VIDEO: Orwell would love NOM’s “Judge Bus” tour of Iowa

October 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm 92 comments

Jeremy’s title was “Video: ‘This isn’t political. Now if you’ll excuse me, these two elected officials are going to join me and the president of a special interest group as we hop back on a campaign bus underwritten by one of America’s most prolific political action groups” — but that was a bit long for our blog ;-). Cross-posted at Good As You. — Eden

By Jeremy Hooper

6A00D8341C503453Ef01156Ef9406A970C-1Concerned Woman For America Tamara Scott knows a well-financed, faith-motivated, single-issue campaign from a coalition of out-of-state “pro-family” groups is in no way politicizing Iowa’s judicial retention system. In fact, she’ll claim that it’s “someone from the outside” who’s putting that information out there, something she reveals while herself standing next to a NOM spokesman from DC and Congressman Gohmert from Texas (plus Congressman Steve King who actually is from IA). And she’ll say all this to the fives and fives of people who showed up for yesterday’s “Judge Bus” tour:

Oh, Ms. Scott — we “understand the system” just fine. We understand the reality, which is that you and your colleagues in the “values” movement detest marriage equality for same-sex couples, and therefore detest the 2009 Varnum opinion. So ever since, your side has been stamping feet, looking for any sort of catharsis that will make it feel like the ball is moving somewhat back toward your side. You said it yourself, Ms. Scott, in a CWA press release issued just days after Varnum: You will not “allow high-dollar attorneys funded by the homosexual movement to have the last word in the Heartland.” And since a direct vote on the issue is not a logical possibility at this time, you, the self-appointed members Team Control America’s Ring Fingers, are gunning for the judges who simply did their jobs — nothing more, nothing less.

This so-called “Iowa For Freedom” campaign is all about vindication (and vindictiveness). The admitted goal is to send a message. To move the needle, not just in Iowa but across the country. To bully the judiciary, a co-equal branch that is independent from all of this political silliness for very important reasons.

It’s because we understand it, Ms. Scott, that we find the effort so detrimental. So dangerous. So short-sighted. So anti-everything American justice (and equal protection and due process) should be about.

Entry filed under: NOM Exposed, NOM Tour Tracker-Iowa, Right-wing.

20 hard questions Brian Brown needs to answer Homophobia much? Video, er, highlights from NOM’s “Judge Bus” supporters in Iowa

92 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann S.  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    §

    Reply
    • 2. Kathleen  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm

      Sad, sad lives these people lead.

      Reply
      • 3. Mouse  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm

        As strongly as I believe in the right to free speech, I would be tempted to go along with making using the whine “Judiciary activism” punishable by repeated punching in the face.

        Judges aren’t activist just because they don’t decide in your favor. Stop blaming them for being fair when you don’t get your way.

        Activist isn’t even a bad thing to be. YOU are activists. Saying any label in a snotty way so you can sway peoples hearts without needing to explain to their heads IS a bad thing, and it’s your one trick.

        Reply
        • 4. fiona64  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm

          I learned a long time ago that “judicial activism” is defined by NOM, et al, as “judges who make decisions with which I disagree.”

          Love,
          Fiona

          Reply
  • 5. Alan E.  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Yay more fun!

    Reply
  • 6. Alan E.  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    HAHAHAHAHA Quote of the day:

    We in the heartland will not allow anyone from the outside…to tell us what’s best for us.

    Said in front of the bus paid for and promoted by groups from the outside.

    She also cites DOMA as if that has any power over a state’s constitutional law, but that first quote is my favorite.

    Reply
    • 7. Steve  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”

      Reply
      • 8. JonT  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm

        “We have always been at war with Oceania.”

        Reply
    • 9. Bennett  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      How does the rest of that quote go? “Dont make us go Sharon Angle on ya!”

      Reply
  • 10. StevenJ  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Wow – I just read the article linked at the “2009 Varnum opinion”. CIVIL marriage. Not a religious argument.

    Seriously, I think I’m hanging out here more than I’ve been on Facebook in recent weeks.

    Reply
    • 11. Rhie  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      Seriously. I think it’s because a lot of these people are also the same people who believe that this was meant to be a One True Christian theocracy. There is no difference in their head between overturning an unconstitutional law and attacking their faith.

      I’m also wanting to know what they mean by a homosexual movement. Is there a certain walk or dance move I should know about?

      Reply
      • 12. fiona64  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm

        Maybe it’s explained in that Gay Agenda(TM) that they keep talking about.

