More Progressive Election Victories to Celebrate

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Last week, we discussed some of the victories for progressives in the 2012 Election, from re-electing President Obama and gaining a larger more progressive Democratic majority in the Senate, to winning marriage equality votes in four states and defeating leading tea party members of Congress.  The good news is that there were even more progressive victories in last week’s election that we should celebrate and build upon. Here are some of them:

A More Diverse and Progressive House Democratic CaucusHouse Democrats will make history in January as they will be the first major party caucus in US history that is majority female and people of color. In total, at least 57 House Democrats will be women, 41 will be African American, and 23 will be Latino. By contrast, at least 90% of the House Republican Caucus will be white males.

The House will also have a number of new or returning progressive faces, including the following candidates who were endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s Progressive Action PAC - Alan Grayson (FL-09), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Patrick Murphy (FL-18), Rick Nolan (MN-08), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), and Mark Tacano (CA-41).  In addition, progressive House candidate Ami Bera (CA-07) is leading in his race against GOP Congressman Dan Lungren, progressive Hakeem Jeffries won in New York’s 8th District, and Kyrsten Simena (AZ-09) has been declared the winner in her race.  Ms. Sinema will be the first openly bisexual member of Congress and one of a record seven LGBT Americans serving in Congress.

Regaining Strength At the State Level – One of the worst impacts of progressives sitting on their hands in the 2010 elections was that tea party conservatives swept into power in state houses throughout the country just in time for Republicans to be able to control Congressional redistricting in a vast number of states.  Such redistricting played a large role in the GOP keeping control of Congress in the 2012 elections.  Fortunately, we did start to turn the tide back in those state houses this time around. In particular, a total of seven state houses changed from GOP to Democratic control, including both houses in Minnesota and Maine, and one house in New Hampshire.  In addition, California Democrats finally managed to get the supermajorities that are required for revenue increases.

Rejecting Big Money in Politics – Voters resoundingly rejected the ability of corporations and billionaires to spend unfettered amounts of money to try to buy elections. In Colorado and Montana, voters overwhelmingly supported ballot initiatives urging a Constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and other Supreme Court decisions establishing a right to spend unlimited amounts on campaign contributions. Colorado Proposition 65 passed with 73.8% of the vote, while Montana Initiative I-166 received 74.8% support.  Voters in 120 cities throughout the country passed similar initiatives. At the same time, voters in California did not fall for the misleading Proposition 32, which was billed as an effort to get special interest money out of politics, but would have actually shut unions and other “special interests” from engaging in political advocacy while including a long list of exemptions that would have allowed hedge funds, investment firms, real-estate developers, insurance companies, and other corporate interests to continue buying elections at will.

Success on Other Ballot Proposals – Ballot proposals provided an opportunity to advance progressive causes in a number of other areas and, while we lost some of those proposals (for example, Californians rejected a proposal to abolish the death penalty), we also achieved some significant victories.  Here are some examples:

In California, voters supported reforming the state’s three-strikes law by passing Proposition 36, and voted to increase taxes on the wealthy to fund eduction by passing Proposition 30.

In Florida, voters rejected an the anti-ObamaCare Proposition 1, anti-tax Propositions 3 and 4, Proposition 6′s restrictions on public funding of abortions, and Proposition 8, which would have allowed for public funding of religious organizations.

In Idaho, voters rejected Propositions 1, 2, and 3, which would have undermined teachers’ collective bargaining rights and sought to subsidize students signing up for online charter schools.

In Maryland, voters approved the state DREAM Act, which allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US by their parents and who attended high school in Maryland for at least three years to be eligible for in-state tuition at public colleges in Maryland.

In Minnesota, voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have required photo ID to vote and eliminate same day voter registration.

In Oregon, voters rejected phasing out the state estate tax (Proposition 84), and voted to allocate excess corporate taxes to education rather than refunding such money to corporations (Proposition 85).

Progressive Guide to 2012 State Ballot Initiatives – Part 2 of 2

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

This is part 2 of our progressive voters guide to initiatives that will be on state ballots this November.  Part 1 of the guide is available here.

