Phyllis Schafly, Right-Wing Political Gadfly, Lays Hot Turd of Truth in the Middle of Voter Suppression Laws-Gives Lie to GOP Claims of Voter Fraud

Forgive the colorful headline, but a catchy lede draws inquiring eyes sometimes! I just read this column by Phyllis Schafly, which blows out of the water the GOP assertion that voter suppression laws are not aimed at liberal voters. Here is one key passage:

The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that “early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.

The Obama technocrats have developed an efficient system of identifying prospective Obama voters and then nagging them, some might say harassing them, until they actually vote. It may take several days to accomplish this, so early voting is an essential component of the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote campaign.

CONTINUE READING: North Carolina embraces honest elections.

I haven’t much time for writing, so I apologize for not giving the full analysis of why voter ID laws and other laws restricting access to the ballot box are harmful to democracy. I just thought this little quote worth highlighting, because the main argument I hear from conservatives is that these laws will reduce voter fraud, and are not to reduce the number of people voting. We ALL know that it does, even conservatives, as Mrs. Schafly so eloquently states.

Speaking in Raleigh, Colin Powell blasts North Carolina voting law | Under The Dome

With Gov. Pat McCrory in the audience, former Secretary of State Colin Powell took aim at North Carolinas new voting law Thursday, saying it hurts the Republican Party, punishes minority voters and makes it more difficult for everyone to vote.

“I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote,” said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.

“It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs,” Powell continued. “These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away.”

The retired general served as the keynote speaker at the event and made his remarks moments after McCrory left the stage. His comments represent the most high-profile criticism of the Republican-crafted law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls, cuts early voting days and makes it harder for students to vote.

In one comment, he seemed to rebuke McCrory for suggesting that voter fraud likely exists but is hard to detect. The governor had compared it to insider trading.

“You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” Powell said. “How can it be widespread and undetected?”

Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, also said the new sends the wrong message to minority voters. “What it really says to the minority voters is … We really are sort-of punishing you,” he said.

READ MORE: Speaking in Raleigh, Colin Powell blasts North Carolina voting law | Under The Dome.

A high-ranking and well-respected Republican, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, has condemned the new voter ID law recently passed in North Carolina. Although Governor McCrory asserts that there is widespread, undetected voter fraud in the state, there have been very few instances of in-person voter fraud. Powell makes some very salient points about the effects of the new law, not least of which is a message that minority votes are not important to the GOP.

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On a personal note, I haven’t been around on WordPress much lately. I miss it and my blogfriends so much! My youngest just started kindergarten (boo-hoo), and I am about to start a new job (woo-hoo, I guess). Obligations leave me very little time to write, but I hope you all will remember me and continue to check in every once in a while. All of these recent changes are leaving me breathless and struggling to manage my time more wisely. I will be writing regularly again soon, I hope!

I also want to take this time to thank my readers (there are a couple), who take time to read and comment. I consider some of you as real friends and appreciate the opinions and perspectives you have given me. Sometimes the encouragement you gave me helped me through rough patches in my life. Thank you so very much. I shall return!

Drug-testing welfare recipients makes no sense | Other Views | NewsObserver.com

For all the trouble they caused this session, N.C. General Assembly leaders lacked a certain amount of inventiveness. Almost every bill they introduced was already being considered, or was law, somewhere else.

Case in point, during the final hours in Raleigh, the General Assembly passed a foolish bill requiring those applying for public assistance to pass a drug test before they can become eligible. This unconstitutional idea has been tried before in other states, and it makes no more sense here than it did when it was first implemented, and failed miserably, in Florida.

In 2010, Florida became the first state to pass and fully implement a bill mandating mandatory drug testing of all applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The law mandated that all applicants pay for the cost of the drug test themselves, and that they be reimbursed if their test came back negative. The law was in effect for a mere four months before a federal court said it was unconstitutional.

Nearly two years later, the New York Times released the most comprehensive data yet on how the law fared during the short period of time it was in effect. We already knew that the law was a failure, but what we didn’t know was just how much of a failure it was.

CONTINUE READING:  Drug-testing welfare recipients makes no sense | Other Views | NewsObserver.com.

TRAPPED! NC Closes Lone Abortion Provider In State That Is In Compliance With New Anti-Abortion Law

One day after Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina signed a controversial bill that will effectively shut down all but one abortion clinic in the state, the state’s Health and Human Services announces the closing of that single clinic-FemCare of Asheville. FemCare is the only abortion provider in Western North Carolina and the only clinic in the entire state that would be in compliance with the new law passed on Monday. There were 23 rule violations cited, according to Drexdal Pratt, director of DHHS’ Division of Health Service Regulation. “We take rule violations very seriously and, when necessary, take firm action to prevent harm to patients and clients in the facilities that we license, regulate and inspect,” said Director Pratt.

