voter registration

Why Hispanics Don’t Vote for Republicans

The call for Republicans to discard their opposition to immigration amnesty will grow deafening in the wake of President Obama’s victory. Hispanics supported Obama by a margin of nearly 75 percent to 25 percent, and may have provided important margins in some swing states. If only Republicans relented on their Neanderthal views regarding the immigration rule of law, the message will run, they would release the inner Republican waiting to emerge in the Hispanic population.

If Republicans want to change their stance on immigration, they should do so on the merits, not out of a belief that only immigration policy stands between them and a Republican Hispanic majority. It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation. Hispanics will prove to be even more decisive in the victory of Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which raised upper-income taxes and the sales tax, than in the Obama election.

And California is the wave of the future. A March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds — “it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”– compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.

I spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”

And a strong reason for that support for big government is that so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. One can see that disparity in classrooms across the state, which are chock full of social workers and teachers’ aides trying to boost Hispanic educational performance.

The idea of the “social issues” Hispanic voter is also a mirage. A majority of Hispanics now support gay marriage, a Pew Research Center poll from last month found. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is 53 percent, about twice that of whites.

The demographic changes set into motion by official and de facto immigration policy favoring low-skilled over high-skilled immigrants mean that a Republican party that purports to stand for small government and free markets faces an uncertain future.

Driver licenses for illegal aliens create bigger problems

Governor Kitzhaber has stated, in no uncertain terms, that he wants to restore driving privileges to illegal aliens living and working in our state.  Perhaps he should take look at what Washington State is dealing with due to their "welcome mat" approach to illegal aliens.  Read more here.

Oregon does not require proof of citizenship to vote in state or local elections

OFIR often receives e-mails and phone calls from members asking if the state of Oregon requires proof of citizenship when registering to vote. While one must be a citizen to vote in federal elections, unfortunately Oregon does not require proof of citizenship in order to vote in state or local elections.

Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) has tried to pass legislation that would bring Oregon voter registration in line with federal law, thereby allowing only U.S. citizens to vote in state and local elections.

In a September 7th statement Representative Thatcher wrote:

“I’ve been working hard on legislation to bring Oregon in line with federal standards for providing identification when registering to vote for the first time. Let me explain. Under the national Help America Votes Act one has to provide identification in order to register to vote in federal elections. However, in Oregon there are no ID requirements for voting in state and local elections. None.”

Thatcher went on to write: “Current state law doesn’t spell out what kind of identification first time voters are required to provide when they register to vote in Oregon. We need to add more accountability to state and local elections and apply the same standards already used by officials across the state when deciding who can vote in federal elections.”

“Yes, the Oregon Constitution says “every citizen” is “entitled to vote” basically as long as they meet eligibility standards. That part of the document is called “Qualifications of electors.” Shouldn’t we be more careful to ensure voters meet constitutional qualifications to vote on the important issues and races facing Oregonians?”

OFIR agrees with Representative Thatcher. Only U.S. citizens should be able to vote.

In 2004 Arizona voters approved an initiative requiring proof of citizenship to vote in Arizona. The League of Women Voters and other pro-illegal alien groups sued to stop its implementation. Fortunately the U.S. Supreme Court has just agreed to hear an appeal by the state of Arizona Arizona’s law provides options for meeting the proof-of-citizenship requirement. Acceptable documents include a driver’s license or other state-issued ID, a birth certificate, a passport and naturalization papers.  Read more here.

Voter Proof-of-Citizenship Law Gets Supreme Court Review

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether states can demand proof of citizenship from people registering to vote, taking up an Arizona case with racial overtones and nationwide implications.

The case, which the court won’t consider until after the Nov. 6 election, tests states’ power to impose requirements that go beyond the registration procedures set out by federal law. A U.S. appeals court invalidated Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship law.

That ruling would “interfere with the states’ ability to protect the integrity of their elections,” Arizona argued in court papers. It is one of at least four states -- along with Alabama, Kansas and Georgia that require would-be voters to show evidence of citizenship.

The case presents legal issues different from those in the voter-identification battles that have garnered headlines leading up to the November election. The new high court case doesn’t directly involve allegations of racial discrimination. Instead, it centers on the constitutional roles of the state and national governments in overseeing elections and on a 1993 federal law designed to increase voter registration.

The court will hear arguments early next year and rule by June.

