As the Federal government continues to career down the road, crashing over and through everything we’ve held sacred and essential to America, the states have stepped up and continue to make efforts to end the federal marauding within their borders.
A few bills of note this past week occurred in Texas and South Carolina.
VOTER PHOTO ID
We can’t expect our government to be free of corruption if our electoral system is rife with it. In an effort to not only prevent voter fraud, but to also increase voter confidence in the integrity of the system, South Carolina passed legislation that will require voters to present photo identification to vote.
The bill requires voters show a S.C. drivers license, S.C.-issued ID card, federal military ID or a passport at polling places. The bill would not allow use of college, expired or other government-issue forms of ID.
If a voter arrives at the polls without proper identification, he can cast a provisional ballot and show a valid ID at the board of elections within a couple of days to have the vote counted. The State also reported the inevitable:
Sen. Brad Hutto, an Orangeburg Democrat, said the legislation is destined for court challenges.
“What this bill does is institutionalizes voter suppression,” Hutto said.
He said a list of 178,000 voters that don’t have photo identification will create problems, because it is an invasion of privacy and creates the potential for identity theft.
Sen. Chip Campsen, an Isle of Palms Republican, said Democrats created that problem by insisting on the creation of the list to help identify people who don’t have the credentials needed to vote.
It will be interesting to learn how many of those 178,000 are actual qualified voters. State photo IDs will be offered free of charge to anyone over 17 years of age. SC Governor Nikki Haley has supported the legislation and is expected to sign the bill.
With this action, SC joins ten other states (Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, South Dakota, and Texas) that require a photo ID to vote.
ANTI GOVERNMENTAL GROPING
As noted above, Texas has also passed a voter ID bill to prevent the molestation of their electoral system, and they have moved on to prevent government-sanctioned molesting of their citizens at Texas airports by the US’s Transportation Security Administration. According to the AP:
Approved late Thursday night, the measure makes it illegal for anyone conducting searches to touch “the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person” including through clothing.
It also prohibits searches “that would be offensive to a reasonable person.”
The bill’s chief sponsor is Republican Rep. David Simpson, who said, “this has to do with dignity and travel, and prohibiting indecent, groping searches.”
He believes it will keep Transportation Security Administration officials from treating travelers like criminals, though the measure may be superseded by federal law.
Because the Obama administration doesn’t blink an eye when it tramples on state laws or ignores court orders, Texas would be within its rights in pressing the issue. If individuals have no power in combating the unconstitutional procedure, perhaps a state government will.
LIGHT BULB FREEDOM
Also in SC, while still battling with the Obama administration over its right to invite whatever company it wishes to do business in the right-to-work state, the state has legislation in the works that will promote manufacturing in the state, save or create jobs lost due to federal government extremism and give consumers a quality product they want: the incandescent light bulb.
An excellent look by the Heritage Foundation at the questionable savings to be had by CFL bulbs said:
The Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act, which unanimously passed South Carolina’s Senate panel, would allow South Carolina manufacturers to continue to sell incandescent bulbs so long as they have “Made in South Carolina” on them and are sold only within the state. Other states have floated the idea, and last year Arizona passed a bill that would have done the same thing, but Governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the legislation.
The measure is sure to face a legal challenge if the SC legislature passes it. It was for that reason that Brewer issued her veto, not because she was afraid to battle the US on another front, but that a similar bill for manufacturing and selling guns solely within the confines of Arizona has already passed. Brewer believes that lawsuit will settle the light bulb manufacturing issue as well. The Arizona Capitol Times wrote:
Brewer wrote in her veto letter that the guns bill is a better way for Arizona to assert its 10th Amendment rights because the state would need to begin mining and processing tungsten, a critical component of incandescent light bulbs.
“I believe that the Firearms Freedom Act is the more immediate and practical vehicle for achieving this objective,” Brewer wrote in her veto letter. “HB2337 would take many more years to achieve its goal.”
The South Carolina light bulb freedom measure goes beyond just merely providing SC citizens the freedom to escape government coercion into buying inferior toxic products. The ban will ultimately produce no savings—despite Heritage’s report giving leeway for some costs to be possibly saved. It’s well known to anyone but lefties and government bureaucrats that when consumers reduce their consumption, the utility company makes less money. As a result, the utility raises the cost per unit rate in order to maintain its revenue flow. Thus, the consumer now pays more for consuming less.
