Michigan and Florida

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Called Thom today, Wednesday, May 30 and had to hang up unexpectedly. A caller had mentioned hearing something about someone running for office who turned in insufficient signatures. I believe that was Cong. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan. I believe the caller said that the signatures were repeated many times over to get to the number needed.

Glad you're on Ed Show tonight, Thom. The situation in Michigan with the EFM law Public Act 4 is really shocking and most people don't kmow about it. The cities of Ecorse, Benton Harbor, Flint and Pontiac among others are under EFM's and as you said this is no doubt coming to a city near you. A template for sure. Of course, those cities have a majority African American population and they now have no representation.

As regards Florida, I may be conflating different Republican shenanigans, but is this in any way related to the caging operations that went on in either 2000 or 2004? Greg Palast and Brad Friedman both covered this extensively. A large number of voters were removed from the list of registered voters because mail sent to them had been returned. I believe the mail had been intentionally sent to incorrect addresses, thus enabling the local board of elections to remove that person from the voter list. And of course, there were so-called "convicted felons" who had similar names to some FL voters and were also removed from the list. All in all, very hard to keep track of. We need the Justice Dept. to step in. This kind of thing, voter id, reduced hours for early voting ,etc. has been or is about to be implemented in a lot of states and we're looking at another stolen election if nothing's done. Found your comments on the Treasury Bill interest rate as it might affect political decision-making very interesting.

Sorry I had to get off the line today - Susanne from Corinth

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vermonter
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May. 30, 2012 4:06 pm

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There are seemingly new and expanding techniques for taking control of everything in Michigan. Like Thom, I lived for many years there, and keep getting more and more disheartening reports. Particularly dismaying for me, a retired teacher, are the many ways that public education is being dismantled. They seem to target places that would have the most trouble fighting back against their tyrrany. EM turns Muskegon Heights schools into charter district, terminates staff | Michigan Education Association

My friends at the bipartisan Michigan Election Reform Alliance witnessed the shocking behavior on Tuesday of some in the Michigan legislature practicing anti-democracy. I received this message regarding elections legislation being rammed through:

Four MERA Council members attended the final meeting of House Cte. on Elections on Tuesday, as it was poised to report out the ALEC voter suppression bills, SB 751, 752, 753, 754, and 803. Since last fall, MERA and numerous other groups have testified against these bills, and yesterday we also supported the efforts of Reps. Byrum, Stanley, and Nathan to amend the bills and delay their implementation beyond the current JUNE 1, 2012 effective date. (The date is an attempted end run around the Constitution's limit on immediate effect.)

The behavior of the Republican committee members left no question that they were in lock step with the ALEC command to reinstate Jim Crow throughout the country. Not a single Republican member responded to the testimony. They rarely blinked while voting down all but a few of the Democratic amendments. They only allowed one substantive change, after the Bureau of Elections staff recommended that the "challenging" of AV ballots be limited to voters who are already cancelled. The original language would have brought down a swift order from the U.S. Attorney!

As the Republicans impassively rammed through these bills, the audience began to grow and become angry. The crowd that arrived had been organized by voting rights warriors, the Reverends Charles Williams Sr. and Jr. from King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit. The frustration level of the audience reached a boil. Rev. Williams Sr. stepped forward to challenge Lund's arrogant dismissal of Rep. Nathan's efforts to get the Republicans to explain their sides' amendments. (The Republicans could barely read their own amendments, let alone explain them. Rep. Knollenberg actually gave up and had the clerk read for him.)

Soon the room was filled with the chants of "Respect our vote," "Shame on you," and "the blood of Martin Luther King Jr is on your hands." The building security guards swooped in, as did the capitol press cameras. During the rebellion, Lund pretended to complete the meeting agenda (he claimed to have finished voting the bills out, but I did not witness any such thing.) The Republicans snuck out quickly and refused to talk to anyone.

Yesterday's confrontation is already being spun in a racist, arrogant manner by Peter Lund, Cte. Chair. I urge you to comment on the mlive article http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/05/michigan_rep_pete_lund_used_pr.html#incart_river_default and any others you see online. My comment (Votekeeper) urges readers to look deeper and read MERA's testimony. The sheer ignorance of most of the comments is striking.

In collaboration with Project Vote, NAACP, LWV, A Philip Randolph, and others, MERA has helped to write a floor letter that will be distributed to the House when the bills are scheduled for a vote. We feared the full House would vote on the bills today or tomorrow, but there seems to be a pause.

URGENT: tell everyone you know to send their state rep a message TODAY to oppose every one of these bills on elections: SB 751, 752, 753, 754, and 803.

Jan BenDor
Michigan Election Reform Alliance
State Coordinator

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Mary815
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Time to Rethink the War on Terror

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When Eric Holder eventually steps down as Attorney General, he will leave behind a complicated legacy, some of it tragic, like his decision not to prosecute Wall Street after the financial crisis, and his all-out war on whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.

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