In my last post, I listed some of the advantages the GOP seems to have. I stand by that. We progressives need to know what we are up against.
We hope that in 2012, there is a larger turn-out and that young people will come to the rescue of progressivism and our very capable president, Barack Obama.
Republicans must be worrying that this could happen. They have been busy doing what they can to hold down turn-out and suppress voter registration.
By May, 2011, eight states had voter I.D. Laws, and thirty others were considering them. Universally, the Republicans who sponsored them said the laws were intended to stem an avalanche of voter fraud. Thiw was the justification offered by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, whose state had one case of voter fraud in the last six years. It is estimated that the Kansas law will disenfranchise 620, 000 voters. It was crafted to strip college students of the vote. In addition to a photo ID, students were required to have their birth certificates. The Texas law rejects university Ids, but permits anyone to vote who has a handgun licenses.
21,000,000 people across the country lack photo Ids. That includes 25% of otherwise eligible blacks, 18% of the young, and 15% of the poor.
In Florida, the legislature has limited early voting perhaps because the early voting ther has had a strong Democratic tilt. The effort to suppress voter registration also targeted those trying to register as members of third parties. Groups registering those people would be required to present the thired party forms to the state in 48 hours. Such legislation would also cramp the style of groups trying to register voters across the board because they would have to sort out those forms and process them immediately.
All these vote suppression measures were encouraged by the Helping Americans Vote Act of 2002. For a time it actually subsidized efforts to suppress the vote. Look for the GOP to find some way to resume these subsidies.
Its disgusting when one of our two parties is so opposed to democracy!
Amaerican Legislative Exchange Council ( ALEC), a right-non profit is behind the renewed efforts to pass this voter suppression legislation. It has developed a model bill and has worked hard to get state legislatures to pass it.
In addition, it has model legislation being considered in 14 legislatures that would make it difficult for the federal EPA to operate in those states.
It also offers model legislation on guns, tort reform and immigration. Russell Pearce, president of the Arizona state senate, is tied to its immigration positions. In 2007, the Anti-Defamation League documented the Neo Nazi affiliation of this white supremacist. A private prison operating form has worked with him on his anti-immigrant legislation. One wonders what that firm stands to gain.
ALEC ws founded in 1973 byvPaul Weyrich and others. Former Congressman Roy Lukens was an early leader. He was convicted in 1990 of paying a 16 year old girl for sex and he later went to prison for taking a bribe. Another early leader was Woody Jenkins of Louisiana, who got into trouble over innacurate Federal Election Commission disclosure forms. He tried to conceal purchasing a mailing list from Klan leader DAvid Duke.
Section 501(c)(3) says that a condition for being tax exempt is that an organization cannot be an action organization and "it may not attempt to influence legislation...."
ALEC collects membership fees from individuals and also receives money from ExonMobil, Koch Industries, AT&T, Wall Mart Stores, and other corporate interests.
The money ALEC spends on vote suppression legislation could have a much greater impact than the tens of millions rights elements will spend on advertizing in the 2012 election.