Tag Archives: Elections 2012

Sheldon Adelson Spent Far More On Campaign Than Previously Known

Sheldon Adelson

Although casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson probably makes 150 million a day in casino revenues, to the average person, that is a huge sum of money to spend supporting a candidate…

The Huffington Post

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson vowed to spend as much as $100 million to defeat President Barack Obama and help the GOP take control of Congress. According to two GOP fundraisers with close ties to the Las Vegas billionaire, he made good on that promise — and then some. Adelson ultimately upped the ante, spending closer to a previously unreported $150 million, the fundraisers said.

Adelson, a fierce critic of Obama’s foreign and domestic policies, has said that his humongous spending was spurred chiefly by his fear that a second Obama term would bring “vilification of people that were against him.” As that second term begins, Adelson’s international casino empire faces a rough road, with two federal criminal investigations into his business.

This coming week, Adelson plans to visit Washington, according to three separate GOP sources familiar with his travel schedule. While here, he’s arranged Hill meetings with at least one House GOP leader in which he is expected to discuss key issues, including possible changes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the anti-bribery law that undergirds one federal probe into his casino network, according to a Republican attorney with knowledge of his plans.

During the election, Adelson told Politico that the Justice Department investigation, and the way he felt treated by prosecutors, was a primary motivation for his investment in Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other GOP candidates. He put his money where his mouth was. The two GOP fundraisers, both with strong ties to Adelson, said that the casino mogul dished out close to $150 million, including between $30 million and $40 million to the Karl Rove-founded Crossroads GPS and at least $15 million to grassroots efforts with financial links to Charles and David Koch. Among other major beneficiaries of Adelson’s largess were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which received almost $5 million from Adelson, and the Republican Jewish Coalition, which got the bulk of its $6.5 million budget from him, the fundraisers said.

All of these are non-profit groups, which — unlike the super PACs that raked in $54 million in funds from Adelson and his wife — are not currently required to disclose their donors. Adelson’s public spending spree, larger than any other donor’s in the last election, was made possible by two high court rulings in early 2010 that allowed corporations, unions and individuals to write unlimited checks to outside groups for political ads and other activities backing candidates

The two fundraisers who provided information to The Huffington Post represented separate groups that each received seven-figure checks this year from Adelson. The fundraisers learned details of Adelson’s spending plans about a month prior to the election: one heard of them in a talk with the casino owner himself, while the other didn’t indicate if his information came from Adelson or a top aide to the billionaire. Both requested anonymity to protect their ties to Adelson and because they were not authorized to speak publicly about his giving.

Continue reading here

Comments Off

Filed under U.S. Politics

Allen West Finally Concedes!

Why was Allen West so myopic after the 2012 elections in Florida?

Why did he continue to contest the vote count in specific counties?  I’m not sure we’ll ever know the answer but I can sum it up with a few guesses:  Hubris, Sociopathy or just plain stupidity.

The Huffington Post

Video

Tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West conceded his re-election fight Tuesday, two weeks after the election gave way to court appearances, two partial recounts and unending accusations by his camp that the vote count wasn’t fair.

In a statement, the Republican freshman said “there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results” but not enough to change the outcome, giving the race to Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy.

“While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change,” West said.

Murphy campaign manager Anthony Kusich said he was not aware of any concession call to his candidate, simply an e-mail that was publicly distributed. In his own statement, Murphy said he was “humbled by Congressman West’s gracious concession” and eager to get to work on behalf of all voters.

“To those who supported my opponent, my door is open and I want to hear your voice,” Murphy said. “I campaigned on a message of reaching across the aisle to get things done for the people of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches, and that is as important in this district as it is in Washington.”

Murphy declared victory in the wee hours of Election Night and has held his lead ever since, even as thousands of absentee, provisional and overseas ballots were processed and two partial recounts undertaken. But West’s campaign kept up a stream of skepticism about the results, largely focused on St. Lucie County, where elections officials acknowledged missteps.

An initial recount of some early ballots in St. Lucie gave West a slight bump. His campaign fought for a fuller recount, and received it, but it only improved Murphy’s margin of victory. He won by more than 2,000 votes.

Many have speculated West could find a new career in the place where he has been frequently seen, on cable television, but he has not said what his next step will be. “Only God knows what is in store for each of us,” he said in his statement, adding that “I will continue to fight for our republic.”

