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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

READER'S POST #14 FOLLOW-UP - Voter ID Laws = Racism? Ha!

From LME: I wanted to get this preface in here before RLancaster1234's post. This is an email I received last night from Lancaster. It is minimally edited (names hidden, and RLancaster1234 requested that I add the relevant links). This post is a follow-up to RLancaster1234's post seen here: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2012/04/readers-post-14-voter-id-laws-racism-ha.html

By: RLancaster1234

LME, 

Good evening. I know Reader's Posts are sent in using word documents (http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2012/03/re-post-readers-posts-our-open-forum.html), but I don't have that much to say, and I don't have that much time.


How serendipitous that this clip is now making its way around the internet! It's important for two reasons:

1. AH HA! It shows how voter fraud can exist, and it shows how easy it is to pull off. In my original post I gave an example of how "Voter 1" does this kind of thing 5 times, and how there can be 50,000 "Voter 1s" doing this during an election. If anyone out there thought, "this is a ridiculous example," this clip shows just how "unridiculous" it is. It's almost as if someone read my post and decided to go test it.

2. EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEE THIS. In the issue of voter I.D. laws versus racism versus voter fraud, this clip is extremely relevant, and every patriotic, democracy-loving American should know what this is about, and to what extent this can be pulled off.

Please add this as a Reader's Post follow up in its entirety. If you don't want to because it's not in the traditional format, I understand. Add the links to my previous post (#14) and the clip's link, and please remove my name and replace it with the usual. I approve of everything in this post.

Thanks again for the opportunity to write in. I will (hopefully) be writing more soon.

Best Regards,

RLancaster1234 (real name replaced)

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the RoomThe article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, check out our Reader's Post page here (http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2011/12/readers-posts-our-open-forum-blog.html) or email us at loudmouthelephant@gmail.com 

25 comments:

  1. LME: Please sign Rlancaster up as staff. I loved his original post, and then he comes in with this knock0ut punch video clip. I know it's not his but his timing is great.

    And who uses serendipitous?! Love it!

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    1. Thanks, Katie 29445!

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  2. Yea this is nothing new, they had tones of these video's up were they showed voter fraud issues over and over and over again during the GOP primary

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-uVhhIlPk0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_egrN_ateQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdGJaGbLj5E
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn8UN9taGwo

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    1. Loyal, remember me?!

      I'm a little confused. Do you agree with the video above, or do you think it's crap and irrelevant? I know your views about voter ids and such from the other post (we had a nice debate going :-) ) but you confuse me here lol

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    2. Anna - No I i agree there is voter fraud and anyone who thinks otherwise is crazy, its on both sides of the isle, I think everyone is playing the same game and pointing fingers at each other. This whole system is bought and sold by corporations. Mitt Romney and Obama are both great examples of that for me personally. They are both on course the raise over 1 billion each for this election. Neither party has any intention of a fair system. They both play their angles all of which seem to be formed around corporate alliances and money.

      I just did not have much to say on my previous post because i felt like this article (and the previous one) goes from one angle and makes it seem like this issue is only about race or about democrats. The fact is the fraud is taking place on all lvl's from both parties. I do appreciate it being pointed out and I understand the poster might no have time to research fraud on both sides.

      I commented on the previous article about how i feel about the illusion of it being a race issue when in reality it is a class warfare issue.

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    3. Okay, I can see that it's on both sides of the aisle. That's fine. The GOP-sponsored bill covers this specific issue. I think Lancaster's first post point was simple: Voter ID laws are not racist, and I think he did that well. In this second point, I think his point is simple: in spite of what the AG thinks, voter fraud can and does exist, and it's highlighted in this satirical example above (correct me if I'm wrong, Lancaster). So I got all that. Lancaster's intent wasn't to tackle voter fraud. It was to tackle the race-bait issue the left is fighting the legislation with.

      As far as "the whole system is bought and sold by corporations" honestly, seems hollow. It's a liberal chant, in my honest opinion. If you had something to back this with, people might be able to see things your way. But just saying that is exactly what the left does. Do you have any?

