(Yes, this Post was created on August 21, 2012, at 1:48PM – thank goodness for Computer Directories)
Tabacco: Blacks vote 90-95% Democratic! Democrats in general don’t vote Democratic with percentages that high – not even Poor Whites. Therefore, by disenfranchising as many Black Voters as possible, particularly in BATTLEGROUND STATES, Republicans can defeat Democrats in close Presidential elections.
Poor Whites are more likely to vote Democratic, particularly in Northern States, so by making it harder or nearly impossible to even Register (extensive Voter ID requirements and negating weekend Registration in poorer districts), and by making the Voting Lines long and time-consuming, Republicans suppress the Democratic Vote even more, giving the Republican Presidential Candidate an unfair advantage.
VOTER ID RESTRICTIONS
Friday, August 17, 2012 Full Show
Judge Upholds Penn. Voter ID Law; GOP Admits Law Designed to “Allow” Mitt Romney to “Win the State”
On Wednesday, a Pennsylvania judge upheld a controversial voter ID law that critics say could disqualify hundreds of thousands of voters. Republican lawmakers have openly admitted the law was designed to impact the result of the November election. In June, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai listed off a number of legislative accomplishments. “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: Done,” Turzai said. Meanwhile, Florida, New Mexico and other states are being accused of purging voters ahead of the election. “Whenever states determine that they want to purge their rolls or clean up their rolls, it takes time. It has to be done efficiently and effectively. And waiting to do so so very close up to an election always raises concerns about why a state is doing it so close to an election,” says Nicole Austin-Hillery of the Brennan Center for Justice. “We’re always concerned about errors and the fact that innocent people, individuals who are indeed eligible registered voters, we’re always worried about whether those people may be erroneously kicked off the rolls.” [includes rush transcript]
Nicole Austin-Hillery, director and counsel of the Washington office of the Brennan Center for Justice.
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AMYGOODMAN: We turn now to our next segment. It’s the issue of voting rights in Pennsylvania. Juan?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, with the presidential election less than three months away, voting rights issues are heating up in numerous battleground states. On Wednesday, a Pennsylvania judge upheld a controversial voter ID law that critics say could disqualify hundreds of thousands of voters. The measure requires voters to produce will benefit Republicans this November. The measure requires voters to produce photo ID before they can cast ballots. Opponents of the law had sought to delay its implementation until after the November 6 elections. The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups say they will appeal to the state Supreme Court. But Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, a Republican, praised the judge’s decision, saying it confirmed the integrity of each and every valid vote. Earlier this year, Turzai predicted the voter ID law would help Mitt Romney win the state.
STATEREP. MIKETURZAI: Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: Done.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In his ruling, presiding Judge Robert Simpson wrote that the law, quote, “does not expressly disenfranchise or burden any qualified elector or group of electors. The statute simply gives poll workers another tool to verify that the person voting is who they claim to be.”
But critics of the law say it will suppress voter turnout among people of color, the poor and elderly, who may lack the proper ID and find it harder to obtain one. A new analysis by News 21 shows that the rate of voter fraud is infinitesimal and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day is virtually nonexistent.
AMYGOODMAN: For more on voting rights, we go to Washington, D.C., where we’re joined by Nicole Austin-Hillery, director and counsel of the Washington office of the Brennan Center for Justice.
Nicole Austin-Hillery, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about the significance of this ruling in Pennsylvania.
NICOLEAUSTIN-HILLERY: Amy, thank you so much for having me on.
This ruling is quite significant, because here we have a court that has said that despite the fact that the state government stipulated that they have no evidence of in-person voter fraud ever having occurred in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, this court still says that it believes that it is OK for the state to implement a measure that is meant to protect the state against voter fraud, that the state has already admitted is simply nonexistent. And what we think this does is it sends a terrible message. It basically ensures that many voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will have a very difficult, if not to impossible, time voting when we approach the November election this year.
There are numerous people in Pennsylvania—and the Brennan Center did a report on this that was just released a few weeks ago about the difficulty of obtaining voter identification. There are hundreds of thousands of individuals in Pennsylvania, and the state has admitted to this, that simply don’t have the proper ID that, under the state’s new laws, are required in order to cast a vote in November. Even though the state has implemented measures that they say will ensure that every citizen, if they don’t have the requisite ID, can get it, we know that when changes are made so close to an election, when an entirely new system is put in place, that it is going to be difficult for each and every voter to be given that proper ID. And for many of those individuals who don’t get it who run into problems, they’re simply going to have a difficult time casting their ballot come November.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Nicole Austin-Hillery, the situation in Ohio, as well, could you talk about latest developments there, one of 13 states that have either tried to restrict or, in one way or other, put in new restrictions on voting?
