Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is not very well-known nationally. She has been on a few news segments for the traditional media but none of those appearances have garnered her national recognition commensurate with her accomplishments.
It is obvious she was well aware of that when she gave her speech at Netroots Nation. “I want to start by telling you a story which I need to do. Because you have now heard from a list of very exciting people and you have no idea who I am or why I am here. So, I am going to tell you why.”
Abrams went on to tell her story. She grew up in Mississippi. Her father was from the poor side of town. Her mother was from the side of town that was even poorer. “Her family was the family poor people made fun of,” Abrams said.
Her mother was a second grade dropout. The woman that her mother cleaned for insisted that her mother go back to school. A caring teacher had placed in her records that if the little girl ever came back to school, she should not be held back because she was intelligent. Good people did good things for a good girl who society disregarded. Ultimately, her mother graduated as valedictorian of her class and completed several college and graduate degrees. Her father, who was dyslexic, taught himself to read and graduated from college.
What a great title, huh? At Netroots Nation in Detroit, there was a panel by that name, and it did not disappoint. Moderator Tom Bonier began by laying out how Republicans approach gerrymandering, and elections in general:
If you can't win fair, change the rules.
And that's pretty accurate. Republicans do this on any number of fronts, from voter suppression tactics such as reducing the number of days people can vote, making it harder or impossible to register and vote on the same day, purging the voter rolls in ways that throw legitimate voters off the rolls, and demanding voters show government-issued photo ID (although gun permits are allowed in Texas, naturally, but not college ID's). In addition to these, Republicans have excelled in mastering the redistricting process by gerrymandering districts at the local, state, and federal level.
The two sides don't do it to anywhere near the same degree, however. In the runup to the 2010 elections, Republicans developed a $30 million plan called REDMAP to aid in their attempt to flip state legislatures and thus gerrymander districts going forward. As you can see above, it worked.
By Molly Hogin on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 11:09am
DETROIT, MI: Join us at Netroots Nation for an inside look at the Democratic strategy to fight back against GOP gerrymandering. Armed with cutting-edge data and strong progressive messaging, the panel will discuss the DLCC’s four-cycle, 50-state strategy to erase Republicans’ gerrymandering advantage and win the 2020 redistricting cycle. The panel will be moderated by Tom Bonier of Clarity Campaign Labs, and will also include Georgia House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams, Michigan State Senator Jim Ananich, and Executive Director of the DLCC Michael Sargeant as panelists. The panel will take place on July 17, 2014 at 10:30 AM EDT in Room 141 of the COBO Center in Detroit, MI.
@TheDLCC Debuts New Twitter Handle, Launches Comprehensive #FollowFriday List -- Includes Democratic Groups & Officials from All 50 States --
Washington, DC (July 11, 2014) – To celebrate the debut of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee’s new Twitter handle, @TheDLCC, we are participating in Twitter’s #FollowFriday tradition and releasing the Twitter handles of Democrats in all 50 state legislatures.
Tweets sent out today will include our hashtag for the occasion: #FFDLCC.
Below is the list of Twitter handles for every state legislative chamber’s Democratic caucus with an active Twitter account, along with the handles for the leadership within those chambers. Following these handles will result in timely updates straight from officials and caucus members who are working at the state level to further Democratic ideals. As some legislatures are out of session, certain handles may currently be inactive until the chamber resumes legislative business.
By Geoffrey Montes on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 5:07pm
-- The DLCC’s Initial List of Legislative Chambers with Opportunities to Cut into Republican Majorities --
Washington, D.C. - In a press call earlier today, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) released its Flip Chart 2014, which is a list of legislative chambers where Democrats have the greatest opportunity to cut into Republican majorities and potentially “flip” the chambers to Democratic control. The full press call is available below:
As extreme Republican legislatures continue taking aim at women's health, working families, immigrants, and equal rights, Democratic state legislative candidates and state caucuses have real opportunities to take control of chambers across the country in November. The DLCC’s Flip Chart is developed by assessing a chamber’s in-state political environment and the strength of Democratic campaigns, and is composed of two categories, Emerging Majorities and Chambers to Watch.
By Molly Hogin on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 2:55pm
Previous WOTW inductee, North Carolina House Speaker Pro Temp Paul "Skip" Stam (R), strikes again. Amidst a debate over a charter school bill, Rep. Stam took the opportunity to pass out a handout titled “What Is A ‘Sexual Orientation’?” to his colleagues on the house floor, which included over 30 definitions including sexual sadism, pedophilia, and bestiality alongside homosexual/gay/lesbian.
Rep. Stam not only disparaged an amendment to the bill that would prevent charter schools from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity, he also equated sexual orientation with a long list of sexual disorders.
Rep. Marcus Brandon, the only openly gay member of the legislature, responded, “Pedophilia is not a sexuality, and we cannot continue in this body to keep calling things something [they’re] not. It’s offensive to a whole group of people”
By Nathan Thomas on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 12:14pm
The Providence Journalreports that Republicans are leaving nearly 70% of Rhode Island's 113 legislative seats uncontested this fall, making it mathematically certain that Democrats will return this fall with both their state Senate and state House supermajorities intact:
Both chambers are overwhelmingly Democrat, and as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, only 11 Republicans had surfaced as Senate candidates, including the two competing for the seat that North Kingstown Republican Sen. Dawson Hodgson is giving up to run for attorney general, and the 27 competing for House seats, including the two vying to replace Democrat Larry Valencia of Richmond.
A spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office said it is possible that not all cities and towns have provided the names of all their legislative candidates. If history repeats itself, not all of the potential candidates who threw their names into the ring will be able to collect all the signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot.
By Molly Hogin on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 1:51pm
Republican Rep. Bob Elliott took to his Facebook page to call for a “complete closing of all American borders” in order to prevent the US from becoming a country where “the majority of people speak Spanish” while at the same time being “Islamic within the next 20 years.”
Rep. Elliot continued his paranoid Facebook rant, suggesting a “major Revolution of the masses in the coming election” to throw the Obama administration out of office and elect a new Congress that “handles the number one priority, illegal immigration.”
Rep. Elliot’s outburst continued with the notion that shunning the Nation’s Spanish speakers and Islamic immigrants would make “it possible to regain America’s lost title of being the greatest country in the world.”
By Geoffrey Montes on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 12:38pm
New Hampshire state Representative Steve Beaudoin (R-Rochester) recently took to his Facebook page to spread the claim that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using traffic cameras to spy on New Hampshire residents. From Miscellany Blue:
"Were the Spaulding Turnpike cameras funded by DHS?" [Beaudoin] wrote on Facebook. "If the cameras are simple traffic cameras, why can’t you see a feed from them like every other traffic camera in the state?"
One visitor answered by posting a link to the Web site where you can, in fact, view the feeds. Former Rep. Fred Leonard (R-Rochester), who is certainly no Obama apologist, tried to explain that the height of the cameras makes it impossible to use them for license plate scanning or facial recognition. “I know this stuff because it’s what I do,” Leonard wrote.
"I don’t buy it," replied Beaudoin. "My source is irrefutable."
By Molly Hogin on Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 12:33pm
Republican Rep. Stephen Meeks, who opposes same-sex marriage, compared it to pedophilia and bestiality on Twitter. The disturbing tweet highlights Rep. Stephen Meeks’ anti-gay beliefs, which he attributes to his “Biblical view of civil unions and government’s role in it.”
Nor is this the first time Rep. Meeks has engaged in this sort of rhetoric. Nearly two years ago, he posted to his Facebook page that “It would be impossible to outlaw homosexuality” but we could “outlaw the practice of it, since we outlaw the practices of incest, pedophilia, prostitution.”