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
        • 13. Rhie  |  October 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm

          Maybe. I think mine got lost in the mail…

          Reply
  • 15. Ronnie  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Who the frak does she think she is with that Snooki hair doo?…please…as if…you ain’t no Snooki…lol….<3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 16. Lauren  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      it’s somewhere between snooki and sarah palin… either way, not a good combination!

      Reply
      • 17. nightshayde  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm

        She’s got a certain “JBF” look about her.

        Reply
        • 18. fiona64  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:51 pm

          I presume that “JBF” is similar to what we, in the equestrian sport world, refer to as “ridden hard and put away wet” …

          Love,
          Fiona

          Reply
  • 19. Alan E.  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    She also tries to quote Thomas Jefferson

    I think it was [Jefferson] who said the Constitution becomes…nothing other than cutting if we allow the hands of the judiciary on it

    I did find the original quote, and it was in a 1819 letter to Judge Spence Roane Poplar Forest. Here is the actual quote:

    The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.

    Here’s the thing about quoting Founding Fathers: they disagreed with each other. You can cherrypick any quotes you want to make it support you. It’s important to quote Jefferson selectively because he is not a credible source for quotes on power and limits thereof. Jefferson was the very same guy who, as president, bought the Louisiana Purchase from the French even though he technically didn’t have the power to do so. The same guy who was against power also was the cause for the greatest expansion of our country and did so beyond his limits.

    Reply
    • 20. Ann S.  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      That’s right, and Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark out to explore the new territory. Before completing the purchase. They were running from both French and Spanish armies along the way.

      Reply
    • 21. Rhie  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm

      YAY! Someone who understands historical context!

      I actually hadn’t thought of Jefferson before in that context, in light of what he did. Thanks.

      Reply
  • 22. Sagesse  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    More, please.

    Reply
  • 23. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    And I also understand that Ms. Scott has her cranial cavity, contents, covering and all so far up her rectal enclosure that the only way to remove it is to perform surgery cutting her in half at the waist, followed by a very painful C- section-like procedure to remove the upper portion of said individual.

    Reply
    • 24. Ray in MA  |  October 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm

      Whoa Richard!!! Them are fightin’ words!!!

      Reply
      • 25. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

        She is attacking the Constitution that I defended in the Navy, that my first husband went through five tours in-country during Vietnam to defend, and that too many of our LGBT troops have had to lie in order to defend. the lies she is telling about our system of government, our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and the separation of powers between the three branches, as well as what can and cannot be voted on. The claptrap she is spouting is a whole novel of fighting words in my book!

        Reply
        • 26. Ray in MA  |  October 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm

          Yes Richard, got you. But we have to make our place in this world that shelters us from this insanity and allows us to cope… iti shows US and THEM that we can live and thrive… we’re doing it.

          Reply
          • 27. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 27, 2010 at 6:24 am

            Thanks, Ray. I am just getting so tired of all these people like this Scott woman (and I use the term woman loosely because I am not really sure she is human) who are doing so much harm and interfering with our lives and continually making it clear that in their eyes the best thing that could happen is for all of us to be exterminated. I am just so fed up with all of their rhetoric and the destruction it causes. Too many of our kids have died because of their bullicide, too many of us have lost jobs because of their harassment, too many of our servicemen and servicewomen have been fired becuase of DADT, too many of us have been harmed and I am at the end of my rope. And yes, I did tie a knot in the rope, but the knot is fraying fast.

  • 28. Bill  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Mostly, I feel sorry for these idiots.

    For lives completely and utterly wasted.

    Reply
  • 29. TomTallis  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    She looks like she’s been slept in…

    Reply
    • 30. nightshayde  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      *snerk*

      I’m SO glad I didn’t have a mouth full of tea when I read that!

      Reply
  • 31. Brandy S.  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Have you guys seen this?! That poor girl!!

    Reply
    • 32. Kathleen  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      Yes. Two of the people assaulting her have now been identified. One was a volunteer with Paul’s campaign – apparently no longer:
      http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/kentucky-stomper-identified-as-pauls-now-former-bourbon-county-coordinator.php?ref=dcblt

      Reply
      • 33. Kate  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:50 pm

        I just saw this on the news, and the protestor is being banned from attending any more Rand Paul rallies! I guess that’s sort of like dealing with Ant’s assault by Alfonso’s co-worker by saying Ant could no longer be around their bus.

        Reply
        • 34. nightshayde  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm

          The way I read it, the campaign worker who stepped on the woman’s head has been fired & is banned from attending any more Rand Paul events.

