Tag: Jesse Jackson

FYI-MICHIGAN PROPOSITION 1, STAND UP FOR DEMOCRACY

What is the “Stand Up For Democracy” proposal about?

The stated purpose of this proposal is:  Petition seeks to invoke the right of referendum for the emergency financial manager law, 2011 PA  4.

Let’s break this proposal down into two parts.

First, the “right of referendum.”

This is from State of Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9:

Initiative and referendum; limitations; appropriations; petitions.

  • The people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative, and the power to approve or reject laws enacted by the legislature, called the referendum. The power of initiative extends only to laws which the legislature may enact under this constitution.  The power of referendum does not extend to acts making appropriations for state institutions or to meet deficiencies in state funds and must be invoked in the manner prescribed by law within 90 days following the final adjournment of the legislative session at which the law was enacted. To invoke the initiative or referendum, petitions signed by a number of registered electors, not less than eight percent for initiative and five percent for referendum of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election at which a governor was elected shall be required.

Referendum, approval.

  • No law as to which the power of referendum properly has been invoked shall be effective thereafter unless approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon at the next general election.

Initiative; duty of legislature, referendum.

  • Any law proposed by initiative petition shall be either enacted or rejected by the legislature without change or amendment within 40 session days from the time such petition is received by the legislature. If any law proposed by such petition shall be enacted by the legislature it shall be subject to referendum, as hereinafter provided.

Legislative rejection of initiated measure; different measure; submission to people.

  • If the law so proposed is not enacted by the legislature within the 40 days, the state officer authorized by law shall submit such proposed law to the people for approval or rejection at the next general election. The legislature may reject any measure so proposed by initiative petition and propose a different measure upon the same subject by a yea and nay vote upon separate
  • roll calls, and in such event both measures shall be submitted by such state officer to the electors for approval or rejection at the next general election.

Initiative or referendum law; effective date, veto, amendment and repeal.

  • Any law submitted to the people by either initiative or referendum petition and approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon at any election shall take effect 10 days after the date of the official declaration of the vote. No law initiated or adopted by the people shall be subject to the veto power of the governor, and no law adopted by the people at the polls under the initiative
  • provisions of this section shall be amended or repealed, except by a vote of the electors unless otherwise provided in the initiative measure or by three-fourths of the members elected to and serving in each house of the legislature. Laws approved by the people under the referendum provision of this section may be amended by the legislature at any subsequent session thereof.
  • If two or more measures approved by the electors at the same election conflict, that receiving the highest affirmative vote shall prevail.

Legislative implementation.

  • The legislature shall implement the provisions of this section.

Now this may all seem a bit complicated, but, what “Article II, Section 9” is saying is that we “do” have a voice.  We have used that voice, by petition, to let them, Governor Snyder and the Legislature, know that what they have done is unacceptable.  We the people “do not” have to just sit back and accept what the “state” is dishing out.

Second, “The Emergency Financial Manager Law.”

They have used, what was a well intended law initiated under Governor James Blanchard, to strip away the power of the vote, of the citizens, throughout the state.   It seems, coincidently, that this law is being implemented primarily in urban areas, Detroit (including Ecorse, Inkster, and Pontiac), Flint, Benton Harbor, all areas with predominately minority populations, and minority leadership and administrations.  It began with takeovers of school systems, and has led to complete takeovers of local governments, effectively suppressing the power of the vote, and the will of the electorate in these areas.

There is an article about this problem, written by Chris Savage on “The Nation” website entitle “The Scandal of Michigan’s Emergency Managers,” that describes this situation very well.  Find it at:  http://www.thenation.com/article/166297/scandal-michigans-emergency-managers

It is important to note “this” paragraph in the article:

GOP lawmakers are discussing replacement legislation, with Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger warning about “the chaos that could ensue if the emergency manager law is suspended.” Since Michigan law prevents referendums on appropriations bills, PA 4 opponents fear that any such law will contain an appropriation to make it “referendum proof,” a tactic already used by the state GOP this year.”

These “tactics” are the reason that voting the complete ballot is important.

The Republicans in the U.S. Congress have reduced or eliminated “block grants” to the states.  States have refused, in some instances, to accept “Recovery Act” (stimulus) funds.  State Legislatures have reduced “revenue sharing” to cities, in their states.  They have cut billions of dollars from public schools, and public services, forcing them to drastically cut services or go bankrupt.  Then, to top it all off, they send in these Emergency Managers with the power to ignore or fire locally elected officials, cancel union contracts, layoff employees, outsource civil service jobs, usually to companies paying low wages, low or no benefits, and that have no union rights.

I once heard Rev. Jesse Jackson say, “this is like crippling a man, and then penalizing him for limping.”

Knowledge is the weapon we must use to fight this “electoral based oppression.”    The information is out there.  Read everything you can, talk to everyone you know, spread the word that we can go on the offensive, we must go on the offensive to protect our future.

