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Leading Off:

VRA: Though the Supreme Court's rulings on same-sex marriage Wednesday understandably took center stage, their decision on the Voting Rights Act a day earlier remains no less important. So we've rounded up some of the most interesting responses to the Shelby County case from various pundits and observers, oriented more toward the practicalities of what comes next, rather than mere denunciations—of which there were plenty, though Ari Berman's was a particularly good one, in terms of locating Tuesday's decision in historical context.

Dave Wasserman predicts that we won't see much re-redistricting in the wake of the decision, because the GOP already has the maps it wants in most of these states. That's partly because minority-majority districts help them with maximally packing Dem voters, and partly because the Obama DOJ didn't aggressively challenge GOP maps other than Texas. In addition, Section 2 (which allows lawsuits after the fact, in cases of intentional discrimination) still stands as a guard against the worst abuses.

Of course, that presumes SCOTUS doesn't come after Section 2 in subsequent cases. That's what worries election law professor Rick Hasen, who thinks that a time bomb left in the earlier NAMUDNO case might be a prelude to a direct attack on Section 2. (Hasen also has a more general what-next piece in the New York Times that's worth reading.)

Nate Silver seems to join Wasserman in thinking that we won't see further redistricting hijinks, but less from a legalistic perspective and focusing more on the way that, redistricting or not, Democratic votes tend to be packed less efficiently into urban areas. That's not a new idea for the Daily Kos Elections readership, but, as always, his remarkably illuminating infographics alone make it worth checking out.

Texas redistricting expert Michael Li weighs in on what it all means for the Lone Star State, probably the most intensely affected jurisdiction. That's not only in terms of Texas's restrictive voter ID law (which now takes effect) but also in relation to the state's newly implemented congressional and legislative maps, which won't face preclearance now but will still face Section 2 challenges in court.

Reid Wilson has an interesting take on how the decision may affect maps in state legislatures more so than the House, if the GOP takes a hatchet to districts that aren't protected as majority-minority seats but nevertheless rely on significant non-white populations to elect Democrats.

And finally, there are good looks forward from George Zornick and Dylan Matthews. Zornick discusses the possibility of Congress replacing Section 4 (the part of the VRA that was actually struck down) with a broader formula that isn't limited to the South (useful, considering that some of the most blatantly suppressive activities in 2012 were in Ohio and Pennsylvania), possibly even applying preclearance everywhere. Matthews also talks about ramping up litigation under Section 2 but also, relatedly, making more use of little-known Section 3, which allows courts to "bail-in" jurisdictions into preclearance coverage after there's been a finding of discriminatory acts. (David Jarman)


MA-Sen, MA-05: As expected, Democratic Rep. Ed Markey prevailed in Tuesday night's special Senate election in Massachusetts, turning back Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez by a 55-45 margin in a race notable for its low turnout. While a couple of pollsters incorrectly predicted 20-point blowouts, most surveys congregated in the high single-digits/low double-digits region, which turned out to be fairly accurate turf.

So how does Markey's 10-point win look compared to, say, Martha Coakley's 5-point loss? We can take a look. The first two maps below show the 2010 special general election and Tuesday night's, while the third shows the swing between the two elections (with darker shades of blue or red indicating a greater swing towards Markey or Gomez, respectively). Markey outperformed Martha Coakley almost across the board, with the exception of a handful of towns in Western Massachusetts (and Gomez's hometown of Cohasset on the South Shore):

(click for larger)
Indeed, the dark red covering much of the state that punctuated Scott Brown's victory is largely reduced to two strands, one south and west of Worcester and the other west of Springfield (areas in which, perhaps not coincidentally, Markey's primary rival Rep. Steven Lynch performed well). Markey's swings were particularly noticeable in the towns immediately north of the city of Boston: Markey outpaced Coakley by 16 points in Everett and his hometown of Malden, and by 14 and 13 points in Lynn and Revere, respectively.

Looking ahead, Markey's ascension to the Senate will also trigger a competitive special election for his House seat in the 5th District, to be held within 145 to 160 days of his resignation. That likely means a late-summer primary followed by a November general. And at 65-33 Obama, the 5th is safely Democratic, meaning the primary is where the real action will be.

