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Friday, February 23, 2018

Why Florida Legislators Can Ignore Those Parkland Teens

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Surely, you’ve seen the pictures. A handful of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students watched in dismay as the Florida House blocked debate on a bill to ban assault rifles, less than a week after 17 people were gunned down at their school.

“I’m calling on every student/teacher/parent 2 exercise 1st Amendment Right & engage in sit-ins, protest, walkouts & legal demonstrations. NOW IS THE TIME,” state Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee tweeted Wednesday, when his procedural move that would have allowed the Florida House to debate the bill was shut down.

While pollsters and political observers across the country are saying the political response to the nation’s latest mass shooting will be different because young people are speaking up, organizing and calling for gun controls in unprecedented manners—including mass demonstrations in Tallahassee Wednesday—there is a hard truth behind the Florida House’s cold-hearted, high-profile snub.…

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Election Security A High Priority — Until It Comes To Paying For New Voting Machines

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

 

When poll workers arrived at 6 a.m. to open the voting location in Allentown, New Jersey, for last November’s gubernatorial election, they found that none of the borough’s four voting machines were working. Their replacements, which were delivered about four hours later, also failed. Voters had to cast their ballots on paper, which then were counted by hand.

Machine malfunctions are a regular feature of American elections. Even as worries over cybersecurity and election interference loom, many local jurisdictions depend on aging voting equipment based on frequently obsolete and sometimes insecure technology. And the counties and states that fund elections have dragged their heels on providing the money to buy new equipment.…

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Former Schoolteacher Flips Kentucky GOP Seat Trump Carried By 49 Points

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com

 

On Tuesday night, the latest in a long string of state legislative seats flipped from red to blue.

In 2016, Democrats lost Kentucky’s 49th State House District by just one percentage point, even as Trump carried it by 49 points.

And this week, the original Democratic incumbent, former schoolteacher and principal Linda Belcher, won her old seat back in a landslide victory of 68 to 32.

This full-circle victory is the culmination of a series of stunning events.

The Republican who had most recently held the seat, Dan Johnson, was a Trump supporter and self-described “pope” who ran a half-biker bar, half-church complete with its own “gun choir.” He won office despite a series of racist Facebook posts advocating a ban on Islam and comparing President Obama to a chimpanzee, and one of his most prominent proposals in office was a bill to make miscarriages a felony.…

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