New York Times: “The Myth of Voter Fraud”

This year, Republican legislatures and governors have have advanced legislation in at least 35 states that could make it harder for millions of people—particularly the young, the poor, the elderly, and minorities—to cast a ballot in the 2012 election. It’s been, in short, what the New York Times calls “a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote.”

Publicly, Republicans will tell you that these measures will prevent voter fraud and save money. But the problem, the New York Times notes in an editorial today, is that voter fraud in this country is almost nonexistent. That’s the real fraud:

“None of these explanations are true. There is almost no voting fraud in America. And none of the lawmakers who claim there is have ever been able to document any but the most isolated cases. The only reason Republicans are passing these laws is to give themselves a political edge by suppressing Democratic votes. …

“Other states are beginning to require documentary proof of citizenship to vote, or are finding other ways to make it harder to register. Some are cutting back on programs allowing early voting, or imposing new restrictions on absentee ballots, alarmed that early voting was popular among black voters supporting Barack Obama in 2008. In all cases, they are abusing the trust placed in them by twisting democracy’s machinery to partisan ends.”

Read more of the editorial at the New York Times.

Peter Ossorio: A different look at Constitution Day

Peter Ossorio responds to a recent Las Cruces Sun News op-ed by Jim Harbison on Constitution Day

When Mr. Harbison is right, he need not dwell on his military service.  When he is wrong, past heroism does not mitigate present errors.  This Constitution Day over 140 attorneys took time away from billable hours to teach public school students.  Las Cruces was well-represented.  At least two judges and over a dozen attorneys used the neutral, just-the-text-no-political-

propaganda materials printed by the state bar:  The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution — with all of its amendments from the First (freedom of religion and speech) to lesser celebrated ones like the Nineteenth (Clue:  Ask the women in your life whether they want to select our senators or leave it to what used to be all male legislatures.)  They voluntarily paid $30 to provide every child with his or her own copy.  I can think of no better investment for the future.  For 2-1/2 hours I had the pleasure of working with three dedicated, professional fifth grade teachers.  I may have been the “subject-matter expert” on the Constitution, but they were the far more important “subject-matter experts” on their students.  Together, we made a good team and brought home the Constitution’s importance in the students’ daily lives.  We discussed their not having to give up beds and bathrooms to the National Guard (Third Amendment) and volunteers set up a tripod without letting go of one leg (balancing the three branches of government).  We learned about search and seizure, custodial interrogation, due process, and the right to confront witnesses from a half-eaten sandwich and a “missing” roll of coins from a backpack they handled.  No we did not advance Mr. Harbison’s particular political philosophy — nor any other.  But we had fun, covered a lot of ground, and did not deserve his snide commentary.

 

Which Mitt? Take the quiz

The Mitt Romney who’s running for the Republican presidential nomination has said he would sign legislation to end Medicare as we know it, slash Social Security, and repeal health care reform as one of his first acts in office.

But over the years, Mitt Romney has supported expanding access to health care, protecting a woman’s right to choose, and investing in infrastructure—just like the kind in the Recovery Act that brought us back from the brink of a depression.

It’s one thing for a politician’s positions to evolve over time. It’s another to flip back and forth over the course of a 20-year political career based on what office you’re running for and where.

And that’s exactly what Romney has shown: He has no core convictions or values. With him, it’s all just politics.

It makes you wonder—which Mitt would we get in the White House?

And which Mitt would we be relying on to make decisions on behalf of millions of Americans, during a crisis, or as commander in chief?

So we took a hard look at his record, everywhere he’s stood on the issues, and put it all together in the form of a new site.

We can’t predict exactly how Mitt would govern as president, but you can take the quiz to test how well you know his track record to get an idea—and perhaps learn a little more about the man some are calling the Republican front-runner.

Which Mitt do you know?

The answer may surprise you.