For a campaign that was written off sometime back Scott Ellington sure is putting up some great tv ads. The latest one focuses in on his support for protecting Medicare and Social Security guest staring his former high school teacher:
This follows an ad that hits the Republican controlled House for not being able to produce a farm bill:
These are great ads focused on important issues (following up a great first ad I might point out) and they’re serving to introduce Scott to the people of the first district. That said, does Rick Crawford even have an ad running? If he does, I haven’t seen it yet or heard anything about it, and that’s not a good sign for an incumbent who every poll shows has failed to introduce himself to his constituents, especially this late in the game.
We are going to win this race. Contribute to Ellington for Congress and help Scott seal the deal.
Generally, endorsements don’t matter much. There are exceptions to the rule though, like when your former opponent in a tightly contested primary either won’t help you or, worse yet, when they cross the isle and endorse your opponent in the general election. It’s even worse for a candidate when that opponent cites their nominee’s lack of integrity and criminal record as their reason. So that said, Bruce Holland and the Arkansas GOP have to be pretty pissed this week that Holland’s former opponent, Republican Rick Green, is endorsing Tracy Pennartz and hammering Holland for everything from dirty campaigning to his little run in with the law.
Pennartz’s press release follows:
Van Buren, AR – Former State Representative and Senate Candidate Rick Green, Republican of Van Buren, announces his endorsement of Representative Tracy Pennartz for Senate District 9.
“You learn a lot about other candidates when you run against them, even candidates within your own political party,” said Green. “In my primary race against Holland, I learned that truth and integrity mattered little with him and that throwing a fellow Republican under the bus was nothing that Holland would stop short of to win the race.”
“I had some hint of Holland’s character early on when I observed his flagrant disrespect for the law by fleeing law enforcement during a high speed chase that endangered many lives in the River Valley. I saw Holland go to the floor of the State Senate and ask for forgiveness but just days later switch from the apology to fighting the charges. He carried this defiance out for over a year, at the taxpayer’s expense, only to finally pleading guilty the day before the appeal trial and probable jail time was reached,” states Green.
Green said, “I have run several tough political campaigns in my lifetime and some of which I have won and some which I have lost. Never have I been in a race where my opponent set out to discredit my record in public service, my marriage, and my integrity as Holland did in our race for the Republican nomination for State Senate in May.”
“For those of you have known me over the years, you know that doing the politically correct thing ranks far down my list of priorities which begins with doing the right thing. I believe that if we had more public servants who believed this way we would see far less gridlock and more focus on serving the people who elected us,” acknowledges Green.
“Having said this, the right thing to do today is to pledge my support for Tracy Pennartz for the Arkansas State Senate for District 9. I had the pleasure of serving two terms with Rep. Pennartz in the Arkansas House of Representatives and I know of no other Representative that has demonstrated more integrity and tenacity for her District than Rep. Pennartz,” emphasizes Green.
“Tracy has proven to be one of the hardest workers in the Arkansas Legislature and I have full confidence that she will work just as hard for all of us as our next State Senator. She believes strongly in bi-partisan constituent service which is so very important to the daily needs of people of our Senate District,” stresses Green.
“I hope you will join me in doing the right thing on Election Day and elect a dedicated public servant whose motivation for public service is to promote our district economically and fight for our beliefs and our causes. As our State Senator, Representative Pennartz will not embarrass us but will uphold the law, and the truths and principles she has lived by all of her life,” states Green.
Bruce Holland is sleeze and it’s catching up to him. This race would likely not be competitive if he didn’t act like he was above the law, or for that matter if we didn’t have a really great candidate like Pennartz. Just goes to show you, you’ve got to bring your A game to every race because you never know when lightning will strike like this. Contribute to Pennartz for Senate.
Mike Cook broke a good story today, catching a line from Jon Hubbard’s book that has him talking about how slavery was a blessing.
