TPA Blog Round Up (October 27, 2014)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary, Uncategorized at 8:04 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance says VOTE VOTE VOTE as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff published an index to all his interviews and judicial Q&As for the 2014 cycle.

Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaos and Daily Kos is not going to be quiet about the blatantly discriminatory Voter Photo ID poll tax law. Texas Voter Photo ID Law Disenfranchises 600,000 to 744,980 American citizens.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. Proposition 1 will do little if anything to address the neglect of the last 20 plus years. Is it worth voting for? Probably not, but it’s likely to pass anyway. Proposition 1 – The Least They Could Do.

A very powerful statute designed to short-circuit the anti-First Amendment SLAPP suits filed in Texas is explained in this post at PDiddie’s Brains and Eggs.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme urges you to vote and support not only women’s health, but the health care for all Texans.

Neil at All People Have Value offered his 2014 ballot for elections in Texas and Harris County. APHV is one of many interesting pages to see at NeilAquino.com.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

BOR offers endorsements in the Austin City Council races.

Hair Balls profiles the outside agitators that are fighting to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Texans for Public Justice documents just how much the payday lenders love Greg Abbott.

Lone Star Q rounds up Texas candidate endorsements by LGBT groups around the state.

The Texas Election Law Blog makes a valiant effort to calculate the administrative cost of voter ID in Texas.

Robert Rivard wants to know why you’re not voting.

Texas Clean Air Matters calls out the Heartland Institute for misinformation about wind energy.

Nancy Sims explains how voter ID disenfranchised her (straight-GOP-ticket-voting) father.

Mary Flood urges everyone to make informed votes for judicial candidates.


TPA Blog Round Up (October 20, 2014)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 7:50 am by wcnews

“Voting freshens your breath, whitens your teeth, and improves your sex life.” — Molly Ivins

The Texas Progressive Alliance reminds you that EARLY VOTING HAS BEGUN as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff published an interview with John Cook, the Democratic nominee for Land Commissioner.

Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaos and Daily Kos is sickened by the corporations are people Supreme Court of John Roberts for allowing Greg Abbott to disenfranchise 600,000 American citizens in Texas of their right to vote. TX GOP, Greg Abbott stand by Discrimination and Disenfranchisement.

Two special days in the blogosphere last week: Blog Action Day for inequality was a global initiative, and Texas blogs dropped a money bomb for Wendy Davis. PDiddie at Brains Eggs has details on both.

After this week’s big announcement, Texas Leftist is left to wonder… Did the Dallas Morning News editorial board incorporate facts into it’s Endorsed process for Governor? If so, maybe this week’s decision for Greg Abbott would have went the other way. Clearly DMN should’ve taken a few minutes to read their own paper.

Republican racism revealed in TWIA emails about storm damage to Brownsville ISD property. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme encourages everyone in South Texas to go vote. You can stop the racism. VOTE!

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. Two campaign ads to check out, Must See TV – Great Ads From Mike Collier and Sam Houston.

Neil at All People Have Value wrote about things he is doing to make a difference in the 2014 elections in Texas. Neil says you can make a difference as well. APHV is one of many interesting things to see at NeilAquino.com.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Dan Solomon speaks from personal experience when he says that the Wendy Davis wheelchair ad shines a long-overdue light on the devastating effect tort “reform” has had on victims of medical malpractice.

The Lunch Tray keeps fighting the fight for healthier school lunches and snacks.

Grits for Breakfast calls on Texas jails to opt out of the Secure Communities program.

Texas Vox documents the big heat waves of 2013.

Socratic Gadfly was pleasantly surprised by the SCOTUS ruling that overturned the Fifth Circuit order allowing HB2 to go into effect pending appeals.

Helen Philpot would like for someone to explain to Greg Abbott where babies come from.

LGBTQ Insider compares Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott’s positions on LGBTQ issues.

Andrea Grimes has the GIF-based explanation of the HB2 timeline that you’ve been waiting for.


TPA Blog Round Up (October 13, 2014)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 7:39 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance celebrates the advance of marriage equality and looks forward to the day when it comes to our state as we bring you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff published his interview with Mike Collier, Democratic candidate for Comptroller.

