nationwide to challenge voter rosters and work as poll watchers."

Here is Rachel Maddow explaining the dirty little details of this disturbing story:

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

Now that you have the back story, and as you can see it's not pleasant, it's time to insert a Moment of Levity via the L.A. Times. Perhaps I should rethink that label and call it a Moment of Blatant Hypocrisy:

"We really aren't trying to challenge people's right to vote," [Mary Siegel, one of the leaders of the Ohio tea party effort] said.

But Siegel signed 422 "Challenge of Right of Person to Vote" forms and submitted them to Hamilton County's elections board in July.

Daily Show worthy.

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