Category Archives: GOP

Dollarocracy Over Democracy, 2012

One Percenters Buying Themselves an Aristocracy

By Leo Gerard
USW President, via Huffington Post

August 30, 2012 – The U.S. Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. What this nation needs now is separation of wealth and state.

Without such a protection, Americans stand to lose their democracy. They’ll be ruled instead by an aristocracy of 1 percenters.

That’s the 1 percenters’ plan. To them, it was no more than a perk when the U.S. Supreme Court enabled politicians to open their wallets for unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions. That’s because way before the 2010 Citizens United ruling, 1 percenters were working on a takeover. If the 99 percent don’t stop them soon, don’t establish some sort of separation of wealth and state, then the nation will lose its founding precepts — that all men are created equal and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Aristocracies can ignore the governed.

Already the 1 percenters have been extraordinarily successful. The rich really do enjoy advantages. They’ve succeeded in stuffing Congress with their peers. In America, fewer than 1 percent of all people are millionaires. In Congress, 47 percent are. The median net worth of a U.S. senator in 2010 was $2.56 million.

Those guys haven’t experienced what it’s like to try to pay a mortgage, fix the car and keep food on the table for the average household with a median income of less than $52,000. They’re completely out of touch with the 50 million Americans who don’t have health insurance.

Continue reading Dollarocracy Over Democracy, 2012

The Long Struggle for Voting Rights


By Al Hart
UE News Managing Editor via Beaver County Blue

August 20, 2012, Pittsburgh, PA – Since the founding of the United States, working people have had to fight to win, and to keep, the right to vote. And through American history, rich and powerful people, often calling themselves "conservatives", have tried to maintain their privileges by depriving other Americans of the right to vote.

The story of the long struggle for voting rights in America is thoroughly and brilliantly told in ‘The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States,’ by Alexander Keyssar, who teaches history and social policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. This highly- readable account was first published in 2000, and the 2009 revised edition brings the story up to nearly the present, when voter suppression has again become a national issue.

Before and immediately after the American Revolution, the right to vote in most of the 13 original states was limited mainly to white men, and in most states, only those who owned a certain amount of property. Free blacks who owned property had voting rights in some Northern states and, for a while, North Carolina. The most common property qualification was a freehold of 50 acres (among others, this disqualified tenant farmers who leased land.) In some states the requirement was property of a certain monetary value, such as 50 pounds, or a taxpaying requirement. When Vermont gained statehood in 1791, it was immediately the most democratic state, with no property or tax requirements for voting.

Continue reading The Long Struggle for Voting Rights

Even Papers as Far Away as New Zealand Are Shocked at PA’s GOP Voter Suppression Efforts

Dorothy Cooper, Tn, denied vote by the same GOP efforts back by Santorum here.

Eligibility rules bar millions of voters in US

By Peter Huck
New Zealand Herald

Aug 18, 2012 – When Dorothy Cooper applied for a free voter identity card in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she supplied a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her birth certificate and her voter registration card to prove who she was.

Voter ID is mandatory to prevent fraud under a new state law passed by Republicans, despite scant evidence fraud exists.

But the 96-year-old, who was on the voting roll, left her marriage certificate behind. Cooper was denied the ID.

Wilola Lee in Pennsylvania has a similar story to tell. The 60-year-old has voted in most national elections since the 1970s, worked at her local Philadelphia polling station and is retired from the city’s education department. She has a social security card and a state identity card.

But a new law, passed by a Republican-controlled legislature, says voters must use an ID card issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

To get one you need a birth certificate. Lee’s was destroyed by fire. Efforts to get one from Georgia, her birthplace, have been frustrated for the past decade.

Continue reading Even Papers as Far Away as New Zealand Are Shocked at PA’s GOP Voter Suppression Efforts

A Sensible "Deal for All" Challenges the Dreaded "Simpson-Bowles" Cutbacks

Photo: Cardboard image of Jamie Dimond, JP Morgan’s ‘Simpson Bowles’ Advocate.

By Carl Bloice
Beaver County Blue via Black Commentator

‘The real losers would be seniors, sick poor people, the unemployed, and people with disabilities.’

July 26, 2012 – A highly placed journalist spoke up boldly over the weekend on behalf of the country’s serious people, "those of us who crave a little common sense," who are feeling a bit of "despair," right now because the nation’s capital has become "a sludge pit of dysfunction." This state of affairs, wrote New York Times former executive editor. Bill Keller, could be attributed to "Republican cynicism, Democratic fecklessness or presidential disengagement."

"Talk to any credible economist, wire any serious politician to a polygraph, and you will hear at least 80 percent agreement on what is to be done: investment to goose the lackluster recovery and rebuild our infrastructure, entitlement reforms and spending discipline to lower the debt, and a tax code that lets the government pay its way without stifling business, punishing the middle class or rewarding sleight of hand," wrote Keller in the Times July 21. The problem, he asserted, is the failure of the responsible people to come up with a "grand bargain," the outline of which is pretty much summed up in (a little drum roll here) our old friend, the magic elixir; "Simpson-Bowles."

It just won’t go away. Its promoters continue to use a nonexistent "Simpson-Bowles" report from the failed Presidential deficit reduction commission as the code for what a powerful group among the nation’s political and economic elite want to enact by hook or by crook, whether we the people want it or not.

