Finally Confirmed: GOP ‘IS’ Out of Touch

GOP Report Shows Party is Out of Touch With Americans on Threats to Democracy: Money in Politics and Voter Suppression

The Republican National Committee released a report today reviewing its losses in the 2012 election cycle and laying out a roadmap for the future of the party.  People For the American Way Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“This report highlights what we already knew: that the Republican party is out of touch with America. Instead of addressing the party’s anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-worker policies that voters resoundingly rejected in 2012, today’s report calls for a complete gutting of campaign finance reform – in essence calling for even more big money to be poured into our elections.  If the Republican party were listening to Americans, they would know that the country supports finding systemic solutions to the problem of unregulated money in our political system.  The answer is certainly not to gut the regulations we already have in place.  Instead, we need to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC and related cases so that we can create more effective regulations to get big money out of our democracy.

“The GOP report’s recommendations on voting rights also underscore a continuing focus on keeping certain voters from the polls.  After an election cycle overflowing with examples of discriminatory voter suppression efforts aimed at historically disenfranchised communities, the report recommends an ongoing focus on so-called  ‘ballot security training initiatives.’  This is simply another phrase for the same voter intimidation tactics used in the name of preventing supposed ‘voter fraud.’  It’s baffling that the GOP thinks it can improve its image with people of color while still working to block their access to the ballot box.

“This report is yet another example that the GOP’s ‘soul-searching’ hasn’t gotten them very far.  It’s time to refocus our efforts on getting the big money out of elections and the voters into the voting booth.”

Ready to go?

Just exactly how much lipstick have they purchased?  Maybeline and Revlon combined couldn’t make enough lipstick to take care of that pachyderm.

Yesterday— the Republican National Committee released its wide-ranging “autopsy” report called the “Growth And Opportunity Project Report.” In it, the party admits to several shortcomings that contributed to the party’s wide losses in the 2012 election. A portion of the report includes market research from voter focus groups around the country. Not surprisingly, when asked to describe Republicans, respondents said that the party was “scary,” “narrow-minded,” “out of touch,” and full of “stuffy old men.”  What’s most interesting is that the report failed to quantify just how out of touch their party has become on a number of issues, from climate change, to marriage equality, to universal background checks, to women’s rights, to the minimum wage, and more.

The GOP thinks they merely have a messaging problem … and just need to change a few words they used to talk about things.  HAH! Now that’s a joke and a half.  Maybe they should look at their 2012 Platform. Better yet, maybe they should look at what is happening in State Legislatures and what members of their party have introduced in the Congress:

  • Restricting access to or insurance reimbursement of costs associated with an abortion;
  • Restricting time frames in which a woman could seek an abortion to 12-weeks and in on case, to 6-weeks from conception;
  • Mandating the use of transvaginal ultrasounds and other medically unnecessary procedures as a means to shame women;
  • Gleefully and gloatingly defunding Planned Parenthood;
  • Attempting to elevate “religious” rights above all others to allow zealots to assert their religious rights to deny all types of service and/or medications should it offend “their” personal religious beliefs, making their beliefs superior to yours;
  • Continually attempting to repeal Obamacare and providing NO replacement;
  • Promoting continued systemic discrimination against the LGBT community, as a whole, via marriage inequality espoused throughout our Nation’s income tax and estate tax structures;
  • Attempting to enact one voter suppression tactic after another to disenfranchise voters as well as restricting early voting opportunities;
  • Continually filibustering one bill after another, even those introduced by Republicans;
  • Blocking Consumer Financial Protection and making multiple attempts to repeal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform;
  • Promoting racial profiling as a means of harassment to convince Hispanics to “self-deport’ ;
  • Promoting Personhood for embryos and essentially demoting women’s status to nothing more than an incubator;
  • Replacing Democracy with Dictatorships (Overseers);
  • Promoting fatherhood visitation rights for rapists.

