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Abolishing the Wealth Primary: The New Poll Tax in American Politics


Abolishing the Wealth Primary: The New Poll Tax in American Politics

John Bonifaz

Fifty years ago today, the United States Supreme Court struck down the poll tax, a barrier that, for decades, had blocked millions of poor African-American voters, as well as poor white voters, from exercising their right to vote. In that case, Harper v.


Is there any clear indication that Merrick Garland would initiate “a dramatic shift in the Court’s jurisprudence on campaign finance”?

His actions on SpeechNOW.org v FEC, (supporting unlimited contributions to SuperPACS…an extension of Citizens United), and Wagner v. FEC, (supporting a ban on campaign contributions from federal contractors in order to prevent potential corruption as a result of Citizens United), do not present the clarity of commitment Bonifaz implies exists with the current nominee.


How about “we” abolish openly manipulated primaries like we saw in Arizona? Polling places reduced from 200 in 2012 to just 60 (Maricopa Co) even though there were more voters. Those responsible for the open fraud should be fired at least (she will not resign), if not prosecuted!

Arizona Dem Primary data
County -Eligible Voters -Polling Locations

Maricopa -1,250,000 - 60
Pima -300,000 -130
Cochise -45,952 -18
Coconino -45,385 -26
Yuma -44,287 - 7
Navajo -42,264 -38
Apache -34,635 -41
Gila -23,812 -20
Santa Cruz -15,722 -11
Graham -13,073 - 8
Pinal -98,194 - 82
Yavapai - 82,003 - 29
La Paz - 5,592 - 8
Greenlee -3,401 -3

How about we open primaries to voters in a more democratic way - include independent voters?

How about we create a NATIONAL HOLIDAY for election day (and primaries) so voters have time to vote and express themselves without waiting 5 hours in a freakin line like was designed in Arizona! - its always been astonishing to me that with all our other holidays we have failed to include our electoral process!


Many states, including some as large as Arizona, have all mail-in elections, so nobody waits anywhere.

Worse than the Arizona primary are caucuses wherein you need to show up during a 1 to 3 hour period, thereby completely shutting out anybody who has a schedule conflict. If you need to get a babysitter so you can attend a caucus, your babysitter is unable to vote. It costs more in time and out of pocket to attend a caucus than it does to mail a ballot. While caucus’ may have served a purpose in the 18th century, they have no place in the 21st century and should be made illegal.


If people can be assured there is an electronic process free from any manipulations/hacking it might work, but the likelihood may be that electronic systems will be compromised one way or another…maybe I’m wrong…If there was voting over more than one day or a national holiday or some process that gave more time to voters that might be more “democratic”…either way there’s potential problems. keep the faith Ray…


The mail-in states that I am familiar with don’t do electronic voting, its all via USPS or drop a paper ballot in a box in front of the courthouse. Perhaps electronic will be OK at some future date. Agreed that a paper trail is essential in today’s world.


I have a phone that reads my fingerprint to pay bills etc. Someday we might actually see what all the voters of this country want regardless of schedules or convenience if we made our elections simple enough to use as voting by fingerprint activated phones.

We also could have direct voting on referendums and all manner of things that would give us a true democracy like legislators knowing quite clearly how their constituents feel about proposed legislation and bills etc.

One phone one vote… We can still do it the old way as well .


Merrick Garland looks to be another corpse supporter. Joy to the world and all praise Obama and HRC.


Perhaps there could be some kind of combination to allow for those that value the personal exchange of ideas and getting to know community, while those that cannot make it can mail in.


I haven’t seen anything overtly political…evidence of ideological leanings…in Garland’s career. (Other than a “law and order” predilection common to most former prosecutors.) He’s been described as more of a technocrat than an ideologue. I think that’s fairly accurate. His qualifications as a jurist are, indeed, unassailable. Respected by everyone from Chuck Grassley to John Roberts. He’s probably the best consensus candidate out there.

I would have preferred Obama select Jane L. Kelly or Ann Claire Williams. Especially considering the Republican promise of no confirmation hearings. Refusing to consider a person of color or a woman…or both…would be much more damaging to the GOP politically during a contentious election cycle…especially in swing States where Republican Senate seats are at risk. But that would be inconsistent with Obama’s Cut-and-Run Liberalism, his policy of accommodation toward congressional Republicans.

Garland’s not so much a lackey, but symbol of neoliberal Democratic Party politics.


Yes, by corpse i mean corporation. Supporter. Just what we don’t need. My last sentence is snark.

I read somewhere that Garland is in favor of Citizen’s United. Blech. John Roberts and Chuck Grassley are not two men that I would enjoy having as references, unless, of course, I was a neoliberal, war is us, kinda guy.

You are right that a woman of color would have been harder for them to oppose, but they would have, perhaps even moreso. I’d have to do my research on which ones I would favor. Obviously, someone who leans towards Bernie’s views would have my full support.

This guy is another Republican, no matter what his supposed affiliation.