Archive for voters rights

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

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doonesbury jim crow voter suppression single panel WI GOP state senator

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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."

eating their own

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GOP Outreach Program Targets -- Wait For It -- The Country Club Crowd

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Country Club

After the devastating election losses in late 2012, the GOP spent millions to find out how and where they missed the boat. They analyzed what they were doing wrong and publicly took to the airwaves to announce during 2013 that they were going to start reaching out to those who voted against their party and their platform. In essence, it was a plan to open the tent flaps and invite more people into their circus.

The RNC report from early last year called the Growth and Opportunity Project, urged the party to be more inclusive after the dismal electoral results among women, minorities, immigrants, college educated and the poor during the 2012 presidential election. This study, at a cost of millions of dollars was immediately hailed as a panacea and would be implemented immediately.

Let's see how that went.

The plan, despite being publicly lauded by the mouthpieces for the GOP was, in reality, scoffed at behind closed doors. There was really no intention of welcoming new members into their private club without a privileged pedigree.

During the nearly one year since the "autopsy" of the Republican loss led by party chairman Reince Priebus, there's been some moment. It wasn't forward nor necessarily backward. It could at best be called, treading water. Or maybe hoping for a miracle.

The "autopsy" called for the the Republicans to increase it's outreach to women. Instead, they pushed for restrictions on women's reproductive rights already adjudicated in Roe V. Wade by the US Supreme Court.

The plan called for outreach to immigrants. The GOP killed, by refusing to vote, the Senate immigration plan because it had a path to citizenship and the Republicans feared the new voters would not vote for the Red party because they had been systematically persecuted by the GOP for so many years.

The plan called for a jobs bill to improve the economy. The current 113th Congress voted that down numerous times during the last session. They even forced a government shutdown that cost the tax payers $26 Billion and netted us nothing for the effort.

The Growth and Opportunity Project called for outreach to the LGBT community. Build up the Log Cabin Republicans. Instead the party fought that minority with law suits even after the SCOTUS struck down DOMA, opening the door for same sex marriage.

The proposed road map was to reach out to racial minority voters in rural areas. Instead they GOP-led state legislatures enacted stricter voter registration laws making it harder for minorities to have an equal opportunity to cast a vote. This fear that Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Indians and others might actually get a chance to speak up was muffled in legislative tricks and gerrymandering to making it difficult to qualify to have your voice heard or counted. Ask former Speaker of the House, republican Jim Wright or current state senator Wendy Davis in Texas how those new, restrictive laws are doing.

So it seems they're acting in denial of their own multi-million dollar plan to improve their standing and increase their chances to win the 2014 and 2016 elections. If so, who are they really going after?

The country club crowd. The Republicans have pushed through continued tax loopholes strictly for the rich. They've targeted but one group -- the one they already had -- the top 2%. By fighting health care, by denying minorities their constitutional rights, by tamping down immigration reform, by killing jobs bills and by regulating women's health care issues What's left is not a big target, but the GOP's focusing on it, anyway. It's the old, white guy.

Here's what the GOP Chairman said, according to THE HILL:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus vowed in 2014 that his group would spend time in communities it has overlooked in the past.

“As a party, Republicans resolve to make 2014 about engaging with more people in communities all across America,” Priebus said in a statement ringing in the New Year. “We’ll spend our time welcoming new people to our party and listening to people in places where we haven’t spent enough time in years past. I look forward to all this year has to offer.”

It's hard but lets take the chairman at his word, because he said the very same thing nearly a year ago when the results of the study were first made public. Everything he and his party did last year was contrary to that.

Some things never change, the leopard and its spots, the zebra and its stripes and the GOP and it's arrogance. So next time you're at your private country club, playing a round of golf with Skip, Chip and Thurston Buffington Conroy III, don't be surprised if they don't hit you up for a contribution to GOP American Vision PAC.

Go tee it up and have a great round. Remember, par for the GOP championship course is 72, the same age (and in some cases, IQ) as the average GOP member.

Follow me on Twitter: @Linzack

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The States Plot To Subdue Black Votes - It's Criminal

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No vote

Why are 4.3 million US voters being denied their right to vote? It's not that they lack the proper identification. It's that 31 states have decided that if you've committed a felony, you lose your right to vote -- forever.

Is that fair? Is it right? Well, there's more behind it than just a form of continuing punishment in perpetuity.

The right to speech, to religion, the right to due process and the right to own property are not denied to the formerly incarcerated. So what's really behind this? You probably won't be surprised. Race.

The fear that a felon can't reintegrate into society is the great misconception. Felons are people too. What separates them from us is they're people who made a mistake. We may hate their crime, but we don't have to hate them forever... unless of course, you're a crime and punishment Republican. In that case, take out the fuel and the matches to stoke the flames of fear.

Racial fear.

Consider this: one in three Black men in the US, of voting age, is denied the right to vote by state restrictions for felons. In 2010, that was 5.8 million men. They made a bad decision somewhere in their lives. And they paid for it, whether it was murder or simply drug possession. If you do the time you should be fine. In less than half the states, that's true.

In those places when they're released, they're not whole. They're stigmatized as second class citizens. That opens the door to recidivism, not an incentive to make the best of a second chance. It builds up resentment and a disenfranchisement. Hardly the desired effects of the deterrent of prison.

Isn't it time to let a man or woman pay his/her debt society and welcome them back? Watch this segment from The Cycle. Restoring voting rights isn't a risk. It's a reward for making amends and paying one's debt to society.

