Posts Tagged voter

Trump Card


It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes a summer romance turns into a permanent relationship.  That may be the case with Donald Trump whose summer surge has propelled him to the front of the herd seeking the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

Conventional wisdom (which is often wrong) for weeks has put Trump in the same category as Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich and others who four years ago took turns rocketing to the top of the polls only to fall and be replaced by the next candidate who caught the voters’ fancy.  But that race also featured the formidable campaign operation of Mitt Romney who played an electoral version of wack-a-mole to pick off anyone who gained traction against him.  This year no one – yet – appears capable of taking down Trump.

At first Donald Trump appeared to be just another passing fad.  He is a commanding presence and used his celebrity to launch his campaign feeding the narrative that this was just another PR ploy.  But there is an old adage among public speakers that to get people to hear your message you must first get their attention.  Nobody is better than Trump at getting attention, and now he is delivering his message.

The Republican Party establishment, mainstream news media and even the conservative punditry all initially wrote Trump off as a side show.  As Trump whipped off a series of decidedly not politically correct broadsides against illegal aliens, John McCain, and Meghan Kelly, the tongues wagged that he had gone too far and was set to implode.

The implosion never happened.  Instead, Trump has risen in the polls the most recent of which show him suddenly competitive in the General Election against the once-invincible candidate who is imploding, Hillary Clinton.  Trump, it seems, can – and does – say whatever he wants and voters flock to him.  He has almost literally pushed the other 16 candidates off the stage.  On a recent night both Trump and Jeb Bush hosted town hall meetings in New Hampshire.  Trump spoke before a raucous crowd of over 2,000; Bush talked with a couple hundred people many of whom appeared to be borderline comatose.

Trump has succeeded in becoming the dominant figure in the 2016 Presidential race because he has refused to play by the rules.  And that is a good thing because the rulebook has been written by the Left and by design puts Republicans in general and conservatives in particular on the defensive.  Trump refuses to be defensive – he is always on the attack.

Accuse Trump of flip-flopping on issues?  No problem, the rules don’t apply.  Accuse Trump of insulting women?  No problem, the rules don’t apply.  Accuse Trump of insulting illegal aliens?  No problem, the rules don’t apply.  The political class says he is a passing fad? No problem, the rules don’t apply.

It has become crystal clear Americans of all political stripes feel the nation is off track and someone has to, as Trump would put it “make America great again.”  That is the nature of Bernie Sanders’ appeal to the Left, and Trump’s appeal to GOP voters. The difference is Sanders’ policy solutions won’t play with a broader swath of the electorate.  But with Trump voters see an ultra-successful businessman who has gotten things done and they believe he can make good on his promise to lead the nation back to greatness.

So Trump has again succeeded where all others have failed.  He has the attention of the voters, and is putting forth solid – if controversial – policy solutions.  But winning a presidential nomination requires an extensive organization that collects a majority of the delegates who will assemble in Cleveland the summer next.  That is Trump’s challenge: converting popularity into delegates.  He also must overcome the fact that while he leads the race, more voters have a negative opinion of him than those who have a positive one, making it difficult to build upon his base of support.

Trump, of course, is accustomed to building things.  His current project is a mammoth hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. midway between the Capitol and the White House.  If he can capitalize on his current front-runner status, Donald Trump may acquire some additional real estate a few blocks down the street.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.   His e-mail address islhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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Voter ID Madness


A couple of months ago, suffering from a sore throat, I walked into a local chain pharmacy to buy some cough syrup.   The young lady at the check-out counter asked to see my driver’s license or some other form of photo ID. Since I was quite certain she wasn’t making sure I was “of age,” I asked the reason why? She said it was store policy that you had to show a photo ID in order to purchase certain over the counter medications, including cough syrup.

This is clearly discriminatory and is a violation of the civil right of each and every American without a photo ID to purchase cough syrup. Obviously this pharmacy is attempting to suppress participation in the use of cough syrup by putting up unconscionable barriers to use of the product. This amounts to nothing less than class warfare, as pharmacies are catering to the rich and trampling on the poor and disadvantaged, none of whom possess a photo ID.

State government tells us that less than one percent of Pennsylvanians are without a photo ID, and those individuals can easily go to their local PennDOT office and get an identification card with their picture on it free of charge so that they too can purchase cough syrup. But why should they be forced to do that? Why should that 1% be required to act like the other 99% of society and get a photo ID so they can remedy their colds?

This is an outrage! Clearly the big pharmacies and the brutal regime of Governor Tom Corbett are conspiring to disenfranchise thousands of their fellow Pennsylvanians. They are erecting artificial barriers to the purchase of cough syrup which will depress turn-out at the check-out counter during cough and cold season. Worse, this could result in long lines as clerks check for ID and explain to the poor and dispossessed that they cannot exercise their right to buy cough syrup.

