Progressive Breakfast for October 19

Morning Message Jeff Bryant

Rising Teachers Put Education On The Ballot In Fall Elections

Hundreds of educators are running for office in this November’s midterm elections. This year’s Educator Spring brought teachers into the streets in massive protests that thrust education issues into electoral contests up and down the ballot, and pushed education-related initiatives onto ballots in 16 states. In states such as Arizona, Georgia and Colorado, where gubernatorial candidates are locked in tight races and Democrats anticipate gains in state legislatures, this increased interest in education could help provide the difference between victory and defeat.

Voter Turnout May Hit 50-Year High

Voter Turnout Could Hit 50-Year Record For Midterm Elections. NPR: “The 2018 elections could see the highest turnout for a midterm since the mid-1960s, another time of cultural and social upheaval. ‘It’s probably going to be a turnout rate that most people have never experienced in their lives for a midterm election,’ Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who studies turnout and maintains a turnout database, told NPR. McDonald is predicting that 45 to 50 percent of eligible voters will cast a ballot. That would be a level not seen since 1970 when 47 percent of voters turned out or 1966 when a record 49 percent turned out in a midterm. On average since World War II, only about 40 percent of Americans eligible to vote cast a ballot in midterms. That’s 30 percent lower than presidential elections. In 2014, a record low 36 percent cast a ballot, the lowest in 70 years — since 1942, when many adults were fighting in the war overseas. But the Trump presidency has spurred a high level of interest in the 2018 midterms. Angry and frustrated Democrats, especially women, are looking to exact a measure of political revenge, as Republicans promise to stick with Trump. The 2018 midterms offer Democrats their first chance to take a stand.”

Women Rise Up In Michigan Elections

A cure for political despair. NYT: “This year, Democrats in Michigan — which Trump won — are running women for every statewide office: governor, senator, attorney general and secretary of state. A poll last month shows that Michigan women favor Democrats by over 20 percentage points. Campaigning for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, Dana Nessel ran an ad asking, ‘Who can you trust most not to show you their penis in a professional setting?’ A great many American women seem to understand intuitively that Trump’s threat to liberal democracy and his threat to gender equality are intertwined. Soon, a majority of women could rise up, repudiate him and at long last create a check on his power. Women — though, of course, not only women — could save this country and themselves. Longing for this to happen, and not being assured it will, is almost physically painful. The only way to feel better is to do something to help.”

Ex-Walker Officials Endorse Democrat

Fourth former Scott Walker administration official blasts the governor ahead of election. Milwaukee Sentinal-Journal: “A fourth former official in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has publicly denounced the governor as he seeks a third term — this time, leaving his six-figure job to do so. Paul Jadin, the first CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., resigned from his $208,000 position as president of the Madison Region Economic Partnership just before he and two other former Walker officials released a letter to the Wisconsin State Journal blasting the governor. Another Walker official has also spoken out against Walker, though he hasn’t said whether he would vote for Walker’s opponent, Democrat Tony Evers, in the Nov. 6 election. ‘It’s hard to think of another instance like this where even one or two cabinet secretaries would come and speak out against a sitting governor. To have four is unprecedented,’ said Barry Burden, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”

Trump Declares ‘Open Season On All Journalists’

As world demands justice for Khashoggi murder, Trump declares ‘pen season on all journalists’. Common Dreams: “With the international community’s attention and horror still centered on the Saudi regime’s alleged torture, murder, and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi just over two weeks ago, U.S. President Donald Trump took the stage at a rally in Montana Thursday night and unleashed a lengthy and “chilling” tirade in support of a GOP congressman who violently assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs last year for the crime of asking questions about healthcare policy. Detailing his early and enthusiastic support for Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.)—who pleaded guilty to assault after he body-slammed Jacobs the day before last May’s special election and went on to win anyway—Trump said he initially worried that the Republican’s attack on a reporter would hurt his chances in the race. ‘We endorsed Greg very early. But I heard that he body-slammed a reporter… This was the day of the election or just before, and I thought ‘Oh, this is terrible! He’s going to lose the election,’ Trump said. ‘And then I said, ‘Wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him.’ And it did.”

107,00 More Voters Purged From GA Rolls

107,000 purged from Georgia voter rolls for not voting in past elections: report. The Hill: “Georgia officials removed an estimated 107,000 people from voter rolls because they decided not to vote in prior elections, according to a new report. An APM Reports analysis found the voters were removed under the state’s “use it or lose it” law, which starts a process for removing people from voter rolls if they fail to vote, respond to a notice or make contact with election officials over a three-year period. After that three-year span, those who don’t vote or make contact with authorities in two elections can be purged from the voter rolls under the Georgia law. Such laws, generally enacted by GOP governments, have been growing more common, with at least nine states now having them, according to APM Reports. Voter suppression has become a big issue in the Georgia governor’s race, where Republican Brian Kemp is running against Democrat Stacy Abrams. Abrams would become the first black woman to serve as a U.S. governor in history if elected.”

More from OurFuture.org:

To Jeff Bezos: Put Up $10m to Find Your Columnist’s Murderers. Miles Mogulescu: “Mr. Bezos, you’re the richest man in the world, with a net worth of $160 billion. You’re also the owner of The Washinggton Post, whose columnist, American resident and Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly tortured, murdered and dismembered in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul. Your columnist’s murder was one of the most ghastly and heinous threats to a free press and a civilized world in recent memory. As The Post’s owner, you have a unique responsibility to fight back to protect press freedom and free speech in America and around the world. If Khashoggi’s murderers get away with their barbaric actions, it will intimidate journalists not only in Saudi Arabia and America but around the world. If you shake loose few million dollars of your pocket change to bring the murderers to justice, you will have helped defend a free press and helped fulfill your duty, as the owner of The Washington Post, to let your employees know you will do what’s necessary to protect their safety. And if you have any spare change left over, please donate it to organizations dedicated to defending freedom of speech and the press.”