Which side are they on?

I know you’re all exhausted with the voting wars but they just never, ever quit so we can’t either:

The Supreme Court said Friday it will review a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that has been the federal government’s most forceful tool in protecting minority rights at the polls. The decision ensures that race and civil rights will be the hallmark of the current Supreme Court term.
The challenge to Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was launched two years ago, and the court added it to its docket just days after an energized minority electorate played a critical role in the reelection of President Obama, the nation’s first African American president.

Republicans joined Democrats in renewing the Voting Rights Act in 2006, because they were too cowardly to gut historic civil rights legislation in Congress.

Here’s former President Bush, signing the reauthorization:

Today, we renew a bill that helped bring a community on the margins into the life of American democracy. My administration will vigorously enforce the provisions of this law, and we will defend it in court. (Applause.) This legislation is named in honor of three heroes of American history who devoted their lives to the struggle of civil rights: Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King. (Applause.) And in honor of their memory and their contributions to the cause of freedom, I am proud to sign the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006. (Applause.)

That was for the cameras. They didn’t mean a word of it.

After renewing the Voting Rights Act, conservatives took it to a court because they don’t want elected conservative lawmakers held accountable for gutting the Act.

The VRA was absolutely key in the last two years as a federal protection against voter suppression in the states. You may read about some of our successes here.

Finally, here’s the (thankfully) unsubtle Harry Reid on the current situation in Arizona:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Saturday that Arizona must work faster to count 525,000 outstanding votes.
In all, 1.8 million votes were cast in the state. Reid said he is concerned that nearly one-third of Arizona’s votes — including 350,000 from Maricopa County, which is home to Phoenix — remain unaccounted for.
“All of the votes in Arizona must be counted promptly, accurately and equally. The uncounted votes in Maricopa County alone represent a major portion of the total votes cast in Arizona on Tuesday,” Reid said in a statement.
Reid alluded to potential abuse of minority voters.
In his comments, Reid mentioned that the Supreme Court would consider a challenge to the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters. Specifically, the court will deliberate a portion of the law that makes states with a history of discrimination get federal approval before changing voting laws.
“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear challenges to the Voting Rights Act, we are reminded that the right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. That right is not secure when some votes are counted while others are suppressed or ignored. I expect state and local officials in Arizona to ensure that every vote is counted promptly, accurately and equally,” Reid said.

If Republicans are really worried about their image maybe they should drop the clever marketing and expensive consultants and instead try something really radical, like being straight with voters. What is the official Republican position on the Voting Rights Act and access to voting in general? Why do they support voting rights when the cameras are rolling while pursuing a legal strategy to gut the Voting Rights Act behind the scenes?

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






100 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    and instead try something really radical, like being straight with voters.

    Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha.

    And a unicorn in every pot.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Why do they support voting rights when the cameras are rolling while pursuing a legal strategy to gut the Voting Rights Act behind the scenes?

    Follow the money.

    Because it has historically been in their interest to do so.

  3. 3
    Kay says:

    @NotMax:

    It should be a question. “Do you support the Voting Rights Act?” I don’t think they can answer that question.

    It’s pretty amazing we have to ask the question, but we do.

  4. 4
    El Cid says:

    Well, at least they were either decent enough or scared enough to keep from doing this before the wrong guy won the election.

    In fairness, I didn’t think the VRA on the former segregationist / treasonous rebel states would be able to hang on ‘forever’ (i.e., long enough to maybe work). Too easy to get a political consensus around ‘that was a long time ago we’ve moved on it’s an insult to our fair states etc’.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    Kay, if SCOTUS strikes down any meaningful portion of the VRA, can’t the Dems immediately propose legislation that addresses the court’s ruling? In other words, a fix or patch that allows the VRA to do its work?

    There must be some way for Pelosi and Reid to make this a legislative issue.

  6. 6
    The Dangerman says:

    Which side are they on?

    The side of whatever it takes to win while not pissing off their base of racists, misogynists, and homophobes. I read Redstate this morning and EE had a post up saying NO to all things moderation. If they want that base happy and they want to win, they don’t have many options.

  7. 7
    burnspbesq says:

    As always, Lyle Denniston is the go-to guy.

    The way the Supremes framed the issue when they granted cert asks, in effect, whether Congress did enough fact-finding to determine that the jurisdictions that were originally made subject to Section 5 pre-clearance should still be subject to pre-clearance, or whether (as Shelby County, Alabama claims) they have made sufficient progress in removing obstacles to minority voting.

