Block the Vote...

From today's NYTimes - Republicans nationwide are using the same tactics Mark Green is using in WI to keep people from voting:

If there was ever a sign of a ruling party in trouble, it is a game plan that calls for trying to win by discouraging voting.
The latest sign that Republicans have an election-year strategy to shut down voter registration drives comes from Ohio. As the state gears up for a very competitive election season this fall, its secretary of state, J. Kenneth Blackwell, has put in place "emergency" regulations that could hit voter registration workers with criminal penalties for perfectly legitimate registration practices. The rules are so draconian they could shut down registration drives in Ohio.
Mr. Blackwell, who also happens to be the Republican candidate for governor this year, has a history of this sort of behavior. In 2004, he instructed county boards of
elections to reject any registrations on paper of less than 80-pound stock — about the thickness of a postcard. His order was almost certainly illegal, and he retracted it after he came under intense criticism. It was, however, in place long enough to get some registrations tossed out.
This year, Mr. Blackwell's office has issued rules and materials that appear to require that paid registration workers, and perhaps even volunteers, personally take the forms they collect to an election office. Organizations that run registration drives generally have the people who register voters bring the forms back to supervisors, who can then review them for errors. Under Mr. Blackwell's edict, everyone involved could be committing a crime. Mr. Blackwell's rules also appear to prohibit people who register voters from sending the forms in by mail. That rule itself may violate federal elections law.
Mr. Blackwell's rules are interpretations of a law the Republican-controlled Ohio Legislature passed recently. Another of the nation's most famous swing states, Florida, has been the scene of similar consternation and confusion since it recently enacted a law that is so harsh that the Florida League of Women Voters announced that it was stopping all voter registration efforts for the first time in 67
Florida's Legislature, like Ohio's, is controlled by Republicans.
Throughout American history both parties have shown a willingness to try to use election law to get results they might otherwise not win at the polls. But right now it is clearly the Republicans who believe they have an interest in keeping the voter base small. Mr. Blackwell and other politicians who insist on making it harder to vote never say, of course, that they are worried that get-out-the-vote drives will bring too many poor and minority voters into the system. They say that they want to reduce fraud. However, there is virtually no evidence that registration drives are leading to fraud at the polls.

But there is one clear way that Ohio's election system is corrupt. Decisions about who can vote are being made by a candidate for governor. Mr. Blackwell should hand over responsibility for elections to a decision maker whose only loyalty is to the voters and the law.

Quote of the Day - Value Voters Edition

From Maureen Dowd in Today's NYTimes:

As a Times reader who sometimes e-mails me put it: "The 'values' voters turn out to be opinion voters. They believe that God hates homosexuals, that superstition trumps science every time, that all those foreigners ought to be sent back where they came from, and that all government programs are wasteful and immoral, except, of course, for the government programs which benefit them. Those are opinions, not values, and willfully ignorant opinions at that."


Hintz on 'It's Your Law'

Democratic Candidate for State Assembly Gordon Hintz will be on 'It's Your Law' with George Curtis.

"It's Your Law" can be seen at the following times on Oshkosh Cable Channel 2.

Monday: June 12, 8:30pm

Tuesday: June 6 and June 13, 4pm

Wednesday: June 7 and June 14, 5pm

Friday: June 9 and June 16, 6pm

Sunday: June 11 and June 18, 5pm


Newsweek CW Headline Says It All...

Iraq's a bigger mess than ever, Iran's digging in its heals on nukes. What's "the decider" focusing on? The same-sex marriage issue.

MSNBC First Read on Republican Troubles and Distractions....

For the last few weeks, congressional Republicans have been consumed with matters that have divided their party (immigration), allied themselves with Democrats (protesting the FBI's raid of William Jefferson's office), or been largely out of their control (continued violence in Iraq). But this week and the next, they're turning to issues that bring most of them together: gay marriage, flag burning, and the estate tax.

Today and tomorrow, the Senate will debate a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between a man and woman, with a vote expected on Wednesday. Later in the week, the chamber will take up repealing the estate tax. And next week, the Senate will consider a constitutional amendment prohibiting the burning of the American flag. None of these measures is expected to pass, although some kind of compromise could be reached on the estate tax. But, as we wrote last week, passing legislation really isn't the point -- rather, it's to rally a largely demoralized GOP base to turn out for the November midterms.

The $64,000 question, of course, is whether these measures -- and even other ones -- will do the trick. An AP/Ipsos poll last month found that 45% of conservatives disapprove of Bush's job performance, 65% of them disapprove of Congress, and 31% want Republicans out of power. And in the last NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Democratic voters indicated they were much more interested in the midterms than their GOP counterparts.