All Articles Tagged "black vote"
(The Daily Beast) — How did Cornel West become the administration’s No. 1 gadfly? The noted African-American scholar and radio host may have helped Barack Obama into the White House, but he has spent the better part of the president’s term taking shots at him, calling him a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs,” among other names. “These last few weeks have only proven my point about Brother Obama,” West says in his signature “one love” voice as he talks about the debt-reduction debacle on Capitol Hill. “He simply caved in again.” Never mind the slings and arrows of Tea Partiers. The most politically problematic criticism of Obama these days is coming from his base. And there’s no question that there is a deep reservoir of frustration, confusion, and even rage among many in the African-American community for West to tap into. With unemployment hovering near 17 percent for African-Americans (the national average rate is 9 percent) and 11 percent of black homeowners facing imminent foreclosure, African-Americans have ample reason for anxiety about the coming budget cuts that Obama reluctantly signed into law this month.
(Washington Post) — Virginia New Majority, a civil rights group, has launched a campaign to get 20,000 immigrant and African-American voters to the polls to help elect progressive legislators in Virginia this November. Dozens of activists from across the nation have arrived in Virginia prior to the Aug. 23 primary to begin knocking on doors. They spoke to 300 potential voters Tuesday night about immigration reform and the possibility of uranium mining in Southside Virginia.
(New American Media) — California’s new process for redrawing political maps has taken a turn for the chaotic, with the Los Angeles area emerging as a key battleground as communities of color and others struggle to define the boundaries of political power for the next 10 years.
In a series of fast-moving developments over the past week:
• The new Citizens Redistricting Commission did an about-face and decided to skip the release of its second set of proposed maps, which had been due on July 14, thus throwing the public-comment process into disarray.
• The African-American Redistricting Collaborative (AARC), an advocacy group fighting to protect black representation in the redrawing of California’s political map, held a press conference to protest what it sees as the “evisceration of traditional African-American communities,” notably in the Los Angeles area.
• The voting rights lawyer for the commission told the 14-member panel that they were required under the U.S. Voting Rights Act to create new Latino-majority districts, after the commission’s first-draft maps were called “a worst-case scenario” for Latinos.
(Politic365) — Last week the Department of Labor confirmed that the African American community continues to be among the hardest hit by the economic recessions, with an estimated 16.2 percent of blacks unemployed in June, compared to 8 percent of whites, and 9.2 percent for the overall population. The figures sparked outrage from many in the black community, who demanded that this president do more. “Can you imagine a situation with any other group of workers… if 34 percent of white women were out there looking for work and couldn’t find it?” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “You would see congressional hearings and community gatherings. There would be rallies and protest marches. There is no way that this would be allowed to stand.”
(Washington Post) — When campaign aides to former Maryland Republican governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. were indicted last month on charges that they sought to suppress black voter turnout last year, the allegations against Ehrlich’s right-hand man drew the biggest headlines. But as the case moves to court Monday, the lesser-known defendant and his often controversial, behind-the-scenes work for Maryland political campaigns are poised to take center stage. Julius Henson, an African American political consultant, has made a specialty out of getting people to the polls, most often black voters and most often for black Democratic candidates. Nearly an entire generation of local and state lawmakers in Prince George’s County and Baltimore owe at least one of their ballot-box successes — or failures — over the past 15 years to his no-holds-barred approach to campaigning.
(Baltimore Sun) — The Ehrlich campaign’s alleged effort to keep blacks from voting last November could have the opposite effect for years to come, according to political observers who said indictments over the automated phone calls would become election-season fodder for Democrats. Tantalizing details suggesting an organized strategy of black voter suppression emerged Thursday when Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich’s campaign manager and political consultant were charged with violating election laws. The details filled out a narrative that the Democratic Party went to great pains in November to promote: Maryland Republicans are dirty tricksters. At a news conference then, top officials, including Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, rehashed a series of election episodes such as busloads of homeless Philadelphians being recruited to hand out misleading campaign fliers in 2006.
(Washington Post) — One of former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s most trusted aides and a campaign consultant were accused Thursday of orchestrating tens of thousands of anonymous election-night robo-calls last year that prosecutors said were part of a larger attempt to suppress the black vote. Paul E. Schurick, 54, Ehrlich’s de facto campaign manager, and Julius Henson, 62, a paid consultant, were indicted on multiple counts of election law violations stemming from an automated call that was placed to more than 110,000 Democrats in Baltimore and Prince George’s County, according to prosecutors. With the polls still open, an unidentified woman’s voice told voters who answered to “relax” because Gov. Martin O’Malley (D)had already been “successful” in his rematch against Ehrlich.
By Charlotte Young
It appears Florida Gov. Rick Scott is a fan of the days when discriminatory voting practices were in place to discourage African Americans from voting because he recently signed into law a bill that blatantly disenfranchises those who are black and poor.
First, his new law has cut early voting days from 15 to eight. Those who move to another country are prohibited from changing their addresses at the polls—such a stipulation would affect college students and working poor people who move a lot. Thus, their ballots will be cast as provisional ballots, and studies show these ballots tend to be cast out. The worst part of Scott’s new law is that third party groups who register voters must turn in all new registration forms in only two days compared to the previously allowed 10 days.
Thank God for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain states (such as Florida) to get a pre-clearance from the Department of Justice before changing voting practices.
Besides Scott’s new law, Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling attention to how proposed state laws requiring photo identification for voters, along with Congressional reapportionment and state legislation that restricts the bargaining power of labor unions, will all weaken the black vote.
The requirement for state-issued photo IDs at the polls means that millions may not vote in the 2012 election because they don’t have licenses or birth certificates and cannot afford to get them, said Jackson. He added that there are 5.5 million blacks in America who are of legal driving age but do not have a driver’s license.
According to BlackAmericaWeb, there are several states considering photo IDs, including Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Montana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
Now, it is true that congressional reapportionment and labor union bargaining power may create a setback to the black community and should be addressed quickly. But what’s so wrong with requiring a photo ID? There comes a time when we need to stop coddling people and tell them, for instance, to get a photo ID. How else could people make credit purchases, get on planes, file taxes and get into nightclubs without a valid ID?
Rev. Jesse Jackson, please take that issue up with your supporters.
(Huffington Post) — If the pollsters are correct, on November 2 we are likely to elect people to both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives who want to privatize Social Security, end unemployment compensation, repeal civil rights legislation and health care reform, ignore climate change, allow big corporations to secretly finance candidates for public office, and abandon the progressive tax code. It is a scary prospect. However, a recent analysis by David Bositis, Senior Research Associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, who has been tracking black politics since 1980, offers some hope for those of us who do not want to return to the “each man (and woman) for himself” philosophy that never fails to devastate our economy, wreak havoc on our environment, and threaten our democratic process.
(New York Times) — A flood of black voters in North Carolina’s Eighth Congressional District two years ago helped Barack Obamabecome the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry this state since Jimmy Carter and lifted the party’s Congressional challenger, Larry Kissell, to victory. Without Mr. Obama atop the ticket this year, Mr. Kissell and a number of other vulnerable Democrats, mostly in the rural South, face the challenge of reviving the spirit of 2008 for black voters without alienating right-leaning white majorities in their districts.