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The "excuse me state/city gov't wtf r u doing?" thread

Discussion in 'Up the People' started by Lerxst, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. boop

    boop beepbeep

    if theyd defined that more clearly i could potentially get behind it but this can too easily be abused so i dont like it
    • Agree x 1
  2. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    I'd be a lot more worried if it wasn't restricted to minors, but that cuts off a lot of the potential avenues of abuse (like "Neo-Nazi claims it's cyberbullying for a newspaper with a website to post a picture of a neo-Nazi rally with him holding a swastika flag, and then people track down his Facebook and he gets loads of nasty messages"). As is I'm just moderately worried.

    The Senate might make more changes, too; I wouldn't be surprised if they do, just because it's so broad.
    • Agree x 2
  3. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    While there are obvious reasons to be upset every time the Republicans in the legislature pull some reproductive health restriction BS, I have a secondary, more petty one: the Planned Parenthood "email your representatives" mailing list hits the whole state, so I end up with 100+ identical emails in a week sitting in my boss's inbox that I have to pull the contact information out of so we can reply.

    I really should figure out how to write a script for this or something.
    • Witnessed x 5
  4. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    I Explained(TM) the WV teacher strike on Tumblr, if anyone cares. The news is all saying they're protesting low pay, but it's a little bit bigger than that.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
    • Informative x 7
    • Like x 1
  5. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    I woke up at 3 AM, so clearly the only logical course of action was to Explain(TM) more.

    Bonus epic sleazebaggitude: while all this nonsense is going on, the Republicans in the legislature started pushing for a MASSIVE abortion restriction. Why? Because they know the legislature is wildly unpopular right now because of said nonsense, and they think that if they make it expansive enough that it has to go to a ballot measure, it'll mobilize a bunch of Republicans to the polls who'd otherwise skip the election in disgust.
    • Informative x 4
    • Witnessed x 4
  6. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    I wish my stepmother would stop being surprised that not only do I not want to move back to Charleston, ever, I have exactly two close friends left who still live in WV.

    You're kind of a saint.
  7. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    New weird messages story: voicemail from someone not even in the district who said we should vote for the above-mentioned total abortion ban constitutional amendment because "they might grow up to be your voters!"
    • Witnessed x 7
  8. Verily

    Verily invests her cash in stock in Cyber Disney

    You too? Damn.

    It wasn’t the same message or anything but I got a weird call about how one candidate for sheriff wanted to make people safe, while his opponent wanted to.. make people unsafe. A candidate for sheriff who wants to make people unsafe. With immigrants. And I’m not sure I’m even registered in the district in question.

    It was so laughably bad. I’m pretty sure anyone who is running for the office of sheriff is going to have some sort of investment in public safety. Differing opinions about how to accomplish safety do not prove a lack of care. If you have actual evidence that a sheriff candidate truly does want to make people less safe, I would be very interested to hear it. Immigrants are not evidence and I’m offended they think I might be that stupid.
    • Agree x 1
  9. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    The weirdest sheriff story I have is that one time I tagged along with my dad to a local Dem Party fundraiser/candidate forum thing for free food, and since it was before a primary, all the candidates were getting up and talking about why they were running and what they hoped to accomplish. Mostly pretty standard support unions/fix our roads/protect civil rights stuff. There were two candidates running in the primary for the sheriff nomination, after the guy who'd been in the position for years retired; I forget exactly what the details were, but one guy was actually qualified, and the other guy... was the brother of the previous sheriff. And, for some mysterious reason, all his campaign signs only had his surname on them.

    The retired sheriff endorsed the one who was not his brother.

    Anyway, brother-candidate wasn't there, but his wife was. And she got up on his behalf, in front of a room full of every influential Democrat in the county and one teenaged girl who was offered free cake, and told everyone there he was running because they went to Las Vegas and when they were there, God told him to run for sheriff.

    He did not win the primary.
    • Winner x 9
  10. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    I'm not from Minnesota, but for anyone who is, your legislature's up to Some Nonsense involving an antivax bill that's trying to create a registry of people with autism. (It's not trying very well, but it's trying.) Luckily, state legiscritters are way more likely to listen to you personally if you yell at them than Congresscritters, so I would highly recommend that anyone in Minnesota write to your assorted state legislators telling them the bill is terrible and to vote against it. It's Senate Bill 3367 (status, text), and while there's a fair bit of antivax stuff in there that's also bad, the registry thing is section 7. You can find who your state legislators are here; you can click through for their contact info. It's in senate right now and might die there, but it wouldn't hurt to write the House, too.