Several candidates have been gearing up for the race (with different degrees of activity) for some time, including Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, state Sens. Katherine Clark, Karen Spilka, and Will Brownsberger, and state Rep. Carl Sciortino. Some issued formal announcements directly following Markey's victory, and more may join the race in the future. As always when it comes to special elections, we'll be tracking all developments here closely. (David Nir & jeffmd)

NJ-Sen: Kean University's new poll of the special Democratic Senate primary finds the same thing everyone else's has so far. Newark Mayor Cory Booker has a commanding lead over the field, taking 49 percent, versus 9 apiece for Rep. Rush Holt and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, while Rep. Frank Pallone brings up the rear with 6. If something's gonna change the dynamics of this race, it better happen quick, since the primary is very soon, Aug. 13.


CT-Gov: State House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, who has been weighing a gubernatorial bid for some time, now says that he'll announce whether he'll enter the Republican primary Thursday or Friday.

ME-Gov: Someone with access to polling conducted by the Maine Democratic Party has leaked a new survey to Ethan Strimling at the Bangor Daily News, and unsurprisingly, the results look good for Rep. Mike Michaud, who recently announced the formation of an exploratory committee. The poll, conducted by Clarity Campaigns, finds Michaud tied at 32 percent with GOP Gov. Paul LePage, while independent attorney Eliot Cutler sits in third at 24. Other polls have shown Michaud close, but this is the first where he's not a few points behind the incumbent.

Strimling says he was able to review the crosstabs and notes that 40 percent of self-identified Democrats aren't yet supporting Michaud; most are going to Cutler (some are undecided), which I think actually presents an opportunity for Michaud if he can nuke Cutler from orbit. There are also a few other details on the poll, including sample composition, at the link. As for Clarity, we didn't see much of their polling last cycle, but their clients did release one late internal in Indiana that nailed both the Senate and governor's races.

MI-Gov: Conservatives unhappy with Gov. Rick Snyder had been trying (via Facebook) to lure former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop into challenging the incumbent in a primary, but it's not gonna happen. Bishop lost a race for Oakland County prosecutor last year, and he says he won't run because he's "in the private sector now and out of the loop."

MN-Gov: As expected, state Sen. Dave Thompson formally announced his entry into the Minnesota governor's race on Wednesday, making him the fourth Republican to do so. He joins businessman Scott Honour, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, and state Rep. Kurt Zellers, though several others are also considering the race, including state Rep. Matt Dean, Senate Minority Leader David Hann, state Sen. Julie Rosen, and former state House Minority Leader Marty Seifert. Polls have generally shown Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton in good shape for re-election.

VA-Gov: Oh man. Life is not good for Bob McDonnell:

A prominent political donor purchased a Rolex watch for Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, according to two people with knowledge of the gift, and the governor did not disclose it in his annual financial filings.

The $6,500 luxury watch was provided by wealthy businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the people said. He is the chief executive of dietary supplement manufacturer Star Scientific and the person who paid for catering at the wedding of the governor's daughter. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of an ongoing federal investigation into the relationship between Williams and the McDonnell family.

Williams's gift came in August 2011—about two weeks after he met with a top state health official to pitch the benefits of his company's health products at a meeting arranged by first lady Maureen McDonnell, according to people who know of the meeting.

I really suggest you read the whole piece, especially if you haven't been following the whole Star Scientific saga in detail. One of the most striking aspects is how McDonnell's wife, Maureen, comes off as an utter chiseler who seemed to relish squeezing lavish boons out of Williams (the Rolex, a shopping trip to New York, even borrowing a Ferrari)—and of course, how Williams never appeared to hesitate to ply her with his largesse. There's a federal investigation underway pertaining to all these gifts; even if McDonnell somehow skates as a legal matter, I don't see how this ends well for him politically.

WI-Gov: Wisconsin Democrats, who've been having a hard time coming up with a challenger to Gov. Scott Walker, have reportedly been polling to test Mary Burke, a former state Commerce Department secretary under ex-Gov. Jim Doyle, as a possible candidate. Burke sounds like she's from a wealthy family (her father founded Trek Bicycle and she's donated millions to charity), and she also spent six figures to win a race for the Madison school board last year, but she isn't commenting about a potential gubernatorial bid.

Other Races:

IN Ballot: Unfortunately, it wasn't all good news on the marriage equality front on Wednesday. Despite—or really, because of—the Supreme Court's rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8, Republicans in charge of the Indiana legislature said they intend to press forward with plans to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year that would ban same-sex marriage in the state. But doesn't Indiana already forbid such unions? Indeed it does, but only on the statutory level. Republicans want to stick it to same-sex couples even harder by enshrining their hostility toward gay marriage in the state constitution.