Arizona’s law, approved by the state’s voters in 2004, provides options for meeting the proof-of-citizenship requirement. Acceptable documents include a driver’s license or other state-issued ID, a birth certificate, a passport and naturalization papers.

Leading Role

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-2 to strike down the Arizona law, saying the Constitution’s elections clause gives Congress the leading role to set the rules for federal voting.

“The states are obligated to conform to and carry out whatever procedures Congress requires,” Judge Sandra Segal Ikuta wrote.

The 9th Circuit said the 1993 law bars the Arizona registration requirements. The federal measure establishes a national voter application and requires every state to “accept and use” it.

The law “does not give states room to add their own requirements” to the federal application, Ikuta wrote.

The 1993 law was informally known as the Motor Voter Law because of a separate provision that requires states to let residents register to vote when applying for a driver’s license.

Voter Advocacy Groups

The Arizona law was challenged by minority and voter-advocacy groups, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the League of Women Voters of Arizona and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. The Obama administration backed the lawsuits at the lower court level.

The 9th Circuit upheld other parts of the Arizona law, including its requirement that voters show identification at the polls.

The Supreme Court hasn’t considered an elections clause case since 1997, when it struck down Louisiana’s system of holding a nonpartisan congressional primary in October, followed by a runoff in November if no candidate received a majority.

The Supreme Court said that system violated the federal law that requires all congressional and presidential elections to be held on a single November day.

Candidates Forum: Candidates for the Office of Oregon Secretary of State. Plan to attend this Friday.

Alert date: 
2012-10-16
Alert body: 
 
OFIR recommends Knute Buehler for Secretary of State.
 
This year five candidates are vying to become the next Oregon Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is a constitutional officer and statewide elected official whose duties include serving as:
  • Auditor of public accounts
  • Chief elections officer
  • Keeper of public records
The Secretary is responsible for five divisions:
  • Executive
  • Archives
  • Audits
  • Corporations
  • Elections
The Secretary of State also serves on the State Lands Board and chairs the Oregon Sustainability Board. In Oregon, the Secretary of State is first in line of succession to the Governor. Please join us Friday, October 19, to meet the candidates:

KATE BROWN (Democrat) Secretary of State Kate Brown holds an under-graduate degree from the University of Colorado and attended Lewis and Clark College where she earned a law degree and a certificate in Environmental Law. She practiced family and juvenile law, taught at Portland State University and worked with the Juvenile Rights Project. She was appointed to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1991 and twice reelected. In 1996 she won a seat in the State Senate. In 2004, Kate Brown was chosen to serve as the Senate Majority Leader. In 2008, She was elected to serve as Oregon’s Secretary of State. Brown has received awards from the Oregon Commission for Women, the Military Voter Protection Project, and the Oregon State Firefighters Council, among others.

KNUTE BUEHLER(Republican, Independent)
Knute Buehler is the Republican and Independent Party Nominee for Oregon Secretary of State. This is his first run for public office. He is a physician and business owner, and attended Oregon State University where he became OSU’s first Rhodes Scholar. He earned a master’s degree in politics and economics from Oxford University, and attended Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In Bend, Dr. Buehler helped build and manage a medical clinic that employs 170 staff members. He developed innovative computer assisted surgery techniques, and received patents for products widely distributed. Buehler serves on the boards of the Ford Family Foundation and St. Charles Medical Center. He has worked on initiatives to reform state election laws.

Bruce A. Knight (Libertarian)
Bruce A. Knight, of Portland, represents the Libertarian Party as its Secretary of State candidate. In 1996, he ran as a Libertarian for the District 3 Congressional position. Knight has an Associate’s Degree from the University of New York and has studied computer science and business data processing in various institutions. Knight is currently a team leader at the Portland State University Bookstore.

Robert Wolfe(Progressive)
Robert Wolfe is the Progressive Party’s candidate for the Secretary of State. He lives in Portland where he is the owner of The Oregon Pinot Noir Club, described by Wolfe as “the nation's most significant national retailer of Oregon Pinot Noir and other high-end Northwest wines.” Wolfe is a former, award-winning journalist and a prominent wine writer. Wolfe wants to “reclaim the initiative process, get big money out of Oregon politics, stop government incompetence and save the state forests from clear-cutting.”

