Ralph Northam

Florida’s Discriminatory 150 Year Old Law Denying Voting Rights To Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society Finally Being Challenged

About 1.4 million Floridians are denied the right to vote, because of past criminal records, but have paid their debt to society.

This discriminatory law has been in place since 1868, as part of a racist policy during Reconstruction, designed against African Americans, and Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Florida Cabinet Officers have made it nearly impossible for any of this group to regain their voting rights, even a decade or more after having met all legal requirements to be able to have their voting rights restored.

Now there is a constitutional amendment question that will be on the Florida ballot in November, requiring 60 percent or more of those voting to support the end of this discrimination, only found also in three other states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—although the latter has had two Democratic Governors–Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–who have worked on restoring rights by executive action.

Florida, as the third largest state, is an outlier on the issue, and the proposed constitutional amendment, a move done by former felons working together, seems to have a good chance of success, and particularly with the apparent popularity of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, favored to win over Republican Ron DeSantis.

It is important to understand that anyone who has committed and been convicted of murder or rape would NOT get back their voting rights, but many felons have non violent convictions, and this is designed to restore their voting rights.

It is also ironic that about two thirds of the people who would regain their voting rights are whites, not African Americans, overcoming the stereotype that only African Americans in the past and in the present commit felonies that are non violent.

Democratic Victories In Virginia, New Jersey, And Elsewhere Sign Of Repudiation Of Trump, And Beginning Of Impeachment Move

Yesterday was a glorious day for Democrats across the board.

Ralph Northam won the Virginia Governorship, and the Democrats also won the Lieutenant Governorship and State Attorney Generalship, as as well as switch the control of the House Of Delegates in a massive defeat for Republicans. The Lieutenant Governor is Justin Fairfax, first African American in that position in Virginia history.

A transgender woman in Virginia defeated a rabid homophobe for a seat in the House of Delegates. And the boyfriend of a woman murdered on live television in 2015, ran on the gun issue and won a seat in the House of Delegates in her memory. Two Latinas were also elected to the House of Delegates, as well as a Vietnamese Asian American woman for the first time in Virginia.

New Jersey saw the repudiation of Chris Christie’s lieutenant governor, by Democrat Phil Murphy. And an African American woman was elected Lieutenant Governor.

Maine expanded Medicaid over the objections of right wing bully Republican Governor Paul Le Page.

New Hampshire saw Manchester’s Mayoralty fall to the Democratic nominee.

Minneapolis, Minnesota City Council saw the election of a transgender African American woman.

St. Paul, Minnesota and Helena, Montana elected African Americans to the Mayoralty of both cities, a first for both .

Charlotte, North Carolina Mayoralty went to an African American woman.

Two small cities in Georgia elected an African American woman Mayor, and two African American men won that office, one in a city in Georgia, and one in South Carolina.

Hoboken, New Jersey elected a man of the Sikh religion as its Mayor.

A woman was elected Nassau County, New York (on Long Island) County Executive for the first time, and a rare case of a Democrat winning that position.

The State Senate in Washington State went to a Democratic majority, making the entire Pacific Coast “Blue”, in California, Oregon and Hawaii, along with Washington State.

City Mayors, all Democrats, were reelected in New York City, Boston, and Detroit and a lesbian Mayor elected in Seattle, among other places.

Growing numbers of incumbent Republicans are deciding not to run for reelection, creating more open seats and making likelihood of Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in 2018 much more likely.

Suburban areas across the nation are growing more Democratic on paper, after massive victories all over the nation.

Northern Virginia has become more powerful in numbers and percentage, overcoming southern and western sections of Virginia, making Virginia clearly a Blue State in the future.

With many Republicans now planning to retire, expect more criticism of Donald Trump, and a growing shift toward impeachment of Trump, since retiring politicians have an independence not seen otherwise, so just as John McCain. Jeff Flake. and Bob Corker have come out against Trump, more can be expected in both houses of Congress.

And for many Republicans who remain, they may prefer Mike Pence in the White House when they are running for reelection, and since Trump shows no loyalties to the party which gave him their nomination, why should they feel an obligation to support him through thick and thin?

Three Essential Victories–Virginia And New Jersey Governorships And Alabama Senate Race

Ralph Northam in Virginia.

Phil Murphy in New Jersey.

Doug Jones in Alabama.

These are three elections that need to happen, to move the Democratic Party forward in state governments and in the US Senate.

Beyond these three leaders, the emphasis must be to recruit candidates who can take House seats from the Republicans and win state legislative seats in 2018, in addition to the Senate and gubernatorial races next year.

But the first step is to make sure Virginia stays Democratic in the Governorship; that New Jersey go Democratic for Governor; and that Roy Moore, a horrific Senate nominee, be stopped by Doug Jones, a good, decent man, and give the Democrats their 49th seat in the US Senate.

If they can win that seat, and take the Nevada Senate seat of Dean Heller and the Arizona Senate seat of Jeff Flake and the Tennessee Senate seat of Bob Corker, who is not running for reelection in 2018, and somehow keep all their present seats (a tall order) the Democrats could control the Senate and have 52 seats, precisely what the Republicans have right now.

Politics is psychological, and these victories are essential if we are to work to change the equation in the states and in Congress!