Posts tagged elections
State Legislature Truth Updates April 5, 2013
Last week in the Tennessee General Assembly, House bills requiring labeling of GMO foods and seeds were deferred until 2014. House Subcommittees are shutting down for the year, while Committees finish hearing bills as the legislature prepares to begin budget discussions.
This week, a bill prohibiting United Nations representatives from monitoring elections in Tennessee failed in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee. A bill making evidence obtained by drones inadmissible in court, except when a warrant is obtained or in exigent and authorized exceptions, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously. The bill authorizes civil suits against law enforcement agencies to prevent or stop violations of the legislation.
Several tax bills are moving forward. The House unanimously passed a bill reducing the sales tax on food ¼ of a % saving about $25 million a year which is about $3.50 per individual. This makes the State portion of sales tax on foods 5%. A bill raising the Hall income tax exemption levels for senior citizens in 2013 from $16,200 to $33,000 for single filers and from $27,000 to $59,000 for joint filers passed the Senate Tax Subcommittee. Tennessee has the highest beer tax rate in the nation. The Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013 removes the wholesaler beer tax of 17% replacing it with a flat tax of $35.60 per barrel. The legislation is moving forward in both the House and Senate.
The Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 2013 passed the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee and is headed to the floor next week. The state workers’ compensation system was established in 1919. Tennessee is one of only two States to adjudicate workers’ compensation claims in the trial courts, causing medical costs related to workers’ compensation to be some of the highest in the nation. The overhaul is suppose to make the system more efficient by allowing allow workers to receive benefits faster and return to work sooner. The bill has already passed the Senate 28-2, with Blount County Senator Doug Overbey voting against it.
A bill allowing State legislators to nominate their parties candidate for general elections of US Senators was taken off notice. This bill attempted to partially return the process of selecting Senators back to State legislature. The 17th amendment to the US Constitution allegedly ratified 100 years ago, requires popular election of US Senators, although some States were already doing this prior to the amendment. A copy of the State Legislative Journals documenting the ratification process of the 17th amendment in Tennessee is available at www.bcpublicrecord.com. This reporter visited the Tennessee State Library and Archives to obtain documentation of Tennessee’s ratification process for the 14th, 16th and 17th amendments to the federal Constitution and is happy to share those documents.
This is Tona Monroe with Blount County Public Record. I am delighted to bring you these weekly State legislative updates and thank Truth Radio for the opportunity. For more information on these bills, visit www.bcpublicrecord.com.
The Associated Press | Posted: Feb 27, 2013 4:49 PM ET | Last Updated: Feb 27, 2013 5:25 PM ET
The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices voiced deep skepticism Wednesday about a section of a landmark civil rights law that has helped millions of Americans exercise their right to vote.
In an ominous note for supporters of the key provision of the Voting Rights Act, Justice Anthony Kennedy both acknowledged the measure’s vital role in fighting discrimination and suggested that other important laws in U.S. history had run their course. “Times change,” Kennedy said during the fast-paced, 70-minute argument.
Kennedy’s views are likely to prevail on the closely divided court, and he tends to side with his more conservative colleagues on matters of race.
The court’s liberals and conservatives engaged in a sometimes tense back-and-forth over whether there is still a need in 2013 for the part of the voting rights law that requires states with a history of discrimination against blacks, mainly in the Deep South, to get approval before making changes in the way elections are held.
Justice Antonin Scalia called the law a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
Chief Justice John Roberts, a vocal skeptic of the use of race in all areas of public life, cited a variety of statistics that showed starker racial disparities in some aspects of voting in the northeastern state of Massachusetts than in the southern state of Mississippi. Then he asked the government’s top Supreme Court lawyer whether the Obama administration thinks “the citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North?”
The answer from Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was no.
Location of law
The question, and others like it from the conservative justices, largely echoed the doubts they first expressed four years ago in a similar case that ended without resolving the constitutionality of the latest renewal of the voting rights law, in 2006. They questioned whether there remain appreciable differences between the locations covered by the law and those that are not.
