This weekend, Pennsylvania Republican House Leader Mike Turzai (R-PA) finally admitted what so many have speculated: Voter identification efforts are meant to suppress Democratic votes in this year’s election.
“We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years,” said Turzai in a speech to committee members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.
“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
Voter identification efforts disproportionately affect low-income voters of color, a typically Democratic demographic. Despite insistence by Republicans that the efforts are needed to prevent misconduct on election day, voter fraud is less likely than being hit by lighting.
Mitt Romney has issued a statement responding to the Supreme Court’s decision striking down provisions in Arizona’s controversial immigration law (SB 1070) without saying if he agrees with the ruling. The former Massachusetts governor sticks to generalities, calling on the president to lead on the immigration issue:
“Today’s decision underscores the need for a President who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy. President Obama has failed to provide any leadership on immigration. This represents yet another broken promise by this President. I believe that each state has the duty–and the right–to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities. As Candidate Obama, he promised to present an immigration plan during his first year in office. But 4 years later, we are still waiting.”
During the Republican presidential primary, Romney said that the state’s measure should serve as “model” for the nation. He promised to drop the federal government’s challenge to the law, adding, “just as Arizona is finding out, you can stop illegal immigration. It’s time we finally did it.”
Read this exchange between a Romney spokesperson and reporters. Traveling spokesman Rick Gorka repeatedly avoids saying what the governor actually thinks of the Supreme Court’s decision. Watch some of the awkward exchange:
Romney has broken his silence on the decision. According to the Associated Press, he believes the “Supreme Court should have given ‘more latitude’ to states on immigration.”
More Romney, on SB 1070: “States now under this decision have less authority, less latitude to enforce immigration laws.”
Romney expanded on his position during an event with donors: “Now you probably heard today there was a Supreme Court decision relating to immigration and given the failure of the immigration policy in this country, I would have preferred to see the Supreme Court give more latitude to the states not less.” “And there are states now under this decision have less authority, less latitude to enforce immigration laws.”