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The GOP no longer has an interest in democracy. (Page 2)
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 16, 2018, 08:28 PM
 
In Michigan they sued to get it off the ballot.
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/..._independ.html
A petition for independent redistricting backed by the group Voters Not Politicians should go to the ballot, Michigan's Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

In a unanimous opinion, judges ordered the Board of State Canvassers to put Voters Not Politicians' redistricting proposal - which would amend the state Constitution if passed - on the November ballot.
Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution released a statement following the decision saying they would appeal the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution is such an Orwellian name.
     
Thorzdad
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Jun 17, 2018, 08:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution is such an Orwellian name.
It's pretty much SOP for far-right groups anymore. Name yourself after the very thing you're out to destroy.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 17, 2018, 02:09 PM
 
I remember it starting with the Bush administration. I believe it was a Rovian tactic.
     
reader50
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Jun 17, 2018, 02:29 PM
 
It's been going on awhile. The "Patriot Act" may have kicked it off. After all, real patriots oppose individual rights.

Honorable mention to the Freedom Fries.
     
Thorzdad
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Jun 17, 2018, 11:01 PM
 
Moral Majority. They were neither.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 15, 2018, 01:08 AM
 
http://www.wmur.com/article/amid-upr...o-law/22142492
Calling it an avenue to restoring “equality and fairness to our elections,” Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday signed into law highly controversial legislation requiring anyone voting in New Hampshire to take action to become a resident of the state.
“This harmful legislation would silence the voices of far too many Granite Staters, particularly residential students,” said the Campaign for Voting Rights. “HB 1264 would require individuals to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license and car registration to vote in the state, implementing a post-election poll tax that will disproportionately impact citizens including the state’s college students.”
What happens if you don't drive or own a car?

Kelly's Democratic primary competitor, Steve Marchand said, "In the end, Gov. Sununu was swayed more by the voices of extremism on the right than by the better angels of his conscience. He said he would not sign HB 1264, but for the second time in two years, he has signed into law bills whose explicit intent is to suppress voting in New Hampshire.

"In 2016, he claimed that busloads of voters from Massachusetts come north to negatively influence our elections. But as we approach the 2018 election season, it turns out the only person who is negatively influencing our elections process is Chris Sununu.”

The four members of the all-Democratic congressional delegation had urged Sununu to veto the bill.

"This new law is an egregious attack on voting rights, and will restrict access to the ballot box for students who rightfully want to exercise their civic duty,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said after Sununu signed the bill. “Today, the governor sent an unmistakable message to young people in New Hampshire that, rather than listening and responding to their concerns, they should be hindered from democratic participation.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 13, 2018, 11:02 PM
 
So, my inspiration for this thread started shortly after election night in 2016 in North Carolina. Prepare for a story.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/16/u...-carolina.html
Amid a tense and dramatic backdrop of outrage and frustration, North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature on Friday approved a sweeping package of restrictions on the power of the governor’s office in advance of the swearing in of the Democratic governor-elect, Roy Cooper.
Two major bills were approved by the legislature Friday. One of them, which was quickly signed by the departing Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, strips future governors of their power to appoint a majority to the State Board of Elections. The number of board members was expanded from five to eight, with the eight members to be evenly divided between the two major parties.

It also changes the state court system, making it more difficult for the losers of some superior court cases to appeal directly to the Democratic-controlled Supreme Court.

A second bill, which had not been signed by the governor as of Friday afternoon, strips the governor of his ability to name members of the boards of state universities, and it reduces the number of state employees the governor can appoint from 1,500 to 425.

Republicans, who once expanded the number of employees who serve at the governor’s pleasure in an effort to help Mr. McCrory, originally proposed shrinking the number of such workers to 300 in advance of Mr. Cooper’s inauguration. The number was increased in an amendment filed by Mr. Barefoot.

In another change, and one that could have the greatest impact in the near term, the bill makes the governor’s cabinet appointees subject to approval by the State Senate. Republicans currently enjoy veto-proof majorities in the House and the Senate, and the North Carolina governorship is historically a relatively weak office. Cabinet appointments are one of the major ways Mr. Cooper, a moderate Democrat, might be able to influence the direction of the state.
Stripping powers afforded the governor on the based the outcome of the election is really, really partisan.

Next, they shrunk the appellate court size so as the prevent the governor from being to fill empty seats.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/po...144024154.html
The state Court of Appeals would drop from 15 to 12 members, under a bill the legislature sent to the governor on Tuesday. Republicans said the bill would realign judges’ workload. Democrats said the real intention is to deprive the Democratic governor of replacing judges who are approaching mandatory retirement age.

