Archive for June, 2011
NM: Secretary of State Works to Assure Accurate Voter File
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 01:07 Written by rslcpol Tuesday, 28 June 2011 01:07
Secretary of State Dianna Duran recently sent 64,000 names of registered voters to state police for investigation. But she said Monday that she doesn’t consider those files to be potential voter-fraud cases.
“Don’t use the words voter fraud, ” Duran said in an interview Monday. “I’m just trying to assure the accuracy of our voter files. … It’s not a fishing expedition. It’s not a witch hunt.”
Since the state police investigation became known earlier this month, Duran has been the object of criticism by some Democrats.
Duran said the files handed over to the Department of Public Safety were “questionable” cases in which information such as names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth on the voter list didn’t match up with information on Motor Vehicle Division files.
WI: Democrats Flush with Union Donations
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 12:32 Written by rslcpol Tuesday, 28 June 2011 12:32
No big surprise here: The union financial spigots are open for Democrats running in contentious Wisconsin recall elections this summer. In fact, 97.7 percent of the $62,625 that union political action committees have donated to recall candidates has gone to Democrats, according to a nonpartisan watchdog group, reports the La Crosse Tribune.
Three Democrats and six Republicans are facing recalls in July and August, with the Democrats on the block for trying to foil Gov. Scott Walker’s yanking collective-bargaining rights in his budget plans and Republicans, for supporting the measures.
The breakdown on the contributions comes from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks contributions larger than $100.
GOP has candidates and the edge in 2011 election
Last Updated on Monday, 27 June 2011 01:27 Written by rslcpol Monday, 27 June 2011 01:27
The pivotal 2011 General Assembly elections are more than four months away, but Virginia Republicans already have one important advantage over their Democratic Party rivals.
Republicans have candidates running in at least 107 of the state’s 140 General Assembly districts. The GOP is well positioned to retain its comfortable majority in the House of Delegates and is mounting an all-out effort to grab control of the state Senate, where Democrats hold a fragile 22-18 majority.
Despite controlling the recent Senate redistricting process, Democrats so far have candidates in just 24 of 40 Senate districts and have no challengers for any Republican incumbents. The Democrats’ hopes of preserving a majority may rest largely on defending the districts they now represent.
Unions fight right to work bill in New Hampshire
Last Updated on Friday, 24 June 2011 12:31 Written by rslcpol Friday, 24 June 2011 12:31
From the Wall Street Journal:
Republican House Speaker William O’Brien said he would call a special session of the Legislature, likely in the fall, seeking to override the veto by Democratic Gov. John Lynch. New Hampshire Republicans this spring passed the bill, which would allow private-sector workers to opt not to join a union or pay dues at unionized workplaces.
The bill is “needed because New Hampshire has to compete globally for jobs,” Mr. O’Brien said.
Naomi Walker, director of state government relations for the AFL-CIO, called the outcome “a victory for 2011” but said the labor federation expected to face similar fights in 2012.
Unions have fought off an unprecedented number of right-to-work proposals this spring. The skirmishes came amid a broad campaign largely led by Republicans, who won majorities in statehouses and governorships last fall and pushed for cost savings to address budget deficits.
Several states, including Wisconsin and Ohio, adopted measures limiting most public-sector unions from negotiating over benefits and boosting the amount public workers contribute for health and other benefits.
Lawmakers in about 18 states, including Missouri, Michigan and New Mexico, introduced right-to-work bills this year, saying they help attract businesses and create jobs. Some were introduced but never acted upon, others were assigned to legislative study groups and some died in committee.
LA: Jindal Happy with State Budget
Last Updated on Friday, 24 June 2011 12:22 Written by rslcpol Friday, 24 June 2011 12:22
Agreeing on a $25 billion operating budget amid major money problems was the highlight of the 2011 regular legislative session, lawmakers said Thursday.
“What started out as a very uncertain session evolved into salvaging some very critical programs in state government,” said Senate President Pro Tem Sharon Broome, D-Baton Rouge.
