Voter Suppression: Bringing Jobs since 2010

Scott Walker: Bringing Jobs since 2010

Voter suppression has been an American tradition since the days of our founding fathers. It’s sad and appalling, but true. At first our Constitution only recognized the right of white male land owners. That was as of 1790. Also, did I mention you had to have a prerequisite as a Christian to vote? Yep, that would probably mean James Madison couldn’t vote… That whole agnosticism or atheism thing might’ve gotten in the way. Well, that rule was abolished in 1810.

Craziest thing was that we didn’t abolish the land ownership requirement until 1850. Literally 61 years of our country’s foundation are born on this principle of white land ownership. And all sorts of laws were STILL on the books holding people from voting. It’s kind of nuts when you think about it. As a modern day citizen, a voter, student and a young person; I look around me and see all sorts of people who care about what happens in their society, albeit some of them don’t vote, sadly.

I can still remember the first time I ever helped people vote. I was in high school, and unfortunately wasn’t eligible to vote at the time of the 2008 Presidential Preference Primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but I went around the high school to all of my friends who were seniors and urged them and offered to take them with and register them to vote. Some of my teachers even allowed me to walk around the school during class and pull students from their courses to head down to the balloting station in the school. I loved it. And I’m proud, to this day, that I did that.

Yet, we have people like Scott Walker, and Scott Fitzgerald who want to make it harder for people to vote, rather than have a complete and true representative democracy in action in the State of Wisconsin.

We can all remember the Voter ID bill that was passed. Well, currently that law is being held up in court battles. As a person who has helped many register to vote, and ultimately cast their ballot, I can say that I am thankful that we have this battle ensuing for at least a little bit.

In Wisconsin we have an amazing track record of fair, honest and open elections. But every year we hear about the voter fraud argument like it’s a war cry from the right to bring true democracy to our state’s elections. So let’s investigate this. Wisconsin State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen  wants to go after voter fraud and make it a thing of the past. But it seems like that has all ready kind have happened. In 2008, he began an investigation into the elections and found a meager 11 total ballots improperly cast. Can someone explain how that is going to turn an election result realistically?

But beyond that let’s think about why it’s  a GOP priority to make people have identification to vote. What are some populations that tend to vote certain ways? Let’s think.

1. We all know students and young people are more likely to vote for a Democratic candidate over any other party.

2. The African American community has trended to vote for a Democratic candidate since the 1960s civil rights battles that people shed blood for.

3. People with lower incomes also trend to vote for the Dem ticket rather than crossing over to the GOP.

Huh. Well isn’t that something interesting when you add this little fact sheet into the equation. (Provided by One Wisconsin Now).

Wisconsin’s population is substantially less likely to have a state-issued identification. Those without state-issued photo identification and who would need to obtain one under the Wisconsin Voter ID bill include:

    • 23 percent of all elderly Wisconsinites over the age of 65
    • 17 percent of white men and women
    • 55 percent of all African American males and 49 percent of African American women
    • 46 percent of Hispanic men and 59% of Hispanic women
    • 78 percent of African American males age 18-24 and 66 percent of African American women age 18-24

[Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin, 6/05]

Hmmmm. Methinks you have displaced the mirth, GOP.

Now here’s my take. I’m a student, and you’re reading what I have to say, so listen up folks: students vote. Holy cow! Blasphemy! WHAT?!

Oh yeah, we vote. In this state we have 44,000 students that didn’t originate here. Under the Wisconsin voter ID law, you need a WISCONSIN ID to vote. I don’t know how many of you have been to the DMV lately, but those cost money, unless you ask for it specifically for voting purposes. And I don’t know about many college students out there, but I’m poor. I also know plenty who don’t have access to a car. Oh, we also have class during the day when most DMV service centers are open and available to provide these ID cards.

Students are able to prove identification with student ID cards, however. This was originally not included in the bill, but thanks to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and a group of persistent students and young folks at United Council, republicans allowed these to be used. However, they made using them for voting harder than using a regular ID.

This means that you are required to show a proof of enrollment upon presenting your student identification card. Proof of enrollment means just what it says, proof that you are enrolled in the school you have your ID from. At first glance this wouldn’t seem such a big deal. However, most students don’t just have a proof of enrollment form on them at all times. Often times, and in many of our universities in this state, you have to go to a separate office and obtain the form yourself, taking time out of a busy course and study schedule. This also would create a burden for students not normally put on people with a valid state issued photo ID. A photo ID is a photo ID. You can read more about these arguments in the amicus brief filed by the WDC and joined by UC here.