          Reply
        • 35. Kate  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

          I wonder if the TV news report made an error, ‘cuz I just looked this up online, and it says there that the Rand Paul volunteer (the attacker) was the one banned, not the protestor. But I still want to know where Ant’s story stands…..

          Reply
        • 36. Rhie  |  October 26, 2010 at 11:33 pm

          Fortunately the police in the area are doing their job. The man is being charged. With what will have to wait for a hearing. He is currently being held without bail. It will be at least assault and battery. It could be as much as attempted manslaughter or attempted murder depending on what the judge sees.

          Reply
          • 37. Kathleen  |  October 26, 2010 at 11:48 pm

            Do you have a reference for stating he’s in jail? The last I read, they were intending to serve him with a summons for a court appearance.

          • 38. Rhie  |  October 27, 2010 at 12:57 am

            Kathleen

            You’re right. He’s not in jail. Yet.

      • 39. Kathleen  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm

        Here’s the latest
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101026/ap_on_el_se/us_kentucky_senate_scuffle

        Reply
        • 40. JonT  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

          “I’m sorry that it came to that, and I apologize if it appeared overly forceful, but I was concerned about Rand’s safety,” Tim Profitt told The Associated Press.

          Oh Puuleeease.

          I so hope the teabaggers get their asses handed to them this election. Can you imagine these types of thugs actually in charge of things?

          Reply
          • 41. Alan E.  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm

            Yeah and he’s so sorry that he had to kick her when she was already on the ground.

      • 42. JonT  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm

        Wow. Shouldn’t there be some kind of assault charge filed against them?

        Or is it now ok to physically attack those you disagree with. What scum.

        Reply
    • 43. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:09 pm

      And yet these people claim they are not violent, that we are the violent ones.

      Reply
  • 44. jades  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    The only thing I see destroying family values is DIVORCE…and us straight people seem to hold the record on those. It is about time for us to stand up and fight these bigots or next they will want to take rights away from other groups, like the red headed, or catholics, or jews, or ?????.

    Reply
  • 45. Kate  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Hey, Mark in Seattle — Any reports from your sister and family after they attended one of these shin-digs?

    Reply
    • 46. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      My sister and two cousins made it the ‘rally’ yesterday in Atlantic. Sis says there was easily a 2 to 1 Equality to Bigot ratio.
      She said she left just as the bus was pulling away as she could see a fight brewing and didn’t want to get involved.
      No pix sadly :-(

      Reply
      • 47. Kate  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm

        Aw, and you figured she was the one in that confrontation!

        Reply
        • 48. Kate  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm

          Mark, did she mention any music being played?

          Reply
        • 49. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 27, 2010 at 9:52 am

          Well I know how she can get when ampted up and angry…glad she was not the one to get heated up actually.
          Didn’t mention any music, but I will ask her tonight when I get home

          Reply
  • 50. Zander  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Saw this and thought it was pretty awesome. “Believe Out Loud” A blessing for LGBT persons:

    http://bol-integrity-usa.blogspot.com/2010/10/blessing-for-those-who-are-being.html?spref=fb

    Reply
    • 51. Ray in MA  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      …say this prayer before or after you get punched in the face?

      (it my not make a difference)

      Reply
      • 52. Zander  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

        It may be true that it may not make a difference. But those simple words could help someone cope and find solace with their sexuality. It may not make a difference in how they are perceived, however, it can make them feel better as a person. I may not be the most religious person… but those words do offer a bit of hope… a bit of strength… and maybe a reason to lift your head and push through.

        -Zander

        Reply
      • 53. Bob  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm

        @Ray, say it before to give you the courage to stand up and take the punch if it comes.

        say it after to give you strength to endure the pain, if you are conscious.

        Thanks Zander, we need this kind of conviction and courage, because standing up may require more from us than we thought, and we need to draw on a strength larger than ourselves,

        and once the pain from that incident is gone, say it again to refresh our courage and conviction to stand up again in the future.

        Reply
        • 54. Ray in MA  |  October 26, 2010 at 7:03 pm

          YEAH, RIGHT… if they do’t kill me first!

          Reply
  • 55. Ronnie  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Here is a video testimony & message from GetEQUAL featuring Robin McGehee, Constance McMillen, Will Phillips, & Ceara Sturgis….<3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 56. Ray in MA  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm

      It hasn’t been made obvious, but not being allowed to go to a Prom is bullying. Tell that to an adult who blames it on the kids… many adults participated in this bullying.