NICOLEAUSTIN-HILLERY: Certainly. And as you’ve already said, there has been a history of a lot of different things going on in Ohio, from ballot initiatives to attempts by the state legislature to pass laws that have the effect of prohibiting certain voters or making it harder for certain voters to cast their vote.
Most recently, this week, the secretary of state, Secretary Husted, in Ohio had made a determination regarding early voting hours. What he had determined was that there would be varying hours for early voting across the state. When you take a close look at the jurisdictions in Ohio, what he was basically determining was that jurisdictions that tended to have majority white populations and where the majority of voters were registered Republican, their hours were going to be extended. They were going to have, rather, the longest opportunity for—to cast their early votes. However, when you look at jurisdictions that had a large minority population and where there was a large percentage of individuals who were registered Democrats, he had applied a different rule, and the early voting hours in those jurisdictions were going to be shorter. Well, of course, there was an outcry from many people, citizens in Ohio, as well as progressive organizations that simply want to ensure that there’s uniformity in terms of early voting hours. As a result, Mr. Husted yesterday made the determination that there would be uniformity now in terms of the early voting hours and that it would be the same in every jurisdiction in Ohio.
Unfortunately, even in making that decision to ensure uniformity, what he did not do is ensure that there would be early voting hours on the weekends. And what many studies have shown, what some of the work the Brennan Center has done has shown, is that minority populations often take advantage of early voting hours on weekends. For instance, a lot of the African-American congregations throughout the country have actually had organized efforts to ensure that their congregants get to the polls to take advantage of early voting hours, particularly on Sunday after church. So, in effect, if Ohio is no longer offering that option of voting on Sunday, for instance, that means that efforts like that will be curtailed—
NICOLEAUSTIN-HILLERY: —and that—yes, Amy?
AMYGOODMAN: Nicole, I wanted to play a recent comment by the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted about the controversy over the voting hours. He was on the right-wing pundit Laura Ingraham’s radio show last week.
SECRETARY OF STATE,JONHUSTED: I don’t think the bar is too high there for anybody who really cares about the future of our country and wants to have their voice heard by voting. We try to make it easy, but we can’t—you know, I say we’re not 7-Eleven. We can’t stay open 24-seven and let anybody vote by any rule that they want to.
AMYGOODMAN: That is Ohio’s secretary of state. Nicole Austin-Hillery?
NICOLEAUSTIN-HILLERY: Amy, I’m sorry. I didn’t hear your question.
AMYGOODMAN: Your response to what he said: we’re not, you know, 7-Eleven here, staying open 24 hours a day.
NICOLEAUSTIN-HILLERY: You know, Amy, no one is asking that the secretary of state ensure that their polls stay open throughout the night and all day. What organizations, like ours, that want to ensure democracy for everyone in this country, organizations that want to ensure that all Americans are not prohibited or inhibited from casting their ballots, what we want is for states to ensure that people have fair and equal opportunity to get access to the ballot box. Again, what we’ve seen in this country is that, with the creation of early voting, many Americans who may have had difficulty casting their votes on the designated Tuesday have more of an opportunity to get to the polls. We know that there are many people who have difficulties on the designated Tuesday of an election day. There are poor and working people who simply can’t take off work, people who can’t afford to stand in long lines for hours. We saw, in the last presidential election, there were many jurisdictions where people were standing in line for hours. People—lines were wrapped around buildings. Many people were able to stand in those lines, but there were many people who weren’t, individuals who simply did not have that kind of flexibility with respect to jobs, family care and other responsibilities. So we know that early vote—
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I wanted to—
NICOLEAUSTIN-HILLERY: —early voting—
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I wanted to ask you, if I can—
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —about another important swing state, Florida. Earlier this year, the Justice Department ordered Florida to end a controversial voter purge that has primarily targeted Latino, Democratic and independent-minded voters. Now Florida’s voter purge will move ahead, after the federal government finalized an agreement to allow the state to access records that could detect non-citizens on the voting rolls. I want to turn to a clip of Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida on Fox News defending the voter purge.
GOV. RICKSCOTT: I want fair, honest elections. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t.
GREGGJARRETT: Holder says you’re suppressing votes.
GOV. RICKSCOTT: No. I mean, I want people to vote, register to vote, but U.S. citizens.
GREGGJARRETT: Yeah, but he says you’re suppressing Democrat votes.
GOV. RICKSCOTT: No, I want everybody to vote that wants to vote, but only U.S. citizens.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Nicole Austin-Hillery, your response?
NICOLEAUSTIN-HILLERY: Sure. We, too, at the Brennan Center, want to ensure that the people who cast ballots are indeed people who under our laws are to—are the people who should be casting ballots—citizens, people who are registered properly. That’s what we all want. We want this to be a fair system.
