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Labor Rights, Abortion Rights, Immigrant Rights, Voting Rights Prevail

By       Message John Nichols       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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A year after Republican politicians and their media echo chamber claimed that Americans had -- with the GOP "wave" election of November, 2010 -- embraced conservative economic, social and political values, the voters of November, 2011 chose to:

1. Renew Labor Rights.

Ohio voters rejected Governor John Kasich's assault on collective bargaining protections and public employee unions by an overwhelming 61-39 vote. Said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, "Ohio's working people successfully fought back against lies pushed by shadowy multi-national corporations and their anonymous front groups that attempted to scapegoat public service employees and everyone they serve by assaulting collective bargaining rights." The result was not just a win for organized labor. It was a rejection of the crude politics of austerity that would balance budgets in the backs of working families in order to reward CEO and banksters. "Ohioans from all backgrounds and political parties rejected the crazy notion that the 99 percent -- nurses, bridge inspectors, firefighters and social workers -- caused the economic collapse, rather than Wall Street," said Trumka.

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2. Reject Anti-Immigrant Demagoguery.

Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearse, the author of that state's draconian anti-immigrant legislation, was removed from office in a recall election that saw the right-wing Republican defeated by moderate Republican Jerry Lewis. Randy Parraz, the co-founder of Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that organized the recall drive, said, "This election shows that such extremist behavior will not be rewarded, and will be held accountable."

3. Restore Democratic Rights.

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Maine Governor Paul LePage and his allies eliminated same-day registration rules that made it possible for citizens to register and vote on election day. A petition campaign by Mainers forced a referendum on the issue and, on Tuesday, voters chose by a 61-39 margin to restore same-day registration. "The path of history is clear," said former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine. "Our country has consistently marched forward, making our elections more accessible and open and encouraging people to participate."

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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