Thursday, June 04, 2015

Hillary Slams Republicans on Voter Disenfranchisement

Here in Virginia like many states where the GOP largely controls the state legislature, the principal why in which the Virginia GOP has faced demographic change and a movement from rural to urban voters has been to seek to disenfranchise as many likely Democrat voters as possible rather face the reality that fewer and fewer voters want what the GOP is peddling.  The excuse, of course for ID requirements and other measures to disenfranchise voters is the canard of "voter fraud" even though there is no evidence whatsoever to back up GOP claims that it is a serious problem.  Easier I guess to hide behind the smoke screen of fighting voter fraud that admit that the GOP is increasing one large KKK gathering.  On her campaign swing through Texas, Hillary Clinton made a point of calling out the GOP and four would be GOP presidential nominees on their anti-democratic policies and, if truth be told, racism.  Here are highlights from Politico:

HOUSTON, TX — For the first time since hitting the campaign trail two months ago, Hillary Clinton took on her Republican rivals by name, calling out four presidential contenders as she spoke authoritatively about restoring voting rights and asked rhetorically, “What part of Democracy are they afraid of?”

Dressed in a red jacket on her first swing through the red state of Texas, Clinton called for a universal system that automatically registers voters when they turn 18, which would replace the current opt-in system.

The former secretary of state also called for a new national standard of at least 20 days of early in-person voting in every state, a move she argued would reduce long lines at the polls and expand participation.

What is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people and young people from one end of our country to another,” Clinton said in a fiery 30-minute speech at Texas Southern University, a historically black college.

But it was the portion of her speech where she uncharacteristically went on a personal attack against former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that was the apex of her speech. About two-thirds of the way into her remarks, she blasted the group for “fear-mongering” on a “phantom epidemic of election fraud.”

“Former Governor Rick Perry signed a law that a federal court said was actually written with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters,” she said. “He applauded when the Voting Rights Act was gutted.” She slammed Texas for having laws where student IDs are not accepted as valid identification at the polls but a concealed weapons permit is.

“In Wisconsin, Scott Walker cut back early voting and signed legislation that would make it harder for college students to vote,” she said, and called out Christie for vetoing legislation to extend early voting.

“In Florida, when Jeb Bush was governor, state authorities conducted a deeply flawed purge of voters before the 2000 presidential election,” she said. “Today Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting.”

Clinton said the fight to protect voting rights was “for the student who has to wait hours for his or her right to vote, for the grandmother who’s turned away from the polls because her driver’s license expired, for the father whose done his time and paid his debt to society but still hasn’t gotten his rights back.”

Democrats, and particularly minority groups, are energized and angered by what they see as blatant Republican attempts to disenfranchise them. Obama has claimed that the very right to vote is threatened. Democrats have hit the issue hard, not only on the merits but also because it galvanizes the party’s base and helps raise money.

On the GOP side, leaders argue restrictive voting laws they support are necessary to maintain ballot box integrity. But many of those laws disproportionately impact minority communities.
Outside groups supporting Clinton see the overall contrast with the Republican party as a strong play for the former secretary of state.

“Nearly the entire Republican Party has worked to restrict voting, from Republicans like Scott Walker and Marco Rubio who supported limiting opportunities for early and weekend voting, to Rick Perry who signed legislation that disenfranchised up to 600,000.

Kudos to Hillary for calling these assholes out.

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