Libby Shaw writing for Daily Kos wants to make sure Texas women voters remember in November. this ad about a guy in a wheelchair on teevee last week. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs thinks that people observing Texas politics that don’t live in Texas just don’t get it.

As crunch time arrives, Texas Leftist wants voters to know just how far out in the political fringe we have to put Republican Dan Patrick. So far out, this week he started running against Rick Perry. Plus, don’t miss my interview with the only sensible candidate in the Lt. Gov. race, Democrat Leticia Van de Putte.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. Of all the bad GOP statewide candidates, and there are many to choose from, Ken Paxton may be the worst, GOP AG Candidate Ken Paxton’s Legal Predicament, Will He Be indicted?

Vote this November with CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme if you want Latinas treated with dignity, people of African descent given life-saving efforts when ill, and Texas women to have proper health services.

Neil at Blog About Our Failing Money Owned Political System wrote about the two ebola cases in the United States. BAOFMOPS is one of many worthy pages to review at NeilAquino.com.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Unfair Park tallies the cost of assuaging irrational fears about Ebola.

Mark Phariss, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit seeking to overturn Texas’ ban on same sex marriage, urges the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to schedule oral arguments in that case already.

Nonsequiteuse reminds us that sneakers are made for blockwalking as well as filibustering. Pink is optional.

Christopher Hooks provides another example of Breitbart Texas being stark raving loony.

The Lunch Tray wrote a piece for the New York Times on the ongoing school lunch wars.

The TSTA Blog highlights another education cutter seeking to get back into office.

Greg Wythe teases his return with a promised look at how the early vote is going.

Mustafa Tameez condemns Dan Patrick’s “irresponsible” border ad.

Juanita speaks as a person with disabilities about that Wendy Davis ad.

Finally, the TPA congratulates Grits for Breakfast on its tenth anniversary of blogging.


A Reminder Of Why Toll Roads Are Making Our Transportation Problems Worse

Posted in Around The State, Commentary, Transportation at 3:57 pm by wcnews

austin+trafficVia TribTalk, The trouble with toll roads in Texas.

But unfortunately, especially in Texas, tolls tend to be introduced for the wrong reasons. When elected leaders aren’t willing to fix major transportation funding problems, tolling can appear to create money out of thin air while actually wasting tax dollars and leading to poor decisions about what transportation projects to build and how to manage them.

The chief reason most toll projects get built is because the money used to build them is “off budget,” meaning it doesn’t appear on the state’s budget and revenue doesn’t come from general taxes. Politicians want to build new public works, repair infrastructure and get their picture taken at ribbon cuttings, but they also fear losing their jobs if they propose raising taxes to pay for these things. Texas lawmakers last session passed legislation that, if approved by voters in November, is expected to redirect billions of dollars over the next decade from the state’s Rainy Day Fund for transportation. But it won’t come close to fixing budget shortfalls.

Tolling raises revenue from the public akin to taxes or fees but uses off-budget private concessions or quasi-public agencies to collect the money and borrow against future tolls. The borrowing doesn’t count as public debt, and thus the costs seem to disappear, especially when public-private partnerships act as a middleman. It’s government accounting fiction. In reality, the private costs of financing toll roads are far more expensive than the rock-bottom interest rates the state pays when issuing tax-free public bonds.

Off-budget tolling can thus discourage public officials from confronting transportation funding questions directly, distorting public choices and enabling politicians to take credit for shiny new roads while remaining insulated from any blame. [Emphasis added]

That exactly like what the GOP has been doing in Texas for the last 12 years. Shiny objects, in the form of extremely expensive toll roads to nowhere, and were all still stuck in traffic.

Well the GOP politicians aren’t the only ones to blame. Those of us who keep buying the same BS that they’re selling certainly deserve blame. But it’s bigger then that. As this TTI study, (referenced at the beginning of the above article), makes clear. The public doesn’t want toll roads, but they don’t want to pay for new roads either.

Texans are most supportive of timing traffic signals more effectively and doing a better job of managing accidents as strategies to help resolve regional transportation issues. Timing traffic signals more effectively was clearly identified as the highest-rated strategy. Building more toll roads was, by far, the least-supported strategy. The lack of support held true in both metropolitan areas and rural areas, as well as areas with and without toll roads.


