August 30, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Victory! Federal judges block extreme Texas voter ID law

Yesterday,a panel of three federal judges overturned a strict Texas voter ID law that threatened to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Texans, the majority of which are Black, Latino, and low-income voters.

In what they referred to as a "narrow ruling,"judges decided in the case brought forth by Attorney General Eric Holder that SB 14 effectively “imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and “a disproportionately high percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty.”The ruling joins the ranks of other recent court decisions that stand in favor of voting rights and racial equality, and reject right-wing efforts to limit access to the polls.

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August 28, 2012 / BY AIMÉE CASTENELL Hey, RNC- This is what democracy looks like!

[If you're having trouble viewing the livestream in the window above, please watch it live here: http://drmcapitolgroup.com/live]

Watch live at 5pm ET from Centennial Park in Tampa, FL as Black and Brown folks and allies from across the state join together for a rally at the the Republican National Convention.

We are reminding candidates and elected officials that cynical right-wing voter suppression tactics will not dissuade our community from flexing their political muscle at the voting booth this November.

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August 28, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF New Yorkers need paid sick time

In New York City, an estimated  41% — between 1.4 and 1.6 million workers — do not have any paid time off to care for themselves or a loved one in the event of an illness. Although a veto-proof majority of her colleagues support the bill, Council Speaker Quinn has refused to allow a vote. She is considering a run for mayor next year and doesn't want to upset the city's business elite. Check out the email we sent to NYC-area ColorOfChange members after the jump and join the campaign.

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August 24, 2012 / BY AIMÉE CASTENELL Mitt Romney's Dog Whistle Politics

Earlier today at a campaign event in Commerce, Michigan, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney joked about his Michigan roots, "No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that [Ann and I] were born and raised."

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August 20, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF ACTION: Tell Jon Husted to restore Ohio's early voting hours

Late last week, ColorOfChange launched a campaign to protect the Black vote in Ohio. Secretary of State Jon Husted and others in Ohio are attempting to eliminate the opportunity to cast absentee ballots on weekends leading up to Election Day. It's a clear attempt to secure Ohio for the Republicans by deterring Black voters who turned out in record numbers for the 2008 election.

We are demanding that Husted bring back extended early voting hours. Please read the email that we sent to our Ohio members after the jump and join us here.

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August 17, 2012 / BY FANNA GAMAL DOJ awards $1M to youth ousted by Philly "whites-only" swim club

Remember the pool in suburban Philadephia that kicked out a group of young Black and Latino campers, expressing concern that the young people's presence would "change the complexion" of the swim club? The ColorOfChange community mobilized three summers ago in support of the youngsters, demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice take action. 

Well, yesterday the case that resulted from this obviously discriminatory turn of events was settled once and for all. The DOJ announced that the campers will divide the proceeds resulting from the $1.5 million sale of the swimming club, which faced bankruptcy as a result of the lawsuits.

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TAGS: Racism
August 16, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Ohio early voting restriction remains a problem

Last week a Republican-controlled legislature in Ohio, under the leadership of Secretary of State Jon Husted, drastically reduced early voting days and early voting hours in urban counties that included racially diverse cities such as Akron, Cleveland, Cincinnati or Columbus. Simultaneously, early voting hours were expanded in heavily Republican counties. 

Under public pressure, Husted later retracted his approval and has now called for uniform voting hours across the state. His new mandate states that all election offices are to be open during business hours and evening hours are expanded during the week. Weekend voting hours remain off limits in the state, even though they were heavily utilized in the 2008 election. Opening the polls on Saturdays and Sundays in 2008 enabled Black and low-income Ohioans to vote in record numbers.

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August 15, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Joe Biden says Romney's policies are "going to put y’all back in chains"

During a campaign speech in Danville, VA, Vice President Joe Biden raised many eyebrows when he made a racially insensitive comment while referencing Mitt Romney's banking policies. Biden exclaimed, "[Romney] said in the first 100 days, he's gonna let the big banks again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street! They're going to put you all back in chains."

In a bout of extreme hypocrisy, a Romney spokeperson stated that the Obama campaign had "reached a new low"and that Biden's words "are not acceptable in our political discourse."

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August 15, 2012 / BY KIM LEHMKUHL PA judge upholds ALEC voter suppression law

UPDATE: (09/12/12) The state Supreme Court will review the lower court's ruling tomorrow, with proceedings televised live on Pennsylvania Cable Network at 9:30am local time.

On Wednesday, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson refused to halt implementation of Pennsylvania's discriminatory voter ID law — claiming that the state's "asserted interest in protecting public confidence in elections" is sufficient to outweigh the voting rights of 1.6 million largely Black and brown citizens who may be unconstitutionally barred from the polls this November

The scale of the potential disenfranchisement in Pennsylvania is so vast because the state has one of the most restrictive voter ID laws on record — a coup for the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which since 2009 has invested heavily in passing such laws nationwide.

