Botnst - 10/25/2004 7:30 PM
kvining - 10/25/2004 11:59 AM
Botnst - 10/24/2004 6:38 PM
kvining - 10/24/2004 6:28 PM
Botnst - 10/24/2004 5:03 PM
kvining - 10/24/2004 3:53 PM
Here's a common one in Houston. On Nov 2, you're a black voter, you arrive at the assigned voting place that was in the paper, when you get off work. A notice on the door says the polling place has been changed. The new place is in a building not on a bus line, on a hard to find street. When you finally get there, there is a long line, because the election workers are very,very slow, and they are having "problems" with the equipment, and there is two booths for 10,000 people. Well, 7 o'clock rolls around, and a few thousand people outside get the door closed in their face. Perfectly legal, and the Republicans specialize in it. And why not - everyone of them over the age of 50 involved with politics learned it from the master - Jim Crow. Of course, in the Republican neighborhood, everythings running smooth, and we got thirty well oiled voting booths, humming along. Of course, we got a nice big auditorium so we can get all those outside at 7 indoors.
The instance you relate, is it real or hypothetical? If so, why does it run smoother in the Repo neighborhood?
Why can't the Demo's get their feces organized? Reminds me of the fiasco in FL in which voters claimed confusion over the Democrat-designed butterfly ballots, and successfully blamed presumed disenfranchisement on Republicans! Masterful!
Oh, its real and I have experienced it. Counties organize elections. Houston, like most all big Southern cities, has a Democrat urban area, so the city gov is Dem, and a Republican County gov. So the county government get to screw the city dems. The whole setup stinks. In the situation I described above, there is nothing illegal done.
So that specific instance happened as you described? Wow, if I were a Democrat, I'd be pissed.
How did the Republicans engineer it? Those guys are amazing!
What's to engineer? Its all perfectly legal, like making a "mistake" when you disqualify all black voters named John Smith in a zip code that just happens to be predominantly black because one John Smith had a felony record. Counties and states run elections. In the South, the Republicans control those branches of government. Its easy to do if you know your demographics. Ballots in black zip codes are "spoiled" if every last detail is not correct, while those in predominantly Republican suburbs get an easy pass.
Youi live in a different South from me. We only have a few Republican-majority Parishes in LA, mostly bedroom communities of NOLA. The overwhelming majority are Democrat-dominated at the local level. We tend to trust Dems to run things locally and are divided nationally. Urban areas have mostly Dems, burbs are mostly Repos. Rural areas are mixed. Almost all are moderately conservative to very conservative at all level and regardless of party affiliation. This is why Dems running on a national level fare poorly in our state--not because they're Dems but because they aren't as conservative as most Dems in our state.
BTW, we are still overwhelming Democrat in the state but it looks like we stand a good chance of replacing John Breaux (conservative Demo) with a Repo, an even more conservative guy named Vitter. I'd prefer the less conservative (but you damn-fool yankee Demos would still think he's a retardo-conservative) named Chris John--a Democrat of the philosophy of Breaux. Democrats seem to be killing-off conservative politicians. When was the last time you heard a conservative Democrat at a convention?
LA is very different politically from just about every state, and that may be the reason it still has a large percentage of Democrats. Texas and all the old Dixie States use a State-County-Precinct organizatiion not found in the Northern States or in LA that causes things to follow racial lines, because unfortunately, unlike the north, Rep/Dem has become white/black in the South and the whites have great power at the county level due to white flight and gerrymandering that took place in the 70s.
The states are also white majority, so all the high state offices go to white Republicans, especially one important and fairly unknown office - the elected white/repub Secretary of State controls the election apparatus. The sub unit is the county, which in turn is divided into precincts, each with its white election potentates. Most blacks are utterly unaware of how all this works. They are concentrated in the urban areas, and cities hold and organize their own elections. Since most black people are much more concerned with city affairs, they are well represented at the city governmental level, a level that has no power in the elections that actually count at the federal level.
Unfortunately, black people are also usually uninterested in county (i.e. white suburb affairs), and often county elections are little publicized and held ob week days in non federal years, simply to help that along. So even though they are the majority of voters in heavily urbanized counties, they simply don't turn out for these elections, while the white suburbanites turn out in droves for county elections because the county commissioners hand out all the surburban plums - road projects, water and sewer systems, rural libraries, electric lines, etc. The end result is the suburbanites also grab all the little known county offices that will later organize and hold national elections in those city areas.
That's why the situation I described is perfectly legal. The local Republican precinct poobah may be the only republican in the precinct. He arrives at the polling place, and finds some reason to do something in his power that is guaranteed to surpress turnout. The situation I described happend during a hotly contested US Congressional election. By moving the polling place off the bus line and into a small sliver of white suburb that had been gerrymandered into the precinct, he could surpress the black vote. They either can't get there or many of them are simply afraid to go to that part of town due to racist police enforcement. The white republican won the election by the way. This kind of stuff goes on across the SOuth.
I am not singling out the Republicans as evil, at least not in this case, because I am not naive enough to say the Dems would not be doing the same thing if the system was reversed - in fact they learned all these tricks from Jim Crow dems. LA may be different because it does not use the county system - from what I understand the parish system is much different.
The opposite is true in the North. In New England and the mid Atlantic states there is not a spec of land that is not a part of some township. Even tho counties exist, they have little power - in New Hampshire the county does little more than issue Birth Certificates, for instance. Their governmental models are townships divided into wards,and every spec of the state is done so, so in New England, to quote a famous New Englander, all politics is local, and pretty much the affair of a particular city or town.
Usually in the North the large cities have extremely well-organized ward level democratic operations that will turn out everyone, even the deceased, and I mean every last person, and get them into a voting booth, giving the Democrats tremendous power in those states. It is easy to do because people are packed into tenements and apartment houses, and they are all democrats, black white or purple, in the center urban areas. The only one who ever broke into it was Reagan, who was able to motivate the urban white blue collars to vote for him, but even he couldn't get them to switch parties. Generally Democrats who can make this work always do very well. Clinton was superb at it for a Southerner, for example. Kerry's core support comes from the New England - New York machine, and Kerry is running like a machine politico. The secret to him getting elected is to work this same system in PA, MI and Ohio.
It is no accident that Clinton (whose crowd size was claimed to be 125,000 people by the way) went to Philadelphia to get out the vote. A huge turnout in Philly, combined with the enormous union base in Pittsburg, swamps the rest of the state. Personally, I find the Democratic ward model light on abuse of voting rights, even if it is a little heavy on the fraud. Everyone gets their vote couned, some just get theirs counted a few more times than others. I never have heard much of the kind of mass dienfranchisement in the North that I have seen in the South for my whole life.