Ohio, Mississippi, Maine–A Bridge Too Far

Summarizing ballot initiatives around the country yesterday, the Washington Post reports:

Ohioans voted Tuesday to repeal a Republican-backed law that restricted collective bargaining for public workers, while Mississippi voters blocked an amendment that would have defined a fertilized egg as a person.

The union victory in Ohio and the defeat for the “personhood” amendment in Mississippi highlighted an off-year election that was defined by ballot measures…

Gov. John Kasich (R) took office in January vowing to curb unions’ power. But unions recoiled when a bill he spearheaded curbed the rights of 350,000 public workers – including firefighters and police officers – to negotiate over benefits, equipment and other issues.

The backlash against the law began as soon as Kasich signed it into law in March. By August, when the governor asked for a compromise with unions, it was too late.

…Opponents said the [Mississippi] measure would have criminalized birth control, affected in vitro fertilization practices and could even have led to physicians declining to perform chemotherapy on pregnant women for fear of legal repercussions.

In the end, those concerns won out, with the amendment trailing 57 percent to 43 percent in the 60 percent of precincts reporting.

After a horrible election for Democrats and their allies in Ohio in 2010, the repeal of Gov. John Kasich’s anti-labor legislation will serve as a badly-needed rallying point in that state next year–while in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker has to be nervous seeing these results, and Wisconsin Democrats feel their campaign to recall Walker in 2012 got a significant boost. In Mississippi, the defeat of the so-called “personhood” initiative may (or may not) take the wind out of the sails of nationwide proponents, though either way it’s going to make proponent Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign Q&A sessions quite interesting in the coming weeks and months.

But there’s one other election win for Democrats and progressives yesterday receiving less attention, in our opinion wrongly–from the great state of Maine, the Bangor Daily News reports:

By a relatively wide margin, Mainers on Tuesday overturned a recently passed law that would have ended a 38-year-old practice of allowing voters to register on Election Day.

Question 1 asked: “Do you want to reject the section of Chapter 399 of the Public Laws of 2011 that requires new voters to register to vote at least two business days prior to an election?”

With more than three-quarters of the state’s precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, the yes side was leading 60 percent to 40 percent and had declared victory. The yes side was prevailing in every county, with especially lopsided results in Portland and Bangor…

“Maine voters sent a clear message: No one will be denied a right to vote,” said Shenna Bellows, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. “Voters in small towns and big cities voted to protect our constitutional right.”

Lance Dutson, director of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, which has been involved with the No on 1 campaign, said he expected a closer vote but conceded the race shortly before 10 p.m.

“I’m pleased at the discussion we helped to initiate around making our elections more secure,” he said… [Pols emphasis]

The story of Maine’s Question 1 campaign, repealing a Republican-supported restriction on Election Day registration in that state, has striking parallels to the ongoing battle in Colorado over “illegal voters,” and the push by Secretary of State Scott Gessler to purge “investigate.” Maine’s Question 1 gained traction after a high-profile investigation, demanded by Maine Republicans, of 206 “possibly fraudulent voters” concluded in September uncovering no fraud whatsoever.

Of the many elections going on last night, we would speculate that Maine’s Question 1 is the election Gessler cared most about. And we seriously doubt he liked the outcome.

58 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. redstateblues says:

    it will take 540,000 valid signatures just to get the recall on the ballot. That’s about 800,000 signatures (conservative 67.5% validity rate. They probably want to get closer to 1,000,000) by mid-January. As much as I would love to see Walker recalled, that’s probably way too many in too short an amount of time.

    If they can get it on the ballot, they might have a good chance of successfully recalling him as about 59% disapproved of his job performance in a poll taken last summer. But it’s going to take a ton of time, money, and effort to do it. I just don’t see it happening.

    • ArapaGOP says:

      You need to get on recalling SCOTT GESSLER. Aren’t you paying attention? Gessler is trying to disenfranchise thousands of deadbeat Democrat Colorado voters!

      After that, you need to recall Hickenlooper for not supporting Prop 103, and not being up to Ohio’s standard of union domination. Occupy the ballot box!

        • ArapaGOP says:

          This must be the Occupy Wall Street method of winning friends and influencing people.

          • Aristotle says:

            Lord knows how you ignore comments and questions that ARE elevated.

