Saturday, March 16, 2013

Critics Proved Wrong Again on Voter ID

By Hans A. von Spakovsky - December 19, 2012

Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas, has released some very interesting statistics that disprove — once again — the fallacious claims made by critics of voter ID. Kansas, whose voter-ID law became effective this year, has 1.8 million registered voters. From January 1 through September 30, only 120 people in the entire state applied for the free ID that Kansas provides to anyone who doesn’t already have a photo ID.

Those 120 constitute only 0.007 percent of all voters registered in Kansas.

On Election Day, only 0.07 percent of the 1,182,771 Kansans turning out at the polls were unable to show a proper form of identification. They were allowed to cast provisional ballots and told to present a valid ID after the election so that their vote would be counted. Almost half of the provisional voters did so, dropping the number of voters without proper ID to just 0.04 percent of all people who tried to cast votes.

These figures give the lie to claims by the Brennan Center and other voter ID opponents that a whopping 11 percent of voting-age Americans have no acceptable form of photo ID, and that voter-ID laws therefore present a hindrance for many.

In an election where turnout across the country generally went down from 2008, Kansas had a turnout of 66.8 percent. That’s virtually the same as the turnout in 2000 (66.7 percent) — the last presidential election year in which Kansas had no U.S. Senate race.  Sorry, Brennan Center. Your claim that voter ID laws reduce turnout goes up in smoke. Again.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Final Strike to Obamacare

March 7, 2013

by: Bryan Baumgart

The death of Obamacare was prolonged Wednesday when Congress approved legislation to fund the government through the 2013 Fiscal Year. By settling for minor cuts to spending, Republican House leadership effectively allowed the opportunity to end Obamacare to slip through their hands.
In January, hoping to buy time to shore up Obamacare's Achilles Heel, the Obama administration waived the deadline for states to establish exchanges.

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi stated, "We will have to pass it [Obamacare] to see what is in it", she had no idea the fatal flaw she was ignoring. Obamacare was crafted in such a way, that its funding is completely dependent on the states to establish exchanges. If a state refuses to set up an exchange, and so far 25 have refused, the federal government must step in and create one. However, the law does not authorize tax credits and subsidies to flow through federally created exchanges, only those created by states. Furthermore, there is reason to doubt that the federal government has either the ability or the money to implement the exchanges themselves. To date, congress has not appropriated any funding for this purpose. Unfortunately, today marked a missed opportunity for Republican leadership to take advantage of this flaw.

Fortunately, we have one last opportunity to get it right, before Obamacare takes full and irreversible effect in 2014. Current government funding expires on September 30, 2013. Congress will be under immense pressure to pass a budget or another continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown. This will be our one and final chance to take down Obamacare. Conservatives must stick together and refuse to approve any budget or CR that does not completely defund Obamacare (including the exchanges, Medicaid expansion, etc.). It would also be an appropriate time to repeal the attack on religious liberty.

Now is the time to see what kind of political courage our Republican leadership has. We have heard plenty of rhetoric surrounding priorities and promises to take Obamacare down. Will our leaders walk the walk, or just keep talking?

(Note: Any attempt to unilaterally rewrite the law to fix these flaws would certainly end up before the Supreme Court. Perhaps next time they will get it right.)

If you do only ONE thing to help your country this year, I encourage you to contact your reps and demand that they do not pass a CR that does not sufficiently defund Obamacare and all of its provisions.

Congressman Lee Terry:
11717 Burt Street, Suite 106
Omaha, NE 68154 
Phone: (402) 397-9944
Fax: (402) 397-8787

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry:
301 South 13th Street, Suite 100
Lincoln, NE 68508
p (402) 438-1598
t  (866) 725-5255
f  (402) 438-1604

Congressman Adrian Smith:
1811 West Second Street, Suite 275
Grand Island, NE 68803
Phone: (308) 384-3900
Fax: (308) 384-3902

Senator Deb Fischer:
P.O. Box 83287
Lincoln, NE 68501
Phone: 402-742-0084

Senator Mike Johanns:
9900 Nicholas St., Suite 325
Omaha, NE 68114
Tel: (402) 758-8981
Fax: (402) 758-9165