Whatever the next step, the contest between Murphy and West will go down as one of the most expensive in congressional history. Murphy eked out the win though he was out-fundraised more than four-to-one.

West, 51, is a favorite among the most conservative reaches of the Republican Party. He has made a string of headline-grabbing statements, from calling a majority of congressional Democrats communists to saying President Barack Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and others should “get the hell out of the United States.”

Murphy, 29, portrayed West as an extremist who had done little else in Washington than stoke partisan fires.

In his concession statement, West offered congratulations to Murphy, saying “I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”

 

4 Comments

Filed under U.S. Politics

All Ballots Counted, Allen West Solidly Defeated By Patrick Murphy

This sore loser would rather look like a horse’s behind than accept defeat.  This tells us a lot about his true character…

The Huffington Post

Video

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) may be vowing that his race against Patrick Murphy is far from over, but as of early Saturday morning, all ballots were counted and legally the result is clear: West lost.

Murphy won a total of 166,799 votes to West’s 164,370, the Palm Beach Postreported. That puts Murphy ahead by 2,429 votes and gives him a 0.7 percent advantage. Florida law only requires a recount when the margin is 0.5 percent or less.

Palm Beach County officials were up until 4:45 a.m. Saturday counting all remaining ballots cast during early voting, on Election Day, absentee ballots and other problematic ballots, the Palm Beach Post reported.

The race in Florida’s 18th Congressional District still hasn’t been officially called. Palm Beach officials must submit their results to state officials for them to become official, but Saturday’s final vote tally all but ensures the race is over.

Murphy already declared victory on election night and NBC called the race for him that night, but West still hasn’t conceded. In addition to declaring on his Facebook page that the race is “far from decided,” West filed lawsuits to have ballots and voting machines impounded in Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties. The judge in Palm Beachthrew the case out on Friday, though, telling West’s lawyers that their arguments fell “woefully short” of what was required for an injunction. A St. Lucie judge is slated to hear West’s case on Tuesday.

A West campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Murphy’s campaign is ready to move on.

“As expected, the election night results have been confirmed, and it is time to put the campaign behind us,” Murphy campaign spokesman Anthony Kusich said in a statement. “Patrick looks forward to representing the treasure coast and palm beaches in Washington and working with both parties to get Florida back to work.”

 

Comments Off

Filed under Rep. Patrick Murphy

DEATH OF A SALESMAN

The Huffington Post

Karl Rove, American Crossroads Desperately Try To Explain How They Blew $300 Million On A Losing Campaign

No one lost as much on election night as Karl Rove.

Although he wasn’t running for office, his Crossroads organizations spent more than$300 million on Republican candidates in the 2012 election, with some of the biggest spenders in the conservative movement putting their hopes — and dollars — in the care of Rove. Combined, his groups were the largest single outside force of the 2012 election.

The results were bleak. According to the Sunlight Foundation, American Crossroads, Rove’s super PAC, saw just a 1 percent return on its investments. Crossroads GPS, the political nonprofit arm, saw a 14 percent return.

Rove remained in denial about GOP misfortunes on election night. Even after the networks had called Ohio for President Barack Obama, Rove continued to insist onFox News that Republicans could win the state.

Rove was back on Fox News Wednesday morning after his election night meltdown. He didn’t address his reaction to the Ohio call or Crossroads’ failures but instead argued that Republicans need to do a better job in reaching out to the Latino community.

“Obama kept the coalition that he had in 2008, only it was a little bit smaller,” he said. “This will be the first president reelected sent to second term with a smaller percentage of the vote than he got the first term. In fact, there are only two states — two states in the union — where he got a higher percentage of the vote this time around than he got the first time. One is Mississippi, by one quarter of 1 percent, and Hawaii by less than one fifth of 1 percent. Otherwise, he basically held together that coalition, which means if we’re going to win in the future, Republicans need to do better among Latinos and they need to do better among women — particularly single women.”

Continue reading here…

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Karl Rove

Orange County Early Voting Hours Extended Sunday Following Judge’s Ruling

Another win for the good guys

The Huffington Post

A judge extended early voting hours in one Florida county on Sunday after the state Democratic Party sued in an effort to give people more time at the polls.

