Increasing Democracy


LegAlert: Universal Vote-by-Mail

(Download this LegAlert in PDF Format)

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.

Voting by Mail-- In the Dispatch

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: Rushed Social Services Privatization Condemned

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

Lobbying Reform

(Download this resource sheet in PDF Format.)

Lobbying Reform

Conference Home Other Resource Sheets: Clean Money Elections | Ending Contract Pay-to-Play

The Problem:

The federal lobbying scandal tied to Jack Abramoff, who was recently sentenced to almost six years in prison for b

Ending "Pay to Play" on Government Contracts

(Download this resource sheet in PDF Format.)

Ending "Pay to Play" on Government Contracts

Conference Home Other Resource Sheets: Clean Money Elections | Lobbying Reform

The Problem:

Just as corporate lobbying corrupts the legislative process, the scramble for government contra

KY: Voters Want Fletcher to Resign Amid Scandal

A majority of Kentucky voters are calling for the resignation of Governor Ernie Fletcher, who was recently indicted -- yet another elected official caught up in the culture of corruption. (Hat tip -- Chris Kromm at Facing South)

KY: Governor Ernie Fletcher Indicted

The culture of corruption runs deep in many statehouses. Kentucky's Governor Ernie Fletcher (R) has been indicted for conspiracy, official misconduct, and political discrimination.

The Importance of the Veto

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.

OH: Was it ALEC or Not?

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.

MS: Governor Assisted Criminal "Dirty Tricks" Firm

Mississippi governor Haley Barbour arranged the startup financing for a GOP telemarketing firm that was involved in illegal election dirty tricks in both New Hampshire and New Jersey.