Class warfare continues in Yakima. Mary M. Stephenson Chairs the Yakima County Democrats. She writes to the Yakima Herald Republic July 29, 2012 to remind us that “Medicare will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on July 30.”
Ms. Stephenson adds ” Medicare means that senior citizens do not have to worry about going bankrupt due to medical expenses.”
That’s enough to set off a furor of angry sputtering, muttering and fist poundings from the red faced, eyes bulging, hair on fire crowd. Oh the humanity!
Why the explosion of rage? Don Padelford explains ” I do not want to see my grandkids have to pick up the taxes because I can have a great and easy life! I am not selfish like this WANT EVERYTHING democrats seem to want. You democrats and that marxist president you call a SAVIOR would not have to ask us taxpayers to fund the WASTE he is doing to all of America if he had any business knowledge at all. He acts like he has done nothing before becoming president. OOPS, he has’nt now has he. A community organizer and that being in the most corrupt democratic city in the world in Chicago and carrying that corrupt style unto Washington unto us taxpayers that believe our ability was NOT
done by the government , but by our own abilities.”
All that because Medicare began 50 years ago. Medicare and Social Security exist as a result of shared values. The benefits to seniors is not theirs alone. As a country we’re taking care of our own. Our own parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Medicare exists because we believe senior citizens are caught in an economic system with faults. Don Padelford and his crowd believe Medicare is the problem but they never, ever, suggest an alternative. They never suggest an alternative because theirs is chills up the spine inhuman.
On the other hand, efforts to register people to vote in the November elections continue. The effort to register citizens to vote is a universally acclaimed, positive aspect of the democracy we believe in regardless of party affiliation, right? Not in Yakima and not in much of the rest of the nation. Thirty three states have passed stricter voter identification laws.
Washington is a vote by mail state. An editorial by the Yakima Herald Republic titled “Prospective voters must be living breathing — and human.” sounded an alarm that a mail campaign conducted by the Voter Participation Center to reach unregistered citizens might be misused by those who are ineligible to vote. One registration form was sent to a dog.
PAGE GARDNER President and founder of the Voter Participation Center in Washington D.C. responds with this:
“To the editor — Re: The July 20 editorial, Your editorial contains errors and misses the point. The Voter Participation Center has been helping register voters in Washington since 2004. To date, we have helped register 52,348 voters in the state — 17, 760 since last September. That would make us one of the most effective mail registration programs in the state. And the people we target for our registration application mailings — unmarried women, people of color and young people — are the focus of our efforts because they make up a large percentage of the state’s population and the state’s unregistered voters.” “According to the 2010 census, unmarried women, people of color and young people make up over 45 percent of Washington’s population — and about one in three of them (38.1 percent) is not registered to vote.”
“The fact that a dog receives a voter registration application in the mail doesn’t mean we should abandon the effort to register the unrepresented in our democracy — it simply means there’s a mistake in the mailing list. To us — the fact that a handful of mail is misdirected is not the issue. The real story is we have a crisis in our democracy when so many voices go unheard on Election Day and that we must rely on the efforts of third-party groups like the League of Women Voters and the Voter Participation Center to close the gap.”
Many states including Washington have passed laws requiring voters to show new forms of identification at the polls. Efforts to restrict voting are largely Republican, many with a history of discrimination such as Texas, Mississippi, Alabama.
In Wisconsin a new Republican majority passed a restrictive law. As noted by the highly regarded National Council of State Legislatures “Wisconsin’s new strict photo ID law, passed by the legislature in 2011, was briefly in effect in early 2012, but it was declared unconstitutional by a state judge on March 12, 2012. The state is barred from enforcing the law unless an appeal overturns the March 12 ruling.”
Advocates of requiring new forms of identification claim they need the new laws to prevent fraud. Voter fraud is extremely rare however.
The National Council of State Legislatures provides additional insight and details including which state laws have been found to be unconstitutional or are barred from taking effect or are contested in court.
One side praises Medicare, the other side calls for an end to Medicare without explaining what will happen to senior citizens who cannot afford medical care.
One side helps eligible but non registered folks to register and the other side wants to exclude eligible voters by raising barriers. Helping the elderly with health care and registering new voters sounds so American compared with the other side.
Class war continues.
Mary M. Stephenson and Page Gardner letters here: http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2012/07/28/07-29-12-letters-to-the-…
National Council of State Legislatures: http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/voter-