Archive for the ‘Election’ Category
Elias Isquith writes in Salon:
In a fittingly tawdry and absurd turn to a campaign and post-campaign that’s been defined by nothing so much as its silliness, the man who previously made the bombshell accusation that Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s campaign offered him $15 for every vote he could provide from the African-American community now says he was lying — and that he was paid $2,000 by a spokesperson for Cochran’s opponent to do so. . .
Truly, the GOP is at work trying to destroy American democracy. Any tactic is accepted. The goal—the only goal—is to win. No interest in governance whatsoever, but very interested in feathering their nests and building a foundation for a good lobbying job.
In fact, some state GOP officials have openly admitted that their initiatives to combat “voter fraud” are really aimed at keeping from the polls as many Democratically inclined voters as they can, because the GOP’s idea of democracy does not include having other points of view represented. Kevin Drum has the (brief) story and facts.
Good rundown in this McClatchy story by Rob Hotakainen. From the story:
In Maryland, Republican Rep. Andy Harris is getting a taste of things to come.
Last month, Americans for Safe Access ran an ad against Harris after he gave a speech opposing medical marijuana and voted against the bill to strip funding from the Justice Department.
He’s also upset officials in Washington, D.C., by trying to block the city from decriminalizing marijuana. In March, the D.C. Council voted to make possession of a small amount a misdemeanor with a $25 fine, but Congress must approve the law. Harris got the House Appropriations Committee to back an amendment to kill the plan.
“Congress has the authority to stop irresponsible actions by local officials, and I am glad we did for the health and safety of children throughout the District,” Harris said in a statement.
Last week, Democratic D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray urged residents of the nation’s capital to stay away from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a vacation spot in Harris’ district.
And Eidinger said pot activists were ready to campaign heavily in Harris’ district before the Nov. 4 general election.
“This is serious business,” Eidinger said. “If he’s successful, we’ll have nothing to do but go campaign and fight to get him out of office to make an example of him. That’s all we’ll do.”
The story includes some examples of ads. This one’s similar to those in the article:
7 papers, 4 government inquiries, 2 news investigations and 1 court ruling proving voter fraud is mostly garbage journalism
Christopher Ingraham reports in the Washington Posti:
Voter ID laws are back in the news this week after a group of college students joined a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s new restrictive rules. And as Catherine Rampell pointed out earlier this week, it’s not just ID laws – Republican state legislatures have been busy devising all manner of creative ways to make voting more difficult for traditionally Democratic-leaning groups.
All of these restrictive measures take their justification from a perceived need to prevent “voter fraud.” But there is overwhelming scholarly and legal consensus that voter fraud is vanishingly rare, and in fact non-existent at the levels imagined by voter ID proponents. That hasn’t stopped many Republican lawmakers from crying “fraud” every time they’re faced with an unfavorable election outcome (see also: McDaniel, Chris).
For reference, a round-up of the latest research is below. Let me know in the comments if I missed anything. . .
And, of course, a Republican official in Florida, I believe it was, said quite openly that the purpose of the laws was to reduce Democratic turnout in elections. Pure and simple. That’s the goal, and if you look at the measures passed, that is exactly the (intended) effect.
Brian Fung reports in the Washington Post:
Last week, with just a couple of days until a hard July 4 deadline, Mayday PAC still had to raise a whopping $2.5 million. It was an ambitious target. When I spoke to Harvard law scholar Lawrence Lessig about his chances then, he seemed grimly optimistic in the way a battlefield commander might be about taking a particularly well-defended hill: They’d get there.
Turns out, the super PAC that’s trying to end the influence of money in politics had reinforcements in waiting. It broke past its $5 million goal over the holiday weekend with about $300,000 to spare. With more than 50,000 contributors, the average donation works out to about $140. No matter what side you’re on when it comes to campaign finance, this was a triumph of grassroots organizing, with small donations leading the way. . .
Full disclosure: I contributed, and more than the mean.
From later in the article:
With the $5 million comes a $5 million match from high-profile investors. Together with another $2 million raised earlier this year, Mayday PAC will have more than $12 million in its pocket to get campaign finance reformers elected to Congress.
“The pundits say ‘America doesn’t care about this issue,'” wrote Lessig in a note to supporters. “This is America caring.”
As I wrote last week, this is where Mayday PAC’s real work begins. It needs to figure out how to spend that money effectively. It needs to pick the right races to make that money competitive.
Mayday PAC might need to be smarter and faster than the average super PAC, because depending on the contest, it may be drawing people’s attention to campaign money for the first time. Unlike other issues that have already been politicized — taxes, or health care, say — Mayday’s task is two-fold. First it has to convince people that campaign finance is an issue worth voting on at all. Then it has to persuade people to vote its way. If Mayday’s selected a race in which neither candidate has taken a firm position on campaign finance reform, getting it onto people’s radar will be that much harder. This is where the heat map above may prove useful as a way to identify likely races — and an active base of existing supporters and potential volunteers.
Install the app, hover your mouse over the name of any member of Congress—the example used is John Boehner—and you see:
Very cool. AND it obviates the need for members of Congress to wear sponsor patches on their suits, as race-car drivers do. Win-win, eh? The Washington Post story is here. The app itself is here. (It’s free.) The guy who wrote the app is 16. Years. Old.
Here’s the explanation: