YOU May Not Be Allowed to Vote in the Next Election

VoterIDThree bills that threaten OUR rights to vote were introduced this month at the Nevada Legislature.  They are unwarranted legislation in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.  We cannot let them become law!

SB 169, AB 253, and AB 266 require voters to show a limited number of acceptable forms of ID. These types of Voter ID laws impact vulnerable populations who are left struggling to obtain identification that will allow them to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

Introductions of AB 253 and AB 266 were held on Tuesday, March 17, in Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections at 4 p.m. Contact your Assembly member now and let them know that you oppose any Voter ID bills that will make it difficult for Nevada’s citizens to vote.

There is a false notion that every Nevadan has an ID and if they don’t, they can easily walk over to the DMV and get one. The “Let Nevadans Vote” coalition has been conducting surveys with vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless families and through that process, they’ve learned just how difficult it is to obtain an ID. Here are a few of their stories with names removed to protect their privacy:

One Reno woman moved here from another state and lacks a Nevada ID. Her supporting documents were lost to theft and she’s had difficulty just getting a copy of her birth certificate, saying it was “hard as heck” and she has to “jump through hoops.” She’s indigent and reports having both physical and mental disabilities, and relies on public transportation to get around.

A 2014 voter registered as a nonpartisan is currently jobless, homeless, and relies on public transit that he can barely afford. His birth certificate and social security card were stolen, a common occurrence when experiencing homelessness. The only ID he has is a Clarity Card issued by Catholic Charities, which doesn’t meet the requirements of this bill.

Another voter lives in a rural county, 90 miles away from the only DMV office in her county. Everybody in her local community knows her upon sight, but she doesn’t have the requisite ID prescribed by the legislation being proposed to allow her to vote.  She doesn’t drive.  She doesn’t own a car.  She doesn’t have a valid driver’s license (why would she?).  Now add to that, that there is no available public transportation she could utilize to make the hour and a half trip to the DMV to get the ID, nor to make the hour and a half trip back to her home.

Yet another man lives in a rural county in a group facility for those with disabilities. He’s a Vietnam War veteran and Agent Orange snuck up him some time ago.  He’s been voting by mail-in ballot for some time now.  Like the lady in the last example, it’s 90 miles to the nearest DMV facility.  He no longer drives and he also doesn’t have a car or a valid Driver’s license.  There’s no public transportation, and even if there was, just the 3-hour round trip would be exceptionally stressful given his current health conditions.  To be able to vote in future elections, he would not only need to make the trip to the DMV but to the Registrar of Voters office as well to present his ID for the record.

In each of these cases, an undue burden  is placed on each person who should clearly be qualified to vote.  Please contact your Assembly member and make it clear that, as their constituent, you oppose passage of Voter ID bills SB 169, AB 253, and AB266.  You can also use the “Opinions” app at the 2015 NV Legislative Session page to read the bills and comments from others as well as to leave your comments about each bill:  https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/78th2015/A/

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The President Just Announced This —

Our immigration system has been broken for decades. And every day we wait to act, millions of undocumented immigrants are living in the shadows: Those who want to pay taxes and play by the same rules as everyone else have no way to live right by the law. That is why President Obama is using his executive authority to address as much of the problem as he can, and why he’ll continue to work with Congress to pass comprehensive reform.

ImmigrationPlan

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The Simple Truth: Republicans Hate Our Constitution

—by 

GOP-HATEI’m so tired of hearing this absurd claim by Republicans that they are the “party for Constitutional values.” I wrote an article a couple weeks ago about how Republicans love a Constitution, just not ours.  But even when I spelled it out simply for them, they still didn’t get it.  They don’t understand that simply [read full article here]

State Legislatures Gone Wild—9 Terrible Proposed State Laws

— by ThinkProgress War Room, March 15, 2013

If you think that irresponsible and outright ridiculous bills only come out of Washington, D.C., think again. Ever since the big GOP wave election in 2010, state legislatures across the country have been racing to pass offensive, unconstitutional, and just outright bizarre laws. Other states long controlled by Republicans are also rushing to pass unconstitutional and ridiculous laws just for good measure, it appears.

Here are 9 terrible proposed state laws:

  • NORTH DAKOTA: The state is getting in on the latest anti-abortion fad sweeping the nation: so-called “heartbeat bills” that ban abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected. North Dakota is set to pass a law that bans abortions (at its single remaining abortion clinic) after just six weeks. The law, the most stringent in the nation, is clearly unconstitutional.
  • TEXAS: An “avid proponent of tort reform” in the state legislature has proposed a law that will allow people to be served notice of a lawsuit through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
  • OKLAHOMA: The Sooner State is still fighting Obamacare and just this week the Oklahoma House passed an unconstitutional Obamacare “nullification” law.
  • INDIANA: Newly elected Gov. Mike Pence (R) is pushing for a 10 percent cut in the state’s income tax, something which could gut investments in education and infrastructure. Even Republican legislators are wary, but the Koch Brothers front group, Americans for Prosperity is pushing the proposal.
  • MISSISSIPPI: The Magnolia state, which has the highest obesity rate in the nation, passed a so-called “anti-Bloomberg” bill to prevent localities from “enacting rules that require calorie counts to be posted, that cap portion sizes, or that keep toys out of kids’ meals.”
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: The Palmetto State said no to expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, which sadly is hardly a novel feat. The South Carolina GOP’s innovation was to explain its motivation for doing so was because the president is black.
  • OHIO: Ohio’s radical anti-union law was overturned by a statewide referendum and its anti-voting law was headed for the same fate until the legislature preemptively repealed it on their own. Now Ohio legislators are trying to make it harder for voters to initiate referenda to overturn the radical laws passed by the GOP-controlled legislature.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: You might think that the 13th amendment to the Constitution is the one that banned slavery, but some Republican legislators in New Hampshire would like to tell you otherwise. They claim the “original 13th amendment” is one that banned people with titles of nobility from holding office and that it was deleted by some sort of conspiracy. They aren’t taking this lying down and have introduced a bill to restore the “original” version, in order “to end the infiltration of the Bar Association and the judicial branch into the executive and legislative branches of government and the unlawful usurpation of the people’s right.”
  • IOWA: An Iowa Republican wanted to ban no-fault divorces for couples with children, out of fears that easier divorces may make teenage girls “more promiscuous.” Fortunately, legislative leaders shut that whole thing down.