The problem in Florida is this. Florida has waited until very, very close to the election, number one, to decide that they wanted to do a purge of their voting rolls. Under the National Voter Registration Act, jurisdictions are supposed to make changes such as that no sooner than 90 days before an election. Florida decided to make these changes within 90 days of their primary. So that was a concern, that there simply wasn’t enough time to do an accurate review of these rolls. We think that if Florida was truly concerned about cleaning up their rolls, this would have been activity that they would have undertaken far sooner, during a time when they would have actually had time to go through the rolls to deal with any issues and errors, and it wouldn’t have come up at a time when it would have caused a lot of confusion and intimidation for voters. That’s number one.
Number two, the Department of Homeland Security has already agreed to provide the state of Florida with a database that Florida has requested that would enable them to verify the rolls of citizens and to ensure that they are removing the people who aren’t citizens from their rolls. Right now, Florida and the Department of Homeland Security are working to reach a memorandum of agreement or a memorandum of understanding, if you will, that would enable Florida to use that database. Those negotiations are still underway. So we will see what happens, if that will happen in a timely manner.
But the main point is that whenever states determine that they want to purge their rolls or clean up their rolls, it takes time. It has to be done efficiently and effectively. And waiting to do so so very close to an election always raises concerns about why a state is doing it so close to an election. And we’re always concerned about errors and the fact that innocent people, individuals who are indeed eligible registered voters, we’re always worried about whether those people may be erroneously kicked off the rolls.
AMYGOODMAN: Nicole Austin-Hillery, I want to thank you so much for being with us, director and counsel of the Washington office of the Brennan Center for Justice. This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute!
HOW TO STEAL AN ELECTION!
TABACCO: When Political Corruption involving the denial of the Right To Vote occurs in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Liberia, the Philippines or Argentina, the American MSM (Mainstream Media) is generally right on the Issue. But even then Political considerations benefiting America’s Elitists often skew their reporting.
When George W. Bush was stealing 2 Presidential Elections by disenfranchising Black Voters, the Mainstream Media would NOT EVEN HIRE Investigative Reporter, Greg Palast, because MSM News is really
When the Bush Administration frightened us into War in Iraq for Financial Profits for WAR PROFITEERS, the MSM was once again strangely missing.
You must go looking for these Political Truths because you won’t get them on CNN, and you certainly won’t get the Truth anymore on CBS. Of course, Fox News (originally ‘GOP TV’) is out of the question.
When I was younger, I thought that everything worth knowing was already known. I felt I could never make any real contribution to human knowledge. How naïve of me! I could live 1,000 years and not finish investigating and reporting the Misinformation, Lies and utter Duplicities people already accept today as Fact!
And I don’t refer to “Earth Is Flat” ignorance, I refer to deliberate deceptions foisted on the Public by Big Biz, Big Politics, Big Jurisprudence and the American MSM – all part of the Capitalist Conspiracy to keep you and me AS IGNORANT AS POSSIBLE.
Greg Palast on “Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps”
With just weeks until the November 6 election, we are joined by investigative journalist Greg Palast, who has been tracking voter disenfranchisement and election trickery closely over the years. He joins us now to detail how people can protect their vote this year. He is the author of the recently released New York Times bestseller, “Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.” [includes rush transcript]
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMYGOODMAN: Greg, I was wondering, before we go, if you could talk about your latest book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps. Talk about the whole issue of voter rights, voter suppression.
GREGPALAST: Well, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits is just as the title says. By the way, this story, hunting down Mitt Romney and his money with the vultures, is in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.
But how do they steal the election in nine easy steps? We’ve been here before. If you remember, I did the story about how Katherine Harris knocked off tens of thousands of black voters off the voter rolls: she called them felons. But their only crime was voting while black. That was in 2000. That felon purge, other purge—purges, are back with a vengeance.
We’ve lost two—3.2 million people off the voter rolls who are citizens who should be allowed to vote. In the last election, 2.7 million ballots—this is the official number, Amy—2.7 million ballots were cast and not counted. They call those, by the way, “spoiled ballots” in the ballot business. But, you know, votes don’t spoil because you leave them out of the fridge; they spoil because someone is challenging those ballots. And right now, you’ve got a massive new challenge machine, created first by the Koch brothers, who have a computer system called Themis, and that’s one of the things they can use to challenge and knock out voters. Karl Rove, who is funded mainly by Paul Singer and his buddies—there we are with the vulture again—Karl Rove has a massive database called DataTrust, which they have used—we’ve caught them—they have used to challenge voters of color throughout the nation.
