Friday, June 8, 2012

VoterID at DFL Convention Discussed on Tim Kinley's Speechless Show 6/7/2012

On Tim Kinley's Speechless Show, he played the video where at the 2012 Democrat DFL State Convention the discussed vote fraud possibilities of a proposed amendment to their party constitution, and voted essentially for the "Voter ID" concept in their caucus presidential balloting.

A woman called in and spoke about her House District endorsing convention where she alleges the following:
Woman: The local DFL  convention that was held at North High I myself was participating there.  And when we were voting for endorsement for the new open seat for state representative in 43 Phil Trippler as a matter of fact ,  Chuck Wiger, and John Nephew were looking at everybody's ballots.  Ok.
Tim: Why would they look at the ballots? What, Why were they  ..
Woman: When we were voting you had to vote to vote for your candidate of of choice and on the back sign your name.  If you did not sign your name it did not count.  So right there the DFL was demanding voter id at their conventions, see.
Tim: You had to sign your name to the back of the ballot?
Woman: Yes you had to sign your name or it would not be counted. And Phil Trippler, I folded mine up so tiny you know and he sat there behind me and opened my ballot to see who I was voting for.  And then I was harassed and bullied to change my vote.  Now that's wrong.
Tim: Wow yes it is!
Woman: And the all know they did it. 

If this alleged action occurred, that would be a tremendous incursion into open voting.  It would go far beyond the Voter ID amendment to changing the secret ballot into an identified ballot, much like what card check for union voting would do.

We need voint integrity, we need Voter ID, and at its heart the DFL knows it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

SOS Mark Ritchie Speaking Against Voter ID at 2012 MInnesota DFL Convention

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is a very vocal critic of the Voter ID Amendment.  He spoke strongly against it during the legislative process and is apparently campaigning around the state against the amendment.  Yet in the ACLU/LWV/Common Cause Minnesota Supreme Court lawsuit he is named as the defendant.  Attorney General Lori Swanson, who would also be "defending" the amendment, is also  against the amendment.  This could end up being the least well defended case in history.

In his speech Mark Ritchie stated
This is going into the Constitution, it cannot be fixed, it cannot be tweaked, it cannot be corrected, its forever.
Not the words of someone likely to put his entire, or possibly any, effort into supporting legislation that a huge majority, 80%, of Minnesotans want.

Minnesota Majority, a conservative group that’s backing the photo ID amendment, issued a statement predicting the petition will fail. The group’s president, Jeff Davis, noted that it names as defendant Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a vocal opponent of photo ID. He questioned whether Ritchie, a Democrat, would properly defend the case and said his group or pro-amendment legislators would likely seek to intervene.

We need to have our legislators step up and vigorously defend their work!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Keith Ellison at the 2102 DFl Minnesota State Convention

Keith Ellison was one of the speakers Saturday morning at the Jun2, 2102 DFl Minnesota State Convention.  He spoke of his view of Voter ID. Labeling it an "ugly stain".  He also spoke of what he called a "Republican austerity program", apparently blaming it for the latest job numbers.

Ken Martin introduced Keith Ellison:
It is now my pleasure to introduce a true progressive.  Keith Ellison is passionate about helping Minnesota  communities work together toward solutions to the problems they face. He is working toward a nation of opportunity and fairness where everybody counts and everybody matters. Keith believes in creating a stronger America, which means building a stronger economic future for working Minnesotans.  He is working for an America where all men are created equal regardless of their race, gender or who they love.  He is committed to creating an electoral system free of corrupting the taint of big money .. corporate money, where  politicians are beholding to their constituents, not their corporate contributors.  Keith's vision of America is one that all who value equality and fairness should share. The chair of the congressional progressive caucus, and a champion for all, please join me in welcoming the Congressman from the 5th Congressional District, Congressman Keith Ellison. 

