Virginia GOP Connected to Destruction of Voter Registration Forms
Colin Small, a 31-year-old resident of Phoenixville, Pa., worked for Pinpoint, a company hired to register voters on behalf of the Republican Party of Virginia. Prosecutors charged him with four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of failing to disclose voter registration applications and one count of obstruction of justice.
[T]his promise of free voter ID is a mirage. In the real world, poor voters find shuttered offices, long drives without cars, and with spotty or no bus service, and sometimes prohibitive costs. For these Americans, the promise of our democracy is tangibly distant. It can be measured in miles.
--Brennan Center for Justice, The Challenge of Obtaining Voter Identification
The Rush to Abandon the Poor
While some governors and lawmakers are searching for new revenue sources, others are using the downturn as an excuse to end a long tradition of states being the final backstop for society’s neediest.
Over the last year, for example, eight states have cut or eliminated cash welfare payments to their poorest residents. It happened last week in Pennsylvania, where 61,000 residents — almost all of whom are disabled and poor — were told that they would abruptly lose their $200 monthly general assistance payments, all to save $150 million a year. Our hands are tied by a tightening budget, welfare officials told astonished recipients, though Gov. Tom Corbett’s hands didn’t seem restrained when he handed out $300 million in business tax cuts earlier this month.
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has cut hundreds of millions from education, but when the state found itself with a $235 million surplus a few weeks ago, he announced that it would all go into a rainy-day fund, doing nothing to deal with rising classroom sizes. In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage — who compared the health care reform law to the Holocaust — signed a budget bill in May that will reduce or eliminate existing Medicaid coverage for 21,000 people.
Gallup recently released the results of its cumulative state-by-state polling on political party identification for the first six months of 2011. The polling revealed that 44% of Americans identified as Democrats and 40% identified as Republicans. The chart above profiles the states that most clearly mirrored the national numbers.
According to Craig Gilbert:
If Wisconsin has returned to something like a 50/50 state, that suggests 2012 will be a furious partisan trench war – for president, for Herb Kohl’s vacant US Senate seat and for governor if Democrats try and succeed in forcing a recall election against Walker.
This state is indispensable to a winning electoral majority for President Obama and his party, and it now sits very close to the 50-yard line of American politics.
Wisconsin was almost a perfect microcosm of the country in its partisan makeup: 45% of Wisconsinites called themselves Democrats, 40% called themselves Republicans.
Update: Scott Walker, “Education Policy Expert”
Yesterday I posted about Scott Walker being the featured speaker on education policy for a group I wasn’t familiar with, the American Federation for Children. I was in complete disbelief that anyone (well, besides Walker-advocate Michelle Rhee) would consider Walker some sort of expert on education. After all, this is a man who recently answered the question “why do you hate education” with the response: “Well, for us, the answer is that I love education.”
Turns out, the American Federation for Children is linked to the Koch brothers-funded “Prosperity Network.” The group has recently become heavily involved in Wisconsin politics, even sponsoring robo-calls to discourage people from recalling Republicans. And making the Governors they support ”keynote speakers” at their ”policy summit” is their M.O…just ask Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett.
Wisconsin GOP's Late-Night Bill Allows State to Fire Employees for Strikes, Walk-Outs
This is how quickly people can be stripped of their rights when elected officials abuse power. If it happened in Wisconsin, it could happen anywhere.
Yep, it’s in the fine print: Scott Walker can declare a “state of emergency” and fire teachers, firefighters, and janitors if they so much as stage a sick-out. Democracy in action!
The Wisconsin Governor’s desire to be at the forefront of his perceived GOP revolution may not only have doomed the anti-union effort, but it may forever label him has the man who gave the Democrats the gift that keeps on giving: the return of the union rank and file into the arms of the Democratic Party.
--Rick Ungar, Forbes, “Scott Walker Has Lost the War”