Seth Woolley (Pacific Green)
The Pacific Green nominee for Secretary of State, Seth Woolley, lives in Portland after attending Willamette University in Salem. He is a software engineer with an extensive background in computer security auditing. Woolley describes himself as the only candidate with a strong, progressive platform based on healthier native forests, real election reform, and better, transparent auditing.

Please join us Friday, October 19, 2012, as we host the five candidates for Secretary of State at Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill in the Dye House. For lunch reservations email rsvp@salemcityclub.com before noon Wednesday, October 17, 2012. Parking is free. Doors open at 11:30 AM. For more information on this program please go to www.salemcityclub.com.



 

You can make a difference!

Alert date: 
2012-10-11
Alert body: 

October 16th is the last day you can register to vote in Oregon.  Please make certain you are registered if you have moved, changed your name or aren't certain you are registered.

There are several close races OFIR is watching and your help is needed to make the difference.

Visit oregonvotes.gov for more information.  Your vote is your greatest weapon...use it!

Supporters, opponents of rule affecting non-citizens speak out

Testimony on a provision banning non-citizens from serving as the City of Keizer’s youth councilor ranged from blasting the group for lost opportunities to support for the rule of law.

A work session Monday night at the Keizer Civic Center drew more than 50 people for what might ordinarily be a little-discussed topic: Rules and procedures for the city council.

Of course, this was no ordinary meeting: It was held at the behest of CAUSA, an immigrant rights group who requested to speak with Mayor Lore Christopher.

Francisco Lopez, executive director of CAUSA, questioned the timing of the decision: It came the same night Hugo Nicolas, a former Keizer youth councilor, received an award from the City of Salem and within days of speaking to numerous media outlets about his status as an illegal immigrant.

Lopez also asked how it would be enforced.

“How are you going to make a determination? Based on the color of skin? Or their last name?” Lopez said.

The council’s supporters came back to one theme: The rule of law, and whether allowing students whose parents brought them to the country illegally bends those laws too far.

State Rep. Kim Thatcher, R – Keizer, compared the situation to relatives who own land in another part of the state and live there part-time.

“They could contribute to their community all day long and they couldn’t run for city council because they don’t live there full-time,” Thatcher said. “There just has to be lines that are drawn (and) what you’re drawing is sensible.”

Nicolas himself addressed the council, saying he felt shame as he came to the Keizer Civic Center to volunteer as a police cadet or in the youth council role, then go home to a crowded house, with relatives sleeping in the garage.

“Here in Keizer and around the country we share a city, but not a community,” Nicolas said. “… We learn to only share a common fear.”

Councilor David McKane said earlier in the meeting the revised council rules had been in the works for about a year, and that the changes were not associated with Nicolas personally.

“It has nothing to do with you and people that say that should be ashamed,” McKane said.

Peter Dane testified that rules should maintain accountability for parents to follow the law for the sake of their children.

“To keep demanding more loopholes in the law … is selfish and egregious,” Dane said.

Dennis Koho, a former mayor who is unopposed in his candidacy for city council, said a system shouldn’t penalize children for their parents’ decision as of where to live.

“We can best help those future leaders by being inclusive rather than saying we’re only going to take a look at a certain type of young person,” Koho said.

Eduardo Angulo, chairman and executive director of the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality, said volunteer opportunities for immigrant children help bolster the area, comparing it favorably to troubled neighborhoods in southern California and New York City.

“You’re excluding a great deal of the population of Latino youth … who could be part of the solution,” Angulo said.’

Judy DeSpain said Nicolas was a victim of his parents’ lawlessness.

“Illegal immigrants cannot have the same rights as U.S. citizens,” DeSpain said. “To do so means our laws and citizenship are meaningless for all.”

Friday, September 7, 5th Congressional District Debate

Alert date: 
2012-09-05
Alert body: 

-Election 2012-

5th Congressional District Debate:   Lugo, Schrader and Thompson

Salem City Club is pleased to host a debate between the three candidates seeking to represent Oregon's 5th congressional district in U.S. House of Representatives. Join us on Friday, September 7 at noon when we open our 45th season with this dynamic program. Congressional District 5 encompasses Tillamook, Lincoln, Polk, Marion, and Clackamas counties, rural, metro, coastal, and suburban neighborhoods.

For more information please visit the Salem City club website.

NOTE:  Incumbent Kurt Schrader has a D grade on immigration issues according to NumbersUSA.  Oregon deserves better!

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - voter registration