Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Repubs about to suppress voting rights, but approve dirty water

Good job, Senate Repubs!  Sometime this week you will approve a law to make it more difficult for poor people, the elderly, and students to vote - and for this you will spend millions of dollars.  Meanwhile, you just voted to overturn a DNR regulation requiring communities to disinfect their water because you do not want to create 'hardship' for local budgets. Presumably, the cost of getting sick from water contaminated with bacteria will only be paid by the one who gets sick.

Less access to voting rights; dirtier water. Sounds about right for these guys.

Me, too!
Paper this morning says the new Voter I.D. law will cost more than $7 million, much of that to cover costs of free state I.D.s for those without drivers' licenses. This measure was included because Repubs are trying to avoid a court challenge - making people pay for an I.D. in order to vote would indeed amount to a poll tax and would therefore be unconstitutional.

So they are willing to pay for this measure which will make it harder for some groups of folks to vote, but they are not willing to make communities pay to disinfect drinking water to stave off bacterial illnesses.

The priorities of these Repubs get clearer. From the JS article linked above:

"What you really want to do is suppress the vote of people who don't think like you or look like you," Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) told Republicans.

Yes. They know it; we know it. The underlying racism here is not all that hard to see. Repubs have wanted this law for a long time, but it was blocked by a Democratic governor. But the overwhelming support in this state for Barack Obama back in 2008 filled them with alarm. That support was bouyed by two groups whose access to the polls has just been made more difficult - urban African-Americans, especially the poor and unemployed, and students. The Repub victory of 2010 giving them control of both legislative houses gave them the opportunity at last to fulfill this great longing to suppress the voter turnout of those most likely to vote against them. These guys know exactly what they're doing.

Meanwhile, the fraud these Repubs are so bent on avoiding? Doesn't exist.

The measure could prevent people from voting in another's name, but not the most common form of voter fraud - felons voting while on state supervision.

The state Department of Justice and Milwaukee County district attorney's office have prosecuted 20 cases of voter fraud from the November 2008 election. None involves people voting in someone else's name at the polls.
I await the outcry from this state. I await the boisterous movement that challenges this legislation. I await the pushback, the fervent impassioned defense of the broadest possible voting rights which is the rock bottom core of our democracy.

I don't see it yet.

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