DOJ to Push Back on Texas Voter ID Laws

In a welcome show of political courage, Attorney General Eric Holder announced in a speech before the National Urban League that the Department of Justice would try to stop Texas from implementing voter ID laws which, following the recent Supreme Court Ruling gutting section 4 of the Voting Rights act, had again become possible.

“This is the department’s first action to protect voting rights following the Shelby County decision, but it will not be our last,” Mr. Holder said. “Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the court’s ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law’s remaining sections to subject states to preclearance as necessary. My colleagues and I are determined to use every tool at our disposal to stand against such discrimination wherever it is found.”

As GOP Chairman Rob Gleason said on a Pennsylvania Cable Network earlier this week, the party “cut Obama by 5 percent” in 2012 and “probably Voter ID had helped a bit in that.”

Voter Registration Fraud Suspected in Florida’s GOP Camp

As with the ACORN registration fraud allegations 4 years ago, so now with the GOP’s Strategic Allied Consultants of Glen Allen, Va., — voter registration fraud is NOT voter fraud.  False registrations bulk up the registrar’s numbers, and so their pay-day, but unless the registrant is a person who votes illegally — more than once, in a dead-person’s name, at an address not their own (which actually is a conjured  crime)– then there is no voter fraud.

That said, it is just a little short of delicious that the folks who have been crying about fraud are those who have spent $1.3 million on a much investigated operative who  apparently has his own fraudulent registration ideas:

Suspicious registration forms have now been found in 10 Florida counties

— and who has been embraced,  despite that, by the Romney campaign.

Late last year, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign began paying Nathan Sproul, a political consultant with a long history of destroying Democratic voter registration forms and manipulating ballot initiatives. Sproul, who changed his firm’s name from Sproul and Associates to Lincoln Strategies, has received over $70,000 from Romney’s campaign.  Republic Report



Dear GOP — you who roared about fraudulent registrations  maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.– where is the outrage now?


Get Nana A Gun: Sara Silverman

[Not polite-talk friendly….]

Republicans: If They Can’t Buy the Election they Will Try to Steal It

From Elizabeth Drew in the New York Review of Books:


The Republicans’ plan is that if they can’t buy the 2012 election they will steal it…..

Having covered Watergate and the impeachment of Richard Nixon, and more recently written a biography of Nixon, I believe that the wrongdoing we are seeing in this election is more menacing even than what went on then. Watergate was a struggle over the Constitutional powers and accountability of a president, and, alarmingly, the president and his aides attempted to interfere with the nominating process of the opposition party. But the current voting rights issue is even more serious: it’s a coordinated attempt by a political party to fix the result of a presidential election by restricting the opportunities of members of the opposition party’s constituency—most notably blacks—to exercise a Constitutional right.

This is the worst thing that has happened to our democratic election system since the late nineteenth century, when legislatures in southern states systematically negated the voting rights blacks had won in the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Voter Expression, Not Suppression, in CA

What a nice thing to read in San Francisco’s Chronicle, and to feel good about the work done to elect Debra Bowen as Secretary of State, four years ago.

On Line Voter registration!  Really!  Here

[All you have to remember, to tell your unregistered friends, is  From there it’s a pretty obvious set of clicks to get to the real-deal.]

Unlike Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Virginia,Wisconsin,  Minnesota and Kansas and six more states, mostly with Republican governors and legislatures, California is trying to make it easy for people to register, or re-register. What an idea!

It doesn’t work for everyone.  If the potential voter is new to the state and doesn’t have a CA driver’s licence with a signature on file at the DMV then the local library or fire station will still have to do.  But jeez, compared to the schemes in other states, trying to frustrate voters to death, this is way good!

For more on voter suppression try Timothy Noah in The New Republic.

…in June, Mike Turzai, Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania House, blew his party’s cover by blurting out: “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania? Done.”


DOJ: Stop the GOP Assault on Voters

Tell the DOJ: Don’t let the GOP steal Colorado for Romney

From Florida to Pennsylvania, Republican officials have launched an all-out effort to steal the 2012 presidential election for Mitt Romney. They are using every tactic imaginable at their disposal – from purging eligible citizens off voter rolls to implementing discriminatory voter ID laws – to disenfranchise thousands of voters in battleground states.

Colorado has emerged as the latest front in the Republican scheme to disenfranchise voters. Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, has taken a page straight out of Katherine Harris’ and Rick Scott’s Florida playbook of voter suppression by sending ominous and legalistic letters to thousands of voters in Colorado, questioning their eligibility to vote.

Go to Credo Action and read and sign, donate and gitcherself a Credo Card or credo mobile…

Ohio Republicans Poll Taxing the Poor

The NY Times leads off with more disgusting news about Republicans in general and Ohio Republicans in particular.

If you live in Butler or Warren counties in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Cincinnati, you can vote for president beginning in October by going to a polling place in the evening or on weekends. Republican officials in those counties want to make it convenient for their residents to vote early and avoid long lines on Election Day.

But, if you live in Cincinnati, you’re out of luck. Republicans on the county election board are planning to end early voting in the city promptly at 5 p.m., and ban it completely on weekendsaccording to The Cincinnati Enquirer. The convenience, in other words, will not be extended to the city’s working people.

 How can this not be a major civil-rights and voting-rights issue?  How can Justice not step in with a cease-and-desist order?