In fact, the legislature previously voted to refer such an amendment to the ballot two years ago; they have to do so a second time (likely in January) to complete the process. There hasn't been any polling on the issue since last year, and the picture was mixed, with one survey finding a slight plurality in favor of the amendment and another finding a sizable majority opposed. Given Indiana's general conservatism, I suspect the former is probably closer to the truth, which means pro-equality activists will have a serious fight on their hands to defeat this in 2014.

NYC Mayor: Christine Quinn's long ride downward continues. Quinnipiac's latest poll of the Democratic primary has more bad news for the city council speaker, who found herself in second place for the first time ever in a Marist survey earlier this week. Here's how the field shapes up, with May's trendlines in parentheses:

Christine Quinn: 19 (25)
Anthony Weiner: 17 (15)
Bill Thompson: 16 (10)
Bill de Blasio: 10 (10)
John Liu: 7 (6)
As Quinn fades (she once stood at 37 percent, back in February), Thompson, the former comptroller and 2009 nominee, moves up, though why is certainly a mystery. (The airwaves are largely quiet.) What's most remarkable, though, is just how damn close the race is overall—only 9 points separate first from fourth—and how low even the "frontrunner's" share of the vote is. It's been a weird, desultory race, filled with mostly lousy candidates who don't excite anyone, and if you believe Quinnipiac, it now looks like both runoff slots, not just second place, are very much up for grabs.

Special Elections: In some good news for Democrats on Tuesday night, former congressional and legislative aide James Kay held on to Kentucky's 56th State House District, keeping the seat blue in a special election. Kay defeated Republican Lyen Crews 44-34, despite former Democrat John-Mark Hack taking 22 percent as an independent. Though Kay outraised Crews two-to-one, Republicans tried hard to pick up the seat, with the RSLC (the GOP equivalent of the DLCC) spending at least $177,000 to make up the gap.

The victory preserves Democrats' 55-45 majority in the House, which is itself remarkable given that outside of West Virginia, this is the only legislative chamber south of the Mason-Dixon line still held by Democrats. Republicans are likely to target it for takeover next year, so maintaining our strength here is especially important.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Losing section 5 is a very harsh blow (8+ / 0-)

    Candidly, I do not mind the idea of having the entire country "covered." People forget that the Justice Department was created in the first place to protect national civil rights. And voting rights should not be under the exclusive primary control of, for example, whomever Texas elects to administer its elections.

    But that is politically untenable.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 05:06:01 AM PDT

    •  It's a hard slog ahead (11+ / 0-)

      It won't be easy, but the crucial thing to do is very grass-roots. Progressives have to flip as many state legislatures as possible over the next seven years, before the 2020 round of redistricting comes around. The gerrymandering problem is part and parcel of what the Voting Rights Act sought to address in it's highly imperfect way. But more than racial discrimination nowadays, the gerrymanders are what holds back the progressive movement.

      You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

      by mstep on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 06:45:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know the solution to gerrymandering (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare

        other than grassroots politics.

        But as to the discrimination issue, the basis for the ruling was "outdated" data. The implication was that Congress needs to do more studies first. But there is a simpler solution if we can get it passed. The Supreme Court punted the problem to Congress, Congress needs to punt it to the administration AND the federal court system.

        The ruling leaves room for a generic legislative fix that could make things easier in the long run:

        Section 2 actions are still available. The DOJ can join in on Section 2 actions. So a new section 4 that reads -


        Any state that is not the prevailing party in any section 2 action brought against it shall be classified as a state requiring preclearance under section 5, such classification to remain in place for 25 years after final judgment is rendered. The prevailing party in any action brought under this section shall be entitled to attorney's fees and cost of litigation.
        would provide the "formula" needed. After all, the Court cannot say that a fully litigated finding of the infringement of voting rights is not a rational criteria to trigger preclearance.

        After a couple of losses, states will think very carefully about creating legislation that could lead to them being deemed to be a state that needs preclearance. Hell, adoption of this section may actually prevent states from even trying.

        We need to make this the next battleground in Congress. Getting a behavior based formula that lets the administration and the federal courts determine what states need preclearance.