The bill passed along party lines in the House and Senate. Under the proposal, the next three judges who retire would not be replaced, preserving a Republican majority on the court.
(The bill was vetoed and the overridden by the legislature)

Then they changed the board of elections in favor of who owns the legislature rather than the governors office as it had been
https://ballotpedia.org/Conflicts_be...neral_Assembly
The legislation changes the appointment procedures for members of the state elections board and merges the board with the State Ethics Commission. Under previous law, the state elections board had five members, all appointed by the governor. Historically, the board’s majority has consisted of three members of the governor’s party. The bill expands the board to eight members—four Democrats and four Republicans—and allows the governor to make appointments based on lists submitted by Democratic and Republican state party chairs. In addition, the legislation requires that a Republican would chair the board in years with presidential and gubernatorial elections, while a Democrat would hold the chair position during midterm elections
They also reduced his ability to mount legal challenges to legislation
The budget includes a provision that limits Gov. Cooper's ability to hire private lawyers to challenge legislation passed by the Republican-led legislature. It also transfers the state Industrial Commission, which is under control of an agency in Gov. Cooper's cabinet, to the state insurance commissioner. This position is currently held by a Republican.
Speaking of courts since the NC Supreme Court went 4-3 liberal in 2016 and some of the legislation they're ramming through is getting overturned or curtailed, they set their sights on tipping the scales on SC elections.
https://www.motherjones.com/politics...ke-the-courts/
These efforts accelerated after liberal judges gained a 4-3 majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2016. The legislature promptly changed the judicial election system by requiring candidates to represent a political party, the first time a state has moved from nonpartisan to partisan judicial elections since 1921.…The legislature then canceled judicial primaries, giving incumbents (who were mostly Republicans) an advantage due to their name recognition in races where voters were asked to choose among many candidates.
So they added partisan affiliation but removed primaries to help strengthen incumbent advantage.

Now the legislature is taking up a host of controversial new proposals in a special session, including redrawing judicial maps for the first time in roughly 50 years to put more Republicans on the bench. The new maps would likely give Republican judges 70 percent of seats on North Carolina’s superior and district courts, according to an analysis by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a voting rights group based in Durham. …Republicans would pick up seats by pitting Democratic incumbents against each other. About 70 percent of the judges who would be forced to run against other incumbents under the new maps are Democrats, according to the SCSJ analysis…The new districts “bear an uncanny resemblance” to the racially gerrymandered state legislative maps struck down in court, the analysis found.
Republicans are also floating a proposal to require all state judges to run for election every two years—instead of the current four-year terms for district court judges and eight-year terms for superior court, appeals court, and supreme court judges—which would give North Carolina the shortest judicial terms in the country.
If you think you can swing elections in your favor this strategy makes lots of sense.

Finally, a few of these power grabs are headed to the ballot box as measures. As luck would have it, democrats are the majority on the three-member Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission that writes the ballot questions. So naturally...
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/po...215300265.html
The Republican-led state legislature might return to Raleigh soon to take away from a Democrat-led commission control over the wording of the six amendments that will be on the November ballot.

The three-member Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission, whose members include Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein, are charged with writing the ballot questions for the proposed amendments to the State Constitution.

But in a letter Saturday to House Speaker Tim Moore, House Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis said the General Assembly should return for a special session by the week of Aug. 6 to write the ballot wording. Lewis, a Republican from Harnett County, wrote that he was concerned that the commission was under pressure from groups to write “politicized captions.”
State law puts the commission in charge of writing an “explanation” of amendments that will “include a short caption reflecting the contents ... to be used on the ballot and the printed summary.” It also says the ballot items “shall be designated by only the short caption provided by the Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission.”
Anyway, most of the morass can be summed up here: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...-measures.html

This kind of bad-faith partisanism should be a national story.
     
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Aug 14, 2018, 12:23 AM
 
And every one of them looks in a mirror and sees a loyal, patriotic American doing god’s work.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 14, 2018, 12:58 AM
 
The story went so long I forgot why I started in the first place:
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
So they added partisan affiliation but removed primaries to help strengthen incumbent advantage.
The thinking behind this was when a GOP justice was up for re-election they would be against multiple dems, possibly splitting the vote. Instead, the opposite happened this year; The justice got a GOP and a Democrat challenger. Tough luck, right? Wrong: https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion...215653100.html
About 90 minutes later, top senators filed a bill to strip the party labels off the ballot for judicial candidates who’d changed their party affiliation less than 90 days before filing for office. By 9 p.m. that night, the bill had passed both chambers and was on its way to the governor.…But legislative leaders didn’t just suddenly realize this scenario would be problematic for voters. They rushed through the 11th-hour proposal because of a single candidate: Chris Anglin, a Democrat-turned-Republican running for Supreme Court. GOP leaders call him a “Democrat plant” in the race to confuse voters and siphon votes from the GOP’s endorsed candidate, incumbent Justice Barbara Jackson.
The rat-****ers got rat-****ed.



