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    News Round-Up: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

    Wendy Davis might turn Texas purple; Hillary Clinton has an Iowa army; and President Obama keeps moving with his Ukraine Strategy. Meanwhile, Brittany Murphy’s final movie has been released four years after her death;Dancing With the Stars has its opening night; and yesterday’s Los Angeles Earthquake resulted in a pretty hilarious reaction from newscasters.

    Also, today is the Primary Election in Illinois! Visit Rock the Vote’s Election Center to find all the info you need: http://rtvote.com/TdeABy. But don’t forget: polls close at 7:00pm!

    -Gianna & Maura

    CRUCIAL 

    As Barack Obama’s Ukraine strategy rolls on, so does Vladimir Putin’s,http://rtvote.com/1d9ZIRe
    President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, both moved forward on Monday with their strategy on the Ukraine crisis seemingly unphased by the other. President Obama revealed on Monday that he is issuing sanctions against Russia in an attempt to the get the White House proclaimed Russian “cronies” in line and perhaps reach President Putin. The sanctions put in place by President Obama are the most aggressive sanctions taken against Russia by a US President since the end of the Cold War.

    Wendy Davis Is One Step Closer To Turning Texas Purple, http://rtvote.com/1fW8wZY
    A recent poll in Texas shows that State Senate Democrat Wendy Davis is within single digits of her Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott for the 2014 Gubernatorial election. This poll is just another indicator that Texas voters are no longer reliably red. The single digit margin is impressive for Wendy Davis, when comparing the 2002 gubernatorial election where Republican candidate Rick Perry won by almost 18 points over his Democratic opponent.  Wendy Davis has a serious shot at becoming governor when looking at the recent poll and her ability to sway women voters.

    Ohio State University Has a Case of the Mumps: http://rtvote.com/1izSIwo
    If you go to Ohio State University, be cautious when sharing drinks. A recent outbreak of the Mumps has infected 23 students and faculty over the past month. Although there is currently no cure for the disease, lasting effects are rare and recovery usually takes no more than two weeks. All the same, public health officials are warning students to take precautions to avoid infection.

    Illinois Gets Ready to Rock the Vote: http://rtvote.com/1gL3Hik
    Voters in Illinois today head to the polls to cast their ballots in the 2014 primary election. Republicans will choose among primary candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, and state treasurer, while Democrats face little competition to replace incumbent Governor Pat Quinn.The Chicago Tribune also reports that voters will now experience a new electronic voter verification system that matches the voter’s signature with the precinct’s records. Pretty nifty! Happy voting, Illinois!

    Joe Scarborough: ‘No Plans’ to Run for President, http://rtvote.com/1nATSfU
    The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, a former four-term congressman who has been actively flirting with the idea of running for the 2016 Republican nomination, spent the weekend in New Hampshire wow-ing and possibly wooing the party faithful. But, you can all stop speculating… Joe Scarborough announced today to the Daily Beast that he has no plans to run for office. 

    Hillary Deploys Iowa Army, http://rtvote.com/1gK4PCW
    The Ready For Hillary super PAC lived up to it’s name this past weekend by organizing in 84 of Iowa’s 99 counties for Hillary. Although, Iowa Caucuses are two years away, The Ready for Hillary super PAC is showing that they are a force to be reckoned with. Ready for Hillary managed to gather 250 volunteers in those 84 counties and they are currently the only super PAC with boots on the ground for a potential Democratic 2016 hopeful.