            • redstateblues says:

              but when he suggests that people–including active duty military–who didn’t vote in 2010 are deadbeats, I just don’t have any other way to respond.

              • Aristotle says:

                He’s earned it.

              • ArapaGOP says:

                http://www.chieftain.com/news/

                I could be way off base here – it certainly wouldn’t be the first time – but I am not thrilled that we mail out ballots to so many inactive voters, nor am I thrilled that 10 percent of them actually voted.

                  First and fundamentally, voting is a privilege and a great responsibility. Voting shouldn’t be akin to having a Domino’s pizza coupon package placed on your front door and placing an order.

                  Citizens should take the initiative to determine whether they’re registered to vote. If they don’t care enough to take that initiative, then they shouldn’t get to vote.

                  It makes you wonder how valuable their votes are anyway. The argument is made in many corners that every vote is important. I disagree. Every vote counts, but not each one is valuable.

                  Put another way, if a person doesn’t bother to determine whether he or she is properly registered, I don’t think it’s a leap to suggest that many such people don’t study the issues and the candidates.

                I guess Steve Henson of the Chieftain is a “piece of shit” too. In fact, I suspect that everyone who has ever disagreed with you is a “piece of shit.”

                Your childish inability to respect other points of view is your problem, not mine.

                • Aristotle says:

                  That’s an opinion piece. NOT a news article.

                  “Tell it to the Chieftan,” my ass.

                  I’d call him a POS, if you like. ANYONE who bemoans ONE vote is a POS. It’s borne by the most UnAmerican attitude imaginable, which is one and the same as the GOP attitude toward ordinary Americans.

                  Tell me something, professor A-GOP – what was the rate of return of ACTIVE ballots this election cycle?

                • redstateblues says:

                  But you’re the piece of shit.

                  • ArapaGOP says:

                    Other than the fact that I come here to be called names by you, I don’t see what the difference is. I agree with everything he wrote.

                    • redstateblues says:

                      And you insinuated that only the Democrats were deadbeats, whereas, I’m sure, the Republicans were merely too busy creating jobs and paying way too much money in taxes.

                      Rights aren’t determined by whether or not someone is paying attention. They aren’t determined by whether or not they are educated or take the time to learn why their rights exist. Rights are determined by the constitution. You know what that is, right? It’s the document that you choose to ignore when it’s convenient, or when you can score a few cheap shots against “Democrat deadbeats.”

                    • ArapaGOP says:

                      If any Republicans did not take responsibility for their voter registration, and simply whined about it after the deadlines to fix their status had passed, or even weirder whined about it BEFORE the deadline, they are deadbeats too. But there aren’t any, because the GOP is the party of personal responsibility.

                    • Aristotle says:

                      Tell that to all the Republican farmers who accept subsidies.

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      Called ‘making shit up.’

                      But there aren’t any

                      Pony up the data, or admit you are merely engaging in verbal flatulence.  

                • MADCO says:

                  Insulting voters who did not vote last election, or can’t keep track of whether or not they are registered is ass-hattery at it’s best worst.  Oh, and then making it more difficult to register than is necessary to maintain the integrity of the election is just plain mean and should be illegal.

                  You’re correct, name calling lowers the debate.  But Ari and rsb are correct- you’ve earned it.

                  • redstateblues says:

                    Debate requires a certain level of intellectual honesty, as well as an ability to see another side’s point of view. AGOP is incapable of that as he’s a paid shill.

                    Therefore I’m not worried about lowering the debate, as the debate with him never existed in the first place.

                  • ArapaGOP says:

                    I think that, as Henson said, “voting is a privilege and a great responsibility. Voting shouldn’t be akin to having a Domino’s pizza coupon package placed on your front door and placing an order.”

                    This speaks to a much larger debate about personal responsibility that Republicans want to have, and Democrats accuse Republicans of being evil for wanting to have. But most Americans are personally responsible, and understand the consequences if they are not.

                    I’m sorry if calling people too irresponsible to return a postcard or visit a website “deadbeats” offends you, but I don’t understand why they should be exempt from the rules everyone has to follow.

                    • Aristotle says:

                      I believe in equal access for voters. If we’re going to have mail-in elections, registered voters should ALL receive ballots.

                      The only way Hanson’s point would be valid would be if ZERO “inactive” ballots came back. Otherwise, he (and you) are making a case for unequal access.