      Reply
      • 57. Kathleen  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm

        Nice little update on the Constance McMillen case. Yesterday, the judge ordered the school district to pay approx. $81,000 in legal fees and expenses.

        Reply
        • 58. JonT  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm

          Ha! Good :)

          Reply
        • 59. Bob  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm

          legal fees and expenses, basically translates into nothing for damages, so no great cash windfall for Constance, but she does earn the status of hero, which is far and beyond what most ordinary citizens are able to achieve in a lifetime. thank you Constance

          Reply
          • 60. Kathleen  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:49 pm

            Bob, Constance was given a cash award earlier this year. I think it was 35K. This is just an update – a report that the judge ordered the payment of legal fees and expenses.

          • 61. Bob  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:55 pm

            oops, thanks for the correction Kathleen, still hardly a windfall, she’s still a hero, she stood up , and that takes guts

    • 62. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      Thank you Constance, Will, Ceara, and Robin for making this video, and thank you Ronnie for posting it.

      Reply
      • 63. Ronnie  |  October 26, 2010 at 8:36 pm

        you’re welcome…<3…Ronnie

        Reply
  • 64. Ronnie  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Facebook Employee’s share their testimonies & say “It Gets Better”…..<3…Ronnie:

    Reply
    • 65. Alan E.  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      Carrie looks like my CPA (her whole family is in the CPA business and are super supportive of same-sex families).

      [superficial comment] Who would think that Charlie was not gay with all that bobbing?

      Reply
    • 66. Ray in MA  |  October 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      These are REAL people, this touched me more than any celebrity video so far.. that’s why I am tearing up now…

      I hope the excutive really means it when she says they will respond to flagging as inappropriate… if they don’t, then they owe me some tears.

      Reply
    • 67. RebeccaRGB  |  October 26, 2010 at 8:13 pm

      OK, this is getting out of hand. First Obama, now Facebook paying lip service while still actively working against us. I’m sorry, Facebook, but if you actually cared about the LGBT community you would fix your damn “sex” field to say “gender” instead, as that’s what you’re actually asking for. If you cared, you would add an option to fill in the blank to said damn “sex” field. If you cared, you wouldn’t force people to choose between the only two options you provide for said damn “sex” field. If you cared, you’d change Interested In to sexual orientation so that asexual people can represent themselves. If you cared, you’d allow multiple relationship statuses for polyamorous people. If you cared, you wouldn’t use the word “pushback” in the only response you’ve ever given regarding these issues. If you cared, you would keep application tabs on profiles so the people who don’t fit in your precious 19th-century boxes can use applications that actually give a damn to make up for your miserable failure. If you actually cared about the LGBT community, Facebook, you’d dump your worthless heteronormative and cisnormative profile design and give us options that actually reflect reality. It’s not that hard. It took me only six months, working off and on, by myself, to do a better job at profiles than you ever will.

      I’m sorry for the rant, but it had to be said.

      Reply
  • 68. zandi  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I’m a 19 year old lesbian and I’ve been following this blog for sometime now. First of all, I would like to thank every person that contribute to this website because it is so important to understand what is happening not just locally, but also nationally. Second of all, I would like to know why this organization [“NOM”] is even allowed to exsist? I guess it’s ignorant of me to expect our government to combat such organizations that are only created to spread hate when they can’t implement effective policies within its own institution. BUT I don’t believe that I’m wrong for expecting more from our so called “leaders”. Well that’s my 2-cents. Oh yaa and I’m subbing (: keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • 69. fiona64  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

      Pretty much anyone can hang out a shingle and create an organization. It’s not illegal.

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
  • 70. zandi  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I’m a 19 year old lesbian and I’ve been following this blog for sometime now. First of all, I would like to thank every person that contribute to this website because it is so important to understand what is happening not just locally, but also nationally. Second of all, I would like to know why this organization [“NOM”] is even allowed to exist? I guess it’s ignorant of me to expect our government to combat such organizations that are only created to spread hate when they can’t implement effective policies within its own institution. BUT I don’t believe that I’m wrong for expecting more from our so called “leaders”. Well that’s my 2-cents. keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • 71. Jonathan H  |  October 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm

      Hi zandi!
      NOM and similar organizations are allowed to exist because we live in a free society. The only way that has any meaning is if people are generally allowed to do as they please, and if any wish to stop them they must accept the burden of proof of showing why the behavior or whatever should be stopped.

