In 1998, Oregon voters adopted by an overwhelming margin an initiative to use a universal vote-by-mail system for all future elections. Today, every election in Oregon, from Presidential to school board is conducted by solely by mail ballot. The result? Lower costs and higher turnout -- not to mention the end of paperless voting machines, hanging chads, and long lines to vote.
Check out today's Stateside Dispatch for an indepth look at why Voting by Mail, pioneered in Oregon, is rapidly being replicated in states around the country as the solution to the hanging chads and long lines that have frustrated democratic voting in recent years. Check it out.
In Indiana, critics are condemning a rushed $1 billion privatization of the states' social services work -- despite the fact that the companies bidding on the contract have mismanaged similar contracts in other states and, more tellingly, no one even bothered to determine whether the companies could do the job cheaper than current state employees:
Lisa Travis, advocacy and education coordinator for the Indiana Institute for Working Families [argues], "we are not aware of any other state doin
An Arizona diarist at Daily Kos points out how critical veto power is. The point is well-taken, especially in states with legislatures as reactionary as Arizona's.
The Arizona Democratic Party (note: partisan source, treat it accordingly) has a list of some of the bills that Arizona's Janet Napolitano has vetoed. It's quite an amazing list. And it's a healthy reminder that the veto can be a very useful tool in the hands of a savvy executive.
The Cleveland Free Times takes a long, hard look at ALEC's operating methods. As usual, it ain't pretty.
In 1994 marketing materials, ALEC billed itself as "a genuine opportunity for American business to achieve greater public policy effectiveness."
In an arrangement not unlike "ladies night" at a bar, ALEC's 2,400 "legislator members" pay a nominal $25 in annual dues. Major corporations, however, shell out between $5,000 and $50,000 for a seat at the table.