Tag Archives: voting

Make Wisconsin Trump’s Again

And again. Again. Again. Again. Again.

I’ve been voting for over forty years and have never wondered what happened to my ballot once it entered the local precinct office. I do here. Never before has a losing candidate spent nearly two years trying to invalidate 3.3 million votes in one state.

I thought it was over after the last time Trump called Robin Vos, Republican Senate leader, to try to make him get the friendly (to Trump and Vos) legislature recall and invalidate our ten electoral college votes, and that was a couple months ago.

But no, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. First our trusty (ahem) U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who’s done nothing for the past six years but deny COVID and call for investigations into Hunter Biden, oh, and run for reelection, wanted to hand-deliver fake elector certificates to former V.P. Mike Pence on the floor of the House on 1/6/21. And not just a fake certificate for his own state of Wisconsin but for another state as well. Bravo, Ron, you represent your people so well.

Now the State Supreme Court has invalidated drop boxes so when I drop my absentee ballot into the box in the elector’s offices downtown, my husband has to keep the air conditioning on in my car for the dog, then we have to switch places and he has to go to the 5th floor in the creepy elevator and repeat the process because otherwise I can be arrested for “harvesting” ballots.

Our former governor Scott Walker made sure the place was gerrymandered so the Democrats will never see power in the legislature, now the Supreme Court is taking up a ridiculous position that only the legislature can decide on electors, voters be damned. If we don’t keep a Democratic governor, Wisconsin will cease to be a democratic state in that voters will no longer choose their elected officials and electors for the Electoral College.

Aside from Milwaukee and Madison, this is principally a rural state, they don’t call us Cheeseheads for nothing. Drop boxes were a godsend during the pandemic when we had no vaccines and no therapeutics for treating COVID-19. It wasn’t a conspiracy, it was a public health crisis.

If you don’t think we’re backwards yet, consider that the abortion law that is now in effect, since Dobbs was overturned, hasn’t been revisited since 1849. Yes, 173 years ago. I told my husband that if our votes no longer count and a woman’s health is worth nothing, it’s time to move. But first we need a Democrat for governor, and to get rid of Sen. Ron Johnson.

I just got a button that says “Vote like your life depends on it, because it does.” Never truer than now. Vote! Dee

For The People

Why is this important? First, I’ll tell you a story. You’ll be hearing a lot about H.R. 1 and Senate 1 over the next few months. Here’s my analysis.

Right out of college I went to work for the State Assembly Speaker’s Office. I was first an assistant, then moved right on to my own committee as a legislative analyst. I was given what I called the “grab bag” committee, a huge task, 750 bills all by myself with no assistance and no computer or internet. Grab bag because whenever someone had something that didn’t fit anywhere else, it came to me. Thus legislative ethics (talk to me about that being an oxymoron later), redistricting, Native American land claims, cable television franchising, ADA, casino gaming, fire and building codes, human and civil rights, privacy, land sales, and lots of other stuff.

Also involved were two very important things, oversight of the Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Act. For anyone who’s heard of the bad old days of smoke-filled back rooms and politicians making secret deals, both these laws tackled the issues deftly. You have to publicly schedule a meeting with time and date and invite public attendance, and set an agenda so that people know what the government entity is going to be voting on. And, everything is available to members of the public.

The theory, a good one, is that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Let voters know what you’re doing, when and make it available for everyone to read and decide whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing town councils, legislatures, governors are voting on.

But this is high school civics. Let’s start at the very beginning with our ABC’s. I’m a citizen in good standing (that means I’m not in jail serving a felony sentence and I’m eighteen years of age or older) so I can vote. The Voting Rights Act and the courts since 1965 have made it easier for all American citizens to vote. So I can easily register to vote, vote in person or by mail, and my vote will be properly counted and certified. Sounds easy, right? I will opine and add another wish I have for all voters: that they should know what huge donors are backing each candidate.

Now you’ve a bunch of states who have acted badly in the past, making it difficult for mainly people of color to vote. Now the Supreme Court has said that’s OK, until Congress changes the law. This past year, COVID messed everything up and with hospitalizations and deaths rising, it became a challenge to vote so some states tried to make it easier through extended early voting and addition of drop boxes.