Keith Ellison:
Thank you Ken. Hey everybody.  How you doing DFL.  How is the DFL today.  Thats good. Cause we got to be all fired up and ready to go. We have a big challenge in front of us right now.  And when I think of the challenge that we have. it is a challenge, its simply a challenge between those of us who embrace community and those who say that you are on your own.  Those of us who believe that our government has a responsibility to make the rules fair, promote equality, and protect us.  And those who believe that you know is all about giving as much money as you can to wealthy and taking as much as you can from the poor. We gotta be in the middle of a divide and we've gotta stand there and call for the American Dream for everyone in this state and in this country. We've gotta stand for the American Dream.  Now one element of the American Dream, one element of the American Dream is the right to vote. The right to vote. You know when this country was founded, it was not enough, it was not enough to be a white male to vote. You had to be Protestant and you had to own property.  But then there was a revolution. And the Jacksonian revolution came, and then being a white male was good enough to vote. But then we had the civil war, and we defeated the Confederacy, and we said that men could vote. And then women said, wait a minute, what about us, and women won the right to vote in 1920.  And then, and then we had some trouble again with the right to vote and so the civil right movement , fought and fought and fought for the right to vote and we got rid of the poll tax, we passed the 1965 voting rights act. And then, young people, young people, give a hand for young people .. young people said look if your gonna send me off to Viet Nam and tell me that I can carry a gun and get shot, but I can't vote, that's bogus. And the 18 year olds won the right to vote. And so if you look at, if you look at America, our great country, we have seen an expanding an expanding right to vote we have been increasing the right for people to participate and to chose their government. And so today this voter id bill is a ugly stain on our trajectory on our right to vote.  Expanding the franchise for everyone. So I'm holding in my hand a pledge to vote no.  Does, hold it up, if you got one hold it up,  hold it up, if you got one get it up, come on now I don't see it. Put it up in the air.  If you got one I want ask you to sign it.  I signed mine already, it says Keith Ellison.  I put my email in there, I put my zip code, and I put my telephone number, and I said I will pledge to vote no.  Will you pledge to vote no with me to this ugly Constitutional amendment?  Now let me tell you in other states, in other states where they have passed these ugly amendments, ugly things have happened.  An 86 year old world war II  veteran, somebody who went to defeat Hitler was denied the right to vote in Ohio just a few months ago. Eleven Nuns in Indiana were told that they didn't have Government issued identification card so they told that they could not vote.  Thats wrong.  Eight six year old Dorothy Cooper of Tennessee. In that state who couldn't vote because of her race, could not vote.  But in 1965 she got the right to vote and voted in every election since, was told that she could not vote because she did not have a government issued ID. You know what?  This is anti-Minnesota.  Its wrong and we've got to fight for the right to vote in Minnesota all the time, every time.
Now look they got me on a timer so I gotta hurry up. But I want to tell you that we have got to have a working pro-job majority in the US Congress.  So I need you, thats right a pro-job majority , how 'bout that.  You all don't know, now let me just tell ya, we just saw the job numbers in May were not that hot, only about 69,000 jobs created.  Did you know that the government cut 13,000 votes under the Republican austerity program? We gotta reject this austerity program and we got have more people that are for jobs, pro-jobs who understand that a Police Officer a Firefighter, a Nurse, a person who check… makes sure our water is clean, those government public workers are just as good, just as valuable, and just as important as anybody else. So what..  we need your help, we need your help to elect Mike Obermueller in the 2nd District, who's gonna take out John Kline.  Any body from the 2nd district around here? All right now. We need your help to elect Brian Barnes in the 3rd district.  Any body from the 3rd District?  Third District over there you guys. We need your help to elect Jim Graves to take out Michele Bachmann in the 6th District. And we need your help to elect Rick Nolan to take out Chip Cravaack in the 8th. We need a pro-job majority, we need a pro-job majority.   We need a pro-job majority in Congress, and we need a pro-job majority in the Minnesota House where I was proud to serve with my good friend Paul Thissen over there.  So look everybody I'm about to sit down, but I want you to know, that this election, this election does turn on your participation. You are the leaders, you are the vanguard, you are the one's in your neighborhood who everybody knows.  We need you to stand for expanding the vote to defeating voter id, and I'd be very happy if you would join me in supporting ranked choice voting which I think is something very good as well. We need to be there for the LGBT community and we need to be there for civil and human rights for all people. Because let me tell you it is true the slogan of  my campaign is everybody counts, everybody matters.  Say it with me everybody counts, everybody matters, everybody counts, everybody matters.  And that is not only an outcome, thats not only standing for civil rights for all, thats not only standing up for working men and women and the right to collectively bargain, thats not only standing up for the environment.  It is also engaging people in their own, in their own better life.  That going out and reaching out to everybody to let them participate in making this life a better life.  It is not just an outcome it is also a process, so you guys get out there and you get everybody to those polls because we gotta to win this thing and we gotta win big.  Come on Minnesota let's do it. Thank you very much.  

