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1  Questions and Answers / Presidential Election Process / Re: Major campaign underway to nullify Electoral College on: Today at 02:42:14 pm
I'm pretty sure voter turn-out influences their opposition as well. Just in the last few years we've seen Republicans vote to keep ex-felons disenfranchised, cut early/weekend/absentee voting, repeal same-day registration, oppose automatic voter registration, etc.

When you have a national popular vote it's theoretically possible to offset those reductions in other states which is different than how it is now; under the current system of state > people an adoption of same-day registration in Connecticut and California cannot offset a repeal of it in Ohio and North Carolina. The Electoral College indirectly empowers voter suppression.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The End is Nigh!!!111!11 on: Today at 02:21:00 pm
Maryland just decriminalized marijuana (possession) and it looks like California won't have a legalization initiative in 2014 after all.
3  Questions and Answers / Presidential Election Process / Re: Major campaign underway to nullify Electoral College on: April 17, 2014, 02:16:53 am
Cuomo signed it: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/04/15/gov-andrew-cuomo-signs-national-popular-vote-bill/

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to enter New York in an interstate agreement to award its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the majority of the popular vote.

The National Popular Vote agreement would be triggered if states representing 270 electoral votes commit. Currently 10 states and the District of Columbia, representing 165 electoral votes — 61 percent of what is needed to win a presidential election — have signed the measure.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Arizona State Legislature on: March 29, 2014, 01:36:03 am
It's hard to find historical data on this but it looks like Republicans have had a majority since 1966?


Democrats lost control of the state legislature in 1966 for the first time and have yet to regain control.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California to send voter registration cards to Obamacare applicants on: March 29, 2014, 01:20:35 am

After congressional Republicans raised concerns about the ACA being used for voter registration, the Obama administration soft-pedaled the requirement on the federal exchange by merely including a one-sentence link to an all-purpose federal government website.

Why so timid? Republicans don't have a problem pushing for voting changes.


March 28, 2014

Yesterday Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed legislation eliminating early voting hours on weekends and nights, when it’s most convenient for many voters to go to the polls. When they took over state government in 2011, Wisconsin Republicans reduced the early voting period from three weeks to two weeks and only one weekend. Now they’ve eliminated weekend voting altogether.

A month ago, Ohio passed legislation cutting early voting by a week, eliminating same-day voter registration and restricting the availability of absentee ballots while Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) issued a directive doing away with early voting on weeknights and Sundays as well.
6  Questions and Answers / Presidential Election Process / Re: Major campaign underway to nullify Electoral College on: March 27, 2014, 12:16:44 am
The NY legislature just approved the compact.


Mar. 25, 2014

ALBANY—The New York Legislature approved a bill tonight that would award the state's presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote, if enough states agree to do the same.

Both the Assembly and Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure that would allow the state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which seeks to circumvent the Electoral College.

With New York’s 29 electors, the interstate compact would have 160 electors, or the 60 percent of the 270 it needs to take effect.

The bill has been teetering between the chambers for years, and this is the first year it has passed both chambers. The bill now returns to the Senate, and requires the signature of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has not taken a public position on the legislation.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The End is Nigh!!!111!11 on: March 15, 2014, 05:33:36 am

This is huge or as one of the “hard core” insiders puts it, “We are planning a tsunami move in November 2014 [in Michigan].”

A move on what you ask?

Local initiatives in at least eight cities and possibly a dozen more aimed at legalizing or decriminalizing possession, use or transfer of small amounts of marijuana on private property by persons 21 or older.

Sound familiar?

It should because similar proposals have been on the local ballot in eight other cities and the pro-marijuana coalition is batting 1.000.

Driving this effort is the attitude that the “Michigan legislature seems to be in a state of paralysis” and rather than sit around waiting for lawmakers to catch up with public opinion, the reasoning goes, “the best defense is a good offense.”
8  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should car manufacturers be allowed to sell vehicles directly to consumers? on: March 15, 2014, 04:52:14 am
Of course. These dealership laws are just rent-seeking corruption.


Car dealers fear Tesla. In states across the country, powerful car dealer associations have lobbied to ensure the electric car maker and its direct-sales model are kept out. This movement claimed another victory this week when New Jersey banned Tesla stores in the state.

On the surface, the fear is hard to fathom. In New Jersey, for instance, sales of Tesla’s $70,000 Model S reportedly number in the hundreds. But if you dig a little deeper, it becomes obvious why dealers are worried. They don’t just fear Tesla’s cars. They fear Tesla’s plan to create a world where you never have to bring your car into the shop again.

