ABC News: Governor Rick Scott ignores pleas and signs sweeping voter law, slashing early voting

Tighter voting rules expected to help G.O.P.

-By: Brendan McLaughlin

May 20, 2011- TAMPA – Governor Rick Scott signed a sweeping election reform law this week that will cut early voting days nearly in half and make other dramatic changes.

Supporters say the law will prevent fraud, but voter rights groups, including the non-partisan League of Women Voters, say it's a blatant attempt to suppress voting.

Under the new law that takes effect immediately, early voting will be reduced from 15 days to eight, but because counties have the option of keeping their early voting locations open longer, the number of early voting hours could remain the same at 96.

But it's the new restrictions on voter registration groups that has caused the most uproar.

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Bush’s ‘October Surprise’ File in Dispute

Exclusive: The enduring October Surprise mystery – whether Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign sabotaged President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to free 52 American hostages in Iran – has reached a possible turning point, whether details of George H.W. Bush’s activities on a key day will be released, reports Robert Parry.

-By Robert Parry

September 9, 2011- The National Archives is reconsidering its initial refusal to release Secret Service records regarding the whereabouts of George H.W. Bush on Oct. 19, 1980, when the then-Republican vice presidential candidate is alleged by some witnesses to have secretly traveled to Paris for illicit meetings with Iranian officials.

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RAW Story: Whistleblower fired after revealing Wisconsin ‘voter suppression’

-By David Edwards

September 9, 2011- A Wisconsin state employee has been fired after he revealed that a Department of Transportation official had instructed workers to not notify citizens that IDs necessary for voting could be obtained for free.

State employee Chris Larsen told radio host John "Sly" Sylvester that his bosses at the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) had become upset because he sent an email to other employees Thursday to remind them that photo IDs were supposed to be available without charge.

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Mother Jones: More Ethics Trouble for Clarence Thomas

—By Stephanie Mencimer

September 14, 2011- If Clarence Thomas was hoping that liberals might just forget about his cozy ties to a Dallas real estate developer, or his failure for a decade to disclose the hundreds of thousands of dollars his wife earned from a conservative think tank, well, he would be wrong. As President Obama's health care reform bill gets closer and closer to a hearing before the high court, liberal groups are continuing to press for some sort of disciplinary action against Thomas, or at least to force him to recuse himself from hearing the health care case.

To that end, on Tuesday, the left-leaning Alliance for Justice and the good-government group Common Cause asked the Judicial Conference of the United States, which oversees the federal courts, to investigate whether Thomas violated the Ethics in Government Act. The groups allege that Thomas may have violated the act when he failed to disclose his wife Ginny Thomas's compensation—upwards of $700,000—from the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.

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NPR: Do New Voting Laws Suppress Fraud? Or Democrats?

-by NPR Staff

September 17, 2011- While campaigning to become Kansas' secretary of state, Kris Kobach held a press conference to make the case for a photo ID requirement at the polls. In his argument, he noted that a man named Alfred K. Brewer, who died in 1996, had voted in the 2010 primary.

There was just one problem with that: Brewer wasn't dead.

Shortly after the press conference, Brewer's wife received a call regarding her husband's "passing."

"And she says, 'Well, why do you want to talk to me? He's out raking leaves,'" Brewer says.

New Crackdowns

It turned out the voter rolls Kobach referenced had the birth date for Brewer's father, who had the same name.

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Huffington Post: Jimmy Carter Talks 2012 Elections, Calls Supreme Court ‘Citizens United’ Decision One Of The ‘Stupidest’ Ever

September 16, 2011- At the 30th annual Carter Town Hall on Wednesday, former President Jimmy Carter told his audience he thought the Supreme Court decision to roll back restrictions on corporate spending in federal campaigns was "one of the stupidest rulings ever consummated or perpetrated on the American people."

The Citizens United ruling was decided 5-4 in 2010 and received criticism for allowing a flood of special interest money in politics. President Barack Obama was a major critic, saying the decision was "a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."

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Talking Points Memo: Al Franken Smacks Down Hans von Spakovsky Over Flawed Voter ID Stats

-by Ryan J. Reilly

September 8, 2011- Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) squared off with voting rights restrictions enthusiast Hans von Spakovsky at at Senate hearing on Thursday, accusing the Heritage Foundation fellow of leaving out a crucial piece of data that undermined his argument that voter ID laws don't suppress minority turnout.

In his written testimony, von Spakovsky said that the fact that Georgia had the highest voter turnout in its history in 2008 when there was a photo ID law on the books was proof that the measure didn't suppress turnout. He compared Georgia's statistics to neighboring Mississippi, a state which also has a significant African-American population.

"For example, Mississippi, a state with a large African-American population just like Georgia, there was only a third of what it was in Georgia," von Spakovsky said during his testimony.

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