What a Day, What a Day - Open Thread with SDR Update

Maybe this would be better handled with bullet points ...

* Les Merritt is worse than Screech on Celebrity Fit Club.

* I left for DC at 12:30 am this morning; got back at 6:00 pm. A friend of mine was staffing Rep. Kucinich at the Take Back America conference today, and I experienced the supreme pleasure of being backstage with Murtha, H. Clinton, Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Kucinich, and more. Speaking of Moore, Michael Moore was supposed to show, but was held up by weather. Still, it was cool to chill with our leaders (Capitol Police security detail included).

* SDR passed. But I should have an exclamation mark after that, right? I'll let YDNC Vice President Melissa Price explain:

Although our SDR bill passed today out of the Senate, Republican Senator Phil Berger tacked on an amendment that requires all voter registration forms to be in English. Besides the obvious that this is racist and exclusionary, I'm still trying to research and see if this possibly violates election law.

The bill's original sponsor-Democrat Rep. Deborah Ross dislikes this amendment. I've been told she will ask the House to not concur with the Senate's version, thus throwing our bill to joint session. Let's hope joint session happens. I for one, want this amendment to disappear.

Contact your House members and tell them not to concur with the Senate bill and to put it in joint session and take out the amendment.

* On the way back from DC, I made a few business calls, but at 3:30 (interesting choice of time, no?) we had the D-Trip/Kissell conference call. Maybe that would be better explained in the comments? Long story short, polling paints a rosy picture for 2008 (no alarms and no surprises), there was no discussion of other Democratic candidates in the 8th (DCCC has its man), there are at least three fundraisers during the next ten days (go to one), and I'm not going to be the one to go into detail so that you put up the money to join the K-Trip (Kissell Conference Call Club).

I need to go to sleep ... but what happened during your day?

SDR UPDATE

As you may have figured out, the Voting Rights Act makes the move by Sen. Berger sound illegal. His unfriendly rider may kill the bill. Rep. Ross stood up to amendments like this in the House ... but now we need the House to add a savings clause that will keep SDR intact if the Berger Amendment is struck down in court ... or we need the Joint Session to ratify the House version ... either way, we do not want the House to concur ... especially to an illegal version of the bill. That's all for now.

Comments

Good wrap, Sam.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sounds like an awesome day

for you, Sam. I'm totally envious. I like the K-Trip thing. Y'all are gonna break me down and get my money if I'm not careful here. I can't stand to not know what's going on.

My day was pretty average until I got an email this afternoon telling me that I'd been appointed to a Town board I'd applied for a few months back. I did the snoopy dance in my office. It's not a big deal in the broad scheme of things, but I'm a little fish, so a little pond suits me just fine. So much to learn. I'm excited about it! Yay! :)

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Great Job!

And if you do break down, you know who has the best ActBlue page ;)

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

uh, oh.

Did I just paint a big target on my virtual forehead?

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Not a smart thing to do :-P

The rest of us just lie and say we've already contributed :-P

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

NOW you tell me ...

... $*%*. I'm checking campaign finance reports next quarter. Better yet, maybe Merritt's team can do an audit of contribution claims posted here against those reports. That'll fix ya'!

d:^/

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

That won't work

We all "contribute" $100 or less total. ($200 in Federal Races)

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Oh. right.

We ain't exactly the big dahlllah crowd, are we? :) But what we lack in money we make up for in doors knocked, phone calls made, diaries written and all 'round general chatter & contagious enthusiasm. :)

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

new rules since January 2007

If you give more than $50 cumulative in an election cycle, your name, address and occupation needs to be reported to the NC Board of Elections. This amount used to be $100, but they changed the campaign finance law last year.

Left on 49

Cabarrus Democrats

Welll......tomorrow morning you can hear some audio

I have a piece going up, so you won't feel like you missed a thing.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Seriously? Yay!

Thanks, b. See ... this is why everybody loves Betsy. She rocks! :)

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Yay, Leslie!