So let’s get this straight. Walker wants to go after the single digit numbers that commit voter fraud…because they can change an election’s outcome…right? But hell, what’s 44,000 votes of students. I mean that would never change an election…

Did I mention that this would cost MILLIONS of dollars and create a huge bureaucracy in the DMV…more than already exists?

All of this just doesn’t add up. Especially because when Governor Walker was elected, he promised us jobs. He actually promised us more jobs than the current unemployment rate, effectively ridding us of the woe of unemployment. But hey…it’s a floor, not a ceiling…

Well, I have a question for Mr. Walker: what about this legislation brings jobs?

 

 

Scott Walker has serious problems abiding by Wisconsin campaign finance laws

What’s that you say? Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign has failed to report legally required campaign finance information over 7,500 times? That’s unpossible!!!

Gov. Scott Walker’s latest campaign finance filing fails to disclose employment information, as required by state law, for 240 large contributions, according to an analysis by One Wisconsin Now. Going back to 2009, when Walker began his run for Governor in earnest, his reports have failed to disclose legally required employer information for 7,512 big money donors giving over $100 totaling $2,330,197.98 in contributions.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “We’re not just talking about one instance of sloppy bookkeeping here. Gov. Walker has a long and well-established pattern of complete and utter contempt for following the law when it comes to disclosing the required information about the big money givers footing the bill for him to pursue his political ambitions.”

Wisconsin State Statute section 11.06(1)(b) requires candidates and officeholders to disclose the occupation and name and address of the place of employment for any contributor who contributes in excess of $100 to a campaign in a calendar year.

In response to Gov. Walker’s most recent violations of Wisconsin State Statute, violations which are part of a clear pattern on the part of his gubernatorial campaign, One Wisconsin Now has filed a complaint with the state Government Accountability Board.

Did Gov. Walker buy his recall election with loophole loot?

Do you think politicians should be allowed to buy elections? If you answered “no,” you might want to take a look at a new report just released by One Wisconsin Now and United Wisconsin which details how Scott Walker paid for his recall election using loophole loot. And if you’d like to help keep politicians, both Republican and Democrat, from buying elections in the future, you may want to consider signing the petition (below).

From Thursday’s press release via United Wisconsin:

A comprehensive report from One Wisconsin Now and United Wisconsin shows how Gov. Scott Walker raised over $7 million by exploiting the unlimited campaign finance recall loophole and provides a detailed perspective on the out-of-state and in-state donors who bankrolled Walker’s win in June.

“Scott Walker exploited the recall election rules to drown out the voice of Wisconsin working families in favor of his elite friends,” said Lisa Subeck, United Wisconsin Executive Director. “Unlimited spending on elections by wealthy and special interests is rotting the core of our democracy.”

Yowza!

The major findings of the report show that of the $37 million raised by Walker since January 2011, just under $11 million was raised for “recall defense expenditures.” Of this, $7.3 million was raised from contributions in excess of the normal $10,000 campaign limits for a gubernatorial candidate in Wisconsin.

Adds Scot Ross, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now, “Scott Walker bought the election with a waterfall of money no other candidate could legally raise.”

The report provides biographical material about the 163 “mega-donors” to Walker — those who contributed the $7.3 million in excess of the normal contribution limits. Leading the charge was Diane Hendricks, billionaire widow, who appeared in the infamous “divide and conquer” video where Walker outlined his plan to attack both public and private sector employees and turn Wisconsin into a “Right to Work for Less” state. Hendricks gave Walker $510,000, and this was just one of the numerous six-figure contributions Walker got — all in excess of any contribution to an individual candidate given in Wisconsin history.

Read the full report here.

United Wisconsin and One Wisconsin Now seek to change the law to remove the unlimited recall money loophole, so that politicians, Republicans AND Democrats, cannot exploit the system and render the democratic process null and void.

“We must get Big Money out of politics if we are to ensure everyone can have a voice, not just those with deep pockets,” said Subeck. “This starts with common-sense reform to our broken campaign finance system.”

The two groups are running a petition drive to do just that. If you’d like to add your name to the petition, please click here.