If you live in a state with one of the ballot initiatives, please get involved by speaking with your family, friends, and colleagues; by volunteering; and by writing a letter to your local newspaper editor.  If you live out-of-state, please contribute what you can to support the efforts of the progressive organizations who are working on these initiatives.

Worker’s Rights

Michigan Proposal 2 – vote Yes on the the “Protect Working Families” ballot proposal, which would grant both private and public sector employees a state constitutional right to bargain collectively through labor unions, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements.  At a time of continued assault on the rights of working people, Proposal 2 would provide working Michiganders with protection from right-wing attacks, and would be a strong statement in favor of union rights.

* Protect Working Families

* Contribute

* Volunteer

* Facebook page

* Michigan newspapers

 

Michigan Proposal 4 – vote Yes on the “Home Health Care Amendment” to help improve the quality and availability of home health care services. The proposal would amend the state constitution to create the Michigan Quality Home Care Council, which would create a registry of qualified home health care providers, run background checks on providers, establish job training programs for home health care providers, establish wage and condition of employment standards for providers, and grant providers a limited right to collectively bargain over wages, benefits, and working conditions.

* Keep Home Care Safe

* Contribute

* Volunteer

*Facebook page

* Michigan newspapers

 

California Proposition 32 – vote No on Proposition 32, which would vastly restrict the ability of working people and labor unions to engage in political advocacy.  The proposition is billed as an effort to get special interest money out of politics in California. But the reality is that while the proposition would stop unions from spending their members’ dues on political action and restrict campaign contributions from “special interests,” it includes a long list of exemptions that allow hedge funds, investment firms, real-estate developers, insurance companies, and other corporate interests to continue buying elections at will.

* No On 32

* Contribute

* Facebook Page

 

Campaign Finance

Montana Corporate Contributions Initiative, I-166 - vote Yes on ballot initiative I-166, which: (1) would establish a state policy that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights, (2) calls for restoring Montana’s ban on corporate campaign contributions (which was struck down in June 2012 by the U.S. Supreme Court), and (3) urges the state’s Congressional delegation to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn Citizens United and other Supreme Court decisions that establish that corporations have a free speech right to spend unlimited amounts on campaign contributions.

* Stand With Montanans

* Contribute

* Volunteer

*Facebook page

* Montana newspapers

 

Education

Idaho Propositions 1, 2, and 3 – vote No on Idaho propositions 1, 2, and 3, which seek to approve anti-teacher legislation passed by the Idaho legislature in 2011.  Proposition 1 would forbid teachers from collectively bargaining about anything except wages and benefits.  In other words, teachers would no longer be able to raise their voices about classroom size, funding for classroom supplies, student safety, etc.  Proposition 2 would link teacher pay to standardized testing.  Proposition 3 would try to divert students and funding away from public schools by requiring local school districts to spend money providing laptops to students who pursued on-line schooling.

* Vote No on Props 1, 2, and 3

* Contribute

* Volunteer

* Facebook page

* Idaho newspapers

 

Oregon Measure 85 – the Corporate Tax “Kicker” Funds for Education Initiative – vote Yes on Oregon Measure 85, which would provide that certain higher than expected tax revenues from corporate taxes would go towards K-12 education funding, rather than being refunded to corporations.  Under Oregon law, the Governor must, every two years, estimate the amount of tax revenue the state expects to receive. If actual revenue from corporate taxpayers exceeds the estimate by more than 2%, the excess amount is refunded.  Measure 85 would provide that such excess amounts are, instead, dedicated to K-12 funding.

* Our Oregon

* Contribute

* Volunteer

* Facebook page

* Oregon newspapers

 

Washington Charter School Initiative 1240 – vote No on Initiative 1240, which would start chipping away at public education in Washington State by allowing 40 charter schools to be formed over the next five years.  Washington is currently one of only eight states in the US that has no charter schools.  Initiative is the fourth attempt by charter school advocates to bring charters to the state of Washington.

* No on 1240

* Contribute

* Volunteer

* Facebook page

* Washington newspapers

The Democrats’ Progressive Party Platform and the Issues at Stake This November

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Somewhat overlooked in the excitement generated by powerful speeches given by Michelle Obama, keynote speaker Julian Castro, Lily Ledbetter, Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA), and others, was the fact that the Democratic Party yesterday also approved a progressive party platform that stands up for Medicare, Social Security, the right to organize, marriage equality, and many of the other policies and values that make this country great.   The contrast with the reactionary platform that the GOP approved at their convention last week illustrates well the fundamental differences between the two parties and the critical issues at stake this November.

