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Leaders Update


August 2, 2012

Today: August 2, 1939 – President Roosevelt signs the Hatch Act, prohibiting civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: Powering Past Negative Political Ads

POWER THE VOTE

  • This Week’s Challenge Activity (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • PMP Statements Mailed Out (NEW)
  • 4 Trainings in 4 Weeks! (NEW)
  • Press Template Available: Celebrate Voting Rights Act Anniversary (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Fair Judiciary)

  • Elections: Voter Registration Training Webinar on 8/22 at 4pm EDT (NEW)
  • Elections: Is Your League Signed up for National Voter Registration Day? (NEW)
  • LWVPA President Olivia Thorne and LWVPA Member Janis Horn Testify in Photo ID Case (NEW)
  • Fair Judiciary: South Carolina League Completes Judicial Diversity Campaign (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Asks House Members to Honor Ethics Rules Regarding National Conventions (NEW)
  • League Joins in Supporting Lower Court Campaign Finance Disclosure Ruling (NEW)
  • Preventive Care Benefits for Women Start under Affordable Care Act (NEW)

OTHER

  • Do You Need to Update Your Will?

 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

While athletes from all around the world are in London competing for Olympic Gold, voters in swing states are enduring another grueling competition – relentless, negative political advertising from candidates and so-called independent groups.

Those of us who live in the more placid television markets, in non-swing states, may be unaware of the impact the constant barrage of attack ads has on the average voter. The Board met in retreat this past weekend in Washington where we were exposed to the Virginia television market. Even trying to catch a few glimpses of the London Olympics exposed us to negative political ads. It is hard not to think, “A pox on both your houses!”

Powering the vote this election is going to mean powering past the advertising, and there are a number of ways that the League can help voters focus on the election and the issues as opposed to the sound bites. We can remind voters that this election is about more than the presidential race. Congress, a third of the senate, and many state and local races are also on the ballot. We can create opportunities for voters to get the facts on the issues and to interact directly with the candidates running for office through voter guides, forums and debates. We can encourage our communities to support local media in fact-checking independent political advertising and helping us prepare voters through VOTE411.

By sending the message that voters have power because they have a vote, perhaps we can turn the anger and disappointment in the tone of the campaigns into a resolve to “not get mad, get out and vote!” The best way to empower ourselves is to get registered, get informed and vote.

In League together making democracy safe,

Elisabeth

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POWER THE VOTE

This Week’s Challenge Activity (NEW)
The challenge activity this week is another of the seven that the Board issued Leagues for the 2012 election year:  Pursue a statewide or local online voters’ guide. Leagues from 25 states are currently participating in VOTE411 to create online voters’ guides in their communities. Is your League interested in joining VOTE411, but you don’t know how to get started? LWVEF has resources online and we are happy to answer any of your questions. Watch VOTE411 webinar here to learn more. And contact mbrown@lwv.org for more information. About 20 million voters were served through VOTE411 in 2008. Be a part of this growing program, help inform voters in your community this year and gain significant visibility for your League’s work!

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

PMP Statements Mailed Out (NEW)
Your League will be receiving a PMP (Per Member Payment) statement from LWVUS in the near future via mail. The statement is based on the member count for your League in the LWVUS online membership database as of January 31, 2012. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact yjimenez@lwv.org.

4 Trainings in 4 Weeks! (NEW)
This summer, the Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) program is providing training to local and state League leaders from nine states that are entering the program for the first time. In July alone, LWVUS provided training to over 150 League members in Minnesota, Iowa, Florida, and Texas! Read about this great work, and learn how you can support this effort. Want more information? Contact Sara Richman Sanders at SSanders@lwv.org.

Press Template Available: Celebrate Voting Rights Act Anniversary (NEW)
The Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965. The Act outlaws discrimination in voting and is still instrumental in ensuring citizens are not disenfranchised by nefarious state laws. Celebrate the Voting Rights Act Anniversary and bring to light the need to fight state laws aimed at making sure citizens cannot exercise their fundamental right to vote. Please use this press template in your community.

