Archive for outreach my ass

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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Another CA city sues over voting rights law

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voter suppression voting rights

Voting rights, schmoting rights. Who needs 'em in this post-racial day and age? We've clearly evolved, says the Supreme Court. Says Republicans. Says anyone who doesn't want Democrats to have voting rights. After all, if you can't win on the merits of your arguments, on your policies (or lack thereof), your talent, or on your powers of persuasion, then hey, cheat.

It's the 'Murican way!

the american way

Unless, of course, you get called out. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the city of Bellflower, right here in my home state of California, is getting sued. Why? Voting rights are being violated... allegedly:

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and two law firms filed a Superior Court complaint Monday afternoon, on behalf of three minority Bellflower residents alleging the city is in violation of the California Voting Rights Act.

The act seeks to ensure that minorities have an opportunity to elect leaders of their choice.  The suit alleges that Bellflower's practice of electing council members citywide instead of by geographic districts has hindered Latino and African American candidates.

The plaintiffs said they have found patterns of racially polarized voting in the southeast Los Angeles County city of about 77,000. They want the city to switch to by-district elections to give voters in strongly minority neighborhoods an opportunity to elect at least one representative to the City Council.

What? Restricting the rights of not-white voters? In this day and age of GOP outreach? Don't be ridiculous...

It's not like Bellflower's population is 66% Latino and African American, but the council members are monochromatically pale. Come on.

Bellflower's population is 52% Latino and 14% African American, according to the city's website.  All five council members are white.

Oh.

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Conference caller: "Black people harvested cotton," Cochran “harvesting black votes”

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thad cochran farm animals

Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran's resurrection, er, re-election campaign has further devolved into something nearly unrecognizable. As Rachel Maddow reminds us, the Cochran v. Chris McDaniel primary spectacle has been one of the most bizarre in recent memory. And it just got weirder. Call it Conference Caller Unplugged Unhinged.

But first, your Moment of Maddow:

Recently, there was a conference call held for the national media to address a lawsuit challenging the primary runoff results for the GOP nomination. It was a pretty big call, with nearly 80 participants hopping on the line. On that call was Austin Barbour, a Cochran campaign adviser. He was trying to fend off charges of double-voting-- "people who voted in the Democratic primary and then voted for Cochran in the Republican primary runoff"-- and said this, per Roll Call:

"The time has certainly come in our minds for the McDaniel campaign and their allies to either put up or shut up.”

And then an unidentified conference caller, who was not a reporter, crashed the party and spit up this little morsel:

That person repeatedly said that “black people harvested cotton” and accused the Cochran campaign of “harvesting black votes.” Barbour asked him to stop multiple times, saying he would answer questions from anyone at the end of his statement. [...]

Finally, Barbour apologized and announced he was ending the call, telling national press that they had the contact information for the campaign if they had any questions.

At that point, someone who was possibly a reporter, interrupted to try to keep Barbour on the line. Barbour cut the line.

Then things got even more out of control...

With the Cochran campaign people gone, callers on the line broke into an argument...

... and even more outrageous:

Thirty minutes after the call ended, the call line was still open. Someone was using a soundboard of President Barack Obama’s voice saying “Hey! What’s up?” Someone else was playing the audio from the movie “Animal House.”

Republicans just can't help themselves.

Stay tuned for Mystery Conference Caller, the Sequel, coming to a blog near you!

eating their own

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SCOTUS rules for Freedom of Tyranny

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women's rights vote 2014 scotus decision freedom of religion

Freedom, freedom, freedom schmeedom. The concept is losing its meaning, especially in light of the Supreme Court's warped perception of the word. My reaction to their ruling on contraception and "freedom" of religion is still hampered by my inability to respond with anything but sputtering noises and involuntary twitches, bursts of banging my head against the wall, and convulsing into tears of outrage. Freedom my ass. What about our freedom to not have your damned religion shoved up our atheist and/or non-Christian hineys?  Bam! And that was just a hiccup. I'm shutting up now.

By the way, conservatives, how's that outreach thing going for ya these days?

Anyway, instead of ranting, which would be nothing more than stream-of-consciousness outbursts at this point, I'll leave it to the Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because, despite evidence to the contrary, our voices still matter. The Times headline for this batch of letters is, notably, "Don't want more Hobby Lobby decisions? Then don't elect conservative presidents":

The U.S. Supreme Court's distressingly improvident 5-4 decisions in this year's religious rights cases should surprise no one. They are the price we have paid for suffering disproportionate conservative appointments to the high court from 1980 to 2008, when Republicans occupied the White House for 20 of those 28 years. ("Supreme Court, citing religious liberty, limits contraceptive coverage in Obamacare," June 30)

All who despair over the Supreme Court's unseemly bowing to religious zealots — especially when certain faiths' tenets are allowed to trump enlightened medical care — should remember this in 2016: If a Republican is elected our next president, look for the court's conservative judicial activism to endure far beyond his or her term of office.

Robin Groves, Pacific Palisades

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I am losing confidence in our system of three branches of government. Two of them seem no longer to be working for us.

The Supreme Court increasingly seems to be operating as a political body, rendering decisions that make questionable judicial sense unless one happens to be a corporation that has taken on "person" status or a religious group that wishes to impose its specific beliefs on its employees. These decisions are becoming more questionable as our do-nothing Congress functions less like an elected body responsible to the people and more like a robot body created and manipulated by wealthy donors.

As long as our lethargic electorate keeps reelecting these legislators, our president is left to act alone and the court decides in an increasingly predictable way, we will see the continued eroding of our beloved constitutional form of government.

Bette Mason, Corona del Mar

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If there's a silver lining to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, it's that the decision will energize progressive voters to flood the polls for the foreseeable future as well as fuel boycotts against businesses that use religion as an excuse to discriminate.

Jerry Weil, Seal Beach

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Will someone please explain to me how forcing your religious beliefs on others, who may or may not agree, is freedom of religion? Sounds more like tyranny to me.

Barbara Buckner, Laguna Niguel

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