Some voters had faced waits several hours long on Saturday, the last scheduled day of early voting. The judge ruled on a lawsuit filed late Saturday in Orange County after an early voting site was shut down for several hours. The Winter Park library was evacuated when a suspicious package – a cooler – was found outside. It was later detonated by a local bomb squad.

Bill Cowles, the Orange County elections supervisor, said that voters who show up on Sunday will be asked to use a provisional ballot because the Republican Party of Florida had appealed the decision. The extra hours will be offered at only the Winter Park library.

The state party also filed a federal lawsuit Sunday morning seeking more voting time in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Voting in Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County didn’t wrap up until early Sunday morning because voters standing in line when the polls closed were allowed to vote.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and other Democrats asked Gov. Rick Scott this past week to use his emergency powers to extend early voting. The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature last year cut the number of days available for early voting from a maximum of 14 days to eight days.

Scott and state election officials, however, turned down the extension requests. Secretary of State Ken Detzner maintained that there was not a true emergency that justified the extension. Chris Cate, a spokesman for Detzner, said that the state did not plan to appeal the decision to reopen the Winter Park location.

The federal lawsuit says counties should offer absentee ballot voting at local election offices if early voting cannot be extended. Both Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties said they planned to do that.

“I decided to open because we are allowed to do so,” said Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher.

Bucher noted that voting in her county did not wrap up until 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Her office started accepting absentee ballots at 9 a.m.

Christina White, deputy supervisor with Miami-Dade County, said the county also decided to accept absentee ballots for four hours on Sunday at its main office.

“We are hoping that (the Democratic Party) is happy with that,” White said.

Broward County is also allowing voters to pick up absentee ballots on Sunday, but only if they made an appointment in advance.

Absentee ballot voting differs from early voting in that voters must fill out their ballot, place it an envelope and then sign it. The ballot envelopes are opened later and then fed into voting machines.

During early voting, voters place their ballots directly into the voting machines.

The Orange County lawsuit asked that early voting be extended at Winter Park and that the court ask local television and radio stations to let voters know about it.

The lawsuit included sworn statements from several voters who said they waited in line for hours and were turned away because voting was suspended at the site. A volunteer with the campaign of President Barack Obama said that the crowd of voters dwindled from 300 to just 40 after voting was halted.

Comments Off

Filed under Elections, Florida 2012

Mitt Romney Refuses To Talk About FEMA After Hurricane Sandy Event

Mitt Romney Fema

Here are my thoughts:  1) Mr. Romney refuses to show his tax returns beyond 2010, why?  2) Romney refuses to tell the American people about his economic plan, why?  3) He also refuses to talk about his Mormon faith.  4) He refuses to talk about his pervious statements on FEMA and how he would hand over FEMA’s duties to the states and the private sector…why?

My guess is that he doesn’t want to upset voters who would otherwise vote for him but would change their mind about voting for him if they knew the truths that he has been hiding since the GOP Debate days.

The Huffington Post

Mitt Romney refused to answer reporters’ questions about how he would handle the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), after a Tuesday “storm relief” event in Ohio for Hurricane Sandy.

From the Romney pool report:

TV pool asked Romney at least five times whether he would eliminate FEMA as president/what he would do with FEMA. He ignored the qs but they are audible on cam. The music stopped at points and the qs would have been audible to him.

A follow-up report noted the specific questions Romney ignored, as he was collecting hurricane supplies following his event:

“Gov are you going to eliminate FEMA?” a print pooler shouted, receiving no response.Wires reporters asked more questions about FEMA that were ignored.

Romney kept coming over near pool to pick up more water. He ignored these questions:

“Gov are you going to see some storm damage?”

“Gov has [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie invited you to come survey storm damage?”

“Gov you’ve been asked 14 times, why are you refusing to answer the question?”

During a GOP primary debate last year, Romney had said he supported the idea of states and private sector groups taking over responsibility for disaster relief.

“Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction,” he said. “And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better. Instead of thinking, ‘In the federal budget, what we should cut?’ we should ask the opposite question: ‘What should we keep?’”

“We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney continued, when asked specifically about disaster relief. “It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”

Those comments were highlighted in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as a sign of how Romney might respond to natural disasters. His campaign quickly clarified that Romney’s emergency management response would include FEMA.

