Archive for state governments

Chuck Todd Tackles N.C. Governor - McCrory Out For Season


Pat McCrory

Chuck Todd today was left scratching his head, trying to understand the concocted, convoluted thinking of North Carolina's Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican. The infamous governor who stacked the elections oversight in his state, every district supervisor is a Republican, has some contradictory things to say. He's living in the state or denial, not the tar heels state.

The Governor somehow feels that lopping seven days off of early voting isn't cutting hours, it's "compacting the calendar." That's one way to turn a phrase. It's tantamount to telling a person who's had an arm removed that it wasn't amputated, it was just compacted.

If you shorten the early voting time from 14 days to 7, there's no way that's not voter suppression. Dropping Sunday pre-election voting  to McCrory is, get this, just giving the election personnel family time, ignoring the fact the Blacks historically vote after Church the Sunday preceding election Tuesday.

The word salad out of the state chief executive's mouth doesn't stop there. When questioned on stricter ID laws, he doesn't hesitate to bring up that in his state you needing an ID to buy Sudafed at the store. What he forgets is that a student ID is okay for controlled substance identification but not for voter registration or actual identification at the polls.

He has pushed and succeeded so far in getting the state to not accept student ID's to vote and has even gone so far as to remove any voter polling places on campuses. To combat criticism, he's increased the total number of polling places -- but only in Republican leaning districts. He's eliminated a number of voting locations, all in predominantly student or minority districts. His purpose is clear. He wants to weed out voters in Democratic leaning precincts.

Watch Chuck try to pin McCrory down and what comes out of the Governor's mouth. Neither he, nor what he says, can be trusted. The 2013 elections saw three of McCrory's Republicans go down to defeat in their contests, so it's looking like the Gov is headed for a benching, before he is cut from the team.


Thumbs Up: AFL-CIO plans to emphasize state-level elections in 2014


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The AFL-CIO is doing exactly the right thing, the very thing Democrats need: Concentrating some badly needed support and attention on state and gubernatorial elections, not just national ones. This is where some of the most bigoted, anti-women, anti-union, and anti-civil rights laws have been passed by the GOP: state legislatures.

2014 is exactly the right time to throw some of their badly needed weight around. Unfortunately, they're not too optimistic about taking control of the House of Representatives.

Via First Read:

The focus won't come at the exclusion of efforts to help Democrats win in Congress. But four years after the 2010 elections swept to power a series of Republicans who would enact sweeping collective bargaining reforms, state-level races are at a premium.

"Right now, the Republicans are moving ferociously anti-worker, anti-women's health agendas … in the states," [Michael Podhorzer, the labor group's top political official] said. [...]

The AFL-CIO is banking on the unlikelihood that Republicans won't be able to count on the 2014 electorate resembling the more conservative-leaning makeup of the voting public in 2010. As immigration reform falters on Capitol Hill, Podhorzer argued that the 2014 electorate could even tend toward Democrats, especially as Latinos who are embittered by the failure of comprehensive immigration reform extract a toll on Republicans. [...]

But Podhorzer also acknowledged that the 2010 elections — which also saw Republican dominance in state legislative races — helped the GOP shape the decennial, Census-mandated redistricting process to their benefit.

That last sentence packs a punch. Because of redistricting, Republicans have made Democratic victories nearly impossible. Just one more reason for getting out the vote, helping Dems to register, and again, getting Progressives into office starting with the most local races on up, including school boards and city councils.


Twenty-four states will be controlled by Republicans in 2013


Via Think Progress

A new election, a new year, a new outlook, right? Yeahnotsomuch. Washington gridlock isn't going anywhere, and now it appears that compromise could be a lost cause in 2013 for many state governments. One-party rule will see to that. Via the New York Times:

Come January, more than two-thirds of the states will be under single-party control, raising the prospect that bold partisan agendas -- on both ends of the political spectrum -- will flourish over the next couple of years. [...]

Twenty-four states will be controlled by Republicans, including Alaska and Wisconsin, where the party took the State Senate, and North Carolina, where the governorship changed hands. At least 13 states will be Democratic, including Colorado, Minnesota and Oregon, where control of the legislatures shifted, and California, where the already dominant Democrats gained a supermajority in both chambers. (The situation in New York, where the potential for single-party control by the Democrats rests on the makeup of the Senate, is still uncertain.)

Power will be split in, at most, 12 capitals — the fewest, said Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures, since 1952.... Over all in this election, Democrats had more victories among the roughly 6,000 state legislative seats that were up for grabs...

Here's one example of what happens when Republicans run states:

And don't get me started on Voter I.D. laws. Via ProPublica:

Aside from Rhode Island, all voter ID legislation has been introduced by Republican-majority legislatures.

News21 also has this report on the close affiliation between the bills’ sponsors and the conservative nonprofit group, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).


Doonesbury: "Jimmy Crow" wants to disenfranchise voters "because they're old! Colored! Kids! Gimps!"



Garry Trudeau returns to his Jim Crow story arc, and for good reason. Voter suppression is a huge problem that needs to be addressed now, and again when the elections are over. Our voting laws need to be standardized, and we can't wait until just before another election to do something about it:


While the U.S. Constitution bans the restriction of voting based on race, sex and age, it does not explicitly and affirmatively state that all U.S. citizens have a right to vote.  Even the Supreme Court ruled in the Bush v. Gore case in 2000 that citizens do not have the right to vote for electors for president; states control voting policies and procedures. As a result, we have a patchwork voting system run independently by 50 states, 3067 counties and over 13,000 voting districts, all separate and all unequal.