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Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

What’s on the Ballot? (UPDATED with Results)

November 7th, 2012

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President Obama’s re-election was not the only important issue on the November 2012 ballot. Several states’ voters faced important initiatives with possible national implications, and the results of those votes are listed below.

Here’s a Quick Overview:

  • Of the 4 marriage votes, all 4 were in support of marriage (ME, MD, and WA legalizing, MN not banning).
  • Of the 2 abortion votes, 1 restriction passed (MT) and 1 restriction failed (FL).
  • Of the 2 immigration votes, 1 went in favor of immigrants (MD DREAM Act) and 1 went against immigrants (MT proof of citizenship).
  • In the 1 affirmative action vote, the practice was banned (OK).
  • In the 1 dying with dignity vote, the effort failed (MA).
  • Of the 6 marijuana votes, 4 passed (MA, CO, MT, WA), 2 failed (AR, OR).

Marriage for Gay Couples:

Abortion:

  • Florida Amendment 6: FAILED - state constitution not amended to prohibit the use of any public funds for abortion (including through Medicaid or the purchase of insurance covering abortion in a state exchange) except in the cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother. Had it passed, the amendment also would have overruled any court cases where the Florida Constitution was found to provide a broader right to abortion than the U.S. Constitution and prohibited the state constitution from ever again being interpreted to provide any abortion rights not guaranteed federally.
  • Montana Legislative Referendum 120: PASSED - requires doctors to notify a parent or guardian 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor under 16 years old, except in cases of emergency or where a judge allows it.

Immigration:

  • Maryland Question 4: PASSED - allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at a community college and at a four-year school after transfer if they meet certain requirements.
  • Montana Legislative Referendum 121: PASSED - requires anyone seeking a state service to show proof of citizenship. DHS will be notified of any noncitizen applicants unlawfully within the U.S.

Affirmative Action:

  • Oklahoma State Question 759: PASSED - amends the state constitution to prohibit the use of affirmative action based on race, gender, ethnicity, or nationality in employment, education, and contracting.

Crime and Guns:

  • Arizona Proposition 114: PASSED - amends the state constitution to ensure that no crime victim can be sued for damages if he injures or kills the person committing the crime against him.
  • California Proposition 34: FAILED - the state’s use of the death penalty is not eliminated.
  • California Proposition 36: PASSED - amends the state’s Three Strikes Law to apply only where the third strike is for a serious or violent felony.
  • Louisiana Amendment 2: PASSED – amends the state constitution to explicitly classify the right to bear arms as fundamental, making it very difficult for courts to uphold any law infringing upon that right.

Religion:

  • Florida Religious Freedom Amendment 8: FAILED - state constitution not amended to ensure that no person or entity can be denied public funding because of religious identity, and did not reverse the current statewide ban on the direct or indirect use of public funds to aid religious providers.

Dying with dignity:

  • Massachusetts Question 2: FAILED – doctors are not allowed to prescribe medication to terminally ill patients to end their lives at the patients’ request.

Marijuana:

  • Arkansas Issue 5: FAILED - medical marijuana is not legalized.
  • Massachusetts Question 3: PASSED - legalizes medical marijuana.
  • Colorado Amendment 64: PASSED – decriminalizes marijuana use and possession for people 21 years of age or older.
  • Washington Initiative 502: PASSED - decriminalizes marijuana use and possession for people 21 years of age or older.
  • Montana Initiative Referendum 124: PASSED – overturns a recent bill that medical marijuana supporters call a “de facto repeal” of the old medical marijuana law, and ensures the legality of medical marijuana use.
  • Oregon Measure 80: FAILED - medical marijuana is not legalized, nor will a state-wide commission be established to regulate and tax its sale.

Unions:

  • Michigan Proposal 2: FAILED - state constitution not amended to include a right to collective bargaining through unions for all public and private sector employees.
  • Idaho Propositions 1 and 2: FAILED - two recent education bills that limited the collective bargaining rights of teachers are not repealed.

