Archive for April, 2012

Senate Democrats call on Gov. McDonnell to veto voter suppression bill

Blue Virginia reports:

Today, Senate Democrats called on Governor Bob McDonnell to veto the voter suppression bill awaiting action on his desk, Senate Bill 1. A cornerstone of Republican’s overreaching agenda, SB1 requires Virginians to show additional documentation in order to vote, disproportionally preventing seniors and low-income Virginians from voting.

In recent days, Gov. McDonnell has called SB 1’s restrictions on voting “unreasonable,” and said that the legislation imposes an “unduly burden and barriers to your vote.” Senate Democrats agree: the Governor should veto this discriminatory bill immediately.

“Senate Bill 1 will systematically disenfranchise the poor, the elderly, the youth, and the disabled, and I call on Governor McDonnell to veto it right away,” said Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico). “The fact is that some of the most vulnerable members of our society will be disenfranchised by this bill, and Governor McDonnell should veto it.”

Virginians without identification are currently allowed to vote if they sign a sworn statement that they are the registered voters they claim to be (signing a false statement is a felony). The bill would prevent voters without proper ID from doing this, and instead require them to cast a provisional ballot and subsequently provide identification.

Rally for Women’s Rights in Richmond

This Saturday, April 28th, Unite Women Virginia will be joining with the sister chapters in a Rally for Women’s Rights in Richmond at Nina F. Abady Festival Park (between 6th Street Marketplace & Richmond Coliseum) from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

Everyone is invited to join, plan, and rally to demand that every person be granted equal opportunities, equal rights, and equal representation.

Unite Women strongly supports diversity and welcomes men and women of all ages without regard to their race, color, creed, political affiliation, disability, religious or spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, education or income level, marital status, employment status or immigrant status.

Guest Speakers will include Delegate Kaye Kory (38th District), Delegate Charniele Herring (46th District) and Delegate Jennifer McClellan (71st District).

Women’s Strike Force PAC founder and former Virginia Delegate, Robin Abbott will speak along with Women’s Strike Force President and former Virginia Delegate, Katherine Waddell.

Victoria Bragunier, President of the Richmond Chapter of the National Organization of Women, Caroline O’Shea of NARAL-Pro-Choice VA, Carolina Velez, a Domestic Violence Advocate with Safe Harbor, and Elizabeth Wong of ACLU-VA will also be speaking at the rally.

For information on carpooling to Richmond, contact Cynthia Atkins at cynthia.atkins1@gmail.com.

Cline’s membership in ALEC questioned

The Rockbridge Weekly on April 25 published the following letter from Lexington Democratic Committee member Stephanie Wilkinson:

I was disturbed to discover that our local state delegate, Ben Cline, is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the same group behind the “Stand Your Ground” law involved in the Trayvon Martin shooting. ALEC is a corporate-sponsored lobbying group that creates bills advantageous to businesses and organizations (like Exxon Mobil and the NRA) who pay large amounts of money to belong. ALEC then gets legislators to introduce those bills in their own states.

Two years ago Cline co-sponsored a bill, HB 854, which would have legalized the kind of deadly force that killed Trayvon Martin. Fortunately, that bill did not pass. But Cline has been the sponsor of no fewer than nine pieces of ALEC-drafted legislation.

What does this say about Ben Cline? Is this a man who thinks for himself? Or is he just doing the work of some kind of corporate-funded shadow government?

And what exactly does Cline get from ALEC? Corporations such as Koch Industries, Wal-Mart Stores, AT&T Services, and the American Bail Coalition pay up to $25,000 each per year to have access to him.

Voter forgetfulness is GOP’s best hope

This letter from Lexington Democratic Committee chair Dorothy Blackwell was published in the April 23 Roanoke Times:

Mitt Romney’s political strategist is not the only one counting on voters having short memories.

Republicans in the Senate and the House have spent the last three years sabotaging our recovery trying to make President Barack Obama look bad. They showed total disregard for our dwindling middle class.

Moreover, their continued undermining of our sacred social programs has not gone unnoticed: Social Security, Medicare, mental health, Medicaid and public education. This has finally caught up with them. Approval ratings are at historical single digits.

Can they pass themselves off as responsible representatives looking after the interests of their constituents? Perhaps with a massive barrage of propaganda featuring pictures with their families (and dogs) they can pull it off.

Now they must leave the campaign of attack ads against Obama to Karl Rove. Rove did a masterful job in 2010 and engineered a landslide for Republicans in Congress and in many states. They have wreaked havoc.

Can the political strategists count on short memories again? Let’s hope not.

Caucus cancelled; committee will meet April 23

Because no more than two persons filed to be delegates from Lexington to the Sixth District and State Democratic Conventions, the caucus originally scheduled to elect delegates has been cancelled. Instead the Lexington Democratic Committee will meet Monday April 23 in the rear meeting room of the Old Court House, 2 S. Main Street, at 5:30 p.m.