Something is amiss in red states like South Carolina, Florida and Virginia. For some reason, the President is polling ahead of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. As Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, policies established by Republican governments at the state level are helping President Obama gain popularity in red states.
Here is the video:
In Florida, Rick Scott has busily worked to suppress the vote and he established mandatory drug testing for social assistance recipients.
South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Hailey is expected to endorse Mitt Romney which in Republican circles is significant. Among other things, Governor Hailey passed a similar immigration law to Arizona’s “papers please” law.
Virginia is significant for several reasons, as noted by Rachel Maddow:
“What happens in that circumstance, what happens in Virginia now, tells us as much as any presidential candidate’s platform about what Republicans are like, about what Republican governance means, about what Republicans stand for in 2011.”
The Republicans first bill after they took total control of the state’s government in last month’s election was to ban all abortions and hormonal birth control. If this sends chills down your spine, you’ll just love what they did today.
Imagine a state allowing discrimination of potential adopting parents based on sexual orientation, age, disability, gender, family status and political beliefs. Effective May 1, 2012, discrimination on those grounds will be legal in Virginia.
As of today, this is what the Standards for Licensed child-placing agencies in Virginia looks like:
REGULATIONS (27:25 VA.R. August 15, 2011)
STANDARDS FOR LICENSED CHILD-PLACING AGENCIES
[ . . . ]
22VAC40-131-170. Program statement and description.
[ . . . ]
B. The licensee shall prohibit acts of discrimination based on race, color, [ gender, or ] national origin [ , age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, or family status ] to:
1. Delay or deny a child’s placement; or
2. Deny an individual the opportunity [ to apply ] to become a foster or adoptive parent.
The board that voted for this legislation was comprised of Democrats as well as Republicans.
However, it is worth noting that they are compelled to act on the advice of the state’s Attorney-General, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II who is a Republican. As reported by the Washington Post in April:
But some members of the State Board of Social Services, including Democratic appointees who make up the 5-to-4 majority, say they will be guided by advice from Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, who said in a memo last week that the proposed new adoption rules would violate state law.
Chairwoman Bela Sood, who was appointed by former Democratic governors Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine, said that despite members’ philosophical disagreements, they must rely on the attorney general’s views. “We have to depend on them,” she said. “They are very clear and direct.”
Rachel Maddow’s reaction to the rule change concerning adoption in Virginia reflected my thoughts, albeit in more polite language.
Seriously, now that the Republicans have taken total control of government in the state of Virginia, they have changed the rules to say that you can be blocked from adopting a child in Virginia, because you are a registered Democrat. Or because you’re a Jew. Nice, right?”
This is a very clear example of the extent to which Republican control over the state government intimidates politicians at lower levels of government.