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Chad’s Morning Brief: War Over Voter ID Laws, Perry’s Worst Nightmare Could be Ted Cruz, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 13, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

1. War Over Voting Rights (link)

Voter ID is under fire and people on both sides are waiting. Waiting possibly for the courts to take over.

“It’s a quiet before the storm period, and it’s hard to tell when the storm is going to hit,” attorney Jeffrey M. Wice told POLITICO after the panel. “No one expects Congress to act, and there’s also a wait and see approach to see how far think tanks and legal defense organizations go to bring lawsuits to expand [VRA] challenges.”

The high court’s ruling in June means that parts or all of 15 states can now pass laws and make changes to elections without needing pre-approval from the Justice Department – and a handful of them began to act immediately. The Justice Department has moved to stop Texas from going forward and put it back under preclearance, and a similar lawsuit has been filed by a separate group against a small town in southern Alabama.

In the meantime, changes to voting procedures could be small and localized – which may make them even more dangerous, according to activists.

“We may also see changes in the next few months happening at the local level which could impact outcomes in upcoming elections.” said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the civil rights group Advancement Project. “When state legislatures come back into session, they may be emboldened …to make significant changes that make voting not only harder, but especially hard for those who turned out in record numbers in 2008 and 2012, namely voters of color and young voters.”

Browne Dianis said her group plans “significant monitoring” of voting law changes at state and local levels, as the part of the Voting Rights Act that was struck down by the court formerly provided a central database of many of those types of laws.

Their efforts are being supported and mirrored by other civil rights groups. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund set up a voter hotline with other groups and an email address where people can report changes in their community.

“We’ve had a lot of people writing in about changes and that’s been a really great thing,” Natasha Korgaonkar, assistant counsel in NAACP LDF’s Political Participation Group, told POLITICO. “We’re also keeping our eyes and ears out. Some of the smallest changes that are harder to ascertain from afar are some of the most devastating, or can be, like polling place changes.”

The groups said they were not ready to release the tips that have come in yet, however, because they are still investigating them and weighing potential follow-up actions.

Election integrity advocates also expect incremental changes.

“We expect to see sweeping reforms after federal election cycles. There will be more bureaucratic procedural reforms between now and November 2014,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True The Vote, a nonprofit that trains poll watchers and supports election integrity efforts across the country.

“Expect hard-fought battles over determining the perfect blend of early voting days, polling locations and volunteers with the aim of reducing long lines,” she said, along with voter ID, removing ineligible voters from the rolls and absentee ballot changes.

The Supreme Court has already ruled that Voter ID is legal. Will it be taken back to the courts? Probably so, but no reasonable person should have a problem with it.

2. Cruz vs. Perry? (link)

Governor Rick Perry wants to run for President again. Standing his way could be a rising star of the Republican Party, Senator Ted Cruz.

Rick Perry can’t afford to lose any of his 2012 Iowa supporters if he is to have any chance to win the 2016 Republican presidential caucuses there.

After all, the Texas governor finished a poor fifth in 2012 — a disastrous result that led to his withdrawal from the White House race just two weeks later.

So Team Perry can’t be pleased to look at the web siteTheIowaRepublican.com and read the headline, “Cruz Garnering Excitement Across Republican Factions.”

Yes, that’s fellow Texan Ted Cruz. The freshman senator. The 42-year-old firebrand who’s young enough to be Perry’s son.

“The Republican Party is desperately in need of a leader who can bring the party together and excite the base,” the story by longtime Iowa journalist and Republican operative Kevin Hall began. “Early signs indicate that Texas Senator Ted Cruz might be that man.”

It’s the conventional wisdom — and, we all know, conventional wisdom is often wrong — that only one Texas candidate can make the “first tier” of 2016 Republican presidential candidates. Early polling shows Cruz doing far better than Perry — even in Texas, where Perry has ruled for more than 13 years. And Cruz is proving to be far more aggressive at reaching out to conservative grassroots voters and opinion leaders.

Perry’s star has fallen so far that he’s not even included in many Republican presidential polls.

I don’t believe that these two men want to run against each other. I only really expect one of them to jump into the race.

3. Could Clinton’s Past Come Back? (link)

Hillary Clinton is no lock to win the White House according to one article. One of her greatest roadblocks could actually be her.

These days, Clinton’s two terms as first lady seem almost like the Mesozoic. The Hillary Clinton who tops every poll of potential Democratic nominees for president in 2016 is the product of a political rebirth – eight years in the Senate, a historic presidential primary fight with Barack Obama in 2008, and four years as secretary of State. This Hillary has so eclipsed the Hillary of universal health care, Whitewater, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal that the latter seems a fossil – a curious relic of a time long gone, buried under the sediment of recent history.

But be sure, Republicans are already digging, and McAuliffe highlights the potential perils of Clinton’s past.

McAuliffe, after all, was not universally loved as a Clinton fundraiser. While that might be a badge of honor for the best fundraisers, it doesn’t make for sterling reputations. Even Mr. Clinton has joked about his friend. “Absolutely, I would buy a new car from Terry. But a used car? I am not so sure about a used car,” he told The New York Times last year.

That reputation was not enhanced earlier this month when the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed it was investigating an electric car company founded by McAuliffe, GreenTech Automotive, to see if it properly applied a federal program that offers permanent residency to foreign investors. For good measure, the SEC is also investigating Gulf Coast Funds Management, which seeks investors in the company and is run by Anthony Rodham, Ms. Clinton’s brother.

As Ms. Clinton surely knows, holding a fundraiser on Sept. 30, 2013, for a good friend is not going to derail any 2016 presidential aspirations. But like the New York City mayor’s race, it indicates a potential weak point for Clinton going forward.

In New York, a close Clinton adviser, Huma Abedin, has publicly backed her husband, Anthony Weiner, who has refused to drop out of the election despite his admission that he was still engaged in sexually explicit online chats with other women a year ago. The story has drawn uncomfortable parallels to the Clinton saga, when Ms. Clinton stood by her husband after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke.

That, too, will surely pass well before 2016, but it shows how Republicans could counter Clinton if she runs for president.

The statesman who spawned Internet memes with her sunglasses and Blackberry has become broadly respected.

Other Top Stories:

Council Weighs City Manager Search

Dangerous Roads in Lubbock

Showing Insurance via Phone

Asylum Requests at US/Mexico Border

Key Words Used to Cross Border

North Carolina Voter ID Signed into Law

Cruz the Iowa Frontrunner? Maybe in Iowa.

Holder Talks Mandatory Minimums

Rove on 2016

Study on Children’s Poor Social/Motor Skills and TV

Does Closeness With Parents Hurt Independence? 

Sanjay Gupta Says He Was Wrong About Weed

GOP Congressman Says House Could Impeach Obama

U.S. Expats Balk at Tax Law

Childhood Stomach Aces May Lead to Drepession

Paula Dean Wins Racial Discrimination Case

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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