By Zachary Roth
The fierce partisan battle over voting rights has both sides planning to pour massive amounts of money and resources into a handful of key 2014 campaigns for secretary of state.
The new-found attention for these once-obscure races is driven by an awareness on both sides that a state’s top election official can play a critical role in expanding or restricting the right to vote—meaning control of secretary of state offices in swing states could be crucial in the 2016 presidential contest.
On Thursday, a group of high-level Democratic strategists launched iVote, a political action committee that will back Democratic secretary of state candidates in four pivotal 2016 states: Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada. All four Democratic candidates are strong advocates of expanding access to the ballot, and all are likely to face Republicans who are looking to make it harder to vote. The initiative is part of a broader move by Democrats and voting-rights advocates to push back against the wave of restrictive voting laws advanced by Republicans in recent years.
Secretaries of state are charged with administering most aspects of their state’s elections, giving them responsibility for everything from maintaining voter rolls to sending out absentee ballots to counting votes.
By Zachary Roth
Working ballot by ballot, county-by-county, the Republican Party is attempting to alter voting laws in the biggest and most important swing states in the country in hopes of carving out a sweeping electoral advantage for years to come.
Changes already on the books or in bills before state legislatures would make voting harder, create longer lines, and threaten to disenfranchise millions of voters from Ohio to Florida, Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, Georgia to Arizona and Texas.
Efforts underway include moving election days, ending early voting and forcing strict new voter ID laws. The results could significantly cut voter turnout in states where, historically, low participation has benefited Republicans.
In the 10 months since President Obama created a bipartisan panel to address voting difficulties, 90 restrictive voting bills have been introduced in 33 states. So far, nine have become law, according to a recent comprehensive roundup by the Brennan Center for Justice – but others are moving quickly through statehouses.
By Burgess Everett
If everything goes as planned, gay rights history will be made on Thursday in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday set up the the final series of votes for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — which prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity — culminating in a vote final passage on Thursday afternoon if the bill passes a key, 60-vote threshold procedural test in the morning.
Senate passage of ENDA seemed more and more likely Wednesday after the Senate unanimously accepted an amendment by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) protecting religious groups exempted under the legislation from government retaliation. That amendment likely secured the vote of several other Republicans pushing for that language, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
[A sitting governor subs for Bill O'Reilly on Fox?]
SEVERAL AMERICAN FAMILIES CANNOT MAKE FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS BECAUSE OF SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER‘S ARROGANT STANCE THAT THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD SHOULD YIELD TO A MERE MORTAL’S DEMANDS AND CONDITIONS. MR. BOEHNER CONTINUES TO BELIEVE REPUBLICANS HAVE A DIVINITY WHICH ELUDES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE GLOBAL OBSERVERS OF OUR POLITICAL INSANITY. IF PRESIDENT OBAMA CAVES NOW, EVERY PRESIDENT TO FOLLOW WILL HAVE TO CAVE IN THIS MANNER. BE STRONG, MR. PRESIDENT! GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE!
The governors of Virginia, Ohio and Texas are in the news for signing into law bills which require women who want (need) to have an abortion. They believe that believe that these mere women do/could not understand how serious this undertaking is without a doctor, most likely a man, explaining their female bodies to them, reading to them an anti-abortion script and lastly, invading their vaginas with scope to decide whether there is a fetal heartbeat. You have, of course, heard of the transvaginal probe:
INVADING A WOMAN’S BODY AS REQUIRED BY INSENSITIVE LEGISLATORS
(WOMEN ARE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THIS INDIGNITY)
What’s the need for a colonoscopy?
Back to the old men in Congress (who fear the “Big C“). If they dared talk to their doctors about the need for a colonoscopy, they would be calmed by the fact that they would be asleep when their anus is invaded by the probe. (I think the women in the pre-ceeding procedure are awake.)
What’s the point of this post? Women – and the men who truly love them – are tired of having the predominantly male government ignore their input and make laws that take control of their bodies with no regard for medical necessity, dignity and the proper role of the state in our progressive society. If men suffer their bodies being penetrated in a private place, maybe they’d think twice before requiring their women to suffer a similar indignity.
By Matthew DeLuca, Staff Writer, NBC News
CLEVELAND — It was the perfect place to hide three captives in plain sight.
In a rundown section of Cleveland, Ohio, police say three young women — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight — were held against their will in a white, two-story house for roughly a decade before Berry escaped Monday night and the other two were freed.
While some who lived and worked in the neighborhood described it as tight-knit, others spoke of a darker side.
He was surprised not so much by the women’s captivity but by how much time transpired before they were found.
“Does it shock me?” he said. “Well, I don’t know. Ten years shocks me.”
The three women vanished between August 2002 and April 2004 in separate incidents; they were between 14 and 20 years old. Authorities have arrested three brothers: Ariel Castro, 52, Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50.