      Courage Campaign is taking up that burden of proof by providing evidence of NOM’s legal transgressions to the IRS. The good news is that they’re pretty obviously guilty. The bad news is that even if NOM gets broken up (either directly or because the organization becomes too expensive to maintain) a new group will form from the same people, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes.

      The really bad news is that, as you said, many parts of our government are not very good at doing their jobs, and homosexuality has such a deep cultural stigma that many people don’t even realize how they’re dehumanizing people. The only long term solution is education, which itself has a bizarre stigma in the U.S.

      I think that in the end, equality will win. As long as we have the awesome power of free speech that the internet gives us things will keep getting better, however slowly. Just keep learning, and keep talking, and little by little we make the world a better place.

      Reply
  • 72. Ann S.  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    OT — I am about to go get my training to staff the hotline for Election Protection (1-866-OUR VOTE, http://www.866ourvote.org).

    Everyone please remember to vote November 2nd! If you or someone you know is being denied the right to vote (or if you simply don’t know if you’re registered or where your polling place is) please contact Election Protection and we can try to help.

    /end PSA

    Reply
    • 73. Kathleen  |  October 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      Good going, Ann. Fabulous work to be involved in.

      Reply
      • 74. Ann S.  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm

        Thank you. I did this during the 2008 election and it was very gratifying but also very frustrating, due to so many election offices being so very messed up.

        Gotta run.

        Reply
        • 75. Bob  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

          Thanks Ann S for being a great role model, you definetly deserve a badge for this, waiting to hear other stories of people following suit getting their taining to help during election

          I don’t have the power to bestow badges of honor, but definetly highly recommend you on behalf of Canada, for working on the side of equality. may your intentions go far and reach many, and may they return in the form of votes . thank you so much

          Reply
          • 76. Ann S.  |  October 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm

            Thank you, Bob, for your very kind words!

            Election Protection is a project of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and was begun after the 2000 election. The volunteers are all lawyers, paralegals and law students, as it does require some understanding of the law to help people with some of their questions.

            It is a non-partisan group dedicated to helping voters exercise their rights to vote, and gathering information about problems with access to voting and how to improve access to voting.

            We may not be as busy as we were during the 2008 election, but then again there are fewer call centers so who knows?

  • 77. Bob  |  October 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I like it, people with legal expertise and their backups, assisting voters to exercise their rights, and improve access, such a noble cause, and of course non=partisan as such work must be, but the very work you do, does in fact enable those in need of such assistance to enjoy more equality in exercising their rights. woot woot to election protection

    Reply
    • 78. Ann S.  |  October 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm

      It is a great group — we are not allowed to wear partisan buttons or t-shirts and of course are not allowed to tell people how to vote (and people sometimes ask, I’m told).

      In 2008, a few people told me how they were going to vote, and I just said that I was glad they were going to vote.

      Truly this group is filling a gap that our government should be providing but isn’t.

      Why isn’t it simpler to register to vote? Why can’t someone find out their polling place more easily than calling an NGO? Why is there no government advocate for people who are having trouble voting? Why are poll workers sometimes so badly trained that they inadvertently deny people their voting rights?

      Why are we not doing better at absentee voting? Why don’t we make it easier for servicemembers and their families to vote?

      Oh, I could go on and on.

      Reply
  • 79. Bob  |  October 26, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I like to hear stories during election of people who are marginialized for whatever reason, poverty comes to mind quickly, anti poverty groups go out to the foodbanks and to visit people who have given up, and encourage them to vote. some groups even provide assistance in getting voters to the polls, every vote counts, and so many have just given up on the process, assuming there’s no point, I like it when during elections I see encouragadvertisements in the most unusual places every vote counts…………..

    Reply
    • 80. fiona64  |  October 27, 2010 at 8:38 am

      My friend Laura (who reads here sometimes) has a great story about when she was going door-to-door to encourage people to vote. (If you read this, Laura, and I mess something up, please do chime in.)

      I swear to you, I cried when I read this.

      She knocked on one door and a man with obvious jailhouse tattoos answered. She launched into her spiel, and he interrupted to tell her that he’d done time.

      Laura told him he should go investigate registering, because in some cases he could still register to vote provided that he had served out his sentence, etc.

      He asked her to wait a minute, and when he came back to the door he had his young daughter with him. He knelt next to the child and pointed at Laura.

      “Honey, this lady is an angel. She came here to tell me that I can maybe go vote and be a real man again. I want you to see what an angel looks like.”

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
      • 81. Ann S.  |  October 27, 2010 at 9:34 am

        Fiona, thank you for that lovely story.