Oh, I missed this as well:
The Republican-led state legislature might return to Raleigh soon to take away from a Democrat-led commission control over the wording of the six amendments that will be on the November ballot.
https://www.laurinburgexchange.com/n...rom-amendments
The General Assembly sent Gov. Roy Cooper a bill changing how proposed constitutional amendments will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. Democrats claimed the move was motivated by fear the ballot language would portray the six amendments in an unfavorable light.

In a special session convened with less than 24 hours’ notice, …H.B. 3 removes a requirement for ballots to include a brief caption describing what each constitutional amendment would do. Instead of the short caption, the words “Constitutional Amendment” and the title of the amendment will appear for each measure on the ballot.
In 2016, Republican lawmakers passed a law ordering the commission also to write amendment summaries on ballots.
They literally just changed the law and now they're changing back because they don't control the commission.
     
Thorzdad
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Aug 14, 2018, 06:23 PM
 
     
reader50
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Aug 14, 2018, 06:56 PM
 
Based on the article, there are some reasons. Insufficient detail in the article to tell if it's sufficient, or a partisan power grab.

Of the original 5 justices, one resigned under investigation. The chief justice (an R) pulled a Pruitt and spent a ton on his office. Another is accused of "expensive office renovations".

The remaining two are accused of not reigning in the other 3 (the majority) and maybe "misleading the legislature" which could mean anything.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 14, 2018, 11:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
I can't speak to the veracity of the allegations, but the obvious attack on democracy here is the WV congress waiting to impeach until after a deadline occurred that would put the vacated positions on the ballot. Indeed, one of the justices resigned so their seat will go up for election this year rather than allow the Governor the ability to install someone unaccountable for the next two years.

Reminder: The governor was elected a Democrat then switched parties. The majority of their high court was Democrats. If this goes through they could theoretically do a RRR trifecta. That makes me suspicious.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 14, 2018, 11:26 PM
 
On the subject of waiting out the clock, I'd argue McCain has shown himself to be indifferent to democracy. In his condition it's obvious he is incapable of executing the duties of office, but rather than resigning and letting the voters choose a replacement for the remained of his term he continues to hold the title for what I assume is to prevent Democrats from a possible pick-up, given the current environment.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 26, 2018, 01:29 AM
 
https://twitter.com/campbellnyt/stat...87756645507074
GOP governor names GOP House speaker and GOP congressman temporary justices for W. Va. Supreme Court (replacing 2 Dems who resigned). Three remaining justices under impeachment.
The bests jurists they could find were current GOP congresspeople? Is anyone supposed to believe they will be truly impartial?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 30, 2018, 11:48 PM
 
https://twitter.com/PoliticsWolf/sta...59938816196608
Wow: Arizona's conservative-dominated Supreme Court just removed from the ballot an initiative to raise income taxes to fund education because of an absurd pretext that the petitions were misleading because they used "percent" instead of "percentage point"
https://twitter.com/PoliticsWolf/sta...60649188675584
This comes after Republican Gov. Doug Ducey stacked the court in 2016 by expanding it from 5 to 7 members to give Republicans a reliable conservative majority. Another reason why electing Democrat David Garcia in the #AZgov race & flipping the legislature is critical in 2018
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 10, 2018, 04:54 PM
 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...=.4768c91411cf
But by signing both proposals into law last week, Michigan’s GOP-controlled state legislature has prevented them from being put to the voters — while also giving lawmakers a straightforward path to derailing them.

In Michigan, overturning a ballot referendum once it is approved by the voters requires a three-fourths majority of the legislature. By passing the measures now and scrapping the ballot referendum, Michigan lawmakers can instead undo them through a simple majority vote. Lawmakers have vowed to take up the proposals in the lame-duck session this fall, before they are scheduled to take effect.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Nov 30, 2018, 11:09 PM
 
And the new North Carolina is...

https://www.freep.com/story/news/pol...er/2156549002/
As Democratic candidates prepare to take three statewide offices on Jan. 1 — governor, attorney general and secretary of state — Republican lawmakers introduced bills Thursday to challenge their authority.

State Rep. Robert VerHeulen, R-Walker, introduced a bill that would allow the state House of Representatives and Senate to intervene in any legal proceedings involving the state, which has traditionally been the purview of the state attorney general or the governor’s office.

In addition, state Sen. David Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, introduced a bill that would shift oversight of campaign finance law from the secretary of state to a six-person commission appointed by the governor. The panel members would be nominated by the state Republican and Democratic parties.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Nov 30, 2018, 11:44 PM
 
...and Wisconsin as well.

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/...ry/2162684002/
But among the proposals are ones to limit the governor's powers, weaken the attorney general and restrict early voting to two weeks before an election. Currently, some communities provide as many as six weeks of early voting.

The early voting plan would be all but certain to draw a legal challenge given that a federal judge in 2016 struck down a similar law limiting early voting that he found "intentionally discriminates on the basis of race."

