Are Black Voters Invisible to Democrats?

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High turnout among African Americans was crucial to Democratic victories in 2008 and 2012—so why are they being ignored this time around?

Voters arrive to cast early ballots in Davenport, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall, AP)

Sixty-four years after Ralph Ellison wrote his seminal novel, Invisible Man, about an African-American man who is consistently unnoticed by the powerful white people around him, it appears that black folks are still invisible to progressives and Democrats. Publicly announced political spending plans for the left this election cycle thus far reveal a gargantuan hole in terms of investing in the work necessary to turn out the voters most essential for any progressive victory in November—people of color, in general, and African Americans, in particular.

$200 MILLION SLATED—BUT NONE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN MOBILIZATION

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Exposing North Carolina’s shell game of electoral apartheid

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Image: Daily Kos

This fall, Daily Kos community member Bill Busa exposed North Carolina’s sneaky new voter suppression tool in which county boards of elections in the state closed almost one-third of the state’s early voting polling places in 2014, replacing them with polls at new locations. The result of moving those early voting locations: African American voters found themselves 350,000 miles farther away from their nearest early voting sites than they were in 2012, while white voters’ total distance-to-poll increased by only 21,000 miles.

This blatant attempt to keep black voters from the polls by making it harder for them to vote, Busa and voting rights organizations he’s been working with say, is akin  to “poll taxes and literacy tests did during the South’s Jim Crow era.”

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Posted by Libergirl

Who owns your candidate?

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It’s a new era of American politics. With regard to campaign finance, the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling — and the arguably worse McCutcheon v. FEC ruling — opened the doors to unrestricted corporate funding of our national elections.

Voters arrive to cast early ballots in Davenport, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall, AP)

Image: Charlie Neibergall, AP

The primary mechanism in place facilitating this flood of private money is the super PAC. You’ve probably heard of super PACs and how they’ve essentially taken over the role traditionally filled by individual campaign donors in Political Action Committees (PACs). But super PACs aren’t the end of it. There are puppet political non-profits, business associations, and now, single-candidate “dark money” outfits that, as of September 21, have already raised $25.1 million —  five times the amount spent by this time in the 2012 election cycle.

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Santorum: Climate change, flat-Earth believers are alike

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Jeb Bush takes on skeptics, stands firm on immigration at CPAC

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Kochs launch new super PAC for midterm fight

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  During a closed-door gathering of major donors in Southern California on Monday, the political operation spearheaded by the Koch brothers unveiled a significant new weapon in its rapidly expanding arsenal — a super PAC called Freedom Partners Action Fund. The new group aims to spend more than $15 million in the 2014 midterm campaigns — part of a much larger spending effort expected to total $290 million, sources told POLITICO. It’s an evolution for billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. The vast network of political nonprofit groups they helped build has mostly funneled its unprecedented political spending into issue-based campaigns that usually slam Democrats for supporting big government but seldom explicitly ask voters to support GOP candidates.

 

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Rand Paul Risks Wrath of Conservatives by Exposing the Truth About Their God, Ronald Reagan

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Image: Wikipedia

 The path to the Republican Party presidential nomination travels through Ronald Reagan’s ghost. From Iowa to South Carolina, GOP primaries are often reduced to a competition for the number of times a candidate can invoke his name. If Jesus hadn’t died at such a youthful age, Reagan’s image would have been what right-wing Americans imagined when they thought of an elderly Messiah. For a conservative to offer anything less than pious servitude to his memory is to violate the fourth of the Ten Commandments: thou shall not take the name of the Lord in vain, which is exactly the sin committed by one of the 2016 GOP packleaders, Sen. Rand Paul.

In a speech given to student Republicans at Western Kentucky University, Paul said you can trace the Republican Party’s hypocrisy on spending and deficits back to Reagan:

Some say, well that’s fine, but there were good old days. We did at one time … When we had Reagan, we were fiscal conservatives. Well, unfortunately, even that wasn’t true. When Reagan was elected in 1980, the first bill they passed was called the Gramm-Latta bill of 1981, and Republicans pegged it as this great step forward. Well, Jimmy Carter’s last budget was about $34 or $36 billion in debt. Well, it turns out, Reagan’s first budget turned out to be $110 billion dollars in debt. And each successive year, the deficit rose throughout Reagan’s two terms.

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