    I have no fucking clue how this is going to turn out, but the Supremes sent a pretty clear warning in the Northwest Austin case back in 2009.

  8. 8
    Ben Franklin says:

    Kay; I think if they were reticent to move on VRA they would have done it while their mojo was strong. Their declawing makes the barking dog less likely to bite.

    BTW; Haven’t had a chance to thank you for all you’ve done using the community organizer model. Many thanks.

  9. 9
    burnspbesq says:

    Wingnut claims that Kagan should recuse herself should start by COB today.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    I think it’s the ideal time to attack them politically on this. Just as they begin the outreach efforts :)

    They’re vulnerable.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    @Kay

    Piece o’ cake. (Ignore inaccuracies and stretching of reality below; that is their norm.)

    “The right to vote is enshrined in the Constitution and should never be subject to the whims of activist judges. While there may have been some times in the past when it was applied unevenly, that was then and this is now; we’ve correctly moved beyond that.

    “We support the concept of fair voting by qualified Americans in all states.”

  12. 12
    burnspbesq says:

    The best way to send a message to the Republicans not to fuck with voting rights would be to claim the scalps of Scott and Kasich in 2014.

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:

    If Republicans are really worried about their image maybe they should drop the clever marketing and expensive consultants and instead try something really radical, like being straight with voters.

    Its not their image they’re worried about. Its “WE’ll Do Anything to Win”.

    WEDAW!

  14. 14
    Valdivia says:

    no Kay, thank you for always shining a light on this because it matters.

    Is there anything that Congress or the Justice Dept or the President can do to improve the voting harassment and suppression if the SC invalidates the Voting Act?

  15. 15
    Robin G. says:

    Does the challenge have any legitimate legal grounds?

  16. 16
    calliope jane says:

    “Curiously,” Arizona is actually one of those covered states under Section 5 of the VRA, based on, I think, the 1972 election.

    It’s not a former confederate territory for nothing.

    Is determining the sufficiency of Congressional fact finding really something the SC wants to do?

  17. 17
    burnspbesq says:

    @NotMax:

    The “Summary of Argument” in Shelby County’s opening brief is likely to look like that.

  18. 18
    The Moar You Know says:

    If Republicans are really worried about their image maybe they should drop the clever marketing and expensive consultants and instead try something really radical, like being straight with voters.

    Can’t get elected with only 27% of the vote.

    Marketing is all that they have. Why would they give that up?

  19. 19
    maya says:

    @burnspbesq: She should just cite the Scalia Doctrine (since we’re totally into doctrines this fine day) and state that there are no conflicts of interest if you’re a SC justice.

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    @Valdivia:

    I don’t know. They passed the Help America Vote Act after Bush v Gore but Republicans are much, much more radical since that time. I couldn’t imagine the current GOP passing something like motor-voter (1990’s) now, which was a compromise. Democrats got voter registration….everywhere, because Republicans wanted voter registration at state driver license facilities.

  21. 21
    NonyNony says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The best way to send a message to the Republicans not to fuck with voting rights would be to claim the scalps of Scott and Kasich in 2014.

    Don’t forget Husted.

    Nobody should forget Husted. The Secretary of State race in Ohio should be all about reminding people that when a Republican has the SOS job, polls are a flustercluck and when a Democrat has the job, the polls work reasonable well on election day and the weeks leading up to it.

    There needs to be a strong push to get Democratic voters to the polls in Ohio in 2014 to make sure that the 2016 election is as fair and smooth as humanly possible in Ohio. If Husted needs to be the demon to get people out to vote then so be it – it isn’t like he hasn’t done enough to deserve it.

  22. 22
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I know that Carmona already conceded, and I think he has to win something like 63% of the outstanding provisionals to close the current 75k margin with Flake or so. That said, given that the majority of provisional ballots tend to be cast by Democratic leaners (and, I would assume in this case, a large batch of these were probably cast by Hispanic voters), could he close the gap? And is it possible that they still have an outside shot of washing away the odious Sheriff Joe?

  23. 23
    burnspbesq says:

    @Valdivia:

    The way the case is framed, the whole Voting Rights Act doesn’t get blown up. What is at risk is just the pre-clearance procedure. DOJ will still have a toolkit, but the jurisdictions that were subject to pre-clearance can take action and dare DOJ to challenge them.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    Gonna come down to Roberts once more.

