Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘Mary Kiffmeyer’

The Strib Finally Joins Outstate Minnesota Papers In Noticing The Huge Costs And Problems Of ALEC’s Voter ID Amendment

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 9, 2012

I was pleasantly surprised this week to see that the StarTribune had finally, nearly six months after papers in Greater Minnesota first sounded the alarms, deigned to notice what a mess the proposed ALEC “Voter ID” voter suppression amendment would make of both elections and county budgets. Despite my misgivings, a friend of mine tried posting variations of the following over in the comments sections at the Strib, but for some reason — possibly a reluctance to credit my friend Sally Jo Sorensen with anything, much less the story of the year — those comments never made it past the Strib’s comment minders. So here is what the StarTribune won’t tell you:

—–

Glad to see that the StarTribune is finally on this story.

Greater Minnesota counties and the news media that serve them are in a panic over the huge holes that this vote-suppressing ALEC Amendment will blow in their budgets, which have already been stressed by Republican budget cuts — first by Tim Pawlenty, then by the Republicans in the state legislature.

The Fergus Falls Journal said “no” to it back in March of this year: http://www.fergusfallsjournal.com/2012/03/23/city-voter-id-costly-mandate/

Last month, it was Rice County, which will get socked for $120,000: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/08/faribault-daily-news-photo-id-amendment-voting-system-overhaul-could-cost-rice-co-120000.html

Then, it was Kittson County, which has fewer than 5,000 residents, who will somehow have to shoulder $720,000 in extra costs levied by this amendment that does nothing to stop the sort of fraud its creators say it would stop: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/09/voter-restriction-amendment-would-cost-kittson-county-730000-mfu-president-doug-peterson-on-amendmen.html

Then the Marshall Independent weighed in against it, asking “Why are we even bothering with this?”: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/09/marshall-independent-editorial-slams-voter-suppression-amendment-why-are-we-even-bothering-with-this.html

Now even the deeply conservative McLeod County Chronicle rejects it, stating “Blatant political maneuvering should have no permanent place in Minnesota’s constitution”: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/09/mcleod-co-chronicle-editor-on-photo-id-amendment-blatant-political-maneuvering-should-have-no-perman.html

Here’s the irony: When Tim Pawlenty was governor, he vetoed, with the backing of Minnesota Republicans in the legislature, a plan by Mark Ritchie that would actually have dealt more effectively with fraud — and for far less money — than this current Kiffmeyer-backed ALEC-crafted amendment. The reason given? Kiffmeyer said it would cost too much. Seriously: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/07/if-mary-kiffmeyer-couldnt-smell-fraud-when-it-was-right-under-her-nose-how-are-we-to-trust-her-and-m.html

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

How Much Will The MN GOP’s “Voter ID” Amendment Cost Minnesotans? Between $49 and $139 Million.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 5, 2012

In case, after witnessing the walking bounced checks that are Tony Sutton and the Republican Party of Minnesota, you needed any further proof that Republicans in general, and Minnesota Republicans in particular, should never be trusted with Other People’s Money — here you go:

Yesterday, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN) and Hamline University professor David Schultz released Cost of Minnesota’s Election Amendment.

[…]

According to group’s press release, the amendment is going to be costly to state and local government:

The report estimates that if the amendment is adopted state and local governments will need to spend between $33 million and $67 million to comply with its likely requirements and that individuals who currently lack a government identification will need to spend between $16 million and $72 million to get the documents necessary for the free ID if they wish to vote.

The proposed amendment would mandate the showing of a government-issued ID when voting. According to Kathy Bonnifield, Executive Director of CEIMN, “The amendment could make significant changes to Minnesota’s elections, affecting mail-in voting,
absentee voting, and Election Day Registration, and introduce provisional balloting.” 

The estimated cost to local governments is between $23 million and $53 million. Counties with mail-in precincts will be impacted at a greater rate than counties that do not have mail-in precincts. For example, the estimated cost to Renville County, with 9,000 registered voters and no mail-in precincts, is between $46,000 and $150,000 while the cost estimate for Roseau
County, with 8,700 registered voters and eight mail-in precincts, is between $200,000 and $300,000.

So, state and local governments will have to spend between $33 million and $67 million, and individuals who don’t currently have what Mary Kiffmeyer would consider proper ID would have to shell out between $16 million and $72 million to get all the documents needed to successfully apply for the “free” ID.

All for something that doesn’t stop the sort of fraud Republicans claim it would stop, but will make it a lot harder for college kids, seniors, and veterans to vote.

You can read the full report here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments »

MN Voter ID: Costs Million$, Keeps 1000s Of Legal Voters From Voting, Useless As Anti-Felon Tool

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 26, 2012

Sally Jo Sorensen passes along the following:

Faribault Daily News staff reporter Joseph Lindberg reports in Pricetag for voter ID in Rice County could surpass $120,000:

If Minnesota voters this November approve a
constitutional amendment requiring a valid photo ID to cast a ballot,
the equipment election officials would use to verify voter data could
cost more than $120,000 in Rice County alone.