“Governor Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” said campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. “As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”

The Republican presidential nominee and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan,suspended all campaign events on Monday evening and Tuesday “out of sensitivity” to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

3 Comments

Filed under Mitt Romney

Crash Course on Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy Successes

Today I researched  President Obama’s foreign policy achievements in the last four years, in order to  prepare for  watching the debate tonight.  The entire debate will be on Foreign Policy.   This relevant article appeared in the Huffington Post on 07/06/2012.  

Here’s what I found…

The Huffington Post 

[...]

By any reasonable standard, Obama’s first-term foreign policy record is nothing short of astounding. On issue after issue, Obama has shown a steady — indeed, steely — resolve that has earned him major kudos from foreign policy specialists in both parties. Consider, for example, the following:

    • Two major U.S. land wars, both started by George W. Bush, are winding down. Obama, to the consternation of his base, pushed for a major “troop surge” in Afghanistan, but he alsostared down his top generals and resisted their demand for a prolonged counterinsurgency and nation-building campaign. The Taliban is reeling, and the American pull-back, starting this summer, is real. Obama also resisted pressure to reverse the Iraqi withdrawal and wisely brought in members of the Bush-era negotiating team to help seal and bless the deal.
    • Obama boldly intervened in Libya to oust dictator Muammar Gadaffi and to protect Western oil supplies, and he did it with minimal financial cost and no U.S. troop casualties. Moreover, in contrast to his predecessor, he didn’t act unilaterally but weighed in behind Europe and NATO. Republicans who charged the president with reckless “adventurism” have ended up with egg on their face. In fact, respect for multilateralism is back — and under Obama, it’s no longer just the “soft” option.
    • Obama has forged the closest American defense ties with Israel of any recent U.S. president, including Bush, while continuing to push for Israeli concessions on a Palestinian homeland. Obama has moved deftly, even winning strong support from the Israeli public, which says it wants its leaders to consult with Obama before taking future military action.Support from American Jews, despite concerns over friction between the White House and the Israeli Prime Minister, is holding steady.
  • Obama has also made China a key strategic priority, confronting Beijing on human rights, trade warfare, and economic spying, while bolstering America’s military presence in the Pacific. Donald Trump may think America is getting snookered but most Americans, it turns out, see Obama’s actions as judicious. In fact, leading foreign policy conservatives, includingRobert Kagan, who was a national security adviser to John McCain, and has periodically advised Romney himself, have strongly praised Obama’s entire Asia policy.

Some of Obama’s strongest foreign policy critics, in fact, aren’t on the right but on the left, which is disappointed that Obama hasn’t closed the base at Guantanamo, has eagerly embraced “drone” warfare, and has denied more Freedom of Information Act requests than his predecessor. But such criticism — while justified in some areas — is short-sighted overall. Obama has initiated some seismic shifts in national security doctrine that have a real chance of reducing the prospect of global war. Most notably:

    • Obama has quietly but forcefully revised the Pentagon’s long-standing “two-war” strategythat required an enormous conventional force structure supported by hundreds of American military bases. Under a new Obama plan, the number of soldiers in the Army and the Marines will decline by a remarkable 10-15 percent over the next decade, and a possible36 percent over the long haul. And base closures, already on the increase, will accelerate. The Obama shift means, in effect, that the U.S. is no longer contemplating a protracted land war on its own.
  • Just as dramatic are the significant steps that Obamas has taken to reduce the threat of nuclear war by shrinking American and Russian nuclear weapons arsenals to their lowest levels ever. The arms reduction process actually started under the first George Bush, but Obama is proposing to take it much further, tackling the more difficult deep-cuts, especially in tactical weapons, all the while working with Russia to force smaller nuclear states to slow or eliminate their own weapons programs.

What does Romney have to offer, by contrast? A return to Bush-era neo-conservativism managed by the same people who brought us the Iraq war, and who see any retreat from American unilateralism as a sign of military weakness. They include former Bush State department officialsEliot Cohen and John Bolton, who’ve been pushing Romney to attack Obama for abandoning Israel and for crippling America’s nuclear and conventional war capabilities. They’re also suggesting that Obama is weakening the United States in the face of threats from Iran and failing to intervene decisively to bring down the regime in Syria.

