Tuesday, November 13, 2012

e-News from National Federation of Republican Women

Relief Fund Established for the Victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation is collecting money to help New York and New Jersey Hurricane Sandy victims directly. Stephen Siller was a firefighter who sacrificed his life on 9/11, and his brothers started The Tunnel to Tower Foundation to honor Stephen's example of service. They established a yearly run called Tunnel to Tunnel, because Stephen ran in full gear in the Battery Tunnel all the way into Manhattan and lost his life at Ground Zero.

Due to the severe damage from Hurricane Sandy that continues to hurt the Northeast region, the Tunnel to Tower Foundation set up a special relief fund to help the New York and New Jersey Hurricane Sandy victims. All donations will benefit those that have been adversely impacted by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy on the New York City and New Jersey coastlines.

If you would like to donate online, click here. Checks should be made payable to the "T2T Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund" and can be sent to:
Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
2361 Hylan Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10306

The Impact of the Super PAC This Election Cycle

In reflecting on this election season, some are saying the electoral defeat of the many candidates backed by super PACS - independent billionaire funded outside organizations - turned out to be a bust.

In the Sunday, November 11 edition, the Washington Post claimed that GOP strategist Karl Rove backed many candidates with his brainchild, a behemoth super PAC named American Crossroads. The loss of so many candidates backed by Rove's super PAC proves that "politics has finally passed Rove by." To the contrary, noted Rove, who is quoted as stating "We did good things this year ... but look, it's the way of politics that you're going to have some good years, and you're going to have some bad years."

The Washington Post reports that Rove is considering new missions for Crossroads to begin picking sides in Republican primaries, leaving behind battling only in general elections and battling only Democrats.

"The idea would be to boost the [primary] candidate it deems most electable and avoid nominating the kind of flawed [or] extreme ones who cost the Party what should otherwise have been easy Senate wins in" several states.

The 2012 elections for Crossroads was a "$300 million learning experience." As Rove adds, "we've got to carefully examine ... an after-action report looking at everything with fresh eyes and questioning and figuring out what worked and what didn't work."

The Sunlight Foundation, which tracks money in politics, notes that only 6 percent of Crossroads money went to winners. By comparison, the Washington Post reports that the Service Employees International Union, "an old war horse of Democratic politics, had a 70 percent victory rate."

Donald Trump even weighed in saying "Congratulations to Karl Rove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race Crossroads ran ads in, the Republican lost."

On November 10, the Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty wrote that Rove is likely to have Crossroads be more active in organizations such as the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has been trying to build a more appealing GOP "farm team" by, among other things, recruiting Hispanics to run for State offices. In addition, there is money being raised to run advertising shoring up congressional Republicans during the upcoming negotiations to avert what has been called the "fiscal cliff."

Supreme Court Hears Important Voting Rights Case

Passed in 1965 and renewed by Congress four times since then, the landmark Voting Rights Act contains a provision which requires States, counties and cities that have been judged guilty of failing to end voter discrimination in the past, or engaging in election discrimination activities, to have to go through the Justice Department's "pre-clearance" process before they can enact election changes.

NBC's Pete Williams reports that such government entities are "presumed to be acting improperly whenever they seek to enact election changes." They are required to do what many believe is "go[ing] hat in hand to Justice Department officialdom to seek approval" before putting into place new election legislation.

Calling that portion of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, Shelby County in Alabama points out in its lawsuit that other localities have made substantial election reforms even though they have not eliminated racial discrimination at the polls. Nevertheless, they have not been forced into the Justice Department's pre-clearance category.

Alabama's argument is that, for example, Florida has been forced into "pre-clearance litigation to prove that reducing early voting from 14 days to 8 days is not discriminatory when States such as Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania have no early voting at all."

Three years ago the Supreme Court narrowly rejected a similar challenge to the pre-clearance requirement but strongly suggested that several justices have doubts about its constitutionality. The court's decision in this current matter will be of great interest.