Collegeville Democrats

Meet The Democratic Candidates

BigD

Collegeville Democrats Invite You To Meet The Democratic Candidates
On The May 15th Primary Election Ballot!

Wednesday April 25, 2018 7:30 PM ~ 9 PM
Ursinus College Campus (Wismer Hall Faculty Dining Room)

Call 610-733-4329 ~ E-mail ~ collegevilledemocrats@gmail.com

Invited Guests:

Representative From Senator Bob Casey’s Re-Election Campaign

Representative From Governor Wolf’s Re-Election Campaign

4th Congressional District
Mary Jo Daley ~ Madeleine Dean
Shira Goodman ~ Joe Hoeffel

Lieutenant Governor Candidates

State Senate ~ 44th District ~ Katie Muth

State Representative ~ 150th Legislative District ~ Joe Webster

  Vote

 

Gun Control – 22 Things That Could Be Done

IMG_0864The event stage in Washington D.C with the Capital building squarely framed in the background. (MSNBC)

 

Hearing each of the young students speak out against gun control today in Washington D.C., I heard the speeches I have been waiting to hear from our “adult” politicians for years but have not heard. The speeches from students as young as 11 years old were elegant, forceful and logical. 11-year-olds gave speeches far more compelling than paid professional politicians with decades of public experience. Who was the last politician whose speech moved you to tears? And not just of emotion, but of joy for compelling arguments of truth so long absent. The arguments for gun control are so basic, even an eleven-year-old could not only comprehend it, but articulate it. Why can’t our 60- and 70-year old politicians grasp it?

If you hear politicians who say there is nothing that can be done about gun control, Republican or Democrat, reject them. If they don’t know what to do about gun control, educate them.

Aside from the fact that the Second Amendment does not – and never did – mean that every Joe Sixpack down the street can have a gun, there are plenty of common-sense things that can be done now, legislatively, at the federal, state, and local levels.

The first thing that can and should be done is to ban assault weapons. (A psychotic gunman would not have shot 17 people with an AR15 if he didn’t have an AR15.) Beyond banning assault weapons, there are many, many things that can be done to reduce gun violence. Here is a list of 22 things that can be done. So don’t think that nothing can be done about gun violence.

 

1.) Background checks before ALL gun purchases, including:

criminal history?

Terrorist/no-fly list?

expelled from schools?

number of guns already owned?

mental illness?

social media threats?

animal cruelty history?

require fingerprints.

Ban on gun sales to fugitives from the law

2.) Close the gun show loophole

ALL gun sales and transfers should follow the same rules.

4.) Limit on the number of weapons a person can legally own or posses

5.) Limit on the amount of ammunition a person can legally own or possess.

6.) Prohibit gun sales to persons with a mental illness.

7.) Require a waiting period on gun purchases.

8.) Ban the sale, transfer and possession of automatic weapons.

These should not be legally sold to anyone whether they are mentally ill or not.

9.) Ban the sale, transfer and possession of semi-automatic weapons, including bump stocks.

These should not be legally sold to anyone whether they are mentally ill or not.

10.) Severe criminal charges for the parents of shooters who knew of the shooter’s mental illness and knew he had a gun in the house without reporting it to authorities.

11.) Criminal charges against gun stores, or others, who provide a gun to someone who uses it to kill someone.

12.) Criminal charges against an individual who knows of threats to kill someone and doesn’t report it promptly to authorities.

13.) Criminal charges against an individual in an investigative or authority organization who knows of threats to kill someone and doesn’t investigate it or promptly report to other relevant authorities.

14.) Charges against anyone who instructs minors how to shoot guns and then that minor shots someone.

15.) Raise the age to buy or carry a gun to 21.

16.) Require gun stores to report attempts to buy a large number of guns or large amounts of ammunition.

17.) Require a license for gun ownership – proving they have been trained on how to use a gun.

18.) Enact a ban on gun trafficking.

19.) Require guns in the home and other places be stored in a locked container.

20.) Encourage gun buy-back programs.

21.) Make it possible for local townships and boroughs to pass ordinances prohibiting gun stores from locating there.

22.) Pass laws to keep domestic abusers from possessing guns.

 

An Opinion by Dean Miller

 

 

 

Trump Wants to Send Secret Service Into Polling Places

Polling Place 4 SS Agents

(what it could look like)

Highlights:

– Proposal buried in the Department of Homeland Security funding bill.
– A bill has already passed the House of Representatives.
– The bill will come before the Senate in the near future.
– There are currently federal and state laws preventing military or civil officers anywhere an election is being held.
– DHS would be “assisted” by the king of the voter fraud myth, Kris Kobach, who specializes in voter suppression. He created Operation Interstate Crosscheck, a list of voters that has been used to purge voters from the rolls.
– This scheme arises after Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity has disbanded, after failure to find examples of voter fraud, and accusations of attempted voter suppression. However, Trump didn’t shut down the investigation or acknowledge that voter fraud is a non-issue. However, Trump has now turned the task of creating the illusion of widespread voter fraud over to the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet-level agency that has access to much of the data the commission requested but couldn’t get from the states.
– This scheme arises after Trump said he wants to conduct a military parade in Washington, D.C.
– Department of Homeland Security includes the Secret Service.
– Department of Homeland Security also includes the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Must-reads:

http://buzzflash.com/commentary/trump-wants-secret-service-to-patrol-polling-stations

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2018-01-05/trump-ends-election-integrity-commission-but-voter-fraud-probe-continues

PA Republicans Attack the Judicial System Over Gerrymandering (An Opinion Piece)

Gerrymandered distrcts pa

The Pennsylvania state court struck down gerrymandered districts and Republican state lawmakers have gone ballistic. After their appeals were rejected by the (Democratic majority) state and (Republican majority) supreme courts, Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are now trying it again, filing appeals with federal and supreme courts to stay the order, and would probably appeal to any other court that would hear them. They’re even officially calling for the impeachment of four (4) state justices.