I’ve written before that a Tesla without its outer shell looks like a cell phone on wheels. It’s basically just a big battery. That means no spark plugs, no air filters, no fuel pumps, no timing belts. In short, Teslas don’t have any of the parts that force you to take your car in for “regularly scheduled maintenance” — services that can cost dearly at the dealer. But it’s hard to charge for an oil change when there’s no oil to be changed.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Which party will control the New York Senate after November? on: March 15, 2014, 04:39:21 am
How is the NY State Senate map so GOP friendly? Dems have controlled the gov's mansion and State House since the last census. Do both chambers have to agree on a map, thus giving the nominally GOP Senate veto power over any plan that wouldn't benefit them?

I think court-drawn maps were taken off the table because Cuomo didn't veto the gerrymander:


Mar 16, 2012

NY Redistricting: Late on Wednesday night, Albany lawmakers passed the unholy legislative gerrymanders agreed upon by Democratic leaders in the Assembly and their Republican counterparts in the Senate. Indeed, Senate Democrats were so enraged that they stormed out of the chamber en masse, leading to a 36-0 vote in favor of the maps. (The four members of the so-called "Independent Democratic Conference" shamefully sided with the GOP: David Carlucci, Jeffrey Klein, Diane Savino, and David Valesky.)

Then on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave final testament to the fact that he spent a year lying to New Yorkers about his promise to reform the redistricting process and signed the maps into law. What did he get in exchange? The mere possibility that a deliberately crappy redistricting commission might come into effect a decade hence. In order for that to happen, the next legislature would have to pass the proposed constitutional amendment again—something they may well not bother to do, given that they already got what they wanted (their maps)—and then voters have to approve it in a referendum.

All in all, this is an extremely raw deal for New Yorkers, and for Democrats, this truly is the worst of all possible worlds. We gave up the ability to draw a congressional map, and we allowed the GOP to produce another outrageous gerrymander of the state Senate—in other words, worse than bupkes. If Cuomo had kept his word and vetoed any maps produced by the legislature, we'd be taking back the Senate this fall, guaranteed, and then we'd have an opportunity to re-do the congressional map next year.

But instead, Cuomo's for some reason in thrall to Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who appears to be his closest ideological soul-mate in Albany.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state legislature (general) elections on: March 07, 2014, 04:52:44 pm

November 25, 2013

Del. Ryan Ferns announced Monday he has switched parties and will run in 2014 for the state Senate as a Republican.

The former Democrat is in his second term in the House of Delegates and first made the announcement in his hometown of Wheeling, W.Va.

Ferns is now one of three West Virginia Democrats who has switched parties to run for office, including state Sen. Evan Jenkins and Clarksburg City Councilwoman Margaret Bailey.


The state GOP has been actively campaigning for West Virginia Democrats to join the Republican Party and run for office in 2014. The deadline to change party affiliation before the 2014 Primaries is Nov. 26, 2013.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Andrew Cuomo on: March 07, 2014, 04:34:51 pm
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The End is Nigh!!!111!11 on: March 05, 2014, 01:45:00 am
The 2014 legislative session for the Oregon legislature is ending and the aforementioned possibility of the legislature referring a legalization measure to the ballot didn't happen. Looks like it's back to the initiative(s).


March 04, 2014

A measure that would ask voters if they want to legalize marijuana – and leave the regulatory details to lawmakers in the next session – doesn't have enough votes to pass the Senate and appears certain to die in committee.

Paul Stanford, the Portland medical marijuana impresario, is already collecting signatures for two initiatives – one making possession of the drug a constitutional right for adults and the other laying out a program for growing, selling and possessing marijuana.

Another group, New Approach Oregon, is supported by several large national funders and executive director Anthony Johnson says he is also confident about qualifying a legalization measure for the [Nov. 2014] ballot.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state legislature (general) elections on: March 04, 2014, 04:53:09 am

February 26, 2014

ALBANY – Prospects for the Democrats taking back full control of the [NY] State Senate slipped again Wednesday, as another member of their ranks joined a breakaway group of independent Democrats that run the Senate in a coalition with Republicans.

Sen. Tony Avella, of Queens, said he is joining the Independent Democratic Conference, a move that bolsters not only the group’s power in the chamber, but also gives Republicans some breathing room as they face some potentially tough battles over GOP-held seats in the fall elections.

Avella becomes the fifth member of the independent Democratic group.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ohio GOP to Pass New "NC-like" Voting Restrictions on: February 26, 2014, 04:34:01 pm
bump 2


February 25, 2014

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has followed through on promises to restrict voting opportunities in his state. The change, announced Tuesday, eliminates extended early voting hours on weekdays, the final two days before Election Day as well as Sunday voting, a day typically important to African-American voters because churches use it to turn out votes.

