Let me be your little dog ’til your big dog come
— Carl Perkins, “Matchbox”
It’s worth noting as we head into 2012 that many of us aren’t going to change a damn thing about ourselves, resolutions or no. Most elected Democrats will continue to waffle and back-pedal, consulting the Weather Station every hour to find out which way the wind blows. Republicans will fight like dogs to kill what’s left of our rights, including our right to vote.
One of the GOP’s little dogs recently suffered a setback in his campaign to transform Maine into a feudal state:
Last month, Maine voters delivered a major rebuke to Gov. Paul LePage (R) and the Republican-held legislature when they approved a referendum restoring election day voting registration rights in the state. Earlier this year, state legislators passed a bill repealing the state’s 38 year-old law allowing citizens to register at the polls on election day.
As usual in these scenarios, the big dogs stayed far in the background, spending large sums in a futile effort to make sure the dirty work of LePage and the legislators wouldn’t be undone:
…Recognizing the referendum’s importance, voting rights opponents poured money into the campaign to repeal election day registration. In fact, just two days after the state’s campaign finance reporting deadline, a secret conservative donor funneled $250,000 into the race, allowing the No On 1 campaign to make significant TV ad buys in an inexpensive media market.
Per state law, however, the identity of donors must be revealed within 45 days after the election. In fact, the entire $250,000 worth of late money came from a single source: the American Justice Partnership.
The AJP is a conservative legal organization based not in Maine, but in Michigan… Though the AJP doesn’t disclose where its funding comes from, the Bangor Daily News notes that it has partnered with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the past, a group that has been instrumental in the proliferation of voter ID laws across the country.
The AJP’s secret $250,000 contribution ultimately accounted for over 78 percent of all the money raised by the No On 1 campaign. In other words, over three-quarters of the funding for opponents of election day registration in Maine came from Michigan…
The big dogs fund efforts by the little dogs — LePage, Snyder in Michigan, Corbett in PA, Kasich is Ohio, Cristie in NJ, on and on — to undermine the power and resources of those who believe in government by the people rather than the plutocrats. Count on them to spend a fortune in 2012, as sneakily as possible, especially on that well-groomed poodle named Mitt.