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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Stories

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California Chooses to Add Discrimination to State Constitution

In early returns the controversial California Proposition 8 has maintained a steady lead indicating that Californians have decided to add discrimination to their State’s constitution. With over seventy million dollars spent on the campaign for and against the ballot initiative it has been one of the most expensive initiative campaigns ever run in the United States. In the closing days of the campaign both sides pulled out all the stops to prevail at the polls.

In many Sunday church services this last weekend ministers encouraged their congregations to go out and vote for the measure that will amend the California constitution to define marriage as being the union between one man and one woman. This would effectively nullify thousands of marriages of same sex couples within the state and strip them of their legal rights as a married couple.

Over the airwaves, the opponents of Proposition 8 pulled out the big guns including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Diane Feinstein and actor Samuel L. Jackson to try to convince voters that adding discrimination to the constitution was both unfair and wrong. The ads compared the proposition to internment camps and anti-miscegenation laws that prevented African Americans and Latinos from marrying Caucasians.

As of 1:30 AM Pacific time on Election Night the bill had a four percentage point lead with 72% of precincts reporting. While the full results can’t be known for sure until all votes are counted it appears that the measure will win and California will amend their constitution to add discriminatory language against homosexuals into it.

Some religious groups are calling this a victory for “traditional marriage”. For most followers of constitutional precedent this marks a dangerous overlapping of religious belief and constitutional law. While the majority of people may believe that marriage is a union ordained by God to be between a man and a woman, much like the Ten Commandments, it should not be a part of the Californian or any other state constitution. There are some who have suggested that the amendment might be challenged as being unconstitutional under the U.S. constitution but it is a case unlikely to be heard or ruled upon by the U.S. Supreme Court with the current makeup of the court leaning to the conservative side.

Much like anti-miscegenation laws took much time and effort to overcome this setback for the gay community will likely take years to be reversed. The question may become whether or not the marriages on the books already will be nullified or if the courts will determine that they were subject to the constitutional guarantees provided at the time of the license being issued. The hurdle that a decision of that nature may have to overcome is a previous voter initiative that defined marriage as being a union between a man and a woman that an appeals court had ruled was unconstitutional under the California constitution. Regardless of the outcome of the likely court challenges, voters in California showed clearly that they are not in favor of equal rights for homosexuals at this time.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

Will Sarah Palin Become the New Face of the Republican Party?

With the defeat of the McCain/Palin ticket some have suggested that a Palin run for the White House in 2012 may be likely. Her popularity among the GOP faithful seemingly gave new life to the McCain campaign after the convention but many pundits and Party insiders suggest that her style may have been more of a liability than an asset to the McCain campaign.

From the time she took the stage at the Republican National Convention to the end of the campaign it was clear that the charisma of the McCain/Palin ticket came more from the VP candidate than from the head of the ticket. While John McCain could muster crowds on his own of thousands, tens of thousands would show up to see Sarah Palin or the two of them jointly. After her addition to the ticket she became one of the most sought after interviews in politics. Even after rough showings in her first two major interviews the core of the GOP voter base could not get enough of Sarah Palin. Reporters hung on her every word and more coverage was given to the budget for he wardrobe and makeup than was given to John McCain’s actual plans for the country.

So why are some people suggesting that she may have cost John McCain the White House? The answer may come down to the tone of her rhetoric. In the traditional role of a vice presidential candidate it is expected that they will be the “attack dog” for the presidential candidate allowing the top of the ticket to remain “presidential” while the campaign hammers away at their opponents. Sarah Palin excelled at attacking Barack Obama to the point of making more of the debate from their side about what was wrong with Obama than what was right about McCain. Her reference to “palling around with terrorists” in describing Barack Obama’s acquaintance with William Ayers took on a life of its own and eventually became painted by many as some of the most malicious campaigning in recent memory. While the attacks played well with the conservative base, they didn’t do well with the Independent voters needed to win the election.

In the closing days of the campaign as the writing on the wall began to appear more and more rumors came out of the McCain/Palin campaign of trouble between the top and bottom of the ticket. Accusations of Palin being a “diva” even were reported from McCain staffers who indicated Palin had abandoned the current campaign strategy to lay the groundwork for a 2012 bid for the presidency. Despite protestations to the contrary from both McCain and Palin most pundits felt that there was a growing rift between the two “mavericks” on the GOP ticket.

The question becomes now if the popularity with the base will be enough for Palin to be a viable candidate in 2012 or if her lack of appeal to the growing number of Independent voters in America will kill her national political future. Will her charisma be enough to overcome the negative opinions about her or will she be relegated to being a political novelty from a losing ticket? Perhaps she might give Geraldine Ferraro a call and see if the other female VP also-ran might have some advice for rehabilitating her negative image after the decisive defeat she and John McCain suffered in the 2008 election.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

 

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