“… the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.” (Pages 183-89)
Mike tosses in several other offensive comments courtesy of Hubbard from his book, Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative. In fact, some of them look kind of familiar. Wasn’t someone else on the internet putting a bunch of far out Hubbard quotes out there for a long time? Something called a Daily Hubbard or something like that? I don’t know, I forget.
Anyway, this has now been picked up by national media outlets, finally. My question though is will the Jonesboro based media, the Jonesboro
Sun Pun and KAIT, give this any coverage whatsoever. I’m skeptical because that would A) require actual journalism and B) require them to report something bad about a Republican. Neither the Pun or KAIT do the former much, and you sure never see them do the later. But hey, at least it’s getting out.
Oh, by the way Mr. Cook, Hubbard’s challenger’s name is Harold Copenhaver, not Copenhaven. And our readers can find out where to send a check to his campaign here and help us end Jonesboro’s embarrassment. I promise, he’s 100 percent tobacco free.
Nice catch by ArkansasBlog on yet another misleading Republican mailer. (Yeah, I know, by this point it’s almost cliche.) This one though sounds kind of interesting as it has Republican Rep. Alan Kerr embracing Governor Beebe, the man who’s agenda Republicans are hoping to stall in the next session.
How you like this? Republican Rep. Allen Kerr’s latest mailer (at least he paid for it himself) leads off with the claim of how much he’s worked with Gov. Mike Beebe. Would that like be when he raised hell about Shane Broadway leading the Higher Education Department, to name another Democrat popular in Pulaski County? Or when he opposed a federal grant to implement the federal health care law. Or when he and his party ripped Beebe personally on account of administration who’d availed themselves of the (legal) ability to retire and then reclaim regular state jobs? Democrat Barbara Graves is apparently getting to Kerr. As she should.
Graves is a highly touted Democratic recruit running in a house seat and against a candidate who, much like Gilbert Baker and his seat, has long been targeted by Democrats. Graves has got a nice resume and is running a solid campaign, and it’s interesting that while Republicans around the state are pledging to work against Beebe to their base, Kerr is apparently embracing the popular Democratic governor. Guess that means he has no ambitions for higher office. That would quickly come back to haunt him in a Republican primary. That said it’s good to see that Graves has got him running scared and that we’re on offense in this winnable district with a top notch candidate. Contribute to Barbara Graves.
A big endorsement and fundraising boost has just come in for David Whitaker in his effort to keep HD-85 out of Republican hands, that of VoteVets.
For Immediate Release – October 3, 2012
WHITAKER ANNOUNCES VOTEVETS.ORG ENDORSEMENT Organization Supports Military Veterans and Boasts 250,000 National Members
FAYETTEVILLE – Democratic House candidate David Whitaker announced on Wednesday that he had received the endorsement of the national political group VoteVets.org. The group and its more than 250,000 supporters added Whitaker to their Emerging Leaders endorsements.
“I am so proud to have the support of my fellow veterans from VoteVets. This means a lot to me because I have always been committed to helping our veterans live full and meaningful lives as they make the transition back to civilian life,” Whitaker said on Wednesday.
Founded in 2006, VoteVets.org has made over five million contacts on behalf of endorsed candidates and raised over $30 million to spend on electing qualified veterans. The organization’s mission is “to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home.”
Whitaker said of the endorsement, “I have a deep respect for VoteVets, and am thankful that they would pick my race as one of the few to include in their Emerging Leaders program.”
In the endorsement on Wednesday, Jon Soltz, an Iraq War veteran and Chairman of VoteVets PAC, said, “I am pleased to support you in your race for Arkansas State Representative for District 85. I have no doubt that you will represent your fellow veterans and your community very well.”
Whitaker is a veteran of the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant. He co-founded and served as the first Chairman of the Democratic Veterans Caucus of Arkansas. His platform includes a call for state tax credits for businesses who hire returning veterans.