So, they are using the old purging systems. They are challenging votes; that’s called “spoiling.” You have something called “caging,” in which we have, again, caught Karl Rove sending letters to, if you can imagine, active-duty soldiers. They send letters to these active-duty soldiers at their military bases. In the letters, they write, “Do not forward.” Those letters come back. Those voters, who are active-duty soldiers, lose their vote because they’ve been challenged as fraudulent voters. So, in other words, if you go to Afghanistan and you’re a black soldier in Florida, you can expect to see your ballot challenged. And you don’t even know it. We talked to one of the voters, who said, “I got to mail in my ballot from overseas,” while he was on duty. But he didn’t realize that his ballot had been challenged by the Rove machine.
Now, Bobby Kennedy, who wrote the introduction to Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, is of course a dean of the law school at Pace University. And he has said this is a felony crime. So, some of the nine ways that they burgle the vote are not only creepy, but in fact they’re illegal.
And this is one of the things that we are trying to say. Here’s nine ways that they take your ballot from you, but we also include, by the way—and very important for people is, at the back of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, we have what we call the ballot condom for safe voting. What it is is seven ways to beat the ballots—ballot bandits so that you can protect your own vote. I’m very concerned about this. I don’t want people to say, “Oh, my god, they’re stealing my vote. I’m not going to vote. I give up.” Don’t do that. Don’t let them shoplift your ballot.
For example, one of the things we have said—and I was just talking to some of the people here in the studio—check your registration. We have the seven ways to beat the ballot bandits poster at ballotbandits.org; you can download it for free to protect yourself. The guy who designed the poster for me didn’t take advice from the—didn’t take our suggestion number three—check your registration. He showed up and was listed as an inactive voter. Nine million people are listed as inactive voters, as if they know that you haven’t been doing your sit-ups or something. You lose your vote. Please check your registration.
That’s why in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits we’re not only telling you the nine ways that they steal the election, but the seven ways to kind of steal it back. And I say “we,” because in the middle of the book, of course, there is a comic book, 50-page comic book, by Ted Rall. So, this is put out by our not-for-profit foundation for the purpose—it’s nonpartisan. We are just trying to get people to be aware that their votes can be shoplifted, and here’s how you could save them.
AMYGOODMAN: You know, it’s interesting. This news just came out today, Greg, came out of Sheriff Arpaio’s Maricopa County in Arizona that Spanish copies of the election information were sent out with the wrong election date. ABC15 reports that the error appears on a document containing a voter ID card. In addition to the ID card, the piece of paper it comes in lists other information, such as important election dates. In the corner of the document, it says “November 6″ in English, but in Spanish it reads “8 de Noviembre,” the 8th of November. Of course, Election Day is November 6th, not November 8th.
GREGPALAST: Yeah, this trick has been going on. And by the way, in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, you’ll see a picture of me going into Joe Arpaio’s famous—or infamous—tent city prison, because he claims that he is not profiling Mexican Americans to charge them with crimes or the act of illegal voting. And so, we went into his prison to see who he was—who he was gathering up. There’s a big sign that I walked by that says, “No aliens allowed.” I went in with my assistant, my chief investigator, with me, who—she is not an American citizen, but she did bring her white skin, so they didn’t even ask her for her papers. So, to say that they don’t profile in Arizona, this is happening all over the place. In fact, we did see—in Wisconsin, during the recall vote, we did see in Wisconsin during the recall vote that the Koch Themis operation did send out letters, again, giving to Democrats false—false information on the date of the election.
AMYGOODMAN: Greg, we have to leave it there. Greg Palast is author of the now New York Times bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy [Steps]. His piece, just out today in The Nation, is called, “Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions from the Rescue of Detroit.”
This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we go to Bainport, Illinois. That’s what the workers are calling Freeport, Illinois. They’re about to lose their jobs. Bain Capital-owned Sensata plant is closing their plant and moving to China. Stay with us.
TABACCO: When GWB was President and Karl Rove was Bush’s Brain, the GOPers kept repeating the Propaganda that “Liberals would never again win and Conservatives would control America from now on”. Now we understand what they meant. Even when they should lose, the Republican Party attempts to STEAL ELECTIONS.
I must admit when Karl Rove and other GOPers said that stuff, it scared the bejesus out of me. I was much less politically astute in those days. But it scared the bejesus out of Liberals too – so much so that they now call themselves ‘Progressives’! Tabacco will never allow the ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE to propel me into calling myself anything but LIBERAL!
America has not gone stupid: voting for the Rich and against your own best interests. However, the GOP has found ways to undermine ‘democracy’, ‘voting rights’ and ‘the will of the people’ to steal the House of Representatives even when Democrats get more House votes.
There’s more to it than just VOTER CAGING, ID REQUIREMENTS & INTIMIDATION. There is also
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gerrymandering is a controversial form of redistricting in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for an electoral advantage. The word “gerrymander” is named for the American politician Elbridge Gerry (July 17, 1744 – November 23, 1814), and is a portmanteau of his name and the word “salamander,” which was used to describe the appearance of a tortuous electoral district Gerry created in order to disadvantage his electoral opponents. “Gerrymander” is used both as a verb, meaning “to commit gerrymandering”, as well as a noun, describing the resulting electoral geography.
