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Posts tagged ‘vote’

Pennsyvlania Denying Right to Vote

Department of Justice Investigating Pennsylvania’s Voter Suppression Tactics

Pennsylvania’s new “voter I.D.” law could literally decide the fate of President Obama’s re-election.

It’s not the first time that Republicans have tried to suppress the vote — but in an election this close, it could be the tipping point that delivers the Presidency to Mitt Romney.

Help us reach 100,000 strong in support of the Department of Justice’s investigation of Pennsylvania voter suppression — Add your name >>

Gabriel — Republicans’ attempt to disenfranchise voters is just a shameless attempt to steal this election.

Even the Pennsylvania Republicans’ Majority Leader, Mike Turzai, boasted, “Voter ID…is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” We all remember what happened in Florida in 2000. We can’t let Republicans get away with disenfranchising nearly 1-in-10 voters in a critical swing state like Pennsylvania in 2012.

Help us fight it:

http://dccc.org/PA-Voter-Suppression

Brynne

Brynne Craig
DCCC Field Director

P.S. Do you have a Republican friend that claims these onerous voter I.D. laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud? Tell them the state of Pennsylvania just admitted in a court filing that they have no evidence of in-person voter fraud, then help us fight back.

Let Us Vote

Dear Gabriel,

Stop Voter Suppression

Protect the right to vote for all Americans. Tell Congress to pass the Voter Empowerment Act now.

Since the 2010 election, Republicans have approved laws to restrict the right to vote in more than a dozen states despite the fact that only 13 cases of credible voter fraud occurred in a ten-year period. Compare that to the 441 Americans who were killed by lightning or the 47,000 UFO sighting during the same period and you see just how much the GOP is pulling at straws to legitimize suppressing millions from the right to vote.

They say it’s about fraud, which you and I know is a lie, but recent comments by a Pennsylvania lawmaker prove otherwise.

While listing off a string of right-wing legislative accomplishments at a political event in Pennsylvania, state House majority leader Mike Turzai (R) stated, “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

So there you have it. The Republican party was never concerned about counteracting fraud, only about ensuring their victory — even if they have to prevent tens of millions of Americans from voting to do it.

On the eve of Independence Day, it’s more important than ever that we protect the right to vote for each and every one of us. Will you tell Congress to stop suppressing Americans from voting and pass the Voter Empowerment Act today?

A key component of the GOP’s campaign has been orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which receives substantial funding from the Koch brothers. Already, the Koch brothers have poured up to $245,550 in campaign contributions to politicians supporting new voter ID laws, such as Scott Walker and Rick Perry.2

And boy has their investment paid off! According to the Brennan Center for Justice, this year, over five million eligible voters could be negatively impacted by the new laws — and it’s no surprise that the majority of which tend to vote Democratic.3

These voter suppression laws are designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to prevent minorities, seniors and young people from voting. That’s not just wrong, it’s downright un-American.

On this Independence Day, let’s remember why we’re here and how far we’ve come. The right to vote is a basic, fundamental right in our country. And since the Declaration of Independence was signed, we’ve strived as a nation to increase access to voting to more and more people. That is, until now.

Stand up for voting rights. Tell Congress to stop suppressing Americans from voting and pass the Voter Empowerment Act today.

Sincerely,
David Elliot
USAction / TrueMajority

Reclaim Civil Liberties

Gabriel,

We can put an end to a shocking assault on our civil liberties.

Last year’s National Defense Authorization Act included language that could allow the military to detain civilian suspects INDEFINITELY without charge or trial.

This year’s NDAA could come up for a vote as soon as next week and we have a prime opportunity to reverse this travesty of justice.

Click here to fight back: Email your member of Congress right away.

Congressmen Adam Smith and Justin Amash will put forth an amendment to make it clear that the military does not have the power to arrest and indefinitely detain civilians without charging or trying them.

Please urge your lawmakers to support their efforts and help us spread word far and wide.

Just click here to email your member of Congress right away — a few seconds of effort will help us reclaim our cherished civil liberties.

Thanks.

-Demand Progress

PS: Help us reclaim our civil liberties. The vote could be next week, so please urge your friends to get involved right away.

2011 Top 10

Gabriel,

2011 is almost over, and that means everyone’s making Top 10 lists. I decided to get in on the action too. Here’s my compilation of the 10 Worst Republican Actions of 2011.

Which do you think is the worst? Click here to vote:

Bring Back “Pre-Existing Conditions”: Health care reform is one of President Obama’s signature achievements. No longer can children born with health conditions be denied insurance. No longer can insurance companies deny care for “pre-existing conditions.” About 2.5 million young adults who lacked health insurance now are covered by their families’ plans. So what did Republicans do? Try to repeal “Obamacare” and put control back in the hands of insurance companies.

Kick Grandma Off Medicare & Give Her a Coupon: Republicans all lined up in favor of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s extreme budget plan earlier this year that would kill Medicare as we know it and turn it into a voucher program. Thank goodness the Democratic Senate was there to stop them and keep our promise to seniors.

Hand Over Cash to Corporations and the Wealthy: Another part of Paul Ryan’s plan: Give huge tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy. While the middle class struggles to get ahead, Republicans tried to make things worse by reducing taxes on the wealthiest – and sticking everyone else with the bill.

Rip Away Workers’ Rights: When Republicans won the governorships in Wisconsin and Ohio, among other states, one of the first things they did was go after public workers, including taking away the rights of teachers and prison guards to bargain for better pay and benefits. Bad move. They clearly overstepped their bounds, and voters will remember at the ballot box in 2012.