Whitaker’s race is vital to holding the state house and this is a much welcomed boost for a man that’s going to be a progressive leader in a chamber that, regardless of who controls it, will sorely need more than a few. It’s a well deserved endorsement too. Whitaker has long been a leader on veterans issues and no doubt will be so in the state house. Contribute to David Whitaker.
Gee, I guess running from the cops at over 100 mph doesn’t sit well with law enforcement. After all, the Oachita Chapter of the Police Benevolent Association just weighed in with an endorsement of Holland’s Democratic opponent, Tracy Pennartz. From the endorsement letter:
During the interview process State Representative Tracy Pennartz demonstrated why her experiences and values make her uniquely qualified to represent the voters of district 9. She also demonstrated to the ARPBA that she is committed to making strong, effective law enforcement a part of her campaign. The Arkansas PBA is proud to announce our endorsement of Representative Tracy Pennartz for State Senate, District 9.
Representative Tracy Pennartz is deeply rooted in the community today. The Arkansas PBA is proud to put our full support behind her for Senate, District 9, and we ask that you do the same. According to ARPBA division president Scott Hicks, “A vote for Representative Tracy Pennartz is a vote for the men and women of law enforcement and the citizens they serve.”
Translation-the cops think she’s less likely to put people’s lives at risk flying down the highway testing out how fast a new truck will go and then try to seal up the records afterward. This is a tough district, but it should an easy choice. Bruce Holland broke the law and tried to keep the facts of his case from his constituents. Tracy Pennartz is a dedicated and accomplished public servant and a Vietnam veteran. She’s also less likely to crash into your car or run over one of your kids. I think that’s all worth a campaign contribution myself.
You may have noticed that I’ve been absent of late. Well you know how it goes, life has to come first. But I just had to post this great new ad that Ellington is up on tv with here in the first district:
It’s a great ad, hitting the jobs message and taking a firm stand against tax breaks for companies that export jobs. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this is no Blue Dog. This is what a REAL Democrat standing up for ordinary people sounds like, and God is it refreshing!
Now, you might have seen some of the left leaning pundits from Little Rock, who shall go nameless here, more or less writing Scott off. Well, let me assure said pundits that just because a lot of the Democrats down there in Little Rock are totally incompetent doesn’t mean that those of us in the first district are. What? Someone had to say it.
We have our act together up here and we’re doing what Democrats elsewhere in the state should have done starting on day one of 2011-we’re bringing our A-game. Be it the folks that always work their tails off every election like the NEA Progressive Democrats in Action group or the Mississippi County Democrats, or those that have really kicked it into high gear, like the Greene County Central Committee or some great Democrats down in Wynne I can think of, Democrats in this district have pulled together and we have a first class candidate running a great campaign here. Yes, we have some people that can and should be doing a whole lot more than they are. *cough* *hack* Craighead County Democrats! *hack* *cough* But by and large, folks in this district are determined to take it back for team blue.
When Scott had no money and was running against Clark Hall, the Democrat with the money and the connections in the good ol’ boy system here in Arkansas and D.C., everyone pretty much wrote Scott off and tried to hold a coronation for the Blue Dog. Scott kicked his ass in the primary and managed to slug his way through a closely contested runoff. He’s working his tail off on this race and there are a lot of us out here doing the same for him.
We’re going to win in the first. Scott is going to beat Rick Crawford. Zac White is going to beat Missy Irving. Harold Copenhaver is going to beat Jon Hubbard. And to the Democrats down there in Little Rock just let me say this. Don’t worry. After we first district Democrats win in 2012, we’ll show you all how it’s done in 2014.
So come on 1st district Dems. Let’s cough up some cash for Scott to help him keep this ad on the air and run a second one. Contribute to Ellington for Congress, and let’s show ‘em that here in the first we play to win.
I’m with Rachel Maddow and Patrick Murphy on this one. John Boozman is a disgrace:
A bill that would provide job training for military veterans failed Wednesday thanks to a Republican filibuster.