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    4. Why would it be a "liberal" chant? They get just as much money and are just as corrupt.... Ill look for states but long story short corporate welfare is on the rise, corporate donations are on the rize. Super Pacs will lead to the biggest amount of money donated since the birth of this country from corporations and the criminally wealthy and corporate person hood is yet another brick in the wall corporations and criminally rich people are building to block any influence from the majority of the population.

      They have successfully bought and controlled the media, divided party lines to encourage arguing over petty issues all the while both parties strip liberties and expand government.

      We live in a one party system with to different membership packets.

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    5. Loyal Watcher and Anna - good afternoon!

      While I'm not (and don't have time) to get into a discussion about the facts you and Anna are debating, I would invite you to write about them. Anna challenged, and I think it's her right to, about the sentence "the whole system is bought..."

      I definitely respectfully disagree with the notion of "the whole system is bought..." but if you want to write about it, I would definitely suggest you do. Anna is asking for proof, and if you do, that would be great: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2012/03/re-post-readers-posts-our-open-forum.html

      I'm curious myself to see what you're referring to. I might disagree, but as I always say, if you have the evidence behind your argument, it helps us all learn why you feel the way you do.

      As far as the "corporate personhood," in spite of what the media might tell you, there are no laws granting this to any corporation. If you're referring to Citizens United, that is a common misconception. If you'd like to prove how I'm wrong, please do.

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    6. Put your money where your mouth is Loyal (politely). Otherwise the "corporations bought and paid for everything" chant is getting old.

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    7. The law states that corporations have the same rights as people when it comes to their ability to free speech. It then states that the money they have is considered speech and that by restricting the amount of money they can donate or use politically you are restricting their right to free speech. This gives corporations the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money. Do you disagree with that statement?

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    8. "The law"

      Step one: Please state which "law" you are referring to. And again, if you have a lot to say about this, why not write about it? Why not get your views heard and shared?

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    9. Anna -

      Seriously? There is plenty of information out there on how lobbyists and lobbying work. They are not only affecting legislation but, at times, they're writing it. Lobbyists generally do not represent people but rather corporations.

      An easy one to look at is Monsanto (a disgraceful company that is bullying small farmers, polluting the food we eat, and fighting to keep us from knowing). Look at the Obama appointments and some of the laws passed that favor Monsanto's frankstein seeds! Again, without a sign that says 'This bill brought to you by Monsanto... When you think of eating vegetables that are immune to agent orange, think Monsanto', it takes a very small leap of faith.

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    10. Whatsamattausa - I have to agree with Anna. Any chant, case, rant, etc. left of right, to me, if the maker makes it, he/she should be able to back it and stand by it.

      I've heard this constantly, but I have never seen any credible write-ups, articles, dissertations, proof, links, etc. or anything of the like that backs this. The "corporations are ruling us" seems to be one that is a chant... often talked about, but no meat behind it. I'm always waiting to hear proof of it.

      It's not that I disagree with you. It's more that I hear that constantly, but never see the proof.

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    11. I'm hesitant to agree with the bold notion that 'everything is bought and paid for', but I certainly agree that the influence of money (particularly from corporations) is well-past having more influence on our system than it should.

      The amount of money spent on lobbying has more than doubled over the past 10 years (now up to almost $4 billion), despite the number of lobbyist shrinking.
      http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lobbying_Data.png

      The emergence of Super PACs will ensure that this coming election cycle will burst past all previous records for the amount of money involved in political campaigning.
      http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs.php?cycle=2012

      The overwhelming majority of which for the above spending, does come directly from corporate entities.

      That said, addressing this issue certainly is difficult. I'm not 100% positive on the best solution. But there is no question in my mind that it isn't important to ensure the attraction of money doesn't encourage or carry too much influence in shaping the laws or the leadership of our political system. For the exact same reasons that insider trading, blackmail, and bribery are.

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    12. Running out of time here, but just had to drop back in.

