Monthly Archives: August 2013

“Appeals court tosses judge’s restraining order on state’s review of Detroit ballots”

Detroit Free Press:

The ruling, which threw out a possible delay that could have moved the canvassers’ decision beyond its Tuesday deadline to certify Detroit’s election results, came after the state’s top election official revealed earlier today in an affidavit in the case that Mike Duggan won even more votes than originally tallied — about 4,000 more — on election-night by Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey’s staff. The new count means Duggan likely won more than 50% of all votes cast for mayor, an unheard-of outcome given Duggan was forced to run as a write-in.

 

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A Thoughtful Critic of My Take on North Carolina, and a Brief Response

As I presume with anyone who writes these days on current controversies, I get a lot of emails disagreeing with my positions. Many are intemperate; some are filled with obscenities.

But some are really thoughtful and heartfelt.  Below the fold I reprint in full an email from a thoughtful critic from North Carolina about what I’ve written about the state’s new voting laws (as in this Slate piece and this piece from the Daily Beast). The article the reader references is a reprint of my Slate column. I also offer a brief response. I will publish any reply that comes from the reader later on.

Continue reading A Thoughtful Critic of My Take on North Carolina, and a Brief Response

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That Sorority Alcohol-for-Votes Incident Turns Serious; Prof. Paul Horwitz Letter to Alabama Faculty

The Crimson White:

In wake of the controversy surrounding Tuscaloosa’s municipal, Paul Horwitz, a professor at The University of Alabama and husband of Board of Education candidate Kelly Horwitz, wrote an email to the UA Faculty Senate calling for action and reform on the University level.

Tuscaloosa community members and students flocked to the polls Tuesday in support for school board candidates. As election results were counted, incumbent Kelly Horwitz fell to her challenger and previous UA SGA president Cason Kirby by 72 points, and the chair of the Board of Education position went to Lee Garrison over Denise Hills by a margin of 203 votes.

District 4, an area largely comprised of UA students, became the center of focus, as reports emerged of potential voter fraud. Allegations from Tuesday’s elections include WVUA’s reports of 10 UA students registered to vote at the address of a single family home and reports from Al.com alleging sorority and fraternity members were incentivized with free alcohol at two local bars to vote for UA alumni Lee Garrison and previous SGA president Kirby, and with receiving UA Panhellenic Association and in-house points for voting.

 

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It’s Even Worse Than They Said

WaPo Outlook piece by Mann and Ornstein:

Our fantasy: A Congress that gets stuff done

By Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, Published: August 29

[Thomas E. Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Norman J. Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, are the authors of “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism,” which comes out as an expanded paperback Tuesday.]

A little more than a year ago, we published a book about American politics — and particularly Congress — titled “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.” In our book and in these pages, we lamented the ideological divides in Washington, which had become almost tribal in nature, and the skewed nature of political polarization, emphasizing a Republican Party gone off the rails.

Unfortunately, little has happened in the time since to lift our spirits. But we can always fantasize, right? For a moment, we want to rise above the pessimism about politics that permeates the capital and the nation and imagine a best-case scenario for what might happen when Congress returns from its August recess.

 

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Where I’ll Be at 8 AM Tomorrow

What could be worth waking up early for?  If you are at APSA, then this:

Campaign Finance Research Group
Panel 1   Roundtable on Money in Politics: What Do Scholars Know and What Do We Need to Know?
Date: Friday, Aug 30, 2013, 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Location: Palmer House Grant Park Parlor, 6th Floor
Subject to change. Check the Final Program at the conference.
Chair(s): Michael J. Malbin
Campaign Finance Institute
Participant(s): Ruth S. Jones
Arizona State University
David A. Karpf
George Washington University
Stephen D. Ansolabehere
Harvard University
Kenneth R. Mayer
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Jeffrey Milyo
University of Missouri
Lynda W. Powell
University of Rochester
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USA Today Ed Board v. NC Gov. McCrory on Voting Rights

USAT Ed: “What several states are engaged in is less about vote protection than vote suppression.”

Gov. McCrory: “The need for photo ID has been questioned by those who say voter fraud isn’t a problem in North Carolina. However, assuming fraud isn’t a threat when multimillion dollar campaigns are trying to win in a state where millions of votes are cast is like believing oversight isn’t needed against Wall Street insider trading.”

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Is President Jimmy Carter Evolving on Voter ID?

A knowledgeable reader writes:

Jimmy Carter in 2008:
“As [James Baker and I] stated in our 2005 report, voter ID laws are not a problem in and of themselves. Rather, the current crop of laws are not being phased in gradually and in a fair manner that would increase — not reduce — voter participation.”

Jimmy Carter in 2013:

“I believe we all know how Dr. King would have reacted to the new I.D. requirements to exclude certain voters, especially African Americans,” Carter said. “I think we all know how Dr. King would have reacted to the Supreme Court striking down a crucial part of the Voting Rights Act just recently passed overwhelmingly by Congress.”

I don’t think those positions are inconsistent, but I do wonder why voter ID supporters keep repeating the talking point that “even Jimmy Carter supports voter ID,” without any nuance.

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