Democrats Plan Voting Law Changes
Last week, the head of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) launched a 50-State initiative to promote changes Democrats claim will make it easier to cast a ballot.
The effort is being run by American Values First, a 501(c)(4) organization headed by the DLCC's executive director and launched last week during a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats intend to push State legislation similar to that of Colorado which now requires all voters to receive mail-in ballots.
Legislators in seven States will also introduce bills that will tweak election laws in other ways and, in States in which Democrats have control, the measures have good chances of passing. Democratic legislators in Maine intend to push for expanding access to absentee ballots and early voting locations and Democrats in Nevada passed bills to extend the deadline for new voters to register and to add polling places although both were vetoed by Republican Governor Brian Sandoval.
The new push is said to come in response to Republican voter law initiatives in key States. Republicans in North Carolina and Florida moved to cut the number of early voting days and Arizona and Florida imposed new restrictions on groups that sign up voters for absentee ballots. Republican-led legislatures from New Hampshire to Michigan to Florida passed legislation requiring voters to show photo ID before they receive a ballot.
Government Spending in Perspective
The Heritage Foundation has pointed out that in 2013, federal spending approached $3.5 trillion or approximately $27,700 for every American household. All across America, people balance their budgets, rein in spending and pay down their debts. Below are examples of how the government can't seem to abide by those standards.
- IRS spent $4.1 million on a lavish conference in 2010 for 2,609 of its employees in Anaheim, California. Expenses included $50,000 for line dancing and "Star Trek" parody videos, $64,000 in conference "swag" for the employees plus free meals, cocktails and hotel upgrades.
- In 2010, 117,000 people who double-dipped into Social Security's disability insurance program and the federal unemployment insurance program received $850 million in cash benefits.
- In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture spent $300,000 promoting caviar produced in Idaho.
- 1,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania collected weekly unemployment benefits over a four-month period, costing taxpayers $7 million.
- The Transportation Security Administration let 5,700 pieces of unused security equipment worth $184 million sit in a Dallas, Texas warehouse which costs $3.5 million annually to lease. Taxpayers lost another $23 million in depreciation costs because most of the machines had been housed there for nine months or more.
- Taxpayer-funded Amtrak recovered only 44 cents of every dollar of its food and beverage costs on long-distance routes which already annually lose money.
- The oval office is getting a facelift and while it is out-of-commission, the president will need a pseudo-Oval Office, all to the tune of $376 million.
- The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research spent $681,387 on a study to confirm that a man carrying a firearm appears taller, stronger and manlier.
- According to USASpending.gov, a website dedicated to unveiling government spending, the Department of Health and Human Services failed to report $800 billion in spending on time.