      RKen - Yes, I do agree that PACs and SuperPACs are spending lots of money. And I definitely agree with you that there is no really good way of doing this "fixing" this. When the court ruled in the often cited, rarely understood Citizens United case, it noted, "that since the First Amendment (and the Court) do not distinguish between media and other corporations, these restrictions would allow Congress to suppress political speech in newspapers, books, television and blogs." (wikipedia)

      This is true. I can be a person, and the sole owner of a corporation. Am I not allowed to speak, spend money freely, etc. I think it would be a dangerous precedent to limit how some people, a lot of people, one person, one writer, many writers, many filmmakers, one filmmaker, etc spend their time and money. I am continuously reminded of the Westboro Baptist church ruling. To me, this is very close. We might not like what SuperPACs do. We might not like how any corporation, whether owned by a group of people or one person does with regards to political advertising, but because we don't like it, doesn't mean we can just sidestep the constitution and limit them because we say so.

      Again, I'm definitely open to hearing the notion described as "corporate control", but like you RKen, I just don't see it. People say it's there, but because people say it's there, doesn't mean it exists.

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    13. ok so here is 30min of looking :


      Money spent:
      http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/index.php
      Presidential election cycle donations:
      2000* $3,082,340,937
      2004* $4,147,304,003
      2008* $5,285,680,883

      Number of Lobbyists:
      http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/index.php
      2000 12,536
      2004 13,169
      2008 14,162

      Total Lobbying Spending:
      http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/index.php
      2000 1.56B
      2004 2.18B
      2008 3.30B
      Tones of articles on corporate welfare ect.
      http://money.howstuffworks.com/campaign-finance.htm
      http://www.ctj.org/html/corp0402.htm
      http://www.anxietyculture.com/stats.htm#corporate
      http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-corporatewelfare.htm
      http://www.corporations.org/welfare/#globe
      http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/accountable-development

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    14. Yes, corporations spend a lot. Yes, they lobby. But you pasted a handful of random arguments. I don't see how these connect back to your thesis.

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  3. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I love how the clip keeps playing Holder's claim that fraud doesn't exist over and over again.

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  4. after a quick search - had to find a site you would accept as credible:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-21/koch-exxon-mobil-among-corporations-helping-write-state-laws.html

    I imagine I could find much more but trying to finish up a project by day's end and I've already spent too much time on this site today! :)

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    1. Whatsamattausa - good morning! I hope all is well.

      I read the article. I promised I would :-)... it just took a while to get to it. I have so much work to do, and I'm leaving early today (opening day in DC), so I had a lot to take care of.

      I gotta admit, and this is nothing against you at all, this is against the article, but I'm extremely underwhelmed. My two biggest issues (one of which I predicted :) ): the lack of cited evidence, and the continual disconnect of basic theme/fact. I will elaborate as much as I can.

      For the first issue, in the first three paragraphs, the article cites says "took a seat at the legislative drawing board" but doesn't elaborate on what this is. In the third paragraph it says, "The corporations, both ALEC members, took a seat at the legislative drafting table beside elected officials and policy analysts by paying a fee between $3,000 and $10,000, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News." Documents obtained by Bloomberg news? Can we see them? Does it help prove the point? If they were so relevant, why not have them linked? It then goes on to talk about fees, but doesn't explain how or why they are relevant? Are they consulting fees for expert opinions? Are they literally fees to sit in the room and write a law (that's what the article implies, but doesn't show how). If that's the case, according to this article, I can spend $25k to help write a law.

      The article then gives a one sentence (in my opinion, politically charged) rebuttal, "“This is just another hidden way for corporations to buy their way into the legislative process,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, a Washington-based group that advocates for limits on money in politics." <--- Come on. They need to put more than this. This one liner doesn't even relate to what is being said yet in the article.

      The next 4 paragraphs under "good conservative policy" are again, unrelated to each other and skimpy. The 4th particularly bothers me: "Bloomberg used tax records, interviews, and ALEC materials provided by an attendee at an ALEC conference to shed some light on the organization, which promotes state legislative action that at times is aimed at undercutting federal government authority." Again... my response: care to share? Link? Proof? Also, nice political language used: "undercutting federal government authority." But again, HOW? Is that what is really going on here? I don't know.

      Under model legislation, the article cites 2 somewhat related issues, but they sound more like lobbying. It claims the ALEC introduced several bills (subjective number... how many, 3 is several... so is 30,000... how can we scope/gauge the alleged accusation of corporate power in governance), but doesn't even link or cite ONE of them.