Supporters of the plan, which President Obama has endorsed, are ripping the right, insisting they’re playing politics to avoid giving Obama any sort of legislative victory before Election Day. The GOP’s opposition to the bill comes not long after the last jobs report showed unemployment among vets at a whopping 11%.
Democrats wrote the bill with a large amount of bipartisan support. In fact, as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted, four Republican senators—John Boozman of Arkansas, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania— all wrote parts of the bill, then voted against it.
“They got what they wanted, then they voted no,” said Maddow, adding that she’d hoped the senators would at least show a “minimum willingness to come together on the issue of veterans.”
Veterans face a serious disadvantage when it comes to the job market. Their suicide rate is a national embarrassment, in part because a lot of them can’t get their lives together again. This bill needed two votes to overcome a filibuster. Two votes. Boozman could have voted yes and got one of his Republican friends to switch his vote or at least try to. No. He wrote his part of it to lie and claim he did something and then he voted no. John Boozman put his party before the people that fight and die for our country. He should be horse whipped for that.
When time comes for a Democrat to run against Boozman in 2016, this should be the subject of the first add for the general election.
The Americans For Prosperity bus tour rolled through Jonesboro and Paragould today. Only unlike 2010, a couple of things were different. First, their crowds were considerably smaller than they were then. Second, they were met with protesters this time.
Now, first let’s talk about Paragould. We had a great crowd in Paragould and the Democratic Central Committee there turned out a bunch of folks to help with the protest. I was honestly impressed. The Greene County Democrats are fighting in a tough environment, but they seem to be bringing an A game this year and it looks like it’s paying off. Some of them even came down and helped with the protest in Jonesboro. We got a ton of horn honks, waves, thumbs up, etc. there. What’s more, at least one of the folks at the AFP rally came over, extended his hand and said “You know, we might not agree or be on the same side here but believe it or not I’m glad to see you guys out here standing up for what you believe. We’re all Americans here whether we see eye to eye or not and I really thank you guys for being civil and respectful.” That, my friends, is a Republican with class and character. Major kudos to that guy.
Now let’s talk about Jonesboro…
We were standing out there listening to the D-List celebrity they got for this, the guy who played Cliff from Cheers and the pig from Toy Stor, and I was watching my old friend Paul Harrell give interviews and wondering why I hadn’t been invited back for a debate after I got to have all that fun pointing out how ridiculous the Jonesboro Bicycle Brigade was on his show. Again, can’t imagine why I haven’t been invited back…
But anyway, this old guy comes up to us and extends his hand. I take it. And I swear he says this:
Let me tell you somethin’. I worked with coloreds for years and they work real hard when you’re smilin’ at ‘em but stop smilin’ and see what happens.
I took my hand away, told him he was a racist, and turned my back on the old fart.
Immediately after a lady comes up to us and yells “You people are jokes!” I said, “No ma’am, you’re candidate is.” She looked absolutely appalled and stormed off. Another lady screamed “You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.” We asked “Why?” She said “Obama’s turning us into a socialist country!” We said “No he’s not.” She stormed off.
Then there was the worst of the lot. This old guy storms over to us, grabs the tiny black girl with the “RomneyHood” sign and yells “YOU NEED TO WORK!” She responded with “I work two jobs, I go to college, and I’m a veteran.” He then proceeded to tell her to get out of his way before he ran her over with his car. A bunch of us guys and some of the older women jumped in and got between him and that girl and the coward backed way off. He was sputtering mad and blurted out “I quit school in the 8th grade to work.” One of our guys patted him on the shoulder and said “I believe it.” and walked off.
All in all, we held our own and at one point drowned them out yelling “Obama!” They came back with “USA! USA!” Gee, why wouldn’t they say “Romney!”? Don’t think they’re embarrassed by him do you? Maybe some protestors ought to shout “Romneycare!” at one of their next events.
