October 2, 2008
THE REAL race issue in this campaign is not Barack Obama's ethnic heritage. The real issue of race - and class and age - is whether a bunch of anti-democracy (and often anti-Democratic) tactics targeting minorities, students, new voters and the poor will work as well they have in the past. Maybe Michigan Republicans never intended to challenge the residency of voters whose homes had been foreclosed. They hotly denied a news report on the alleged "lose your home, lose your vote" plan that led Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee to file suit in federal court.
May 26, 2012 |
Faye Anderson has advocated relentlessly for voters' rights for over 20 years. She's a founding member of Election Protection, the nation's largest nonpartisan voter-protection group, and a member of the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition. In 2001, PBS aired Counting on Democracy , a documentary Anderson co-produced that examined Florida's voting fiasco during the 2000 presidential election. And now, outraged by the possibility of another stolen election with controversial Voter ID laws like Pennsylvania's spreading like wildfire, she is trying to ratchet up her activism in a big way. Anderson is developing a web-based Cost of Freedom app, a one-stop site for voter ID information in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
October 9, 2007 |
During a recent Bruce Springsteen mini-concert on NBC's Today, he introduced a new song, "Livin' in the Future," and talked about what's great in America. He cited cheeseburgers, the Jersey Shore, the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. Then he turned to a darker list: "illegal wiretapping, voter suppression, no habeas corpus. " I take exception. What exactly does he mean by illegal wiretapping? After 9/11, in an effort to uncover terrorist cells living in the United States and to thwart further murderous attacks on Americans, President Bush signed the Patriot Act, which was ratified by Congress, thus making it the official law of the land.
August 15, 2012 |
The head of the Pennsylvania GOP cheered a new national poll showing that 74 percent of Americans support the requirement that voters show photo identification before casting their ballots. "There is strong support - across voters in both parties - for this type of legislation, and there is national concern for voter fraud, despite protests from Democrats that it either doesn't exist or occurs too infrequently to matter," said Rob Gleason, chairman of the state Republican Party. "Clearly, it matters to voters whether Democrats want to admit it or not," Gleason said.
February 28, 2013
THE U.S. Supreme Court appears ready to tamper with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The justices will hold oral arguments Wednesday on a case brought by Shelby County, Ala., to overturn Section 5 of the law, which requires the U.S. Justice Department to approve any changes in voting laws and regulations proposed by state and local governments in nine states. Most of the states are in the South. Section 5 has withstood legal challenges before, but court watchers predict that this Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, is inclined to jettison this section of the law as undue federal intrusion into states' rights.
October 30, 2010 |
TWO LESSONS from the race for governor: State Attorney General Tom Corbett, the front-running Republican, is gaffe-prone. And Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, his Democratic challenger, pounces each time Corbett blunders aloud. Corbett, addressing Delaware County Republicans on Thursday, noted Democratic efforts to pump up voter turnout in Philadelphia for Tuesday's general election. Gov. Rendell has said he wants at least 50 percent of the city's Democrats to vote. "We want to make sure that they don't get 50 percent," Corbett said.
June 27, 2013
IT'S IRONIC that on the day that former President Bill Clinton took the stage at the National Constitution Center during a conference on federalism, the Supreme Court released its decision to gut part of the Voting Rights Act. The plaintiff in the case was Shelby County, Ala., one of the places on a no-fly list for making any changes to their election laws without getting prior approval from the federal government. That restriction came about as a result of the Voting Rights Act in 1965; Alabama and six other states were guilty of such blatant discrimination that such monitoring was mandated.
March 7, 2013 |
If you want to stare into the ugly face of racial resentment, take a look at Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. His stunningly injudicious remarks about a key portion of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) laid bare the bitterness that so many conservatives harbor toward black progress. During recent oral arguments about a challenge to the law, Scalia dismissed a critical part as a "perpetuation of racial entitlement. " Given that the VRA was passed to ensure that black Americans had the right to vote - after white segregationists showed they were willing to beat, jail, and kill activists to block the black ballot - it was a chilling remark.
April 16, 2012 |
THE BIGGEST thing at stake in the April 24 primary is no single race or candidate, but the right of Pennsylvania citizens to vote at all. Last month, state lawmakers passed one of the country's toughest voter-ID laws, which Gov. Corbett signed. It will require voters to show state-issued identification. The primary election will be the "dress rehearsal" for this new law, which takes effect with the November election. Potential voters who show up in April without a photo ID will be allowed to vote, but citizens are being encouraged to bring ID. From what we understand about the hoops that many people have to jump through in order to get the right documentation, we wonder if November is too soon for compliance.
November 14, 2012 |
Barely a week has passed since Election Day, and I've already read enough analyses of Mitt Romney's defeat to fill a couch full of binders. But it doesn't require a crystal ball-gazer to understand why and how the GOP failed to connect with a rainbow coalition of blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians - not to mention women and young voters - that swept President Obama to victory. Heck, the fact that 59 Philadelphia voting divisions - overwhelmingly populated by an African American electorate whose national support for President Obama was 93 percent - did not cast a single vote for Romney ought to tell you something.