In my column in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel this morning, I try to figure out why Republicans are so gung-ho to roll back voting rights. The arguments advanced so far are either embarassingly factually flawed or, like GOP Chair Charlie Webster's conspiracy theories, just outrght ludicrous. There is certainly no ideological or philosophical underpinning for the move.
The answer seems to be simple, naked politics.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree spoke about the bill on MSNBC last night, and put the issue in a national context:
It seems to me it's art of a bigger agenda to keep people from voting, to take away our rights as citizens and to undermine the very fundamentals of democracy.
Video after the jump. Read more »
This week on Big Talk, there was a lot to talk about. Hosts Al Brewer and Suzanne Murphy were joined by myself and Gerald Weinand of Dirigo Blue to discuss legislation that has just passed or is currently under consideration in Augusta.
Things are going very quickly in the Capitol at the moment and laws on everything from voting rights to abortion to the environment to workers' rights are all being voted up or down in the two chambers.
We also spent some time discussing the First District Court's redistricting ruling.
Also last night - it looks like the Appropriations Committee has reached a compromise on the biennial budget, although full details are not yet available. It now faces votes in the House and Senate, with a two thirds majority in each required for passage.