The courts have finally, after 7 years, made a substantial and long-overdue decision on the court case against the mind-numbingly gerrymandered voting districts in Pennsylvania. Anyone with eyesight could see that many of the districts are twisted, contorted, choked, and demonstrably tortured for the partisan benefit of Republican party candidates – and the court agreed. Republicans have now controlled 70% of the representatives even though they only have 44% of the registered voters. Voter suppression – which is what gerrymandering is – is the most oppressive, the most invasive, most offensive violation against the most basic of our civil rights in America – the right to vote and have our vote count – and the court agreed.

But immediately after the court decision to overturn the district maps, Republican state Senator Scarnati threw a temper tantrum. His complaint – at least ostensibly – was that a court would have the audacity, the temerity, to overrule legislation – to overrule a legislature. He railed based on the rationale that the court is “attempting to play the role of ‘lawmaker'”. Scarnati said he would not comply with at least part of the order and declared the court’s ruling “unconstitutional”.

He accused the court of legislating from the bench, but then the legislator hypocritically declared a court ruling “unconstitutional.”

Does he not know that the role of the court is to do just that – to overrule legislation?

Does he not know that the role of legislator is to make legislation, not adjudicate from the legislature?

Contempt of Court

Scarnati refused to comply with at least part of the court order. How is that not contempt of court?

A common citizen wouldn’t defy a court order. So why would a man who is supposed to be a distinguished, educated leader, a politician, a state Senator, defy a court order? How can one Senator just refuse to follow a court order, and no other Senators (Republican or Democratic) do anything about it? Why aren’t state Democrats calling for the court to raise contempt of court charges against Scarnati and the Republicans?

Also, he said that he would also not comply with the part of the court order that required him to turn over certain data.

In his response letter to the court, Scarnati first said he would not turn over any data in the Court’s orders – then it said in a footnote “Senator Scarnati does not possess” any such data. Why would he say he would not turn over data that he does not possess??

Dangerous Precedent

Scarnati’s logic is flawed (and reeks of desperation). He argued that if the law says that a type of legislation is created by a legislature, that means it cannot be overruled by the court – because that would be “legislating from the bench.”

But if the court cannot overturn unconstitutional legislation, who can? If the court cannot determine and rule authoritatively regarding the constitutionality of legislation, who can? The same people who made that law? What then, would be the role of the court?

 The destructive significance of Scarnati’s behavior goes even beyond contempt of court. If this line of reasoning is allowed to stand, it will set a catastrophic precedent – the precedent that courts can’t overrule legislation. That would be to effectively and literally disable the judicial system.

Conclusion

It is stunning and incredulous that Senator Scarnati and the Republicans in the state Senate are behaving in such an immature, dangerous, rebellious, and outwardly contemptuous manner toward the courts. He is outraged that the supreme court of the state would tell him – the Great Scarnati – what he can and can’t do. He even goes so far as to respond by pretending to be a court justice – he knows better than the judges what is and isn’t constitutional. How can a state senator declare a court order unconstitutional? He criticizes the court for legislating, yet he is a legislator adjudicating from the legislature.

What Scarnati and the Republicans are doing cannot be allowed to stand. If they can get away with defying the courts this time, they will continue to do it in the future – both in Pennsylvania and across the nation. They are attempting to prevent the court from doing its job – the job of checking the power of the legislature. The court makes decisions – that’s its job – and that job includes oversight of legislation – and of the legislature.

This is about the legitimacy, the efficacy, the essence, the existence of the judicial system itself. If the court can’t make rulings or enforce its own rulings, it has been rendered ineffective, invisible, useless, impotent. Allowing this type of behavior, this type of reasoning, sets an extremely dangerous precedent – but only if is allowed – or accepted.

Do not be fooled by this line of reasoning. Do not allow this type of behavior to stand. The system of checks and balances is under assault. The authority of the courts over the legislature must be defended and protected. The courts must ensure enforcement of their rulings.

 

Dean Miller

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/22/pennsylvania-republicans-lost-the-redistricting-battle-now-theyre-declaring-war-on-the-courts/?utm_term=.5e53149a4767

 

 

House Republicans Go After Disabilities Act

san-antonio-city-hall-ada-accessibility_credit-iris-dimmick5

Washington: Most House Republicans passed a bill that makes it harder for disabled persons to sue businesses for discrimination, allegedly in an effort to prevent opportunistic attorneys from taking advantage of business owners.

But many disability and civil rights groups fear the bill will weaken incentives for businesses to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which mandates equal access to public accommodations.

The issue can be summarized as one disability rights lawyer wrote:

“Rather than go after people with disabilities, attention should be focused on stopping these few bad attorneys.”

http://www.newsweek.com/house-republicans-americans-disabilities-act-civil-rights-808106