I’m sure I’ve missed of few other big issues we’ve had to overcome … but need I go on?  There’s a politically incorrect term we frequently used when I was in the Navy to define that kind of behavior.  The term stars with “cluster.”  The GOPs (Grouchy Old Patriarchs) problem is much more than a “messaging” problem.  It’s a policy problem and we should cheer them on  in pursuit of their messaging delusion.  It will most certainly shorten their path to minor party status.  We may have a few challenges to overcome in the short run, but we’ll all be much better off in the long run.

Don’t believe me?  See for yourself,  take your pick, click a pic or two.  Read/compare a few — then compare the numbers.

2012-GOP-Platform GOP Growth Opportunity Rpt 2009-GOP-Road-to-Recovery 2010-GOP-Better-Solutions
GOP 2012 Platform GOP Growth Opportunites 2009 Path to Recovery 2010-Better Solutions
2010-Pledge-to-America Path to Poverty v1.0 Path to Poverty v2.0 Path to Poverty v3.0
2010-Pledge to America P2P v1.0 P2P v2.0 P2P v3.0
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GOP Scheming to Rig Future Elections

Every-Vote-CountsWe haven’t even inaugurated President Obama for his second term and the GOP is already concocting schemes to rig the next Presidential election.

Imagine that when President Obama won Ohio in 2012, instead of getting all the state’s electoral votes, he only got six of them, while Mitt Romney, who lost, got 12 … that each candidate was awarded electoral votes based on how many congressional districts they won in the state. Now, imagine this didn’t happen just in Ohio, but also in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and other “blue states” that right now happen to have state governments completely controlled by Republicans.

This isn’t just some thought experiment. Just like their push in 2010 (ahead of the Census and the subsequent redistricting), it’s the latest Republican scheme to rig America’s elections in their favor, and it could work … unless we can create a public backlash against it.

We need to begin speaking out now to tell Republicans that basing the election for President on legislative districts in which GOP candidates are overwhelmingly favored and creating a proportional system based on the results by congressional district would be fundamentally unfair.  We simply cannot sit back and do nothing especially since these tactics would create a a system specifically designed to help one political party achieve a total take-over of ‘our’ country. It’s fundamentally unacceptable.

We need to take actions via petitions, protests, emails, tweets and other social media posts to let the GOP know that we will not tolerate their electioneering efforts to take over America.  Already, such a bill has been introduced in Pennsylvania and most likely will also be introduced in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan where Republican leaders have already begun discussing such actions.

People for the American Way has a petition up that you can sign on to.  They plan to use the petition to lobby lawmakers in the states and make sure the media is giving attention to how unpopular this vote rigging scheme is.

Sign-the-Petition-blu.fw

If the scheme is enacted, the will of the people would mean nothing in those states. And, nationally, the playing field would be dramatically shifted towards Republican presidential candidates. That’s because one of the results of the Tea Party wave election of 2010 was that right-wing Republicans controlled the redistricting process in these states, and congressional districts there were gerrymandered within an inch of their lives, ensuring more “safe” Republican districts. It’s the same reason that Republicans maintained a healthy majority in the House of Representatives in 2012 despite losing the congressional popular vote nationally to Democrats by 1.4 million votes — more than a whole percentage point.

In states like Ohio, where Republicans have a super majority in the legislature, they have the power to move this affront to democracy through unilaterally, bulldozing any opposition!

Proposals for proportional apportionment of electoral votes based on percentage of the vote are also severely problematic, even a secondary idea being floated by Republicans in these states. That proposal would apportion electoral votes based on percentage of vote, instead of by congressional district.  This could theoretically be a fair system, but only if EVERY state did it. With only blue, Democratic-leaning states splitting their electoral votes and definitively red, Republican states remaining winner-take-all, the national field would still shift dramatically to the Republicans favor — and AWAY from the will of the people. To put it bluntly: election rigged Candidates who clearly amassed a significantly lower  percentage of the popular vote nationwide would be elected in the Electoral College as our next President.