So yeah, we stood up, held our own, and had a good day. Our guys were smiling and laughing all the way through. Their guys had constant scowls on their faces. They’re losing and they know it. And again, I was really impressed by the Green County Democrats. That central committee is getting some serious work done and a lot of committees could learn from that example. Speaking of which, know how many members of the Craighead County Central Committe were there? Just one…briefly. Then again getting most of the folks on that committee to actually work seems to be like pulling teeth, sad to say.
This is not 2010. Democrats are not rolling over. We’re standing up and fighting back. And you know what? We’re going to keep doing that every year now, no matter what the odds.
SD-11: Republicans Lie About Harrelson’s Commitment To Vets Two Months After He Buries His Vietnam Vet DadSep 18, 2012 No Comments ›› ARDem
Arkansas Republicans are a bunch of scumbags. This is the mailer that they’re sending out to attack Steve Harrelson:
First, it’s patently false. Steve had proposed an amendment that would have strengthened the penalty for protesting a soldier’s funeral beyond a certain line and voted against the bill after that amendment was rejected. After his amendment was rejected, Harrelson refused to vote for the weaker bill. When an amendment was put forward last year to strengthen the penalty, Harrelson voted for it.
On top of that, the Republican party is questioning Steve’s patriotism and commitment to veterans just two months after he buried his own father, a Vietnam veteran.
We’re 50 days out from Election Day, and the mud is already flying. If you live in my senate district, you’ve no doubt received a mailer from the opposition listing my cell phone number along with an assertion that questions my support for veterans and my patriotism.
In 2006, a bill was filed that allowed picketing and protesting to take place at funerals if you stand at least 150 feet (50 yards) from the funeral to do it. If you stepped within the 150 foot imaginary line, you were subject to a mere $100 fine.
I was outraged by this, and I proposed an amendment to the author seeking to require mandatory jail time and prohibiting picketing whatsoever. This amendment failed, and I voted against the bill. Now that vote is being twisted to question my support for our fallen military heroes.
In 2011, a better bill was proposed to fix this law requiring any protests to take place further away from funerals than a mere 50 yards, and I voted FOR that bill.
It’s a shame that the opposition would question my support for our veterans a mere two months after I buried my own dad at a funeral that included full military honors due to the service he rendered this grateful nation in Vietnam.
This kind of lie is unconscionable and there should be hell to pay for it. Contribute to Steve’s campaign and let’s show that we’re not going to let something this disgusting stand unchallenged. We are going to make them regret that they ever stooped so low.
Bruce Holland…What a jackass… We all remember “Fireball” Holland’s little run in with the law early last year where he was caught speeding at more than 100 mph and then ran from the cops, claiming he didn’t see officer. Well Holland’s little incident is back in the news again because he’s apparently made an effort to seal the records related to the incident in order to protect his political career. Included in the paper was this little quote from the officer that stopped him:
“When asked why he was driving in that manner and not stopping for me, he replied ‘I just got the car yesterday and was trying it out.’”
Uh huh…Trying it out at over 100 mph and breaking the law, not to mention potentially putting someone else at risk. Biggest jackass ever.
Democrats have pounced on Holland’s attempts to seal the records, with his opponent, Tracy Pennartz, stating:
“I read the Doug Thompson article this morning with dismay,” said Pennartz.
“I found the facts to be troubling—ﬂeeing an ofﬁcer at 110 mph, passing on bridges and in no-passing zones.” Pennartz added, “Behavior such as this is inexcusable for a State Senator.”
“Anyone who reads this article would ﬁnd it troubling especially now that there seems to have been an attempt to cover-up the behavior.” Pennartz emphasized, “When a person is given the trust of the people to hold elected ofﬁce and sent to the Senate or House to make laws, we should live by the laws we pass.”
