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When Maria Gianni is knocking on voters’ doors, she’s not bashful about telling people she is in the country illegally. She knows it’s a risk to advertise to strangers that she’s here illegally – but one worth taking in what she sees as a crucial election.
The 42-year-old is one of dozens of volunteers – many of them illegal aliens – canvassing neighborhoods in the Seattle area trying to get naturalized citizens to cast a ballot for candidates like Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, who is in a neck-to-neck race with Republican Dino Rossi.
Pramila Jayapal, head of OneAmerica Votes, says the campaign is about empowering immigrants who may not feel like they can contribute to a campaign because they can’t vote.
“Immigrants really do matter,” Jayapal said. “If we can’t vote ourselves, we’re gonna knock on doors, or get family members to vote.”
So far the illegal aliens going door-to-door aren’t meeting opposition. Craig Keller, an organizer for Respect WA, a group pushing for stricter immigration law in the Washington, said he doesn’t mind illegal immigrants volunteering for vote drives, he just wants to make sure mistakes on the voter rolls don’t allow them to vote.
“Anybody can go out and wave a sign, but when it comes to who’s making the choices, there’s no question they need to be citizens,” Keller said.
In close elections across the country, the immigrant and minority vote is considered key for candidates, especially Democrats.
Earlier this week in Nevada, a television ad urging Latinos not to vote sparked outcry from Democrats, who called it a dirty trick meant to keep Hispanics home and boost Republican candidates. Univision and Telemundo – the nation’s two largest Spanish-language networks – canceled the ad, which the Republican group Latinos for Reform had planned to eventually run in Nevada, Florida, California, Texas and Colorado through the Nov. 2 election.
Seattle is home to a wide array of immigrant communities, from Latinos to east Africans and Asians.
Congress declined this year to consider overhauling the country’s immigration law, much to the chagrin of immigrant advocates who had expected Democrats to do so by now.
Still, OneAmerica Votes launched one of the largest get-out-the-vote campaigns in the state on behalf of Democratic candidates. The organization is an offshoot of OneAmerica, one of the state’s largest and the most influential immigrant-rights advocacy group.
Through home visits, phone banks and mailings the organization is aiming to reach about 40,000 registered voters in the Seattle area in an attempt to help Democrats gain ground in key races. Volunteers include other types of people who can’t vote, such as legal permanent residents.
About 150 volunteers rolled out in nine cities across Washington this past week, knocking on 3,000 doors.
Don’t try wearing a Bush hat or sweatshirt at an Obama rally. Duane Hammond says it’s what got him fired. He’s a union stagehand who was part of the crew that built the platform for the Obama event.
He came to work early this morning wearing clothing that says “George H. W. Bush”. Mr. Hammond’s son is in the U.S. Navy, currently serving on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George H. W. Bush.
France’s Senate approved President Nicolas Sarkozy’s bill to raise the retirement age by two years as labor unions promised to maintain their protests for an eighth week against the measure.
Lawmakers in the Sarkozy-controlled upper house of Parliament voted 177-153, clearing the way for final passage. A comparable version of the legislation was approved by the National Assembly on Sept. 15.
The world’s first private passenger spaceship will pass another milestone toward its commercial lift-off Friday, at a remote spaceport in the New Mexico desert.
Flamboyant British multi-millionaire Richard Branson will commemorate the completion of the main runway at Spaceport America, near the town of Las Cruces where the Virgin Galactic project is based.
The Yuma Sun reported that two organizations Mi Familia Vota and One Vote Arizona submitted more than 3,000 voter registrations in Yuma County (20,000 statewide) right before the registration deadline.
What the Yuma Sun did not tell you is that over 65% of these last minute registrations were invalid due to the registrant not being a citizen, a wrong/invalid address, or a false signature.
Barney Frank, in an intensifying clash with Sean Bielat, has pledged not to take campaign cash from lenders that got federal bailouts.
Yet he has raked in more than $40,000 from bank execs and special interests connected to the staggering government loans. Frank vowed in 2009 that he wouldn’t accept campaign donations from banks that received money under the $700B Troubled Asset Relief Program.
That’s the assessment of Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, in a recent speech before the youth wing of her conservative political party, the Christian Democratic Union.
The idea that disparate peoples can “simply live side by side and live happily with each other” has failed, she said. “Utterly failed.” Merkel insisted that Germany still welcomes immigrants.
A massive phone scam exploiting the good name of the Make-A-Wish Foundation has siphoned more than $20 million from unsuspecting Americans and has been escalating in recent months.
Swindlers pretending to be calling from such government agencies as the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Trade Commission have put a new twist on an old con. They are hiding offshore.
A California woman who befriended a homeless woman and let her sleep in her car told police she didn’t know where to turn when the woman unexpectedly died – so she drove the body around for months along with a box of baking soda to hide the smell.
Officers with the Costa Mesa police found the unidentified body Monday after getting a call about a car partially blocking a driveway.
A pet dog has become a local celebrity in China because he prefers to walk upright on his back legs. Zhou Guanshun, the 18-month-old dog’s owner taught his pet to walk on two legs by holding one of its front paws.
“Lu Lu was given to us by a friend and we loved him instantly,” he said. “He learnt to walk upright when he was just four months old, and hasn’t stopped ever since then.”
Nicole Bugajski, 26, and her mother, 51-year-old Kimberly Mahnke were jailed Saturday after they attempted a home invasion with their two-year-old daughter/granddaughter in tow.
According to Muskegon Township police, Bugajski broke into a Western Michigan home around 4:30 p.m. while her mother kept watch outside in the car. The homeowners returned while she was still inside the house.
A suspicious package that forced officials to close a roadway near a federal office building in Brevard County contained kittens, according to authorities.
Brevard County sheriff’s deputies were called before 8 a.m. to the Social Security Office complex at 310 Canaveral Groves Boulevard in Cocoa after a guard found a box in the doorway. The bomb squad was called to the scene.