Voting rule changes: Solutions in search of a problem
Govs. Scott (FL) and Corbett (PA) are both pursing changes to voting rules designed with partisan advantage in mind.
(L: Joe Skipper / Reuters; R: Megan Manlove / Penn State [Creative Commons])
The coordinated and systemic attack on voters’ rights by legislators taking a page from organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council shows that anti-worker politicians are ready to sacrifice our basic democratic principles for their own electoral advantage. Governors Rick Scott of Florida and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania are trying to disenfranchise large portions of their states’ voters with the sole goal of handing the 2012 Presidential election to their party’s nominee.
In Pennsylvania, Corbett’s Voter ID law could be described as a solution in search of a problem, since more people are struck by lightning than try to commit voter fraud. Although there is no fraud for this law to stop, it could disenfranchise more than 1 million people—12.7 percent of Keystone State voters—said a political scientist known for his vast polling knowledge. The state even signed a court document that acknowledges that there “have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania.” It is no surprise that state House GOP Leader Mike Turzai has admitted he believes Voter ID “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”
Florida’s Scott is pushing ahead with his statewide voter purge in the face of opposition from the U.S. Justice Department and all 67 county elections supervisors in the state—including 30 Republican officials. Scott’s administration has targeted 180,000 Floridians to kick off of the state voter rolls, many of whom are U.S. citizens and long-time Florida residents and voters. The Justice Department filed court papers this week stating that Scott broke the law when he ignored pre-clearance provisions required by the Voting Rights Act.
More than 30 states have introduced or passed voter suppression legislation claiming that they are trying to fix voter fraud problems. Because we know those problems do not really exist, we also know that partisan games are behind these efforts. AFSCME members have been fighting back against this coordinated assault on our country’s democratic principles. The best way for AFSCME members across the country to fight back against voter suppression will be at the ballot box in November
Don’t blame union for bankrupt cities
Lee Saunders, USA Today, 07/30/12
AK: Communications between Workers and Our Union are Protected, Alaska Court Rules
Clyde Weiss, AFSCME Blog, 07/30/12
The Morning Plum: Yes, government is important to our economic lives
James Downie, Washington Post: The Plum Line, 07/31/12
Raising taxes on high earners is sound policy
Mark Zandi, Philadelphia Inquirer, 07/30/12
CA: California Republicans hope to win elections by defunding unions
Laura Clawson, Daily Kos, 07/30/12
IN: Indiana Judge Condemns Privatization
Kate Childs-Graham, AFSCME Blog, 07/30/12
PA: Scranton, unions reach settlement over minimum-wage back pay
Jim Lockwood and David Singleton, citizensvoice.com (Luzerne County, PA), 07/31/12
Harkin proposes universal pension coverage
Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments, 07/27/12.