Gerrymandering may be used to advantage or disadvantage particular constituents, such as members of a racial, linguistic, religious or class group, often in the favor of ruling incumbents or a specific political party. Although all electoral systems, which use multiple districts as a basis for determining representation, are susceptible to gerrymandering to various degrees, governments using single winner voting systems are the most vulnerable. Most notably, gerrymandering is particularly effective in non-proportional systems that tend towards fewer parties, such as first past the post.
Among western democracies, only Israel and the Netherlands are not susceptible to gerrymandering in the national government, as they employ electoral systems with only one (nationwide) voting district. Other countries, such as the UK and Canada, attempt to prevent gerrymandering by having the constituency boundaries set by non-partisan organizations such as the UK’s Boundary Commission. Gerrymandering is most common in countries such as the United States of America where elected politicians are responsible for drawing districts.
Tabacco: The First Key is removing this function from political influence so that the Party in Power cannot manipulate Districts to its own advantage. An alternative that all voting districts require majority approval of both Democrats and Republicans, regardless of their relative numerical representation in the elected body making the decision, does not always work@ re Maximization. This same concept should also apply to Federal and Supreme Court Judges. Both functions are too important to be left to the “majority party”.
The term gerrymandering sometimes includes instances of malapportionment, where the electoral rules allow districts to significantly differ in population size. Although the possibility of districts being unequal in population can make gerrymandering particularly easy and effective towards securing electoral advantage, gerrymandering can still be done when districts are required to have equal representative to population ratios.
Methods: “Packing and Cracking”
Redrawing the balanced electoral districts in this example creates a guaranteed 3-to-1 advantage in representation for the blue voters. Here, 14 red voters are packed into the light green district and the remaining 18 are cracked across the 3 blue districts.
There are two principal strategies behind gerrymandering: maximizing the effective votes of supporters, and minimizing the effective votes of opponents. One form of gerrymandering, packing, is to place as many voters of one type into a single district to reduce their influence in other districts. A second form,cracking, involves spreading out voters of a particular type among many districts in order to reduce their representation by denying them a sufficiently large voting block in any particular district. The methods are typically combined, creating a few “forfeit” seats for packed voters of one type in order to secure even greater representation for voters of another type.
Gerrymandering is effective because of thewasted vote effect – by packing opposition voters into districts they will already win (increasing excess votes for winners) and by cracking the remainder among districts where they are moved into the minority (increasing votes for eventual losers), the number of wasted votes among the opposition can be maximized. Similarly, with supporters now holding narrow margins in the unpacked districts, the number of wasted votes among supporters is minimized.
(From previously published Article at Blog-City No. 400)
BLACK MICHIGANDERS Lost Their Democracy To Michigan’s Republican Governor – Twice! GOP Gerrymandering Allowed Republicans To Control State Elections In November Even Though Democrats Got Many More Votes, And Citizens Repealed Governor Rick Snyder’s Law. So He Passed Another Law, Which Could Not Be Repealed By Voters. Republican Governors In Blue States Seem To Be Determined To Ignore The Will Of The People. Are You Reading This, Detroit! New Jersey, If You Trust Your Republican Governor, You May Be Getting Some Of The Same Medicine: STATES’ RIGHTS (WRONGS!)
MADDOW: When there is a problem in public life. When there`s a problem in governance, people with political power have choices. They can ignore the problem, which usually means it gets worse, they can try to fix the problem or they can use the problem. They can see the problem as an
opportunity, something to exploit to accomplish some other thing.
One way you can tell if politicians are choosing the third option. They`re not ignoring it. They`re not fixing it. They`re just using the problem for some other purpose. One way to tell when politicians are doing that is when the thing they propose to do in response to the problem isn`t going to fix the problem.
In 2010, Republicans did not just win the House and they didn`t just win a bunch of state legislature legislatures, they won a bunch of governorships, too.
In Michigan, they elected a new Republican governor named Rick Snyder. And within ten weeks of him being sworn in, Republican Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan and the newly unilaterally Republican Michigan legislature passed a bill to give the state sweeping new powers that no one else has
anywhere else in the country.
They revamped an existing law to give the governor the power to overrule who you vote for. They took for themselves the power to declare a town or school board to be dysfunctional. And if they decided you were dysfunctional then the governor could decide to just take you over, you don`t get a vote, they decide without you. And no matter who you and your town voted for to be your local elected officials, that is overruled.
