I THINK WE ALL KNOW THAT ELECTIONS ARE THREATENED. WHETHER YOU SEE IT THROUGH CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS, VOTER RIGHTS PROTECT LOSS, OR THROUGH LIFELONG INCUMBENCY, WE MUST MAKE THESE NEXT YEARS ABOUT STRENGTHENING OUR ABILITY TO HAVE OUR VOICES HEARD.
THESE ARE THE ISSUES WE NEED TO ADDRESS:
1) WE MUST CREATE A SYSTEM OF COMMUNICATION THAT DOESN'T RELY ON STANDARD MEDIA. PEOPLE ARE NOT GETTING THE FACTS AND WE MUST HAVE BLOGS, NEWSLETTERS, COMMUNITY GROUPS AND POLITICAL CLUBS TO DO THIS. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE POLITICAL EDUCATION TO THOSE WITH THE MONEY TO BUY TIME!
2) WE MUST PETITION TO REFERENDUM CHANGES TO THE BALTIMORE CITY CHARTER THAT ALLOWS THE CITIZENS TO RECALL/RETROACTIVELY TERM LIMIT INCUMBENTS. SO THIS MEANS STARTING NOW TO CREATE A NETWORK OF SIGNATURE COLLECTION. WE WANT A CHARTER CHANGE FOR THE POWERS OF THE MAYOR AS WELL AS A CHARTER TO PROTECT DISTRICTS FROM BEING DOWNSIZED.
3) WE MUST DEMAND MEDIA COVERAGE OF PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND COVERAGE OF ALL ISSUES PUBLICLY SO THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE REAL INFORMATION BEFORE THEY GO TO THE POLLS.
4) WE MUST FIELD CANDIDATES TO CHALLENGE ALL INCUMBENTS....ESPECIALLY MAYOR, GOVERNOR, AND ATTORNEY GENERAL. THERE ARE NO GOOD CHOICES HERE. IF YOUR SOCIAL JUSTICE/LABOR LEADERS ARE NOT GIVING YOU CANDIDATES.....IDENTIFY YOUR OWN!!!!
IDEALLY WE WANT TO MAKE BALTIMORE LOOK LIKE THE IOWA CAUCUS. TAKE A LOOK AT LITERATURE THAT DESCRIBES THIS GREAT SYSTEM OF DEMOCRACY. IT WON'T HAPPEN OVER NIGHT, BUT IT IS A GOAL FOR WHICH TO WORK!!!!
. The Iowa caucuses operate very differently from the more common primary election used by most other states (see U.S. presidential primary). The caucuses are generally defined as "gatherings of neighbors." Rather than going to polls and casting ballots, Iowans gather at a set location in each of Iowa's 1,774 precincts. Typically, these meetings occur in schools, churches, public libraries and even individuals' houses. The caucuses are held every two years, but the ones that receive national attention are the presidential preference caucuses held every four years. In addition to the voting and the presidential preference choices, caucus-goers begin the process of writing their parties’ platforms by introducing resolutions.
THESE ARE SOME REAL POLICY ISSUES THAT NEED TO CHANGE!!!
A MOVE BY MARYLAND LEGISLATORS TO MAKE IT HARDER TO PETITION IS NOT GOOD NEWS. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO LET YOUR ELECTED OFFICIAL KNOW THAT CITIZENS WANT TO BE ABLE TO PETITION AND IT DOES NOT HURT THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IF THESE REFERENDUM ARE ON THE BALLOT.
MY COMMENT TO THE ARTICLE BELOW:
Don't you think it odd that the Democrat Cardin would be the one wanting to make petitioning by citizens harder? Maryland has a captured political process that keeps incumbents in place and as we work to correct this fact we do not want to see the people's ability to challenge legislation made harder.
As a fiscal progressive I plan to petition to referendum for issues that aren't Republican so this is not a policy that challenges only a Republican minority and I see it as yet another attempt by incumbents to control policy. If you look at the votes on these referendum items this election almost all were close so there is no mandate to say these issues were not relevant to voters. I go further to say that some of these issues would not have passed had there been real journalism from media rather than special interest ads.
I would caution Jon Cardin in trying to make harder for the citizens of Maryland to challenge policy. That is what a healthy legislative process does and attempts to stifle this would be undemocratic.
Is it too easy to petition a law to the voters?
Posted: 4:42 pm Fri, November 9, 2012
By Associated Press
ANNAPOLIS — Some lawmakers and Gov. Martin O’Malley are wondering: has the Internet made it too easy for citizens to petition a new law to the ballot?
Maryland voters decided in favor of three referred laws this week. Opponents to same-sex marriage, the Maryland Dream Act and the state’s congressional redistricting map, successfully petitioned them to the ballot by collecting more than 55,736 signatures for each law.