                    • ArapaGOP says:

                      I think Henson is making a point about the quality of votes from people who can’t take responsibility for their registration status. I believe we all want voters to understand the issues they are voting on, and I think it’s right to question the amount of thought that goes into a last-minute marginal voter’s choices.

                    • ArapaGOP says:

                      That this issue, of the quality of votes and voters who must register at the last minute or claim a special exemption from the rules, is why the law in Maine restricting same day registration was passed.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      is why Maine voters overturned it.

                    • Wong21fr says:

                      … by the people.  I guess they thought that the opportunity to vote was more important than the privilege.

                      Frankly, voting is a privilege, but what the GOP, aka the “Party of Responsibility” seeks to do doesn’t go far enough.  Voting should only be a privilege given to those who have served this country.

                      Thankfully, that would eliminate nearly all of you worthless troglodytes. 😉

                    • sxp151 says:

                      It’s the only way to ensure voters really WANT it.

                      “Get your fat ass in that booth, grandpa, you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit! You will vote if it short-dicks every cannibal on the Congo!”

                    • Aristotle says:

                      “quality” is not germane.

                      Votes are votes are votes. Voters are voters are voters.

                      Restrictions that don’t respect this disenfranchise voters.

                      It’s just that simple.

                    • caroman says:

                      Wow. GOoP has crystallized the GOP position in one post.  I wish we could take that and create a commercial exposing what the GOP thinks of democracy.

                      The funny thing is that this is from the party that wanted Sarah Palin (deemed mentally ill by Nicole Wallace, a senior McCain advisor) to be one heartbeat from the presidency.  That calls into question the “quality” of McCain/Palin voters, don’t you think?

                      Idiot.

                    • MADCO says:

                      Right- and when the election judge determines you are an idiot and can’t vote?

                      The whole point of “all men are created equal is that we’re all equal.  Your view is that some of us are more equal than others. There’s  a word for that, but it’s not democracy. It’s not republic either.

                       

                    • Aristotle says:

                      That’s what Citizens United has made reality, and is what “money = free speech” means. Of course he believes that.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      to send back a postcard because they saw on some blog that the law had changed.

                      I guess that makes them deadbeats and jokers, though.

                    • WitnessProtectionForGeeks says:

                      Voting is a right.  Privilege implies it can be taken away and no harm is done.  Privilege implies that you have to earn it. Right means the franchise is manifest by virtue of your citizenship.

                      But thank you.  Your open and crass hatred for the constitution has demonstrated the reasons conservatives usually give for denying access to the voting booth, preventing voter fraud, are manifestly false.

                      Thanks for that at least.

                       

                • sxp151 says:

                  If we only let people who properly “study the issues and candidates” vote, Republicans would never break 10% in any election. The only way you people can win an election is by trying to limit the voting populace to white male property-owners, but it’s getting rather transparent.

                  Are you morons seriously proposing a civics test for voting, on top of disenfranchising the soldiers you called “deadbeats” and “jokers”? You do know why such tests were ruled unconstitutional, right?  

          • Craig says:

            You never elevate the debate you sack of horse dung.

        • ajb says:

          He’s like the sxp Republican, only not as clever.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        I want Santa Claus to bring us witty, erudite Republican operatives that are fun to read and reply to even if they have wing nut positions.

        No more bloated toads who can’t tell a logical fallacy from the local pharmacy.

        Please Please Please Santa.

        Send us someone who isn’t a shallow ass all the time.

    • Craig says:

      About Gray Davis too.

    • Ralphie says:

      got 1.3 million signatures.

      Are you saying that people should quit trying?

      • redstateblues says:

        I just think that money could be better spent. But hey, if the unions want to dump another $25 million into it, why not?

      • redstateblues says:

        “Not trying is worse than failing” is a narrative that people threw around when Rollie Heath’s plan went on the ballot despite facing massive challenges before failing massively.

        That failure will be used as an anti-tax narrative against Democrats in 2012. If a recall fails against Walker–either in the petition stages, or at the ballot box–it will only serve to strengthen his tyrannical term in office.

        Some might say that getting that win in Ohio was a point where people should quite while they’re ahead.

        • DavidThi808 says:

          Losing some games is how you get to the championships.