Here are some of the highlights from the 2012 Democratic Party platform, and key places where that platform is diametrically opposed to the GOP’s agenda:

Medicare

The Democratic platform vows to defend Medicare as a guaranteed, universal program for seniors, stating:

Democrats adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize or voucherize Medicare; unlike our opponents we will not ask seniors to pay thousands of dollars more every year while they watch the value of their Medicare benefits evaporate. Democrats believe that Medicare is a sacred compact with our seniors.

By contrast, the Republican platform specifically calls for ending Medicare as a “defined-benefit entitlement” and replacing it with inadequate vouchers.

Worker’s Rights

In an age of increasing attacks on working people and labor unions, it is refreshing to see the Democratic platform include a ringing endorsement of the right to organize, stating:

Democrats believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value; every American should have a voice on the job and a chance to negotiate for a fair day’s pay after a hard day’s work. We will continue to fight for the right of all workers to organize and join a union. Unions helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known. Their work resulted in the 40-hour workweek and weekends, paid leave and pensions, the minimum wage and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare – the cornerstones of middle class security. We will fight for labor laws that provide a fair process for workers to choose union representation, that facilitate the collective bargaining process, and that strengthen remedies for violations of the law. We will fight for collective bargaining rights for police officers, nurses, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, teachers, and other public sector workers – jobs that are a proven path to the middle class for millions of Americans. We will continue to vigorously oppose “Right to Work” and “paycheck protection” efforts, and so-called “Save our Secret Ballot” measures whenever they are proposed.  We will raise the minimum wage, and index it to inflation.

By contrast, the GOP platform promises to continue the attacks on labor unions that have been carried out by GOP Governors, and calls ultimately for a national right-to-work-for-less law.

Campaign Finance

The Democratic platform calls for reducing the corrupting influence of money on our political system and echoes President Obama’s recent suggestion that a constitutional amendment to allow us to take back our democracy may be necessary:

We support campaign finance reform, by constitutional amendment if necessary. We support legislation to close loopholes and require greater disclosure of campaign spending. . . . . We support requiring groups trying to influence elections to reveal their donors so the public will know who’s funding the political ads it sees.

The GOP platform reiterates that party’s opposition to even such basic steps as the DISCLOSE Act, which would require disclosure of donors to SuperPACs and other groups that try to influence elections.

Taxes

The Democratic platform sets forth President Obama’s call for billionaires and big corporations to pay more of their fair share, stating:

We support allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest to expire and closing loopholes and deductions for the largest corporations and the highest-earning taxpayers. We are committed to reforming our tax code so that it is fairer and simpler, creating a tax code that lives up to the Buffett Rule so no millionaire pays a smaller share of his or her income in taxes than middle class families do. . . . . The Democratic Party opposes efforts to give additional tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class and investments in our future.

The Republican platform calls for further tax giveaways to the wealthy, including elimination of the estate tax, and consideration of repealing the 16th Amendment, which allows for a federal income tax, in favor of a regressive national sales tax.

Reproductive Freedom

The Democratic platform strongly endorses reproductive freedom, stating:

Democrats support access to affordable family planning services, and President Obama and Democrats will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers.

. . . .

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.

The GOP platform calls for passage of a “human life amendment” to the Constitution, which would apply the 14th Amendment to unborn fetuses and effectively outlaw choice even in cases of rape and incest, and repeats the false claim that abortion “endangers the health and well-being of women.”

Equality

The Democratic platform strongly supports equality for women and LGBT Americans, stating:

We are committed to ensuring full equality for women: we reaffirm our support for the Equal Rights Amendment, recommit to enforcing Title IX, support the Paycheck Fairness Act, and will urge ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

. . . .

We support the Employment Non- Discrimination Act because people should not be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

. . . .

We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.  We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

The GOP platform describes approval of marriage equality as an “assault on the foundations of our society” and calls for a Constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality.