    One hopes that after surviving being tarred by the (now at least temporarily diminished by the ’12 election) Righteous Right over ACA, he has little reticence over the the less injurious feathering that would follow his vote to uphold current law.

  25. 25
    Watusie says:

    Is there any chance the SC wants to hear this case not because it wants to gut the VRA but because it wants to bitch slap the vote suppressors?

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    Given the shenanigans that went on this year, it would be really, really nice would be if the Court decided that all jurisdictions now must get pre-clearance before making changes, not just historically problematic ones.

    While I’m at it, I’d also like a unicorn that farts rainbows.

  27. 27
    Valdivia says:

    @Kay:

    sigh. I wish the dems would just high-jack the whole voter fraud issue to flip it to give everyone a free govt id by the Fed Govt that would guarantee no one is ever turned away from voting.

    @burnspbesq:

    thanks for the answer, it is very depressing.

  28. 28
    Kay says:

    @Valdivia:

    I think the political climate around voting has changed, and it’s leaning our way. It’s not a majority issue yet, maybe it will never be, but the groups who care about this really, really care about it. I really cannot overstate the passion around this among the groups who are affected. I did not know myself how deeply people felt until I went to the Brown-Durbin field hearing in Cleveland. I was blown away sitting in the room and I’ve been writing and reading about this since 2004.
    I know there’s a lot of frustration on this site that it doesn’t move faster but I have to tell you, to me, it’s like a huge win that everyone is talking about it. It’s mainstream.

  29. 29
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @NotMax: I think a fair number of the decisions that come up in front of SCOTUS this year will determine whether or not the Roberts decision on ACA was a one-time thing (if, in Obama’s view, he took a bullet then to use his chits on other conservative hot-button items) or if it’s the beginning of an evolution on the court. If Anthony Kennedy ends up siding more and more with conservatives and isn’t much of a reliable swing vote anymore, Roberts may have to move to the middle, almost out of necessity. If anything, it’s possible he realized that Citizens United really screwed up the popular view of the court, and there’s been a lot of blather about how Roberts (apparently) cares about how SCOTUS is regarded as an institution by the public sphere.

    We shall see. Of course, life would be made a lot easier if Scalia or Kennedy decided to call it quits, but the conservative jurists will likely wait to the bitter end in hopes that they croak when a Republican becomes president. Hope that doesn’t happen for a long time…

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    @burnspbesq

    The “Summary of Argument” in Shelby County’s opening brief is likely to look like that.

    At least they are conscious that “They’ve already got a black president. What the hell more do they want?” won’t fly.

  31. 31
    Alex S. says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Every judge belonging to a minority should recluse him-/herself because there’s a conflict of interest. Obviously, WASPs are the majority, so there should be no black, hispanic, catholic, jewish or italian judges involved in this case.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @Alex S.:

    Obviously WASPs are the majority,

    You do know there are no WASPs on the current court?

    ETA: Oops. I misread you comment. Never mind.

  33. 33

    Meanwhile, Free Republic founder JimRob goes all Tenther from the safety of his Medicare-funded wheelchair. Hilarious. Capitulate to the godless socialist Democrats? Not just no: HELL NO! Oh I love it.

  34. 34
    Valdivia says:

    @Kay:

    I think that these are great points you make: I think the fact that the Rs want to appeal to latinos will make it easier to pressure them on it.

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    If it goes down 5-4, you can bet your life that Clarence Thomas will be tabbed to draft the majority opinion.

  36. 36
    David in NY says:

    Oddly, Brooklyn, or parts thereof, is also covered by Section 5. The test for coverage was, I believe, keyed to the percentage of eligible voters actually registered, and Brooklyn, like the Confederacy, was really low (less actual suppression, I hope and believe, than poverty and recent immigration).

    My guess is that the case for inclusion of Brooklyn is probably not what it was then, but perhaps its extension to all of Florida and some other places, might well be warranted. So the question on what basis Congress just re-did what it did before has some sense. And sometimes the absence of findings has been crucial (see Lopez, re interstate commerce). Section 5 is a pretty heavy-duty weapon, after all.

    So watch out. Luckily, the recent push in the South to limit voting (but maybe not in Shelby County!) probably makes the County’s argument a lot less forceful than it might have been

  37. 37
    trollhattan says:

    Reelecting Obama proves, PROVES we’re a post-racial America and thus, need to stop meddling with states’ rights(tm) with unnecessary and oppressive federal legislation like the Voting Rights Act.