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New court filing: Democrats say Wisconsin redistricting files deleted at "suspicious times"

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Doonesbury speaker boehner voter suppression gerrymandering

I've been covering the "alleged" corruption and attempts at voter suppression that have "allegedly" been occurring under Governor Scott Walker's alleged watch, the most recent being: Documents were deleted from WI GOP redistricting computers, per court filing. And before that, WI officials were subpoenaed over missing computers, docs involved in redistricting that benefited Republicans.

You know, the alleged usual. Here's the alleged latest, via WisPolitics:

According to a new court filing, a forensic investigation of computers GOP lawmakers, their aides and their lawyers used in the redistricting process found some files were deleted just after a federal court ordered three witnesses to turn over documents to the plaintiffs. Other files were deleted one week before the lawmakers’ firm, Michael Best & Friedrich, turned over its redistricting files to Dems after they took control of the state Senate following a recall election. [...]

Yesterday’s filing updated the court on a forensic examination of the computers and noted the cost of the review had now reached $100,000. The plaintiffs asked the court to require the Legislature, its employees and/or its attorneys to cover the costs of the forensics.

Ohhh Scotty, you've got some reinventing to do!

lucy you've got some reinventing to do

In other news, Walker won't push for gun background checks.

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Documents were deleted from WI GOP redistricting computers, per court filing

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tweet weigel gop redistricting gerrymander

Previously I posted WI officials subpoenaed over missing computers, docs involved in redistricting that benefited Republicans:

The subpoenas are being used to force GOP officials to reveal where the mystery computers, external hard drives, discs and documents are located, and the groups who are making these demands want the answers under oath.

It’s been months and months, but the state of Wisconsin never told the plaintiffs, who want to search said computers, where the computers were, and made every effort to block them from finding out, so now the Dems are playing hardball. They want those documents, and they want them now.

Republicans who control the Wisconsin legislature. Wisconsin's governor is the one and only GOP "rising star" Scott Walker. Of course, Walker, along with the legislature, approved redistricting maps that benefited their party

It isn't clear who deleted these documents, but-- call me crazy-- I'm guessing it wasn't a Democrat.

Via JSOnline:

Madison - Documents were deleted from state redistricting computers last year even after a lawyer for the Legislature told lawmakers' aides to preserve all records on the computers, according to documents filed Wednesday in federal court.

Nine hard drives were recently given to groups suing the state because of questions about whether legislators and their attorneys had turned over all the documents they had been ordered to provide. One of the nine hard drives was unreadable and the outside of it was dented and scratched, which suggested its metal housing had been removed, according to affidavits in the case.

In addition, some of the hard drives had a program installed on them that could remove electronic data and hide the fact that files had been deleted, according to the filing. So far, however, a computer expert has not been able to determine if the program was actually used.

JSOnline goes on to say that a "panel of federal judges ruled last year that two Assembly maps on Milwaukee's south side violated the voting rights of Latinos. The court put in place new maps for those districts but not others, meaning the Republican-friendly maps were largely preserved."

And the fun never ends under Scott Walker's watch. Stay tuned.

Doonesbury speaker boehner voter suppression gerrymandering

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GOP is unbalanced. But then, we already knew that

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election rigging scheme, GOP electoral college plan gerrymandering Via Think Progress

Per a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 52% of Americans have a favorable view of President Obama's policies that he's proposed for the next four years.

But 55% think that the plans the GOP will be brewing during the president's second term are not their cup o' tea. Gee, can't imagine why; their party is so, you know, inclusive and goes out of its way to embrace all Americans. And by all Americans I mean guns. And white people. And corporations. Hey, guns and people are corporations, too.

One of the things that inclusive, embrace-y Republican-led states has produced is redistricting, as I've posted about repeatedly. In fact, you can see all of those posts here.

As if we needed proof, that practice has resulted in those states becoming redder than ever. And by redder I mean cheating their way into future GOP election victories.

Taegan:

The New York Times notes that due to redistricting, seven states had a "severe imbalance" between their popular vote and the party makeup of their House delegations: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

All but Arizona were tilted in favor of the Republicans.

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Never thought I'd type these words: Thank you, Republican Virginia House Speaker

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gerrymandering states electoral college changes

WaPo:

In the vast majority of states, the presidential candidate who wins receives all of that state’s electoral votes. The proposed changes would instead apportion electoral votes by congressional district, a setup far more favorable to Republicans. Under such a system in Virginia, for instance, President Obama would have claimed four of the state’s 13 electoral votes in the 2012 election, rather than all of them.

Just yesterday Andy Marquis guest-blogged this: If new GOP laws pass, it will literally be easier to legally buy a firearm in Virginia than it will be to vote. Between Voter I.D. laws and gerrymandering, there has been one election-rigging scheme after another. But there were glimmers of hope in Virginia and Florida.

Too bad the same can't be said for Pennsylvania, where the GOP is pursuing their own election-rigging legislation.

But back to Virginia. Think Progress is reporting this:

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William Howell (R) killed the Inauguration Day sneak attack by Senate Republicans who hoped to pass a massive mid-decade gerrymander. Howell ruled that the Senate’s amendment to a House bill making minor technical corrections to the House legislative maps were not germane, as it was a “vast rewrite” and would “stray dramatically” from the legislation’s original purpose.

I never thought I'd type these words: Thank you Republican House Speaker, for killing the GOP Senate gerrymander scheme. You did the right thing.

think before speaking did I just say that

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