Climate Change

The Democratic platform acknowledges the threat that is climate change and the need for action, stating:

We know that global climate change is one of the biggest threats of this generation – an economic, environmental, and national security catastrophe in the making. We affirm the science of climate change, commit to significantly reducing the pollution that causes climate change, and know we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits.

The GOP platform is silent on the issue, which I suppose is better than joining Mitt Romney in echoing the false claims of climate deniers.

 

Party platforms are, of course, not binding documents and, as such, there is no guarantee that the policies set forth in either party’s platform will come to fruition.  But the platforms do provide a good sense of the agenda each party would pursue if they were to be in power, and offer an important look at the values and goals that motivate the people who would assume positions of power if their party wins.  And what the Democratic and Republican platforms shows is that under a Democratic Administration with a Democratic Congress , political debates would revolve around deciding the best ways to enact the types of progressive policies and goals that are set forth above, rather than having to spend four years playing defense on issues like Medicare, choice, LGBT equality, etc. As such, the Democrat’s 2012 platform draws a clear contrast between the retrograde and reactionary policies and values that today’s GOP is offering, and demonstrates well why all of us progressives need to stand up and fight for our President over these next two months.

Our Movement Moment Of History Is Here: Move To Amend

Friday, August 31st, 2012

(A note from Winning Progressive – Joanne’s post about the growing movement to amend the Constitution in order to free our democracy from the unlimited spending of billionaires and big corporations is especially timely given that President Obama just signaled support for such an effort.  In particular, the President said a few days ago that “I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”  We couldn’t agree more).

 

(By Joanne Boyer, cross-posted at Wisdom Voices)

“We are at a movement moment in history, said David Cobb, National Projects Director of Democracy Unlimited and lead speaker on the Midwest Barnstorming Tour of Move To Amend.Cobb’s stop in Edina, Minnesota, Sunday drew a packed crowd of well over 100 people on a glorious summer Sunday afternoon. “We are at a point where people are engaged and ready to take back control, and these are exciting times because it’s time for us to do what other movements have done in the course of history and say ‘this is our country.’”

Move To Amend is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests. Cobb’s Midwest Barnstorming tour is focused on getting individuals at the local level to become involved with the monumental – but doable – task of amending the U.S. Constitution in wake of the horrific U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United decision that allowed unlimited corporate money to flow into political campaigns.The tour continues this week with stops throughout Wisconsin and culminates this weekend in Milwaukee with the Midwest Regional Convergence.Information on specific tour stops and the weekend gathering can be found here.

Anyone can go to Move To Amend’s web site and sign their petition that says: We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

But for those lucky enough to be on the Barnstorming tour stop, Cobb’s artful and engaging presentation offers those in attendance an invaluable history lesson on the role of corporations in U.S. history, dating back to that famous tea party in Boston, when colonists threw overboard only one kind of tea – tea from the East India Company, the major British corporation of its time.

“If we spend some time studying history and digging deeper, we’ll find that the American Revolution was not just a rejection of a monarchy, but also a people’s rebellion against the illegal corporation of its time,” Cobb said.

Cobb reminds the audience that the colonies were actually set up as “charters” with an appointed royal governor (CEO) who was tasked with the legal responsibility to plant crops, to rule and to govern in the name of the king so as to benefit the king and the other “stock holders” of, for example, the Massachusetts Bay Company.

“Let’s not forget,” Cob said, “that it was the unfair laws being written by Parliament – a Parliament that was 100 percent invested in stock in the East India Company that led to the American Revolution.What caused the colonists to stop groveling to the king, asking the king to become more socially responsible?It was the magic of the social movement of its time.

“Today, there is justifiable anger again in the United States.I call it righteous anger and I use that word carefully, because I am the grandson of a Baptist preacher.Righteous anger only comes from anger over injustice or exploitation and it requires action.Righteous anger is what provoked the abolitionist movement, it’s what helped the women come together in Seneca Falls, and it was what was behind the trade unions and the civil rights movements.And we are at that moment again.

“It’s what transforms your anger into joy, helping create a society with a just system.That’s a joyful experience…working in solidarity with good men and women who share those values.You don’t just stay angry when you engage in the work of change.”