It is high time somebody contact the ACLU and demands they sue in state courts to prevent the implementation of photo ID policies at pharmacies. Why haven’t Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others staged protests at drug stores throughout Penn’s Woods? Why is Chris Matthews not getting a tingle up his leg over this issue? Why hasn’t the Justice Department intervened, a White House czar been appointed or Homeland Security been notified?

Sound a bit ridiculous? Well, that’s because it is. Just like the current uproar over Pennsylvania’s new photo voter ID law. Given that voting is a more serious function than the purchase of cough syrup – or the dozens of other mundane tasks that require a photo voter ID – why would we not require proper ID before allowing a person to vote?

The Left in general, and Democrats in particular are wailing, moaning, renting garments and predicting the end of the Republic as we know it because Pennsylvania has enacted a law requiring voters to present a photo ID when showing up to vote on election day. They call it a “barrier” to voting. But then, being required to register to vote could also be considered a barrier. Sometimes a few barriers are necessary to ensure the integrity of the process.

The caterwauling includes loud claims that photo voter ID is a solution in search of a problem. There is, they claim, no election fraud in Pennsylvania. But then along came Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt who turned up evidence of irregularities in last spring’s primary election. That alone is worrisome in that the primary election was a low key, low turn-out event. If there were irregularities in a relatively insignificant election, imagine what the impact could be this November when the Presidency itself could hinge on Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.

Governor Corbett and a majority in both houses of the General Assembly are simply trying to ensure the integrity of Pennsylvania’s electoral process. A fair election doesn’t advantage or disadvantage one party over the other, but it does give citizens confidence in the results.

PennDOT, the Department of State and other agencies are working hard to make sure each and every Pennsylvanian who wants a photo ID can get one in time to cast their ballot in November. To suggest taking that step is in any way other than the responsible and proper thing to do is, well, ridiculous.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.   His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org)

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Photo Voter ID


Radio Program Schedule for the week of May 5, 2012 – May 11, 2012

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Todd Zywicki of George Mason University about the proposed People’s Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • Andy Roth has the Real Story behind why GOP leaders in congress are opposing TEA Party and conservative candidates
  • Adam Tragone, Managing Editor at Human Events has an Off the Cuff discussion with Karl Selzer of the newsweekly about the President’s politicizing the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on why so many “progressives” have communist backgrounds

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from paindependent.com
  • Lowman Henry talks with Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation about Pennsylvania’s new photo voter ID law
  • Joe Geiger from the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) has Denise Britton from Shalom House in the Nonprofit Spotlight
  • Scott Paterno has an Uncomfortable Truth commentary on why funding public education with property taxes no longer works

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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Memo from Voters: Stuff Your Endorsement


Tuesday’s primary election highlighted two serious structural deficiencies in Pennsylvania’s electoral process. Once again the “Keystone State” was anything but in the presidential nominating process. And, clearly the day of the party endorsement – especially a nod forced from the top down – has passed.

For several weeks it appeared as if the Pennsylvania and New York primaries would be pivotal contests in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. But, several weeks ago when former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum suspended his campaign our state’s primary was rendered virtually meaningless. Sure, delegates had to be elected to the national convention, but the nomination had been decided.

Every four years there is talk about moving Pennsylvania’s primary to an earlier date, perhaps to so-called “Super Tuesday” in early March, but nothing ever comes of the idea. So, as in presidential contests past, small states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and even other industrial states like Michigan and Ohio got to impact the choice of the nominee while we here in Penn’s Woods watched from the sidelines.

Four years ago state Democrats did get a big say in the Obama/Clinton race, but that brief spurt of relevance was an exception to the rule. This year, lacking the glitz of a presidential contest, voter turn-out was abysmal. So many down ballot races – for congress and for seats in the state legislature – were decided by in some cases less than a quarter of the registered electorate.

Despite tepid participation in the primary election, voters did manage to deliver a message or two. The race with the most political ramifications was the five-way contest for the Republican nomination to take on incumbent U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. That race turned into a virtual referendum on the once vaunted Republican Party endorsement process. That process was shredded by voters as they relegated the endorsed candidate, Steve Welch, to third place.

The Welch defeat marks the first loss of a Republican Party endorsed statewide candidate in a non-judicial race in over three decades. Part of the reason for voter rejection of the party pick was the heavy-handed manner in which the Welch endorsement was forced on Republican State Committee members by Governor Tom Corbett and party leaders. The fact is Welch would never have been endorsed without that support, and his candidacy never did develop any real grassroots appeal.

Party apologists will contend that the personal financial wealth the winning candidate, former Tea party activist Tom Smith, brought to the race was a deciding factor. But, Welch is wealthy himself and put over a million dollars of his own money behind his candidacy. And, former State Representative Sam Rohrer finished second having spent few dollars, but earning a wave of grassroots support. Welch failed to dominate with either money or manpower – two advantages normally associated with the party endorsement.