The first interesting feature is that Keith Ellison, who accused Sarah Palin of "over blown rhetoric", would choose to use the rhetoric of "take out" their opponents.  Sadly Keith Ellison merely takes advantage of normal figures of speech, used in every day descriptions, for negative political purposes while using essentially equivalent phrases himself.  There is nothing wrong in his use of this phrase, only the comical irony of his having condemned others.

So what about the fear mongering over Voter iD? How did his examples stack up?  Well not so well...

From ThinkProgress
Paul Carroll, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who has lived in the same Ohio town for four decades, was denied a chance to vote in the state’s primary contests today after a poll worker denied his form of identification, a recently-acquired photo ID from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The poll worker rejected the ID because it did not contain an address, as required by Ohio law.  A local Veterans Affairs employee told the Plain Dealer that the decision not to include the address was likely made at the federal level, and because VA IDs are accepted at any location, “the actual address of a veteran isn’t as critical to us.” Carroll was offered a provisional ballot, but the type was too small for him to read and “I was kind of perturbed by then,” he said.
The 12 Nuns in Indiana were told by Sister Julie McGuire, they could not vote in the 2008 Democratic Primary, due to outdated passports.
They had been told they would need the photo id's, but had chosen not to and came to the precinct anyway.  "However  the convent will make a "very concerted effort" to get proper identification for the nuns in time for the general election." 
As for Dorothy Cooper, she went to get her free Voter ID with her birth certificate, which was not her current name.  She did not have her marriage license showing her current name.  She was only denied getting a voter id card at that time.
"Her lack of a valid marriage license is likely due to the fact that she’s outlived two husbands. Under the Tennessee law, Cooper will still be able to vote via absentee ballot, which does not require photo ID. But standing outside her normal voting precinct, Cooper told the Times Free Press she will miss going there to vote."
So as for actually denying anyone the right to vote, this is simply more of the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt that is being spread about the Voter ID issue.  The people got their problems corrected for the general election, and Dorothy Cooper never was denied voting, just the free id at that time.

Rep. Keith Ellison's idea of fairness is clearly equality of outcome, not opportunity.  He is promoting that "Government" creates jobs.  Unfortunately for his argument, government really can only foster the creating of an environment where private enterprise can flourish and create jobs.  With out that, the government created jobs cannot be created, because there is simply no one and no money to pay for them.  Printing money does not create an economy, only those "evil" corporations, small businesses, and farms can do that.  Strangle them with excessive punitive regulations from the EPA, and other agencies and you are creating the antithesis of a "pro-jobs"  environment.

That Keith Ellison is out of step with the majority of Americans is evident by contrast from a Gallup Poll
The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession.
I would heartily recommend considering the positive message from a man who has fought for America for 21 years as a Marine, and is uniting people now in the 5th District.  Watch Chris Fields speech from the Republican Convention

Rep Betty McCollum at the 2012 DFL Convention

Representative Betty McCollum spoke on Saturday June 2 at the 2012 DFL Minnesota State Convention.  The speech covered her view of the economy -- President Obama has the solution.  Her view of "Tea Party Republicans" --- obstructing President Obama's solution.

State Delegates the DFL, endorsement matters.  It matters for our candidates in congress, because it will put them on a path to victory.  In this election we need to pickup 25 Democratic seats to retake the majority in the US House.  DFL'ers, Minnesota has a job to do.
… Then followed a cheerleading listing of candidates around the state.
Well we know we can't take anything for granted, nothing can be taken for granted in this election cycle.  So you all know that we need to work hard to make sure that my three DFL brothers, Tim Walz, Keith Ellison, and Colin Peterson are re-elected as well. And two years from now we will be together to re-elect my Senate brother Al Franken. Now I have to tell you the buzz in Washington. They're talking about Senator Klobuchar cause she's bright, she's sharp, she works hard.  They're saying she's already won the election.  Well we don't take anything for granted in Minnesota and we all need to work hard, to re-elect Senator Amy Klobuchar.  We need her working for us in the US Senate.

Now as Chairman Martin pointed out, re-districting gave us a new congressional map this year.  This new map extends the 4th Congressional District into Washington County, putting my home in Saint Paul in the same district as the home of the Chairwoman of the Tea Party caucus in the House. Now we know the saying about the American flag, "these colors don't run".  Well the same thing can't be said for the Tea Party's flag. Their flag says "live free or die". Well I guess the Tea Party Caucus Chairwoman saw the new map. She decided that running away from her home gave her a chance to live free versus the alternative if she remained in the 4th District. So, for those of you who are currently living in the 4th District represented by a former Tea Party Candidate for President, you will be liberated.  I need your help in order to do that on November 6th.

Friends, for the past three and a half years our country has been digging out of the deepest most painful mess experienced in three generations. Eight years of President Bush's and the Republicans in Congress got us into an economic disaster. For the past three years President Obama has been leading us out of it. His leadership has saved millions of jobs. Prevented millions of families from falling into poverty. He has put America on a path forward. And now we can see some light at the end of the tunnel. Jobs are being created. And the economy, although its, its slowly starting to kinda build its energy back up. Well since 2009 the Republicans in Congress and their Corporate Sugar Daddies have been obstructing, stalling, and they have done everything in their power to stop President Obama's Job's agenda from moving forward and working, and we need to change that. We can change that. In order, in order to defeat President Obama you know, mean can you imagine putting in these deep deficit cuts that the Republican Tea Party's talking about? Its going to cause more hardship and more pain on million Americans. In order to gain political advantage the Tea Party Republican in Congress is willing to see America's credit rating damaged and our economy pushed into a break of crisis. It is wrong. It is just wrong. The majority of Tea Party Republicans and their corporate billionaires are attempting to execute a hostile takeover of America folks.  They're willing to destroy our economy and millions of lives if that means defeating President Obama. Democrats this country is at risk if the Tea Party, Romney crowd wins this fall. Our Tea Party opponents are determined to expand tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.  Paid for by eliminating services for the poor, the sick, and the most vulnerable in our communities. We don't need more penthouse protections, we need to protect the social safety net. Our opponents are willing to deny Americans the most basic element of the American Dream - a job. And they're willing to do that to stop President Obama from succeeding. To me this is beyond politics. It is a betrayal of America's promise. It is economic treachery.  We must re-elect President Obama.  Stop Mitt Romney from turning America's corporate… into a corporate state in which workers, seniors, and middle class families are broken bankrupt and busted into pieces so Wall Street can profit.  Just like Romney did with Bain. Now, I'm gonna to work real hard to get myself re-elected, my Congressional brothers, Senator Klobuchar, and we are gonna work in the 4th District to help take back the Minnesota House and Senate. So I'm asking you to join me in this fight.  Our future for this country is on the line. And our future in this State is on the line as well. We need Democrats to rise to this challenge. I thank you, we need you, I thank you.
Demagogic name calling arguments are common at Conventions. They simply have no basis in fact or reality, but are regularly served up as fodder for the party faithful.  Using the appellation "Tea Party Republican" as a perjorative term, is more a McCarthyism than a substantive argument. It bears as much evidence of truth as it did when McCarthy shouted "communist" in the early 1950's.  It only creates mistrust and blocks understanding.

I guess that with the view from the far Progressive left, much like the view through binoculars from the furthest bleacher seats in a stadium, one can lose perspective and depth perception.  Thus limiting the ability to differentiate positions and ideas on the right half, or more, of the political spectrum.  Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and even Ron Paul are conveniently forged together into one demagogic label.