Then President Trump lost the election. Now 43 states are trying to make it more difficult, once again primarily for Black and brown voters, but for disabled and the elderly as well, to vote. The only reason my state isn’t on the bandwagon is that it’s already difficult to vote here since 2016 with requiring photo ID and eliminating polling places in mainly neighborhoods that vote heavily for Democrats.

For The People Act will make basic rules for states to follow in conducting elections. It is my fervent hope that they will also fund and provide technical support for states and localities for upgrading equipment, so that a poor staffer isn’t stuck in a broom closet in a town hall with a 286 computer trying to input voter information.

It also requires that sunlight shine on what is called “dark money” which has proliferated of late because of new laws and loopholes. Basically, it says that everyone who is eligible to vote should be able to do so with a minimum of fuss; their votes should be counted correctly and fairly; and that voters should know who is funding candidates.

It’s OK to send $20 to the candidate of your choice. That is to be encouraged. What this bill does is make it more difficult for billionaires to buy elections secretly. Statehouses used to be part-time and include farmers, shop owners and school teachers. Now it’s all lawyers and rich folks who want power or something to do with their time.

Since Election Day (November 3, 2020) and especially the Capitol insurrection (January 6, 2021) our nation’s democracy has been severely threatened. If the majority of states pass laws like Georgia’s voter suppression act we won’t have time to quibble about Open Meetings or Freedom of Information statutes because there won’t be any.

Please look into the For The People Act on your own. There are primers online, you don’t have to read the entire thing. Just look for a balanced analysis by a non-partisan source. I’m partisan, vote Democrat, Republican or Independent depending on the candidate but I am 100% for democracy and our Constitution and will work hard to make sure we don’t throw away our Republic.

This past six months a number of lawsuits in my state threatened to throw out my vote and our state legislature and one US Senator toyed with throwing out our entire state’s votes just because they didn’t like who won the presidential election. Sorry to say this but that really ticked me off. No-one tosses my vote and gets away with it. To readers who want to retain a government of, by and for the people, I salute you. Cheers! Dee

Texting and Sexting

OK. I don’t text so certainly don’t do the other. I’d never take a sunrise or sunset photo from my phone though there are beautiful scenes.

Today, as a native New Yorker I question two candidates for office in New York City, a city I lived in briefly and visited from time to time. OK, my brother lives there and tons of my relatives are buried there.

One mayoral candidate seems to spend much of his time alone, taking photos of himself and sending them to women. Another is a client on a DC madam’s list.

Do voters really want to spend their tax dollars to fund these ambitions? It’s a big city, there’s a lot to do, and if these men only think about themselves they are wasting taxpayer dollars.

It’s gotten to the point that we all should run for office. With people thinking that only moneyed candidates will win what do we have to lose? Certainly not our self-esteem, our knowledge that this is a representative democracy and we will do our best for our people.

Sort of like sports figures, people we elect should be given certain deference, but only if they represent us fairly and keep us foremost in their minds.

I’ve tried to make a better world through politics and volunteerism. If elected against my will I will not serve. Perhaps I’ll not serve anyway, ’tis the Irish in me. Dee

Register to Vote

NOW! Some states make it easy, some deceptively difficult so I have all my materials at hand and will stop by first thing in the morning and apply in person after trying to do so by mail and not trusting the process. This is a contentious state and they are making me sign that I don’t intend to move! Hey, if my husband is laid off or finds a better job in a new city of course we’ll move. I don’t see that happening, but what a crazy question to answer in a rust belt state.

If you’re a steelworker or work in our local breweries or paper mills, if you’re laid off will you move where you can get another job to feed your family? Heck, yeah. So why, when registering to vote, do you have to promise not to move? Because of carpetbagger politicians coming in and taking away votes from the locals. Think Kennedy, 1960 election. Think Bobby Kennedy planning for 1968 when he moved to NYC to become senator. And they were assassinated. Don’t want that.

These rules should not apply to everyday citizens who have no thoughts to move in a year or two or five or fifty. There is no enforcement. If I vote and leave five years from now how can you come after me and say I reneged on my promise?

Anyhoo, as my dear aunt would say, please register to vote. Your voice must be heard. I’m going to HQ tomorrow morning and submitting all my information so that I’ll be able to go to whatever polling place they assign me (I’m new here) and vote. Thank you, in the spirit of the classic film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Dee