Prevent You From Voting: Republicans this year decided that when it comes to elections, if you can’t beat, then cheat. From Florida to Wisconsin to Ohio, Republicans passed laws that will have the effect of suppressing Democratic turnout in these crucial swing states. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that more than 5 million voters will be affected by these laws – a number higher than the margin of victory in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. Senate Democrats are holding hearings on the Florida laws in January.

Declare War on Women: It was bad enough that Republicans tried to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and other family planning programs. Then they tried to change federal law to redefine rape and to allow hospitals to deny lifesaving care for pregnant women. So much for the Republican promise to have a “laser focus” on jobs. The Republican War on Women is alive and well.

Shove Gay Soldiers Back Into the Closet: It was a huge victory for civil rights and basic human dignity when President Obama signed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell into law. Finally, all Americans could serve openly in the military. Or not. This year, Republicans tried to bring back the policy, and some Republican presidential candidates have said reinstituting discrimination is one of their top policy priorities.

Launch Assaults on Sesame Street and Lake Wobegon: I don’t know what Republicans have against Big Bird and Garrison Keillor, but they will do almost anything to shut off their microphones. In fact, earlier this year, Republicans vowed to shut down the federal government if NPR and PBS weren’t defunded. Luckily, Senate Democrats were there to stop the nonsense, and “Sesame Street” and “A Prairie Home Companion” were given a reprieve – for now.

Let Consumers Fend For Themselves: One of the most important reforms passed by Democrats in decades was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prevent big banks from ripping off their customers with dangerous financial products – some of the same products that contributed to the Great Recession. But Republicans hate anything that puts customers ahead of corporations. So they’ve fought the bureau – and people chosen to lead it – tooth and nail.

Increase Taxes for Middle Class Families. And last but certainly not least, this week House Republicans refused to support tax relief for the middle class, even as they demand it for billionaires and huge corporations. If your taxes go up next year, you’ll have nobody but Republicans to blame.

These policies and positions are simply awful — so awful, in fact, that I couldn’t choose the worst. That’s your job. Click here, vote, and tell us what you think is the No. 1 Worst Republican Actions of 2011. The Democratic Senate has been the firewall stopping most of these measures dead in their tracks. With only a four seat majority, it’s never been more important to protect the Senate.

From all of us here at the DSCC, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a great – and blue! – 2012.

Guy Cecil
Executive Director, DSCC

Progressive Legislators

From Nation of Change
Published 29 November, 2011
Interview with Robert Jensen

Occupy Congress: Norman Solomon Sees A Role For Progressive Legislators

Conventional politics in the United States focuses on elections, while left activists typically argue that political change comes not from electing better politicians but building movements strong enough to force politicians to accept progressive change.

Norman Solomon has concluded it isn’t either/or. A prominent writer and leader in left movements for decades, Solomon is running for Congress in the hopes of being practical and remaining principled.

“Since I first went to a protest at age 14 in 1966 — a picket line to desegregate an apartment complex — my outlook on electoral politics has gone through a lot of changes,” Solomon said. “First I thought politics was largely about elections, later I thought politics had very little to do with elections, and now I believe that elections are an important part of the mix.”

Solomon argues that when the left has treated elections as irrelevant, the result has been self-marginalization that helps empower the military-industrial complex.

“The view that genuine progressives should leave the electoral field to corporate Democrats and right-wing Republicans no longer makes sense to me. I used to say that having a strong progressive movement was much more important than who was in office, but now I’d say that what we really need is a strong progressive movement AND much better people in office,” he said. “Having John Conyers, Barbara Lee, Dennis Kucinich, Jim McGovern, Raul Grijalva, Lynn Woolsey in Congress is important. We need more of those sorts of legislators as part of the political landscape.”

The 60-year-old Solomon had been considering such a strategy, and when Woolsey announced she was not running for re-election in her northern California district, he entered the race with the goal of staying true to his left political views, and winning.

“I’m skeptical about election campaigns that abandon principles, but I’m also skeptical about campaigns that have no hope of winning and that are only for protest or public education,” he said. “There are more effective ways to protest and to educate.”

Solomon said that if elected he would strive to change the relationship between social movements and members of Congress.

“Progressive movements and leaders in Congress should be working in tandem,” he said. “I want to strengthen the Congressional Progressive Caucus and help make it more of a force to be reckoned with.”

Solomon said that a re-invigorated Progressive Caucus could be more effective in fighting for the human right of quality healthcare for all; ending the perpetual war of the warfare state, what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism”; pushing back against the power of Wall Street; replacing corporate power with people power.

Solomon is most widely known for his media criticism and activism, through his “Media Beat” weekly column that was nationally syndicated and his work with Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. In 1997 he founded the Institute for Public Accuracy, a national consortium of policy researchers and analysts for which he served as executive director for 13 years.

Solomon became more visible in mainstream media through his trip to Iraq with actor Sean Penn on the eve of the U.S. invasion, part of anti-war efforts to prevent that coming catastrophe. Solomon’s 2005 book, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death, and a companion film drew on his media and political expertise to analyze the war machine. (Full disclosure: I found the book and film so compelling that I brought Solomon to my campus to speak.)

Polls indicate that Solomon is competitive in a Democratic primary that includes a state assemblyman, a county supervisor, and two business people. Penn is supporting Solomon’s campaign, which has also received endorsement from U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers. Fundraising is always a struggle, especially since he committed to “corporate-free fundraising.”

“By raising more than $250,000 from more than 2,000 different people, we’ve shown that we can raise the needed funds without a single dollar from corporate PACs,” Solomon said. “But we need to raise a lot more, and the month of December will be crucial — end-of-year totals will be seen by many as a self-fulfilling gauge of our capacity to gain enough support to win.”

Solomon believes that citizen frustration with concentrated wealth, and the political dominance that big money buys, is opening up new possibilities for progressive candidates.

Read Complete Article at Nation of Change

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