Free Voter Issue Training in Colorado

If you’re young and unemployed, underemployed, or simply a pro-choice voter who wants to hone in on your election-based skills, you might want to think about attending the Youth the Vote Training in Denver on September 18, 2010. Choice USA: Leadership for a Pro-Choice Future is holding the training to help young people master the skills and knowledge necessary to not only get out the vote this fall, but to also ensure that reproductive rights are ensured in the sate of Colorado.

Choice USA, COLOR, and more volunteers will be providing education on the “fetal personhood” amendment being debated in Colorado, as well as how to mobilize friends, family, and other voters to take action against it. Even though the bill, worded in nearly the exact same way, was voted down in 2008 by the citizens of Colorado, it’s back on the table now with only slightly different language. Of course, if the bill does pass, it would negate Roe vs. Wade, and would have a good chance of being struck down by the Supreme Court. Still, as it could provide a fetus with the same rights a human has (including a social security card? A birth (conception?) certificate?), it’s a dangerous piece of legislation that could put many women’s lives in danger. The Tabor Initiatives will also be discussed.

To register for the event, click here. Though a donation amount of $10 is suggested, any amount will suffice. Choice USA will also provide free training to those who cannot afford a donation at this time. This training has the potential to train young activists to not only help save the lives of women and their families this fall, but also to help them become more knowledgeable voters, activists, and possible political leaders. The knowledge you’ll be sure to attain at this leadership training will come in handy while searching for jobs, becoming a political figure, or in working in the grassroots organizing sector.

And even if you don’t plan on running for office, you already have a steady job, or you’re already planning on mobilizing friends and family to vote this fall, this training program can still help you to learn more about the issues, maximize your arsenal of activist skills, and network with other pro-choice activists in the area. To learn more about Choice USA, to sign up for e-mail alerts, or to get involved right now in the organization’s various campaigns, click here.

Male Voters and Politics

The process of voting for many modern societies has roots in a male dominated type of political system. In many countries it was only rich, white, land owning men that had any say in matters of voting and in some cases, depending on who you talk to, this is how the system is still run.

In the lead up to the 2008 presidential election there was a lot of focus on the male voter. Stories such as "The Vanishing Male Voter" , and "Obama's problem with white, male voters", dominated the news. The stories focused on men avoiding the voting booths and their civil responsibilities to America. Did these stories have any merit, was there any truth to them? Well - not when you look at the statistics of the voting population after the election as these showed that - at least for young men - testosterone held the majority of votes. A lot of hot air can certainly help keep ratings up - even if its not really accurate.

I personally feel the competition between "players", and "cheering for ones own team" will keep the sport of elections and politics alive for men in the years to come. Its the adrenaline rush, and the feeling of victory that makes politics interesting to men. I am just waiting for the time elections are sponsored by a major beer company; maybe something like "OBAMA 2012 - if change wasn't your thing try it with a cold, refreshing, Budweiser". A boy can dream.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Politics in its truest, boldest and most base form: Cash. Time is Money; Money is Power; Moneeeey… It’s a gas… Keep your hands off my stash…(Musical post: listen to this one while you read this post).

This week closes with two important power-moves revolving around the cold hard cash. California, who doesn’t have any, finally agrees with itself on how to spend it and the U.S., who doesn’t really have any either, decides to give $200 million to the Palestinian Authority.

Let’s start there.

Apparently the Palestinian Authority has a budget crisis so the U.S. is planning to transfer $200 million there. A formal announcement from Hillary Clinton is expected before the end of the day. The administration is framing this as part of a peace-talk preparation, that they are trying to smooth the groundwork so that Israeli-Palestinian peace-talks can resume.

Sounds more like the U.S. trying to get Palestinian Authority confidence and dependence. It’s a lot harder to say no to someone about something when you owe them money, right? This past March Clinton pledged $900 million during a conference in Egypt, so we may just see plenty more before too long.

