Iowa GOP officials don’t think Appanoose County will rewrite caucus history
JENNIFER JACOBS, 10:40 PM, Jan 5, 2012, Des Moines Register
An Appanoose County man told an Iowa TV station today that he thinks there was a 20-vote discrepancy in the count in the town of Moulton – which could tilt the tight Iowa caucuses victory in Rick Santorum’s favor.
But Republican Party of Iowa officials said tonight that they have talked with Appanoose County GOP officials and don’t have any reason to believe the final results in the county will change the outcome of Tuesday’s vote.
Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucuses by the thinnest of margins: 8 votes, out of about 120,000 votes cast.
Edward True, 28, of Moulton, told KCCI that the GOP’s results showed 22 votes for Romney when he thinks it was only 2. True said he and 52 other people caucused at the Garrett Memorial Library.
Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn in a statement tonight said:
“Iowa GOP rules provide for a two-week certification process for each of the 1,774 precincts. The Iowa GOP will announce the final, certified results of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses following this process.
“Out of respect to the candidates involved, party officials will not respond to every rumor, innuendo or allegation during the two week process.
That said, Iowa GOP officials have been in contact with Appanoose County Republican officials tonight and do not have any reason to believe the final, certified results of Appanoose County will change the outcome of Tuesday’s vote.”
Check out the Iowa Caucus results as they come in: http://www.cnn.com/election/2012/primaries/state/ia?hpt=hp_pc1.
Tea Party Group Urges Small Businesses ‘Not To Hire A Single Person’ To Hurt Obama
By Marie Diamond on Oct 20, 2011 at 11:25 am, Think Progress
Congressional Republicans have acted shocked and offended at Democrats’ suggestions that they are intentionally sabotaging the economy to try to win back the White House in 2012. Republicans have refused to pass President Obama’s jobs plan — which experts estimate will create at least 1.9 million jobs — and proposed an alternative plan that Moody’s says “will likely push the economyback into recession.”
Now influential Tea Party leaders are throwing caution to the wind and openly lobbying business owners to stop hiring in order to hurt Obama politically. This week, Right Wing Watch picked up on a message Tea Party Nation sent to their members from conservative activist Melissa Brookstone.
In a rambling letter titled “Call For A Strike of American Small Businesses Against The Movement for Global Socialism,” Brookstone urges businesses “not hire a single person” to protest “this new dictator”:
Resolved that: The current administration and Democrat majority in the Senate, in conjunction with Progressive socialists from all around the country, especially those from Hollywood and the left leaning news media (Indeed, most of the news media.) have worked in unison to advance an anti-business, an anti-free market, and an anti-capitalist (anti-individual rights and property ownership) agenda. […]
I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.
Brookstone cites Democrats’ support of the Occupy Wall Street movement as proof that Obama, media elites, and the like are “against business, private property ownership and capitalism.” Although she fails to explain how a freeze on hiring would send a bold pro-business message, given that such a boycott would further damage the economy and exacerbate high national unemployment.
But these Tea Partiers are only too happy to put politics ahead of the well-being of 14 million unemployed Americans, not to mention the businesses who are looking for qualified workers
(Getty Images / Win McNamee)
Posted about 3 hours ago
OTTUMWA, Iowa—Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and his aides were frantically refreshing laptops and phones to see the results of Saturday’s Des Moines Register poll yesterday evening, results that showed him within striking distance of Mitt Romney, but it probably didn’t matter: The last surging Republican candidate is uniquely ill-suited to snatch the nomination from Mitt Romney.
Santorum huddled with staff members outside a restroom here trying to access the poll following one of his largest rallies of the campaign. Like tens of thousands of other political junkies Saturday night, he was locked out of the results after the Register’s website crashed under the load, and only learned of the results after BuzzFeed’s correspondent showed him a tweet on his laptop.
The Pennsylvania conservative expressed little emotion after learning he was polling in third at 15 percent — up from just 5 percent in early December — or when he got the news that in the last two days of the survey he had surging to 21 percent, enough for second place.
Santorum maintained that the poll didn’t matter; he’s “the tortoise” and isn’t going to do anything differently. And in the grand scheme of things, he’s right:
Little changes if Santorum wins the Iowa caucuses. It will still be Mitt Romney’s game to lose.