Electronic “pollbooks,” a term
that generally refers to hardware and software used to process voter
information, would likely be used at the county’s 31 voting precincts at
an estimated cost of $4,000 each, according to Fran Windschitl, Rice
County auditor/treasurer. . . . .

The county’s cost hinges on how much time the amendment, if passed,
would give counties to process provisional ballots cast by those who
don’t bring ID to the polling place but cast a vote and verify their
personal data later.

Even if a longer time period is approved — other
states range from three to 14 days — and pollbooks aren’t needed, the
staff time to process ballots would be considerable, Windschitl said.

Sorensen goes on to note that back in 2009, when Democrats proposed sensible election reform legislation that, unlike the ALEC-sponsored voter ID amendment, have actually worked to keep felons from illegally voting, and done so far more cheaply and with far less bureaucratic hassle, the Republican then-governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed it.

Now, Rice County isn’t the smallest of Minnesota’s eighty-seven counties, but it’s also not the biggest. Extrapolate Rice County’s experience to the rest of the state, and it’s obvious that we’d be looking at a minimum of $10 million being spent to enforce a law that has as its main effect keeping tens of thousands of legal voters from being able to vote and which would do nothing to stop felons from illegally voting.

Minnesotans shouldn’t be too surprised by this. As we’ve seen from the glacial and sometimes questionable response of the Republican Party of Minnesota to requests for payment by the various counties whose staffs the RPM forced to work overtime on a recount that wound up confirming Mark Dayton’s win, Minnesota Republicans have no problems with sticking the counties of Greater Minnesota with the bills for GOP-caused voting expenditures.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Pennsylvania’s Vote Chaos Shows Minnesota’s Future If Voter ID Amendment Passes

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 25, 2012

Anyone wonder what would happen to voting in the State of Minnesota should the ALEC-and-Kiffmeyer-inspired voter suppression (aka “voter ID”) amendment is passed? Here’s a taste, courtesy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

This summer, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center recruited volunteers to visit PennDOT offices across the Commonwealth and tell us about their experiences trying to obtain free photo ID under the new law. The results of that survey are in our new report, Pennsylvania’s Identity Crisis: Rushed Implementation of Voter ID Law Puts Voting Rights at Risk.

Volunteers visited 43 PennDOT centers in 27 counties across the commonwealth, representing three-quarters of the state’s population. They completed a survey that looked at very simple things: whether there was signage, if forms were available, if there was information that the IDs could be available for free, if volunteers got accurate information. We were surprised just how difficult it was for our volunteers to get the right information and the right forms — and they knew exactly what to ask for.

The report finds that voters are likely to be frustrated in their attempts to secure a free ID from PennDOT. Some volunteers found the offices weren’t open the first time they visited and they had to return another time. There was no signage and limited information in half the sites, and the forms needed to secure a free ID were not available most of the time. In almost half the cases, voters received information that proved to be incomplete or inaccurate from staff at the centers. Problems were as likely to occur in Franklin and Luzerne counties as in Philadelphia or Allegheny County.

Even worse, the Pennsylvania Department of State is rolling out a new form of ID this coming week, and the timing could not have been worse — unless, of course, suppressing voters and turnout is the goal.

We can avoid this hellish mess simply by voting “no” on the voter ID amendment.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Pennsylvania’s Vote Chaos Shows Minnesota’s Future If Voter ID Amendment Passes

Mary Kiffmeyer: Lies And Fuzzy Handcuffs Good, Purple Heart Winners Bad

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 19, 2012

When last we saw Mary Kiffmeyer, the fastidious moral scold of voter suppression and “Jesus at the Closing Table” infamy, she and her fellow voter suppressors over at Minnesota Majority were embracing the rather sleazy figure of James O’Keefe.

Not content with showing her true colors in this fashion, she now has decided that viciously and stupidly attacking a veteran who left a large part of himself overseas in the course of serving his country is somehow the right thing to do:

People sometimes say politics is war, but retiring Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, could tell you from experience that the two are very different.

Kriesel, 30, lost both of his legs in Iraq in 2006. He was later awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star. So it’s no surprise he was pissed off when Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, sent him an e-mail saying he has “no courage.”

Sure, warfare and politics are two different contexts, but could Kiffmeyer have possibly chosen more inappropriate words to make her point?

The flashpoint of this was apparently Kriesel’s backing of the Vikings stadium bill, though Kiffmeyer seems to have disliked Kriesel for a very long time.