Delegate Jon Cardin, a Democrat who chairs the House Ways and Means subcommittee on election law, says he would be open to discussing changes to the petition process.
But Delegate Neil Parrott, the Washington County Republican who chaired MDPetitions.com, says the process is still far from easy. He noted it had been 20 years since Maryland residents have voted on a referred law.
Honestly, the only reason politicians would place elections online is to rig the elections. We all know that hackers can get into anything they set their minds to and we know big brother is hacking into everything on the internet. BEWARE OF AN POLITICIAN WANTING TO PUT VOTING ONLINE......WE DON'T NEED THAT CONVENIENCE!!!
Election voting on the Internet ‘inevitable,’ experts say September 13, 2012 at 11:19 pm
Voting in Silver Spring
By Sam Smith
Democrats and Republicans agreed that Internet voting is “inevitable” for the future of America’s election process at a panel hosted by the University of Maryland’s Center of American Politics and Citizenship on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
“Its just a matter of time until people demand that we vote on the Internet. People do everything on the internet,” said Republican Dave Mason, a former commissioner of the Federal Election Commission.
Would online voting actually get more people to vote?
Democrat Bob Carey, former director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, said that online voting would likely lead to a higher voting turnout. He said that at the very least it guarantees more military votes would be counted.
“In the 2010 election, there were approximately 220,000 military voters, who would have otherwise voted if they had the same voter participation rate as the rest of the population,” Carey said. “I’ve been out at sea. It takes two, three, four weeks to get a letter. We always had Internet access. We have printers on board. We can easily get those ballots out there. When I was at FVAP, I strongly advocated online voting.”
Although Mason supports online voting, he said he does not feel that online voting would lead to increased voter participation. Other efforts made to increase voter turnout, such as early voting, have not lead to more votes.
Mason also noted that online voting would change the way in which candidates and parties will have to appeal to the voters.
“There is a big social difference in the way that we govern ourselves,” Mason said. “It will change the nature of voter appeal, the kinds of appeals that we make towards voters when they make the decision at their computer.”
New security and fraud risks in online voting
State Voter ID laws have made voting fraud a hot-button issue that Republicans see as important and Democrats view as insubstantial. The prospect of online voting would certainly introduce new security and fraud risks.
But Carey said that although there are risks associated with an online voting system, there are security risks associated with any voting system, especially the current system pointing out the debacle in the extraordinarily close 2000 presidential election.
“You can essentially eliminate the possibility of someone being able to hack into a Virtual Private Network and change a ballot. Can someone hack into a VPN? Sure. Can they hack into a VPN without being detected? Virtually impossible,” Carey said. “ I really do believe that full Internet voting is something that we eventually need to get to. This is something that definitely needs to be discussed, funded, researched, developed and deployed.”
Mason said that the major threat in an Internet system is not likely to come from hackers, but from how easy it will be to influence the votes and possibly pay off voters.
Making it easier to vote
With just 41.7% of eligible voters casting a ballot in the 2010 elections, the panel discussed ways in which the voting process can be made less difficult.
“When you look at the percentage of people that vote knowing what people have gone through to get to vote, is very discouraging,” said Laura Still Thrift, senior legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. David Price, a North Carolina Democrat.
Difficulties for voters largely depend on the individual state’s election laws. Marty Stone, a former member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that it’s easier to vote in some states than others because of strict absentee ballot laws.
In states such as Virginia and Tennessee, voters that wish to cast absentee ballots must provide a legal reason to vote through the mail. States such as California and more recently, Maryland do not require an excuse to vote through the mail.
Better access to voting in some states than others
“As an American citizen, it distresses me that people of California have more access to voting then someone in Delaware, or that someone in Tennessee is less likely to vote then someone in Oregon,” Stone said.
Thrift mentioned that Price has co-sponsored a number of bills that would make it easier for people to cast their vote.
One bill would prohibit the requirement for photo identification, a new mandate in some states. Another would permit same-day voter registration so that people don’t have to take time in advance to register. Another one would ensure that if a state allows you to vote by mail, it would allow everyone to vote by mail.
Thrift also discussed measures in which the registration process could be modernized. For example, allowing people to register when they have any interaction with the federal government and requiring colleges to educate out-of-state students on the state’s voting laws so the students can change their residency.
“This is pushing back against efforts that make it harder and more difficult to vote,” Thrift said.
However, as Mason said during the earlier Internet voting discussion, making voting easier will not guarantee an increased turnout.
“One of the remarkable things to me when looking at voting statistics as we have taken down barriers to vote and made it easier to register, expanding the franchise, voter participation rates have not tended to go up,” Mason said. “ In fact, in some cases there have been a slight negative result.”