Santorum lacks the organization and fundraising to compete in the next two voting states, South Carolina and New Hampshire. He was soliciting Iowa voters late Saturday to help him raise money for ads airing as soon as tomorrow.
What’s more, the single-minded focus on social conservatives, and the “moral crisis” on which he campaigns, has left him without a clear pitch to most voters’ primary concern, the economy.
Indeed, Santorum appeals to Iowa voters with a mix of unusual lines that won’t play outside the Hawkeye State.
“Diversity creates conflict. If we celebrate diversity, we create conflict,” Santorum told the audience in Ottumwa. When he was asked about homeopathic remedies, he said: “I believe in all types of medicine.”
“Santorum may pocket the anti-Romney conservative ticket out of Iowa, boosting him in South Carolina, yet it is difficult to see how he broadens his appeal within his party. Santorum still campaigns as if he is behind a church pulpit, not on a political podium,” the Republican consultant Alex Castellanos wrote Sunday. “Unless he learns to address the raging economic fire that concerns voters and not the moral meltdown that interests him, he’ll remain a tangential threat.”
The problem for Santorum: Romney has New Hampshire locked up, setting South Carolina as the site of conservatives’ last stand.
But as in Iowa, Romney will face a divided mass of conservatives in the Palmetto State: Barring a low-single digit catastrophe on Tuesday, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry will almost certainly still be in the race when South Carolina Republicans cast their primary ballots.
Santorum’s surge has been isolated to Iowa — he’s still in single digits nationally — and only came about because of his relentless retail politicking, and an ostentatious fealty to the “Iowa way” that won’t stir voters elsewhere. Gingrich and Perry can’t win a three or four way split of the conservative vote.
Santorum won’t have the same level of success in South Carolina as he might in Iowa since he’s made only a symbolic effort to meet voters in the state, staging about three hundred fewer events there than he has in Iowa.
He needs to be able to wage a media war, and in a state where retail politics is less important, that means Santorum needs cash — and he doesn’t have any.
Santorum very well could win the Iowa caucuses, but it doesn’t make Mitt Romney more vulnerable. Rather, it means Romney’s getting perhaps the only social conservative he could beat even in the Baptist heartland.
“We’re headed in the right direction,” Santorum said in Ottumwa. But there’s clear path for Santorum to stop Romney’s sprint to the finish.
The tortoise may win Iowa, but he won’t go very far.
Exposing The Lie: South Carolina Can’t Prove the Need for Voter ID Law
December 29, 2011
By Sarah Jones, PoliticusUSA
Ed Schultz talks to Professor Caroline Heldman about South Carolina’s voter ID law being blocked by the federal government. This marks the first time in 20 years a voter ID law has been rejected. Republicans have made voter ID laws their cause of the year, in spite of the fact that there is no evidence of voter fraud occurring. In fact, South Carolina was unable to justify the need for the voter ID laws because they could not prove that voter fraud was a problem in the state.
South Carolina is on the list of states requiring federal preclearance before changes to voting laws, due to its history of racial discrimination. Voting ID laws impact minorities more than whites, as minorities in the state are 20% less likely to have a photo ID. The Department of Justice blocked the new law because it could keep tens of thousands of minorities in the state from voting.
Transcript from MSNBC with minor corrections:
Ed Scultz: Professor, if the law is considered discriminatory, why isn’t the Department of Justice rejecting similar voter i.d. laws in other states? What do you think?
Caroline Heldman: I think it’s probably because those states aren’t on the list of eight states that require preclearance because of their history of discrimination, as Katie has pointed out. He’s specifically going after south Carolina and Texas because they’re on that list. Eric Holder could under section 2 also go after any law that is discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He’s not chosen to do that. I guess I’m a little more pessimistic because I think it’s hard for the average American because of the way this has been framed as voter fraud. Who doesn’t want to stand against fraud?
Because of the way it’s been framed by a lot of conservative outlets, I think it’s hard to make the case that we shouldn’t require i.d. I think it’s hard for people to understand that if they have i.d., it doesn’t mean everyone can get it. That’s the uphill battle. It’s a political hot potato for President Obama to step into this mess. He will face backlash from people who think it’s common sense that people should have i.d.s even though 11% of the American public does not.