Broome and other lawmakers were asked to evaluate their performance on the last day of a session dominated by budget issues, primarily how to offset a $1.6 billion shortfall that drove the gathering.
CT State workers “close to making tragic mistake”
Last Updated on Friday, 24 June 2011 12:14 Written by rslcpol Friday, 24 June 2011 12:14
State workers, of whom I am one, are close to making a tragic mistake by rejecting the proposed concession agreement our union leaders negotiated. This would inflict significant damage on taxpayers, state workers and Connecticut’s economic future.
Despite charges that the agreement is a sweetheart deal, it isn’t. It is a meaningful effort to address major, long-term structural problems — the unfunded liabilities — in retiree health care costs and pensions. Failure to address those issues threatens their existence.
At the same time, it asks us to accept a two-year wage freeze and then modest salary increases — while having all employees contribute for 10 years to ensure their retirement health care benefits. The agreement also would gradually raise the retirement age for those retiring after 2022, except for employees qualifying under hazardous duty. Finally, the agreement asks us to participate in preventive medical care — common at major employers — that would improve our health and potentially save tens of millions of dollars.
Redistricting will shore up GOP gains
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:46 Written by rslcpol Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:40
Check out the latest article written by RSLC President Chris Jankowski that appeared in the Daily Caller.
With record high unemployment and endless Democrat tax-and-spend plans, it is no wonder Democrat insiders are looking to conjure up good news. Early redistricting maps coming into focus from their favored states — particularly heavily gerrymandered Illinois, where Democrats surrendered any pretext of staking out the moral high ground — have Democrats boasting that they can spin straw into gold.
However, the raw numbers and political realities clearly demonstrate that Democrats have no path to a House majority in the near future. They have even less chance of reversing state-level Republican gains.
Thanks in part to the Republican State Leadership Committee’s REDMAP project, there are more state-level Republicans now than in nearly a century. These include many new majorities that will be drawing fair and legal Congressional and state legislative lines at a four-to-one advantage over Democrat-controlled states.
NJ: Unions protest, but pension bill passes
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 01:24 Written by rslcpol Tuesday, 21 June 2011 01:24
State lawmakers working to increase public workers’ payments toward pensions and health insurance removed a controversial provision from the draft law that would have set restrictions on out-of-state health coverage Monday.
That was enough to win the pension-reform bill approval by the full Senate and by an Assembly subcommittee, setting up a vote Thursday by the full Assembly before the legislation heads to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk.
As 1,000 union members converged on Trenton with tents and signs for an all-day protest of the bill, state Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Salem, Gloucester, Cumberland, and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, D-Essex, Passaic, agreed to remove the restrictions on out-of-state health care. Party leaders saw the move as necessary to win over skeptical Democrats and at least one skeptical Republican assemblyman, Atlantic County’s Vince Polistina, whose combined votes are seen as vital to passing the legislation.
More states pass voter ID
Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2011 01:50 Written by rslcpol Monday, 20 June 2011 01:50
From USA Today:
State legislatures across the country have passed a record number of laws this year requiring photo identification to vote, a controversial move pushed by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.
Proponents say the measures prevent vote fraud. Opponents say they are designed to stifle turnout among students, poor people and minorities, who are more likely to vote for Democrats but might lack government-issued IDs, such as driver’s licenses and passports.
Buoyed by big Republican gains in the 2010 elections, six states have enacted photo ID laws since January — Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Bills in New Hampshire and North Carolina await gubernatorial action.
The measures, all passed by Republican-controlled legislatures, could bring to 17 the number of states with photo ID requirements and come nearly 18 months before elections for Congress and the White House. Other states — including Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virginia— have reduced the period for early voting.
RSLC Political Director Talks on Capitol Tonight
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2011 01:34 Written by rslcpol Thursday, 16 June 2011 01:34
Check out new RSLC Political Director Matt Walter on Capitol Tonight in New York: