State & Local Politics

State & Local Politics

Rick Perry and Shelby County v. Holder

“To understand the depth of the damage that the Supreme Court’s June 25 decision, Shelby County v. Holder, has inflicted on the voting rights of African-Americans,” Thomas B. Edsall writes today in The New York Times, “ you have to measure it against the backdrop of the takeover of state legislatures, primarily in the South, by the Republican Party.”

The title of Edsall’s essay is “The Decline of Black Power in the South.” But we are a nation of states, not of tribes: North Carolina, New Hampshire, California, Texas, not generic and made-up tribes; white, black, Newyorican, gay.

When the Voting Rights Act came to the South, it came after a century of breathtaking poverty while New York rose to world economic dominance and before that the most horrific war the world had seen since the Second Punic War.


Sarah Palin should start a 'Freedom Party'

Sarah Palin lives on the edge of the forest. She brings them troubled sleep. Reports this weekend at the Daily Caller that Alaska’s former governor responded to a Twitter question on Fox “about the possibility of her and conservative talker Mark Levin abandoning the Republican Party and creating something called the 'Freedom Party.' "

Palin is open to the idea and said that if the GOP continues to abandon its conservative principles, others would follow suit.

“I love the name of that party: the 'Freedom Party,' " Palin said.


Wendy 14, Oops 0 in Texas governor race round one

The groundswell of support for Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) to run for governor has begun, as I wrote in my column this week.

With the panicked and insulting reaction of Gov. Rick Perry (R) to Wendy's iconic filibuster, and Wendy's cool and classy rebuttal, we have learned something new in the hours since her filibuster.


The Texas Century: Who is Wendy Davis?

"Who is Wendy Davis?" I asked.

And that is the blog headline this morning in The Washington Post as well: Who is Wendy Davis?

The issue — a daylong filibuster to hold back a late-night vote on a restrictive abortion law in the Texas Legislature’s special session — may be forgotten in time, but Davis will not be forgotten. The cameras were ready this time and the photos will be historic: It is Jimmy Stewart the sequel, following Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) historic filibuster on drones on March 6.


Texas GOP, Boehner GOP face demographic Armageddon with women and Hispanics

Shortly after Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) vetoed legislation supporting pay equity for women, House Republicans in Washington passed an extreme bill to restrict abortion. And now Texas Republicans in Austin are trying to pass what could be the most extreme anti-choice measure in the nation.

While state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) fights valiantly against the anti-choice bill in the Texas Senate, the leading sponsor of the bill in the Texas House, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R), while opposing even an exception for rape, appeared to not even know what a rape kit is.


California, America’s Tibet, needs nullification

California, whose capital is farther from Washington, D.C., than Tibet’s is from its Chinese masters in Beijing, steps up this week. 

As The Tenth Amendment Center reports, state Rep. Tim Donnelly’s (R) AB351, a bill which starts the process of stopping “indefinite detention” under the National Defense Authorization Act has passed the state Assembly and is up for an important state Senate committee hearing and vote on June 25. 

But California comes reluctantly to state sovereignty. Striving toward liberation of the inner-life sort since Sonny Barger’s bikers and Jack Kerouac’s dharma bums first found rude awakenings there, California now needs nullification. Possibly it needs nullification more than others as it seeks greater freedoms and more original awakenings.


Israel and the two Americas

For anyone interested, I will be doing an interview over the weekend on Israel National News’s "Tamar Yonah Show," making the case that we now have two Americas, as per in the most recent elections, the abstraction of “red” and ”blue” America has concretized with the election of conservative governors in red states and liberal governors in blue states. 

And Israel will have to choose the better friend: The heartland or the Northeast. And Texas and the American heartland will be the better friend than New York.


Wendy Davis for Texas

In my latest column, I suggested Democratic donors begin a national effort to define key 2014 races and support — generously — massive new initiatives to register and turn out voters. 

Here I suggest Texas Democrats put the Lone Star State at the forefront of key races in 2014 by supporting and potentially drafting State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) to run for governor of Texas and end the arrogant, far-right and crony capitalist era of Texas GOP rule.

As I write these words, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) are using a special session of the Legislature to pursue their pet projects of disenfranchising Texas Hispanic and blacks voters, and destroying abortion rights for women.


Chris Christie's moment of truth

Will the real Chris Christie please stand up? When Gov. Christie (R) decides who will replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), we will learn a great deal about the real Chris Christie. 

Will Christie pick a moderate and further, possibly permanently, alienate the GOP right? Or will he pick a conservative and create Democratic anger toward President Obama, who last week was virtually campaigning for Christie's reelection, and anger major Democratic and independent donors who support Christie? 

Christie's choice will tell us a lot about who he is and what he intends. Today, Christie has a wide range of political options. He might want to run for president in 2016. He might not want to run for president at all. He might want to run later than 2016. He might want to run as a Republican or move toward authentic political independence.