Category Archives: Politics

California: Vote this November!

Californians: If you can vote this November, don’t sit this one out.

We have a governor to choose. We have representatives to select. And we need to shut down the 3-Californias plan hard. It’s a terrible, outlandish, unpopular idea…but in a midterm election (low turnout already) with the specter of voter suppression? Don’t rely on it being too outlandish to pass. No one expected Brexit to happen. No one expected Trump to even be nominated, never mind win the election. Outlandish doesn’t mean impossible.

So check your voter registration status. Make sure it hasn’t been cancelled or otherwise lost, because that does happen.

Breaking up California’s economic and electoral power isn’t going to help California much. And if you think the water situation is bad now, wait until everything’s split across three states, one of which doesn’t touch the Sierras or the Colorado…

Call-In Campaigns, Please Do These Things!

Those “Call one number and we’ll connect you to key decision makers on this issue” campaigns are convenient, but I wish more of them would…

Show a list of all the people they’re going to connect you to. I’d like to know how many calls I’m making before I start.

Mark which lawmakers are already co-sponsors so we can adjust our message between “thanks for supporting” and “please support.” Sure, I can look it up, but the whole point is to make this easier.

Update the campaign as things change. One wanted me to call my state reps, but copied and pasted the information from a federal bill on the same issue. And it included my senator, even though the bill had already passed the senate and was in the assembly. I took one look at the misdirected talking points and ignored them. I also skipped calling the senator who had already voted for a bill that had already passed that chamber. I wonder how many people cared enough about the issue to call, but relied on the campaign for the specifics, and ended up calling the wrong people about the wrong bill?

Voter Suppression Supreme

Step 1: Refuse to confirm a SCOTUS judge for a year.
Step 2: Install a judge you prefer.
Step 3: Get a SCOTUS ruling upholding a voter purge law that disproportionately impacts people who are more likely to vote for your opponents.

Voter purges aren’t about getting rid of invalid registrations. They’re about suppressing votes. The US, unfortunately, has a long history of finding ways to disenfranchise a group without explicitly identifying them. Look up where “grandfather clause” came from.

The modern version is subtler, but it works like this:

You want more people from group A to be able to vote than group B. Find some classification that applies to more members of group B than group A. Target that classification, and you change the balance of the electorate.

What Ohio did was notice that members of one major party tend to vote in every election, while members of the other tend to skip elections where they don’t feel they have a good choice.

Technically they targeted occasional voters.
Effectively they targeted a political party.

Re-Engineering the Road

Imagine a dangerous road curve. Do you blame the drivers and call it a day? After all, not everyone crashes over the edge or into oncoming traffic.

Or do you bank the turn, calculate a safe speed limit and add a railing?

It won’t stop all crashes, but it’ll reduce them.

Re-engineering the road doesn’t ignore the driver’s decisions, but it acknowledges that they don’t happen in isolation. Change the circumstances, and you change how many drivers crash and burn.