What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Congress Takes Bipartisan Step Unprecedented in This Century - The Voting Rights Act of 2006

In a move this country hasn't seen in this century, Congress has come together to craft the most important legislation of our time. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is the reason we still have a functioning Democracy in the United States. It made very clear that Voting is a Right not a priviledge and eliminated things like literacy tests and poll taxes for ever.

Even more significant it recognized that the States did not provide equal protection for these rights and set up a system whereby States who are naughty, are under Federal scrutiny for certain practices and so, became Federal Legislation that was targeted at protecting the rights of citizens where they historically were denied while recognizing that some states were good players and therefore the scrutiny was not as urgent. It also recognized that problems move, are resolved and can get worse, so it set up tests that if met, could get states off the naughty list or add them to it.

For this reason, certain punitive and oversight sections of the of the VRA of 1965 must be reviewed by Congress periodically and that's generally accepted to be in increments of 25 years.

Well, it's that time and I've been cautiously optimistic that since Sensenbrenner was leading the charge, had successfully led the charge 25 years ago and made many public statements on his support of this landmark legislation, a good bill would come out of the process. Well the bill was announced today and it's a great bill for the American people. I can be very critical of Sensenbrenner when he's wrong (he's my Representative and so, since he works for me, I have a right to discuss his performance), but I also am willing to give credit where credit is due and F. Jim, all I can say is: Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This bill HR 9 has brought together Conyers, Pelosi, Hastert, Sensenbrenner, and a huge list of others, (and has a matching bill with just as much support in the Senate), to finally do something great for their country, and for perhaps the first time in the 21st century, I am truly proud to be an American.

What a great day for Democracy! Doesn't Bipartisanship feel good?

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