Some Good News Amid the Bad

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    Election Day was certainly not a day to celebrate for Virginia Democrats, who saw the State Senate become a divided body that Bill Bolling will control with his tie-breaking vote. However, across the nation there were bright spots for those of us who have worried that extremism has become the norm in tea-poisoned American politics.

    In Arizona, State Sen. Russell Pearce, the man who concocted Arizona’s draconian immigration law, was voted out of office in a special recall election, replaced by a saner Republican who had opposed that law. The new Sen. Jerry Lewis (no, not that Jerry Lewis) also vowed to introduce a bill to ban gifts to members of the legislature, a law we sure could use in Virginia.  

    The far-right’s attack on public employee received a knockout punch in Ohio as high-flying Gov. John Kasich, the face of the law that banned collective bargaining in that state, watched a recall election nullify the law. More than 60% of Ohio voters rejected S.B. 5.

    In Mississippi of all places, an attempt to amend the state constitution to declare a fertilized human egg a person from the instant of conception went down in defeat. The amendment was an obvious attempt to outlaw abortion, even for victims of rape and incest or to save the life of the mother. It also would have banned some forms of birth control and probably would have outlawed in vitro fertilization for infertile couples.

    Elsewhere, Kentucky Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear won re-election in that Republican state. In Michigan Rep. Paul Scott, who had championed a change in the state teacher tenure law and the slashing of educational funding, was recalled from office. Finally, a new poll in Ohio, a must-win state for Dems in 2012, shows President Obama leading all GOP challengers by substantial margins. So, there may be hope for this country yet.

    • on yesterday’s elections. See The right-wing’s shellacking.

    • glennbear

      A ballot referendum was soundly defeated that would have adversely affected collective bargaining rights for public employees amongst other provisions (http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2011/04/ohios_senate_bill_5_will_bring.html)

      From the Huffington Post :

      Issue 2 failed by a vote of 61 to 39 percent.

      Immediately after the results came in, union officials sent out statements declaring success.

      “One message rang loud and clear tonight in Ohio and across the country: those who spend their time scapegoating workers and pushing a partisan agenda will only strengthen the resolve of working people,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “From the very beginning, it’s been clear that Gov. Kasich, and indeed many politicians, were pushing an agenda that was about politics, not about solving our nation’s problems or creating jobs.”

      “Even after John Kasich locked the doors to democracy and shut out everyday heroes from the Statehouse, in the cold, bluster of February — working people never lost hope. We marched in the spring, circulated petitions in the summer and now, this fall, we delivered a win for all working people by defeating Issue 2, repealing Senate Bill 5,” added Becky Williams, president of SEIU District 1199 in Ohio.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      In Maine, an attempt to end same-day voter registration was soundly defeated. Score one for people who believe in representative government.

      Also, in Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway won a second term as attorney general. His GOP opponent was endorsed by Sarah Palin…kiss of death. I don’t know if that office is a stepping stone to governor or not, as it often is in Virginia.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      The state government in Kentucky is controlled firmly by Democrats, governor, lt. governor, attorney general, plus, Allison Lundergan Grimes won the secretary of state office.

    • dw1206

      I’m still feeling giddy over Shannon Taylor beating Eric Cantor’s favorite, Bill Janis, in the Henrico County Commonwealth Attorney’s race.