    Did I get that about right?

  38. 38
    rlrr says:

    @trollhattan:

    You forgot unnecessary and oppressive federal anti-lynching laws…

  39. 39

    @Valdivia:

    I wish the dems would just high-jack the whole voter fraud issue to flip it to give everyone a free govt id by the Fed Govt that would guarantee no one is ever turned away from voting.

    I wish they would too, because this is a ‘fault line’ in the GOP.

    If the Dems applied brutal pressure at the line where “The Blahs Need to Show IDs because… Voter Fraud!” meets “Universal Federal ID = Black Helicopter UN World State!”, the resulting show from the GOP would at least be fun to watch.

  40. 40
    Schlemizel says:

    it needs to be repeated again and again and again:

    if they pause it is to gain time;

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @trollhattan:

    Sounds about right. In wingnut judicial logic, a minority’s ability to overcome a hurdle conclusively proves the non-existence of said hurdle.

  42. 42
    gene108 says:

    Why do concervatives abhor defending the Constitution as written? The 15 th Amendment clearly bans racial discrimination as a barrier to vote.

    Also too literacy tests are banned via the VRA be interesting to see those make comeback.

  43. 43
    Literalreddy says:

    @gene108: Only the the second and tenth amendment count all the time. The first only applies when they are talking. The rest are not part of the original constitution.

  44. 44
    burnspbesq says:

    @Judas Escargot, Bringer of Loaves and Fish Sandwiches:

    Anything that would be opposed by Erick Son of Erick and Glenn Greenwald sounds OK to me.

  45. 45
    David in NY says:

    Also — the Bronx and Manhattan covered, but not Staten Island, too!

  46. 46
    Percysowner says:

    @Watusie:

    Is there any chance the SC wants to hear this case not because it wants to gut the VRA but because it wants to bitch slap the vote suppressors?

    HA! HA! HA!HA!HA! Scalia wants to make certain Democrats have an chance to be fairly elected. You are so funny.

  47. 47
    👽 Martin says:

    @David in NY: NYC got covered primarily due to low voter turnout in the 1968 election. NY went for Humphrey, but everyone knew how strongly Nixon was going to win.

    At the same time, while there wasn’t suppression in NYC, there was gerrymandering, which likely helped lead to the above problem.

  48. 48
    Cermet says:

    Thank god young people are taking their voting rights so seriously! Currently, I am at the Johns Hopkins University library and am amazed by the wealth of minority students here attending this Ivory league school – be assured that if the right to vote vanishes, so will much of the access for many minorities at such schools (loss of low cost grants and out-right scholarship money.) Speaking of which, my daughter won a scholarship here to take advanced courses for college credit as she attends High school and since she is not old enough to drive ye,t and I’m off today, I get the oppertunity to drive her.

    Also, pretty cool that I get to see this place, as well! Really a beautiful campus.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    @gene108

    Also too literacy tests are banned via the VRA be interesting to see those make comeback.

    Form A:

    Spell the word ‘cat’ on the line below.

    Write cat here: ………………………….

    Form B:

    Replicate precisely the coinage made immortal in Mary Poppins for what to say when you have nothing to say immediately beneath.

    …………………………………..

  50. 50
    NotMax says:

    @gene108

    Also too literacy tests are banned via the VRA be interesting to see those make comeback.

    Form A:

    Spell the word ‘cat’ on the line below.

    Write cat here: ………………………….

    Form B:

    Replicate precisely the coinage made immortal in Mary Poppins for what to say when you have nothing to say immediately beneath.

    …………………………………..

  51. 51
    bemused says:

    Kay, we might be a wee bit tired of the voting wars but we are still checking out what is going on every day. We’re junkies.

  52. 52
    bemused says:

    Kay, we might be a wee bit tired of the voting wars but we are still checking out what is going on every day. We’re junkies.

  53. 53
    NotMax says:

    @gene108

    Also too literacy tests are banned via the VRA be interesting to see those make comeback.

    Form A:

    Spell the word ‘cat’ on the line below.

    Write cat here: ………………………….

    Form B:

    Replicate precisely the coinage made immortal in Mary Poppins for what to say when you have nothing to say immediately beneath.

    …………………………………..