Nearly two-thirds of Texans believe there is a need to increase transportation funding in Texas. The data suggest a majority agreement on this sentiment across all socio-economic groups. Support was strongest among more highly educated Texans and Texans that primarily use modes other than the personal auto.


Respondents were asked to evaluate specific transportation funding mechanisms such as “increasing the state fuel tax by 5 cents per gallon.” The data suggest that the least attractive mechanisms are those that are more likely to require additional spending on the part of Texans, such as those mechanisms that are linked to inflation and funded by system users. The most attractive mechanisms are those associated with fees already being paid, such as the state vehicle sales tax, but are not currently dedicated to transportation funding. [Emphasis added]

Texans hate toll roads, know we need to spend more on transportation, but balk at any real solution to raise the money needed to fix our transportation problem.  Which is the main reason we have what we have.  A transportation system stuck in the 1990’s – the last time the gas tax was raised.

The politicians, as politicians do, are telling the people what they want to hear.  And the people know it’s not possible to have new roads without raising money to pay for it.  But the people are actually fooling themselves into believing it and letting the politicians get away with it.

We can’t even raise taxes to pay for the things we need. That’s not conservative, that’s just plain stupid.  Meanwhile we’re all still stuck in traffic.


TPA Blog Round Up (October 6, 2014)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 7:18 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance implores you to get a flu shot since the flu is a much bigger threat than ebola as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff began his series of interviews with statewide candidates by talking to Sam Houston, the Democratic candidate for Attorney General.

Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaos and at Daily Kos is very pleased that Wendy Davis rightfully hammered Greg Abbott for the culture of corruption that pervades Austin. TX Davis hammers Abbott on Austin’s pervasive culture of corruption.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. The question remains, is something like the Texas Enterprise Fund scandal enough to get voters to change their mind about Greg Abbott and the GOP? If not then what would it take?

William Rivers Pitt wrote “an open letter to his Democratic spammer“. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs commiserates.

Neil at All People Have Value wrote an art review of the fish cleaning station at the Texas City Dike. APHV is one of many pages worthy of review at NeilAquino.com.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Scott Braddock shows the evidence of who’s behind some recent wingnut-on-wingnut violence. Be sure your popcorn popper is in good order, this one looks like a gift that will keep on giving.

Lone Star Q is happy to report that Dallas City Council has voted week to ban discrimination against transgender city employees.

The Lunch Tray took a stand for citizen journalism.

Hair Balls explains what pot has to do with the Harris County DA race this year.

Char Miller eulogizes his colleague John Donahue, a “gracious force for good” in San Antonio.

Nancy Sims posits her grand unification theory of Houston Mayoral elections.

The Texas Election Law Blog assesses the GAO report on how long it took to vote in 2012.

Texas Wtach wants you to understand the impact of the Texas law that shields the medical industry from accountability.

BOR points to HD94 as a below-the-radar race to watch.

Nonsequiteuse connects the dots from racing for the cure to racing for Governor.


TPA Blog Round Up (September 29, 2014)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 7:50 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes everyone read at least one banned book last week as it brings you this weeks’ roundup.

Off the Kuff presents interviews with two of the many dynamic and well-qualified Democratic women running for legislative offices this year, Rita Lucido in SD17 and Susan Criss in HD23.

Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaos and Daily Kos laments the dire consequences of voting Republican or of not voting at all. Oh come on Texas, surely we can do better than THIS?

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. Abbott’s transportation TV ad is full of dissembling, Abbott’s Fundamentally Dishonest Transportation Ad.

Eric Holder was certainly not as bad as Alberto Gonzales, but his tenure as US attorney general still did not merit a passing grade, at least according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value said there is no inherent conflict between involvement in traditional politics, while at the same time looking for non-conventional protests and movements as a way also to move society in a better direction. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Though the new routes are far from being finalized,Texas Leftist shares that Houston METRO has now fully committed to the System Reimagining Plan. After this week’s vote by the METRO board, there’s no turning back.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

SciGuy gives us a look at Russia’s astronaut training facility.

