Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
It's a start. GOP’s Sensenbrenner vows to repair Voting Rights Act:
Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is a longtime advocate of the Voting Rights Act. As chair of the House Judiciary Committee when the law was reviewed in 2006,
the Wisconsin legislator oversaw extensive deliberations which
ultimately affirmed the VRA’s continuing necessity–and resulted in a
So when the Supreme Court effectively gutted
the VRA in June by voiding the requirement for certain states to get federal “preclearance” before changing their voting laws, Sensenbrenner was displeased.
“Voter discrimination still exists,” he wrote in a June op-ed for USA Today, “and our progress toward equality should not be mistaken for a victory.”
* * *
“The first thing we have to do is take the monkey wrench that the court
threw in it, out of the Voting Rights Act, and then use that monkey
wrench to be able to fix it so that it is alive, well, constitutional
and impervious to another challenge that will be filed by the usual
suspects,” Sensenbrenner said Monday at an RNC event held to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington.
Video below the fold.
Sensenbrenner isn’t the only Republican to speak out against his own
party on voting rights. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized North Carolina’s new law last Thursday at an event in Raleigh where Gov. McCrory was present. Powell said such legislation hurts the GOP brand.
“It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs,”
he said. “These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just
turns people away.”
On Face the Nation Sunday, Powell reiterated the point,
arguing that “the procedures that are being put in place to slow the
process down and make it likely that fewer Hispanics and
African-Americans might vote” will “backfire” on Republicans.
Think Progress reported, Colin Powell On Republican Voting Restrictions: 'It's Going To Backfire':
On Face the Nation this Sunday, Colin Powell warned his fellow Republicans that
the continuing push to restrict voting rights is going to “backfire”
and harm the Republican Party:
These kinds of procedures that are being put in place to
slow the process down, and make it likely that fewer Hispanics and
African Americans might vote I think is going to backfire, because these people are going to come out and do what they have to do in order to vote and I encourage that.
Powell went on to describe just how damaging these laws may be as the country’s demographics shift:
Here’s what I say to my Republican friends: The country
is becoming more diverse. Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, African
Americans are going to constitute a majority in a generation. You say
you want to reach out, you say you want to have a new message, you say
you want to see if you can bring some of these voters to the Republican
side. This is not the way to do it. The way to do it is to make
it easier to vote and then give them something to vote, they can believe
it. It’s not enough to say just we have to have a new message. We have to have a substance to that new message.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and former Secretary of State Colin Powell are fighting a lonely fight right now against radical GOP extremists who favor voter suppression. Where are other Republicans of good conscience who believe the right to vote is sacrosanct and belongs to every American?