Some good news on voting rights

Some good voting rights news from Alabama:

“Many” Alabama felons will soon regain the right to vote if Gov. Kay Ivey signs a bill that landed on her desk Thursday morning, according to advocates.

The bill, called the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, passed both houses of the state legislature Wednesday, a victory for backers who have sought for years to see it codified into law.

If Ivey signs it, the bill would more clearly define the term “moral turpitude” as it is used in the state constitution, which stipulates that “no person convicted of a felony of moral turpitude” may vote….

the term would refer to less than 50 specific “felonies that involve moral turpitude which disqualify a person from exercising his or her right to vote,” the legislation states.

By redefining “moral turpitude,” the bill would effectively restore “thousands” of felons’ right to vote.

The governor has indicated she will sign the bill this week.

Open thread








Actions Have Consequences: Lysistrata Edition

I’ll just leave this here for your schadenfreude and viewing pleasure. Albo is quitting the Virginia House of Delegates.



Monday Morning Open Thread: Old Notes, New Jokes

Concerning the late-night Oscars fiasco…

Apart from Mardi Gras preparations, what’s on the agenda as we start the week?

Celebrate our victories, and educate the underinformed…

(Oh, sure, if all you’re interested in is winning elections… )



Open Thread: Local Hero

A man for our season, per CNN:

[State Sen. Daylin] Leach’s outburst was inspired by a Politico article about a meeting Trump recently had with sheriffs from around the nation and a conversation during that meeting about asset forfeiture. That’s a legal practice in which a law enforcement agency seizes money and property that may have been obtained through criminal activities.

According to the article, Rockwall County, Texas, Sheriff Harold Eavenson mentioned that a state senator in Texas wanted to change the asset forfeiture law. The change would require that a person be convicted of a crime before his or her assets could be seized.

“Who is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career,” Trump replied, according to Politico.

Leach is a Democrat whose Facebook feed is full of anti-Trump postings, though none were addressed directly to the President.

He has previously co-sponsored bills that attempted to reform asset forfeiture laws in Pennsylvania, his spokesman, Steve Hoenstine, said Thursday in an email.

After the Politico article ran, Leach posted on Facebook: “Hey! I oppose civil asset forfeiture too. Why don’t you come after me you fascist, loofa-faced s***-gibbon!!”…

Still later, Leach wrote on Facebook: “S***-Gibbon” goes viral! Maybe someday it will be written on my tombstone….or his.”…

Local outlet Philly.com seems to admire Sen. Leach’s stance:

He championed legalization of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

He spoke in defense of abortion rights during an emotional debate in Harrisburg.

But it wasn’t until State Sen. Daylin Leach posted the Tweet Heard Round the World that the Montgomery County Democrat went viral…
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Open Thread: Proud to Be A Masshole

That’s my Congressional rep, Ed Markey’s replacement. I haven’t seen any Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Hillary bumperstickers yet, but maybe I just don’t get out enough. From the Boston Globe:

In a break from tradition and from the rest of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, Representative Katherine Clark plans to boycott the upcoming inauguration of Republican President-elect Donald Trump as a form of ceremonial protest…

Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, two fierce critics of the incoming president, confirmed their attendance through statements.

Representative Seth Moulton of Salem, who considered not attending the inauguration, said in an interview he later decided to go because he thought it was “the best thing to do for our democracy.”…

Representative Michael Capuano of Somerville said he could have a scheduling conflict that would prevent him from being in Washington.

“If I don’t attend, it would not be to make a statement,” he said.

Representative Jim McGovern said he’s “attended every presidential inauguration” since he was elected to Congress in 1996 and will attend this year.

Representative Stephen F. Lynch of Boston said he always planned to attend. “I will be there,” Lynch said. “It’s out of respect for the office you should attend the inauguration. It’s a basic courtesy that you extend to the president of the United States.”…

McGovern said he plans to attend the women’s march scheduled in Washington for Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration. Moulton, who plans to attend the same protest, said he is chartering a train car so a group of Massachusetts residents can attend.

Because interest was so high from his constituents, Moulton is looking into procuring a second car. Each holds more than 80 people.

“I’m trying to empower people,” Moulton said.

Clark — whose office said Thursday that she had won a coveted spot on the Appropriations Committee — said she respected the opinion of others who disagree with her choice.

“People will come to different decisions,” Clark said. “But there is nothing about this presidency and his rejection about his core American values that I want to normalize.”

Seth Moulton‘s a progressive up-and-comer in the Democratic party, but he’s also an ex-Marine. Mike Capuano‘s got larger (state-wide) ambitions, while Jim McGovern is part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Steve Lynch is our token voice for the ‘economically anxious white working class’, aka the Howie Carr demographic — he’s got his current job for life, as long as he doesn’t do anything reckless like giving it up to run for something larger.

More happy news, Senator Professor Elizabeth Warren is running for re-election:

… In an interview with the Globe, Warren said her decision to run for a second term had been growing on her for some time. With the election over and questions back home mounting, “I just wanted to make it clear. I love this job,” she said. “I fight every day for working families across our Commonwealth. This fight is about to get a lot harder, and I want everyone to know I am in all the way.”

Warren suggested that Trump’s unexpected victory was among the factors that swayed her. “Trump has made the fight for working families a lot harder and more urgent,” she said, when asked if Trump’s White House win had influenced her decision. “I feel so strongly about the need to be in Washington and fight to protect the things that we have built, fighting Trump’s dangerous Cabinet appointments,” she said, pointing to Trump’s pick of Tom Price, a Republican congressman from Georgia, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services as one example.

Price, she said, wants to privatize Medicare, which would hurt the 1.2 million Massachusetts residents who receive health benefits under the government program. Warren is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee which will hold a confirmation hearing on Price later this month.

She also vowed to fight Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, weaken post-crisis financial laws, and defang Warren’s brainchild — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…

The usual unicorn-hunters perennial optimists point out this doesn’t preclude Warren running for President in 2020, but I (selfishly) believe she’ll have as much fun as she can stand getting under the President-Asterisk’s thin skin, and maybe smacking around Curt Schilling for a change of pace.



Late-Night Rambling Open Thread: Whither the Michigander Vote?

I haven’t been a Michigan resident since Debbie Stabenow was running for the state House, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the Mitten. Which is one reason I’ve been obsessively following Dana Houle’s twitter account

(Traverse City, which was a sleepy little local resort town when the Spousal Unit was growing up in the area, is now a high-dollar resort town where snowbird retirees show up to golf when the Florida summer weather becomes oppressive. Very GOP-leaning, in a normal year.)

Also, following the next thread led me to a really charming under-the-national-radar news report:


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Open Thread: President NFLTG Has An Endorsement

I don’t know if this will help Doug Applegate win, but at least it will greatly perturb Darrell Issa… San Diegans?