Continue reading A Sensible "Deal for All" Challenges the Dreaded "Simpson-Bowles" Cutbacks

‘We’re Fired Up!’ – Protestors in Harrisburg Vow to Defeat GOP Voter Suppression Law

Photos by Bill Allen

By Carl Davidson
Beaver County Blue

Nearly 500 people gathered on the steps of Pennsylvania’s State Capitol in Harrisburg on the hot afternoon of July 24 to deliver a warning to the GOP-dominated legislature-all their efforts to suppress the right to vote will be met with stiff resistance.

The rally was organized by the NAACP, trade union, women’s and church groups. Its tarrget was the GOP’s so-called ‘VoterID’ law, which may forbid nearly nine percent of the electorate, from voting in November.

"Do you want to know where the voter fraud has occurred? I’ll tell you right now where the vote fraud has occurred?" declared Rep. Ron Waters (D-Philadelphia). "It occurred when the people who wanted to disenfranchise the many 758,000 who are already registered to vote but do not possess a PennDOT-issued Photo IDs. They want to make sure that this is a way to get the candidate of their choice elected."

Continue reading ‘We’re Fired Up!’ – Protestors in Harrisburg Vow to Defeat GOP Voter Suppression Law

GOP Rep Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

Pennsylvania Republican: Voter ID Laws Are

‘Gonna Allow Governor Romney To Win’


By Annie-Rose Strasser

June 25, 2012 – This weekend, Pennsylvania Republican House Leader Mike Turzai (R-PA) finally admitted what so many have speculated: Voter identification efforts are meant to suppress Democratic votes in this year’s election.

At the Republican State Committee meeting, Turzai took the stage and let slip the truth about why Republicans are so insistent on voter identification efforts — it will win Romney the election, he said:

Continue reading GOP Rep Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

April 4 Vigil Vows to Fight GOP Efforts to Deny Voting Rights

mlkrally 040

HB 934 Exposed as ‘Modern-Day Poll Tax

By Carl Davidson
Beaver County Blue

Some 80 labor and civil rights activists, together with a few elected officials, gathered at dusk at the Beaver County Courthouse April 4 for a candlelight vigil. The somber but militant event commemorated the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and protested the current efforts of rightwing PA Republicans to block citizens from voting in 2012.

mlkrally 008 “They’re declaring war on us,” said Lynwood Alford, a member of the Beaver-Lawrence Central Labor Council and leader of the Minority Coalition. ‘Taking away our voting rights is taking away the little power we have in the fight for survival.”

Alford repeated the refrain several times as he introduced new speakers. The vigil was sponsored by the Beaver-Lawrence Central Labor Council, SEIU Local 668, the USW, and the Beaver County NAACP. The 12 CD Progressive Democrats of America also endorsed the vigil, and turned out a good-sized contingent.

The target of everyone’s anger was the passage into law of HB 934 last month, the so-called ‘Voter ID Law’.

Continue reading April 4 Vigil Vows to Fight GOP Efforts to Deny Voting Rights

Yet Another Reason to Defeat the GOP Across the Board

More of the Same: Voter Suppression = Corporate Domination

By Ja-Rei Wang

March 21, 2012 – Pennsylvania has become the latest state to pass a voter ID law in the Republican-led nationwide effort to deny the vote to millions.

H.B. 934, which Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law last Wednesday, will effectively disenfranchise 691,000 Pennsylvanians who do not currently have a driver’s license, according to a 2006 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) estimate. African Americans, seniors, people with disabilities, the working poor and students are twice as likely as others to lack ID. Voter ID bills introduced across the country would disenfranchise more than 21 million eligible voters.

Continue reading Yet Another Reason to Defeat the GOP Across the Board

Voting Rights Protest vs. GOP in Rochester, Saturday, Jan. 28

We Need Some ‘Street Heat’

on Sen. Elder Vogel, Join Us!

By Tina Shannon
Progressive Democrats of America

Dear Friends & Fellow Progressives,

The right wing in our nation has always and continually made every effort to keep people from voting.

At one time only white male property owners could vote. This was expanded to all white males. Then after a bloody civil war, black males gained the right to vote. Then women gained the right to vote after a long battle. Finally young folks from ages 18 to 21, who were fighting and dying in foreign wars, gained the right to vote.

In the South, where the former slave-owner aristocracy maintained power, a raft of new laws were passed that disenfranchised black voters. There were poll taxes, various voter tests and other obstacles thrown up to stop blacks and poor whites in the South from voting. The Republican Party is renewing this drive to disenfranchise wide sectors of the voting population in order to tighten their hold on the national government.

We are concerned that Sen.Vogel is a supporter of House Bill 934, the PA Voter Suppression Bill.

The right to vote is one of our most important rights. Now it is being challenged with new restrictions. Join us Saturday to voice your protest in person.

(Sen Vogel, stop this bill from coming to a vote)
Saturday, January 28th 12:00 noon
Sen. Elder Vogel’s office 488 Adams St. in Rochester

This demonstration is being organized by leaders and activists of the Beaver-Lawrence Labor Council, the NAACP, the Minority Coalition, Progressive Democrats, and representatives of local unions and churches. Our only hope politically is to keep building this progressive coalition that is growing & gaining strength right before our eyes. Please come out & help with this. It’s what PDA is all about.

Continue reading Voting Rights Protest vs. GOP in Rochester, Saturday, Jan. 28