While some of these bills are laughable, it’s not very funny when they actually become law. In Arkansas, for instance, the legislature just overrode the governor’s veto (which, bizarrely, only requires a simple majority in Arkansas) of a measure banning abortion after 12 weeks. This was briefly the nation’s strictest abortion ban until it was outdone by the North Dakota law mentioned above.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Who Appointed Sheriff Kilgore “King” of Humboldt County?

KilgoreHumboldt County Sheriff Ed Kilgore sent a letter, on official letterhead of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, last Friday, to the Vice President of the United States deriding his audacity to propose fire arms regulations following “an emotional tragedy.”  From the tone and tenor of the letter, it appears he believes he’s been elected “President” of Humboldt County … or that he’s the equivalent of “Judge Roy Bean” and that he alone can decide which if any laws of our great nation he may or may not support or enforce.

Kilgore

“You are on notice …???” ” … my constituents and I” ?   Wait just one minute!  Mr. Kilgore needs to understand that he was elected to the office of Sheriff and not “King.”  He may have a personal opinion about any given subject, but that opinon needs to stop at the door of your office and once on the other side of the door, like it or not, YOU swore an oath to enforce the laws of our County, our State AND our Nation.  I am a resident of Humboldt County Nevada and while I may be served the Sheriff’s office, I certainly do NOT agree that YOU are King of Humboldt County nor that YOU have the sole discretion as to which laws he chooses to support or not support, enforce or not enforce.

Oath in State Constitution
Article 15, Miscellaneous Provisions, Section 2.  Oath of office.

Members of the Legislature, and all officers, executive, judicial and ministerial, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe to the following oath:

I, ……………., do solemly [solemnly] swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the constitution and government of the United States, and the constitution and government of the State of Nevada, against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any state notwithstanding, and that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties of the office of ……………., on which I am about to enter; (if an oath) so help me God; (if an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury.  (Nevada Constitutional Debates and Proceedings, pp. 104-107, 609, 610, 662, 744, 809, 847.) [Amended in 1914:   proposed and passed by the 1911 Legislature, agreed to and passed by the 1913 Legislature, and approved and ratified by the people at the 1914 General Election. See: Statutes of Nevada 1911, p. 458; Journal of the Assembly, 26th Session, p. 20 and Journal of the Senate, 26th Session, p. 37.]

I own guns and I’m a veteran.  And despite what you believe Mr. Kilgore, I believe that assault weapons should be banned along with 50- and 100-round clips, that guns should be licensed and that no one should be able to purchase or own a gun without first undergoing a thorough background check. And I’m not alone in that thinking:

  • “I do not believe i the general promiscuous toting of guns.  I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” — NRA President, Karl Frederic, 1934
  • “I do not believe in taking away the right of citizens for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense.  But, I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon, or needed for defense of a home.”  — Ronald Reagan  in a speech at his 78th birthday celebration in Los Angeles on February 6, 1989.
  • “Certain forms of ammunition have no legitimate sporting, recreational, or self-defense use and thus should be prohibited.”  — Ronald Reagan, August 28, 1986 in his signing statement on a bill that banned the production and importation of armor-piercing bullets.
  • “With the right to bear arms comes a great responsibility to use caution and common sense on handgun purchases.” — Ronald Reagan, speech at George Washington University in a on March 29, 1991.
  • “I support background checks at gun shows …. I would sign a bill that mandated trigger locks with the sale of guns …. The federal government ought to be involved is it’s the federal government that issues licenses to gun dealers and therefore has the access to the computer to determine whether or not a citizen is eligible or not eligible to purchase a weapon.”  — George W. Bush in an interview with Jim Lehrer on April 27, 2000

We’ve all heard the common phrase, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.”  Well, they certainly do with the help of a gun.  They don’t just stand there and go “bang!” and watch the other person drop dead.  Well, cars kill people too, and we have to jump through a considerable number of hoops to be able to license and drive a car.  After all, the Second Amendment does speak to “a WELL-REGULATED militia.”

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. — U. S. Constitution, “Amendment II”

So, as part of that “well-regulated,” maybe we should have to jump through at least as many hoops to demonstrate our ability and responsibility to own and operate a gun as we do to be able to own and operate a car.  For example, let’s start with having to undergo universal background check and by having to take a written test on gun safety covering the proper means of carrying, loading and unloading that weapon, how to turn the safety on and off, BEFORE we’re allowed to get a gun owner’s permit. In addition, just like we have to physically “drive” the car before we get our license, potential gun owners should be required to  actually shoot and properly clean it before a licensed evaluator.  Then, after an appropriate waiting period, potential gun owners should take an actual test involving everything from loading and unloading, proper locked storage, even shooting proficiency. Plus, each gun should be registered in each state in which it is to be carried or used. And lastly, each gun owner should submit to an annual inspection for their weapon, and each gun purchase should come with mandatory liability insurance.

You would do well to remember that it’s covered by the 2nd amendment, not the 1st.  Thus, while you might argue that those items I’ve proposed as a means of “well-regulation” infringe upon your right to own and shoot your gun … nevertheless, your second amendment rights should NEVER infringe on anyone’s 1st amendment rights:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”