    I don't have the spoons to write a template letter, but advice from my experience:
    • They'll probably have both a Capitol contact and interim contact info listed; feel free to pester either or both, though they'll mostly be in the Capitol right now.
    • Paper mail is more likely to get noticed than email. It's a good idea to at least write the address by hand- it makes it more likely that they'll recognize it as something written by an actual human being (politicians get SO MUCH MAIL, you don't even know).
    • If you can stand to phone, this also works well.
    • If you're writing an email, you might want to make yourself a throwaway email address ([name]activism@gmail.com, or something) if you don't want anything they might send back dropped in your main email (some reply, some don't; some have email mailing lists, some don't).
    • Include the bill number. Saves them the trouble of figuring out what you're talking about.
    • Say you're in their district; it's easiest to just say the town/city you live in. (For obvious reasons, legiscritters care more about the opinions of people who might vote for/against them than people from halfway across the state.)
    • Give a basic explanation of why it's a terrible idea and they shouldn't support it, but don't bother baring your soul (unless you really want to, I guess).
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    • Useful x 3
    • Informative x 2
  11. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    High Drama from the WV state legislature a couple months back:

    There was a forced pooling bill up in the House of Delegates in February. The oil and gas industries are huge in this state, and forced pooling is one of their pet issues. Basically, the issue is that for obvious reasons, it's most efficient for them to drill an entire oil/gas deposit at once, but under current mineral rights laws, they need to get permission from every person whose property they're proposing to take oil/gas from under. Therefore, they want to make it so that if a certain percentage of the people whose land they want to drill/frak/whatever under agree, they can just ignore any holdouts and do it anyway, rather than trying to go around or convince that 80-year-old libertarian grandma with a "Don't Tread On Me" flag on her front porch and the hippy environmentalist who drives a Prius with an "I <3 Mountains" bumper sticker who are right smack dab on top of that juicy oil deposit.

    So, bill up in the House to make it so you only need 75% of property owners to agree to drilling for it to happen. It's in Judiciary Committee, and they're accepting testimony. Lissa Lucas, a candidate for the House in district 7, goes up in front of the committee... and starts listing the donations committee members received from oil and gas lobbyists.

    They tell her she's out of order and to stop making personal statements. She keeps going.

    They cut her mic. She keeps going.

    They drag her out of the room. She yells the state motto as they're dragging her out.

    She posts the video online and promptly receives $81000 of campaign donations. For a single-member House district with 18000 people in it.


    She could personally mail every voter in her district $4 and still have enough left to outspend the incumbent handily.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
    • Winner x 11
  12. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    In the ongoing soap opera that is the WV state government, the chief justice of the Supreme Court is being impeached for fraud, lying under oath, and misuse of state funds. Highlights include:
    • buying a $32,000 couch for his office and when asked about this by a reporter saying he was appalled at the profligate spending of his predecessor in buying such expensive furniture
    • taking home an antique desk from the Supreme Court offices (with state employees doing the moving, naturally), and then telling people that it's totally Official Court Policy that he could take furniture home
    • taking state cars for visits to colleges he attended and then accepting travel reimbursement from those colleges even though he didn't spend any money because he used state cars
    • using state cars to get to signings at the Greenbrier Resort for his book... on government corruption
    Possibly the best part is that all this came out because he went to the FBI to complain about the rest of the Supreme Court's spending. And then lied to their investigators.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
    • Winner x 4
    • Informative x 3
  13. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    • Witnessed x 7
  14. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    Just for context: besides the point raised by today's xkcd, I have used the brand new shiny campaign finance reporting system purchased by the same people who okayed this.

    It is garbage.

    Over the three campaign finance periods since they switched the system, I have accumulated a three-page list of design flaws ranging from petty annoyances to severe problems and encountered several major outright bugs. Many of these include things that should have been found in extremely basic testing- for example, there's no error message if you try to import a file that's too large for it to handle, and the largest category of spending among all candidates in WV is now officially "Other (please specify)" because it doesn't actually record what you specified. Oh, and you can't open multiple tabs, and if you reject changes from an imported file it deletes the entire log of the attempted import, including error messages.

    They had an obnoxious but functional system before this. The spent a lot of money replacing it.

    In short, based on my experience, I wouldn't trust the Secretary of State's office to evaluate the quality of a word processor.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    • Witnessed x 7
  15. Verily

    Verily invests her cash in stock in Cyber Disney

    I think a lot of people underestimate how much it costs to go from “basically exists” to “reasonably functional”, especially the people trying to sell the software.
    • Agree x 4
  16. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    I'm an elections judge and this whole thing is giving me nightmares
    • Witnessed x 6
  17. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    Oh, BTW, now they're impeaching the entire rest of the Supreme Court.
    • Witnessed x 9
  18. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    your state government is... clearly having aspirations to Illinois-lvl corruption
    • Agree x 1
  19. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    Does it make it better or worse if I say some of the Dems are saying the charges were trumped up and it was brought in this late in the proceedings in a deliberate effort to try to stack the Supreme Court by removing everyone too close to an upcoming election for there to be an election, so the entire court will be appointed by the now-Republican governor and serve until 2020?
    • Witnessed x 3
    • Informative x 1
  20. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    • Agree x 3
    • Like x 1
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