Doctor Lorraine Cummings of FemCare released the following statement:

“Since the state’s last site visit in August 2006 there have been no changes in our operating protocols, but increasing regulations require us to make changes,” she said.

“Standards that were acceptable when we were last inspected have changed and, as soon as we were notified of them two weeks ago, we began the process of meeting each one of them.

“We have had no patient infections using our former protocols. We expect to be in compliance soon with the required standards and will return to serving our patients as soon as possible.”

While running for office in 2012, Pat McCrory was asked by reporter Laura Leslie, “If you are elected governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign?” To which he answered, “None.” When the state senate attached a host of anti-abortion laws to an anti-Sharia law bill entitled the Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act , the governor said he would veto it, because it limited access. Less than two hours after McCrory threatened a veto, the state house released a new version of the legislation attached to a motorcycle safety bill. One day later, it was passed. After its passage and approval through the senate as SB 353,  McCrory signed this virtually identical bill without reservation. He refused to speak with detractors of the bill, but during a rally outside the Governor’s mansion the day after he signed it, he brought cookies out to the protesters. They promptly placed the cookies at the gate to the mansion with a note that said “Will take women’s health over cookies!”

In addition to new restrictions on clinics, the bill requires a doctor to be present for a medical abortion (taking a pill to end a pregnancy), outlaws abortion coverage for city and county employees, and bars abortion coverage for residents who participate in the state healthcare exchange. The law also allows medical professionals to refuse any treatment or participate in any process that might eventually lead to an abortion, based on their moral, ethical, or religious feelings. While requiring doctors in clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, the law also allows hospitals to refuse said privileges to properly credentialed physicians based on moral grounds. Tacked on the end of the bill are a few sentences about motorcycle safety. Says Pat McCrory:

“This law does not further limit access, and those who contend it does are more interested in politics than the health and safety of our citizens.” 

Really, Governor? The model legislation for SB 353 was drafted by Americans United For Life, an association of pro-life law students dedicated to overturning Roe Vs. Wade and restricting access to abortion across the country. AUL is balancing the fight to overturn Roe Vs. Wade with a targeted approach focused on passing state-level legislation to restrict abortion:

In 1992 the Supreme Court clearly opened the door for states to put legal limits on abortion in the decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Since that time, AUL has focused on helping state legislators to pass the best pro-life laws they can, and then helping the state Attorney General to defend those laws in court against lawsuits by Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and Center for Reproductive Rights.

We are continually working to help legislators enact new pro-life laws that will go into effect and not be unnecessarily tied up in court so they can save lives today while continuing to roll back Roe v. Wade in the courts.  To do that, we educate legislators on the issues and provide them with model legislation and legal advice on legislative language.  We work hand-in-hand with legislators to minimize avoidable problems so activist judges can’t easily tie a good law up for years in court or strike it down completely.

A network of state directors act as the face of AUL to state legislators on a daily basis.  States that currently have AUL state directors are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah.

This approach has been labeled Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers: TRAP laws, by reproductive justice advocates. These laws place expensive and difficult burdens on clinics, which in most cases lead to their closure. It costs an estimated $1 million more to convert abortion clinics to outpatient surgical centers,. Other aspects of the new NC law don’t seem to have much to do with patient safety, such as how wide the hallways should be, and whether or not there are enough bathrooms and water fountains according to the bill’s arbitrary standards. 

TRAP laws have been passed in at least 27 other states, with devastatingly effective results. Mississippi’s lone clinic, which must fly doctors in from out of state because local doctors are too afraid to work there, now faces closure after a similar law was passed in the state. Hospitals refuse to grant the visiting physicians admitting privileges, which left the clinic out of compliance with the TRAP law. Only a court injunction is keeping the clinic open as the new law is reviewed.  Other surgical centers, such as those that provide plastic surgery and other treatments, are not burdened by similar regulations. 

As the new NC law SB 353 goes into effect, FemCare of Asheville faces an uncertain future, as do all the clinics in the state. Governor McCrory claims to only have the health and safety of women in mind. If that is the case, I put forward the charge that he is an incompetent governor who neither reads the legislation that he signs, nor realizes the implications of their enactment made evident in other states. The constitutional rights of women are under assault in North Carolina and across the United States, “land of the free.”

 

RESOURCES:
TRAP Laws Gain Political Traction While Abortion Clinics—And the Women They Serve—Pay the Price

72 Hours Inside Mississippi’s Lone Abortion Clinic

State-Level Assault on Abortion Rights Continues in First Half of 2013

North Carolina’s SB 353 All But Bans Abortion

State to close Asheville abortion clinic