The governor appoints an emergency overseer, an emergency manager to run your town instead with the power to overrule your vote. They can strip elected officials of their power and take over themselves. They can even abolish the town, sell off its assets, you get no say.
The governor used the new power to strip all the elected officials in Benton Harbor of their powers, the town council kept trying to meet — they tried to pass a resolution honoring the Constitution, for example, to try to make the rather obvious points. But they were not allowed to do that. They`ve been stripped of their powers.
So, Benton Harbor went. A Detroit suburb called Allen Park went, Flint, Michigan, went. The school district in Muskegon Heights and the Highland Park — those went as well. Michigan is a majority white state, but altogether, the populations having been their right to elect their own local officials taken away from them in these places were mostly black.
Michiganders fought back against it. In Benton Harbor, we covered on this show how they fought back in Benton Harbor. We covered how Michigan fought back at the state level too, gathering signatures and putting this radical new law on the ballot for repeal.
The Republicans fought against that by saying the font on the petitions was too small. And the petition shouldn`t be accepted. Remember that? But the signatures were accepted and it went on the ballot to get repealed and it got repealed in November.
The Republicans` radical abolish your local voting rights and let us take over law got repealed by the people of Michigan in November.
In that same election, Republicans also saw their majorities in the legislature shrink. They shrunk, but they didn`t disappear.
Democrats did great in the 2012 election in Michigan. But still they couldn`t get the legislature back.
Same thing in the legislature, where Democrats in this last selection got 300,000 more votes in the state than Republicans did. But by the magic of Republican gerrymandering, Democrats earning 300,000 more votes earned them eight fewer seats in the legislature than the Republicans got.
But in that same election, when Michigan was busy voting for Democrats but getting Republicans anyway, Michiganders voted to repeal the radical emergency manager law. But because the Republicans still held majorities in the legislature, five weeks after the election, the Republicans passed a replacement bill to the one that just got repealed by the voters. Only this time, they passed it in a way that could not be repealed the way the old law was.
And now 13 weeks after that, Republicans in Michigan are going for it. They`re going for the big one.
Today at 2:00 p.m., Republican Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan announced that he would use the takeover law, the one that got repealed and they reinstated — yes, he would use that to overrule the voting rights of the population of the largest city in Michigan. With this takeover and considering all the other things they`ve taken over under this law, this will put roughly half the black population of Michigan under the direct control of Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan.
If you are an African-American and you live in Michigan, the chances are one in two that you are allowed to vote for your own local officials. Half of you get to do that and the other half, Rick Snyder gets to decide for you and overrules your vote.
The choice in Michigan is supposed to be dictatorship over
dysfunction, right? You`re supposed to believe that if you give up democracy — well, democracy`s nice, but you can`t fix problems with democracy. So if you give up democracy, then you can fix what democracy can`t fix.
But with the exception of the one town that is marked on this graphic with a gold star, all of these places have been in and out of financial trouble for years now. They have been in and out of emergency management under different versions of the law. Weaker law, stronger law, it has not mattered. Only that one very small town with the star on it is the only one to ever emerge in good shape from losing its democracy. And then stay in good shape thereafter.
Giving up voting rights as a way of saving cities, it turns out does not save the cities.
And so, yes, Detroit has a problem, nobody says that Detroit doesn`t have a problem. But this emergency overseer thing that the Republicans are doing in Michigan, it does not seem to be that solution to that problem. It is a radical policy, which the Republicans say is justified by cities and towns and school districts being in dire financial straits.
The problem is that this radical policy does not seem to fix the problem of these places being in dire financial straits. If it doesn`t fix the problem, then why are they doing it?
In Detroit, the opposition to being taken over – the opposition to giving up their democratic form of government right now looks like this. Looks like people driving really deliberately slowly down the freeway at rush hour. Just a few cars poking along, one with a sign that reads democracy and another that reads Detroit emergency manager. They`re undoubtedly infuriating many of the people they`re inconveniencing by this traffic jam that is on purpose.
Police have written several of the protesters tickets for driving so slowly, the organizers say they know what they are doing is a pain, but they are doing what they can with what they have. They are doing a moderately wrong thing for what they say are the right reasons.
It is old-fashioned civil disobedience by car.
One person behind that slow motion dissent will be joining us next.
MADDOW: You are looking at footage from Detroit, Michigan. This is not slowed down to look unnaturally slow looking. Activists in Detroit for the fifth time are taking to the freeways as of yesterday to drive super slowly during rush hour to protest the impending takeover of Michigan`s largest city.
Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder made it official today on his order Detroit will be giving up the ability to elect their local officials in favor of a state appointed overseer who can just do with the city whatever he wants.
Joining us now is one of the activists behind the freeway protests in Detroit this week pastor David Bullock. He`s the national spokesperson of the Change Agent Consortium. He`s the president of the Detroit chapter of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and of the Highland Park Chapter of the NAACP.
