Tag Archives: Voter ID

Hello Jason Lewis?? Dirty Tactics?? Your blaming the wrong side.

How absurd is Jason Lewis?  He wrote an opinion piece for the StarTribune this weekend titled “Voter ID foes fought dirty to get a win.”  A more apropos title might be Voter ID defeated despite dirty political tactics of conservatives to get it on the ballot.

Jason Lewis is a whiner, and I am already sick of conservatives who two years ago told Democrats to stop crying about elections — that the voters will was done.  But this year, are blaming the amendments (placed on the ballot by Republicans,) blaming independents, blaming the Independence Party, blaming Kurt Bills and Mitt Romney. In the words of Ann Romney, stop it!

And this argument of dirty tactics? RUBBISH! You know what dirty tactics are? Placing an amendment on the ballot to drive voters to the polls because you know you can’t win without it.  Another dirty tactic, changing laws to make it harder to vote, not easier.  That is dirty.  How about what one Farmington Republican told me: at least if the marriage amendment is on the ballot, liberals will spend all their money to defend gays and a Voter ID bill will pass easily, which only helps Republicans in the future. Has Brodkorb enlightened us on that tactic yet?  Was that rationalization his own, or did he get that idea from his state Senator, Dave Thomspon, who helped craft the ballot language on one and authored the other?  How slimy.

Two years ago all we heard was that elections have consequences.  Well elections have consequences still.  Do you know what else has consequences?  How you govern, how fairly you treat people, how you solve problems (can you say Republican government shutdown,) and how little you get done in the legislature.  2010 was a lucky break for Republicans because of Obamacare and the economy. 2012 was a realization that dirty politics, divisiveness, and gridlock come from one party far more than the other.

Voting is a right, not a privilege

Today I voted for president for the 7th time in my life.  When I was 18 year and 13 days old, I voted in my first general election, and have not missed one since, 13 general elections and counting.  In fact, I have only missed one primary in my life.  Obviously I take voting very seriously.

I also believe voting is both a right and an obligation.  People died to have free elections.  Americans have been killed ensuring all Americans have the right to vote.  And soldiers have died defending freedom.  It is a responsibility to honor those who gave us the rights we have today, and it is an obligation to ensure everybody who can vote does.  That’s why I voted “No” on the Voter ID amendment.  I am all for some sort of verification, but it needs to be something simple to enact and something that actually makes it easier to vote.  There is no excuse to building barriers to voting.

One of the most hypocritical political ads I saw was an ad supporting the Photo ID Amendment, with supporters talking about “defending your right” to vote. It is hypocritical because Republican have argued endlessly that voting is a privilege not a right. So what is it?

Republicans may not care about the shutdown, but people with a conscience do

I predicted this would happen.  I said the shutdown would last a week or so and Republicans would start saying something to the effect that government is obviously not that big of a deal because most people are not feeling the effect.  It is the exact same reason Republicans will be able to take away people’s right to vote with a Voter ID Bill.  Because it does not affect a majority of people. 

The problem is that it is affecting people, and it is affecting them significantly.  It is obviously affecting people who receive benefits from the state to live and work, and it is obviously affecting the people that work to keep our state running and as great as it can be.  But that is a minority of people, and the people living in wealthy suburbs don’t have to deal with them on a daily basis.  Republicans have such contempt for people who can’t take care of themselves, never mind the circumstances.  And Republicans in Lakeville, Prior Lake and Eagan don’t really care about the fishing resort in Northern Minnesota who are losing guests from out of state because people can’t buy fishing licenses. 

Yeah, the Republicans are saying people don’t really care that the government is shutdown, but I’m saying even though it isn’t affecting me right now, I care.  And if Republicans cannot agree to cuts in government and tax increases on 7,700 people that make over one million dollars (that is $1,000,000.00, a one with six zeros after it) a year, then I say to hell with them.  What’s the point of trying to compromise?  Let’s just go back to the pioneer days of dirt roads and side arms.

This is hurting the state, it is hurting the economy, and it is hurting Minnesotans, even if you sit in your air conditioned family room watching cable news and eating the caviar you so richly deserve because you have proven you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  Thanks for working towards making Minnesota suck as a place to live.  Thanks for working to ruin everything that makes Minnesota better than every state around us.