Ed Schultz: Well, not everybody in thus country understands how the poor actually lives and how destitute some people can be and want to throw all sorts of restrictions on them. This is a bunch of hoops they have to jump through if they’re going to have the process of having their voice heard. You know, professor, when you look at this, if there’s no voter fraud, it seems to me the Republicans are going to do everything they possibly can to make the case to the American people that there’s fraud everywhere. What about that?
Caroline Heldman: I think what we’re doing is lumping three types of fraud together. One is voter registration fraud which a.c.o.r.n. did engage in. These laws only affect voter impersonation fraud which wouldn’t be at all affecting what happened with a.c.o.r.n.
(Note: ACORN got in trouble because a few of their workers got caught registering non-existent people to vote, an example from their voter registration fraud was registering “Mickie Mouse” to vote. They made money per name, so the few that violated ACORN’s rules did this for money, not because someone was going to attempt to vote under the name Mickey Mouse. It was never about voter fraud. Also, while we’re setting that record straight, President Obama did not work with ACORN in the 2008 campaign. He was very specific about setting up his own get out the vote team and volunteers to register voters. The only party affiliated with arrest for massive election fraud and voter fraud in 2008 due to their voter registration schemes and voting under false address is the company (YPM) the Republican Party hired to manage their voter registration and that company’s owner. “Jacoby’s arrest by state investigators and the Ontario Police Department late Saturday came after dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by people employed by YPM. The voters said YPM workers tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters.” Now you know why Republicans talk about ACORN constantly.)
The second, our poll workers or others in positions of power engaging in fraud. Again, this only deals with voter impersonation. When I have conversations about this with folks on the right, they lump all of it together and say it’s a big issue. As you know, Ed, you’re 39 times more likely to be struck by lightning than engage in voter impersonation and four times more likely to report a ufo. I wish Eric Holder would go after the states to justify the decisions. In South Carolina, they weren’t able to show an issue with fraud which is the boldfaced lie on which the efforts are based.
The next time someone tells you that it only makes sense to show ID at the polls, ask them why South Carolina couldn’t show any proof that voter fraud was going on. If there’s no voter fraud, why do they feel compelled to spend all of this money enacting a policy to protect the system from a non-existent threat?
Here’s the answer: Voter fraud is this year’s WMD.
Voter fraud hardly ever occurs. There are already criminal repercussions for committing voter fraud (which the Republicans who have engaged in voter fraud have largely managed to avoid).
The voter fraud epidemic is a lie. There are good reasons why laws were put into place to protect minority voters and no good reason to change those laws. Minorities are not running around trying to commit voter fraud.
Anyone who tells you they are is not being factual and clearly has no idea what it’s like to live in actual poverty, without access to a car or the ability to get time off of work to go to the DMV to get (and pay for, even though they are supposed to be free – see Wisconsin) their photo ID. People in deep poverty are lucky if they can get to the polls at all.
We need all citizens to vote and we need to protect the rights of the poor, lest we end up in a system where only the wealthy can vote. Sure, they’re not coming for YOUR vote right now, but do you think they would stop at targeting the poverty stricken? What’s next, the middle class can’t vote unless they can prove their address via mail coming from a stockbroker to their address? I suspect many of the folks who think this is common sense have not lived under these rules and don’t realize that these laws stop thousands of people from being able to vote.
Can you dig up your marriage license (if you’re a woman) to prove your name change of twenty years ago even though you have a valid driver’s license with your proper name on it? You’ll also need your Social Security card and three pieces of mail addressed to you, one of which they “prefer” to come from a major bank (not that this is a poll tax).
I hope you haven’t moved recently or lost your marriage license or divorce license. What if you don’t have any money in a major bank or utilities in your name because you are staying with family until you get back on your feet? Too bad for you, and you, and you. You don’t get to vote this time. But oh, boy, you do have to pay those taxes the Republicans think you owe the 1%. You’ll not get out of your taxes so easily.
Imagine being poverty stricken and having to go back home three times to track down the proper items necessary to get your voter ID card; take time off of work three different days, get transportation, and wait in line all to vote? Forget it. Food is more important. A lot of people will be discouraged from voting and are being discouraged under those rules.
The logic in the Republicans’ framing of the voter fraud issue is opposite of reality and sense. There is no need for these laws because voter fraud is not a problem.