And what work there is to be done.Amending the constitution is no easy task, but as Cobb reminds the audience, 500 years ago, people believed in the “sovereign” authority of a king to declare how society was run. “500 years ago that’s all there was, and 500 years is nothing more than a blink of an eye (in terms of history),” Cobb said.“When people say it’s too hard (amending the constitution), they haven’t been paying attention to history.Profound changes happen when people commit to change.People started acting and thinking differently in the colonies and things changed.If it’s true that they (the power elite of today) have hijacked our country, then we need to think and act differently today.And we are starting to do that.”

Cobb concludes his presentation by reminding people it was a supreme act of judicial activism that allowed 5 individuals to tell 300 million people that corporations are people.  “It was an illogical and stupid idea,” Cobb said.  “Corporate personhood is how the ruling elite stole the country from us and they used our legal system to legitimize the theft.  It’s time for us to do what other movements have done and say, ‘This is our country.’

“At Move To Amend, we’re making a demand in the form of a constitutional amendment.  We are saying two things: One, abolish the concept that corporations have constitutional rights.  That’s why principled conservatives are willing to join us.  Only human beings have constitutional rights.  And second, money is not speech.  That’s something the courts created.  Wealthy people do not have more rights to speech than anyone else.”

How can individuals affect change and be part of the social movement underway?There’s no better way to start than by perusing the Move To Amend web site, digging into their FAQs, signing the petition and getting involved with a local chapter of Move To Amend.And, always feel free to say, “No, that’s not true” to anyone who says, “Corporations are people, my friend.”

Weekend Reading List

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

For this weekend’s reading list, we have an analysis of conservative efforts to use school textbooks to indoctrinate children in conservative fantasies, President Obama’s recent economic speech in Ohio, and historical overview that the Founding Fathers did not found the US as a “Christian Nation,” a report about the expense of housing more than 125,000 elderly prisons in prisons in the US, and a call from former-Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold to reverse Citizens United.

 

How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks on Us - The story of how, given the large grade school student population in Texas, that state’s standards for school textbooks are typically followed by other states,  and of how conservatives have actively worked to take over the Texas Board of Education, which decides the state’s standards, so they can promote their right-wing agenda in our nation’s school textbooks.

Remarks by the President on the Economy – the transcript of President Obama’s campaign speech last week in Ohio in which the President laid out in detail his support for progressive economic policies, and explained how Mitt Romney is offering nothing more than a repeat of the failed policies of George W. Bush.

The Truth About Religion in America - an historical overview of how the Founders did not establish the US as a “Christian Nation” or base the country on “Christian values.”

At America’s Expense: The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly – a report on the rapid rise in the number of people in prison in the US who are over the age of 55, from 8,853 in 1981 to 124,900 today, largely because of the implementation of harsh sentencing laws in the 1980s and 1990s.  Each such prisoner costs $68,270 per year to house (double that spent per prisoner under the age of 50), and continues to be held even though recidivism rates are very low for the elderly.

The Money Crisis - an essay from former Senator Russ Feingold explaining how Citizens United has corrupted our political system and how a pending case regarding a Montana state ban on corporate financing of campaigns gives the Supreme Court an opportunity to fix some of the damage done by the misguided Citizens United decision.

How United Citizens Can Defeat Citizens United

Monday, June 11th, 2012

(By Fay Paxton, cross-posted at The Pragmatic Pundit)


You’ve heard the clamor about the Koch brothers. We watched one man pump $20 million into Gingrich’s presidential bid and he still lost, because in the end it’s about the votes that get tallied. In Ohio, voters demonstrated the difference the citizens can make. And patriots in Wisconsin, even if they fell short in their effort to recall GOP Gov. Scott Walker, have demonstrated what the right to exercise freedom of speech and assembly are really all about.

It’s easy to get discouraged when what’s shaping up looks more like a battle between David and Goliath than a political engagement, but citizens can’t afford to be discouraged. The passage of Citizens United has given immeasurable powers to the wealthy, but the citizens are not without power too. We must empower ourselves. They have more money, but we have more voters. United citizens can defeat Citizens United!

