Voters Reject Right-Wing Extremism, Even As GOP Leaders Embrace It

In elections across the country this week voters rejected radical right-wing measures that attacked workers’ rights, eliminated women’s ability to protect their own health, severely restricted voting rights and created a dangerous environment for immigrants.

In Ohio, voters overwhelmingly voted to repeal SB5, the harsh union-busting law that was pushed through earlier this year by the state’s GOP legislature and governor. In Mississippi, voters rejected a radical “personhood” amendment, which would have put women’s lives in danger by banning all abortions, some common types of birth control and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies. Maine voters overturned a restrictive new law that ended the state’s decades-old policy allowing same-day voter registration. Finally, Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of the state’s draconian anti-immigrant law, became the first state legislator in Arizona history to be recalled by voters.

“The message of yesterday’s elections was clear,” said Michael B. Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “As GOP leaders have been moving farther and farther to the right in an attempt to appease a small, radical base, the rest of the country has been left behind. Americans were appalled to see the governors and legislators elected on the promise of creating jobs instead spending their energies on attacking individual rights – the right to organize, the right to vote, the right to make health care decisions and the right to walk freely regardless of race or ethnicity.

“Yet, even as Americans are resoundingly rejecting these radical attacks on individual freedom, mainstream GOP leaders are increasingly embracing them. The real loser of yesterday’s elections might have been Mitt Romney. In his endless flip-flops, Romney has flipped to the wrong side of our core values, endorsing Ohio’s anti-worker law, rejecting challenges to Arizona’s attacks on civil liberties, and even supporting the anti-choice law that was too extreme for Mississippi voters.

“Mitt Romney, his fellow presidential candidates, and the GOP majority in the House have been so busy trying to please a small and vocal segment of the Radical Right that they have lost track of what matters to the vast majority of Americans.”

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