  54. 54
    bemused says:

    Kay, we might be a wee bit tired of the voting wars but we are still checking out what is going on every day. We’re junkies.

  55. 55
    NotMax says:

    sigh

    FYWP twin post.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    sigh

    FYWP twin post.

  57. 57
    flukebucket says:

    @burnspbesq: +1,000 AND AMEN!

  58. 58
    Face says:

    The VRA is so dead and gone by next summer.

  59. 59
    different-church-lady says:

    It takes a whooooole lot of wingnut to make Bush seem sane and upstanding by comparison.

  60. 60
    David in NY says:

    @👽 Martin: Actually, I think that the question of coverage was based on the percentage of voter-age population registered in the ’60 and ’64 elections (just prior to enactment of the VRA) not ’68, which was after enactment. But you may well be right in general, if not in this specific.

  61. 61
    David in NY says:

    @Face: The VRA lives. Only Section 5 might be gone. See Burns’s note above.

    Handy to have the US Att’y Gen. a Democrat, however.

  62. 62
    quannlace says:

    It should be a question. “Do you support the Voting Rights Act?” I don’t think they can answer that question.

    Well, at least we won’t have to stand around waiting for Romney trying everything to NOT answer the question.

  63. 63
    Valdivia says:

    @Judas Escargot, Bringer of Loaves and Fish Sandwiches:

    Exactly. And they would also not be able to scream about I.D. Being an issue anymore.

  64. 64
    Not Sure says:

    @Watusie: That would be a good reason, wouldn’t it?

  65. 65
    Redshift says:

    @The Moar You Know: That’s why I find so hilarious all the talk from prominent Republicans about how (as always) they don’t need to change any of their policy positions to appeal to “those people,” they just need better messaging.

    It’s fine as long as you get that “better” messaging doesn’t mean “more truthful” messaging. The crimes of Akin and Mourdock were truly gaffes in the classic sense — speaking the truth about their party’s positions too plainly.

  66. 66
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Watusie: What a charming delusion fantasy. That’s easy – NO.

  67. 67
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Kay: Read earlier today that repugs in the Ohio state house may be on verge of super-majority. What’s the scoop and what is the implication?

  68. 68
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Felonius Monk: My uninformed opinion is that the state government will continue to push idiotic legislation, hopefully leading to the government getting approval ratings that Colbert would describe as ‘backwash’ and leading to Democrats / responsible humans taking control in 2 years.

  69. 69
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I have no fucking clue how this is going to turn out, but the Supremes sent a pretty clear warning in the Northwest Austin case back in 2009.

    I would think that the number of successful Section V challenges since the VRA renewal would be strong evidence that the areas in question have not cleaned up their act.

  70. 70
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Valdivia: @Judas Escargot, Bringer of Loaves and Fish Sandwiches: This is a Grand Bargain I’d be rather pleased to see happen.

  71. 71
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    What is at risk is just the pre-clearance procedure. DOJ will still have a toolkit, but the jurisdictions that were subject to pre-clearance can take action and dare DOJ to challenge them.

    But IIRC, Section V is not just pre-clearance. It also shifts the burden of proof, so that DOJ only has to prove discriminatory effect, not discriminatory intent, to get something thrown out. That’s probably as significant as the pre-clearance requirement.

  72. 72
    kay says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I’m going to go back to the health care law eventually, and I ‘m going to use CA as my “model state” for exchanges. Cover California is a great site

    I feel as if low wage large employers are gearing up for a propaganda blitz on the employer mandates.

    Just a heads up there, Martin :)

  73. 73
    👽 Martin says:

    @David in NY: The states were added to Section 5 based on the ’60 and ’64 elections, but the cities and counties were added to Section 5 for violations of Section 2. Under Section 2, there doesn’t need to be any evidence of intent – if minorities aren’t participating at the same rate as non-minorities (for any reason) then you’re in violation. That non-participation is often based on minorities not being elected to office as opposed to any specific voting pattern.

    New York boroughs got covered under Section 5 in the 1970 reauthorization of the act which only had a 5 year time limit for Section 5 (and they extended it for another 5 years). This is where the 1968 results come in as they were added to ’60 and ’64 results to determine who was in violation.

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @kay: CA is gonna be copying Vermont here soon. That’s when things get really exciting. 1/8 of the population of the US under single payer? The rest of the liberal states will fall like dominoes.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    EVIL NEVER SLEEPS.

