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Archive for November 5, 2011

What Liz Mathis’ Election Means

Mathis for Senate

Tuesday is an off-year election. Usually in the off year there are few races of much interest, and those mostly in some city or town election. But this year in Iowa there is a race of major significance. That is of course the race in Iowa Senate District 18 to replace Swati Dandekar who resigned to take a position with the Iowa Utility Board.

This put the control of the Iowa state Senate in play. Should Republican Cindy Golding win, the senate would be evenly split. An even split would mean sharing leadership. Sharing leadership would mean that the truly bad ALEC legislation that is being pushed through the House now will have a chance of becoming law.

To see just what that means a person doesn’t have to look too far. The most egregious example is Wisconsin. Much like in Iowa, Republicans came to power there on the promise of jobs. That was a promise that was never meant to be kept. Once in power, Gov. Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers (Senate Majority Leader Scott and House Speaker Jeff) went about using government as a club to beat their opponents with. They passed and signed into law legislation aimed at breaking unions especially public unions, dramatically lowering taxes on business shifting the burden to the middle class, changing voting laws to make it harder for certain classes to vote and giving power to the governor to sell off state property without bids.

All of these are laws that were inspired by ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council. These or very similar laws are on the short list for Iowa Republicans. Laws such as enacted in Wisconsin have the goal of shifting the tax burden more and more to those who can least pay while pulling up the safety nets that were there for everyone should bad times occur.

Among the most wanted bills by Republicans is the ALEC voting restriction law that will force everyone to get a voter ID card and restrict absentee ballots. This will be hard for elderly and the poor. A part of that bill would also restrict student voting. In my life this is the first step backward for what was once a constant effort to make the vote available to more and more citizens.

Another particularly onerous piece of legislation is the one that shifts tax revenues from commercial businesses to private property owners on one hand and on the other hand restricts how cities and counties can levy property taxes. The net effect of this will be to dry up local government funds.

So, to all Iowans – there is an election this Tuesday. Get up and get out to vote! Vote in your municipal elections and stay involved with what happens in your community.

But especially to those residing in SD18 in Linn County. Much is at stake in this election. If you do not vote you will have only yourselves to blame if Iowa becomes another Wisconsin.

As a reminder of what ALEC is all about:
across the nation:
In Iowa here:
and here:
and finally here:

Help Ohio! Repeal SB5

Almost 25 million people are unemployed, underemployed or have stopped looking for work—and wages are essentially flat. The middle class is shrinking. Working people—the 99%—are told to sacrifice more while the rich keep getting richer.

And now Ohio workers—including nurses, firefighters and teachers—have lost some of their most basic rights under Ohio’s Senate Bill 5, which many say is even worse than what Gov. Scott Walker pulled in Wisconsin.

SB 5 is part of Wall Street’s strategy to chip away at collective bargaining rights, piece by piece, law by law, until unions and collective bargaining rights are destroyed. It must not stand.

Can you help make sure Ohio voters remember to make their voices heard by calling 10 of them now? You can help make sure they show up at the polls on Nov. 8 and repeal SB 5 by voting NO on Issue 2. Click here to get started.

It seems like workers can’t get a break these days. But we can beat back this attack on working people if we make these calls. Here’s why we know we can win this election with your help:

There is enormous grassroots opposition from across the political spectrum. And the good news is, Ohio voters have the power to overturn SB 5 by voting NO on Issue 2. They just need to show up and vote.

And public opinion in Ohio is on our side. Fifty-seven percent of Ohio voters say this attack on workers—which is listed on the Ohio ballot as Issue 2—should be repealed, compared with 32 percent who are in favor of keeping the law.

But this is an off-year election. We can’t win on public opinion alone. We need you to help make sure Ohio voters turn out to the polls and make their voices heard on Nov. 8.

Get a list of Ohio voters and their phone numbers right now. Give them a call and make sure they vote on Nov. 8 to repeal SB 5 by voting NO on Issue 2.

The fate of working families and SB 5 will be decided not by politicians but by Ohioans, as they cast their vote on Ballot Issue 2 on or before Nov. 8. And all of us can help folks who don’t remember there’s an off-year election to get to the polls.

Early voting is going on in Ohio right now. Don’t wait until Election Day to call voters. Call now. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to make a difference with so much on the line.

Grab your phone now. It takes 10 minutes to ask 10 Ohio voters to show up at the polls and repeal SB 5 by voting NO on 2.