      Under the "Power to Block" segment... it says "If the final language doesn’t turn out the way they like, industry representatives have the power to block it from being posted in ALEC’s online library where it can be downloaded by state lawmakers." Explanation on how this is significant, please? Power to block it from being posted... okay, and? how is this related?

      (continued)...

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    2. continued:

      Under Exxon Money (ut ohh, big, nasty, stinking corporation + the word money = bad jujus), it says, "Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil, through its foundation, donated $30,000 in 2005 and again in 2006, according to the foundation’s tax forms. Alan Jeffers, an Exxon Mobil spokesman, said the company paid $39,000 in dues last year and sponsored a reception at the annual meeting in San Diego for $25,000. In August, Exxon will spend $45,000 to sponsor a workshop on natural gas, he said.

      “We try to provide our views on legislation to anyone who will listen, including legislators and non-governmental organizations,” Jeffers said. He said Exxon supports a range of public policy groups including the Washington-based Center for Clean Air Policy."

      This seems like an attempt to throw around some large dollar figures but it doesn't really go with any point. They suggest some views on legislation? And?

      The article then goes into "Koch." I must say that I think, out of all subjects on planet earth, the "Koch Brothers" one is the one that is most thrown around and name-dropped with the least amount of knowledge about or understanding of. I would say that 999 out of 1,000 people who name drop "Koch" have no clue about what they're talking about, and this article follows suit. It cited political campaign givings (again, it seems to be playing on large sum dollar amounts), but has steered clear now of its original thesis of companies writing bills.

      The rest of the article is pretty much the same.

      Again, whatsamattausa, I think you know I have nothing but respect for you, and this has nothing to do with you. You presented an article, and that's totally fine. I just respectfully disagreed with it.

      I'm very skeptical of most "news" nowadays, and I'm VERY skeptical of Bloomberg. To me, this article did what I predicted: it didn't cite anything, and it did a lot of name and number dropping without really connecting its "evidence" to points. It had a lot of scant, one-line quips that seemed unrelated (I cited a few, but take this one for example, "The financing and internal operations of ALEC, which was founded in 1973, aren’t well known.") It was near the top.

      I hate to sound like such a critic, but it's just my opinion. I'm sure you'll disagree with it, and I'm totally okay with that. In all honesty, I would rather see something written by you than Bloomberg. You're a great writer, and you're really good at not only citing what you say, but you are good at using voice to connect your backing to your thesis.

      What do you think? I'm only one set of eyes and ears? Am I way off base? Is my criticism fair (I tried to back why I felt the way I did) or is it not even close. You know I'm always open for constructive criticism and open debate. I have nothing but respect for you, my friend.

      Hope all is well, and I hope to hear back from you!

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    3. whatsamattausa - one last quick thought came to mind regarding the Koch thing...

      I'm not blind to see that this occurs on both sides. I think conservatives are constantly dropping the "Soros" bomb, and like the left with "Koch", conservatives seem to know very little about him, too.

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  5. Oh man whatsamattausa - was that a cut-low with the "credible" part? Lol I think the ref deducted a point lol

    At 3:15 I typically leave to fight the DC beltway, but I will definitely read the article. I will never take info or talk about anything without reading about it. I hope this Bloom article has linked citations. I find many times they don't. :)

    If I don't get back to here tonight, have a great night. And get your projects done and screw these damned blogs. Lol take care!

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    1. LME - what I meant by credible was one that wasn't msnbc or the like and was also one that most would've heard of. Bloomberg generally is conservative so I thought it was a good reference (it was on the 4th google search page). It was in no way meant as any sort of dig (in fact, I'm not sure why you would indicate that... if you did indicate that) :)

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    2. Whatsamattausa - no hard feelings. I was trying to mess around. Unfortunately, sarcasm and jest don't get translated well online, and I know I'm terrible at it.

      I will definitely get to that article though. It's 4:15, I made it home safely, and usually the boss comes home within the next five minutes. We are pretty routine people. Walk the dog, work out, dinner are on the agenda. I usually get back to the comp around 7:15 and will definitely get to it.

      Hope all is well!

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