Open mouth, insert foot: Civil wrongs

When Ohio officials shortchanged some African-American precincts of voting machines during the 2004 election, lines grew long and tempers short. But one person untroubled by events was John Tanner, the head of the voting branch in the Justice Department's civil rights division. He even wrote a letter to the Ohio officials defending the decision to send machines disproportionally to white precincts.

When, the following year, the Georgia Legislature passed a stringent voter ID law that would have effectively disenfranchised many poor people lacking driver's licenses, many lawyers in Tanner's office saw it as an effort to suppress minority voting. But not Tanner. He quickly decided not to challenge the law.

Despite these questionable actions, Tanner largely escaped notice until a recent conference in Los Angeles, where he opined that voter ID laws might disenfranchise elderly voters but not minorities, because they "don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first."

That Tanner, the one person in government whose job it is to enforce voting rights laws, would make such offensive remarks and take such unfortunate actions is astounding. That the Bush administration would put him in such an important post is appalling.

Tanner's actions at best neglect laws designed to enhance voter participation. At worst, they constitute a sinister attempt to use the power of government to suppress minority voting because blacks tend to vote for Democrats.

Whatever short-term benefit Republicans might gain from such tactics, they are bound to backfire later. The task of attracting minority voters as they rise up the economic ladder or gravitate to conservative causes is made harder by such offensive tactics.

Testifying before Congress this week, Tanner abjectly apologized for his "die first" gaffe. Next, he might try washing his mouth out with soap. And the GOP might cleanse itself of dirty electoral tricks.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20071102/cm_usatoday/openmouthinsertfoo...

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precincts" "Ohio officials defending the decision to send machines disproportionally to white precincts."

Wow, that is amazing. In all my years on this planet, I never new we had designated African-American and White precincts. Can someone please post a list of which is which, so I can make sure I go to the right one to vote. Thanks.

--These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will; in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. -Thomas Paine

In Ohio, you can get an ID card that functions as ID like a driver's license does. So, driver or not, you can get a card that allows you to vote. I'm thinking that a passport and SS card can also allow you to vote.

It only costs, what, 30 bucks? Even a poor person can come up with that. Therefore, I fail to see how setting an ID standard (which is necessary to have a practical certification of an election) ever disenfranchises ANY citizen.

GuestZero, I can only assume you have never been poor. Thirty dollars isn't chicken feed when you are poor and have children. Even ten dollars can mean a decision of whether to provide a meal or buy an ID. It is really sickening how people look down on the poor. And even more sickening that politics are so corrupt that they use any way they can to deprive minorities and the less fortunate from having any rights at all. The nerve of this country to send young people overseas to fight for the rights of foreigners, but deny the same to their citizens at home.

Lee
I have been told that this young abductee's father is a judge. I do not want to use the name, in the event this information is erroneous. However, if this is the case, why has his name not been mentioned? In most news stories, the family is very m

GuestZero, I can only assume you have never been poor.

Just where you came up with this I'll never know. I hope GZ isn't broke these days, but unless he's hit the lottery he sure isn't rich.

Thirty dollars isn't chicken feed when you are poor and have children. Even ten dollars can mean a decision of whether to provide a meal or buy an ID.

I've been poor, and even at my worst I know that I could come up with $30 so that I could get an ID, so I could vote, cash checks and prove that I'm not an illegal alien. That thirty dollar investment lasts several years, so the real investment is one dollar per week.

It is really sickening how people look down on the poor.

In all my life I have never once spoken with anyone who has denigrated another person or group of people for being poor (economically challenged in your way of speaking). This kind of casual, self-pitying remark presumes that a class structure similar to European royalty exists, when in fact there is no such thing in the United States.

And even more sickening that politics are so corrupt that they use any way they can to deprive minorities and the less fortunate from having any rights at all.

That's not true. Consider the case load of the public defender and the amount of State and Federal money spent on social welfare programs. Granted, the recipients of those services would sooner have the money than the service, but that isn't happening this year. Next year, if Hitlery or some other moonbat is elected, this may change.

