Friday, February 12, 2016

Either Pointless or Wrong - Sanders's Claim Not to Have a Super PAC

In last night's Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders reiterated what has become one of the themes of his campaign: 
We had a decision to make early on, do we do a Super PAC? And, we said no. [I]t ends up I'm the only candidate up here of the many candidates who has no Super PAC. 
At face value, Sen. Sanders' assertion is a pointless statement.  No candidate "has" a Super PAC.  Super PACs are political action committees that only make independent expenditures and are prohibited by law from coordinating or cooperating with the candidate(s) they support.  Candidates may have varying opinions of the Super PACs that support them, but the candidates cannot control or work with them.  

If Sen. Sanders means that he is not supported by any Super PACs, that is simply incorrect.  Sen. Sanders is supported by three independent expenditure-only committees, the legal definition of what is commonly called a Super PAC.  The Super PACs supporting Sen. Sanders are certainly less well funded than the Super PACs supporting other candidates, but that does not mean they do not exist.

While Sen. Sanders' claim not to have a Super PAC may fit well with his opposition to Citizens United, it is either correct but pointless or factually incorrect. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bernie Sanders v. The ABA’s Code of Judicial Conduct

Bernie Sanders is not only attacking our freedom of speech but he is proposing to do so in a manner that directly contradicts the most basic of judicial tenets. Justices cannot bind themselves to decide a case before it is before them. This is a basic tenet of judicial ethics.
 
The ABA’s Code of Judicial Conduct - Canon 2, Rule 2.4(b) states the issue at hand very clearly:


(B) A judge shall not permit family, social, political, financial, or other interests or relationships to influence the judge’s judicial conduct or judgment.

Judges refrain from speaking about topics that are currently before the court for just this reason. Their task is to apply law to the facts of cases; it is not one of arguing policy, making legislation, or asserting the beliefs of others on any case that could potentially come before them on an issue to make good on a promise that directly procured their appointment.
  
We again point to the comments Sen. Sanders uttered during the latest Democratic debate.
    

[SANDERS:] No nominee of mine, if I’m elected president, to the United States Supreme Court will get that nomination unless he or she is loud and clear, and says they will vote to overturn Citizens United.
  
The assertion in the statement above speaks to Sen. Sanders' misunderstanding of the purpose and power of the Office of the President of the United States and likely that of the Judicial Branch as well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Real Criminals are the Vote Fraud Deniers

Once again, the chicken little vote fraud deniers went crazy in advance of New Hampshire's primary yesterday.  As this article full of misinformation details on the reaction on the left on having to show ID: 

Joan Flood Ashwell of the New Hampshire League of Women Voters: 
“It’s saying to voters, ‘We suspect you of being a criminal.’”
Despite overwhelming media presence for the primary, there were no reports of problems.  

However, the liberal article ignores the problem of vote fraud in New Hampshire.  This is not a Republican or conservative complaint but one stated by the Democrat Secretary of State, Bill Gardner, who personally witnessed vote fraud and is leading the fight against vote fraud for Voter ID:

"Well, I think the voter registration form that the legislature passed was an attempt to prevent voter fraud." 
The hyperbole of the left notwithstanding, vote fraud is a real problem and Voter ID is a solution.  And in New Hampshire, the fight has bipartisan support.  



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The next target for the Democrats? Freedom of Speech.

The NY Times released a transcript of the Democratic debate that took place on February 4, 2016. The debate took place in a vivid dream world where priorities, reason, and logic cease to exist and are replaced by individual desires, general disregard for the laws and judicial system of our country, and a desire to place limitations on our freedom of speech. It is a world where hopeful democratic politicians believe that being president would grant them the right to throw Supreme Court decisions out the window and threaten our most fundamental of rights. The level of absurdity was ample, depressing, and quite frankly terrifying.


MODERATOR: So there are three big lifts that you’ve talked about: immigration, gun reform, climate change. What do you do first? Because you know the first one is the one you have the best shot at getting done.

[. . . ]
[SEN. SANDERS:]
... I am absolutely supportive of comprehensive immigration reform and a path towards citizenship for 11 million people today who are living in the shadows. All right? We got to do that.
But you miss — when you looked at the issues, you missed two of the most important. And that is you’re not going to accomplish what has to be done for working families and the middle class unless there is campaign finance reform.
No nominee of mine, if I’m elected president, to the United States Supreme Court will get that nomination unless he or she is loud and clear, and says they will vote to overturn Citizens United.


Thus, according to Sen. Sanders, one of the most important problems facing our country and one of the first things he would do as president is overturn Citizens United v. FEC. With all due respect Sen. Sanders, it does not work that way. I wonder where he got that idea. Perhaps, it was through watching the actions of our current administration.