We note that last week one of the Republican poster boys for voter ID laws in Indiana was ordered out of office after being indicted on seven felony counts including voter fraud. Voter fraud is rare, but when it happens, it’s often someone wealthy or privileged who votes from the wrong address of their many homes or is using an old address in order to qualify for a certain position or is using their kid’s address so they can vote in that specific area.
Perhaps this whole voter ID thing needs to be turned around to target the people who actually commit voter fraud. Anyone with more than one home should be subject to having their vote held until they can prove they actually live in the area they are voting (see Mitt Romney, Wisconsin Republicans, Republican chief election officer for the state of Indiana).
And since so many Republicans are in the news these days for voter fraud, perhaps we target that group specifically. After all, we wouldn’t want even one person to commit voter fraud. And any Republican who defends these Republicans and is against ensuring that more Republicans do not violate our laws obviously has a political agenda to gain the system with fraudulent votes.
That’s how the logic works in reverse. Is that working for everyone yet?
House GOP delays vote on Senate two-month payroll tax extension
By Erik Wasson, Russell Berman and Molly K. Hooper – 12/19/11 08:33 PM ET
House GOP leaders have decided to delay a vote on the Senate payroll tax bill until midday Tuesday, abandoning tentative plans to hold votes as late as 3 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The party whip, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), attributed the delay in the vote to the Republican pledge to not pass legislation in the middle of the night, as they had criticized House Democrats for doing. The votes on Tuesday, he said, will occur “in the light of day.”
In a rare move, the GOP leaders sought to align themselves with President Obama, saying their push for a yearlong extension was “exactly what the president asked us to do.”
House leaders also appear to be looking to avoid a separate, up-or-down vote on the Senate payroll tax bill.
House freshman are adamant in their opposition to the Senate bill and favor a year-long extension of the payroll tax holiday, but centrist Republicans in the conference would not come out against the short term bill when asked about it after a GOP conference meeting on Monday night.
The Senate approved the measure in an overwhelming bipartisan 89-10 vote, and several Senate Republicans on Monday urged the House to approve the measure.
With Democrats planning to support the measure, Republicans cannot afford many defections on an upcoming vote.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) insisted the House would defeat the bill, however, and Republicans at the Monday meeting said few in any of their colleagues spoke out in favor of the two-month extension at the meeting.
One exception was Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), who told The Hill, “I’m thinking about it, I really am.” Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) earlier on Monday said he would support the Senate bill.
Another possible question-mark, centrist New York Republican Rep. Peter King told The Hill that he would support the leadership’s course of action on the extenders package.
A vote just on a motion to convene a conference committee could give politically vulnerable members the wiggle room to support Boehner without entirely voting against a two-month extension of the payroll tax.
“I think we have to vote down what the Senate sent back but there is a way to do it where we are voting yes,” said Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas).
House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) said he could not say if his committee would consider a rule for that up-or-down vote.
House Republican leaders emerged from the closed-door meeting determined to force the Senate into a conference committee. “Our members do not want to just punt and do a two-month, short-term fix where we have to come back and do this again,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters. “We’re here. We’re willing to work.”
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said House Republicans “outright reject the attempt by the Senate to kick the can down the road for 60 days. It’s an unworkable solution.”
Boehner was pressed on why he did not warn Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) that the compromise he struck with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would not fly with the House GOP.
“I made it clear to Senator Reid and Senator McConnell that the House was not going to enter into negotiations until such time as the Senate did its job,” Boehner said. “It was time for the Senate to produce something. We disagreed with what the Senate produced.”
He did not answer directly when asked if McConnell had struck “a bad deal.”
“They did their job. They produced a bill. The House disagrees with it,” the Speaker said.
Rep. Waters urges Obama to drop nice-guy act and fight Republicans, Tea Party
By Mike Lillis – 09/22/11 08:03 PM ET, The Hill
President Obama should quit watching sports and drinking beer with his political opponents in hopes it will lead to GOP cooperation, Rep. Maxine Waters said Thursday.
The outspoken California Democrat said Obama needs to fight harder for Democratic policy priorities in the face of entrenched opposition from Republicans and the Tea Party.
