Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GOP WORKING TO KEEP THE POOR FROM BEING POLITICALLY ACTIVE

We all know that the Rethuglicans would just as soon have the poor in this country disappear.....well, at least until they need them for their own political gain.

Now we have Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) trying to pass a bill that would prevent the mobilization of the poor to use their Constitutional right to express themselves politically by voting.

From Alter Net:

GOP Rep. Defending America Against Poor Folks Getting Too Political

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) says that her amendment to the National and Community Service Act would merely “codif[y] current regulations” on the political activities of non-profits that receive federal funding under the act. But that was just a lie. The intent of the Foxx Amendment is clear: to choke off a primary source of funding for nonprofit groups that work in poor communities -- to keep poor folks from participating in the political process. Some highlights of an analysis of the amendment by the good people over at OMB Watch (PDF):

The House amendment, offered by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), contains language that restricts Corporation for National and Community Service recipients from using an organization's private funds for lobbying; endorsing or supporting events that endorse legislation; engaging in selected nonpartisan voter activities; organizing or engaging in petitions, protests, boycotts, or strikes; providing or promoting abortions or referrals; or influencing union organizing.
For most of these activities (but not all), the organization cannot receive assistance if they “co-locate on the same premises” with an organization that does any of these activities. Finally, if an organization (or co-located organization) is indicted for voter fraud, they are ineligible for training and service funds from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The rules in place now prohibit organizations from using federal funds to engage in any of those activities, but Foxx goes a giant step further, keeping tax dollars out of the hands of groups that use private money for political purposes -- even from non-profits that “co-locate” with organizations that engage in political activism. Of course, virtually every community organization engages in some form of advocacy on behalf of their constituents.

Of course, there are no such restrictions on the federal contractors that receive gazillions of dollars from Washington -- they can and do lobby and engage in other political activities as they please.

The intent here is not only clear, it's clearly un-American; the part about “influencing union organizing” is particularly telling.

More details from OMB Watch:

The amendment also includes restrictions on volunteers conducting voter registration drives. If this applies to the organization under the definition of “political and legislative advocacy,” this raises concerns about undermining federal laws intended to increase voter registration (e.g., Help America Vote Act and the National Voter Registration Act, commonly called the “Motor Voter Act”), creates problems for states wishing to work with nonprofits to increase voter participation, and punishes nonprofits for obeying federal and state laws that are aimed at increasing voter participation.
These restrictions on volunteers seem to also apply to a volunteer’s personal time, which, of course, raises significant constitutional issues. Presumably, the Foxx amendment would use these types of activities as definitions to determine if an organization engaged in “political or legislative advocacy.”

The part about disqualifying organizations that have been indicted -- not prosecuted -- for voter fraud is a none-too-subtle effort to flog one of the Right’s favorite bogeymen -- and the signature dog-whistle campaign of the 2008 election. According to OMB Watch, “Foxx noted that ‘ACORN employees and supervisors have been indicted for voter fraud.’”

They say a decent prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, and what Foxx failed to note was that the indictment against Acorn workers was rushed through by a notoriously partisan US Attorney just in time for the peak of the campaign season, and the organization isn't going to be convicted of any wrongdoing.

Anyway, the amendment passed in the House, but the Senate takes up the bill this week (the GIVE Act, S. 277). So, now would be a good time to call your representatives.


And the reason for not wanting the poor to vote, because there are one hell of allot more of them then there are of the rich. That would be just terrible, the country would then be run by the majority!

(Hat Tip to Joshua Holland )

14 comments:

Jacob said...

There is no depths to which the Repugnicans will not sink to try to regain and retain political control.

Talk about immoral, unethical, assholes!

Grandpa Eddie said...

"Talk about immoral, unethical...."

And just think, Jacob, they call themselves the ethical party....heh, that's almost laughable.

So...you're really 'much' older than me, huh? Damn that must make you ancient, 'cause my kids keep telling me I'm older than dirt.

Jacob said...

Well, you say you're 56...add 16 years to that!

If you're older than dirt, I must be older than the hills?

Grandpa Eddie said...

Jacob - I guess I best start showin' some respect and start callin' you sir.

Jacob said...

Boy, that's the truth. Sir what? Like in "Sir, get me a beer"?

Heh, heh.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Momma always told me to respect my elders...so I is.

Anonymous said...

Legislative efforts like this dovetail very nicely with the current economic situation, particularly where people are losing their homes.
If you are couch-surfing, or living in a tent or car, you are more preoccupied with food and warmth than political action. People living hand-to-mouth don't have time for community organising or voting. How convenient.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Anonymous - Well said, and very true.

Thanks for your visit, hope you come back.

SheaNC said...

I am constantly amazed, yet never surprised, at the depths to which they will sink. And they always go after the vote, don't they?

Damn them.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Nothing they do surprises me either, Shea.

And yes, they always go after the vote, because they know they can't win without screwing with the vote. That's why they all pushed so hard for the voting machines with the computer chips in them. That way votes could be changed, or deleted, as necessary.

SheaNC said...

That's actually the thing that is the scariest, I think. With anything else they do, I was always comforted by the fact that we could vote them out, or at least try. But now that they have figured out new ways to manipulate the elections, they have stolen our most important, fundamental right as citizens - our vote. Even Republicans should be concerned about that, because it can be used against them, too. A day could come when a third party who happens to have some extreme techno-savvy hijacks the election from both parties, thanks to the precedent set by the Repukes.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Shea - And just think, the next techno-savvy hijackers may even be worse then the Rethugs.

Anonymous said...

Single mother of three; 16 hrs. of classes; subs at 2 different schools on free days; works for 4 different caterers on free nights; active in Children's Ministries during church hours...politically active.

There is nothing that keeps a man or woman from participating in politics other than his/her own free will not to participate and get informed.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Anonymous - You seem to have either misunderstood the post or you did not read it all.

This post was about the Republican party and the work they have done and are doing to try to PREVENT groups and organizations from getting the poor registered to vote.