The measures would strip many powers from Kaul and eliminate a powerful office within the Department of Justice that was created in 2015 under Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel and handles high-profile cases on appeal.

Lawmakers are also considering separating the 2020 presidential primary election from an April spring election to reduce voter turnout in an effort to boost the election chances of a conservative Supreme Court justice. In another proposal, lawmakers will consider using new revenue from online sales taxes to slightly reduce the individual income tax rate.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 5, 2018, 10:22 AM
 
Power grab is under way.
     
andi*pandi
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Dec 5, 2018, 11:38 AM
 
it's appalling.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 5, 2018, 12:32 PM
 
Gonna pat myself on the back because this thread presaged the GOP reaction to the blue wave. The GOP isn't really into what voters decide. NC in 2016 was the red flag.
     
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Dec 6, 2018, 04:32 AM
 
This contempt for the rules of the game is quite concerning. It is really important to keep in mind that the problem won't stop with Trump out of office.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 6, 2018, 10:49 AM
 
Of corse not. This isn't about Trump it's about a changing electorate and holding on to power.
     
Thorzdad
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Dec 6, 2018, 10:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
This contempt for the rules of the game is quite concerning.
That you think there were any "rules" is part of the problem. A functioning democracy in America is largely a gentlemen's agreement. There are scant few actual rules everyone must abide by. Like it or not (and I do not like it one bit) there is no actual law forbidding what the Wisconsin republicans are doing. Yes, it violates any supposed "rule" of democracy, but it doesn't violate any law. There might be a chance that a judge could nullify their actions, but it's questionable this will ever get in front of a judge.

For today's right, if there is no clear law forbidding it, any action is legitimate and defensible. They are essentially using democracy against itself.
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Dec 6, 2018, 11:53 AM
 
Isn't it against the constitution to change the job descriptions of things like that?!?
     
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Dec 6, 2018, 02:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
That you think there were any "rules" is part of the problem. A functioning democracy in America is largely a gentlemen's agreement.
Please don't get too hung up on my choice of words, I was thinking of democracy as an example of an “infinite game”, i. e. a game where the goal is to continue playing (by “the rules”) rather than winning. So how about democratic norms then? But in the end we mean the same thing, I think.
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
There are scant few actual rules everyone must abide by. Like it or not (and I do not like it one bit) there is no actual law forbidding what the Wisconsin republicans are doing. Yes, it violates any supposed "rule" of democracy, but it doesn't violate any law.
Legal ≠ moral/good, right.

How do you play this infinite game if the other person is not interested in sticking to the “rules of the game” aka the democratic norms? I really, really struggle with this: it is so easy to be tempted to stoop to someone else's level (or even lower) when the alternative is being completely paralyzed. You can see this with what happened to the gentlemen's agreement on court nominations in the US Senate. The Democrats had a good reason when they gave up on that for federal judges: they needed to overcome the gridlock because the GOP prevented any nominations. Despite that, many positions were left unfilled — which now Trump exploits. But the price was that it furthered the erosion of democratic norms. Healing the rift between Red and Blue (i. e. fixing the reason behind the erosion of norms) in the US equally seems like a pipe dream.

But I have to say is that a lot of these problems is exacerbated by the vintage of the US Constitution: it is the first modern, democratic constitution, but it is now over 200 years old. It was written for a very different country, under very different assumptions (e. g. with regards to technology) and with very different values*. Most modern democratic constitutions contain explicitly that elections should be universal, free, fair and confidential. Gerrymandering would not be allowed in most other democratic countries. The principle of judicial review by the Supreme Court should explicitly be in the Constitution.

* E. g. rather severe restrictions on who was allowed to vote and allowing that other human beings are bought and sold as property.
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Dec 6, 2018, 02:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Isn't it against the constitution to change the job descriptions of things like that?!?
Courts sometimes rule against things that violate the intent of the law. The state constitution assumes governor and state attorney general are in charge of executive affairs and legal affairs, respectively. If the legislature takes that away (especially after losing an election), that may be enough.

However, I suspect getting a ruling on something not specifically forbidden is one of those case types that run for a very long time. Perhaps past the next election.
     
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Dec 6, 2018, 02:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Isn't it against the constitution to change the job descriptions of things like that?!?
Who cares? If you don't care about striving for the values and norms embodied within it, then even the best constitution is merely a piece of paper.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 6, 2018, 05:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Courts sometimes rule against things that violate the intent of the law. The state constitution assumes governor and state attorney general are in charge of executive affairs and legal affairs, respectively. If the legislature takes that away (especially after losing an election), that may be enough.

However, I suspect getting a ruling on something not specifically forbidden is one of those case types that run for a very long time. Perhaps past the next election.
Yes. I'm not sure how much of NCs asshattery was overturned on bad intent vs unconstitutional/illegal legislation.
     
 
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