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We want to say "thank you" to our partners, donors and friends who may this year's Post-Election Summit such a great success.
With such a tight Presidential election this year, all eyes have been on Ohio. Not only was it a critical swing state for President Obama’s re-election campaign, but there was also a hotly contested Senate race between Senator Sherrod Brown and Republican Josh Mandel. On the national level, progressives came out on top in two of these three targeted races.
Republicans have had a bad case of “foot in mouth” disease on sensitive topics such as a woman’s right to choose, especially in the circumstances of rape. From the top of the ticket all the way down to candidates running for state office, the Republican Party has consistently been saying that they are against abortion in all cases because the unborn child is a “gift from God.”
The following is a blog post from Dawn Boudwin, who works in America Votes' D.C. office, but is in Philadelphia through the election as a field volunteer:
We canvassed in the Fishtown yesterday. Fishtown is a neighborhood located in the northeastern part of Philadelphia that is mostly blue collar. The area earned its name because it used to be the center of the river herring fishing industry on the Delaware River.
Although the area did not look very inviting, the voters were. The enthusiasm is still there. The voters were appreciative that we were stopping by and assured us that they would be voting for the President, Senator Casey and Kathleen Kane. The voters seemed to understand what is at stake in this election.
One supporter told us he was voting and was going to personally take the other three eligible voters in his household to the polls because he, “truly can’t even imagine what a country with Mitt Romney as President would be like” and that the thought of it is “scary.”
Volunteers have been streaming through the SEIU canvass office this weekend, and we expect that to continue through Tuesday.
It's almost that time of year, again -- the America Votes State Summit will be held December 11 and 12 in Washington D.C.
Last week, America Votes was extremely proud to welcome Sister Simone Campbell, who joined us for discussion of the much-publicized "Nuns on the Bus" movement and national tour. Formed in the aftermath of the House's passage of the "Ryan Budget," "Nuns on the Bus: Nuns Drive for Faith, Family and Fairness" began a 15-day national bus tour that featured stops in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia - before concluding in Washington D.C. earlier this month.
In recent weeks, Sister Campbell has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs to further the movement's cause, including The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, CBS Evening News, CNN, MSNBC, Current TV, and NPR.
The Nuns on the Bus have made it their mission to highlight the harmful cuts in the "Ryan Budget," cuts that would primarily affect those struggling at the economic margins throughout our nation. Sister Simone compassionately promoted what she refers to as the "Faithful Budget," a fair, moral alternative.
Explaining the debilitating program cuts of the "Ryan Budget," Sister Simone reasoned, "It would take churches, temples, synagogues and other places of worship, who facilitate to the poor, about $50,000 worth of fundraising every year for 10 years to make up what the "Ryan Budget" cuts would eliminate in one year."
As such, the Nuns on the Bus not only visited ministries to highlight the critical work of catholic sisters, but also congressional offices, where Sister Simone periodically "scolded" Congressmen and -women for supporting Congressman Ryan's proposed budget. She also hosted what she calls "friendraisers." Similar to fundraisers, "friendraisers" build support by bringing together people of like minds and passions, specifically with respect to the "Ryan Budget."
Ultimately, Sister Simone and the Nuns on the Bus encountered much success and warm support all around. Sister Simone even had the opportunity to privately meet with Congressman Ryan, a meeting which left her feeling quite positive about the movement's efforts.
Looking ahead, the work of the Nuns on the Bus is far from complete. While they had to turn in the bus, car magnets are being created to sustain the momentum. Sister Campbell is also planning to attend the Democratic National Convention in September, where she plans to lead several workshops at St. Peters Church. The workshops promise to keep attention squarely on Sister Simone and the Nuns on the Bus. One series promises a general overview of the movement, while another offers the more specific "Mind the Gap, Mend the Gap" presentation.
Once again, America Votes would like to thank Sister Simone Campbell for her participation in yesterday's conference call. In a political world often defined by partisanship and gamesmanship, her compassion is not only refreshing, but also much-needed as we weigh the real consequences of various bills and policies.
The Supreme Court today ruled the entire Affordable Care Act constitutional.
Check out this new video from the Coalition to Protect Women's Health on the women's health rally outside the Supreme Court last Tuesday - it has some inspiring testimonials and really captures the energy that was there that day.
Two lawsuits challenging the legality of Wisconsin's Voter ID law were sent directly to the state's Supreme Court by lower Appeals Courts Wednesday.The law was stayed by two different Dane County circuit court judges in early March. The development puts Wisconsin election officials in limbo. If the Supreme Court decides to take up the cases, the law could be reinstated prior to next Tuesday's election.
The Government Accountability Board, which oversees the state's elections, says it has reached out to town clerks to clarify the status of the law.
"What we've been advising clerks is: train your poll wokers on the procedures for checking photo IDs. However, unless you hear otherwise from us, do not actually check photo IDs," said GAB spokesperson Reid Magney in an interview with Green Bay's Fox 11 News.
Clerks across the state have to be ready at a moment's notice to remove and replace signs advising voters to produce a photo ID. Some clerks have even hired additional poll workers for Tuesday in anticipation of widespread confusion.
"I feel like I'm somewhat ready," Neenah City Clerk Patty Sturn said, "but that could all change by the end of the week".
Wisconsin's Republican legislature passed its Voter ID bill last May. It is one of 32 states that have implemented Voter ID laws. Many of these laws are currently subject to pending court cases or review from the Department of Justice.