The DPA followed up with this release:
New information regarding Senator Bruce Holland’s attempted cover-up of court files regarding his complete disregard for the safety of others came to light this weekend with the emergence of documents surrounding his arrest that Holland asked the court to seal. The documents revealed that when the police officer questioned why Holland tried to escape the police officer at speeds over 100 miles per hour, Holland responded “I just got the car yesterday and was trying it out.”“His reckless disregard for the law and his attempted cover up prove Bruce Holland unfit for the election and unfit for the Arkansas Senate. It is deplorable that Sen. Holland would hold himself above the law, risking the lives of others, and respond to a police officer as if he were playing with a toy,” Candace Martin, communications director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas said.Senator Bruce Holland requested the court seal documents containing the statement he made as reported by his arresting deputy. When Holland was asked about his attempt to seal these documents and regarding the statements he made, Holland refused to answer.
One of these men isn’t smiling for a reason. Our endorsed candidate in the HD-85 race, David Whitaker, the guy who looks very happy in this pic and for good reason, has outraised his Republican opponent, Paul Graham, and has more cash on hand.
FAYETTEVILLE – David Whitaker, candidate for the Arkansas House of Representatives in District 85, announced on Monday that he had significantly outraised his Republican opponent in August.“Our campaign has been busy working hard to reach out to voters across the district, and our support has come from people of all walks of life,” Whitaker said.Whitaker raised over $7000 in August, compared to less than $2,600 raised by his Republican opponent, Paul Graham. Whitaker ended the month with over $11,000 cash-on-hand, outpacing Graham by almost $2,500 at month’s end.“We’ve focused on reaching out to residents, business leaders, and people who care about the direction of our state and country. We’ve had a tremendous amount of success building support in our district,” Whitaker said.District 85 consists of the city of Farmington and parts of the cities of Fayetteville and Prairie Grove. A veteran of the United States Air Force and graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law, Whitaker served as Assistant City Attorney in Fayetteville and now teaches at Northwest Arkansas Community College.Washington County Democrats chair Tyler Clark said on Monday, “David has been working hard and building connections across his district. He has strong support and is in a great position to win in November.”
Conservatives Still Grasping At Straws On “Voter Fraud”; Trying To Make Hallum’s “Election Fraud” Fit The BillSep 17, 2012 No Comments ›› ARDem
Hey, guess what! The Arkansas Project’s back! Yeah, kind of took me by surprise too. Though in fairness it’s not the same soft core porn site it was way back in the day. It’s actually got real articles, though I’d take some issue with the factual accuracy of them. But hey, at least the women in the pictures all seem to be dressed this time. Maybe now they can pass this outfit off as a serious political blog.
Anyway, ribbing aside. The Arkansas Project is now hammering away at “voter fraud” in Arkansas, using Hudson Hallum’s election theft as an example. At one point, they even single out our Letters to the Pizzaman bit where I asked Mark Darr to actually show me an example of voter fraud. The point of my exchanges with Darr and my pressing of other conservatives to show an example of actual voter fraud-someone who’s not registered to vote casting a vote when they shouldn’t-all comes down to the justification for imposing stricter voter id requirements. Darr of course cited the investigation of Hallum to me, to which I replied that it was A) still under investigation and B) not an example of voter fraud even if it turned out to be true. And it’s not. Hallum rigged the voting process by buying votes and destroying absentee ballots. That’s not voter fraud, and the voter id law Republicans want won’t do a thing to stop that kind of behavior. The folks at Arkansas Project know this because they wrote:
According to reports from the Associated Press, Hallum, his father, and two campaign workers pled guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit election fraud after federal prosecutors said the lawmaker’s campaign bribed absentee voters and destroyed ballots in a special election last year.
Then, further down that same post, we get this:
Obviously, voter ID laws will not solve absentee voter fraud (of which Hallum is guilty) just as they will not cure cancer or prevent obesity. They will not stop all vote fraud everywhere for all time, and they will not solve all problems in elections. But do opponents of voter ID laws feel comfortable basing their position on the fact that voter ID would only eliminate some fraud?
