Monthly Archives: December 2005

“GOP Plans 527 Push”

Roll Call offers this report (paid subscription required), which begins: “After failing in their last-ditch effort to attach 527 legislation to a must-pass bill earlier this week, House Republican leaders plan to make restricting the activities of the fundraising groups a key part of their early 2006 agenda. …After the House adjourned Monday morning, Hastert sent out a press release lauding the year’s accomplishments. In a brief look ahead to next year, Hastert named as top priorities passing tax reconciliation, doing further work on immigration and ‘curbing the abuses of 527 organizations.'”

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President Bush on the Voting Rights Act Renewal

From yesterday’s press conference:

    Q Mr. President, in making the case for domestic spying, could you tell us about the planned attacks on the U.S. that were thwarted through your domestic spying plan? And also, on the issue of race, since you brought up the issue of Katrina, 2005 gave us your defense of yourself on race, and some are still not sold on that. In 2006, what are you giving to the nation on the issue of race, as we’re looking to the renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2007 and things of that nature?
    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, thanks. April, the fact that some in America believe that I am not concerned about race troubles me. One of the jobs of the President is to help people reconcile and to move forward and to unite. One of the most hurtful things I can hear is, Bush doesn’t care about African Americans, for example. First of all, it’s not true. And, secondly, I believe that — obviously I’ve got to do a better job of communicating, I guess, to certain folks, because my job is to say to people, we’re all equally American, and the American opportunity applies to you just as much as somebody else. And so I will continue to do my best, April, to reach out.
    Now, you talked about — and we have an opportunity, by the way, in New Orleans, for example, to make sure the education system works, to make sure that we promote ownership. I think it is vitally important for ownership to extend to more than just a single community. I think the more African Americans own their own business, the better off America is. I feel strongly that if we can get people to own and manage their own retirement accounts, like personal accounts and Social Security, it makes society a better place. I want people to be able to say, this is my asset. Heretofore, kind of asset accumulation may have been only a part of — a single — a part of — a segmented part of our strategy. We want assets being passed from one generation to the next. I take pride in this statistic, that more African Americans own a home or more minorities own a home now than ever before in our nation’s history, not just African Americans; that’s positive.
    I still want to make sure, though, that people understand that I care about them and that my view of the future, a bright future, pertains to them as much as any other neighborhood.
    Now, you mentioned it’s the Voting Rights Act. Congress needs to reauthorize it and I’ll sign it.

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“Hold the Line; The Texas redistricting case is not a winner for Democrats.”

Slate has just published my commentary on the Supreme Court’s decision to take the Texas redistricting cases. It begins:

    Democrats around the country were delighted when the Supreme Court recently announced it would hear a set of challenges to the controversial Tom DeLay-inspired re-redistricting of Texas’s congressional districts–a move that helped ensure continued Republican dominance of the U.S. House of Representatives. Supreme Court review holds out the hope that the court will strike down the districts, perhaps leading to some Democratic gains in Congress. But it is not at all clear that a ruling to strike down the districts is good for Democrats, or for the country as a whole, in the longer term. If the court begins to scour redistricting plans for partisan unfairness, it will be another step toward solidifying Supreme Court control of the political process–something that should seem a little less palatable to Democrats, if they think back to Bush v. Gore.

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Campaign Legal Center Worried About FEC Recess Appointments; Others React, Accusing CLC of Hypocrisy on Issue

The Campaign Legal Center has issued a press release, on the new FEC nominations. A relevant part:

    The apparent intention to push these nominees through as recess appointments, without debate or an up-or-down vote, would deny the public the right to give these nominees serious scrutiny. And the background of the nominees themselves raises serious questions about whether they would firmly enforce campaign finance law, or continue the agency’s ‘business as usual’ tendency to protect powerful political interests, rather than the public interest in clean elections.

Allison Hayward reacts, noting “UPDATE: Apparently making a recess appointment during the complex rulemaking of 2002, necessitated by BCRA, was A-OK. See ‘McCain placed hold on all pending nominations’ from July 2002. Here’s the CLC’s account – an article from the Washington Post on their site. How times change.” Former FEC chair Brad Smith offers similar thoughts. See also these thoughts on the nomination from the Lonely Centrist.

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