The Claim about Voter Fraud is a Fraud

If voter fraud is a real concern, you should wonder why legislators didn’t push for more election regulations after the 2000 election debacle. Why now? The ACORN sting turned out to be a lie and voter fraud is virtually non-existent, so what’s the real reason? What do early voting and same-day registration have to do with the legitimacy of casting a vote? Absolutely nothing! It’s the voter suppression game Republicans have always played…wake up! Voter fraud isn’t the problem….election fraud is.

Why, in this age of technology, are we still relying on antiquated lists to determine who is qualified to vote? Between Social Security, the Census and Medicare, don’t you think there are probably enough databases to determine who is a legitimate citizen? Afterall, every citizen is registered with social security soon after they are born. Personally, I think everyone should be able to vote in a national election, even if they live in a tree.

Voters “Real” Acorn

You heard all about ACORN, but at the same time Republicans were raising so much cain about ACORN, everyone missed that in California, Massachusetts, Florida and Arizona registrants were complaining that they had been duped into joining the GOP.

From BlackBoxVoting.org

5/12 – TENNESSEE CAUGHT RED HANDED

Four hundred and eighty-eight voters, every one of them in the Tennessee district of US Rep Steve Cohen (D-09), all but four lifelong Democrats, and nearly all Black, had their voting history erased by Shelby County election workers, setting them up for purge from the voter list. 454 out of 488 on the erased list are Black, and only four are White, leaving all the others marked “other.”

From The Brad Blog

The votes of more than ten million voters could be affected by a newly revealed failure in the voting systems set for use in Florida, Wisconsin, New york and Ohio in this year’s Presidential election, and in more than 50 different jurisdictions in Wisconsin during next month’s historic recall elections.

According to a report released by Election Systems & Software, Inc., the private company which manufactures, sells, services and programs the systems, their systems may overheat when used over several hours and that they then may miscount and/or incorrectly discard anywhere from 30% to 70% of votes scanned by the machines.

From ThinkProgress

Last year, Mitt Romney’s began paying Nathan Sproul (Associates to Lincoln Strategies), a political consultant with a long history of destroying Democratic voter registration forms.

- In Oregon and Nevada, Nathan Sproul’s company was investigated for destroying Democratic voter registration forms. The Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign paid Sproul $7.4 million for campaign work. [CNN, 10/14/04; KGW News, 10/13/04; East Valley Tribune, 09/07/06]

- In Nevada, people who registered as Democrats with Sproul’s firm found their names absent from the voter registration rolls. [Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/29/04]

From The Sacramento Bee

GOP in California hired “professional con artists” who turned in thousands of fraudulent voter registrations.

To learn specific information about your county and state, go HERE.

Adopt an American

First make certain YOU register to vote, then help one other person register to vote; a neighbor, a friend, a student, the elderly. If the person doesn’t have the necessary documents…help them acquire them. Help them through the process, and then remember…verify their registration and your own registration too.

Nothing will be more disheartening than going through all the necessary steps only to arrive at the polling place and be told you cannot vote. It’s one of the oldest tricks on the books, so be prepared. It’s the reason so many states have outlawed same-day registration. Afterall, if for some reason, either by design or mistake your name is not listed on the voter’s rolls, it will defeat their purpose if you can register on the spot.

Be prepared to wait. Election officials count on impatience with long lines to discourage participation. Take a folding chair, a book, your laptop. It might even be smart to take along some bottled water and a snack. Beat them at their own game.

Another trick is to relocate the polling place without notice…DO NOT BE DETERRED. Go there and vote.

If you drive…give someone a ride. Take as many people as you can with you. Encourage everyone you know to cast a vote.

They’ve thought of every angle, so you’ve got to be prepared to out-maneuver them.

This is an argument for the Constitutionally-protected right to vote. The right to vote is neither a Democratic nor Republican right…it is an American right! Just like our soldiers died to give Iraqis Universal Healthcare, Iraqis also gained the right to cast a ballot, so why are officials trying to make it so hard for Americans?

Finally, and most important: Find a reliable news source. Opinion journalism and media is okay as long as they present the facts that form their opinions, so you can check those facts and make your own judgement. Then VOTE for the candidate that will help heal and sustain THE MIDDLE CLASS and remember, it’s not over after you cast your vote. STAY ENGAGED!

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.  

LET’S SHOW WHAT THE MIDDLE CLASS IS MADE OF!