Nice to see them admit that they still have to grasp for a justification, but at least here they acknowledge that voter ID wouldn’t have stopped this. There is that little slight of hand though where they go from calling Hallum’s crime “election fraud”, which it is, to “absentee voter fraud”, then otherwise consistently referring to it at “voter fraud”. See the game here? I’ll also give them some credit. Someone finally found one, just one!, example of voter fraud out of the entire country. Kudos for that. Now let’s see…how many examples did I have of legitimate voters disenfranchised by voter ID laws across the country again…Hmmm, there was this list…
- Ricky Tyrone Lewis is a 58 year-old Marine Corps veteran. Despite the fact that he was able to offer Wisconsin voting officials proof of his honorable discharge from the Marines, Milwaukee County has been unable to find the record of his birth that he needs in order to obtain a voter ID card.
- Ruthelle Frank is an 84 year-old former elected official who voted in every election for the last 63 years, yet she will be unable to obtain a voter ID unless she pays a fee to obtain a birth certificate from the Wisconsin government — despite the fact that the Constitution explicitly forbids any voter from being charged a fee in order to vote. Worse, because the attending physician at her birth misspelled her name on her original birth certificate, she may need to pay hundreds of dollars in court fees to petition the state judiciary to correct her certificate before she can obtain a voter ID.
- Paul Carroll is an 86-year-old World War II veteran who has lived in the same Ohio town for four decades. Yet, when he attempted to vote in the recent Ohio primary, he was told his photo ID from the Department of Veterans Affairs was not good enough because it did not include his address.
- Dorothy Cooper is a 96-year-old African-American woman who says she has voted in every election but one since she became eligible to vote. Yet, when she attempted to obtain a voter ID, she was turned away because she did not have a copy of her marriage license. In a subsequent interview, Cooper said that she didn’t even have problems voting in Tennessee “during Jim Crow days” — only now under Voter ID.
- Thelma Mitchell is a 93-year-old woman who cleaned the Tennessee Capitol for 30 years. She never received a birth certificate, however, because she was delivered by a midwife in Alabama in 1918 and there was no record of her birth. When she attempted to obtain a voter ID, she was turned away for lack of a birth certificate by a clerk who suggested she could be an illegal immigrant.
- Virginia Lasater is a 91-year-old woman who has been active in political campaigns for 70 years. Because of her advanced age, however, she is no longer able to stand for extended periods of time. When she attempted to obtain a voter ID, she was confronted with lines that stretched for several hours and no place to sit while she waited — forcing her to abandon her effort to obtain an ID due to her physical constraints.
- Darwin Spinks is an 86 year-old World War II veteran. He was told to pay a fee before he could obtain a voter ID in Tennessee, despite the fact that charging someone to vote is unconstitutional.
- Rita Platt is a Wisconsin resident who was turned away from her attempt to obtain a voter ID because she required either a birth certificate or a passport to obtain one — both of which can only be obtained if the voter pays a fee. Worse, in Wisconsin, voters must fill out a misleading form which suggests that they cannot obtain the birth certificate they need to obtain a photo ID unless they already have a photo ID.
- Jessica Cohen is a Texas resident who lost her license and other identification papers in a burglary. She now must also pay an unconstitutional fee in order to obtain the birth certificate she needs to obtain a new voter ID. Because Cohen lives in Texas, she will likely be able to vote in 2012 because the Department of Justice blocked Texas’ law under the Voting Rights Act — although there is a high risk that the Supreme Court’s conservatives will declare the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.