It’s interesting politics- if we can get the Palestinian Authority to owe us money, then Israel needs us for guns and the P.A. for cash- now that’s control. Whether we have that much control, well, of course I don’t know, but the machinations of power are strong in this one, young Jedi.

And then there is California. I see this headline screaming at me everyday from the bus stops: Budget Deficit Grows, Talks Stalled or something like that. A few weeks ago the state started paying people with I.O.U.’s and their (our) credit rating got switched to a few notches above junk status- so we’ve got that going for us.

Well, this morning the state senate approved a set of bills that will balance the state budget, closing the imposing $26.3 Billion deficit. The state Assembly still needs to sign off, as does Arnold, but for something that has been stalled in a virtual staring and pissing match for weeks, this is progress worth celebrating. And it gives some perspective on the money issues- The Palestinian Authority is getting a $200 million loan, which I assume is at least a meaningful sum. ONE STATE in the U.S. is down over $25 BILLION for ONE YEAR.

California is not in good shape- 11% unemployment, up 4% from last year at this time. This new budget balancing set of bills cuts funding to programs in education and public programs, big cuts, probably when those services are about to be needed the most.

Maybe the Palestinian Authority should consider lending half of that money to California at interest. You loan it to create it- maybe California should do the same- loan money to the folks they aren’t paying and ask for it back at interest. Time to call Silicon Valley- there’s a business plan in there somewhere.

The week ends off with politics in its truest, boldest and most base form: Cash.

Missouri: Don't Miss This Chance to Have Your Voices Heard

Missouri, while you may still be waiting to know the outcome of the 2008 elections, you have an opportunity to make your voices heard about the current presidential administration by visiting is a web based project to gather (and present) as many open letters to our outgoing president as possible before inauguration day. Our goal is fairly simple: to capture the feelings Americans have towards one of the most notable and controversial administrations in American history. Think of it as a time capsule for the Bush Administration. So if you have something to say to Mr. Bush, please do not hesitate to visit !

Bellwether State Fails to Pick the Winner for Second Time in 104 Years

As of today, Missouri is still the only state left that hasn't called in the Presidential election.  There are still thousands of uncounted provisional ballots, but unofficial results show John McCain leading over President-elect Barack Obama by less than 4,800 votes. It certainly has been a close race.  While it won't make a difference with who wins the election, it does make a difference when it comes to Missouri being labelled as a bellwether state.  Only once before has Missouri failed to pick the winning candidate, that was back in 1956 when Democrat Adlai Stevenson claimed Missouri over Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, by a margin of fewer than 4,000 votes out of 1.8 million cast. Read more here. The state has until December 9th to officially call the race.

Missouri ranks among states best prepared for polling

Missouri is one of six states named best prepared to ensure that all votes will be cast and counted accurately, according to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, the Common Cause Education Fund and the Verified Voting Foundation. The study compared state practices in polling place contingency plans, requirements for sound ballot accounting and reconciliation, the use of voter-verifiable paper records and the conduct of post election audits. Read more at

St. Louis Coallition Worried About Long Lines A coalition of labor, civil rights and religious leaders said it will place volunteers at 200 St. Louis-area polling places to ensure a smooth Election Day.  Long lines and huge voter turnout are expected this Tuesday and many worry about the problems that may arise.
"The St. Louis Voter Protection Coalition, which describes itself as nonpartisan, held a panel discussion yesterday at the NAACP office in St. Louis. Participants included members of the NAACP, labor groups such as the A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and the Advancement Project. They tried to clear up a few common misconceptions about voting in Missouri, saying any one of several forms of identification is acceptable at the polls, from a driver’s license to a government ID card to a current utility bill. They also advised Missourians not to wear campaign T-shirts, pins or hats at their polling place, saying that could be interpreted as electioneering. It’s possible voters will be asked to take off pins supporting their favored candidate or go to a restroom to turn a campaign shirt inside out to vote, they said."