Cleaning up Election Day Disasters

Even with the good news that came last Tuesday, all too much evidence exists that the basic machinery of democracy in America is broken. Election Day is like Groundhog Day and the first stories of problems with voting machines, long lines, or voter intimidation hit the wires in the early A.M. Fortunately, with progressives in control in more states than ever before, we have an opportunity to get the machinery working, so that the engine of democracy starts humming again.

What is Happening in Montana?

This is unreal. It's three days after the election and we don't really know which party controls either chamber in the Montana legislature. In 2005, Democrats won a clear 27-23 majority in the Senate, while the House ended up being a 50-50 dead tie after a recount and court ruling.

One Eye on the Ballot

It's a big year for ballot issues. Mid-term elections, when no President is being elected, typically see less activity on the ballot issue front than Presidential years, but 2006 is proving to be an exception. Eighteen states will consider 76 ballot issues this fall, as high as its been since 1914 for a non-Presidential year.

Voters in Oregon No Longer Fooled by Measure 37

Two years ago, Oregon voters were sold Measure 37 as a property rights issue. The measure, they were told, would close loopholes governments used to regulate homeowners and prevent unnecessary regulation. Backers downplayed other ramifications that are now coming to light, ramifications that other states will face if voters in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, or Washington approve initiatives modeled after Measure 37.

MT: TABOR Kicked Off the Ballot...Again

One Montana judge ruled last week that along with two other Howard Rich-backed initiatives, the "Stop OverSpending" measure based on Colorado's disastrous TABOR Amendment had been qualified for the ballot through illegal signature gathering.

Rightwing Fraud Derails Tax Revolt

The libertarian movement backed by a super-wealthy New York developer is proving why it hates the government so much: they appear constitutionally unable to follow the law. Howard Rich and his cronies have been behind efforts to clone Colorado's disastrous TABOR spending cap measure, various knock-off proposals based on Oregon's anti-land use planning law Measure 37, and various assaults on the judicial system.

MT: Three Rightwing Initiatives Knocked Off Ballot for Fraud

A Montana judge has ruled that the signature gathering process for three rightwing ballot initiatives "was permeated by fraud and procedural non-compliance" resulting in all three measures being struck from the Montana ballot. The initiatives in question were a spending cap similar to Colorado's failed TABOR initiative, a land use planning initiative based on Oregon's disastrous Measure 37, and measure to allow recall of judges without cause.

Op-Ed Responds to Misleading Ads; Berman Pledges to Expand Buy

In response to misleading ads from the Center for Union Facts, Progressive States co-chair Sen. Steve Doherty (Ret.) and Rep.

A Convenient Truth: States Can Seize the Lead on Global Warming

In the groundbreaking film An Inconvenient Truth, Vice President Al Gore makes an impressive case that it is now essential that the world act to prevent the potentially catastrophic implications of global warming. The film could not come at a more critical time. While the planet warms, Washington dawdles. The nation's political elite remains mired in a debate manipulated by powerful energy interests.

Op-Ed: Beware of big-buck Easterners testing their theories on us

Published August 28, 2006 in the Great Falls Tribune by Sen. Steve Doherty (Ret.) and Rep. Dave McAlpin Beware the traveling salesman peddling political snakeoil. Montana is overrun with such characters these days -- national organizations dumping money in to our state to influence public opinion and advance their hidden agendas. The most recent and nefarious example in this cycle is the Center for Union Facts, the organization running the vicious ads attacking public employees on our airwaves.