What It Feels Like to Disenfranchise Voters if You're Republican POS

That heinous individual is James Bopp. And who is James Bopp? Well, he is an Indiana lawyer and a Romney delegate to the GOP convention. He is also the attorney who represented Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 case that upended federal election rules and gave a dollar the right of free speech.

Disenfranchising voters merits a double-fisted pump. Reprehensible. Outrageous. Heinous.

Let me be the first to call on the Democratic Party that the time for DC Statehood is long past.

These United States

News from around the country.

Challenge Upheld to Arizona Immigration Law. A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a lower court decision that blocked the most contested provisions of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect. More from the Tucson Sentinel.

New Mexico Governor Vetoes Health Care Exchange Bill. The Republican Governor Susana Martinez in the Land of Enchantment has vetoed legislation that would have created a one-stop shopping clearinghouse for tens of thousands of New Mexicans in need of health insurance. The full story in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

DC Mayor Gray and DC Council Members Arrested in Budget Protest. The Washington Post reports that Washington DC city officials including Mayor Vince Gray and members of the DC City Council were arrested Monday afternoon while protesting the inclusion of two DC specific riders that overrule the wishes of the District's resident. I'll say this again, the District needs its own representation in Congress. No other federal capital in the world has its citizens disenfranchised.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Race. Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to open a DOJ investigation into the Waukesha County clerk who found 14,000 missed votes. The story from the Huffington Post.

Tim Donnelly aka The Shredder. The Los Angeles Times profiles Tim Donnelly, a Tea Party-backed freshman Assemblyman from San Bernardino who is raising concerns with his violent rhetoric. He is a political novice and a former member of the Minutemen vigilante group who squeaked through in a crowded GOP primary and then went on to win in the general election. He has compared lawmaking to a "full-blown war that requires guerrilla tactics." He earned his nickname, The Shredder, after he posted a video on YouTube went viral. The video showed him shredding Governor Jerry Brown's budget proposal.

 

Moving to the Senate Floor

I view this as the first step toward statehood with two Senators from DC, From the DC Vote PR sent out:

Senate Committee Passes Bill 9-1

Washington, DC - DC Vote applauds the strong, bipartisan vote today of 9-1 in favor of granting DC its first-ever voting member of Congress. All the Democrats on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted in favor of the bill. They were joined by three key Republicans: Senators Susan Collins (ME), Norm Coleman (MN) and George Voinovich (OH)...

The Committee adopted two amendments to the bill. One amendment seeks to stipulate that this bill only provides representation in the House for DC residents. DC Vote believes that Americans living in our nation's capital deserve full representation in the House and the Senate. We recognize that S. 1257 doesn't provide for Senate representation, and we support the bill for providing the most basic right, a vote in the People's House. A second amendment seeks expedited review.

In a room packed with supporters wearing red and blue "Let DC Vote in the People's House" buttons, Chairman Lieberman (I-CT) allowed for a brief, spontaneous burst of applause as the vote count was announced...

And Joe did something right. Is there anyone like Jesse Helms in the Senate that is going to try and filibuster this vote?

There's more...

Call McConnell's Bluff on DC Statehood

As legislation to grant the District of Columbia voting rights in the House of Representatives moves on to the Senate, Republicans opposed to the measure have brought up a potential smokescreen: Instead of passing this legislation, there should be a move to enact a constitutional amendment granting the District statehood. The Hill's Kelly McCormack has the details.

But the bill's fate remains uncertain, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has hinted that there could be a filibuster on the bill. He said that he would support a constitutional amendment for statehood instead.

"This measure, if it is worth pursuing, ought to be pursued in a legal and appropriate way," McConnell said in a press conference yesterday. "And amending the Constitution is clear[ly] and unambiguously the way to do it."

It is certainly possible that McConnell is sincere in his desire for DC to attain status as a state. I'm skeptical that this is the case given that DC, which might be known as New Columbia as a state, would almost certainly send two Democrats to the Senate, potentially changing the balance of power in the chamber to make it significantly more difficult for Republicans to regain their majority. More likely, it seems to me that McConnell is holding out the potential for an amendment because it would take more votes and a greater effort than simply passing a bill through Congress.

But it is not necessarily my intention to impugn the motives of the Senate Republican Leader in this post. Instead, I'd like to take McConnell at his word. To show that he is true to his word, McConnell should immediately introduce an amendment granting DC statehood. What's more, given that McConnell would be the lead sposor and key supporter of this amendment, it would be incumbent upon him to strenuously whip his caucus to help find the votes necessary to make the change to the constitution. And even more, given that McConnell has more than $4.3 million on hand as of the end of the first quarter and his personal net worth is valued at somewhere between about $1.8 million and $4.1 million, he should commit to invest a significant amount of money -- certainly in excess of one million dollars, either from campaign or personal funds, or some combination therein -- to fund an effort to push a sufficient number of states to ratify such an amendment.

Now will McConnell actually follow through? It remains to be seen -- but I'm not holding my breath. But for more on the effort to enfranchise those who live in the District, check out FreeAndEqualDC.com, as well as the Congresspedia entry on voting rights in the District.

Update [2007-5-3 14:20:48 by Jonathan Singer]: Perhaps -- perhaps -- I'm being unfair about bringing up McConnell's personal finances. But the fact that he has a huge campaign chest still does make it possible for his to fund a robust effort backing ratification.

There's more...

51 State Strategy

I started drafting a long diary for Daily Kos making my case for why the time is right to push for statehood for the District of Columbia.  But first, I wanted to air it out here.

There's more...

Diaries

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