They also wondered whether there was any end in sight for a provision that intrudes on states’ rights to conduct elections and which was regarded as an emergency response to decades of state-sponsored discrimination in voting, despite the U.S Constitution’s Fifteenth Amendment guarantee of the vote for black Americans.
The provision shifted the legal burden and required governments that were covered to demonstrate that their proposed changes would not discriminate. Another part of the voting rights law, not being challenged, allows for traditional, after-the-fact claims of discrimination in voting and applies across the country.
As his administration was defending the voting rights law, U.S. President Barack Obama was across the street at the Capitol unveiling a statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, who in 1955 famously refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white man. The court will have to decide whether the conditions that gave rise to that seminal event are, like the statue, a part of history, or whether they persist in parts of the nation.
The court’s four liberal justices, including Obama appointees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, appeared uniformly to be willing to defer to the decision by Congress that more progress needs to be made before freeing states from the special federal monitoring.
Those justices aggressively questioned Bert Rein, the lawyer representing Shelby County, Alabama, a southern state, in its challenge to the law.
Sotomayor acknowledged some parts of the South had changed, but she asserted that recent voting rights lawsuits in Alabama suggested that Shelby County, near Birmingham, has not made sufficient progress.
“Why would we vote in favour of a county whose record is the epitome of what caused the passage of this law to start with?” Sotomayor asked.
Kagan chimed in that any formula devised by Congress “would capture Alabama,” where she said certain discriminatory voting practices have persisted.
But Rein said the issue was whether the formula in place, using statistics that are at least 40 years old, remains a valid way to determine which locations have to ask for permission to make voting changes.
Protection of minorities
Debo Adegbile, a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund, argued to the court on behalf of local Alabama elected officials and civil rights leaders. He sought to show the justices that there is a current need for the law, an effort to counter the court’s admonition four years ago that current conditions, not history alone, must justify the continuing application of the law. The NAACP is a leading civil rights organization.
In 2011, Adegbile said, a judge in Alabama cited state lawmakers’ derogatory references to African-Americans as a reason to continue to protect minority voters through the Voting Rights Act.
But Roberts challenged the lawyer. “Have there been episodes, egregious episodes of the kind you are talking about in states that are not covered?” the chief justice asked.
Absolutely, Adegbile replied.
“Well, then it doesn’t seem to help you make the point that the differential between covered and noncovered continues to be justified,” Roberts said.
The requirement currently applies to the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. It also covers certain counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota, and some local jurisdictions in Michigan and New Hampshire. Coverage has been triggered by past discrimination not only against blacks, but also against American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaska Natives and Hispanics.
Among the covered states, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas are siding with Shelby County, while California, Mississippi, New York and North Carolina argue that the law should be upheld.
Nearly 250 of the 12,000 state, county and local governments covered by the law have used an escape hatch to get out from under the special oversight by demonstrating that they and smaller places within their borders no longer discriminate in voting. The 10 covered towns in New Hampshire are poised to exit as they await federal court approval for an agreement between the state and the Justice Department.
A decision is expected by late June.
Gary Franchi from NextNewsNetwork interviews Jim Babka from DownSizeDC.com. Topics discussed include proposed bills, Congress and Senate actions, the influences behind the decisions we see out of DC along with the need to fix the two party system to open up future elections.
Christina Tobin of Free & Equal interviews Amber Lyon, Emmy Award winning journalist and whistle blower. Free & Equal has been on the fore front against the limited choices that We The People have been stuck with thanks to the two party duopoly sitting in D.C. Please visit Free & Equal and support their actions as best you can. The lead in and interview to follow.
Emmy Award-Winning Whistle Blower Amber Lyon Broke Away from CNN; Here’s Her Side of the Story!
Free & Equal empowers people to demand liberty, honesty and integrity from those they vote for. Amber Lyon is encouraging Americans to demand the same from journalists. Together, honest journalism and open elections can transform America – and that change is already beginning.
Amber Lyon, a three-time Emmy award-winning journalist, became famous during the Arab Spring, when she reported on Bahrain’s human rights violations and couldn’t get CNN to air certain stories; she investigated further and discovered that CNN was in fact was taking money from dictators worldwide in exchange for content.