This is beyond partisanship, folks. Like Kiffmeyer, I too opposed the stadium bill, but never in a million years would I have attacked a supporter of it in this way.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Mary Kiffmeyer: Lies And Fuzzy Handcuffs Good, Purple Heart Winners Bad

Minnesota GOP: Of The Rich, By The Rich, For The Rich

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 4, 2011

Comrade Emmer courtesy of Tildology.com

If, after Tom Emmer’s War on the Waitstaff last year, there was any doubt in anybody’s mind that the Republican Party of Minnesota does not encourage among its ranks any sort of empathy for the average Minnesotan who isn’t a Mr. or Ms. Gotrocks, state legislator and ALEC member Mary Kiffmeyer has erased that doubt quite efficiently:

Minnesota’s liberal-to-progressive blogosphere was aghast today at reading a comment made by Representative Mary Kiffmeyer (R- Smallpond) in the St. Cloud Times:

But Kiffmeyer is skeptical about Dayton’s push for revenue; she believes it’s motivated chiefly by Dayton’s desire to hike taxes on the wealthy.

“It’s not about revenue,” Kiffmeyer said. “It’s about a tax increase, because they want to go after those who’ve actually worked hard.”

No further comment; none needed.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Minnesota Republicans Frantically Rewriting Their Long History with Bradlee Dean

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 29, 2011

Even as the same conservatives who cheered on Neal Boortz for saying that then-congresswoman Cynthia McKinney “looks like a ghetto slut”, “an explosion at a Brillo pad factory”, and “like Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence” have now suddenly and loudly rediscovered their moral compass by having Laura Ingraham, who Ed Schultz called a “right-wing slut”, complain about Schultz on FOX to accused sexual harasser Bill “Falafel” O’Reilly, we find the local conservatives and Republican operatives who have for years gladly and frequently associated with rabid anti-gay bigot preacher Bradlee Dean are now practicing saying “Bradlee Who?” with a straight face.

Thanks to the efforts of Ken Avidor, who has been documenting Bradlee Dean, his good friend Michele Bachmann, and several other local far-right looney tunes for the better part of a decade, I can now treat you to the varying ways in which local right-wing blogger and radio personality Mitch Berg has described Bradlee Dean over the years.

As noted in the screen shot above of a recent Tweet by Mr. Berg, who you may remember from an earlier posting, he’s been one of the many prominent Republicans practicing their “Bradlee Who?” routine lately. Yet Mr. Avidor was kind enough to point me in the direction of Mitch Berg’s postings over the years concerning Bradlee Dean at Berg’s “Shot in the Dark” blog, postings that belie this posture. Follow me over the hump for visual and textual documentation: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Kochtopus In Minnesota: Laura Brod, ALEC Stalwart

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 26, 2011

As you may have heard, the Wisconsin Republicans are trying to make life hell for a college professor who dared exercise his First Amendment rights. His subject: The influence of ALEC, the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, which crafted the templates for the anti-worker legislation being pushed nationwide by Republicans at the state level.

Who are the representatives of the Kochtopus in Minnesota? Hard to tell, as ALEC is a very secretive group that likes to fly under the radar. But Sally Jo Sorensen of Bluestem Prairie has a few clues:

Laura Brod is a past state chairman for ALEC; current state senator Gen Olson was her co-chair in 2010. (Current chair? Mary Kiffmeyer).

Want to set the Red Alert klaxons screaming at GOP Central? Dare to talk about ALEC.

Just as Professor Cronon’s ALEC phillipics have frightened the Wisconsin Republicans enough for them to try some really breathtakingly stupid intimidation and silencing tactics, Sally Jo Sorensen’s dissemination of the fact that Laura Brod, Gen Olson and the supremely nutty Mary Kiffmeyer are all prominent ALEC operatives has sent the Republicans into a Twitter frenzy. As Sorensen Tweeted in reply: “Love it when people spend hours insisting something isn’t important. Nice work if you can get it.”

Posted in Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

More MN GOP Hypocrite Porking, This Time For Elk River

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 24, 2011

Minnesota GOP's thumbs on the pork barrel scales again?

Right after Sally Jo Sorensen alerted folks to this bit of hypocritical politically-driven porkery by the Republicans who control the Minnesota Legislature, along comes Spotty of The Cucking Stool with another piece of Republican hypo-pork:

Amid all the negative things you hear about schools, and cutting school funding, and bringing those darn teachers in to line, it is really nice to see some legislators are trying to help schools. Sen. Amy Koch and Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, specifically.

What? You can read more in the Strib story here.

Well, they are schools in Koch and Kiffmeyer’s own districts. Somebody else’s schools? Heaven forfend! Both bills are very short, so short they fit nicely in the space provided here.

Go click and read. Amazing. They’re barely even bothering to hide it nowadays.

Posted in hypocrites, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Tagged: , | Comments Off on More MN GOP Hypocrite Porking, This Time For Elk River

 
%d bloggers like this: