Monthly Archives: November 2021

Ahmaud Arbery Murder Trial In Georgia

As the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial in Georgia ends, it reminds me of the Casual Killing Act of 1669. The deviant law, the Casual Killing Act of 1669, which devalues Black lives and makes it legal to kill a slave at will with impunity, is far from new. In the case of Ahmaud Arbery, it took several months for his three killers to be charged.

Moreover, the casual killing of slaves” says that if a slave dies while resisting his master, the act will not be presumed to have occurred with “prepensed malice.” While listening to the defense closing statement in Mr. Arbery’s today, it’s evidence that the Casual Killing Act is still in play!

For the People Act, passed as H.R. 1 in the House and pending as S. 1 in the Senate

I have another message for Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. It’s still NOT about YOU; It’s “For the People.” I know that you are aware of the games the Republicans play. They pretend to want bipartisan legislation; however, they walk away from voting bipartisan and vote no at the end of the day.

The Republicans’ strategy is to delay, delay, and delay and provide no support. Your baseless accusations about the cost and quality of “Build Back Better” have created catastrophes within your party, and your positions are indefensible.

The game is old, and Democrats must not tolerate their rope a dope strategies anymore, period. Additionally, Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema, you both have done well; you have done enough for your sponsors by giving them significant wins.

Now is your time to support your party and stop giving Mitch McConnell the power of the Senate Majority Leader! Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema Vote “For The People Act.” Like it says, it’s’ for the people!

Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema, The For the People Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally shift power away from wealthy special interests and put it in the hands of everyday people.

The bill, designated as H.R. 1 and S. 1 in Congress, is the boldest, most comprehensive democracy reform legislative package introduced in Congress in decades as it deals with ethics in government, money in politics, voting rights, election security, and gerrymandering.

The bill is multifaceted, addressing voting rights, campaign finance, redistricting, government transparency, and ethics. Many parts of the bill are reforms Common Cause has successfully won at the state and local level, often with bipartisan support. For the People Act is an opportunity to pass these important reforms at the federal level.

So, what is in the bill? Here is a quick snapshot and some highlights, broken down by the three key issue sections of the bill.

Protecting and expanding voting rights and election security:

  • Automatic voter registration
  • Online voter registration
  • Same day voter registration
  • Make election day a federal holiday
  • Voting rights restoration to people with prior felony convictions
  • Expand early voting and simplify absentee voting
  • Prohibit voter purges that kick eligible voters off the registration rolls
  • Enhance election security with increase support for a paper-based voting system and more oversight over election vendors
  • End partisan gerrymandering by established independent redistricting commissions
  • Prohibit providing false information about the elections process that discourage voting and other deceptive practices

Reduce the influence of big money in our politics:

  • Require secret money organizations that spend money in elections to disclose their donors
  • Upgrade online political spending transparency rules to ensure voters know who is paying for the advertisements they see
  • Create a small donor-focused public financing matching system so candidates for Congress aren’t just reliant on big money donors to fund their campaigns and set their priorities
  • Strengthen oversight rules to ensure those who break our campaign finance laws are held accountable
  • Overhaul the Federal Election Commission to enforce campaign finance law
  • Prohibit the use of shell companies to funnel foreign money in U.S. elections
  • Require government contractors to disclose their political spending

Ensure an ethical government accountable to the people:

  • Slow the revolving door between government officials and lobbyists
  • Expand conflict of interest law
  • Ban members of Congress from serving on corporate boards
  • Require presidents to disclose their tax returns publicly
  • Overhaul the Office of Government Ethics to ensure more robust enforcement of ethics rules
  • Require members of the U.S. Supreme Court abide by a judicial code of ethics

“If the proposed changes above sound like a lot – it is. But the decades of neglect and changing political dynamics demand comprehensive solutions”.