I was so busy trying to tell you about the audio I didn't read the rest of your comment. Congrats on the board appointment. I can't wait to hear more about it.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thanks, B.

No doubt y'all who know how these Town board things go are smiling and just waiting for the first, "I'm so frustrated with these people I'm going to pull my hair out!" post. ;)

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I can't imagine

your being a little fish in any pond. You go, girl.

Lovex7

Thanks, Love.

You're too kind. Whatever happens, I'll get a chance to learn more about local political issues. Hopefully I'll get to the place down the road where I can contribute a few positive things for town residents and businesses. :) That's what I'm looking forward to.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

:)

wha? an open Senate seat? ... kidding. I do believe I heard a little bird talking recently about an open Senate seat around these parts soon. I cannot for the life of me remember what was said ... long enough to write it on a public blog. :-o

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

you can always email it to me

i keep secrets well.

especially if you hear something, and you have someone that wants some thoughts and advice...i could drive down there for coffee...

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

I will

Watch for a pm.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

YAY! Now I'll Have a 'Go-To' Person

right here at home!

Go, Leslie!

psstt...I'll let you in on a secret ... sometimes it's more propitious to be a lurker ...

Thanks for the skinny, Sam. :)

Wait ....

I'm having a dictionary moment ... [curses!!! I need bifocals!] ... had to look up that fittycent word you got up there ... :) I love hanging out with smart people. I still have hope that we absorb smartness from those we hang around with ... which explains a lot about those who hang around W. ;)

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Gee - and here I was ...

thinking the same thing about you.

I love hanging out with smart people

oooh....

Brad Miller got some attention in the WaPo today.

Inspecting the Inspectors

By Stephen Barr
Thursday, June 21, 2007; Page D04

A House subcommittee yesterday delved into long-standing tensions on how best to ensure the independence of the government's inspectors general so that they don't end up as lapdogs to their agencies, reluctant to prowl for waste, fraud and abuse.

And D04 is part of the WaPo's special "we put politics everywhere" policy, so while its not an A2 story, I can guarantee that the "right people" in DC are reading this.

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

It's Not Racist

It is not racist to say voter registration cards must be in English. Language keeps people together and builds a common unity. As a third generation immigrant, I was able to know many of my immigrant family members who were required to learn the English language to function in our country. It was one of the most important pieces of their assimilation into our American melting pot.

I am all for immigration, but believe providing immigrants speical treatment is hurting their cause because it enables folks like Senator Burger to fan the flames of nativist thought. If the left was serious about helping immigrants, we would support them in learning English and the traditions of America in a manner that has been done with every wave of immigrants in our nation's history.

fine

but forcing is not the same as helping.

Saying you cant do x y and z if you dont know english is different from actually spending the money needed to teach english. And you and I both know that no Republican would stop yelling because we spent extra money on language education. If anything they would yell more.

So, in a damned if you do damned if you dont, I say screw them dont give the Republicans even the tiniest victories.

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

Maybe we should outlaw

the practice of bilingual packaging by companies?

It might not be racist.

But I think it's xenophobic. Of course people coming to live in this country are going to learn English. My grandparents did, your grandparents did. That's how it goes. But in the meantime, I think it's wrong to deny citizens - and that's what we're talking about - a right that we all have. Making it harder for them to vote because the registration is written in the language they don't understand is the same as moving polling places without notification, or requiring a literacy test before one can vote.

Having ballots or voter registration forms that people can understand does not "hurt their cause". It helps democracy. Even when my grandfather learned to speak and understand English, he still could speak and understand Italian better, and if there were a complex or important issue to deal with, he would resort to that, with one of my aunts or my father translating for him if necessary. I'm not suggesting that all forms be translated into all languages, but I don't see a problem with important forms - like the voter registration form - be put in the two languages most spoken in the state. For goodness sake, there's wording on there that talks about it being a felony to lie in filling it out. Don't you want people to understand that?