Newsdesk reports on Rep. Dawnna Dukes’ abortion disclosure.

The Great God Pan Is Dead argues for the elimination of art fairs.

Texas Clean Air Matters cheers Austin and San Antonio’s leadership in clean energy.

Andre Grimes points and laughs at Breitbart Texas.

The Bloggess encourages you to support your local no-kill animal shelter.

The TSTA blog calls out Greg Abbott for lying about his authority as AG to settle the school finance lawsuit.

The Current has more reporting on the shady practices and uninformed advice at crisis pregnancy centers.

Scott Braddock tells the tale of a wingnut catfight.


The Neglect Of Public Education In Texas Will Not End Anytime Soon

Posted in Commentary, Education, Public Schools at 9:53 am by wcnews


Texas is not a state known for being proactive when it comes to public education.  Neglect and procrastination is the strategy.  Texas, almost always, does nothing on this issue until the courts force The Lege to act.  And we’re in the middle of that process once again.

This post from Quorum Report paints a pretty dismal picture for the future of education funding in Texas, Road to school finance solution looks bleak.

Session after session, lawmakers have avoided adding new money to the school finance system and even limited school district tax increases. Now the hole is so huge that it is impossible to find a solution in the state’s typical bag of tricks. The proceeds from the tobacco settlement or additional vice taxes won’t be enough.

The target revenue solution of 2006 was a temporary agreement between state leaders and education leaders, but District Judge John Dietz noted in his opinion it has done nothing but widen revenue gaps between districts. The excess of the state’s Rainy Day Fund would barely prop up the system for a year. And Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, continues his drum beat during hearings in which he insists that Texas cannot bond its way to economic prosperity. Bonding is finite, not infinite.

This is not a $3 billion Medicaid shortfall or $5 billion infusion for TxDOT, which almost seems doable. This is $10 billion plus growth, plus allotment formulas that haven’t been updated in decades. In essence, what lawmakers are doing is creating a budget log jam.

As it stands, a real solution seems a bigger problem than either the Democrats or Republicans can handle. It is one thing to talk about restoring a one-time $5.3 billion cut. Economic growth can cover that. It’s another thing to recognize the state has no obvious revenue source to prop up schools to the tune of $10 billion a biennium.

There’s is no one in office or currently running for office that is proposing a real plan to fix public education in Texas.  All candidates are proposing to do something, but nothing that will significantly change public education funding.

To fully understand what happened and why, the GOP tax swap scheme of 2006 must enter the conversation, Understanding the budget and Texas’ structural deficit.

The driving factor is a decision by Gov. Rick Perry and the Legislature in 2006 to reduce property taxes by $14 billion every two years and raise only about $9 billion to replace that money. In other words, the Legislature committed $5 billion every two years to holding down property taxes instead of spending that money on education, public safety or other priorities.

Then the state’s new business tax brought in drastically less than projected, and that $5 billion gap turned into a nearly $9 billion gap. Lawmakers from both parties did little to address that reality when they met in 2009, and in fact they made the gap a little wider by exempting 40,000 small businesses from the new tax.

It’s disingenuous to blame Democrats for what happened in 2009, they held no real power in state government then. Where Democrats are to blame, then as now, is not offering a clear and different solution from the GOP. There’s a reason for that. The only solution to this problem involves raising taxes and making them fair, which means a state income tax. It’s not likely the public education finance issue in Texas will ever be solved without a state income tax.

The QR story never mentions an income tax, and it would have been a surprise if it did.  The issue also cannot be solved as long as our state government is run by right wing ideological extremists that have it out for public education.

More from the earlier post:

Essentially what all of this shows is that much of Texas’ deficit was pre-determined, no matter how the overall economy in Texas and our country overall has been functioning. And while our governor is on TV telling us how many times he “cut” taxes, he won’t say anything about the structural deficit he signed into law in 2006. And Perry’s GOP opponents are quick to chastise him for the 2006 tax swap scheme because it raised taxes on corporations and some business, they don’t mention the fact that it created structural deficit. Probably because if they did they would have to say what the would do to fix it, and they don’t want to debate that.