THAT is not what the framers of our U.S. Constitution intended.  Clearly, it’s time we looked at taking redistricting away from partisans as well as whether we need to continue the practice of using an “Electoral College” to select our next President.  Technology has come a long way and usually within hours after the polls close (with the exception of maybe Florida) within days) it’s clear which candidate has won the popular vote.  Maybe it’s time to finally push for a National Popular Vote Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and eliminate the Electoral College middlemen.

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Special Masters Redistricting Minutes Available

The minutes for the first and second meetings of the Public Hearing by Special Masters to Receive Testimony Concerning Redistricting of Legislative and Congressional  Districts can be viewed at the following link:  http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Districts/Reapp/2011/Masters.cfm.

If you have any questions, please contact the Director’s office at 775/684-6800.


State Senate and Assembly Maps Out

A while ago, we got to peruse the proposed Nevada’s U.S. House redistricting map.  Now, the Nevada Assembly and the Nevada Senate redistricting maps are now out as well.

  • Approved plan for State Senate districts
    Democrats now have an 11-10 edge in the state Senate. An analysis of the new Senate Districts shows nine safe Democratic seats, three leaning Democrat, four safe Republican, one leaning Republican and four tossup seats.
  • Approved plan for Assembly districts
     The makeup of the Assembly, according to the examination, shows 22 safe Democrat, four leaning Democrat, nine safe Republican, two leaning Republican and five tossups. The makeup now is 22 Democrats and 12 Republicans.

Proposed State Senate districts.

Proposed State Assembly districts.

The “redistricting masters” have completed their task of creating the redistricting maps.  Now the political theatre is set to continue as everything heads back to the Judge.  Democrats are in general agreement that the maps are acceptable, but as you would expect, the Republicans are still throwing hissy fits about the maps and are insisting that Hispanic voters be “packed” into a single district.

District Judge James Russell may decide in favor of accepting the redistricting maps next Thursday, but it won’t end there.  The Nevada’s Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the mater as well next month to rule on whether the legislative responsibility for drawing up the maps can be abdicated and delegated to the courts.

NV’s Redistricting Saga Continues

Last Friday, the court-appointed special masters, one Republican, one Democrat and one Non-Partisan, released their proposed redistricting map.  It would pretty much split up the current Congressional District 2 into two districts, a northern and a southern district.  Plus, it does not create a majority-minority district for Nevada’s Hispanic population which has burgeoned to 25%.  Instead of gerrymandering a district to band them all together, they would participate alongside everyone else in the communities in which they currently reside.

District 1 would encompass central, urban Las Vegas (blue area on the maps).  District 2 would include what’s left of the current CD2 district  (in green at the left).  CD3 would cover the southern tip of the state south of Las Vegas (the lavender area on the maps).  And the new CD4 would cover the southern area of the current CD2 district along with parts of norther Clark County (the pinkish orange areas on the maps).  Lyon county is the only rural county that ends up being split between CD2 and CD4.

If this becomes the final map that will stand for the next 10 years, it looks like Amodei will retain a Republican stronghold in the north and Heck will find himself in a competitive District in the south.  It would be up to us to build a strong enough coalition to unseat “Mr. Tea Party” in favor of someone who would speak for and truly represent “all” of the people of Nevada … not just the extreme fringes.

A Carson City judge, late on Friday afternoon, scheduled a hearing on the plan for Oct. 27.  He also notified lawyers for state Democrats and Republicans that they have until Oct. 24th to file any oppositions to the plan.  You can probably expect the Republicans to file an opposition petition and continue pushing the packing of Hispanic voters into one minority-majority district hoping that it will improve their chances for electing Republican representatives from the other three Districts.

And, on a different tack altogether, the Nevada Supreme Court is expected to hear a challenge from Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller on Nov. 14.  SOS Miller has challenged whether any judge can resolve the redistricting.  Afterall, our state constitution requires lawmakers to do it, not justices.

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