    Never sleeps

  76. 76
    👽 Martin says:

    @kay: Sounds good. We’ll see what CA can do about single payer. SB 810 is dead. They’re going to have to draft a new bill, and the governor said that the budget needs to be fixed before he’ll sign anything. They have 2 years. Obama’s re-election should help assuage fears about whether single payer is the right direction or not.
    We’ll see how it goes.

  77. 77
    kay says:

    @Yutsano:

    I looked at MN and CT and CA,and CA has the most comprehensive website, so they “win”.
    Vermont has a real egalitarian tradition re: healthcare itself, and I’m not sure the rest of the country would go along with that. I would, I loved going to a community health center, but I am definitely not the norm. People seem to freak out with the idea they’d all be going to one place, see it as inferior, “a clinic”.

  78. 78
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yutsano:
    The really interesting point will come when it becomes obvious that single payer is a lot more cost effective. I’m sincerely hoping that it will wind up attracting employers who want to save money on health costs.

    It makes me think of the whole Amazon sales tax kerfuffle here in California. Amazon fought long and hard to avoid collecting sales tax on sales to California, since dodging sales tax gives them a big price advantage. California threatened to use the existence of associates here to force them to collect taxes, and they threatened to drop any associates here so they wouldn’t have any physical presence. Eventually, Jerry Brown was somehow able to convince them to give up fighting the sales tax.

    The odd thing is that the fight wound up having the exact opposite effect that the anti-tax people said it would have. The anti-tax people said that trying to force the issue would push Amazon out of the state completely, since that would be the only way they could avoid collecting sales taxes. But once they conceded and agreed to start collecting sales tax, it also undermined their reasons for staying out of the state. Now they’ve started to relocate some of their logistics into California to be closer to such a large fraction of their customers. Rather than driving jobs out of state, it’s brought them in from other states. Suck on that, Howard Jarvis!

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cermet:

    Ivory league school

    I know this is a computer generated auto-correct error, and yet I love it.

    ETA: Though, of course Johns Hopkins is not actually part of the Ivy League, so maybe it is Ivory League after all. :-)

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I thought Amazon already had some warehouses, etc. located in California, because some of my “two day” shipments come awfully fast to be arriving from out of state.

  81. 81
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: I THINK, but don’t quote me on this, there’s one in Fresno. I know there’s a huge one in Phoenix, but it can barely keep up with the orders it has.

    @Roger Moore: It seems so sad the obvious solution the rest of the industrialised world stumbled upon over 150 years ago can’t get enacted here becuz SOCIALISM!! or something, when it really is one of the most capitalistic ideas in the world. Spread the risks to as wide a population as possible. It’s an actuarial scientist’s dream.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Nope. If a company has any physical presence in a state, they have to charge sales taxes on purchases made in that state. To avoid that, Amazon located a bunch of stuff just across the border in Nevada. It was still close enough to get things here in two days, but avoided having to charge Californians sales tax. But it’s even easier to do those two day deliveries- or even same day- if they have a warehouse in Riverside, which also saves money on shipping to the warehouse because of the proximity of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

  83. 83
    Yutsano says:

    @Roger Moore: You’re right: there’s an Amazon warehouse in Reno. I totally forgot about that.

  84. 84
    kla says:

    @burnspbesq:
    AND Kobach in KS. not that that will ever happen in KS sigh.

  85. 85
    gene108 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It makes me think of the whole Amazon sales tax kerfuffle here in California. Amazon fought long and hard to avoid collecting sales tax on sales to California, since dodging sales tax gives them a big price advantage.

    Mail order business avoiding state sales tax is old news. From 25 1/2 years ago:

    In an effort to help state governments extend their taxable reach to the growing direct-marketing industry, a Congressional panel today began considering legislation to require mail-order retailers like L.L. Bean Inc. to collect sales taxes on out-of-state purchases.

    Date of article: May 14, 1987.

    Link

  86. 86
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Yutsano:

    You’re right: there’s an Amazon warehouse in Reno.

    I once stocked a can in Reno, just to watch it fly.
    /Amazon procurement manager

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I have received things from Amazon with California return addresses (though, of course, I don’t have one at this exact moment). It seems to me that they’ve been skirting the law for a while by having “third party” warehouses in California, which is why they didn’t fight super-hard to avoid collecting tax — if it had gone to court, they would have been in even bigger trouble and possibly had to pay back taxes to the state.