As for the left being serious about helping immigrants, I think we are - we want them to be a part of the democratic process as soon as they are able to, rather than waiting for them to pass an English literacy test in order to exercise their right to vote.

in a manner that has been done with every wave of immigrants in our nation's history.

Maybe we don't read the same history books. Have you ever heard of NINA? Have you ever been called a WOP? I have.

And let's not forget that most of us, if we are white, can trace our roots back to immigrants. The first white "immigrants" who came to these shores had a over-developed sense of righteousness and dominion, and proceeded to decimate the Native population on this continent.

Perhaps we should alter our approach and really commit to the words on the Statue of Liberty.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

One sticky little point

that I can't get past. If the voter can't read enough English to register, can we expect that we will have an educated electorate who has garnered enough information from the press or debates to make a good choice on the ballot?

Granted there will be newspapers written in Spanish but it seems to me that even that could open a door to manipulation of voters.

Unfortunately

I don't think most voters whose native language is English are as educated about the candidates and issues as we would like.

Manipulation of voters is going to happen; that's a separate issue from having voter registration cards available in a language that the prospective voter can understand.

Not to be obtuse, but

we elected George W. Bush twice. Even with all the controversy surrounding the close race(s), I think it's apparent that we are a nation of !@$#$%^& idiots.

And yes, that was an F-bomb in disguise.

heh.

We elected him once. He was appointed once. I'm not sure I'll ever let go of that one.

Heh,

I'm not willing to say he was elected either time... 1 million votes lost in the latest caging expose.

Over one million provisional ballots cast in the 2004 race were never counted; over half a million absentee ballots were also rejected.

Greg Palast article

Excellent Point.

A few weeks ago, I had never heard of vote caging. Now I hope I never hear about it again - except in the past tense.

election director told me this re non english ballots/handouts

An election director in one NC county told me that it makes sense to provide spanish ballots, voter ed and registration forms.

The logic - and this is logical - is that even if a person IS bi-lingual, when reading documents as important as a ballot or a registration form or any important legal document - the person is more comfortable reading it in their native language.

This isn't a burden, we ALREADY do this in North Carolina in precincts with a certain number of non english speaking voters.

I repeat - it is not a burden. We already do this as needed.

Why are we trying to force a requirement that even commerce knows is futile?

Every ATM, every bank card reader at a checkout- all ask if I prefer English or Spanish. The gas station, McDonalds, Department stores, banks, drug stores, you name it.

We can't stop it.

A big question is - why does someone want to block access to voting, which is what this "english only" requirement would do?

um ... because they're bigots -

and they're afraid the votes won't go their way ... maybe. heh.

I think it's time to really get into learning Spanish.

So I can volunteer to be a translator at the polls.
(Oh, yes I would. Because I'm just like that)

2 reasons I can think of

and I haven't even had coffee yet.

1) They're afraid of the great illegal immigrant plan to take over our government.

2) They're afraid that a greater number of registered, legal voters would change the powers that be into the powers that were.

It's a literacy test. It's illegal.

T'would Be the Best Thing Happening

in over 40 years.

2) They're afraid that a greater number of registered, legal voters would change the powers that be into the powers that were.

Where do I sign up?

yup

The Civil Rights division of the DOJ is set up to prevent stuff like this. I just hope Bush hasnt broken them.

Or we can get the house to not concur and pass it through conference.

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

I'm Gonna Show This Again -

in case you missed it, sc.

Since I'm in a tweaked mood, I want someone else to be tweaked today.

See?

Look carefully at the second list. You know what that means, right?

How about our State AG?

Couldn't we ask Roy Cooper to investigate this?

Learning a language

takes time, especially one with over 10,000 words in its vocabulary. Some people are natural polyglots while others (like me) find it extremely difficult to adapt their brain to another language.

There are millions of legal hispanic immigrants in this country. Some of them are making a concerted effort to learn English, while others pick up a word or two here and there. Whatever the case, when they take the time to vote, they (and we) need to make sure they have the capability to cast their vote with the least amount of confusion possible.