Don't forget that Blair was given alot of help by the Conservatives.
Almost immediately after the narrow Conservative victory in the 1992 elections, Britain suffered a currency crisis and was forced out of the older, looser version of the European monetary union. The Conservatives lost their reputation as competent managers of the economy and have never regained it.
Then they tore themselves apart over the European integration issue, 5 years of slow-motion self destruction between wingnuts and moderates.
Any chance something like that could happen here? We have to be ready should we be presented with such an opportunity.
voters upset about misleading calls
BY KATHLEEN GRAY
Detroit FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Monday, November 1, 2004
Some voters on Monday complained of getting misleading automated phone calls over the weekend telling them either that their polling place had changed or that a vote for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was a vote to legalize gay marriage.
The messages - known as robo calls - were placed in heavily Democratic cities of Detroit, Flint and Pontiac and the Democratic-leaning city of Grand Rapids.
"When you vote this Tuesday, remember to legalize gay marriage by supporting John Kerry," the call said. "It's what we all want. It's a basic Democratic principle."
Kerry opposes same sex marriage. Earlier this year, Kerry spoke against a proposal to amend the federal constitutional to ban same sex marriage, saying the issue was divisive and should be left up to states. He supports civil unions for gay or lesbian couples.
The phone calls were made in communities with large populations of African Americans, many of whom vote Democratic, but who also have supported the passage of Michigan's ballot Proposal 2, a ban on same sex marriage.
"It's obvious that they're using this as a wedge issue to suppress the vote in Detroit," said Josh Elling, 28, a Kerry supporter from Detroit, who received the call Sunday evening. "I think it's shameful."
"In a letter, Berkeley County clerk John Smalls cites calls from a cell phone were made to Eastern Panhandle democrats telling them that they were not registered to vote. The letter also said the calls informed democrats in some cases they wouldn`t be able to vote on Election Day [...]"
"It`s considered an improper act because when upset citizens called the voter registration office to make sure they were registered to vote, indeed they were. So, who made these misleading calls? The Berkeley County Clerk`s Office traced the number voters gave as the source back to the Eastern Panhandle Republican Headquarters."
Bad enough the first time, as I said. Problem is, despite their "slap on the wrist" (or because of it), local Republicans are still up to the same dirty tricks. From an email statement today:
"Democratic leaders in one of the nation's most hotly-contested battleground states are receiving reports of voter suppression activities that can be traced back to the Republican Party. The suppression activities have continued despite warnings from officials in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties."
Hopefully these WV Republicans face the same fate as those in Ohio who tried to challenge 35,000 new voters for no reason other than disenfranchisement. After hundreds of hearings found zero illegal registrations, the entire lot of challenges was thrown out and the Republican masterminds now face criminal charges.
Speaking of Ohio, I got this from a Toledo volunteer:
"I worked all day yesterday at the largest Toledo area Kerry GOTV phone bank at Gallon and Takacs law offices, 3516 Granite, Sylvania. Out of the 8 phone banks that we had here in the Toledo area yesterday, ours produced one third of all of the contacts made."
"Both the local phone company and our phone systems provider have confirmed to us that phone relay point into the building was purposely severed. Many volunteers were rerouted to other locations and several also had to rely on cell phones when we found our lines down this morning. We thought it was a coincidence until the phone company verified to us that the lines were intentionally cut."
More Republican dirty tactics.
And more Ohio, check out this letter supposedly sent from the Lake County (Painesville) Board of Election to newly registered Democrats:
Of course, the letter is not from the Board of Election, and it's obviously all bullshit. (From Law Geek.)
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the GOP wants to take a page from the Ohio playbook.
"Citing a new list of more than 37,000 questionable addresses, the state Republican Party demanded Saturday that Milwaukee city officials require identification from all of those voters Tuesday."
"If the city doesn't, the party says it is prepared to have volunteers challenge each individual - including thousands who might be missing an apartment number on their registration - at the polls."
In Ohio, the "questionable addresses" were those were GOP-sent registered mail wasn't accepted. Wherever the WI GOP's list comes from, it's definitely not reality.
City Attorney Grant Langley labeled the GOP request "outrageous."
"We have already uncovered hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of addresses on their (original list) that do exist," said Langley, who holds a non-partisan office. "Why should I take their word for the fact this new list is good? I'm out of the politics on this, but this is purely political."
Still in Wisconsin, let's head to the ultra-liberal University of Wisconsin -- Madison, which should be a huge source of Kerry votes on Tuesday.
UW-Madison students in six residence halls received misleading information this week about how to vote, triggering allegations of dirty tricks.
The Dave Magnum for Congress campaign and the College Republicans took responsibility and apologized for the mailing Friday evening, insisting it was an honest error.
But a progressive group called it a deliberate attempt to confuse student voters. And University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor John Wiley, saying he was concerned that students might not know where to vote, had e-mails sent to all students Friday afternoon containing correct information.
The Campus Republican flyer told students they could vote at the polling location of their choice. Obviously, voters must vote in their assigned polling location.
Let's wrap up in Alabama, where Democratic areas have been infested with this flyer:
NAACP, election officials caution voters of bogus letter
Posted on Fri, Oct. 29, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Charleston County election officials cautioned South Carolinians on Friday to steer clear of a fake letter that threatens the arrest of voters who have outstanding parking tickets or have failed to pay child support. . . .
The one-page letter poses as a message from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. . . .
City attorney calls new list of bad addresses 'purely political'
By GREG J. BOROWSKI
Last Updated: Oct. 30, 2004
Citing a new list of more than 37,000 questionable addresses, the state Republican Party demanded Saturday that Milwaukee city officials require identification from all of those voters Tuesday.
If the city doesn't, the party says it is prepared to have volunteers challenge each individual - including thousands who might be missing an apartment number on their registration - at the polls. . . .
Republicans are Accused of Scaring Off Voters in Ohio
by Rupert Cornwell in Youngstown, Ohio
Published on Thursday, October 28, 2004 by the lndependent/UK
As George Bush brought his campaign for the "discerning Democrat" to Ohio yesterday, a dispute grew fiercer still over alleged voter fraud and intimidation on polling day, and over thousands of possibly decisive provisional ballots, that will only be certified after the rest of the vote has been counted. . . .
Taking advantage of state laws, Republicans have challenged 35,000 names in Ohio, almost half of them in Cuyahoga County, which covers the heavily black and Democratic neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio's second largest city.
Republican officials have also recruited 3,600 election monitors who will be positioned outside polling stations to demand checks on the credentials of suspected ineligible voters. . . .
By Greg Palast
Reporting for BBC's Newsnight
Tuesday, 26 October, 2004
A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.
Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".
It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.
An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day." . . .
by Deborah Hastings
Published on Saturday, October 23, 2004 by the Associated Press
In several battleground states across the country, a consulting firm funded by the Republican National Committee has been accused of deceiving would-be voters and destroying Democratic voter registration cards.
Arizona-based Sproul & Associates is under investigation in Oregon and Nevada over claims that canvassers hired by the company were instructed to register only Republicans and to get rid of registration forms completed by Democrats. . . .
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Excerpt from 11 January 1944 message to Congress on the State of the Union
. . . This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights--among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our nation has grown in size and stature, however--as our industrial economy expanded--these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all--regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.