     

    CULTURAL

    Dancing With the Stars Season 18 Premiere Recap: Who Dazzled?Who Fell Flat? (Spoilers!):http://rtvote.com/1oos5w1

    Kate Winslet Explains Son Bear’s Middle Name Blaze: Ned Rocknroll and I Met During Fire on Richard Branson’s Island:http://rtvote.com/NqPMWN

    Brittany Murphy’s Final Film Something Wicked Released Four Years After Star’s Death:http://rtvote.com/1nAWo5Z

    Glee Roll Call! Who’s In and Who’s Out for the Final Season:http://rtvote.com/1fF5Hb3

    Los Angeles Earthquake Makes News Anchors Slightly Overreact on Live TV—Watch Now!:http://rtvote.com/1g6FnMF

    Maura
    Bio: Maura graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in International Studies and French. During the course of her studies she was elected Student Body Vice President where she worked to make student activity funding more affordable & fair to the campus community. Following graduation, Maura joined the 2012 Obama Campaign as grassroots Field Organizer in Ohio (the battleground of all battleground states). She now continues her passion of engaging and building political power for young people with Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

    If you missed it over the holiday weekend, the New York Times had a front page story on the War on Voting: http://nyti.ms/iWiJnb

    In today’s news, the Afghan President has said no to NATO, bankers and hotel maids are back in the headlines, and an Egyptian general admits to ‘virginity checks’ on female protestors.

    Meanwhile, OSU football coach Jim Tressel retires after Sports Illustrated revealed that he let his team trade memorabilia for, tattoos (of all things); all the more reason to text, the WHO admits that cell phones may cause brain cancer; Snooki drives a car and ends up in a neck brace; and the Hangover Part II is really, really lucrative.

    Maegan + Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Second Banker in Hotel Sex Bust, http://nyp.st/kCsRWW

    Another banker and hotel maid? The former head of Egypt’s Bank of Alexandria has been arrested for trying to have sexual relations with a maid at The Pierre Hotel in NYC. After she gave him a fake phone number, he graciously let her leave.

    Afghan President Seeks to Limit NATO Airstrikes, http://yhoo.it/iynkPH

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that he will no longer allow NATO airstrikes on civilians’ homes. NATO has said that it will comply, and that it checks all plans of airstrikes with Afghan officials beforehand. A NATO spokeswoman also noted that many insurgents use civilians as shields.

    Egyptian General Admits ‘Virginity Checks’ Conducted on Protestors, http://bit.ly/lFoM0q

    According to an Amnesty International report, seventeen female protestors arrested last spring in Egypt “were subjected to beatings, electric shocks, strip searches, and virginity checks.” An anonymous Egyptian general is now confirming this report.

    Republican Legislators Push to Tighten Voting Rules, http://nyti.ms/iWiJnb

    Featured on the front page of this Sunday’s NY Times, the article notes that Republicans are pushing restrictive voter legislation under the radar in a number of states. Because this legislation is being passed in between election seasons, voters may be unaware of the new rules until they are turned away on Election Day.

    Mobile Phones ‘Possibly Carcinogenic’ Say World Health Organization Experts,
    http://bit.ly/lFLMu2

    The Agency for Research on Cancer, backed by the World Health Organization, has admitted that cell phones may cause brain cancer. The agency will send its findings to the World Health Organization and national health agencies for their review and subsequent advice regarding cell phone usage.

    Sports Illustrated Investigation Reveals Eight-Year Pattern of Violations Under Tressel, http://bit.ly/lKTavl

    Ohio State University’s football coach Jim Tressel has resigned after Sports Illustrated published a lengthy investigation of different scandals that knowingly went on under his watch. The scandals violate NCAA rules and include 28 players trading memorabilia for items such as tattoos and marijuana.

    Apple CEO Jobs to Unveil iCloud Service, New iPad Software, http://buswk.co/mC57IO

    At the annual Apple conference on June 6, CEO Steve Jobs will unveil new software for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac computers. He will also reveal iCloud, which will allow users to store content online.

