The LuLac Edition #2137, July 25th, 2012
WRITE ON WEDNESDAY
VOTER ID A SCAMAs a young boy, I was mystified when people, Americans in the deep south prohibited people of color from participating in an election. The struggles of the Civil Rights movement changed that forever. Or at least I thought that. The new voter ID law being proposed in swing states that happened to be controlled by the Republican party is disturbing. To me it is an attempt to disenfranchise tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians from being able to vote. I know that most everyone needs an ID to rent a movie, cash a check, etc. But there is a segment, especially those who are elderly and infirm that do not have identifications. And truth be told there doesn’t seem to be a provision that is uniformed so that getting an ID to vote will be made easier. This week’s “Write On Wednesdaty” features two points of view. The first from Eddie Day Pashinski, a state representative from the 121st district in Wilkes Barre.
IT SEEMS each day another thread unravels to expose the ugly truth about the state’s new voter ID law. Many people were shocked when the Corbett administration recently revealed that 758,000 registered voters lack a PennDOT-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Without the most common type of photo ID, a staggering 9 percent of voters might be unable to participate in the November election. While the number is shocking, it’s more disturbing that Gov. Tom Corbett lobbied for the law by misleading the public when he repeatedly said less than 1 percent would be affected. His administration knew the truth was nine times higher. Why did the governor and Republican leaders deceive us? Sadly, it’s no accident. The voter ID law was rushed through the state Legislature as part of a national Republican strategy to steer the balance of elections toward the GOP by creating barriers to vote for seniors, young adults, people with disabilities and the working poor. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai recently revealed the truth and sparked a national controversy when he said, “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania – done.” The Republican leaders in Harrisburg are so out of step with the values of regular people – both Republicans and Democrats – that they’re taking a victory lap for rigging the presidential elections. The deception doesn’t stop there. Turzai’s justification for the law – that people go to the polls impersonating other voters – is a myth. It doesn’t happen. As attorney general, Corbett prosecuted no one for this alleged act. The GOP’s fixation with this fictional crime is even more mystifying when you consider Republicans have won elections to control the state House, Senate and governor’s mansion. I have introduced legislation that would protect the integrity of our elections and the rights of voters by giving people more time to prepare. For many seniors, people with disabilities and working poor, the cost and time required to obtain a photo ID that complies with the law is unnecessarily burdensome. The fact is this deceptive law is intended to help Republican candidates by making it harder for 758,000 registered voters to participate in our democracy. Rigging elections with voter ID is a slippery slope that’s dangerous to the very foundation of our American system. The strategy to mislead the people from all political parties has been used repeatedly to advance the extreme Republican agenda. Take the state’s weak Marcellus Shale impact fee. It’s a gift to global energy companies reaping billions of dollars from extracting our natural resources. To make things worse, the recent state budget deal included a demand from Gov. Corbett to give Shell Oil – the second most profitable company in the world – a virtual blank check to cash in billions in state tax credits. Regular people and businesses don’t get that deal. They demonstrate their patriotism by paying their fair share. In addition, if you own a for-profit cyber charter school, you’re getting a great deal. You can pocket millions of dollars in overpayments from state and local taxpayers. Don’t worry, Republicans controlling state government won’t even force you to reconcile your books at the end of the year like public schools, and your teachers get a special exemption from the new teacher-evaluation system. Starting to get angry about how Republican leaders are running your state? If you’re one of the 9 percent of voters without a photo ID – senior citizens who don’t drive, college students, people with disabilities or working poor – they don’t care. You probably won’t be able to vote in November anyway. It’s one thing when you win an election fair and square. But when people controlling government steal the election by deceiving the public and manipulating the democratic process, then the Republicans in charge cannot and should not be trusted.
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, of Wilkes-Barre, is a Democrat representing the 121st District. Omeed Firouzi is a young political activist who also has thoughts on the subject. This letter was recently published in the local newspapers.
Editor: The author David Mamet once urged people to "always tell the truth because it is the easiest thing to remember." Perhaps that was the case last Monday for Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai of Allegheny County. In discussing the achievements of Governor Corbett and the Republican legislature, Rep. Turzai let it slip that the new discriminatory voter ID law will "allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania." Don't just take my word for it; go to YouTube and search "Turzai: Voter ID Will Allow Romney to Win Pa." and you will find the video. In making this assertion, Rep. Turzai essentially conceded that the aim of the new law is to purge the voter rolls of Democratic voters, including many senior citizens, low-income voters, and college students. If it was unclear to anyone that the intention of the new law is to ensure President Obama's defeat in Pennsylvania, it ought to be clear now. This law is not about fixing voter fraud, a problem that does not exist. This law is all about politics and is all about ensuring the president loses Pennsylvania. Rep. Turzai said the truth because, after all, it was the easiest thing to remember. Hopefully, we too will remember the truth this November.
Omeed Firouzi, Trucksville, is a local political activist, works for State Representative Phyllis Mundy and is an avid reader of this site.