Health Care:

  • Alabama Amendment 6: PASSED - amends state constitution to prohibit any person, employer, or health care provider from being forced to participate in any health care system.
  • Wyoming Amendment A: PASSED - amends state constitution to prohibit any person, employer, or health care provider from being forced to participate in any health care system.
  • Florida Amendment 1: FAILED - laws not prohibited from forcing people or employers to purchase, obtain, or provide health insurance.
  • Montana Legislative Referendum 122: PASSED - prohibits anyone from being required to purchase health care or from being punished for refusing to do so.
  • Missouri Proposition E: PASSED - prohibits the establishment/creation/operation of any health insurance exchange unless explicitly passed as a state statute, referendum, or initiative.

Clean Energy:

  • Michigan Proposal 3: FAILED - by 2025, 25% of the retail utility sales in the state are not required to come from renewable sources and rate increases from the use of these renewable sources are not limited to only 1% per year.

Election Reform:

  • Arizona Proposition 121: FAILED - party-based primaries are not replaced by a single primary for all candidates from which the top-two vote earners would move into the general election.
  • California Proposition 32: FAILED – contributions to state or local campaigns by unions and corporations are not banned, government contractors are not prohibited from contributing to politicians who control their contracts, and automatic deduction of employee wages for political use by corporations, unions, and the government are not banned.
  • Colorado Amendment 65: PASSED - instructs the state government to support a federal limit on campaign contributions.
  • Minnesota Amendment 2: FAILED - state constitution not amended to require voters to show photo identification.
  • Montana Initiative 166: PASSED - establishes as state policy that corporations are not people, requires the legislature to prohibit corporate campaign contributions, and charges the state’s congressional delegation with proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating that corporations are not people and are therefore not entitled to constitutional rights.

What’s on the Ballot?

October 16th, 2012

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Voting via Flickr

The Presidential & Congressional elections are not the only important votes on the November 2012 ballot. Several states will also ask voters to weigh in on key ballot initiatives that could have national implications. We’ve put together a guide to some of the most important initiatives and referenda below. We’ll update this cheat sheet after the election so that you can see how they fared with voters in their states!

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Battle for the Senate: Massachusetts

October 10th, 2012

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Who will moderates pick come November? Tonight is the third of four debates between Massachusetts Senate candidates Sen. Scott Brown (R) and Elizabeth Warren (D) and the battle for the Senate in Massachusetts is likely to be close. If Elizabeth Warren can maintain support from 43% or more of Massachusetts’ moderate voters, she will likely win in November. But if Sen. Scott Brown can garner more than half of the moderates, he’ll retain his seat for a full term.

In May we released a report highlighting the importance of moderates in the 2012 Senate Battlegrounds races. Throughout October, we will assess how well the candidates are doing in appealing to this crucial group in the middle. First up, Massachusetts.

Despite being hailed as one of the most liberal states in the nation, Massachusetts is dominated by moderates. Over the past decade, more voters have identified as moderates—ranging from a high of 50% in 2006 to a low of 40% in 2000—than liberals or conservatives.[*] Liberals have never composed the majority of the electorate in Massachusetts; however, compared to most statewide electorates, liberals consistently outnumber conservatives.

Composition of the electorate

  Liberal Moderate Conservative
2000 36% 40% 24%
2004 34% 45% 21%
2006 27% 50% 23%
2008 32% 46% 21%
Average 32.25% 45.25% 22.25%

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The Danger Of Compromise On Health Care

February 20th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in National Journal.

Republicans know one big thing about health care reform: Helping to derail President Clinton’s reform plan in 1994 did wonders for them politically.

Actually, they know another big thing as well: For the past year, they have resisted President Obama’s health care reform plan, and once again things seem to be working out well for them politically. The evidence is the outcome of the statewide elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. So what if Democrats call Republicans the “Party of No”? “No” seems to be what voters want to hear.

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A Populist Eruption In Massachusetts?

January 15th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in National Journal.

Imagine this OMG moment for Democrats: a Massachusetts Republican wins Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat.

What an upset that would be. It’s JFK’s old seat, for goodness sake. After JFK won the presidency in 1960, the seat was occupied for two years by his former Harvard roommate until Edward Kennedy was old enough to run. He won the seat in 1962 and held it for 47 years. Massachusetts has not elected a Republican to the Senate since 1972. Right now, the state’s congressional delegation does not include a single Republican.

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