Since Amber Lyon was fired after over a year of conflict with her bosses, she has been pursuing her vision of journalism by acting “as a watchdog of government and a muckraker, not a puppet.”
Free & Equal is dedicated to supporting integrity like Amber’s by uniting all honest media, musicians, authors, leaders, and providing support for grassroots movements and causes, including breaking the stranglehold of the two-party system.
Free & Equal’s next two podcasts will feature Intellectual Revolution’s Ty Loomis and Matt McKinney (www.intellectualrevolution.tv). Then 2012 Presidential Candidates -Gov. Gary Johnson of Libertarian Party (www.garyjohnson2012.com) and Jill Stein of the Green Party (www.jillstein.org). Stay tuned!
Creating honest media can only be done with the help of people who are tired of mainstream misdirection.
You can subscribe to the Free & Equal podcast through iTunes directly or through Podomatic at this link. You also can listen to the show through the Free & Equal mobile app currently available for the Android device and soon to be available for iPhone.
We all know, or should know, of the evils, health hazards and invasion of personal privacy posed when RFID technology is considered as a tracking and data warehousing method considered for humans, pets or livestock in general. The documentation of the health hazards such as cancer, tumors, etc. are well documented. For those not in the know regarding this technology I will include a short video with Katherine Albrecht at the bottom of this post.
What plans D.C. has for the 2016 elections is a mystery, as both Republicans and Democrats compete to out perform the other in voter fraud with many voters either have a home address at their local McDonalds or rose from the grave to vote at the poling locations.
This story caught my eye today from GhanaWeb.com covering the Ghana upcoming elections in 2016.
EC urged to deploy RFID for next election
The Electoral Commission (EC) has been advised to roll out a radio-frequency identification (RFID) scheme for Election 2016 to guarantee the integrity of and public confidence in the biometric registration and verification system.
Consequently, the next government should seek funds to support the EC to deploy information technology to run a credible, transparent, as well as free and fair general election.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of Communications, who gave the advice at the second Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Information Technology Association of Ghana (ITAG) in Accra, stressed that the move had become necessary if Ghana’s electoral process was to be effectively driven by Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
He tasked IT professionals to make meaningful suggestions and recommendations to the EC to ensure that the electoral and democratic process was improved and further deepened.
Mr Iddrisu suggested that it should be made possible for all the polling stations in the 275 constituencies to be equipped with computers and other ICT tools to reduce cases of multiple registration and voting and other forms of electoral fraud.
He expressed optimism that an image recognition system would assist in giving meaning to the “one man, one vote” policy.
Full story located here: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/politics/artikel.php?ID=260748
As many people considered the last US presidential election a false illusion of choice, while many stayed home and chose not to participate in the process, a move as planned in Ghana would only reduce the traffic to the poles so that only those collecting their postal mail at McDonalds or those residing in their local cemetery would be casting ballots. But then, that may be the desired output from both wings of the welfare / warfare state bird of prey?
It’s time to admit that we live in a false economy. Smoke and mirrors are used to make us believe the economy is real, but it’s all an elaborate illusion.
Out of one side of the establishment’s mouth we hear excitement about “green shoots”, and out of the other side comes breathless warnings of fiscal cliffs and the urgent need for unlimited bailouts by the Fed.
We hear the people begging for jobs and the politicians promising them, but politicians can’t create jobs. We see people camped out to buy stuff on Black Friday indicating the consumer economy is seemingly thriving, only to find out everything was bought on credit.
The corporate media does their best to distract us from seeing anything real. We see the media glorify Kim Kardashian who got rich by being famous, and became famous merely by being rich. She got front page coverage on Huffington Post this week because her cat died. Enough said.
Meanwhile the financial media makes the economy seem complicated and they ban anyone who speaks truthfully about the economy from their airwaves.
Is it any wonder why people are angry and confused about the economy?
There is no democracy in the United States.
American political life is dominated by one party with two heads, often called the “Republicrats”.
