More Impact on Election Reform? Photo ID or Funding Source?

I listened to a radio show a while back that featured Dave Thompson.  On it they spent a fair amount of time talking about the problems of walk up registration.  Knowing that voter ID is very controversial, I asked Dave Thompson why work toward an extreme agenda item that won’t pass when you could make serious and possibly pass a change that requires photo ID for such things as same day registration.

Of course I know he and the rest of the Republicans prefer political statements, rather than seriously attempting to pass a bill, but I asked the question anyway.  He responded that same day registration is just one piece a photo ID solution would solve among many voting issues.

I guess it would solve how we stop some low income people from voting.  And I guess it would solve how we stop the infirmed and elderly from voting.  It sure would stop people who are distrustful of the government from participating.  And maybe it would stop a few people who want to vote illegally from voting.  But if he is attempting to really resolve “voting issues,” why isn’t he trying to reduce the influence spending and money alone have on the voters who step up to that little voting booth to fill in their ovals.

I am going to hazard to guess that the millions of dollars spent by outside organizations had an effect on the outcome of the governor’s race in a way the Republicans did not like.  I think that Tom Emmer drunk driving commercial was pretty effective early in the race.  Maybe the $5.7 million spent by the Alliance for a Better Minnesota had an impact on the outcome.  Maybe that played a more significant part in the Emmer loss than illegal voting.  But I’m just speculating… 

So why wouldn’t the Republicans want to control outside spending?  Because, outside spending benefits Republicans 2 to 1.  Republican apologists love to cry about how unions fund Democrats, but do you know who the largest outside donor in the nation was in 2010?  It is no surprise to me, The Chamber of Commerce.  And it wasn’t even close.  In fact the top four outside political spenders are groups that support Republicans.  Number 5 on the list, the first union, SEIU, didn’t even spend half what the Chamber of Commerce spent in 2010. I know what you GOP apologists are going to say, “yeah but all the unions combined…”

Yeah but… if we look at the numbers, for organizations that have either a “conservative” or “liberal” leaning, for every $1.00 a conservative organization spent to elect Republicans, liberal organizations, spent 48 cents.   And we are not talking just a few millions of dollars, we are talking $189,654,125 (just to emphasize that: 189 MILLION DOLLARS for Republicans) to $92,773,913.

Now we see why Republicans want “election integrity” only when it comes to who is voting, not when it comes to who is buying elections.  A Republican bully said “DFL obviously stands for dumb f-ing liberal.”  I guess I would rather be a f-ing liberal who cares about people and that those people might be disenfranchised, than a GOPer, because that can only stand for Greed Over People.

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One thought on “More Impact on Election Reform? Photo ID or Funding Source?”

  1. A Must Read Editorial from the West Central Tribune … the Willmar-based newspaper challenges the wisdom of expending sparse state taxpayer dollars … by their analysis, $530,000 per cost of conviction.

    This at a time when the state’s prosecution and justice system are being reduced. Minnesota courts are almost totally funded by appropriations from the Legislature, with money collected in fines and fees sent back to the state or local governments. In recent years, the state has already cut funding to the courts to cover deficits, even though the court system only accounts for two percent of the state budget. According to a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, since 2008, the Legislature and the governor’s office have cut the money appropriated to the courts by 4.4 percent, or $19 million. The cuts have led to understaffed courts and long delays in trials. Delays in the justice system impacts businesses and families.

    Simply stated … this is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars.

    Since WCT editorials go to a pay site after a few days, it is listed below :

    Published January 29 2011
    Editorial: Voter ID plan is a costly bad idea
    Some legislators sponsoring a voter identification bill appear to be promoting a solution that is looking for a problem, as well as attempting to create another expensive state mandate.

    Some legislators sponsoring a voter identification bill appear to be promoting a solution that is looking for a problem, as well as attempting to create another expensive state mandate.
    Republican legislators Wednesday introduced a bill that would require Minnesotans to show a driver’s photo ID, state-issued photo ID or a tribal-issued ID that would be instantly scanned to determine if the voter was eligible to vote and was attempting to vote in the correct precinct.
    Among the bill sponsors are Rep. Bruce Vogel, R-Willmar, Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, and Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Lake.
    This proposal is simply an attempt to manipulate the voting process for political purposes to address an issue which is not a major problem in Minnesota.
    In addition, this proposal would simply make it harder for Minnesotans to vote, especially elderly, disabled, young and minority voters.
    Minnesota should be encouraging voters to participate in the voting process, not making it harder and more difficult to vote.
    In making the case for this voter ID, Limmer spoke of his suspicions of the Minnesota voting process, citing the example of an election judge driving around with election ballots in the car trunk. This story is an election myth that has been disproven. In addition, there is no way this voter ID bill would address that type of violation.
    Vogel could not cite any voter problem in west central Minnesota in justifying his support for the bill. Yet he claims that the significant cost of this proposed voter ID bill is justified.
    The bill sponsors Wednesday would not estimate the cost of this bill. Some media reports indicate the cost would be between $20 million and $40 million. Even at the lower estimate, the cost would be significant to local government.
    After the 2008 election, there were 38 individuals identified and convicted of voter fraud. Using the low estimate of $20 million, this voter identification plan would cost local government in Minnesota $530,000 per conviction.
    A $530,000 per case solution to solve a minimal problem in Minnesota? That is not a very good cost justification for another state mandate.
    Many members of the Legislature’s Republican majority campaigned on a promise to reduce state mandates and lower the cost of government in Minnesota. However, one of their first steps is to propose a new state mandate where the cost is more than $500,000 per case of voter fraud.
    This bill proposal simply does not compute.
    The worst part of this proposal is it would make the voting process harder and discourage many voters from voting. Minnesota has traditionally had high voter participation and this proposal would only decrease voter participation.
    This Republican proposal is a high-cost solution looking to address a minimal problem solely for the political purpose of preventing Minnesotans from voting.
    This bill is simply a costly bad idea.

    PLEASE keep focus on this issue …

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