Navigation

Colorado

What States Can Do for Darfur

Since the Bush administration first recognized the genocide in Darfur, over 250,000 men, women, and children have died. This number does not count the countless women and children that have been raped or attacked as a result of the Sudanese government's campaign to kill and drive out Darfur's ethnic African populations. The violence and genocide is now spilling over into Chad and the Central African Republic. Yet, even with such horrifying statistics, the situation deteriorates day by day.

Election Day Registration

One of the biggest challenges in raising voter turnout is address the rate of voter registration. The vast majority of states have registration deadlines weeks before Election Day. The schedule poses problems for busy Americans who simply forget to register or re-register and find themselves unable to vote on Election Day. During the 2000 Presidential election alone, nearly 3 million voters were disenfranchised due to registration problems. Luckily, a simple solution is available: Election Day Registration (EDR).

The Youth Vote

The Millenials are with us. America's youth -- the biggest generation since the Baby Boom -- are voting more frequently than Generation X and are voting far more progressively than the Reagan-raised generation that proceeded them. You have probably already heard one of the most impressive stats: young voters went for Democrats by a margin of 60%-38% according to exit polls and 2 million more turned out to the polls than in 2002 -- the last mid-term election.

Cleaning up Election Day Disasters

Even with the good news that came last Tuesday, all too much evidence exists that the basic machinery of democracy in America is broken. Election Day is like Groundhog Day and the first stories of problems with voting machines, long lines, or voter intimidation hit the wires in the early A.M. Fortunately, with progressives in control in more states than ever before, we have an opportunity to get the machinery working, so that the engine of democracy starts humming again.

One Eye on the Ballot

It's a big year for ballot issues. Mid-term elections, when no President is being elected, typically see less activity on the ballot issue front than Presidential years, but 2006 is proving to be an exception. Eighteen states will consider 76 ballot issues this fall, as high as its been since 1914 for a non-Presidential year.

Onerous ID Laws Come Under Fire

Someday soon, we will all be experts in Ohio election law. The state's rules are under fire yet again. This time, a labor union and an advocacy organization for the homeless have teamed up to file suit regarding the state's new ID rules, which the plaintiffs say are being enforced differently county by county.

Workers Protest Anti-Family Scheduling Policies by Wal-Mart

Nearly 200 Wal-Mart workers spontaneously walked off the job in Florida this week in response to new rules that even two department managers leading the walkout deemed "inhuman." Not only were hours cut for all full-time workers -- from 40 hours a week down to 32 hours, but employees were required to be available for any shift around the clock.

CA & WA: Breaking the Oil Addiction

By voting for Proposition 87, California voters have the opportunity to join a growing number of states in investing in clean energy. Backing the proposition are more than just environmental groups. Unions, civil rights organizations, health workers, and many others have joined in the fight for clean energy. The proposition would tax companies drilling for oil in California and set aside the money collected in a fund for loans, grants and subsides to promote alternative fuels and more energy-efficient vehicles. In addition to the environmental benefits, it will decrease dependence on foreign oil.

CO: Legislator Takes Questionable Gift, Ducks Question, Gets Thrown Under Bus

In one of the stranger corruption tales to emerge this year, Colorado Rep. Bill Berens took a gift of $20,000 from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, nominally for a "hole in one prize." Gifts of over $50 to legislators are illegal under Colorado law. Asked by email to explain the gift, Berens simply said that it wasn't a gift and said a Democrat at the event would vouch for him. It's a weird answer, but, when approached, his colleague Rep.

Corruption Runs Amok in Colorado

Some conservatives in Colorado appear to think they are above the laws. In the past several weeks, Colorado's largest rightwing 527 has been caught in the middle of what appears to be a giant money laundering scheme and the Secretary of State has been called out for failing to enforce a new law stepping up lobbyist disclosure, even while trying to create new rules to hamstring unions and other large membership organizations.