Rep. Betty McCollum has been, and is, a solid, dependable, progressive supporter of the Obama White House, carrying water for its agenda.  As was demonstrated when she alighted from Air Force One with President Barack Obama earlier this week when he came to town to campaign. And in her consistent support of Obama's failed economic plans.  Evidence of that failure is demonstrated in every chart presented from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.  The recent jobs, and unemployment report as written even in the Huffington Post  was a sober reminder of that failure.  As was the revision of the economic growth rate dropping to 1.9%.
From CNN:
The current growth rate is widely considered to be weak. A growth rate of about 3% is what economists typically expect will lead employers to engage in the kind of significant hiring needed to make a dent in unemployment.
Breaking the economy with fear, uncertainty, and punitive regulations does much more to assure the loss of that basic element of the American Dream - a job.

Compare the American Dream presented in this speech to that of the American Dream presented in, candidate for the CD4 Congressional seat, Tony Hernandez's speech at the Republican Convention in May.
This nation must return to what it once was, capturing the imagination of our worlds youth, the worlds greatest visionaries risk takers and entrepreneurs.  We must restore the American values by unraveling Obama's, McCollums, and Klobuchars's government failure.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Minnesota Democrat Party Constitution Amendment Process Pushes its Own Voter ID

So I made the full round this year, attending both the Republican and Democrat 2012 State Conventions.  However the starkest point that struck me from the Democrat Convention was not one of the speeches.  It was from an amendment to the DFL Constitution proposed by the Constitution Committee, and the resulting debate on the floor.

The issue of Voter ID is one the DFL loves to hate, violently argue, and claim evil intent about.  The misconceptions they spread about this issue are truly staggering.  But not as staggering as that moment of clarity that came when they discussed Constitution change #10.  This was at its root, where the Democrat Minnesota Convention takes up its own Party Constitutional Amendment on a (admittedly not quite the) "Voter ID" issue..
10. Add provisions to allow absentee voting on precinct caucus preference ballots subject to approval of voting rules by the State central Committee.
At face value this would seem to be a core DFL value.  Voting freely allowed, without identification.  And in fact that was close to one of the arguments made during the discussion that followed from a floor amendment by a gentleman moving to strike this change from the Constitution Committee Report.  [You should be able to get the report from the website, it is also shown in the video I have of the salient points.  I removed the chastisement speech made to ask all the delegates to be quiet (it was a bit entertaining at that, so I will use it in another post) and some other less interesting arguments like the one I mentioned above.]

The main argument from the man objecting was:
I don't believe the central committee can come up with any mechanism that will genuinely prevent people from printing out a stack of absentee ballots and submitting them and getting improper votes for a candidate
The most interesting argument came from a man supporting the motion to reject (you really have to watch the video to get the real impact of the voice escalation and emphasis on certain words):
You are opening up yourself for absolute insanity at the caucus level.  The potential exists for someone from the Citizens United type to pack our caucuses with bought and paid for ballots, absolutely guarantee destroying the caucus process.  There is no way to protect that folks.  Because we allow anyone to attend the caucus.  We would therefore also have to allow any absentee ballot to attend the caucus no matter which Koch brother paid for it.
Really, Citizens United is a bigger threat to election integrity than ACORN?  And Koch is more of a concern than Soros' SOS program?  You just can't make up this level of angst, misdirection, and mendacity.  Then a woman states what this gentleman was really talking about, FRAUD!
I understand concerns people have about fraud, but lets not disqualify good democrats from participation because bad people want to take over our process.
 So after all the finger pointing, and discussion of evil discriminatory purposes (on the real Voter ID issue), the Democrats join in a solid majority to pass this amendment.  Striking the paragraph, and essentially support requiring a voter id of personal attendance.  Its great when they essentially make the points for you.  Much like the Unions requiring Photo Identification to vote in Union elections.

I am sure there will, for their own purposes, be those that will say this is an entirely different thing, apples and oranges.  But the parallels are overwhelmingly strong and unavoidable.

And this was just about the caucus vote for president ... not even the real thing!
We really do need Voter ID to assure vote integrity.
And at heart the DFL agrees!