        The beauty of this solution is that it makes Congress recognize the elegance of using theother branches as the final arbiter on whether a state has engaged in infringing upon voting rights. Congress avoids the expense of investigation, and the states bear the expense of justifying their laws against actions brought by their own citizens against them.  Separation of powers and fundamental rights protection covered in one small piece of legislation.

        The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions. James Russell Lowell

        by Serendipity on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 07:49:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The entire country IS covered... (0+ / 0-)

      it's just that we need a formula to identify what practices and rules are discriminatory, and what remedy to promote to satisfy TODAY'S vulnerabilities.   What's done is done.   It's time for a new and comprehensive remedy, one that can be applied on a case by case basis, NATIONALLY.

      Something like, where one specific group appears to be targeted to keep them from registering or from voting, the rules for them must be adjusted to bring reasonable parity to all parties in the election, even the least advantaged, and every effort must be made to allow every eligible citizen to register and to vote.  There should be universal standards for federal elections, including gerrymandering for U.S. House representation.

      If it takes a constitutional amendment to guarantee every citizen's right to vote, then this should be our goal...

      The point is to use our energies to focus on future remedies rather than dwell on past injustice...

      "Gun violence places a tremendous burden on America's health care system. Direct medical costs for gunshot wounds total more than six million dollars a day." - The Violence Policy Center

      by Beastly Fool on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:42:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The remedy ought to be nimble, fluid, pliable, (0+ / 0-)

        able to evolve with each new attempted violation, and provide for good behavior exemption after 10 or twenty years of no bad behavior.   The point is that the remedy be organic, not static, that it be responsive and durable over time, addressing issues in such a way that they are not only resolved, but properly avoided in future circumstances.

        Ideally such law ought never need to be struck down or seriously challenged, but become so much a comfortable part of our civic life - in every state - that it's never in question.   Everyone votes, and votes freely, as they choose, no restrictions, except that they show up.

        Isn't that how we all thought it was supposed to work?

        "Gun violence places a tremendous burden on America's health care system. Direct medical costs for gunshot wounds total more than six million dollars a day." - The Violence Policy Center

        by Beastly Fool on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:53:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Western Massachusetts (0+ / 0-)

    Possibly dumb question: why is Western Massachusetts, which seems fairly small-townish, so blue?

    •  Just speculation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge, R30A, ChadmanFL

      But maybe it is similar to Vermont.

      23/Male/ D/Native of OH-16, Now NC-04

      by liberal intellectual on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 05:58:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just a guess, but the Berkshire (5+ / 0-)

      area is a solid arts haven with many artists living year round.  Williams College is in the northern region.  One of the internationally great educators of Marxism and literature, Richard Ohmann lives up there with a bunch of other progressives.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 06:22:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  lots of colleges and liberals (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChadmanFL, itskevin, kj in missouri

      It used to be the republican area of Ma years ago but now is very liberal. A lot of colleges are out that way plus a lot of progressives from the Boston area moved out there.

      •  I think also (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kj in missouri

        It's a popular vacation area for folks from the NYC region, some of whom I'm sure wind up moving up there full-time, or buy second homes and register to vote up there.

        Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

        by David Nir on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:22:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rural does not equal conservative! (0+ / 0-)

          I don't know the specifics of Western Mass, but I can say that, in general, it drives me crazy when people assume that if a rural area votes Democratic it must be because it is full of college professors, artists, and big city transplants.  There are 'lots of rural areas that have a strong progressive streak.  It isn't necessarily "urbane" big city liberalism, but it does involve a commitment to strong community services, public education, and a basic sense of fairness.  This type of moderate rural/small town progressivism (which you find in such places as Vermont, western Wisconsin, and eastern Iowa) used to have a place in the Republican Party, but no more.

          I am quite certain that college professors, artists, and big city transplants are a small minority of the population in Vermont and western Mass.  Assuming that they explain these areas progressive leanings suggests a pro-urban bias and lack of understanding of rural and small town America.

          •  Fair points, for sure (0+ / 0-)

            Nevertheless, the prejudice towards rural areas about how they must all just be conservative/Christian/Republican is becoming more and more true as the political landscape keeps realigning. I'm sure you could tell us something about the creeping shift away from being a reliable Democratic/lefty heartland of the Iron Range/Duluth area, for example. And that's a shift that's been going on for a very long time -- I mean, once upon a time Oklahoma was a haven for Socialist Party activity.

