Once upon a Labor Day, the political season in Arizona changed and so did we.
Haven't we really had enough of being pushed around by arrogant and unaccountable elected Republicans in this state?
City council elections are over. We have less than two weeks to gather signatures to put the Voter Suppression Bill HB2305 -- passed at the eleventh hour in the 2013 regular session of the Arizona Legislature -- on hold pending a vote in November 2014 by The People. The People, who are supposed to matter.
In interviews on local current affairs and political talk shows, Republicans like Michele Reagan have vigorously stuck to the propaganda that HB2305 addresses (what we really know to be non-existent) voter fraud. But 89-year old conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, just days ago, in a Wing Nut Daily piece touting North Carolina's new voter suppression law removed the pretext. She wrote,
The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that “early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.”Reduction in the duration of early voting was only one of the provisions of the new NC law. In Arizona, apparently, early voting was not seen as quite so threatening to the GOP ruling class. BUT, here, allowing activist groups to collect and deliver signed and sealed early ballots was seen as VERY threatening. So, HB2305 takes aim directly at the practice, making it a crime.
State Rep. J.D. Mesnard during the final vote on HB2305 in the House spelled out the Republican view that allowing Libertarian candidates access to the ballot caused the GOP to lose all three competitive Congressional district races in 2012. Hence, HB2305 eliminates -- for all practical purposes, it actually DOES eliminate -- the ability of Libertarians, Greens and any other political party besides Republicans and Democrats to get their candidates on the ballot. Without ballot access, how can they influence debate on important issues?
And WHY do we have to put up with corporate media, when they dare to report on the issue at all, dismissing the reality by saying "Democrats claim" this is an effort on the part of Republicans to... Why won't they just acknowledge what is so plain for anyone to see?
In Texas, Republican officials have become so brazen they even take all the pretense out of legal briefs filed in support of Republican redistricting decisions.
DOJ’s accusations of racial discrimination are baseless. In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats....The redistricting decisions of which DOJ complains were motivated by partisan rather than racial considerations, and the plaintiffs and DOJ have zero evidence to prove the contrary.Don't forget that in Arizona, not only did they attack the rights of all voters except Republicans with HB2305, but the legislature also sued the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission in hope of getting back the authority to draw Congressional district boundaries.
Since today is Labor Day, let's compare worker productivity vs compensation over time.
From the 1940s (WWII and thereafter) until 1973, worker productivity and hourly compensation grew together. That made for a strong Middle Class in America. What happened in 1973 to change it?
The Powell Manifesto had been published a couple of years prior (in 1971); ALEC was formed and corporate America began marshalling its resources into buying Congress and state legislatures in ALL 50 states.
Anyway, regarding HB2305, we're getting down to the wire. Make sure to get your petitions notarized and turned in early this week.
For a very long season, Arizona has been a "red" state. Seasons change. And so did we. Arizona will become a BLUE state. The immovable object of Arizona's GOP dominated state legislature will soon have to reckon with an unstoppable force. We shall overcome.
By the way, Bill Moyers recently posted a brief (3:15) video editorial he titled The End Game for Democracy. Take a look at it, it's pretty good.