Republicans and Democrats agree on core issues and only argue on technicalities. Obama, who was portrayed as a peaceful saviour in the last presidential elections, has demonstrated during his four years in office that he is not much different from his predecessor.
Nobel “Peace” Prize Laureate Barack Obama’s “war record” is worse than that of George W. Bush; the civil rights of Americans have shrunk further in the last four years and President Obama has shown that that is he is closer to Wall Street than to Main Street.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are more of the same on key issues as Glen Ford explains:
To any objective observer, the consensus that exists between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the fundamental issues of war and peace, Wall Street’s dominance of American life, and fiscal austerity, has been made crystal clear in the two “debates.” In the absence of effective popular resistance to the duopoly of money, the economic and social crisis fails to create a corresponding political crisis for the rulers. As a result, there is nothing important for them to debate. (Glen Ford, Obama-Romney: The Duopoly Debates Itself)
But how are Presidential debates regulated? The history of the Commission on Presidential Debates sheds light on how and why other parties are excluded from the political debate and kept away from the public’s eyes and ears:
The Commission on Presidential Debates is a private corporation headed by the former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties. The CPD is a duopoly which allows the major party candidates to draft secret agreements about debate arrangements including moderators, debate format and even participants. The result is a travesty riddled with sterile, non-contentious arguments which consistently exclude alternative voices that Americans want to hear. (VIDEO : SpartacusMoriarty, The Truth About the Commission on Presidential Debates)
In 2008, while the Republicrats agreed on bailing out Wall Street, ALL other presidential candidates were against this massive institutionalized fraud. Thanks to the Commission on Presidential Debates, Americans were led to believe that the bank bailout was not only inevitable but in the public interest. Americans were not prevented from hearing the dissenting political voices, who were opposed to this odious debt. The same goes for the Republicrats’ Imperial design fueled by “the war on terrorism and regime change, defended by both Romney and Obama as a legitimate “humanitarian” undertaking
The 2012 Third Party Presidential Debate participants include Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, & Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson.
The debate was moderated by Larry King & hosted by the Free And Equal Elections Foundation at the Hilton Chicago. Topics discussed include war on drugs, legalization of marijuana, foreign policy, civil liberties, economy, education reform, & domestic policy. For more about the Third Party Presidential Debate, click here:
All credits to: ORA TV
Remember to go to http://freeandequal.org/ and vote for who you feel won the debate. Then standby for the top two candidates to face off in a debate next Tuesday to be held in Washington D.C.
Published on Sep 8, 2012 by martysoffice
A 13 Minute Video Every Moderate/Undecided Voter Should Watch -
A short un-narrated documentary that looks at Obama’s first term with regards to transparency, healthcare, taxes, fairness, energy and the national debt through his own words
WordsMatter2012 was launched this past March to offer non-partisan and objective insight into whether President Obama delivered on the many promises he made when running for office. The project was in fact inspired by a speech he gave in 2008 in which he said that “words matter.” Through short weekly videos highlighting his promises, we merely ask, “Did his words matter? And do they matter today?”
Another point to consider in a related link with the upcoming election in mind:
Funny thing how those “choices” work out when people let the mainstream media tell them how to think and what to believe…
By Chris McGreal in Austin
Justices to consider several cases brought by Republican-led states aimed at overturning laws on affirmative action and voting
The US supreme court resumes work on Monday, confronting a caseload that could prove every bit as contentious as the legal battle over healthcare reform.
Among the most bitterly fought cases are expected to be a number aimed at overturning longstanding civil rights laws by a clutch of Republican-run states who claim they are outdated and unjustly discriminatory against white people.
The cases have the potential to strike at the heart of more than half a century of civil rights legislation by potentially abolishing central government oversight of elections in states with a history of systematic racism and dealing a fatal blow to affirmative action in higher education.
The supreme court is also likely to take up a more recent human rights issue with equally strong political overtones – gay marriage.
Some Republican state leaders are optimistic that the time is now ripe to take on civil rights legislation because of the supreme court’s ideological tilt to the right and clear signals from the chief justice, John Roberts, that he is deeply sceptical about racially based legislation.