Fortunately, much of the foreign policy establishment, including Republicans like former Secretary of State James Baker, aren’t biting. In fact, there’s even growing concern over Romney’s call for a huge increase in U.S. defense spending over and above what the Pentagon under Obama is seeking. Romney’s spending hike would cost the Treasury an additional $2.1 trillion, undermining the GOP’s ostensible commitment to deficit-reduction, without necessarily enhancing U.S. defense capabilities.

How much does foreign policy matter? In the end, in a close race, it could matter a lot. One foreign policy expert, Bruce Jentleson, has noted that 8-10 percent or more of U.S. voters consistently say that foreign policy drives their vote. And the fact is, even those voters who say they’re mostly concerned about their “pocketbook” still form powerful impressions about candidates and their leadership abilities based on more than their records as economic “stewards.” These days, most voters know that America lives in a global world and that domestic and foreign policy are related, even if they’re not always sure how. It’s really up to the president to show how his handling of the trade deficit, increases in defense spending, or the threat of war can directly affect whether the economy grows or stagnates.

Some Obama successes, like his adroit handling of China, are inextricably tied to future jobs growth, in part through the recapturing of American jobs via “in-sourcing,” It makes no sense not to make this connection more explicit. Other foreign policy accomplishments could help the president with specific voter groups, including disillusioned youth and veterans, both of whom are showing strong signs of defection. Obama’s nuclear and conventional force reductions, for example, could galvanize his peace supporters but, as long-term deficit-busting measures, could appeal more widely, too.

In short, Obama seems to have a real opening on foreign and defense policy, which is something of a rarity for a Democratic presidential candidate. But he needs to seize this advantage now, before Karl Rove & Co. begin launching the kind of national security attack campaign that helped derail John Kerry’s bid for the White House in 2004. Developing a broader reelection narrative will allow voters to appreciate just how much is at stake in the election this November. It will also sharply contrast the two candidates’ leadership abilities and their fundamentally different visions for how America should confront the deeply intertwined global and domestic challenges of the 21st century.

Related articles

3 Comments

Filed under U.S. Politics

New Obama Ad Goes After Mitt Romney On Big Bird

 

Obama Ad Big Bird

Politics 2012…

The Huffington Post

The Obama campaign is out with a new TV ad, going after one of Mitt Romney’s most memorable lines from last week’s presidential debate: his desire to cut funding for PBS and its beloved Big Bird.

Since the debate — which Romney was widely acknowledged to have won — President Barack Obama has been campaigning around the country, saying his GOP challenger “plans to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s bringing the hammer down on Sesame Street.”

Elmo, you better make a run for it!” joked Obama last week at a campaign event.

The latest tongue-in-cheek ad shows pictures of notoriously corrupt financial figures — Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay and Dennis Kozlowski — and states there is an “evil genius” who towered over them.

“One man has the guts to speak his name,” says the narrator, with the ad then flashing to Romney saying “Big Bird” repeatedly — followed by Big Bird cheerfully saying his own name.

“Big, yellow, a menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about it, it’s Sesame Street,” adds the narrator.

The ad ends with a cute shot of Big Bird in his nest, with his teddy bear, sleeping: “Mitt Romney, taking on our enemies no matter where they nest.”

Continue reading below the video…

 

Comments Off

Filed under Mitt Romney

Romney Wins The Night

Many pundits on the right are praising Mitt Romney for his performance in debating President Obama last night.

There’s no question that Romney’s assertiveness and lack of deference to the moderator helped him win the debate.  There is one question though…why is he still so vague on details when discussing his economic plan for the country?

The Huffington Post

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spent much of his first presidential debate Wednesday walking back some of his core primary positions and highlighting similarities with President Barack Obama — from keeping bank regulations in place, bringing in more teachers, maintaining taxes on the wealthy, to making sure those with pre-existing conditions have health insurance.

But the president failed to respond effectively, drifting into his professorial demeanor and barely attempting to veil his annoyance with Romney. It wasn’t pretty, but Romney won, according to the general consensus among reporters and political operatives after the debate at the University of Denver.

Romney appeared more relaxed than Obama, who spent much of his time explaining policies he would likely rather be done selling by now. He hardly looked Romney in the eye during the debate.