            But sure, you make a very good point. There are still plenty of local, native rural and small town traditions of a progressive bent - sometimes to do with traditions of unionism or populism, sometimes correlated to an original immigrant stock from Northern Europe, etc - hence why I was curious about this area, what kind of background it has.

            To be fair to the artists and professors, my understanding about Vermont was that its current strong left-wing bend is not solely the result of native progressive traditions, but also one of very deliberate activist settlerism by lefties who came there in the 70s in order to make it a liberal haven - kind of like what the libertarians have been (vainly) trying with New Hampshire...

  •  The risk of going the bail-in route, IMO (0+ / 0-)

    Is it gives the GOP a talking point that the Obama administration "out to get" conservatives. Let's be honest, the only places that are going to be bailed in are most likely places controlled by Republicans.

  •  Sit back and let demographics take care of it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL, jncca

    But since a totally passive approach isn't really that likable, and since it's kind of tough on people who are suffering in the here and now because of Republican rule, combine it with increased mobilization efforts.  Let me be perfectly clear, as a famous Republican once said: today's racialized voter suppression efforts in the South are trivial, absolutely trivial, compared to the pre-VRA era.   Let's stop insulting the past and those who suffered and struggled through and against it, by failing to acknowledge that.  There's nothing in the current voter suppression campaign, even post-VRA, that can't be combatted effectively with a tiny fraction of the courage and gumption employed 50 years ago.  But let's not imagine that voter suppression is the margin between Republican and Democratic rule in today's South; rather, it's that voting is entirely racialized, and there are more Whites than Blacks.  Pending demographic shifts, Democrats won't get anywhere in the South without assaulting the racialized bedrock of White votes for Republicans.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 06:14:01 AM PDT

  •  Does Roberts Imagine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, ChadmanFL

    that African-Americans, having had a President of their own, are now going to sit back and serenely accept their disenfranchisement? I would be willing to bet that by 2016 we will see civil disobedience and violence as part of our elections.

    •  Not just African Americans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, northerntier

      but Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans too.  They'll all be disenfranchised as a result of the decision.  It'll come back to bite the GOP in their ass once states like Florida, Georgia, Texas and Arizona turn blue.  Right now apathy is what's keeping those states somewhat red or solid red.  You disenfranchise and piss off those communities and well we saw what happened in Florida in 2012.  

      The Hispanic American community in particular is on the cusp of an explosion.  If the GOP derails immigration reform and then turn around and try to disenfranchise Hispanics in say Texas and Arizona they will see a backlash that will make 2005 a walk in the park.  Only that backlash will be more focused and will only result in those states turning blue quicker.  It's only a matter of time before Texas becomes the next California and the GOP is doing everything to make it possible earlier, including pissing off the women as well.  

      Without Florida and Texas the GOP is finished at the presidential level and once the Dems take control of those state houses and fix the redistricting shenanigans in those states (as well as several others) it'll be a generation before the GOP sees ANY control at the national level.  Add in the fact that 3 of the conservative SCOTUS judges are 65 and older and one can see that given some time the GOP is finished.  These desperate acts are nothing more than the last grasp, the death rattle of the modern day GOP.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 06:29:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe at the top in those states (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aquarius40, Satya1

        but if it lets them gerrymander more effectively, it could take even longer to flip state legislatures.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 06:45:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There would be no need if (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Aquarius40, ChadmanFL

      the Latino and African-American communities put that action into getting their people registered and ID's.

      Registered and Ready instead of Lock and Loaded.

      "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medication to the dead." Thomas Paine

      by My two cents worth on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 06:34:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  neither will happen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, ChadmanFL

      what will happen is a truly massive voter mobilization effort, like in 2012.

    •  why does everyone think monorities will roll over (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV

      If you need an ID and don't have it you have to make an effort to go get the ID from the DMV even if you don't drive.
      Seems like the more they try to keep minorities from voting the more they show up.
      Also they can just overload the  courts with lawsuits under section 2. Nothing will save republicans from themselves.

  •  Thank you David for the great reading (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier, Amber6541

    That photo at The Nation has just become my new screen background.  

