Election 2012: National Highlights
Things went as well as many of us could have hoped – Obama’s relection and the Democrats taking majority control of the Senate means great things for many communities. Virginia’s own blue status and the election of former Governor, now Senator, Tim Kaine were welcome breaths of fresh air at a time when vicious pundit vitriol and negative campaign ads were dominating the public sphere.
Lets look at some of the national races that show signs America is moving forward:
Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin wins the state’s Senate seat making the first openly gay person, as well as the first female, to be elected Senator from the great northern state. Baldwin’s sexuality was never hidden from the public eye, even when she started in politics 14 years ago, and yesterday’s vote showed great promise for LGBT folks nation wide.
“Here’s the promise I want to make to you: I will be a Senator for all of Wisconsin.” – Baldwin via Twitter after her win.via Wikipedia
Additional mentions are due to Elizabeth Warren for taking the Senate seat in Massachusetts, Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth become the first disabled woman to enter the senate, and Hawaii’s election of Mazie Hirono as the first Asian-American female Senator. The addition of 3 women to the Senate makes this a record year with 19 total women in their half of the legislative branch; the largest female presence ever.
Being a misogynist doesn’t get votes – even in the bible belt.
Democrat Claire McCaskill crushed Republican Todd Akin in Missouri. Akin’s campaign started to crumble after his now infamous claim that woman’s bodies shut down while being raped, making them incapable of reproducing during the horrific act. Progressive pundits around the wires have been using variations of the line “Evidently women’s bodies can shut down a lot of things while being assaulted, including the electorate.”via The Political Guide
In Indiana, where even the corn votes Republican, Democrat Joe Donnelly narrowly overtook Republican Richard Mourdock. Mourdock’s own sexists, faith-driven comment, “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.” was considered to be the nail in his coffin.via Wikipedia (On an unrelated note, Donnelly kind of looks like a weathered Jon Hamm…)
Gay Marriage was on the Ballot in 4 states – Main, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington State – and won with an average 4% across the board. This brings the total of 9 states and DC that allow same-sex marriage. 39 states (including Virginia) still ban the act, but we gotta start somewhere, right? And at least it didn’t lose any of the ballots it was on.via Wikimedia
Recreational pot is now a viable option in Colorado and Washington state. Though neither state will see their local 7-11 selling dime bags anytime soon – the votes gave the state governments the power to establish a legal path for commercial sale, a system for state-taxation, and give the police the power to develop a way to conduct road tests to charge people with driving while stoned. This is still in violation of federal law which prohibits the sale and use of marijuana in any and all cases.via the LA Times Blog
Surprisingly though, Oregon did not approve its legal weed measure. I know a lot of heads in Portland who would be really pissed if they were awake yet.
Also in Maryland, get ready for expanded legalized gambling. An additional casino has been approved for construction, as well as expanding the kinds of games allowed at all MD casinos. I’m not sure if this is a good thing, I’m not much of a gambling man, but If I ever change my tune, I suppose wont have to go to Atlantic City to get my fix; and avoiding Atlantic City always seems like a good idea to me.
Dr. Sheppe was out to faculty and students and advocated for adding sexual orientation to the university’s non-discrimination policyMarch 28, 2017
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