Pastor Bullock, thank you very much for your time tonight.
REV. DAVID BULLOCK, CHANGE AGENT CONSORTIUM SPOKESPERSON: Thank you.
MADDOW: Do you intend to keep going with these protests, this type of protest specifically now or other kinds of protests now that an emergency manager officially is taking over Detroit?
BULLOCK: Indeed. We intend to escalate our protests.
Rosa Parks sat down in the wrong seat on the right bus and disobeyed a law because it violated her human dignity. We are on freeways, on the right freeway going the wrong speed, because the law emergency management violates our dignity. And our only recourse at this point is protests, it`s rallies, it`s civil disobedience.
But we will not turn around and go back in the corner. We`re going to fight for our rights.
MADDOW: One of the hallmarks of civil disobedience is that it is often disruptive to the lives of people who are not participating in the protest. You get in people`s way of interrupting what is essentially day to day normalcy to point out and dramatize what you are protesting against.
That said, are you worried that you`re just making Detroit mad at you? Do you know if you are persuading people rather than alienating them with this type of protest?
BULLOCK: Indeed, it may be inconvenient for some. We`ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, though. People who say we`re with you. We were stuck in traffic today, but we understand that this kind of protest, this civil disobedience is needed to bring awareness to the effect of emergency management on disenfranchising democracy.
Think about the inconvenience of having your vote taken from you — the inconvenience of having democracy destroyed, the inconvenience of knowing that when you go to the ballot box in august or November, that really your vote has no value. I think that inconvenience far outweighs the temporary inconvenience of being stuck in traffic for a few hours.
MADDOW: We have been covering the emergency management phenomenon in Michigan for a long time now. You and I have had several discussions about it. And the feedback I always get whenever we do a segment on this in the show is — oh, Maddow, you just don`t understand how serious the financial problems are here. If you understood how big the problem was, you wouldn`t be raising a stink about what it takes to get an emergency manager installed.
In thinking about that critique, we have been looking at the track record of emergency management, whether it`s actually effective at getting these towns and these school districts out of bad financial situations. It seems like Michigan keeps taking over local democracy on the promise that that will let them fix these towns. But the towns don`t get fixed by this process.
Why do you think that is?
BULLOCK: Emergency management does not work. Look, it hasn`t worked in Benton Harbor. It hasn`t worked in Flint. It hasn`t worked in Highland Park or Highland Park schools. It hasn`t worked in DPS.
The bottom line is, there is no connection between a financial turn around and dismantling democracy. There is no relationship between taking people`s right to vote, between disenfranchising their elected representatives and some kind of financial turn around.
The emergency manager doesn`t come in and bring tax revenue, doesn`t come in and bring fire and police. Doesn`t come in and stop violence.
The emergency manager does not come in and even target or hone in on the long-term systemic problems that have led to the financial crisis. This is not a solution that`s viable.
MADDOW: Pastor David Bullock, the national spokesperson of the Change Agent Consortium. Keep us apprised as this protest campaign continues. I think you`re poised for more national discussion of this, these issues in part because of the way you are disrupting daily life in your city right now in order to do that.
Pastor, thank you very much for your time tonight.
BULLOCK: Thank you so much.
MADDOW: All right. The annual conservative-o-rama known as CPAC started today in Washington. And what an o-rama it was on day one.
Stand by. That`s next.
“SOME MEN SEE THINGS
AS THEY ARE AND SAY WHY;
I DREAM THINGS THAT
NEVER WERE AND
SAY WHY NOT” –
ROBERT F. KENNEDY
It’s time for America, and Americans, to think outside the box, so to speak. The nation we live in today, and the federal government we put up with, was the creation of other people’s ideas, and we are living with the consequences of those ideas. If we want to change America for the better, we need people who are willing to try new ideas, which could change things for the better for all Americans. And we don’t need people saying we can’t do these things because “we’ve never done that before”. It’s this kind of shallow thinker who lives in a world created by others; people who lack new ideas and the courage to try them never change anything. What we need are people who have good, workable ideas that will help us to create a more just America. Justice for all is what we seek, and justice is the standard all such ideas should be measured by.
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” ~ JFK
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~ Steve Jobs
Here’s an idea….I think the People of America should own the natural resources of America, like oil and coal. This way all the money BIg Oil and Big Coal makes could belong to us instead. Then we could use this money for whatever we want, like health care for everyone, or education, or both. The Big Oil and Big Coal companies have proven themselves to be greedy heartless criminals who are exploiting our national resources for their profit, so I think we need to co-opt this wealth and use it for the common good of all. I think in our current situation, although it seems somewhat socialist, we really need to do this. It would only be natural resources like oil and coal, so it’s not like I am advocating Socialism per se, or Communism, which I most certainly am not doing. I think this is a good, common sense idea whose time has finally come.
