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The Process is Political: GOP Congressmen Worry about Pennsylvania Electoral College Plan

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our daily look at the details that can change everything.

GOP Reps Warn PA Gov on Split Electoral VotesPennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett met with Pennsylvania Congressional reps in a private meeting in Washington on Tuesday. Corbett mostly listened as Republicans told him that divvying up Pennsylvania's electoral votes by Congressional district could mean that their districts become vulnerable if the White House intensifies its outreach in their suburban districts.

That "could affect some of our guys significantly," worried Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA). All the Republicans in Pennsylvania's delegation and the National Republican Congressional Committee oppose the change, Politico reported last week, along with the twist that the idea for all this started with a Pennsylvania nonprofit called All Votes Matter, which is chaired by a Democrat. (The Allentown Morning Call)

Montana High Court Mulls Corporate Campaign Spending Ban: Since 1912, Montana's Corrupt Practices Act has prohibited political spending by corporations. And even after Citizens United ruling declared that corporate campaign spending is constitutionally protected, Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, a Democrat, says Montana's state law should stand. He's argued that "Montana has a record, a history and a present that's different from what the Supreme Court had in front of it."

A state district judge disagreed, setting the stage for today's arguments in the state Supreme Court, and the question may ultimately end up before that panel of justices in Washington who decided the Citizens United case. (Associated Press)

Free Rides to the SC DMV  for Voter IDs: As we've reported, the Justice Department is currently reviewing South Carolina's new law to require that all voters present photo ID at the polls, but the state is moving forward with its outreach efforts to help the more than 175,000 registered voters in South Carolina without drivers' licenses get to the DMV. The deadline is tomorrow to call a state phone number to reserve a ride for next Thursday.

"A birth certificate, Social Security card, proof of residency and legal documentation for any name change are required to obtain an identification card," say the public notices about "Voter ID Card Day." Opponents of the new law say that assembling all this paperwork is an undue burden for exercising the right to vote, and they argue it will particularly hurt African American voters in the state, in violation of the Voting Rights Act. (The Island Packet)

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