    We've got to fight this Roberts court VRA move on all fronts.  I'm looking forward to more diaries about how we can all participate in that.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 06:26:39 AM PDT

  •  Lawsuit after the fact? WTF good is that?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Aquarius40

    We know that Republicans have no interest in a real democracy and will rig elections to keep power.  We also know that they will pack the courts with other anti-democracy Oligarch puppets, so after a long drawn out lawsuit, you just might find a judge will legitimize the disgusting anti-democracy obstructions the Republicans use to serve their Oligarch masters.

    •  Save the country (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, Gygaxian

      But we patriots have to control the courts and the legislature. It's the only way, because we have a moral imperative to save America from turning into a socialist welfare state completely gone to hell.

      You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

      by mstep on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 06:38:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The best solution for the voter ID laws (8+ / 0-)

    would be for the NAACP and League of women voters and the minority communities is to right now starting today put a full court press on to assist people with getting their records in order and their ID's.  The purpose it to exclude voters, but if the voter registration efforts are proactive they can start helping people to find their necessary documents.  The churches can enlist members to write letters for the elderly and help them find lost birth certificates, without certificates isn't there some sort of alternative records?  Donations could be solicited through one reliable organization to help those who can't afford the records fees.

    If the efforts started now before any of the big elections, many more would be ready.  Waiting until the last minute and putting the push on is what the GOP want, after all don't they consider the minorities too lazy and stupid to get registered in time?  

    At voting time churches and groups that have access to buses can assist with getting people to the polls or they can set some type of day care for those with children or offer box lunches if the lines are long.

    The best revenge and counter action to the suppression efforts would be to flood the polls with duly ID'd voters.

    "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medication to the dead." Thomas Paine

    by My two cents worth on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 06:32:48 AM PDT

    •  there will be action on multiple fronts (0+ / 0-)

      This is not just about voter ID laws.

      Read this article that Berman links to for an example of the kind of damage Texas repubs are doing to CDs.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:04:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All I can do to help is worry (0+ / 0-)

        because 99% of what I worry about never happens, so I know it works.

        I read articles like this and how ALEC is writing laws for so many discriminatory processes and wonder if this is the last fight of the dying old white dogs and the process will self adjust.  Or will we end up with something more violent and destructive before the entrenched prejudiced realize the damage they are doing.

        For me, as a white person, I "worry" that the minorities will have long memories of this repression and as their majorities grow revenge will be sweet to them.  This can't end well can it?

        "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medication to the dead." Thomas Paine

        by My two cents worth on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:15:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You can do a lot more than just worry (2+ / 0-)
          For me, as a white person, I "worry" that the minorities will have long memories of this repression and as their majorities grow revenge will be sweet to them.  This can't end well can it?
          Stop worrying.  Get to work.  Join groups fighting for voting rights.  Help organize.  If our country isn't one person - one vote, we are not a democracy.  Is that what you want?  If extreme gerimandering can weaken representation in one area it can grow to other areas.  Just and sensible laws that protect voter rights help us all.

          "If you want peace, work for justice."

          Work on what is before you in the here and now.  Let the "arc of the moral universe" take care of the rest.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:37:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Massachusetts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Amber6541

    I'm originally from west of Worcester and I had never looked at that kind of map before, just always thought of my former home state as comfortably blue.  Those swathes of red are sobering!

    From what I've been able to see, going back to visit, the population of that area has changed a little - from being heavily populated with working-class union members who worked in mills and factories or fire or police, to being filled with younger families living in new houses built on land that was broken up by developers when older owners died.  Not sure whether that has made the area redder, or if it was always on the red side.

  •  RE: NYC Mayor, Weiner's rise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Odysseus

    OK, I couldn't resist...but all humor aside, it's no surprise Quinn is starting to lose her "glow" , if she ever really had it to begin with. On paper, Quinn seems like the perfect candidate for 21st century NYC, she would be the first openly gay, a woman, on the surface a progressive, candidate. But, scratch that surface, and what is really there is a politician that has been working the system to engineer herself to get to this point, namely carrying major water for Mayor Bloomberg. It was Quinn that made it possible for Bloomberg to skirt around term limits laws and run for a third term. I don't know if term limits are necessarily popular in NY, I don't like them myself, but carving out an exception for one particular politician just rubbed many people the wrong way. If elected, it has become obvious that Quinn would be taking her marching orders from Bloomberg. She is firmly in the back pocket of the real estate interests, and she would most certainly carry on the Bloomberg plans for the eventual privatization of the NYC school system, something which Bloomberg has been working on for years with his now former school chancellor, Joel Klein, working for Rupert Murdoch's for-profit education division.
    She has been portraying a sense of inevitability, ala Hillary in '08, but she has neither the substance, nor the likeability of Hillary. She comes off as a complete, self-serving phony, and voters are starting to notice.
    Voters were looking for an acceptable alternative, and Weiner in spite of his baggage, supplies much of that.
    I think Bill Thompson, the Dem who almost beat Bloomberg four years ago would've stood a better chance, but he has, inexplicably, become the front-man for Alphonse D'Amato of all people.