Sen. Sanders' sheer level of disconnect from the actual problems facing this country is almost unfathomable. Poll after poll, citizens point to general economic/employment concerns, immigration, terrorism, and the federal budget/deficit as the most important problems for the United States. 

Overturning Citizens United would have a drastic effect on our First Amendment rights, as without it, books could be banned in the United States.  Our freedom of speech is under attack and overturning Citizens United is merely the first shot.  If this is the type of issue that is the top priority for a potential Sanders administration, I shudder to think of what other fundamental rights would come under fire if he became President.




Friday, February 5, 2016

Despite What the Left Would Lead You to Believe, the Boogeyman Does Not Exist

The North Carolina voter ID law is in the process of being challenged in court by leftist opponents from all over the state and beyond. They continue to contest voter ID laws with everything they can due to their stated belief that it will disenfranchise voters or more cynically, as a strategy to turn out their base. 

Let’s get something really clear; the argument that voters are turned away from the polls by lack of an ID is a flat out falsehood. Look back to 2014, when the NY Times noted that the arguments fall flat on their face. Yet, they continue their attack, dreaming up exaggerated numbers of those "potentially" affected, fear mongering, and encouraging racial divide and for what?

For now their focus is on NC as they continue to waste taxpayer money and judicial resources, all the while claiming that laws drafted and passed by state legislators to ensure the integrity of our election process are disenfranchising voters. As Opposing Views points out, here comes the boogeyman.


To hear those who oppose IDs tell it, voter ID laws are designed by malicious Republicans in back rooms, cackling as they take entire Democrat-leaning neighborhoods and cities out of play. According to the same people, poor and minority voters will be turned away by the hundreds or thousands as they try to vote, resulting in mass disenfranchisement.


That's a fantasy, or more appropriately, a boogeyman. Out of 36 states that have passed some form of voter ID law, there have been no instances of people turned away from the voting booth en masse. Sixteen of those states request IDs, but don't require them if voters can prove their identity by other means. Another 17 states don't require any form of identification.


In North Carolina, where officials are readying for the first year ballots are cast under a new voter-protection law, people without IDs can still vote if they can prove their identity by other means. They don't need driver's licenses to prove their identity -- they can vote with state-issued ID cards, military IDs or passports. Most states offer free help to voters who don't have photo IDs. All they have to do is reach out ahead of time.


Stopping vote fraud ensures a fair election system that both sides of the aisle should be vigorously pursuing. Citizens are "carded" for various reasons every single day in this country. The list is expansive and continuing to grow: the bank, the grocery store, flights, driving, and even work. 
Requiring voter ID is something so basic that it should have been put in place a long time ago.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Democrat Vote Fraud Allegations in Iowa Show Need for Partisian Observers

Following up on yesterday’s post, we have to again point out the hypocrisy of liberals on the issue of vote fraud.  As this story headlines, Iowa: Sanders Calls For Raw Vote Count Amid Reports Of Voter Fraud And Missing Votes:
Bernie Sanders has asked the Democratic Party to release a raw vote count from the Iowa caucuses due to concerns of voter fraud and missing votes.
Briefly, the details are:
Campaign aides for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Monday night that the Democratic Party did not collect the results of 90 Iowa precincts, which is about 5 percent of all votes cast in the state, because the party had failed to properly staff the precincts.
Rania Batrice, a spokeswoman for the campaign based in Iowa, said that the party reached out to the campaigns of Mr. Sanders and Hillary Clinton and asked them to help tally the results. “It’s just offensive that they dropped the ball like this,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”
While we do not know the merit of these allegations, it does point out the need for sunshine on the election process.  One of the best ways to guarantee sunshine is observers from both parties overseeing supposedly impartial election officials.  Often, poll watchers can help election officials.  While denying Sanders' allegations, the party needs exactly this sort of help as it is allegedly turning to the campaigns for answers:
"We have reached out to the campaigns for help in contacting the chairs for our outstanding precincts," the official said in a statement.
"We are not taking results from the campaigns. We are taking them from the chairs who are in these precincts."
The Iowa Democrats did not elaborate as to why the campaigns may have a better handle on where the party's precinct chairs are than the party itself.
While caucuses are a unique election system, elections generally are often messy affairs and the presence of trained observer, even a partisan one, can help with the process.





Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Vote Fraud Allegations Surface in Iowa

The Iowa caucuses have drawn to a close and the winners were announced. Yet, while the spotlight should be shifting on to New Hampshire, some continue to wonder if the vote was accurate. The alleged issue - vote fraud. The allegations are coming out of the Sanders camp after an extremely tight race with Clinton which she ultimately won by a small margin. The video of the event was initially recorded and broadcast by CSPAN2 and can be viewed here.  
Regardless of the merits of this particular case, we find it interesting that some on the left are claiming vote fraud, a problem they deny in general elections.  This shows the importance of open elections and monitors to ensure an honest election.