Minnesotans Stand Up for Voting Rights
Working over a short time frame, dedicated Minnesotans made phone calls, knocked on doors, handed out flyers at parades, spoke on the radio and YouTubes, submitted letters to the editor, and talked to their neighbors about the far reaching restrictions an amendment named "Photo ID" would place on voting in Minnesota. They shared with their fellow citizens the ways the Amendment would change Minnesota from the state with the most viable democratic election system to the state with the greatest barriers to voting. They explained the many details left out of the amendment that the next legislature would have to fill in. They described the origins of the amendment in the American Legislative Exchange Council, a coalition of global corporations, wealthy individuals, and legislators which meets to craft legislation in their own interest that is then introduced in legislatures across the country. They cautioned that the high cost of the complicated provisional balloting system would have to paid through increased property taxes.
The volunteers came from faith based institutions calling their fellow congregants, unions, and nonprofit organizations working together through Our Vote Our Future. They contacted over 1.5 million people
. Their dedication to maintaining Minnesota's democracy paid off on election day when the "Photo ID" Amendment was defeated.
If they didn't reach you, you can find out more about the amendment by viewing the following videos and checking out the information on the amendment at the Think Again MN website.
This 3 minute video shows the many consequences Minnesotans of all walks of life would have faced if the amendment had passed.
Who was behind the Voter Restriction Amendment? Tim Obrien and Jeff Strate of Democratic Visions explain that narrow corporate interests have influnced Minnesota Republicans to put two constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Watch their 6 minute video.
Between performances at the Gospel Music Concert in Brooklyn Center on October 26, ministers and leaders in MN nonprofit organizations introduced the concert goers to the history of voting in the U.S. and Minnesota and commented on the devastating impact the Voter Restriction Amendment would have on the Minnesota election process. You can watch several of their passionate and insightful presentations on this half hour tape.
Minnesotans Stand Up for Civil Rights
Minnesota made history in the early morning after the November 6th election by becoming the first state to defeat a marriage amendment that declared that marriage is between a man and a woman. The campaign against the marriage amendment was a long expensive 18 month campaign with 28,000 volunteers. During the final week of the campaign, volunteers knocked on 400,000 doors and made 900,000 phone calls. The defeat of the marriage amendment ended a 32 state winning streak by those who sought to limit marriage to a man and a woman.
Richard Carlbom, Campaign Manager of Minnesotans United for All Families, credited the breadth of the campaign for the victory. It brought together Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Green party members, faith leaders, and businesses. "This campaign was built on the idea that if we have an honest and authentic statewide conversation about why marriage matters and who should have the freedom to participate in it, that Minnesotans would value freedom and fairness above all else. And they did!" he said.
See Minnesota Public Radio's report and videos for more information.
DFL Gains Majority in MN House and Senate
Senate District 49, mainly Edina and West Bloomington, with small parts of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka, celebrated the success of all of its DFL candidates on election night. First time candidate Melisa Franzen gained the Senate seat. Republican turned DFL candidate Ron Erhardt regained the House 49A seat and Paul Rosenthal regained the House 49B seat. SD49 was the only Senate District to move from being completely on the Republican side of the aisle to the Democratic side. At left are Bill Melton, Chair of SD49 and Representative Paul Rosenthal at the election night celebration.
Congressional District 3 also gained three other new DFL Senators: John Hoffman in Senate District 36, Alice Johnson in Senate District 37, and Melissa Halvorson Wiklund in Senate District 50. Terri Bonoff who now has a district with more Republicans in western Plymouth won with almost 56% of the vote.
Congressional District 3 gained one additional House seat, Yvonne Selcer in 48A but lost House seat 36A. That leaves CD3 with a substantial gain of four additional DFL Senators and two additional Repesentatives.
Bloggers Steve Timmer and Tommy Johnson give a recap of the 2012 Election in Senate District 49, mainly Edina and West Bloomington and Senate District 48, Eden Prairie and Minnetonka on Democratic Visions. Timmer also explains the many reasons the Edina City Council opposed the Voter Restriction Amendment, See the November Democratic Visions.