Learn, and then VOTE!

OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

DEAR PENNSYLVANIA

To the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Despite the lack of evidence of “voter fraud.”  Despite the fact, that for years people have voted with other “acceptable forms of identification.”  Despite the fact, that the stated objective of the “Voter ID Law,” passed by the PA legislature, is to insure a Romney victory in the Commonwealth, over President Obama, in the November election.  Despite the fact, that older citizens, college students and minorities are disproportionately affected by this law.  Despite all of these facts, Judge Robert Simpson of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has decided to uphold the PA Voter ID law.

This from CNN.com:  “Judge Robert Simpson, with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, on Wednesday issued an order expressing no constitutional reason to stop the law from taking effect, despite writing in his decision that he had “sympathy” for the witnesses.

‘At the end of the day, however, I do not have the luxury of deciding this issue based on my sympathy for the witnesses or my esteem for the counsel. Rather, I must analyze the law, and apply it to the evidence of facial unconstitutionality brought forth in the courtroom, tested by our adversarial system,’ Simpson wrote.”  http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/15/pennsylvania-judge-upholds-voter-id-law/

Though the ACLU and others have vowed to continue this fight, next, to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and if necessary, beyond, the PA GOP has declared victory, and is sure that this legislation has given them a leg up, an advantage, in their efforts to retain control of the Commonwealth, and to defeat President Obama, in Pennsylvania, in November.  But, their celebrations could be a bit premature.

Let’s look at a few other facts:

There are 8,478,509 registered voters in Pennsylvania:
• 4,311,203 registered Democratic voters
• 3,132,039 registered Republican voters
• 38,031 registered Libertarian voters
• 997,236 registered all other party voters

(Note: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania’s voting age population is estimated at 9,829,635).

Since Jan. 2010, a total of 345,439 approved new voter applications were processed:

• 149,806 registered as Democrats
• 103,518 registered as Republicans
• 6,537  registered Libertarian voters
• 85,578  registered all other party voters

This data can be found at:  http://gantdaily.com/2010/11/02/nearly-8-5-million-registered-to-vote-in-pa/   More complete data can be found at: at www.dos.state.pa.us.

Now, it is projected that up to 10% of registered voters in PA could be affected by the voter ID law, perhaps as much 20% in urban areas.  Even if those projections are correct there is no guarantee that the objectives of the PA GOP can be met.  Indeed, due to the collateral consequences of their voter suppression efforts, it is more likely that those efforts will energize what might have been an apathetic, over-confident, Democrat base.  There is another collateral consequence that possibly wasn’t considered.  Independent voters are watching these efforts, as well.  It is not difficult to discern what is happening here, and American’s don’t particularly like to see people trying to game the system.  I don’t believe they are taking into consideration, that Americans want their competitors to “play fair.”

The Democrat Party has people working hard to get voters properly ID’d and registered, but what I find truly remarkable, is that groups like Rev. Al Sharpton‘s “National Action Network,” and Rev. Jesse Jackson‘s “Rainbow/Push Coalition are actively working to see that “all” eligible voters have the required identification, and are registered and prepared to vote.  Listening to the Reverend’s Sharpton and Jackson, I’ve not heard any talk about  party, except that one party is disproportionately affected by these efforts.  They, simply, want all eligible people to vote.  They “are” playing fair.

Notice, also, that Democrats are out registering Republicans, in the Commonwealth, by almost 50%.  This will have a significant impact on the PA GOP’s voter suppression efforts, as well.

All of that being said, let’s look at the worst possible outcome.  That the law stands, and all of its negative projections are met.  Based on the statistics, a 10% loss of the Democrat electorate would not give the GOP a majority of the vote in Pennsylvania.  (This is with voters voting along strict party lines.)  When you factor in the Presidents current lead among independents, and several other demographic areas, this entire voter ID episode could end up being, just an expensive charade.

But let’s not take anything for granted, Pennsylvania.  I’ve got a challenge for you.  It’s “EACH ONE REACH ONE.”  If each eligible, properly credentialed, voter takes a moment to insure that a person, a neighbor, a co-worker, a family member, has the proper identification, then, all of these PA GOP voter suppression efforts will be, nothing but, a waste of time and money, on their part.

That waste of time and money just may be the most important part of this entire episode.  I have deliberately stayed away from talking about the groups that stand to gain the most from these voter suppression efforts.  Groups like the people behind the Super PAC‘s, that are spending vast amounts of money to influence your/our elections.  When we stand up to them, when we let them know that our elections are not for sale, when they see [that] there is no return on this, and these types of investment(s)…., well they are businessmen and women, practical thinking men and women.  There is a better way forward for America, a “fairer” way forward for America.  When this episode is over, perhaps, we can direct our combined efforts towards finding, that better, fairer, way.

In the meantime, citizens of Pennsylvania, “EACH ONE, REACH ONE!”

And then, on November 6th, VOTE!!!!!