    David Brooks tells new grads “It’s Not About You,” http://nyti.ms/mpt4rl

    CULTURAL:

    Royal Tour: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s  14,000-Mile First Official Trip, http://bit.ly/jbt5Du

    Singer Sean Kingston Stable after Jet Ski Accident, http://bit.ly/iwJB4k

    Snooki Loses License, Faces Possible Lawsuit after Crash, http://bit.ly/kA0qqQ

    Why did ‘The Hangover Part II’ Make Such an Ungodly Amount of Money?, http://bit.ly/miWDnz

    (via Cynopsis) Actor Jeff Conaway, 60, best known for his role on classic TV series Taxi and for playing the rebellious Kenickie in the mega-hit 1978 movie musical Grease, died last Friday.  Mr. Conaway appeared on the hit TV series Taxi, playing struggling vain actor Bobby Wheeler from 1978 to 1981; he left the show for its last two seasons.  Following Taxi, Mr. Conway appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful in 1989 and Babylon 5 in the 1990s.  For his fans, confirmation of his long fight with addiction to alcohol, cocaine and painkillers became apparent when he appeared in two seasons of VH1′s Celebrity Rehab series as one of Dr. Drew Pinsky’s most heartbreaking and difficult cases.    In 1980, Mr. Conaway married Olivia Newton-John’s sister, Rona and they had a son named Emerson. The couple divorced in 1985.

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Ohio Voter Suppression Steamroller

    Thursday, March 24th, 2011

    With college students on Spring Break, the Ohio House of Representatives fired up its steamroller of suppression yesterday and passed a highly restrictive photo ID bill, only one day after the first hearing on the proposal. Daniel Tokaji, a noted voting rights expert and law professor at The Ohio State University, testified that the bill (HB 159, if you want to follow along) will make it more difficult for eligible citizens to vote: “Sadly, this appears to be its only real purpose. Its passage would be yet another great embarrassment for our state.”

    Awesome move, Ohio.

    For a little background, current Ohio law requires voters to present a photo ID or current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government document (including from your college or university) with your name and address when you go to the polls. Under HB 159 only state-issued photo ID (driver’s license or state ID), a military ID or U.S. passport will be accepted. None of that other stuff, which is too bad because a lot more people have the other stuff.

    Take Genna Schwartz, a sophomore at OSU who is from Arlington, Virginia. She spends most of the year in Columbus and is affected by the decisions made by my elected representatives there, so she is a registered Ohio voter. (She is also a volunteer with OSU Votes, the student-lead voter registration organization, and Rock the Vote.) She testified:

    One of the issues I encountered when registering students and making sure voters have the information they need to cast a ballot is the question of acceptable forms of identification at the polls. It was a question I personally faced. As a student with an out-of-state driver’s license, I was able to prove my identity and address with a utility bill.

    Not anymore, apparently. At OSU alone there are over 11,000 out-of-state students. Thousands more at other colleges and universities across the Buckeye State.

    Rock the Vote, the OSU Undergraduate Student Government, and OSU Votes wrote a letter in opposition to the bill. We said stuff like this:

    The cost of implementing this new, unduly restrictive law is too high. First, it will serve to disenfranchise currently registered voters, an unacceptable result of a proposed solution purportedly aimed at extremely rare cases of voter impersonation. Those who would be disenfranchised include tens of thousands of college students from out-of-state who who live and participate in civic life in Ohio and are legally registered to vote here. Second, at a time when there is an $8 billion budget shortfall in Ohio, a new photo ID program would cost millions of dollars to implement. The law would require taxpayers to provide “free” identification to those who do not have one (which is likely to include hundreds of thousands of voters) and fund substantial voter outreach and public education campaigns about the new regulations.

    That’s right: at a time when budget cuts are forcing teacher layoffs and elimination of student aid, the Ohio legislature wants to spend millions of dollars to create an unnecessary voter suppression, er, ID program. It is almost like they don’t want some people voting. Hmmm.

    As Professor Tokaji said in his testimony, passage of this bill would restore Ohio’s “unfortunate reputation as the nation’s capital of vote suppression.” Ugh.

    The bill will move over to the state Senate for consideration. Join the fight to stop voter suppression here.