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EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Fair Judiciary)

Elections: Voter Registration Training Webinar on 8/22 at 4pm EDT (NEW)
The final push for voter registration starts now! Join LWVEF experts for an interactive training webinar covering all you need to know to conduct effective voter registration in 2012! Learn helpful time-saving tips and share your own experiences with your colleagues across the country. Sign up here for the free training webinar. The webinar will start promptly at 4pm EDT on Wednesday, 8/22, and last about one hour.

Elections: Is Your League Signed up for National Voter Registration Day? (NEW)
LWVUS is urging every League to take part in National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide, nonpartisan effort to register thousands of voters on one single day – September 25, 2012. More than 250 national and regional organizations, celebrities, businesses, and high-profile leaders—including 30 Leagues--have already signed on to participate. Now it’s your turn! In order to participate, you must officially sign up at www.nationalvoterregistrationday.com. Once you sign up, you’ll be invited to share when and where you’ll host your registration event on 9/25. If you sign up by August 25, you’ll even receive a free organizing toolkit containing helpful voter registration handouts and signs!

LWVPA President Olivia Thorne and LWVPA Member Janis Horn Testify in Photo ID Case (NEW)
The LWV of Pennsylvania and other groups have sued the state of Pennsylvania in an effort to block the new voter photo ID law from being implemented. Two LWVPA members provided testimony about the state not being ready to implement the new law and voters having to overcome additional barriers that in some instances may mean a long-time voter is no longer able to cast a vote and have that vote counted. Learn more here and here.

Fair Judiciary: South Carolina League Completes Judicial Diversity Campaign (NEW)
The LWV of South Carolina ends the education phase of its two-year project focusing on the state judicial system's diversity and independence with a public forum, "The State of the Judiciary in South Carolina: From Research to Reality" on August 7 at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Speakers include Sen. Larry Martin, new Judiciary Committee chair and Judicial Merit Selection Commission vice chair; Rep. Leon Howard, past chair, South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus; Judge Carolyn Matthews, South Carolina Women Lawyers Association president; University of South Carolina Law School Dean Robert Wilcox; South Carolina Bar Association President-elect Alice Paylor; and Charleston School of Law Professor John Simpkins. Prof. Simpkins will present his research on the state of judicial diversity in South Carolina. Charleston School of Law Professor Constance Anastopoulo will moderate.

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ADVOCACY

League Asks House Members to Honor New Ethics Rules Regarding National Conventions (NEW)
The League joined coalition partners in asking members of the U.S. House to honor new congressional ethics rules prohibiting Members from participating in parties at the national nominating conventions that are paid for by lobbyists or lobbying organizations and are held to “honor” the Members.

League Joins in Supporting Lower Court Campaign Finance Disclosure Ruling (NEW)
The League joined an amicus brief on an appeal to the DC Court of Appeals in the case of Van Hollen vs. FEC. The friend-of-the-court brief supports a lower court ruling that upheld strict disclosure requirements for the funding for electioneering communications.

Preventive Health Care Benefits for Women Start under Affordable Care Act (NEW)
New health care benefits for millions of women started on August 1st under the Affordable Care Act! Read details in our blog.

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OTHER

Do You Need to Update Your Will?
Have you moved? Had a child? Gotten married recently? Or maybe there's a new grandchild or stepchild in your life? Any one of these major life events is reason enough to update your will. It is always important to stay in touch with your attorney regarding any changes in estate and probate law. While you're updating your plans, don't forget to include a gift for your favorite charities, like the League of Women Voters Education Fund – to strengthen the pillars of our democracy for years to come. If you have already included a gift for the LWV in your will or trust, but have not previously informed us, or if you have been thinking about setting up a gift that provides income, such as a charitable gift annuity, please contact the Development office by email or at 202-263-1355.

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