A low tax on the rich does not make a state great.  Low government spending does not make a state great.  Highly educated people that come from great public schools and top notch universities make a state great.  Beautiful parks and clean lakes that draw visitors from around the country, and allow those of us to live here to enjoy weekend recreation make a state great.  The best healthcare and the ability to stay active and healthy make a state great.  Diversity in people, jobs and activities, cities and farms, open spaces and community gathering spots make a state great.  And the absence of extremist politics makes a state great.  How are the Republicans going to get any of that by spending less and making a few people richer?  People invested in making this state what it is.  Are we going to throw it away because a minority of people who are politically active and currently in power think the rest of us are worthless?

Seriously, let me know if you want to throw it all away…

A Very Good Voter ID Discussion

I’m way behind on my reading, but I was just scanning through my Google Reader when I noticed the topic “Voter ID Poll” on Bill Roehl’s Lazy Lightning site.  It is a great topic to discuss.  If you have read my posts or talked to me about Voter ID Requirements, you know I am against voter ID laws because I think it is a waste of money and it will disenfranchise some voters.  Even if it isn’t very many voters who are disenfranchised, I would bet a large sum of money that more voters will be disenfranchised than there are voters who commit fraud. 

The 37 comments on Bill’s post are the highlight and worth reading with a good comments on both sides of the issue.  WCCO’s Jason DeRusha’s comment is very good, although he did not mention one of the biggest arguments against voter ID requirements, the cost involved in voter education, equipment (if we scan IDs,) training, providing IDs, and a big cost that people often ignore, the numerous lawsuits that will result from a voter ID bill.

My wish is that politicians and activists who claim to be fiscally responsible, would be fiscally responsible and stop echoing the social activists and socially motivated political leaders who have an agenda that ignores real budgetary solutions, job creation and economic viability ideas for the future.

Link to Bill’s Post:  Voter ID Poll, 6/12/2011

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Shifting to the Left

Anybody who has known me for a while knows that I have become more committed to the DFL Party in Minnesota, and Democrats in general over the last several years. Despite that shift, I don’t feel like my personal political views have changed. What I feel has changed is the political opposition and the attacks on my values, sense of fairness, and beliefs by Republicans. I recently told a friend that I feel like I am being pushed by the right more and more to the left. I believe that, and unfortunately, I believe it is pushed, rather than being lead by any significant changes on the left.

The dueling press conferences yesterday with Donald Trump and President Obama really highlighted that shift. I feel like the true colors that have been developed over the last 20-30 years in the hard core Republican base are really being exposed right now. I’m not talking about the goal to shrink the government, reduce the involvement of the government in business or personal life, or lower taxes. I can support all those. I am talking about a slowly simmering philosophical attack on the ideals that generations of Americans before us have worked to develop that made us the freest, strongest and greatest country on earth.

  • I see it in the ridiculous Republican support of obvious racist comments coming from a man whose main goal in life is to garner attention for himself, his regularly failing businesses and his reality show.
  • I see it in what has now become the regular Republican elected official model of meeting with constituents publically, with odd unknown rules, vetted questions, stacked crowds, prepared mob shout downs, intimidation and physical removal.
  • I see it in the belief from national and local legislators who no longer believe voting is a right and instead believe it is a privilege, returning us to an era when white, landowning men could easily vote while everybody else was forced to jump through hoops to make their voice heard politically.
  • I see it in the attacks on education, defunding inner-city public education, and dismissing the usefulness of a liberal college education, seemingly working to establish a class of people who will generationally become the uneducated, low wage, subservient workers in a service based society desired by the wealthy.
  • I see it in the elimination of worker’s rights and the busting of unions in the name of fiscal or political reasoning, absent of truth or logic.
  • I see it in the blind support that taxing business is bad, while eliminating public spending that make our community safer, healthier and more prosperous is right to provide that tax reduction.
  • And I see it in the assumption that a small business owner in Northfield with ten employees, or a small business owner in Duluth with 150 employees, is equivalent to a “small business” run by the billionaire Koch brothers. Or that a large corporation pays less tax than that Duluth business because the corporation has more lawyers, better tax accountants, subsidiaries and an ability to hide revenue in fringe benefits, transfer pricing and even bonuses.

I have no illusion that Republicans will magically become Democrats, nor would I want that. I do think it is time for moderate Republicans who believe in fiscal responsibility and individual freedom to step away from a party being publically dominated by veiled racist attitudes, socially inconsistent policy, defensive instead of forward thinking plans, and oddly self-centered religious beliefs. Either step away and join the Independence Party, or take back the Party from the deceitful leaders who are more concerned about personal gain and political power than a better state, economy and country.

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