          • redstateblues says:

            Do you want to clarify your analogy and explain how that is even remotely comparable to the political point I was making, or would you rather just throw out banal cliches like that.

            Individual politicians may be able to get over defeats and live to fight another day, but ideological issues getting trounced at the ballot box is ideal fodder for opposing ideologists.

            By this analogy, the eggmendment folks should just keep trying, because, hey, you’ll never win the Super Bowl of crazy if you give up.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Is while there is clear support for Democratic policies, the support does not extend to Democratic candidates. So in ’12 we may find that this does not help that much for our candidates.

    Why?

    One major actor is that we Dems haven’t done much to address the major problems we face (hint, jobs). And many view the Dems as bought by the 1% just as the Repubs are.  

    • Aristotle says:

      …the support does not extend to Democratic candidates.

      I’m sure you’ve seen troubling poll numbers for Obama and low approval ratings for Congress (a burden borne by both parties), but what other specific candidates aren’t faring well?

    • Craig says:

      Dems haven’t done enough.  The first thing they need to do is get some balls and get rid of the filibuster in the US Senate.  Then maybe some stuff can get done.  This super-majority BS has got to go.

      However, people actually, actively hate the Republicans out there.  They consider them dumb, an embarassment, unconcerned, disconnected.  That is the Dems only saving grace, because they are such arrogant so-and-so’s that people don’t like them either.

  3. Ah Choo says:

    Who’s the JeffCo GOP idiot who thought “The Dads” vs. “The Moms” narrative in a school board race was a recipe for success?  

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      instead of Mark Hurlbert because Mark wasn’t radical enough for them.

      • Craig says:

        Who voted for whoever that major nut case they just elected to the State Senate over minor nut case Jim Kerr.

        As for Leonard, ask him who took care of him.  It was none other than poor little old me.  I earned the title of Jeffco GOP Chair and when I robo-called Republicans and told them their candidate is a “pariah” the good moderates in that Senate District stepped up and voted against him.  Sorry guys.  I earned the title and I get to keep it.  You can whine all you want, but I don’t care. I’m out of politics.  I have no where to go and nothing to lose.  I’m your worst enemy.  I’m someone who knows your tricks from the inside, who knows the complete and utter moral bankruptcy of your supporters, who knows how radical you really are, who knows how to combat them, someone who knows how to and has beaten you time and time and time again when I care to take part.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          Our worst enemies are the plastic parrots who come on and can’t figure out what a pronoun is.  They fling poo at their monitors to feel important.  It gets boring reading their grammar challenged posts.

          You can put together sentences without dangling participles and actually link them together with a coherent thought.  Ali needed Frazier to be great and we need some intelligent Republicans to get things kicked started around here again.  Laughing Boy was the last true conservative to come through here who understood that saying something didn’t make it true.

          The paid operatives like H-man will be back but until then we get to chuckle at your manly attitude and preening about winning elections for Republicans in Jefferson County.  Work your magic in Boulder County and then we would be very impressed.

          Glad to have you around Craig even if it is to be our foil.

  4. Craig says:

    For what they have always believed in.  Rich folks, mysoginists,and the elite who think the masses are stupid and they can control them and when they can’t who they just try to prevent from voting.  Union busting, well, they’ve always believed in that, how’d that work out for you in Ohio and even in Colorado?  A fertilized egg is a person??  You couldn’t even come close to that one in Missippi, the most anti-choice state in the union.  Same day registration, well, people like it.  You have nothing to fight it with.  

    A step too far?  In a pigs eye as far as Republicans are concerned.  This is just the beginning for them.  Trust me.  These people are not normal.  There’s something mentally wrong with a lot of these people.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with religion.  It has to do with mental defect.

    Please, please, please keep bringing this non-sense up.  The peons are beginning to figure out, and they do not like what they see.  For heaven’s sake, the people overwhelmingly elected Obama over the highly qualified and electable McCain who at least wouldn’t have been a wimp in office who couldn’t get anything done.  What does that tell you?  Obama????  Are you kidding me????

    Today’s “Republicans” are their own worst enemy.  All they need to do is to just stand up for what they believe in.  Please, I dare you. Be honest with the voters about what you believe.  Just do it.  Please, please.  In the long history of this country, today’s “Republican” Party won’t be much more of a footnote than the Whigs are.

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