    •  Agreed, Quinn is trying to get any and all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      voters who went with Bloomberg and, probably, his big money donors as well.  The anti-Quinn commercials here are rather striking and pack a punch.

      Personally, I really wish Weiner would go away. My idea is for Bill deBlasio.  I'm getting a little tired of seeing Thompson show up for every mayoral election.

      •  I would like to see Di Blasio too (0+ / 0-)

        Nobody thought Weiner had a chance just a few weeks ago, so maybe anything's possible. This is only the second mayoral race for Thompson, he was comptroller before, so he hasn't been showing up for every mayoral race. Remember, he came a lot closer to beating Bloomberg than anyone expected, so you can't fault him for wanting to try again, although aligning himself with Alphonse D'Amato is probably not the best formula for doing so. Weiner is not going anywhere, so I guess its whether or not New Yorkers want to deal with the embarrassment factor of electing him.

        The possible 800 pound gorilla in the room is Joe Lhota, the probable Republican candidate. He did an admirable job as MTA chairman getting the mass transit system back up and running after Sandy, or at least did a good job taking credit for the admirable job done by his unionized workforce. If Weiner were to be the Dem candidate, the scandal could make it that much easier for Lhota, a Giuliani puppet, to get the Mayoral job. That would be very bad. Lohta has never run for public office, so he could be enough of a blank slate to obfuscate his real positions, and come off as possibly a moderate.

    •  Comfirmed by recent conversation (0+ / 0-)

      Had a converation earlier today with a NYC public school teacher who is visiting Minnesota.  He's underwhelmed by all the candidates, but is absolutey sure he won't be voting for Quinn.  He said, as a union man, he could never vote for someone who fought so hard to deny people 3 days of sick leave a year.

  •  $177k on a long-shot for a state Assembly seat? (0+ / 0-)

    Just how much money can the Republican Party toss around, anyway?

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:09:20 AM PDT

  •  People need to be aware... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The VRA "decision" is not just about voter IDs.  It impacts a range of issues.  Ari Berman links to an excellent example of redistricting in Texas.  Cases like this will also be effected.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:12:13 AM PDT

  •  Humble question about the VRA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri

    I don't understand Section 5 well.

    What are the implications of extending Section 5 to all states and territories? (other than 0% chance of passage in the House)

  •  On the VRA (0+ / 0-)

    If I understand the VRA correctly (and no guarantee that I do) all changes to voting law in suspect jurisdictions had to pass muster with a federal judicial panel.

    And that without section 4, individuals suffering discrimination in voting are responsible for bringing their own legal actions.

    So Question: Would it be possible to launch class action lawsuits, for instance in Texas, made from people without the required ID (students, non drivers, etc)?  If so, would this necessarily need to take place after an election? And if it did, could it be filed after a minor election?

    There should be plenty of progressives willing to help fund the legal fees (a Voting Defense Fund) associated with such a challenge, or more likely, series of challenges.

    It would essentially privatize the defense of voting rights, but if that is what it takes, it seems that we as progressives have the political will, and are generally able to fund such things $5 and $10 at a time.

  •  What's the question? (0+ / 0-)

    Oh hell, it really doesn't matter...the answer to everything is BENGHAZI! OMG! they never had any plan to govern or attempt policy. The answer to everything is probe 24/7 any "scandal" real or imagined ( always! imagined or fabricated). If not for gerrymandering the rethugs would have no political power. That is why the right wing SCOTUS gave them a lifeline to gerrymander like crazy and suppress voting at every turn. They are useless and pitiful!

  •  Mason-Dixon Line (0+ / 0-)

    The Mason-Dixon line is not the border between the North and South, and the way you used it is just wrong. Maryland and Delaware are both South of the Mason-Dixon line (as well as DC). All 5 of those legislative chambers are held by Democrats.

    Just quit it; Maryland's not the South.

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