As CBS News Election analysts bravely revealed to the public, the fact that only 13% of Americans approve of Congress and the reelection of almost all of the incumbents shows that we have a captured primary election system. You can't be rid of them if you try! The end of this election will allow people in both parties to work on that now they are not afraid of losing the Presidential race. These two years all I've heard from fiscal progressives wanting an end to corporate rule is that we cannot speak badly of Obama or Third Way corporate Democrats because the Republican candidate would be worse. So we have now lost that fear and people will speak out.
We know that America has lost Rule of Law, free media, free and fair elections, and our civil liberties are disappearing. All these things are what make a country democratic. You sense the downfall in an economy stagnant from financial inequity and fraud and you see it on the news as you watch people left in devastation for weeks. Con Edison, private utility set to earn over a billion dollars in profit, just as Exelon Corp is failing to upgrade and maintain systems in lieu of profits and that is why we are looking and feeling a third world country.. You know that it will be the taxpayer who pays for the operational costs and infrastructure development just as O'Malley has said Marylanders will do. Those of us hating free-market globalism because it created this decline of democracy are not alone in hating this economy because free-market lovers will tell you none of this is free-market. It is simply plutocracy moving all money to a few people. It resembles the Chinese political system more than democracy.
I thought the best post-election description of the state of the Western nations was the report on Marketplace American Public Media this morning when they told us the paper money for the Euro had a new seal depicting the mythological scene of The Rape of Europa....Europa being carried away by a diabolical character. It looked to me to be a member of the Troika.
Don't get me started on WJZ's kick off of O'Malley's 2016 run for President. Taking a list of broken campaign promises and highlighting his ability to get the votes for his agenda in an information vacuum looks more like state run media....all we need is a few references to 'the Great Leader'.
BELOW IS A PERSON WHO FEELS AS STRONGLY AS I. WE KNOW THIS IS A NATIONAL SENTIMENT. LET'S MAKE NEXT ELECTION THE TIME TO DO IT!!!
Out With Incumbents!
Press the reset button on Congress Search Main menu Skip to primary content Skip to secondary content Even my rep? He’s a good guy .. Posted on November 17, 2011
Yes, especially your rep.
Your rep is the only one you get to vote for. Maybe he got you a bridge to nowhere or grant money to fund your study of butterflies .. so for whatever reason you allow that it’s all the others that cause the problem. “My rep is great and deserves my vote.” Well, it is your vote.
However, consider this. Republican, Democrat, or Independent, they are all a very real part of the problem. Congress run amok … Congress voting for regard of Congress and it’s contributors, not for regard to the good of the country. Voting for your rep will send a message that my rep’s OK and Congress is OK. If everyone votes this way (as we have for many elections now) we send no message and nothing changes.
If you agree that we need change you MUST vote out incumbents at every opportunity. It’s that simple. They have forgotten who they work for and forgotten the mission of their work … to keep and make America strong and sustainable. They are not beholden to voters, but rather to financial influence, and they have developed a system of “my rep’s OK” that works for the entire bunch of them. We must break that cycle. We must send our politicians the message. They need to be working for the good of Americans, not the corporations.
Kick ‘em all out! Posted on November 17, 2011
Are you tired of watching a government that is run by and for the corporations? Are you tired of a government that has lost the ability to do anything right? Are you tired of a government that encourages companies to ship jobs and the corporate tax base outside our borders? Are you tired of government that refuses to enforce laws on the books that it doesn’t like? Are you tired of … well you get the point.
There’s not a lot that our political “leaders” can agree on in this day and age, however they do all agree on one thing … our government is out of control at every level. To hear them talk they are the sole island of sanity in a government gone dysfunctional. So why don’t you and I do something about this mess?
I threw up this simple site with a simple message .. out with incumbents … all incumbents … Republican … Democrat … Independent … it doesn’t matter. In order to have congressmen and senators that will actually tackle problems instead of bury them we must get the message out that they can be fired, not just because of their own corruptions and incompetencies but also because of the failure of the system they are part of.
Right now incumbents win over 90% of their races. They get money from all kinds of special interests every election because those special interests know that the incumbents will do whatever it takes to keep those donations coming. We as Americans MUST stop this cycle. And what better time to do this than now, when we can point to every facet of government and easily prove incompetence, corruption, and lack of focus for any kind of mission.
So if you, like me, an apolitical guy in the midwest without a hidden agenda, without financial motive, have snapped and are totally fed up with this country we have, spread the word with conversation, bumper stickers, signs, etc. It’s real simple and works in any district … out with incumbents! More important converse about why a movement to out all incumbents (even your own) is needed to “shock” the system. It’s time to press the rest button on Congress. To share your ideas post here.
First publish on 08/30/06, last revision on 11/17/11
Posted in Uncategorized