When the U.S. Senate killed the auto industry rescue bill last
week, some conservative commentators saw it as payback for Michigan
voting the wrong way in the November election. William D. Zeranski at
the popular rightwing American Thinker site argued, "We know which way those 17 Electoral College votes will go. So, how does helping bailout the Big Three help the GOP?"
Michigan Republican leaders themselves began worrying that national
party leaders would begin ignoring state concerns after McCain lost the
Great Lakes states. As Republican pollster Steve Lombardo said after the election, "It's a matter of worry...It may be that Republicans begin to write off Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota." Of course, the writing off of all Michigan voters only makes sense politically because of the Electoral College.
As states face mounting deficits, corporate lobbyists have been promoting the idea that privatization of public services and assets is a free lunch -- services can be delivered more cheaply than by public employees and public assets like highways can be sold or leased for a hefty return to the taxpayer. As PSN has detailed in our December 2007 report Privatizing in the Dark: The Pitfalls of Privatization & Why Budget Disclosure is Needed, the promises of privatization too often yield to a reality of lost money and degraded services, weak oversight and lost expertise, assets sold off for short-term gains but long-term loss, lost democratic accountability, and the corruption of the political process.
Fallout from Montana Voter Challenge Plan Continues: Last week we highlighted the tremendous job that Forward Montana
and other local advocates did in bringing a massive attempt to
challenge voters in Montana to a stop. In just a few days the plan was
abandoned amid serious public backlash. This week there has been
additional fallout as the executive director of the state GOP has stepped down. Clearly trying to keep people like deployed soldiers from voting wasn't a popular activity in the big sky state.
Now that the party nominating conventions have passed and the
presidential race has reached its final leg, voter suppression efforts
are shifting into high gear around the country. As each campaign
assembles an army of lawyers to protect their interests leading to and
on election day, state and local partisans are engaging in a wide
variety of tactics to prevent their opponents' supporters from casting
a ballot. Once again these underhanded tactics, which we've highlighted before,
are predominantly coming from right wing operatives, and the targets
are overwhelmingly groups that tend to vote for progressive candidates.
Since the beginning of this month the following voters suppression
campaigns have been reported: