Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Fair Elections

Video Clip

John Oliver tackles voting in the United States on “Last Week Tonight”

Recommended Link

Redmond’s Villeneuve, Eyman file dueling statewide initiatives

Reporter Newspapers reports on the filing of the Majority Vote Protection Act by NPI founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve. The Majority Vote Protection Act would set a minimum turnout threshold for passage of initiatives and referenda, and require that any initiative to impose a supermajority vote requirement for anything pass by the same supermajority threshold.

 

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Ten ways to make Seattle (and Washington) politics more inclusive in 2016

Laura Bernstein of The Seattle Globalist recaps the highlights of Young, Gifted and Brown, a panel created to provide analysis of the 2015 Seattle elections. Bernstein reports the panel “brought together some of the best and brightest in local politics Tuesday night for a discussion on how to move forward to 2016 and keep elevating the diverse voices that are far too often left out of political conversations in Washington State.”

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NYT has mostly ignored its own public editor’s call to stress lack of voter fraud in stories about voter ID schemes

Media Matters holds The New York Times’ newsroom accountable for not challenging fake right wing justifications for unnecessary voter ID laws meant to disenfranchise Democratic voters.

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Thanks to the Supreme Court, many Texans can’t vote in this election because they don’t have ID

Writing for Daily Kos, Meteor Blades explains that many progressive Texas voters are being disenfranchised due to the Lone Star State’s punitive “voter ID” law.

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Mitch McConnell’s sick new low: New mailers expose his suppression tactics

Luke Brinker reports that McConnell’s campaign is sending mail pieces to Kentucky voters (presumably, Democratic voters) that they could be voting based on “fraudulent information”.

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New ruling allows candidates to campaign anonymously

Satirizing the Supreme Court’s rulings in Corporations United and McCutcheon, as well as toothless enforcement by the Federal Elections Commission, The Onion has filed a report joking that the FEC is now allowing candidates running for public office to remain completely anonymous for the duration of the campaign.

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Unanimous Arkansas Supreme Court rules voter ID unconstitutional

Progressives in Arkansas scored a big victory yesterday when the Supreme Court of Arkansas unanimously struck down a Republican voter suppression scheme for violating the state’s constitution. The decision means that the people of Arkansas won’t be prevented from voting for lack of photo identification.

Quotation

Elected officials shouldn’t get to choose who gets to choose elected officials. Look: People marched and fought and died for the right to vote. And they want to legislate away that sacrifice to stay in power? Not on my watch, baby!

— Comedian Lewis Black, raging against Republican schemes to suppress the vote in a video for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Quotation

They’re not fake Web sites… These are real attack Web sites.

— A National Republican Congressional Committee operative, laughably trying to claim there is nothing wrong with a number of websites the NRCC has designed to look like legitimate online local news sources. The websites are being used as vehicles to attack Democratic candidates. The websites may be real attack sites, but they’re also masquerading as fake news sources. Nice try, NRCC. That dog won’t hunt.

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Norway ends experiment with Internet voting after disappointing results

Norweigan officials have decided to pull the plug on an experimental Internet voting system amid security/privacy concerns and the determination that there was “no evidence” that it had boosted participation. Many tech-savvy organizations and software developers, including NPI, believe voting should be done on paper.

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Left and right agree: Supreme Court too political

Americans of all political stripes are fed up with the Roberts Court, a new survey conducted by Democracy Corps has found. A large majority believes the Court’s decisions are being driven more by personal beliefs and ideology than true legal analysis, with nearly two-thirds of respondents rating the Court’s performance as
“fair” or “poor”. Particularly unpopular are the Court’s Corporations United and McCutcheon rulings allowing huge sums to be spent to influence elections.

Quotation

Corruption breaks the constitution­ally necessary “chain of communication” between the people and their representatives. It derails the essential speech-to-government-action tie. Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard. Inso­far as corruption cuts the link between political thought and political action, a free marketplace of political ideas loses its point. That is one reason why the Court has stressed the constitutional importance of Congress’ con­cern that a few large donation snot drown out the voices of the many.

— Excerpt from the dissent in McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission, authored by Justice Breyer and signed by Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg.

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Senator Bernie Sanders on the McCutcheon decision

Senator Bernie Sanders: “The Supreme Court is paving the way toward an oligarchic form of society in which a handful of billionaires like the Kock brothers and Sheldon Adelson will control our political process.” (Graphic courtesy of Senator Sanders’ office).

Quotation

Taken together with Citizens United, today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.

— Excerpt from the dissent in McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission, authored by Justice Breyer and signed by Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg.

Recommended Link

Republicans going all out to limit voting in swing states

The New York Times documents the Republican Party’s effort to make it more difficult for Democratic voters to get to the polls and vote in state after state, from Ohio to North Carolina.

Aside

Addicted to Koch: A limerick for the occasion

Today’s right-wing Republican Party is addicted to Koch
Those brothers want us to think our government’s broke
They’re spending big to spread lots of FUD
They’ve got paid actors slinging their mud
The truth? Money in politics makes democracy a joke