If poll-taxes are illegal, requiring certain people to pay money in order to exercise their right to vote, how can it not be a poll-tax when they have to pay in time?  Equal opportunity, not equal outcomes is what Ryan and Romney like to say.  Here is a prime example of their party stripping certain classes of people of equal opportunity — to vote!

Republicans Vote to Block Transparency on Political Ads

From ProPublica:

“The FCC voted in April to require television stations to put detailed data on political ad purchases online. The information, which includes who buys ads, for how much, and when they run, is currently open to the public but is available only on paper at individual stations. Media companies have lobbied hard against the rule, and the National Association of Broadcasters recently sued in federal court to stop it. The rule is currently under review by the government and will not go into effect until July at the earliest.

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., chair of the financial services and general government subcommittee of the House appropriations committee, added language to an appropriations bill ordering that no funds to be used to implement the disclosure rule.


On Wisconsin…

The votes are in; the recallers are unhappy — and with reason.  Despite Walker’s call for civility and listening to each other now that he’s won, it’s pretty clear that won’t happen.  For starters, Walker now owes billionaires big time: the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, the bitter union hater in his Las Vegas casinos… and more.

Why did the recall fail?  For starters, 900,000 signatures on the re-call petition are not the same as 1, 331, 000 votes at election time.  It’s pretty easy to sign a petition; it’s more difficult to get the body to vote, especially when, because of the  attack ads, it seems more like a flame-war than an exercise in democracy.

Being outspent 10 to 1 is not a promising sign.

Walker spent $30,505, 082 for 1,331,076 votes making it $22.92 per vote
Barrett spent $3,938,574 for 1,158,337 votes coming in at  $3.40 per vote

The sheer magnitude of money spent, and un-free speech delivered, surely had an impact:

More than $63.5 million has been spent by candidates and independent groups, the overwhelming majority underwritten by out-of-state sources.

The record spending total was made possible thanks to the Citizens UnitedU.S. Supreme Court decision — which had the effect of invalidating Wisconsin’s century-old ban on independent expenditures by corporations and unions — and a state law that allows unlimited contributions to the incumbent in recall elections.

The amount spent since November 2011 trounces the state’s previous record of $37.4 million, set during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

Being the second, and a not  very good, choice, as Barrett was,  to run against Walker, who had already defeated Barrett, was not a good idea, as many on the recall team knew at the time.

 To hear those who worked in the trenches of the recall tell it, the fact that Democrats had a contested primary between Barrett and former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk bears considerable responsibility for Walker’s victory.

Not only did the primary take place less than a month before the general recall election but organized labor spent millions in support of Falk (and against Barrett), spending that many Democrats believe weakened the eventual nominee. [Duh…d’you think?]

More analysis

In November, 2010, Walker and Kleefisch took 1,128,941 votes; 52.29% while Barrett and Nelson took 1,004,303; 46.52%

At the June 5, 2012 recall Walker got 1,331,076 or 53% while Barrett got 1,158,337, 46%

While this shows that more people voted in the recall than in the intial election, by 356, 169 folks, an increase of 16.7%, the Walker backers did better than the Barrett backers in increasing their numbers  — 17.9% increase  vs 15.34%  Not good for those who wanted the re-match.


So what is to be done, for those of us discouraged by the seemingly impossible odds of getting our underfunded voices heard in the Niagra like roar of the super funded voices?

Elections are a better alternative to wars with maiming weapons, but they are none-the-less wars.   The Republicans, allied to big big money are like the heavy Roman legions, almost unstoppable if fought in the same manner.  Those who beat back the Legions did it with novel tactics, hit-and-run, spies, taking out the leadership, taking away food and water. We have to figure out the equivalent in electoral terms. We’ll never be able to win in capital intensive match-ups.

Our job is to change the way people see things, not in the weeks before an election but by changing the culture in which those elections take place.  Despite decades of proof otherwise, many many non-millionaires still align themselves with millionaire’s values.  With all sorts of counter-proof, too many believe that free markets exist, and that they will solve most problems.  Too many don’t examine the results of the policies, on their own lives, which they have voted for.

Elections are the end-game.  The serious work goes on all the time, making the arguments, busting the myths, asking for proof of outrageous claims.  Recognizing our own natural allies.  Using laughter and mockery to strip the robes of royalty and claims of allegiance-owed from the plutocrats and corporacrats until the water run clear and millions of dollars no longer buy millions of voters ears.

The Superrich Sugar Daddies Who Want to Bury You

I miss Frank Rich in the Sunday NY Times, but he continues good work at New York Magazine, here showing that the infamous Citizens United decision enabled the superrich to control elections much more than the corporation.

If you want to appreciate what Barack Obama is up against in 2012, forget about the front man who is his nominal opponent and look instead at the Republican billionaires buying the ammunition for the battles ahead. A representative example is Harold Simmons, an 80-year-old Texan who dumped some $15 million into the campaign before primary season had ended. Reminiscing about 2008, when he bankrolled an ad blitz to tar the Democrats with the former radical Bill Ayers, Simmons told The Wall Street Journal, “If we had run more ads, we could have killed Obama.” It is not a mistake he intends to make a second time. The $15 million Simmons had spent by late February dwarfs the $2.8 million he allotted to the Ayers takedown and the $3 million he contributed to the Swift Boat Veterans demolition of John Kerry four years before that.

Rich: New York Magazine