Oh and then there was my favorite example of the woman who marched with King and her disenfranchisement:
Now let me be clear here, I have no problem with reforms that would make it harder to commit the crime Hallum and his accomplices did, and we’ve been calling for better oversight of elections since the whole Garland County fiasco in 2010. But what we don’t need is something that will disenfranchise a significant numbers of legitimate voters-seniors, minorities, college students, etc.-who aren’t likely to have a valid photo ID. Voter fraud is very rare, and yes, the Brennan Center for Justice says it’s statistically on par with being struck by lightning, a fact the boys at the Arkansas Project like to make fun of but still can’t disprove. After all, one example that someone finally managed to find, and an example of something totally different from voter fraud, does not an epidemic make.
If conservatives are going to make their case for a law that is clearly disenfranchising legitimate voters around the country then they are going to have to do a whole lot better than this.
There’s been a lot of talk in ERA circles about whether or not State Rep. Greg Leding is fully committed to the Equal Rights Amendment after campaigning for it in ’10. It’s also been said that Leding, at one point, stated that “The ERA needs time to breathe.” I have no idea whether that’s true or not.
Here’s what I do know though.
As far as his voting record, progressives have never had any problems out of Greg Leding. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a bad vote that he cast. In many ways he was a progressive leader in the last session, tackling wage theft with Wal-Mart, the wage robbers in chief, based just one county over. He’s owed some serious props for that. And I do not think for a minute that if the ERA comes up for a vote that Leding would vote against it.
However, that’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement…
It was inexcusable that not a single Democrat stepped up last year for the ERA. They were all so scared to death after the tea party wave in 2010 that they refused to take any action on it, thinking that not doing so would somehow improve their chances at keeping their majorities in the legislature. A lot of folks expected Leding to lead on the issue, especially after he campaigned on being an ERA supporter in the Democratic primary against a far more conservative Democrat and since he held the seat of Lindsley Smith, a progressive leader who pushed the ERA in the past. Bygones could be bygones of course, but ERA advocates have been pushing hard to get Democrats across the state on record in support of the ERA. There was a HUGE rally in Fayetteville in support of the issue and according to the organizers of the event someone from Leding’s circle asked about getting him a chance to speak but backed off when it was made clear that Leding would have to sign the ERA pledge to do so. Apparently, Leding has a no pledge pledge. Several Democrats seem to be taking that route, and some of them I guess are making the argument that it will serve as a contrast with the Republicans signing the irresponsible Norquist pledge and being beholden to him. Yeah, that’s a load of crap. While I’m all for avoiding gotcha’ surveys like the Family Council’s and stuff like that, dodging surveys and pledges, especially those that should be no brainers like supporting equal rights for women, just makes you look spineless and like you have something to hide. I have no sympathy for Democrats that go that route when they inevitably get burned. People have a right to know where their public servants stand, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them demanding that promise in writing politicians being as they so often are.
Now again, I don’t think for a moment that Leding would ever vote against the ERA. Leveling that criticism at Leding is unfair to someone who has such a solid progressive record. Saying he hasn’t been a leader on the ERA though? That’s pretty fair, especially when Washington County has all kinds of great Democrats who have stepped up and signed the ERA pledge-David Whitaker, Uvalde Lindsey, Diana Gonzales Worthen, Yssie Hernandez, etc. Three of those Democrats are in tough races (Lindsey doesn’t have an opponent) and could use some help. Leding’s seat is safe, being one of the most liberal in the state, and really I don’t think he’s going to need any real help to hold it. That’s a big reason why Leding’s name missing from the ERA pledges looks so bad-he’s surrounded by folks with more at risk than him who are sticking their necks out for women while he doesn’t. It’s folks like Whitaker and Worthen that need the help and that’s where those of us looking for leadership on the ERA should invest our efforts and our money. In the next session, we will be looking to them for leadership, and in fairness to Gred Leding I’m 100% confident that he will gladly follow.
In response to a few questions I’ve gotten, yes, the Daily Hubbard will be continuing. I just had a busy week and didn’t get around to adding more updates. No worries, your daily dose of crazy, angry old man will continue next week. I promise.