The nerve of this country to send young people overseas to fight for the rights of foreigners, but deny the same to their citizens at home.

The fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the near future Iran has nothing to do with the rights of foreigners. I thought that was common knowledge. Evidently I was wrong.

As for denial of rights, it happens. That denial is not exclusive to the impoverished.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Thanks for the critique. But I care not to live with my head under a bushel basket. Try talking to a hungry child -- or in fact, anyone that's hungry -- and see how they feel about thirty dollars. I said what I said, and I meant what I said.

Lee
I have been told that this young abductee's father is a judge. I do not want to use the name, in the event this information is erroneous. However, if this is the case, why has his name not been mentioned? In most news stories, the family is very m

...people who think there are those who can't come up with $30 for IDs but think those same individuals can come up with $20+ for an increase in property taxes via replacement levies on the ballot.

this is the disconnect so prevalent ... excuses for not doing something over here because its costs 'the poor' more money than they have while at the same time voting over there to put property tax increases on the ballot...

btw - any 'poor' person who gets any type of public assistance has an ID...

We already have the right to vote under the state constitution, don't we? So why do we need an ID for a protected right? What's next, an ID that allows us to speak freely?

Well lets say you go into your precinct and find your name has already been signed yet you didn't vote. What then? A vote has been cast in your name. It can't be retracted. It's already there. Wouldn't you feel robbed?

So then a voter ID will be infallible? You just said "the system isn't that bad". So why should we change it by introducing another hoop to jump through? According to the state of Ohio, here's what you need to vote. We should be encouraging more people to vote (legally), not try to put up roadblocks. Hell, elections should either be held on a Saturday or make it a national holiday for that matter.

That's good. But I did read about problems in Michigan and Georgia

Did you donate blood and semen?

Ha!
Ha!Ha!
Ha!Ha!Ha!

Man, that's good!

By the way, thanks for serving. And I mean it, too.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Look, Lee, I've been there. It's no fun. However, if something that cost thirty dollars was important to me, I always found a way to come up with the money. Eventually I got sick and tired of being poor, so I got out. Self-education, self-made.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

even more sickening that politics are so corrupt that they use any way they can to deprive minorities and the less fortunate from having any rights at all.

you wanna back that up with some examples?

Ok Chris I'll bite.

"So why do we need an ID for a protected right? What's next, an ID that allows us to speak freely?"

Well lets say you go into your precinct and find your name has already been signed yet you didn't vote. What then? A vote has been cast in your name. It can't be retracted. It's already there. Wouldn't you feel robbed?

We have protections not only for free speech but so that speech directed at you that's deliberately wrong is illegal as well. Even with our rights there are still limits to even those rights. Things we can and can't do. It doesn't mean that the right carries less weight or is done away with. It just means that a right is not only guaranteed but also means that he who chooses to use their right must do so responsibly.

I have no problem with demanding those who want to vote only be allowed to do so if they bring their an acceptable form of ID if two conditions are met. They are: that ID's are made available to the public and that there is as little interference as possible to getting it.

Now I voted yesterday as I always do. I had approximately four forms of acceptable ID on me that I could have used at the polling station. I only had to use one. Now ironically last week I tried to pay at a private store with a check. I needed two forms of ID to do it and then I was told my FEDERAL UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ISSUED MILITARY ID card was not an acceptable form of ID to cash a check (despite that it has both my SSN and birthdate). Thank god I had my student ID. BTW I have also been told that my military ID is also not acceptable to buy beer in the state of Ohio.

So it's easier to vote than to cash a check. I'd say the system isn't that bad.

MikeyA

MikeyA

"You just said "the system isn't that bad". So why should we change it by introducing another hoop to jump through? "

I had to show ID to vote. It wasn't a big deal. I didn't see it as a roadblock.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Did you donate blood and semen? LOL

Truthfully though I know someone who once donated bone marrow and earned $350 from it just so they could get a plane ticket for vacation.

MikeyA

MikeyA

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