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Walls Close In On WI’s Walker

Signs that the Wisconsin governor is ripe to be taken down are everywhere. Politico: ” There’s every reason to believe this is the beginning of the end for Scott Walker. His presidential bid crashed and burned. He’s running for a third term as governor in what figures to be a hostile midterm for the Republican Party. Polling shows that the independent voters who were so critical to Walker’s wins in the 2012 recall and 2014 reelection are breaking away from him. After years of futility, Democrats here are convinced they finally have him cornered. ‘He’s stuck with a bad environment. He’s stuck with a long incumbency, and he’s stuck with a short general election,’ said Tom Russell, a Wisconsin-based consultant with the Democratic Governors Association. The signs that Walker is ripe to be taken down are everywhere. His opponent, Schools Superintendent Tony Evers, has a slight lead in recent polls and there’s evidence that critical suburban voters are shifting leftward. Three former Walker aides have even turned on the governor, with two cutting ads for Evers. And Walker has quickly gone negative on Evers, including in a new, highly-charged ad. Just as important, Democrats are running a populist candidate they believe is made for the moment — Evers, who built momentum from decisively winning a crowded primary and went on to raise $1 million in his first week as the nominee. A career educator, Evers presents a crisp contrast with Walker, who’s held elected office for more than two decades. Democrats have seized on a ‘Walker fatigue’ message that blames him for a teacher shortage, deteriorating roads (‘Scottholes’ as one group calls them) and rising health care costs.”

DOJ Subpoenas NC Voting Records

Justice Dept. demand for NC voting records extended to D.M.V. NYT: “In a further sign of the sprawling nature of the Justice Department’s effort to collect voting records in North Carolina, prosecutors demanded eight years of information from the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles, according to a copy of the subpoena obtained by The New York Times. The newly disclosed order, along with subpoenas sent to the state’s elections board and counties, appears linked to a federal inquiry into illegal voting by noncitizens. Under federal law, residents seeking to obtain or renew a driver’s license must be offered a chance to register to vote. The demand from the government seeks voter-registration forms submitted to the North Carolina D.M.V. by an array of applicants since 2010. The applicants include those who are foreign-born, said they were not citizens, did not produce a driver’s license as proof of identification, or displayed nonimmigrant visas or other documents ‘that reflect the applicant was not a United States citizen.’

WH Drives Poor And Immigrants Off Public Assistance

Stephen Miller’s latest immigration scheme is already hurting immigrants and their children. Splinter: “The Trump administration’s assault on the poor and on immigrants are distinct campaigns to exacerbate the suffering and cruelty already doled out by the government to marginalized groups—campaigns that often intersect. Politico reported yesterday that one policy proposal aimed at both groups—making it more difficult for immigrants to get green cards by penalizing those who have previously used any form of public benefits, including insurance subsidies and tax credits—is already discouraging immigrants from applying for programs they need before it’s even on the books. Stephen Miller, the Trump administration’s Man From Another Place but scarier, has been pushing that policy since March, but as CNN reported last month, “concerns over potential lawsuits have delayed the final rule.” But the Trump administration has discovered one weird trick to get around the slow implementation of policy in government: All they need to do is leak to the press that they’re considering it, and people will be too afraid to use the programs in question. Politico interviewed more than a dozen providers in the WIC program (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children program), which helps low-income mothers buy baby formula and food. Most of the providers told Politico they’ve already seen people drop out of the program out of fears that it could come to affect their immigration status.”

Trump’s Poverty Disinformation Campaign

Trump Launches Aggressive Poverty Disinformation Campaign. American Prospect: “The Trump administration wants you to believe that just 3 percent of the U.S. population is poor. The Council of Economic Advisers made that claim in a little-noticed report published earlier this summer, as part of a coordinated effort to justify harsh new restrictions on government assistance programs. This bad-faith estimate emerged more from a desire to hurt the poor than to engage in honest policymaking on the issue of poverty. In March, the Congressional Budget Office found that nearly half of social safety net payments are going to people that the federal government once considered ‘middle class.’ Think about that: At a time when even the middle class is starting to look poor, the administration argues that not even the poor are poor so that federal officials can move to cut programs that both groups now rely on to stay afloat. So what’s behind this numbers game?”

Poverty Main Reason For Low Voter Turnout

On the sidelines of democracy: exploring why so many Americans don’t vote. NPR: “Just in the past few months, elections in the U.S. have been decided by hundreds of votes. The 2016 presidential election tilted to Donald Trump with fewer than 80,000 votes across three states, with a dramatic impact on the country. Yet, only about 6 in 10 eligible voters cast ballots in 2016. Every election cycle there’s a lot of attention on who voted and why. But there’s another important question: Who is not voting — and what impact does that have? The wealthy tend to vote more frequently. Nonvoters are more likely to be poor, young, Hispanic or Asian-American. Some research also indicates they’re more likely to align with the Democratic Party. It’s debatable whether election results would be different if the entire population voted, but voting determines more than which candidate wins or loses. It ultimately influences which policies elected officials enact and whose interests candidates ignore and acknowledge. ‘The one consistent finding from 1972 up through 2008 and in subsequent elections are that voters and nonvoters have different preferences on economic policies,’ said Jan Leighley, co-author with Jonathan Nagler of the book Who Votes Now? Demographics, Issues, Inequality, and Turnout in the United States. Her research found that nonvoters are more likely, for example, to support a redistribution of wealth, housing bailouts and expanded social safety net programs. Hundreds of thousands of nonvoters want to vote, but can’t. In 2016, 4 percent of registered voters did not vote because of “registration problems,” according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. Many would-be voters face a range of barriers: voter ID laws, registration difficulty or criminal records. An estimated 10 percent of adults in Florida, for example, can’t vote because of a felony conviction. Some people who want to vote but can’t have been removed from the voting rolls. Across the country, the rate at which people are being purged from the voting rolls, a process historically intended to keep records updated, has increased substantially compared to a decade ago, according to a report from the Brennan Center published this summer. The analysis found 4 million more people were purged between 2014 and 2016 than in the equivalent period between 2006 and 2008.”

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