Monday, July 8, 2013
John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas
and Anthony Kennedy are
doing all they can with their
votes on the Citizens United
case which allows billionaires and corporations
to spend as much as they want, with no limits,
on political campaigns
without anybody knowing who is donating.
These same 5 dudes
masquerading as "Justices" unjustly
gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965
by striking out Section 4
which allowed for fair elections
in those states with a record
and voter suppression.
In recent years, particularly since the onset of the absurd Tea Party movement and the subsequent radicalization of the Republican party, states have been doing their utmost to limit people's access to the polls on voting days. States with Republican Governors and legislatures have passed laws requiring Photo ID cards at the polls, rendered early voting difficult if not impossible, cut the number of hours available to vote and in recent elections, especially 2012 lines at the polls due to restrictions were enormous.
Florida election day lines in the fiasco of 2012
in the land of Disney and 'hanging chads.'
A very few states, like my home state of CT have been doing their utmost to expand voting and render elections much easier for the populace to participate in as the most basic democratic right. In response to the decision of the Court on the Voting Rights Act, our Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill reacted more eloquently than I can:
Democrats-Governor Dannel Malloy on the left
and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill
on the right have passed much
legislation including a pending
constitutional amendment which
will enable CT voters to
vote MUCH more easily
and before election day.
Besides the voting expansion legislation,
Governor Malloy has had to deal
with a Republican deficit and did so in
a responsible manner, he carried out his
leadership role as CT consoler-in-chief following
the Newtown massacre; he passed
strong gun control measures
garnering bipartisan support
with his intervention in a
stalled legislature; he led the state admirably
through the crisis our
residents have and continue to suffer
from super storm Sandy; AND he
signed legislation ending
state murder with revenge as the motive--
euphemistically called "Capital Punishment."
We need to reelect Dan and Denise,
setting a genuine example for the nation.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is worse than wrong; it is an injustice to the millions of voters in this country that face potential disenfranchisement at the ballot box due to discriminatory election laws that are still passed in many states throughout this country even today.
This ruling is dismantles a centerpiece of the civil rights movement that thousands of brave Americans fought to enact. This decision is an affront to the memories of those like the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. and many others who sacrificed everything to allow disenfranchised Americans the simple right to vote.
For decades, section five of the federal Voting Rights Act stood as a critical check and balance against states and local jurisdictions that time after time passed laws in reality designed to exclude certain portions of the electorate – mostly poor, the elderly, young, and minority voters – from casting ballots. Recently, this federal review of local election law changes has successfully struck down misguided attempts to rig the electoral playing field in the name of preventing so-called “voter fraud” that there is barely any evidence to suggest is a real issue. This ruling suggests to me is that basic principles of non-discrimination and universal voting rights are now under siege by those who really don’t want every eligible American to vote.
I am grateful that here in Connecticut we are moving in the opposite direction under the leadership of Governor Dannel P. Malloy – enacting Election Day voter registration, enabling voters to register online, and next year allowing voters to change our constitution to allow early voting. Instead of restricting our citizens’ right to vote, we are expanding access to the ballot box and we must stand united with our allies in other states who will fight to prevent discriminatory election laws where they are passed.
Congress should act immediately to rewrite section four of the Voting Rights Act, which was struck down today, so that the Justice Department can continue its nearly 50 years of vigilance in protecting the right to vote for all Americans.”
In response to Secretary Merrill's statement and her work on behalf of CT voters, so totally unlike that in states seeking to win elections by choosing their voters rather than having the voters choose their office holders I wrote to her the following:
"Thank YOU Secretary Merrill!
Between this decision and the earlier Citizens United decision, the federal Supreme Court is transforming our election system in horrendous ways. Your work here in CT has been awesome and while Governor Malloy has been instrumental in making legislative and Constitutional advances enabling more people to vote with fewer obstacles, it has been your hard work and leadership which is setting a pattern other states and the nation should be emulating.
I join with you in calling upon Congress to rewrite Section 4 ASAP. I am certain that Senate Majority Leader Reid will be able to accomplish this in the Senate, and I certainly believe it is incumbent upon Speaker Boehner to take a firm position in favor of this rewrite, and to assure a floor vote in the House.
I will publish a piece shortly detailing the accomplishments here in our state and contrast them with the US Supreme Court's actions, and the actions in other states in recent years to actually suppress voter turnout.
I appreciate all this work that you've done, and hope to speak with you again soon.
All the best,
Some of the states considering or having passed
voting restrictions in recent times.
There is no doubt that those
most impacted by
these restrictions are
the poor and members
of ethnic minorities.
Secretary Merrill responded to my email as follows:
"Thank you Steve, for your vote of confidence. It is important that we all call on congress to change the formula, especially because here in Connecticut the constitutional amendment to allow early voting and no-fault absentee balloting will be on the ballot in 2014. It is important to get that passed, and the more discussion about why it is important the better!
Thanks for anything you can do to illuminate this issue."
The last few elections have proven that this nation has shifted politically to the left. The election of the first black president-not once, but twice-and the success of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary are evidence of that. The anti-war sentiment, the overwhelming public support of gun control measures and the sudden success of marriage equality are all evidence that the American electorate is now considerably left of center and far more inclined to vote Democratic than Republican nationwide.
Despite all their efforts to suppress the vote and the hundreds of millions of dollars that flowed on the Republican side without accountability due to the Citizens United decision, the voting public is now so Democratic that President Obama won again handily in 2012. In order to ensure that the shift in the electorate's political position will not result in Democratic successes at the polls, the reactionary and radical Republican party of forced ultrasounds and 'Bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran' is resorting to manipulating the rules in order to steal elections (of course their first theft was in the 2000 race). The only reason the US House is in Republican hands despite more votes in-total for Democrats, is their gerrymandering because of their control of more state houses following the 2010 census.
If they succeed in suppressing the vote, they know that when the 2020 census rolls around they can carve districts up in their favor even more so than is the case now. They believe that they have every incentive to cheat in any way they can, and the belligerent Supreme Court Five are the key to their efforts at the federal level.
Too many people sacrificed too much to allow this voter suppression to continue. We MUST elect another Democrat in 2016 to the Presidency so we can finally tip the scales on the U.S. Supreme Court. Peace...