Votelaw, Edward Still's blog on law and politics: February 2010 Archives

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February 26, 2010

Alabama: 50 years later, Alabama State University rights a wrong

The Montgomery Advertiser reports: Nine Alabama State University students expelled 50 years ago for taking part in a sit-in at a segregated lunchroom were "reinstated" Thursday.

ASU President William Harris, invoking the authority of his office, said later that it was the first step in seeing that the nine are awarded degrees at this spring's commencement program.

"I do, today, repeal the arbitrary, illegal and intrusive involvement of the governor of Alabama into the educational activities of ASU and hereby return the nine expelled students to their academic status as of the day of the forced expulsion," Harris said.

That day was exactly half a century ago -- Feb. 25, 1960 -- when ASU's president at the time, Harper Councill Trenholm, expelled the students under pressure from then-Gov. John Patterson and the Alabama Board of Education. -- Read the whole story --> ASU reinstates 1960 sit-in participants | montgomeryadvertiser.com | Montgomery Advertiser

February 23, 2010

5 national party committees sued for return of Allen Stanford contributions

Peter Overby reports on All Things Considered: A court-appointed officer in Dallas has sued national party committees, both Democratic and Republican, to recover campaign contributions from indicted financier R. Allen Stanford. The money at stake totals $1.6 million.

The officer, known as a receiver, says the money belongs to investors who were allegedly defrauded by Stanford. The disgraced financier is accused of using their money in a Ponzi scheme instead of investing it. ...

The SEC froze Stanford's assets a year ago, well before the Justice Department indicted him. The SEC also asked the federal district court in Dallas to appoint the receiver, who's responsible for recovering other money that Stanford had thrown around in his high-flying lifestyle. -- Read or listen to the whole story --> Courts Seek To Recover Stanford's Political Pledges : NPR

Voting Section seeks civil rights analysts

The Voting Section has posted ads seeking to fill a total of up to 14 civil rights analyst positions to review voting changes under the preclearance provisions of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

There are four ads - two are open to all citizens and two are “status eligible” ads. Two ads require proficiency in one of several languages, while the other two ads state a preference, but not a requirement, for such language proficiency.

The ads describe the procedures for applying. Ad 1 Ad 2 Ad 3 Ad 4

February 17, 2010

Alabama: soon to be easier for overseas voters to vote

The Montgomery Advertiser reports: A new law that would expand voting options for military members and citizens living or working overseas is moving through the Alabama Legisla­ture.

The bill, HB 30, has been unanimously approved by the Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics and Elections Committee and read for the sec­ond time in the Senate.

The bill is now pending a third reading and final passage in the Senate. The bill cleared the House in January with a 96-0 vote. ...

The bill would allow service members to file requests for ab­sentee ballots by e-mail or fax. Currently, the requests must be made by U.S. Postal Service. It also would allow for the ballots to be sent to the service mem­bers by e-mail or fax, as well as U.S. Postal Service. -- Read the whole story --> New bill would expand absentee voting options | montgomeryadvertiser.com | Montgomery Advertiser

February 15, 2010

Invitation from the Legal Defense Fund

In commemoration of the 45th Anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" and the enactment of the Voting Rights Act, please join us in Selma on Friday, March 5th for an important discussion about what's at stake in the upcoming 2010 Census and the continuing need for the protections of the Voting Rights Act.

An informational flyer about the panels is attached. The event is free and open to the public.

February 2, 2010

Alabama: grand jury indicts candidate for late campaign disclosure and false statement on form

The Daily Home reports: City Schools Board Member Troy ?Skip? Smithwick was indicted on two counts relating to campaign contributions by a Talladega County Grand Jury.

A spokesperson for the Talladega County Sheriff?s Department said Smithwick was charged on Friday and released on a $5,000 bond. The two charges were failure to file annual reports and improper reporting of contributions.

Both charges are Class B misdemeanors under state law.

The indictment stems from an investigation into contribution forms submitted by Smithwick during a 2008 campaign. That year, he ran in the Republican primary for the District 3 State School Board seat.

Under state law, all candidates are required to submit their annual contribution reports no later than Jan. 31 of the following year. Smithwick?s final report was dated as received Oct. 6, 2009, by the Secretary of State. -- Read the whole story --> The Daily Home - Grand jury indicts BOE member Misdemeanor charges stem from failure to file campaign forms