Congratulations to all the new and returning legislators and a big thank you to those who worked hard and promoted DFL values in their SD's, but didn't win a seat in the legislature this time.
Though he isn't headed for the White House, Paul Ryan will continue to wield influence in Washington as Chair of the House Budget Committee. The big story from the Republican Convention was the many falsehoods told by Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Juan Cole, professor of Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan and an internationally prominent scholar, noted on his blog, Informed Comment, that Paul Ryan repeated statements previously proven to be false and added new ones to his speech at the Republican Convention. "He has to get people on his side who would be hurt by his policies. And that requires that he simply lie to them." Read his article:
"Ten Big Lies Paul Ryan Keeps Repeating That the Corporate Media Refuses to Push Back On"
6 Things You Need to Know
About Mitt Romney's VP Pick
1. He believes in the same top-down economic policies that chrashed our economy.
2. His plan wold require hiking taxes on middle-class families to pay for tax cuts for millionaires.
3. He'd cut Pell Grants, clean energy, and medical research funding even as he gives more tax breaks to oil companies and the wealthy.
4. He would end Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher program which would increase seniors’ health costs by $6,350 a year.
5. He favors privatizing Social Security, subjecting seniors’ retirement security to the whims of the stock market.
6. He cosponsored a bill that would ban many forms of birth control.
Obama’s Medicare reforms expand benefits for seniors and lower out-of-pocket costs. The Affordable Care Act actually enhances Medicare benefits by closing the prescription drug coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole” and expanding free preventive services, including an annual wellness visit.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the Ryan/Romney plan to give seniors coupons to buy their own insurance will cost retirees over $6,000 more by 2020 and over $12,000 more by 2030. That means seniors can expect to pay $14,000 for Medicare and a supplmental plan by 2020 and $20,000 for each person by 2030. That's no problem for extremely wealthy people like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, but what about the average middle class retired couple, not to mention the poor. How many retired couples can afford $40,000 a year in medical insurance plus their health care deductions and copays?
Erik Paulsen has voted for the Ryan budget that ends the Medicare that currently provides secure care for seniors and replaces it with coupons that pay part of the cost of a plan from a private insurance company. Do seniors really want to give up their secure Medicare coverage for much higher cost private policies?
Romney won't tell voters that the number of small businesses in Massachusetts shrank under his watch as governor of Massachusetts—or that his state dropped to 47th out of 50 in job creation under his watch. And he certainly won't mention that he's proposing to raise taxes on middle-class families to pay for huge tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.
A New York Times Editorial points out that Republicans are not backing off on their attack on women’s equality and well-being. "New laws in some states could mean a death sentence for a pregnant woman who suffers a life-threatening condition. But the attack goes well beyond abortion, into birth control, access to health care, equal pay and domestic violence." Read the editorial: "The Campaign Against Women."
The Obama Campaign has posted a feature on the Obama website that contrasts Obama's policies that support women to those of Mitt Romney who proposes to cut programs for women and families in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy. See "The Life of Julia."
The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch recently reported that Mitt Romney's claim about the Obama spending binge "never happened." The Market Watch chart showed that federal spending is actually rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower was president. The highest increases in spending occurred during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush II.
The Wall Street Journal points out that contrary to Republicans claim that Obama has presided over a huge increase in federal spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future, no such increase occurred under the Obama administration. Over Obama’s four budget years, federal spending irose only 0.4% annually from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion. See the comparison between spending increases for Presidential terms below.
Look how far we've come. This 17 minute film shows the remarkable progress the President was able to make in the shadow of political turmoil, economic crisis, and military uncertainty. It gives an inside look at some of the tough calls President Obama made to get our country back on track.
Watch "The Road We've Traveled" from Academy Award®-winning director Davis Guggenheim.
Common Sense Progressive Politics presents "A Long List of Obama's Accomplishments! With Citations!" "If you're one of those folks who thinks President Obama is a "disappointment," you haven't been paying attention the last few years."