Husted’s announcement comes on the heels of other Ohio initiatives to suppress turnout. Ohio just passed two bills that eliminates an entire week of early voting and end the practice of mailing absentee ballots.

Husted, known for vote suppression, similarly tried to cut Sunday voting hours in the 2012 presidential election. A federal appeals court intervened, concluding that the directive would mean “thousands of voters who would have voted during those three days will not be able to exercise their right to cast a vote in person.’”
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: February 22, 2014, 05:55:34 pm
It's really just a question of method now in Oregon. The group working to put a measure on the 2014 ballot has gathered 160k signatures for the initiative as of this month (probably already enough to qualify for the ballot) and the signature deadline isn't until July but it's possible that the state's ban on same-sex marriage will be struck down by a federal judge before then like what happened in UT/OK/VA so they said they might not even want to put a legalization measure on the ballot at that point.

Of course the federal decision could be stayed and the language of the previous ban would still be in the state constitution so who knows? I doubt the initiative would fail at the ballot but I also kind of doubt it would get 55% or more. It is a mid-term electorate after all.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Arizona = future D+1 on: February 22, 2014, 05:35:55 pm
Probably gonna get vetoed. Even most of the Republicans running in the primary for the 2014 gubernatorial race are opposed: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/State-treasurer-says-veto-Arizona-bill-5258854.php

February 22, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey (R), who is running for governor, says a bill allowing business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs should be vetoed.

Several Republican gubernatorial candidates have already weighed in on Senate Bill 1062.

Secretary of State Bennett and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said Friday they don't support it. Bennett called it unnecessary and divisive and Smith said it has the potential to negatively affect basic rights, including freedom of religion.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ohio GOP to Pass New "NC-like" Voting Restrictions on: February 22, 2014, 05:17:46 pm


Feb 21, 2014

A pair of bills passed by the Ohio Statehouse this week may get the governor's signature as early as today.

The bills accomplish several things:

- Cutting out six days from the early voting period
- Eliminating days during which same-day registration and voting are possible
- Restricting absentee ballot availability

“He [the Governor] will sign them both, possibly later today,” spokesman Rob Nichols told msnbc this morning.

Shortening the early voting period may not be as partisan as one thinks. The Dems in IL did the same thing last year for this year's election. Most voters were using either the first or last couple of days and counties were complaining of the expense to staff a largely unused middle week.

And the rest?


It really isn’t that hard to figure out whether someone is who she says is, which is why many states allow voters to register on the same day as an election. Doing so encourages participation, especially among the poor, the young and people of color. Turnout in states that permit same-day registration is reliably 10 percentage points higher in presidential elections, as shown in the chart above from the public policy organization Demos.

North Carolina recently terminated its same-day registration program, which was chiefly used by African Americans. Forty-one percent of voters who registered on the day of the election in 2012 were black, compared to only 20 percent of the state’s population, according to Demos’s data. North Carolina legislators ostensibly ended same-day registration not to keep blacks from voting, but to prevent voter fraud. Yet there has never been any evidence to suggest that anyone is risking a felony conviction to cast individual illegal ballots that would probably not affect the outcome of an election anyway. If states’ goal was seriously to make fraud impossible, a few minor technological improvements could accomplish that goal without making voting a hassle. The most serious fraud in our elections these days involves the elaborate charade that disguises racist, repressive policies such as ending same-day registration.

18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ohio GOP to Pass New "NC-like" Voting Restrictions on: February 21, 2014, 10:59:06 pm


Feb 21, 2014

A pair of bills passed by the Ohio Statehouse this week may get the governor's signature as early as today.

The bills accomplish several things:

- Cutting out six days from the early voting period
- Eliminating days during which same-day registration and voting are possible
- Restricting absentee ballot availability

“He [the Governor] will sign them both, possibly later today,” spokesman Rob Nichols told msnbc this morning.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: AR-Gov: Mike Ross is in, will announce next week on: February 19, 2014, 04:45:17 pm
Arkansas is a weird state actually. They require a 3/4 supermajority for both tax increases and to pass the budget:

20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Holder urges states of lift bans on felons voting on: February 12, 2014, 04:04:35 pm
A despicable practice that Republicans continue to embrace.


Some states require waiting periods or have complicated processes for felons to reregister to vote. In Mississippi, passing a $100 bad check carries a lifetime ban from voting.

In four states — Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia — all felons are barred from the polls for life unless they receive clemency from the governor.

Studies show that felons who have been denied the right to vote were far more likely to have voted for Democrats than for Republicans. In 2002, scholars at the University of Minnesota and Northwestern University concluded that the 2000 presidential election “would almost certainly have been reversed” had felons been allowed to vote.

