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Posts Tagged ‘Republican legislators’

Copyright Permission from my friend, Stephen Pitt

Is the Shadowy World of ALEC and the Koch Brothers Leading the GOP’s Charge to Suppress the Youth Vote?

Submitted by BuzzFlash on Mon, 04/04/2011 – 11:55am.

BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

BuzzFlash at Truthout suggests you read the well-received first column on ALEC, Smart ALEC: Dragging the Secretive Conservative Organization Out of the Shadows.”

Nearly forty years after a constitutional amendment conferring voting rights on eighteen year-olds was passed into law, and signed by President Richard Nixon, the American Legislative Exchange Council is doing all it can to make it difficult for young people to vote.

Nearly forty years after a Constitutional Amendment giving 18-21 year-olds the right to vote, Republican legislators across the country are trying to disenfranchise youth under the subterfuge of combatting “voter fraud.” However, as Christina Francisco-McGuire recently pointed out at progressivestates.org, instances of *voter fraud “are so rare that one is more likely to be struck by lightening.” Amongst the legislation being pushed in various states are photo id requirements, the abandonment of election-day registration, and the redefining of student residency requirements.

“The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative organization linked to corporate and right-wing donors, including the billionaire Koch Brothers, [see “Smart ALEC: Dragging the Secretive Conservative Organization Out of the Shadows” — http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/12551] has drafted and distributed model legislation, obtained by Campus Progress, that appears to be the inspiration for bills proposed by state legislators this year and promoted by Tea Party activists, bills that would limit access of young people to vote,” Tobin Van Ostern reported in Campus Progress in early March (“Conservative Corporate Advocacy Group ALEC Behind Voter Disenfranchisement Efforts” —http://campusprogress.org/articles/conservative_corporate_advocacy_group_alec_behind_voter_disenfranchise).

Van Ostern wrote: “According to research by the Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN) and Campus Progress, in the past six years, seven states have enacted laws that disenfranchise students or make it more difficult for them to vote. This year, 18 additional states are considering similar laws, while other states are proposing voter ID laws that would depress turnout among other groups of voters — particularly those who traditionally lean left.

“These requirements run the gamut from requiring in-state driver’s licenses, to banning school IDs, to prohibiting first-time voters – essentially every college-aged voter – from voting by absentee ballot. All together, these barriers create new logistical and financial barriers for many people attempting to vote.”

Van Ostern’s investigation found that “Many of the state proposals appear to stem from model legislation known as the Voter ID Act (also known as Photo ID) that was developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

MORE HERE

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(h/t to First Draft for photo)

Scott Walker Hates Anything That Helps The Little People. Here’s Another Example

Crooks & Liars- By Susie Madrak

March 07, 2011 07:00 AM

From the Cap Times (via First Draft, a blog that’s done an amazing job cover the Madison movement). This insurance plan is something that doesn’t cost the state government anything — but doesn’t profit any of Walker’s friends, so it has to go:

If you need a prima facie example of how this extremist Republican governor is taking the side of the big guys against the little guys, I’ve got one for you.

Hidden in the 1,300 or so pages of his 2011-13 budget is the dismantling of Wisconsin’s little-known State Life Fund, a small state-operated life insurance plan that was enacted 100 years ago this year by progressive Republican legislators in the wake of insurance scandals that rocked the state back then.

The fund costs Wisconsin government nothing, but operates off investing the premiums paid by the 30,000-plus state residents who hold policies with face values ranging from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000. The fund, which isn’t well-known because it is forbidden from doing any advertising, nevertheless earns dividends that substantially reduce the insureds’ premium costs plus build cash values that policyholders can cash in if events in their lives make it prudent to do so.

In 2010, the State Life Fund sold 146 new policies with $69,000 in new premiums. The plan is totally self-supporting and continually runs a surplus. It requires no extra workers in the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. It’s a good deal for young families who want to have at least a little life insurance protection. Some cash in their policies and use the cash value to help pay for their children’s college. Older folks are known to purchase a policy to cover funeral expenses.

Yet Walker wants to freeze it in place come July 1 and close it to further purchases.

It’s a blatant giveaway to the private insurance industry, which has long bristled at the existence of the fund, insisting that it is “socialized insurance.” It has tried without success for several decades to get it killed. The most recent attack on it came from dishonored former state Rep. Scott Jensen of Waukesha, himself an insurance industry shill. Even Tommy Thompson’s Republican administration wouldn’t go along with Jensen’s scheme to close it down.

But now comes Walker, who received substantial campaign contributions from insurance interests in his race last fall. And because of the acquiescence to his machinations by the Republican majority in the Legislature, the threat to the fund is much more serious. Walker will get his wish unless the proposal is removed from the budget bill before it passes.

SOURCE

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