The final referendum results in May 2018 were stunningly close, with local organizers coming within three votes of advancing an effort for a municipal electric utility in the small town of Decorah, Iowa. The incumbent monopoly utility outspent local activists by a 4-to-1 margin, overwhelming local organizing despite a study that suggested electric customers could save 30% by switching to a locally owned utility.… Read More
What can a town do to advance clean energy locally if it is fed up with its incumbent, investor-owned monopoly utility? In the latest episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative, interviews Andy Johnson and Joel Zook, community members and local energy leaders from Decorah Power, about an upcoming ballot initiative in Decorah, Iowa, and the culmination of an organized, grassroots effort by residents to take back local control of their electric utility and energy future. In a midterm election year, this is one vote that those who care about local, clean energy will not want to miss.… Read More
When residents and business owners completed a survey in 2013 as the community considered what route to take, 70 percent of respondents said that their current ISP did not meet their needs; 95 percent expressed an interest in alternative choices for Internet access. Since then, community leaders have hired a consultant to develop a feasibility study and Sharon Broadband Yes, a grassroots group advocating for a fiber network, has formed to educate the public.
The group is asking voters to pass a broadband bond proposal to allow the community to issue $4.9 million in general obligation bonds to fund a fiber optic network project. … Read More
Percent of population making under $50,000 in 2014: 48 percent.
Percent of those voting making under $50,000: 36 percent.
Percent of population making over $100,000: 22 percent.
Percent of those voting making over $100,000: 30 percent.… Read More
In a democracy the majority wins. Which makes minority groups vulnerable. At the dawn of the Republic John Adams warned about “the tyranny of the majority.” Almost a century later, the 14th Amendment finally declared that no State shall “deny … Read More
A few weeks ago Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA who is retiring from the House this year, gave a memorable interview to New York magazine in which he criticized President Obama for aggressively pushing health care reform. Frank says he warned … Read More
It’s hard to make this stuff up. Last year the Michigan legislature passed a bill that gave the Governor the right to seize control of a city and insert a manager that had the authority to fire all workers, abrogate … Read More
For its first 200 years the American Republic slowly, sometimes infuriatingly slowly and at horrific human cost (e.g. the Civil War) expanded the franchise. In 1870 the 15th Amendment gave blacks the right to vote. In 1920, the 19th Amendment … Read More
Why are we hearing so much about voter fraud and so little about election fraud? After all, the odds of someone voting fraudulently are about the same as those of an American being struck and killed by lightning.
A microscopic evaluation of election data in the 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington state revealed that voter fraud occurred approximately 0.0009 percent of the time. An analysis of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio revealed a voter fraud rate of 0.00004 percent.