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August 15, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Tea Partier Allen West Calls Attack Ad Against Him Racist

On August 2, an ad was released attacking controversial Tea Party Congressman Allen West (R-Florida). The ad takes a different angle on West's view of himself as a "fighter" to say he's fighting against the interests of his district. It depicts West punching various groups from his constituency, including two White women and a Black family.

Using racial fears to divide us is wrong but it's not clear that is the intent or effect of the ad.

 

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August 14, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF 17,604 Florida citizens remain disenfranchised

On August 1, the ACLU released a statement which included very shocking findings from a recently-filed public records request. Data from the Florida Parole Commission states that 17,604 letters sent to notify individuals who completed terms for felony convictions that their civil and voting rights were restored were never delivered. Instead these letters were returned to the Commission as "undeliverable." Of these, 13,517 people are currently not registered to vote, leading officials to infer that thousands of Florida citizens regained the right to vote but have no idea.

 

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August 09, 2012 / BY AIMÉE CASTENELL Joe Walsh thinks we need to "Get a life"

Earlier this afternoon Talking Points Memo published Joe Walsh's flippant and dismissive response to ColorofChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson's statement decrying Mr. Walsh's infantalizing speech in which he referred to President Obama as "son." According to Walsh, "My first reaction was to laugh. I don't know who this group was and I would love to look them in the eyes and say, 'Get a life.'"

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August 09, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Stop and Frisk: The Stories Behind the Numbers

Recently, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) unveiled a report, detailing the devastating impact that the New York City Police Department's (NYPD) aggressive Stop and Frisk program has on Black and Latino communities across the five boroughs. CCR conducted hundreds of interviews and heard testimonies from communities living under the weight of an unprecedented explosion of the NYPD's practice.

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August 08, 2012 / BY AIMÉE CASTENELL Congressman Joe Walsh calls President Obama "son"

UPDATE: (08/09/12) Joe Walsh responds here.

In a video from a campaign event in Illinois this past weekend, Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) referred to the president of the United States as "son" and said that he was never ready to do his job.

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August 08, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF PA voter ID hearings end with bright prospects

Last Thursday marked the end of a week-long trial on the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's new voter ID law which could potentially disenfranchise 1.6 million individuals. The case, Applewhite v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, was brought by 10 citizen voters, the Advancement Project, the ACLU of PA, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and Arnold & Porter LLP. The plaintiffs see the voter ID law as a violation of a voting rights provision in the Pennsylvania constitution. Judge Robert E. Simpson anticipates making a ruling next week. Regardless of the outcome, the case holds huge implications for the results of November's elections and ACLU lawyers are feeling confident that Judge Simpson will rule in favor of an injunction.

 

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August 07, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Tea Party sends email joking about beating Obama to death

A Tea Party group called Northeast Pennsylvania Spirit of 1776 sent an email Monday that fantasized about beating President Obama to death for being a "radical, socialist leader." As reported by ThinkProgressthe message describes a series of our country's founders savagely beating the 44th President as he arrives in heaven. The message concludes with a crass joke that refers to the often-repeated false claim that Barack Obama is Muslim.

 

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August 07, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Rashad Robinson on the importance of fighting race baiting

This past weekend, The Grio featured an editorial by ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. Focusing on the words of Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, Robinson highlights the prevalence of race-baiting in modern-day politics and the connection between coded rhetorical racism and voter suppression. His article underscores our responsibility to hold politicians accountable when their language and policies suppress the voices of people of color:

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August 07, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Don't let the Supreme Court end campus diversity

This Fall, the Supreme Court will weigh in on the admissions policy adopted by the University of Texas. At question is whether colleges and universities will continue providing equal opportunity for qualified students of color or return to segregated college campuses where Black students are denied equal access. You can help SCOTUS make the right decision by signing on to an amicus brief, from high school and college students, that will be submitted to the court on August 13th.

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August 05, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Obama ad highlights Romney's relationship with Donald Trump

On August 3, the Obama campaign released an ad that highlights Mitt Romney's position on taxes. Namely, that the very rich should pay less and those who don't make $20 million a year, more. The ad also includes a subtle but very important strike at Mitt Romney's relationship to vehement birther Donald Trump. We're glad to see a presidential advertisement that highlights Mitt Romney's problematic and continued connection to Trump, who has raised millions for Romney's presidential campaign.

 

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August 02, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Pennsylvania governor hires Romney lobbyist to "educate" voters on ID laws

Earlier this month, we learned about advertisements released in April which place an eerily positive spin on Pennsylvania's restrictive and oppressive voter ID law. The ads were the brainchild of Chris Bravacos, a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The ad's slogan, "your right to vote: it's one thing you never want to miss out on," with a smiling cast of multiracial individuals masks the discriminatory function of the Pennsylvania voter ID law. Although the ads have been removed from the internet, the political implications of the video's production continues to resonate.

 

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