        Most states allow felons to vote once they have served their time and completed probation and parole. Two states (Maine and Vermont) allow felons to vote during their incarceration.

        For more information, you can check the Election Protection page on Voting for People with Felony Convictions, and for state-by-state information click on In Your State at the top and use the map to go to the state in question.

        Reply
        • 82. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 27, 2010 at 10:10 am

          Ann, can you have someone from election Protection contact me? I would like to work with them even though I am not a lawyer, wrt getting the word out to those who have a felony conviction and think they cannot vote. From personal experience.

          Reply
          • 83. Ann S.  |  October 27, 2010 at 10:17 am

            Richard, I’ll pass along your email address to the person who conducted our training last night. She is one of the board members, and her name is Nora. Whether she would personally contact you or pass the information along, I can’t say.

            Thank you for your offer!
            Ann

          • 84. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 27, 2010 at 10:35 am

            Anytime. When I find a way to help others, I do what I can. Especially when it has something to do with gaining the full access to one’s civil and human rights.

          • 85. Ann S.  |  October 27, 2010 at 10:53 am

            Richard, given the short time remaining before this election and the fact that registration is closed in many locations, I doubt they will contact you until after the election. I have sent the email off and I hope something works out where you can help! Thanks again.

            Love,
            Ann

      • 86. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 27, 2010 at 10:03 am

        I have also done time. Under North Carolina law, when I finished my term of Post-Release supervision, I was then eligible to register and vote. Since I finished this too late to register at the voters registration office and still vote in the 2008 primaries, I was directed by the woman at the voters registration office to go to the early voting, which was also a one-stop registration center. This way, I was still able to register and vote in the 2008 primaries. What is really funny is that when I was coming out of the early voting exactly six months later, I saw my former parole officer. He asked me if I had voted, and I told him that I had done so in the primaries as well. The only reason I wasn’t wearing my “I Voted” sticker button is that I knew it would not have survived the bicycle ride home, so I was on the way to Michael’s to get one of the buttons where you insert a picture and the snap the clear plastic top onto the metal back that has the pin on it.

        Reply
        • 87. Ann S.  |  October 27, 2010 at 10:18 am

          Good for you for finding out about the one-stop registration center and voting!

          Reply
  • 88. Rhie  |  October 27, 2010 at 12:54 am

    It is supposed to be non-partisan but it isn’t. The Tea Party and frequently mainstream Republicans like to demonize such groups as actually fixing voting and telling Republicans not to vote. I think it’s projection. Last election the Republicans were telling kids on a local college campus they couldn’t vote because they weren’t residents of the state. That’s completely untrue but the kids don’t know that.

    I know what you mean by badly trained. One worker asked for my picture ID. Fortunately I knew that all they needed was my name and voter’s card. But what if someone didn’t know that? They wouldn’t vote.

    Ann you and your group are BADLY needed. May I publish the name of the org and the phone number on my Facebook page? I had some friends who had issues last election. I want to give them a place to turn for answers.

    Reply
    • 89. Ann S.  |  October 27, 2010 at 9:29 am

      Please do, Rhie! That’s what we’re there for.

      In 2008 there were stories of groups circulating fliers in certain neighborhoods telling them to vote on the wrong date, the day after the election, among other dirty tricks.

      And in one of the elections, Election Protection had to get a temporary restraining order to get polls kept open to the stated time in one state. The election officials were trying to close the polls early. Because it was raining.

      The right to vote is a precious hallmark of our system of self-governance, and I encourage everyone to exercise it!

      Reply
      • 90. Rhie  |  October 27, 2010 at 7:08 pm

        I am really not surprised. I wonder if that state was my hometown of Maryland. They tend to get really screwy, especially in areas with low income or people of color. They also give really conflicting instructions to college kids.

        Definitely posting!

        Reply
  • 91. Mackenzie  |  October 27, 2010 at 9:44 am

    when commenting about sharing the fives and fives of people I busted up laughing! Thanks for that I needed it!

    Reply
  • 92. Bob  |  October 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I would love to see a whole post dedicated to talk about election issues, very quickly like the today or tomorrow, there is so much education to be done around this topic, and it would be good to get more conversation and knowledge, out, the timing is important, surely we can have one post regarding voting, how to exercise your right, one stop reigstration centres, and so much more,

    Fiona;s story touches my heart, and Rhei, I agree, ignorance around these issues works in the favour of the Repubs….. they make no effort because they don’t even consider these people

    Please during this crucial time (election time) a post dedicated to the issue. could be helpful

    Reply

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