This year’s GOP endorsement debacle has politically wounded an incumbent governor and called into question the effectiveness of the party apparatus in a vital presidential election year. The Republican State Committee should re-evaluate the future of party endorsements. The process this year both divided and weakened the party, calling into question its utility going forward.

Part of the reason for this is that the endorsement process has degenerated from truly democratic selection into a tool by which party and elected leaders exert their control over who gets nominated. The GOP has already split into “establishment” and grassroots conservative camps with the latter gaining influence with each passing election cycle. Forced endorsements only inflame the grassroots further aggravating that divide.

None of this is good for the party, and neither will it yield good government. This year’s presidential election is shaping up as one of the most important in generations as voters decide whether to continue down the soft socialistic path of the Obama Administration, or return America to its historic traditions of individual liberty.

That battle will ultimately unite all factions within the GOP. But going forward, the Pennsylvania Republican Party must ditch the endorsement process and restore individual liberties within the walls of its own house.

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(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Scott Paterno; Independent Voters Rule!


Radio Program Schedule for the week of April 7, 2012 – April 13, 2012

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute about new Obama Administration regulations aimed at preventing the construction of new coal fired electric generation plants
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story behind tough primaries for the U.S. Senate in Utah and Indiana
  • Adam Tragone of Human Events has an Off the Cuff discussion about the so-called “Amazon Tax” with David Harsanyi of Human Events
  • Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, USA has an American Radio Journal commentary on why Jesus was a conservative

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm of the Pennsylvania Independent has this week’s news headlines
  • Lowman Henry talks with John Kennedy from the Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania about the mood of the Pennsylvania electorate heading into the primary election
  • Joe Geiger from the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations has Lydia Mitchell from the State YMCA of Pennsylvania in the Nonprofit Spotlight to talk about the Youth in Government program
  • Scott Paterno has an Uncomfortable Truth commentary on why independent voters will decide who will be the next President of the United States

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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The Voter ID Race Card: Common sense, not race-baiting should prevail


A few weeks ago my wife and I travelled to Arizona to visit family for holidays. When we arrived at the airport we were required to show a photo ID to check our luggage. We again had to show photo ID to the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) agents who then performed more invasive procedures. Upon arriving in Phoenix, we were required to again show a photo ID to pick up our rental car.

When my son applied for a job working at a local convenience store, the employer required not just a photo ID, but also a copy of his birth certificate. (Something not required to become President of the United States.) I was with my sister when she made a credit card purchase, the store clerk asked to see her driver’s license, a form of photo ID.

Were any of the folks who asked for our photo identification racists? Likely they were not. They were simply verifying our identity in order to process a transaction. It is a normal, everyday occurrence. Except when we go to a polling place to vote. There, in Pennsylvania as in many other states, no proof of identification is required.

The Pennsylvania Voter Identification Protection Act sponsored by State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) has passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and is now being considered by the state senate. The new law would require voters to present a photo ID. A driver’s license or other state issued identification card provided free of charge would be accepted.

Voter fraud is a clear and present danger in Pennsylvania. In the last presidential election cycle there were numerous allegations of voter registration abuse and fraud, many involving the radical group known as A.C.O.R.N. The U.S. Department of Justice under President Obama turned a blind eye to the complaints. The system literally lacks competent oversight.

This places the very integrity of our national electoral process in jeopardy. Without appropriate safeguards we cannot be confident that the outcome – especially of close elections – is accurate and fraud-free. Think back to 2000 when a handful of votes in Florida determined who would become President of the United States. We must do everything we can to ensure that the nation would have confidence in the outcome should such a close vote occur in Pennsylvania.

Requiring photo ID to vote makes so much sense it calls into question the motives of those who oppose it. The sad truth is that some benefit from the current lax system of voter verification and believe it to be to their electoral advantage to preserve the status quo. Lacking any valid intellectual argument for their position, they have resorted to playing the race card.

Frankly, it is demeaning to any minority to suggest that they are incompetent to the point of being unable to acquire a simple ID card. Assistance can be rendered through human services agencies for those who are mentally challenged, elderly, or immobile. But it is hardly more racist to require a photo ID to vote than it is to require a photo ID to stay at a motel or use a credit card.

The Obama Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder has gone to court fighting a new photo ID law in South Carolina. But such laws have already been upheld as Constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. The basis for the judicial review was a similar law in the state of Indiana, after which Metcalfe patterned the Pennsylvania statute. Holder is simply trying to delay the implementation of voter fraud prevention efforts already given a stamp of approval from the highest court in the land.

With Pennsylvania’s April primary rapidly approaching and a presidential General Election upcoming in November the time has come for a voter ID law to be put into effect here in Penn’s Woods. Only then can we the people have confidence that our electoral system is free of voter fraud and the winners have been honestly elected.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

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