There is one critical caveat, of course, in determining the winner of a debate: It’s difficult to know how the millions of voters, whose prisms are radically different than those of mainstream reporters, took in the debate. But, at minimum, Romney cleared the most critical bar, by appearing presidential.

Still, one issue continued to plague Romney: details. While he said he would end Obama programs, he was vague on how he would do so without eliminating a host of components he pledged to keep.

“At some point, you have to ask, is he keeping all these plans to replace [programs] secret because they’re too good?” Obama said. “Families are going benefit too much from them?”

Continue reading here…

 

Related articles

8 Comments

Filed under Presidential Debates

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Ruling: Judge Halts Enforcement Of Law For Election

It appears that Judge Robert Simpson’s ruling might just be a band-aid for the law’s many problems.  Apparently voters don’t have to show ID but the poll worker can still ask for it!

Sounds like a quick-fix that may be filled with confusion and dismay on election day.

The Huffington Post

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday postponed the enforcement of the state’s new strict voter ID requirement until after the November presidential election.

In a much-anticipated ruling, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. ordered that voters without government-issued photo ID should be allowed to cast regular ballots.

“That’s a huge win,” said Witold J. Walczak, an attorney with the ACLU of Pennsylvania, “because last week the judge was suggesting that he was going to have every [voter without ID] vote provisionally.”

At the same time, the judge specifically ruled to allow the state to continue its education and advertising campaign, which currently tells voters that IDs are required.

Walczak said that if the state doesn’t change that message, “we may be back in court.”

“You can’t be telling people you need ID if you’re not actually requiring ID,” he said. “That advertising has to be modified to reflect reality.”

“Confusion is not a good thing on election day,” he said. “Confusion is going to mean some voters stay home. Confusion is going to mean that some poll workers get it wrong.”

Matthew Keeler, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania secretary of state, said the state is “pleased because the law itself hasn’t changed. What’s going on is there’s a soft rollout for the general election, just like the primary.”

Voters will still be asked for ID, he noted. If they don’t have it, they’ll be given information on how to get it.

As for the advertising campaign, “we’re looking into what needs to be updated,” Keeler said. “To completely take that away, would just muddle the area, as it were.”

“We’ll work on fixing things if we think they need to be fixed,” Keeler added.

Opponents of the law had expressed fears that it could dissuade or prevent tens of thousands of mostly poor, elderly, young or infirm citizens from voting.

Simpson’s injunction “will have the effect of extending the express transition provisions of [the new law] through the general election,” the judge wrote. That means that, just like during the primary election, voters will be asked for ID but still be allowed to vote if they don’t have it.

The law as passed by the Republican legislature and signed by the Republican governor had only allowed people without ID to cast “provisional” ballots, which would be thrown out unless they returned with ID within six days.

The Pennsyvlania legislature is one of several that, after Republicans took control in 2010, passed legislation to make it harder, rather than easier, to vote.

The voter ID bills, like similar moves to restrict voter registration, eliminate early voting, purge voter rolls and send pollwatchers into minority precincts. All are ostensibly intended to prevent voter fraud, an almost nonexistent problem according to research on the issue. In contrast, such moves have a disproportionate effect on minorities and young voters, and ultimately serve to block legitimate but probably Democratic voters from exercising their constitutional rights.

Simpson’s new decision comes six weeks after he upheld the entire law as is.

His initial ruling dealt mostly with whether the General Assembly had the authority to establish such voting requirements. Simpson decided it did — basing his decision in part on a bigoted and discredited 19th century state court decision.

Opponents of the law appealed, and Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court sent the case backto Simpson, this time ordering him to rule on the practical side of things, namely: Was the state upholding the law’s procedures for deployment of ID cards such that there would be “no voter disenfranchisement” as a result?

The high court’s order seemed designed to force the judge to enjoin the law, given that the state had stipulated it wasn’t following the exact procedures set out in the law and that so many registered voters clearly still lacked ID.

Witnesses last week movingly described the many frustrating barriers faced by the elderly and infirm in particular in their attempts to get ID.

But on Thursday, Simpson indicated that he would let “the good parts” of the bill stand.

2 Comments

Filed under Voter Fraud, Voter Identification, Voter Suppression