    So while I’m not thrilled that I now have to pay sales tax on my Amazon.com purchases, IMO they did it to themselves, so I’m not weeping for them.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gene108:

    Given how confusing sales tax is (especially in California, where it’s a combination of state, county, and often municipal taxes), it does make sense to tell mail order companies that they don’t have to bother to collect it from states where they don’t have a physical presence. But, as I said, I suspect Amazon.com has been playing games by pretending not to have a physical presence in California when they actually do, so they were going to get caught eventually.

  89. 89
    Felonius Monk says:

    Here’s an Act of Voter Stupidity:

    Eric Hartsburg caught some attention in the weeks leading up to the election for having the Romney campaign’s logo tattooed on his face.

    See it here: Idiot

  90. 90
    stratplayer says:

    Republicans love democracy, provided they never lose. They are now so invested in their rigid ideology and demonization of any opposition that may be on the verge of completely abandoning any pretense of a commitment to free and fair elections. Shockingly, there is already talk in right-libertarian circles of monarchy or Pinochet-style dictatorship as better-suited than democracy for protecting wealth and property from the rabble. I am not kidding about this. It’s for real.

  91. 91
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Those third party companies are the affiliates they were threatening to kill off. Something like that happened to me when I bought my big screen TV. I bought it through Amazon because they gave me a good price, but it was actually being sold by a third party. I had them deliver it it a box at the UPS store because I assumed it was going to be delivered by one of the regular delivery services, but it was actually taken there on the third party’s truck because they’re local. Somehow by routing the sale through Amazon, I magically wasn’t required to pay sales tax even though I would have had to if I had bought directly from the company.

    Note that this didn’t make a big difference for me in the long run. I’ve actually tried hard to be a good citizen and pay my California use tax on items I bought without paying sales tax during the previous tax year. I actually prefer to deal with companies that will charge the sales tax up front because it makes life easier at tax time.

  92. 92
    piratedan says:

    @PsiFighter37: #22 – probably it’s a reach to think that Carmona could close that gap (although I do think it’ll show it will be very very close) but this does have an impact on at least two congressional races (maybe 3) and a huge possibility of ending the R super majorities in the state lege.

  93. 93
    👽 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: When I buy tools, I always buy at Lowes or HD both of whom will 110% price match. I just show them the Amazon advertised price on my phone, they take 10% off of that, and I pay sales tax and was still coming out ahead before Amazon was collecting tax. And I get the tool on the spot. I only buy through Amazon if I can’t find the tool at those places now.

    Lots of stores at least price match, and if you have the Amazon app on your phone, you just snap a picture of the barcode and it’ll pull up the price, and you show that to the customer service cashier. It’s really simple.

  94. 94
    👽 Martin says:

    Oh, and most places now sell their gift cards at a discount – usually 5%-10% off. Just buy enough of those to cover your purchase and that’ll also cover your sales tax bill.

  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @piratedan:
    How fanciful it is that Carmona could close the gap depends both on whether the ballots in question skew strongly Democratic and how many of the provisional ballots get counted. Best guess is that the provisional ballots skew strongly Democratic, so his best chance is to get as many as possible included in the final count, by lawsuit if necessary.

  96. 96
    Roger Moore says:

    @👽 Martin:

    When I buy tools, I always buy at Lowes or HD both of whom will 110% price match.

    I avoid Home Depot whenever possible, both because I dislike them on general principle and because I find their selection of tools to be execrable. If I really need a tool, I like going to Berg Hardware in Pasadena, which is one of those old fashioned hardware stores where they have the small items like screws in cabinets behind the counter. They actually have a better selection of small hand tools than the big places like Home Despot.

  97. 97
    El Cid says:

    @Felonius Monk: He’s safe. A week or a month from now, maybe a year, no one will know what the hell that referred to. He could just make up anything with “R”.

  98. 98
    piratedan says:

    @Roger Moore: at the last count, he had roughly 75K to make up, not saying it isn’t possible, just unlikely but I hold out hope, after all, I voted for him :-)

  99. 99
    Original Lee says:

    @Cermet: I like the idea of an Ivory League. Suggested list: Johns Hopkins, Brandeis, Stanford, University of Chicago, Rice, Vanderbilt, Washington University at St. Louis?

  100. 100
    John M. Burt says:

    Enough of this pussyfooting with the GOPers.

    Time for Federal Marshals to seize all of those ballots.

Comments are closed.