“Should We Nationalize Natural Resources?” See: http://brienamb.newsvine.com/_news/2011/05/06/6600151-should-we-nationalize-natural-resources
“Nationalize Our Natural Resources” See: http://www.theyoungturks.com/story/2011/8/25/105151/109/Diary/Nationalize-our-natural-resources
“What are we to say about the socialization of productive goods? The socialization, or nationalization, of the means of production and of exchange (lands, factories, commerce) may either be total or partial. When socialization actually contributes to the common (public) good it does not contravene the principle of Christian ethics on the subject of property. This should be our compass in this matter also. One may consent to such socializing of property only in those cases in which it seems really required by the common good, that is to say, as the only truly effective means of remedying an abuse or of preventing a waste of productive forces and direct them for the good of the economic welfare of the community so that the national economy in its normal and peaceful development may open the way to the material prosperity of all the people, a prosperity such as will at the same time likewise afford a solid foundation for religious and cultural life.” The Social Teachings of the Catholic Church (The Right of Property). See: http://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/the-social-principles-of-the-catholic-church/
Here another idea, which could “kill two birds with one stone”: Federalize all US and Interstate highways, because they are inter-state, as opposed to inner-state roads, and were built by order of the federal government. This would 1) remove the federal highway monies the federal government now uses to extort the states into doing their will concerning things unrelated to highways; and 2) this would immediately require hiring thousands of new federal highway workers to begin repairing the roads, and would allow the states to be relieved of the burden of repairing the US and Interstate highways, which are the roadways most traveled and torn up by heavy truck traffic, and free them up to maintain only state highways, as they should.
“Federal Highway Funding Unconstitutional” See: http://politicalpistachio.blogspot.com/2011/06/federal-highway-funding.html
“Highways: The New Unfunded Mandate” See: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/terrihall/2011/10/highways-the-new-un-funded-mandate/
We should also have the federal government take over driver licensing from the states, because people drive inter-state and not inner-state only, and because the state driver licensing programs are a proven – deadly – failure: nearly 40,000 people die, needlessly, on our nation’s highways every single year. We cannot continue to allow the states to hand people driver’s licenses without people knowing how to drive. Driving a vehicle around the block and parallel parking is not driving, and a driver’s license is not a learner’s permit. The federal government licenses pilots, and it should also be responsible for granting licenses to drivers. All amateur vehicle drivers should be subjected to the same safety rules and regulations that professional truck drivers are now subjected to.
Closing the economic door to China—until it changes its evil ways—would not only be the right thing to do, morally speaking, it would also be an important impetus to rebuilding our manufacturing base. For example, many of the cheap goods we currently get from China could easily be made in areas of the U. S. that have been in dire economic straits for many years, and this would boost our economy rather than the Chinese economy.
A well known Democrat, Robert F. Kennedy, in his 1967 book To Seek a Newer World, said the federal government should support the development of light manufacturing in the ghettos of all large U. S. cities as one remedy for ending the cycle of poverty in America’s inner-cities. This idea, which I think an excellent idea, was apparently murdered along with Bobby Kennedy. No Democrat has mentioned it since. Nor have any Republicans. And they certainly haven’t come up with any better ideas, nor, for that matter, have they come up with any ideas. We should cut off all trade with China and begin making things here by creating light manufacturing in both urban and rural areas of the nation that are economically depressed.
Our politicians in Washington, today, show absolutely no compassion for those in need. They don’t care about the problems of the inner-cities, nor do they care about the problems faced in rural America; and they certainly don’t care about the summary executions of political prisoners in China – all they care about their own money and their own political power.
TABACCO: To read the entirety of this Posting with its innovative ideas, go to the URL:
TABACCO: I have left out some of the Republican Party’s DIRTY TRICKS to WIN ELECTIONS by DISQUALIFYING QUALIFIED VOTERS for editing purposes.
Letters are sent to the USA homes of BLACK Military Soldiers, serving abroad. “DO NOT FORWARD” is printed on the envelopes along with “RETURN TO THE STATE GOP IF NOT LIVING AT THIS ADDRESS”. When those unopened letters are returned to the State GOP, those Soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. are removed from the Voting Rolls as “Not living at their home address”. Dirty Tricks? You bet it is!
The purpose is to DISQUALIFY as many Black Voters as possible to suppress the Democratic Vote and WIN ELECTIONS for the REPUBLICAN PARTY!
Not All Republicans are Bigots! Not All Republicans are Racists! Not all Republicans are anti-Blacks! However, the most effective way of suppressing Democratic Vote Totals is by disenfranchising BLACK VOTERS! It’s not about Racism; it’s about WINNING AT ALL COSTS!
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People