After over fifty years of activism, politics and writing, Tom Hayden is still a leading voice for ending the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, for erasing sweatshops, saving the environment, and reforming politics through a more participatory democracy. Hayden was famously a founding member of the Students for a Democratic Society in 1961, and author of its visionary call, the Port Huron Statement, described by Howard Zinn as "one of those historic documents which represents an era."
Now, fifty years after Port Huron, we are pleased to release the news that Tom Hayden will speak at another historic gathering, the 2011 Democracy Convention.
The Joint Finance Committee voted today to end the independent agency status of the Wisconsin Arts Board, moving the oversight of arts to the Tourism Board. The proposal will now go before the State Assembly and Senate for final approval as part of Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011-13 biennial budget. The vote was along party lines with 14 Republicans voting in favor and four Democrats voting against.
The committee did restore some of the cuts Walker proposed, returning over $350,000 to the agency over the next two years. The Board was facing a drop from $3 million to $750,000; now it will have just over $1 million in the next budget period.
The JFC also reversed Walker by allowing the Arts Board the autonomy to select its own executive director in the future.
Protests have engulfed the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where students are standing against a proposed bill that threatens teacher's unions. The outcries come as the state's new Republican Governor Scott Walker announced a plan to end collective bargaining for most of the state's 175,000 public employees.
Optical scan (OS) voting systems play an increasing role in the United States elections, with over 40 states deploying such systems. The AccuVote optical scanners (AV-OS) manufactured by ES&S account for over 20% of all OS systems. OS systems typically use removable media (cards) to provide election-specific programming to the scanners and to convey precinct election results for central tabulation. Several reports document occurrences of AV-OS memory card failures, with up to 15% of all cards failing in some cases.
This report describes a project that examined the residual vote rates in the state of Florida’s 2008 presidential preference primary, taking advantage of a state law that, for a time, required all jurisdictions to report over- and under-votes at the precinct level.
While barreling westward across the Great Plains yesterday, I received an urgent text message from Bev Harris of the non-partisan election integrity watchdog organization BlackBoxVoting.org. She and Susan Pynchon, an election integrity advocate from Florida Fair Elections Coalition, had traveled to Shelby County (Memphis), Tennessee, following reports of massive voter disenfranchisement during the state's August 5th elections.
She and Pynchon have been in the county, on behalf of a number of the candidates affected by the apparent disaster for the last two weeks.
WASHINGTON - July 7 - The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Georgia and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers' Committee) filed a motion late yesterday in a Washington, D.C. federal court to intervene in a challenge to the Voting Rights Act brought by the state of Georgia. The civil rights coalition is defending the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Act and challenging the state's flawed and racially discriminatory voter-registration practices.
Section 5 has protected racial and language minorities' access to voting across the South and the nation since 1965 and requires some states with a history of discrimination in voting procedures to submit new procedures for federal review before they are implemented.
Many would argue that news and coffee go together like salt and pepper. A hyperlocal site in Freehold, New Jersey, is willing to bet this holds true for newsrooms and coffee shops.
The site, Freehold InJersey, is one of 14 Gannett-owned community news blogs across the state. But this one, run by the Asbury Park Press, is the only one to integrate its newsroom into a local coffee shop where citizen journalists can interact with fellow members of the community.
"My biggest hope was that people would just come and chat with us," Editor Colleen Curry says. "The site really wants to facilitate discussion in the community. We want to remove the barrier that exists in print journalism."
BIRMINGHAM — Some black residents in Shelby County, backed by the NAACP and ACLU, are seeking to challenge the county's attempt to have parts of the Voting Rights Act ruled unconstitutional.
The county's lawsuit contends that conditions that kept minorities from voting years ago are a thing of the past.
The U.S. Department of Justice this week responded for the first time to the lawsuit, in which the county asked for a summary judgment. The government said in a motion that the U.S. attorney general opposes a summary judgment and has had no opportunity to gather information in the case.
At the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit, activists involved in the "Bring the Guard Home - It's the law!" campaign discuss the idea of democratizing defense, giving citizens greater control over decisions about the use of the U.S, military and especially each state's National Guard.
Speakers: Leah Bolger, David Swanson, Kevin Zeese, George Martin Moderator: Ben Manski
Nearly 10 years after George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore and became president anyway, the New York State Legislature has a chance to withdraw from the archaic and unfair way this country picks its chief executives.
The State Senate has adopted, by a vote of 52 to 7, a measure requiring the state to assign all of its Electoral College delegates to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. In the Assembly, 79 of 150 members have signed on to the bill, but it remains stuck in committee. The Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, should bring it to the floor this week and press all members to vote for it.
In a seventh-floor conference room festooned with framed articles and journalism awards, Managing Editor Gordon Witkin leads the morning discussion of stories his staff is pursuing.
Their latest scoop -- on members of Congress dumping their BP stock -- "was a big success," he says. "It was in an AP story that sent it everywhere, including Yahoo and Google News."
On the front burner, a dozen staffers around the table explain, is a joint series just approved by the New York Times. A piece underway with The Washington Post is being edited. There was a "tough conference call," says international director David Kaplan, with eight London producers on a 10-segment project with the BBC.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a draft discussion called "Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism." The draft proposals include possible government subsidies for journalists, taxes on news aggregators, mobile phones and Internet users, more copyright protection, increased postal subsidies and public notices, and changes in tax laws to encourage nonprofit news organizations.
"Newspapers have not yet found a new, sustainable business model, and there is reason for concern that such a business model may not emerge," the report says. "Therefore it is not too soon to start considering policies that might encourage innovations to help support journalism into the future."
Original article here...
Federal Trade Commission Report: Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism, here... (.pdf)
It has been a long time since Massachusetts decided a presidential election. Presidential candidates spend the vast majority of their time and campaign funds on swing states like Ohio and Florida, and the votes of certain Americans are more sought after than others.
Sandy Springs, the first Georgia city to try and bail out of of the Voting Rights Act, on Wednesday drew its first public rebuke, a Fulton County Commission resolution scolding its efforts.
The resolution opposing Sandy Springs' request carried no legal weight, but it sharply defined the differences between the county and a city that incorporated four years ago, with the latter claiming its residents are not receiving proper attention and service from the former and then seeking to be relieved from federal oversight of elections.
The Massachusetts House has approved a bill intended to ensure that the winner of the presidential election is determined by the national popular vote and not by the Electoral College system.
The House voted 114-35 this afternoon for the National Popular Vote bill, sending it to the Senate.
Under the proposed bill, all of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationally. Supporters are trying to get such bills enacted in states across the nation. Once states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (or 270 of 538) have enacted such laws, the winner of the popular vote would be assured a majority of the electoral votes, no matter how the votes fall in other states.