More importantly, however, this is just one more example of the federal government’s actions destroying American manufacturing and American jobs, for a bunch of do-gooderism. [Note: The banning of incandescent bulbs was enacted under President Bush in 2007.] As reported by the AP:
If the South Carolina bill passes, it could boost hiring at American Light Bulb Manufacturing Inc., which has a factory in Mullins, in an impoverished, rural part of the state, president Ray Schlosser said from the company’s headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. The plant is in Marion County, the state’s capital for unemployment, with one-fifth of the work force jobless.
“The federal government was just trying to shove this down Americans’ throats too quickly,” Schlosser said.
Before the 2007 law, he had three production lines with 50 workers making the bulbs. But Schlosser said he is down to a single line with 15 workers and a single U.S. competitor, Sylvania. Most of the incandescent bulb business is now overseas. GE made its last incandescent bulb in the U.S. last fall.
It’s not too late to save this American industry. It’s not too late to save these American jobs. If America doesn’t want them, South Carolina does.
GOLD AND SILVER CURRENCY
Also, fearing the recklessness of the US Congress in their continued spending spree and the quantitative easing of the Federal Reserve, SC legislators have introduced a bill in both the SC House and Senate to permit gold and silver to be recognized as legal tender within the state. Legislators say it would not replace the dollar, but instead would be a ready emergency backup should people lose faith in the dollar due to hyperinflation. Columbia’s WACH reports :
“I’m no financial expert but am I smart enough to know that you can’t keep printing money when it has no backing,” says SC Republican Representative Mac Toole.
Thomas also wants a special joint committee to study the need and process for establishing an alternate currency. Read the entire bill here.
“For those of you who think this is a way to re-establish secession, the bill was passed in Utah and it’s currently law there,” SC Republican Representative Mike Pitts.
A group called Sound Money has been pushing the legislation and has videos at their website explaining the concept. Both bills have been referred to committee, and new legislators signed on to the House bill last week.
Some may shake their heads and say, “Hoo boy, those Southerners sure are a wacky bunch.” We may be headstrong and independent. Hopefully we will also end up with a trustworthy electoral system, filamented soft-light bulbs, money to buy them and the government’s hands out of our pants (and skirts).
Wisconsin has joined the Voter Photo ID ranks, as Governor Scott Walker signed the bill on Wednesday—a bill that WI’s last two legislatures had passed but the Democratic governor had vetoed.
According to an AP report:
But opponents say Wisconsin’s law differs significantly from Indiana’s, pointing in particular to the requirement that Wisconsin absentee voters must include a photocopy of their ID when mailing in their ballots. They argue that will present an additional burden on poor voters and the elderly who may have a hard time getting copies made.
Opponents also say Wisconsin has much less access to Department of Motor Vehicle offices to get allowable IDs than Indiana, which also creates a burden.
Only eight states have a photo ID law, with one in Kansas to take effect next year. South Carolina passed a photo ID law earlier this month, but it is under review by the U.S. Justice Department. Eighteen other states, with Oklahoma to join in July, require identification at the polls but it doesn’t have to be with a photo.
Wisconsin’s requirement to show photo identification takes effect for elections in 2012, but other changes such as requiring voters to sign poll books and to have lived at their current address for 28 days instead of just 10, take effect immediately.
That means those changes will be in place before up to nine recall elections affecting six Republican and three Democratic state senators. The earliest those elections could take place is July 12.
Under the new law, voters will have to present a driver’s license, state ID, passport, military ID, naturalization papers or tribal ID in order to vote. College students could vote with an ID from their school as long as it has their signature and an expiration date that falls within two years of the card’s issuance.
University of Wisconsin IDs currently don’t meet that criteria and would have to updated to comply before students could use them to vote.
Voters who have a photo ID but forget to bring it to the polls can cast a provisional ballot that would only be counted if the voter presents a photo ID to the local election clerk by the Friday after the election.
People living in nursing homes, retirement homes and institutions are exempt, as are victims of stalking and anyone who objects to having their photos taken for religious grounds.
Taking effect for elections this year is a new limitation on how long voters can cast absentee ballots in person at the clerk’s office. That window is reduced from 30 days to just two weeks and it would end the Friday before the election, rather than the day after.
The new law also does away with party-line voting, except for military and overseas voters.
While the law will prevent someone from voting using another person’s name, it will do nothing to prevent felons from voting while on state supervision.
The wall preventing election integrity continues to crumble.