“He’s been very nice about it,” Waters said of Obama’s budget negotiations with Republicans. “He’s been on the other side of the aisle talking with people. He’s invited them up to the White House to have beer. He’s invited them to come and watch the Super Bowl games.“He’s done all of that, and when they eat his food and drink his beer and leave, then they go and try to kill him [on Capitol Hill],” she told an audience gathered for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Foundation’s annual legislative conference in Washington.
“You’ve gotta fight — you will not win this battle without fighting,” she added.
Many House liberals have been disenchanted with Obama going back to December, when the president accepted GOP demands that the Bush-era tax rates be extended to even the wealthiest Americans — a provision strongly opposed by most Democrats.
The president drew similar liberal criticism this summer for backing enormous cuts in both a 2011 spending bill and legislation to raise the debt ceiling. More recently, some CBC members wondered aloud why Obama didn’t visit any urban areas on his August jobs tour through the Midwest.
Obama this month has taken steps to silence his liberal critics, adopting a more combative tone, for instance, in his Sept. 8 address before a joint session of Congress. Liberals are also cheering Obama’s proposal to eliminate the same tax rates for the wealthy that he’d backed in December.
Still, Waters suggested Thursday that CBC members remain wary of Obama’s willingness to fight for liberal priorities when the going gets tough.
“We love the president. We want him to be successful,” Waters said. “But does he feel our pain? Does he understand what’s going on out here?”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Waters, who heads the CBC’s jobs taskforce, said she’s encouraged by Obama’s new proposal to address unemployment and rein in deficit spending. But she also warned that the group will be watching closely as the high-stakes budget negotiations evolve.
“We’re pleased that the president has a jobs proposal. Now we have to trace it and to track it … because strange things happen in the legislative process. We don’t want this to end up being just a tax-cut deal only,” she said.
“I love the president,” she added, “but I will ask the president, ‘Where’s the money?’ ”
Waters suggested the black community needs to become more involved if it wants Washington lawmakers to take notice, for instance, that the recession hit minority communities much harder than it did white populations.
“We have got to show up. The Tea Party shows up. The Tea Party intimidates everybody,” she said. “We have to show people that we have no fear. Don’t mistake the silence for intimidation.”
Waters generated headlines last month when, amid a CBC job-promotion tour, she said the Tea Party “can go straight to hell.”
On Thursday, she wasn’t apologizing.
“Yes, I was displayed in national media telling them where to go,” she said. “And I mean that.”
If anyone in the audience was surprised by Waters’s trenchancy, they shouldn’t have been. Indeed, the California Democrat had warned the crowd that she wouldn’t be holding her tongue.
“Please be worried about what I’m going to say,” she said at the start of her remarks,” because I’m going to say it anyway.”
Bill Clinton Slams GOP Climate Deniers During Global Initiative Conference
First Posted: 9/20/11 03:44 PM ET Updated: 9/20/11 03:44 PM ET, The Huffington Post
At the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual NYC meeting, Politico reports that the former president said, “If you’re an American, the best thing you can do is to make it politically unacceptable for people to engage in denial … I mean, it makes us – we look like a joke, right? You can’t win the nomination of one of the major parties in the country if you admit that the scientists are right?”
Clinton went on to say that the U.S. needs to debate more over strategies to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
“If you listen to Rush Limbaugh,” Clinton said, and “he tells you that climate change is a hoax … If you don’t know better, if you haven’t seen better,” then you’ll likely continue to deny the science. “You have to change the experience of people.”
Many GOP presidential candidates have questioned evolution and climate change, including Rick Perry, who told New Hampshire voters, “I think we’re seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists that are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change.”
Not all GOP candidates disagree with scientists. During a Republican presidential debate in Simi Valley, Jon Huntsman said, “When you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call to question evolution, all I’m saying is that in order for the Republican Party to win, we can’t run from science.”
According to the Associated Press, Clinton also discussed at the conference which countries were most likely to suffer next from climate change, saying, “I think it’s quite possible that the Maldives won’t be here in 30 or 40 years.”
Clinton’s remarks come on the heels of Former Vice President Al Gore’s climate change campaign, “24 Hours of Reality.” In an interview with HuffPost’s Tom Zeller, Gore said, “The greatest opportunity for change lies in the hearts of those who have rejected the science but who are right now asking themselves a question … Have they been fooled by the oil companies and the coal companies? Have they been taken for a ride by the large polluters who have been putting out misinformation?”