Tag Archives: Washington D.C

Romney Sweeps Tuesday’s Primaries

Governor Mitt Romney of MA

Governor Mitt Romney of MA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mitt Romney swept Tuesday’s Republican presidential primaries with a win in Wisconsin.

Earlier Tuesday night, the former Massachusetts governor won primaries in the District of Columbia and Maryland.

Mr. Romney will take most of Wisconsin’s forty-two delegates, winning its eighteen winner-take-all delegates based on the statewide vote. The rest will be awarded proportionally to the winner in the state’s eight districts.

Mitt Romney took the majority of Maryland’s thirty-seven delegates, which are awarded proportionally, and all the sixteen delegates at stake in D.C.

The wins put Romney past the halfway mark to the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

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Romney Wins D.C.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential primary in the District of Columbia.

The former Massachusetts governor will take all sixteen delegates that were at stake Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday night, Mr. Romney won in Maryland and took most of that state’s 37 delegates, which are awarded proportionally.

The wins put Mr. Romney past the halfway mark to the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

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Obama Clinches Nomination

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination by winning primaries in the District of Columbia and Maryland.

Like his Republican counterparts, Pres. Obama has competed in primaries and caucuses this year. Unlike the Republicans, he faces no serious opposition.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney reached a campaign milestone of his own with his projected win in Maryland. The Republican front-runner passed the halfway mark in the race for the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch his party’s nomination.

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Murkowski Regrets Voting in Favor of Religion and Not Women

English: Lisa Murkowski, United States Senator...

Over the weekend, Senator Lisa Murkowski learned the hard way not to get between women and birth control.

Back from Washington, D.C., for the start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, the senator kept running into female voters who were coming unglued because of Sen. Murkowski’s support for a measure that would have allowed any employer to opt out of providing health insurance coverage.

She’s a moderate. She supports abortion rights and contraception coverage. She regretted her recent vote.

“I have never had a vote I’ve taken where I have felt that I let down more people that believed in me,” she said.

She’d meant to make a statement about religious freedom, she said, but voters read it as a vote against contraception coverage for women. The measure was so broad, it’s hard not to read it that way.

The vote came last week during a heated debate about the new health care law’s requirement that employers offer insurance that covers birth control. At first, only churches were exempt from the rule. Republicans, along with Catholic and other religious groups, objected, saying the rule trampled on religious liberties.

Because of their objections, the Obama administration changed the rule to allow religiously affiliated organizations to exclude birth control from their plans. In those cases, insurance companies would offer the coverage directly to women.

Sen. Murkowski was among the Republicans who supported religious organizations’ position before the compromise was announced. She sponsored legislation to reverse parts of the health care measure and aligned herself with the church in a letter, writing:

Unfortunately, the Obama administration unilaterally determined that religious hospitals, charities and schools will be required to go against their deeply-held — and constitutionally-protected — beliefs when offering health care services to current employees.

After the compromise announcement, she didn’t speak publicly about her position.

Sen. Murkowski said she voted for the Blunt Amendment to send a message that the health care law needed a stronger clause for religious conscience. It was supposed to be a vote for religious freedom, she said, but to female voters, it looked like a vote against contraception. The language of the amendment was “overbroad,” she said.

Sen. Murkowski said she believes contraception should be covered and affordable, except when it comes to churches and religiously affiliated organizations. She sponsored a contraception coverage bill as a state legislator in 2002. That bill exempted “religious employers.” She said her position hasn’t changed.

“I have always said if you don’t like abortion the best way to deal with it is to not have unwanted pregnancies in the first place,” she says. “How do you do that? It’s through contraception.”

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Filed under Health, Politics, War on Women

South Carolina Voter ID Law Blocked

The first page of the Voting Rights Act.

Image via Wikipedia

The Justice Department on Friday blocked a South Carolina law that would require voters to present photo identification.

The move was the first time since 1994 that the department has exercised its powers under the Voting Rights Act to block a voter identification law. It followed a speech this month by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. that signaled an aggressive stance in reviewing a wave of new state voting restrictions.

In a letter to the South Carolina government, the assistant attorney for civil rights, said that allowing the requirement to go into effect would have “significant racial disparities.”

He cited data supplied by the state as showing that there were “81,938 minority citizens who are already registered to vote and who lack” such identification, and that these voters are nearly 20% more likely be “disenfranchised” by the change than white voters.

South Carolina now faces the choice of dropping the proposed change or asking a federal court in the District of Columbia to approve the law.

Gov. Nikki Haley denounced the decision, accusing the Obama administration of “bullying” the state.

Under the Voting Rights Act, an election rule that disproportionately affects minority voters is illegal, even if there is no discriminatory intent. South Carolina is one of several states that must prove that a measure would not discourage minority voting.

Such states must receive “pre-clearance” from the Justice Department or a federal court before any change to elections rules.

Restrictions on voting and vote fraud have been an increasingly contentious topic of partisan dispute. Republicans have portrayed voting fraud as rampant and say restrictions are necessary to prevent dilution of ballots cast by legitimate voters. Critics contend that the restrictions are a veiled effort to suppress participation by legitimate voters who tend to favor their party’s candidates.

Documented cases of the sort of fraud that photo identification laws seek to limit — ineligible people showing up at the polls and casting ballots in person — have been few and isolated.

South Carolina’s rules, enacted in 1988, allow people to vote by presenting a voter registration card and signing a document. The Justice Department letter said that while the state justified adding the requirement to present photographic I.D. as a way to deter fraud, it did not submit “any evidence or instance” of “in-person voter impersonation” or some other kind of fraud that could be deterred by the new requirement.

The jostling ahead of the 2012 election comes against the backdrop of the 2008 election, when a huge turnout of young and minority voters helped propel Mr. Obama to victory.

This year, more than a dozen states have enacted new voting restrictions, including eight that passed variations of a rule requiring photo identification.

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On This Day…

Washington, D.C.

Image by dougtone via Flickr

In 1969, a quarter of a million protesters staged a peaceful demonstration in Washington, D.C., against the Vietnam War.

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Cantor Says No Disaster Relief without Spending Cuts

Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia

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Eric Cantor is making waves in Washington by insisting that any federal aid to the victims of Hurricane Irene be offset by cuts in other spending.

Cantor’s critics are not just accusing him of being stingy; they’re accusing him of being a hypocrite. In 2004, when his home state of Virginia was struck by Tropical Storm Gaston, Cantor voted against a bill that would have required exactly the same kind of pay-as-you-go scheme he is now advocating.

Hypocrisy and heartlessness aside, it is an economic tenet that temporary spending bursts which can arises after natural disasters are good reasons to run temporary budget deficits. Thus, Cantor’s claim that fiscal responsibility requires spending cuts to offset the cost of disaster relief is wrong.


Filed under Economy, National, Politics