In Florida, the state that tipped that election, 10 percent of the population is ineligible to vote because of the ban on felons at the polls, Mr. Holder said.

In 2011, Governor Scott required felons to wait five years after completing their sentence before they can apply to vote again.



As he called on states to lift rules that make it harder for felons to get their right to vote back, Holder singled out Kentucky. He said it's one of three states where a fifth of black adults are prohibited from voting because of a felony record.

Currently, the governor has to pardon former felons before they can vote. Rep. Jesse Crenshaw has perennially filed legislation to automatically restore the right. He's seen it die every year in the GOP-controlled Senate. But he thinks this year could be different.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Official New England 2014 Megathread on: February 05, 2014, 11:54:34 pm

January 16, 2014

Could Massachusetts become the next state to enact Election Day Registration? If today’s passage by the Commonwealth’s Senate chamber of omnibus voting bill S.1975 serves as indication, it very well could.

S.1975 carries the torch from a similar election modernization package, H.3788, which the Massachusetts House passed last November. While H.3788’s provisions include the implementation of a 10‑day early voting period (which spans from the 11th business day until the second business day prior to Election Day, including the option of holding evening and weekend voting hours) and online voter registration, the Senate bill expands the menu of reforms by not only adding an Election Day Registration amendment, but moreover, a pre‑registration measure for 16- and 17‑year olds.

Pending successful reconciliation of the S.1975 and H.3788 in conference, and subsequently, Governor Deval Patrick’s signature, Massachusetts will become the 14th state to vote Election Day Registration into law, the 20th state to pass statewide online voter registration, the 33rd state to pass early voting, and the 36th state to allow some form of registration prior to the age of 18.

Any insight on why MA-Dems have been so timid on this issue? 8th year of trifecta control and only now it's seriously being considered.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The End is Nigh!!!111!11 on: February 05, 2014, 11:38:33 pm
Maybe California will have a legalization measure on the ballot this year:


February 1st, 2014

Supporters of legalizing marijuana in California have been given the green light to start collecting signatures for a November ballot measure.

If passed, the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act for California would legalize recreational pot use for adults 21 and over. It would also strengthen existing medical marijuana laws and legalize hemp production.

"It stops putting 20,000 people a year in jail in California for low level offenses and it creates a diversion program," John Lee, a Silicon Valley businessman who heads the nonprofit Americans for Policy Reform, told KPCC. Americans for Policy Reform is one of the groups behind the measure. He said the law also opens up possibilities for medical research, as well as generating revenue from a variety of marijuana uses.

Lee said that the law covers all personal uses. "They're all intertwined, based on a single plant," Lee said.

Supporters must gather half a million signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot. The deadline is June 30.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What should be the next big Progressive/Liberal cause? on: February 05, 2014, 11:23:33 pm
That said, there's one main issue, reforming the US government and campaigns/elections.  As long as we have the current lobbyist and corporate money dominated system, it's incredibly difficult to move anything forward on a national level.  We probably need Constitutional tweaks to House and Senate apportionment, public financing of campaigns and a new voting rights act.

I agree strongly with this. It's hard to see anything major getting done when energy gets diluted through restrictive voting laws to undemocratic representation/excessive veto points and then to a thoroughly corrupt legislature.

There also definitely should be a focus on combating rent-seeking; it's just sick to read some of the proposals floating out in the open.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: CO-Quinnipiac: Hick (D) recovering on: February 05, 2014, 10:27:12 pm

February 3, 2014

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Republicans on Monday launched their bid to undo a new elections law that allows same-day registration, saying they're still not convinced the change isn't a recipe for possible voting fraud.

Democrats insist the new law is sound and won't be going anywhere.

The Republican proposal includes a two-year "time out" on the new law, which added same-day registration and a requirement that ballots go by mail to all registered voters. Republicans want to undo that law, at least temporarily, while a bipartisan panel reviews the measure.
25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of state laws preventing local governments from offering internet access on: January 31, 2014, 04:24:02 pm
19 states now have restrictions on their local governments offering internet service as a municipal/government utility: http://www.muninetworks.org/communitymap

Soon to be 20?


Legislation introduced in the Kansas state legislature by a lobby for cable companies would make it almost impossible for cities and towns to offer broadband services to residents and would perhaps even outlaw public-private partnerships like the one that brought Google Fiber to Kansas City.

The Senate bill doesn't list any lawmaker as its sponsor, and there's a reason—a Senate employee told us it was submitted by John Federico on behalf of the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association, of which he is president.
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