As another CPPP report points out, “..Texas is a low-tax state, with a structural deficit.” If we want to educate our children it’s going to cost money. And it’s untrue, no matter how many times that guy with the good hair on TV says it, that Texas can provide the essential services to it’s people, do what’s morally right, allow them to live with dignity and have tax cuts too.

Texans have to realize that to fix this mess we can’t keep electing the same folks that created it. To fix it those in office would have to admit their ideology is failed, and that won’t happen. Only defeat at the ballot box can do that. And, unfortunately, it seems we’re still years away from enough Texans figuring that out.

TPA Blog Round Up (September 22, 2014)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 7:56 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes it had as much vacation time as Congress does as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff highlights the wit and hateful wisdom of Dr. Steven Hotze, one of the leading blights of the anti-gay movement in Texas.

Libby Shaw writing at Daily Kos believes there is a simple way to stop the controversial Tea Party candidate Dan Patrick from becoming the next Lt. Governor. Vote for Leticia. When Democrats vote Democrats win. How are we going to stop Dan Patrick? Easily. Vote for Leticia.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. While Texas has been prosperous in recent years, the prosperity is not being enjoyed by everyone. Abbott’s Message Is Good News For Corporations, Scraps For The Rest Of US.

The only constitutional amendment on the November ballot commits over a billion dollars a year to state highway maintenance from the Rainy Day Fund. Some think that’s a good idea, and some don’t. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs thinks — with the help of Sen. Kirk Watson — that you should decide for yourself.

Neil at All People Have Value wrote that the recent terrible ambush shooting of Pennsylvania state troopers is believed to be the deed of an extreme anti-government individual. Neil says that police would be better served focusing on real threats than pepper-spraying Occupy Wall Street types or sending tanks to Ferguson, Missouri. APHV is one of many pages worthy of viewing at NeilAquino.com.

With the first General Election Gubernatorial Debate in 8 years, everyone can agree that it was an exciting week in Texas politics. Texas Leftist has a full review of the contest. Who knew Greg Abbott was such a compelling liar??


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Better Texas Blog presents a report showing the large impact that medical bills resulting from a visit to the emergency room can have.

The Texas Election Law Blog catches Greg Abbott playing the race card in the followup to the Houston Votes story.

Nonsequiteuse pushes back on sexist tropes in the latest iteration of the Wendy Davis divorce story.

Newsdesk reminds us that the allegations Wendy Davis is making about Greg Abbott in the Texas Youth Commission sexual assault scandal go way back, and the questions she’s raising have been raised before without being answered.

Grits puts the privately-run Bartlett State Jail on the list of facilities the Legislature might consider shuttering if they decide to close more prisons.

The TSTA Blog takes Texas Monthly‘s Erica Greider to task for buying into Republican flimflammery about funding cuts to public schools.

Stephanie Stradley tackles the complex question of what a sensible discipline policy for NFL players might look like.

Unfair Park highlights a video expose of crisis pregnancy centers, including one in Dallas.

Project Q Houston interviews Mel Gonzales, a transgender student who was named Homecoming King at his high school in Sugar Land.


TPA Blog Round Up (September 15, 2014)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 11:47 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance doesn’t need Congressional approval to bring you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looked at the Wendy Davis internal poll and the thought process behind it.

Harold Cook demonstrates the dangers of posting in ignorance to official Facebook pages.

Libby Shaw now writing at Daily Kos hopes the smart sector of Texas wins over the willfully stupid. The battle over text books rages on. An Educated, Diverse and Tolerant TX vs. the Far Right and the Willfully Stupid.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson — born and raised in Palestine, Texas and now living in The Woodlands — found himself outside his community’s standards for child discipline (as determined by a Montgomery County grand jury). It was another black eye — bad pun intended — for the NFL. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs sarcastically wondered why fans of a violent game played by men with violent tendencies in a country that worships violence would have a problem with a four-year-old boy getting whooped with a switch.

Republican racism has its price. Too bad that the Rio Grande Valley is having to pay it. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to know that Perry’s deployment of the Texas National Guard is not just a racist stunt to boast Perry’s batshit crazy bonafides.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. If we aren’t getting the government we want, we still must vote. As Bad As Things Might Seem, Not Voting Only Makes It Worse.