    Thomas Bates
    Bio: Thomas is Rock the Vote's Vice President of Civic Engagement.
    @BatesThomas
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Updates from the field

    Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

    As early polling numbers start trickling in this afternoon, our Rock the Vote field teams report that young people around the country are excited to raise their voices today in the midterm elections.

    In Philadelphia on the University of Pennsylvania campus this morning, 19-year-old Jill told RTV Field Director Eric Zoberman that this election is critical in the wake of 2008’s historic experience.

    “It was great to see so many young people involved in 2008, but without that level of enthusiasm, it is even more my responsibility to stay engaged and vote,” she said.

    It’s still early in the day, but we are optimistic that many of the 300,000 people who downloaded our registration forms this year will hit the polls. In the last midterm election in 2006, we registered 50,000 people, so we’re excited to see the outcome of that increase in participation as the results are announced.

    Some cool things are already in motion this Election Day. If you’re like us at RTV Headquarters, we’re all enjoying watching our friends announce that they’ve voted and contribute to the massive tally on Facebook, which is increasing by the minute (It’s at more than 4 million voters as of 2pm EDT!). Some of us are also checking in on Foursquare, unlocking the “I Voted” badge RTV collaborated with other groups to create for today.

    On the ground, young people are experiencing some early victories. RTV North Carolina State Coordinator Tracy Leatherberry reports that in many precincts, we’ve already surpassed our 2006 midterm turnout. In Gainesville, FLA, Deputy Field Director Annie Lorenzana has a large crowd of young people gathered at her University of Florida polling place casting ballots. State Coordinator Rob Abraham is on the Ohio State University campus where enthusiastic students are gathered at The Union to vote.

    If you’ve already voted, encourage your friends to vote too! Send them a link to our “Vote Fearlessly” video with Nick Cannon, Casey Affleck, Joaquin Phoenix, Kate Walsh and other stars.

    Stay tuned this afternoon for more updates. We’ll be back with the latest news from our people on the ground, as well as analysis of the results as they are available.

    Tom Yarnell
    Bio: Tom is a former Rock the Vote communications team member who now works for an intellectual property law firm in DC. He loves sports and coming back to blog for RTV!
    @thomasyarnell
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Volunteers Spook Out the Vote

    Monday, November 1st, 2010

    Maybe that Batman costume from when you were five years-old is a little snug now, but you’re never too old to Trick or Vote.

    This Halloween weekend, hundreds of volunteers hit the streets for Rock the Vote’s Trick or Vote events, part of the nationwide, costumed canvas event to get out the vote before Election Day tomorrow.

    Dressed in their best Halloween costumes, volunteers knocked on doors around the country in Philadelphia, Columbus, Chapel Hill, and Gainesville. They made thousands of face to face contacts, which research shows is the best way to get people to the polls. Instead of asking for candy, volunteers offered a treat of their own – polling location information and voter guides with a list of candidates and big ballot issues.

    Spreading democracy was some scary good fun, and so was meeting all of the great people who came out to join the celebration.We had volunteers from all over America, and then some foreign friends as well. Those from outside the country were not only excited about helping to increase young voter turnout for the midterm elections, but for some it was also their first Halloween!

    Our volunteers rocked, and in some places, they were joined by some serious rockers. In Columbus, volunteers did some Trick or Vote training and worked the streets with the band OK Go. At the end of the day, Chapel Hill volunteers got to see Passion Pit’s concert for free and Columbus volunteers got to do the same for OK Go.

    In Gainesville, volunteers kept the Halloween theme going all night when they caught a showing of Dracula, a new take on the old tale from Gainesville’s Hippodrome State Theater. Philadelphia trick or voters gathered together for some great food and prizes at Philly hotspot Marathon Grill.

    We want to thank everyone who came out for some Halloween fun and helped us remind thousands of young people that there is an election tomorrow that will affect their future.

    Tom Yarnell
    Bio: Tom is a former Rock the Vote communications team member who now works for an intellectual property law firm in DC. He loves sports and coming back to blog for RTV!
    @thomasyarnell
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com