Neil at Blog About Our Failing Money Owned American Political System posted about the strong race run by Zephyr Teachout against corrupt business-as-usual Governor Andrew Cuomo in the New York State Democratic Primary. BAOFMOAPS is one of a number of worthy pages to view at NeilAquino.com.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

The Texas Election Law Blog expresses its outrage at the “Greg Abbott crushes Houston Votes” story.

Grits for Breakfast explores the criminal justice implications of driverless cars.

Hair Balls observes that the demographics of Houston’s suburbs and the police departments of Houston’s suburbs are not alike.

Unfair Park thinks it may have found the greatest Rick Perry photo of all time.

The TSTA blog has a beef with Todd Staples over Meatless Mondays.

Keep Austin Wonky sees little parallel between the rail proposition on Austin’s ballot and Houston’s existing light rail lines.

Texas Clean Air Matters explains Elon Musk’s love-hate relationship with our state.

Nancy Sims is talking about domestic violence and what we need to do about it.

Nonsequiteuse has three ways to help Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte even if you don’t live in Texas.

The Lunch Tray has a problem with how “bake sales” are used to undermine efforts to improve the nutrition of food offered in schools.


The Crux Of The Problem

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Commentary at 1:00 pm by wcnews

Democrats have been trying to solve the turnout problem in mid-term elections for a some time.  As I read the article below it became clear that the problem can be summed up like this: too many Democratic leaning voters see no real reason to show up to vote in mid-term elections.

These are not voters that have to be wooed to the Democratic side.  These are voters that agree with Democrats on the issues but are not compelled to show up on election day.  So we’re not talking about the mythical “undecided” voter.  But essentially Democrats that don’t vote.

Why Dem voters may not show up this fall.

What if a key part of the problem is that many of these voters simply don’t know that Democratic control of the Senate is at stake in this fall’s elections?

That sounds like a huge problem. If Democratic leaning voters don’t understand that there is something to lose in the upcoming election, then it’s not surprising they’re unlikely to show up on election day.

Here’s some data on a message that would likely get Democrats to the polls in November.

MoveOn’s polling memo summarizes some of the key messages about potential GOP control of the Senate that move them:

Should the GOP take control of the Senate, drop-off voters are most concerned that “Republicans will take away a woman’s right to choose and restrict access to birth control” (58 percent rank this very concerning), “Republicans will cut access to health care for 8 million people and let insurance companies refuse to cover people with pre-existing conditions” (58 percent) and “Republicans will cut back workplace protections for women, denying equal pay for equal work” (57 percent)….

The top testing message overall emphasizes education, specifically Republicans’ efforts to cut programs for students while giving tax cuts to the wealthy (54 percent very convincing). This message is the strongest argument for coming out to vote in all of the states except Colorado…the message focusing on Republicans’ war on women is the second strongest in all states besides Colorado.

Variations of all these messages are being employed in many of these tough races.

More shocking stuff.  I you want to get people who don’t vote to the polls on election day, they must be given a reason to show up.  Not rocket science.

The other part of the article that’s most disheartening is that far too many non-voters don’t know how the government works.  They may not even understand that Democrats are currently in control and how losing that control will effect the way our government and their lives.  For those of us that follow politics this may seem impossible, but it’s true.  And from personal knowledge some of these people are well-educated and even work in government.

“We were exploring what would motivate them to turn out to vote,” Lake tells me. “One of the things that came up is that these drop-off voters had no idea that control of the Senate was even up for grabs and were even very confused about who controlled it. These voters are very representative of drop-off voters in a lot of states.”

That so many Americans are unaware of what’s at stake no longer surprises me. So many have dropped out of keeping up with their government, no matter the reason – and they’re numerous.

These voters feel that it makes no difference in their life if they vote. Removing their ignorance of how government operates and reminding them of the importance of their vote is the first threshold that must be crossed.  Showing them what’s at stake and that it has a personal effect on their lives is next step in the process of getting these people to the polls on election day.

It would seem key to the Democrats efforts going forward to make sure voters understand how important it is to them, personally, that Democrats are elected in November.

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