Tuesday, April 29, 2008

If you are who you say you are, prove it!

Put your fake IDs away! To vote in Indiana next Tuesday, you’re gonna need the real thing. The Supreme Court Monday upheld an Indiana law passed in 2005 that requires voters to show a government issued photo identification when voting at the polls, a decision that many young people need to be aware of going into next week’s primary.

Why this decision is a good one: Requiring identification is intended to prevent voter fraud. Voters can no longer show up at the polls and simply say who they are and sign that name because this system could allow a person to vote multiple times under multiple aliases. By requiring proof of identification, the law will ensure that every person gets only one vote. That’s the democratic way, after all!

Why this decision is a bad one: Even though voters can choose to show a driver’s license, a passport, or a free government issued voter ID card, it is still a concern that this law will discriminate against many elderly and minorities. Some people in these categories may not have a driver’s license or a passport and may not have the means to get the free voter ID card, an unfortunate circumstance that would prohibit them from voting. It also could affect the youth negatively. The ID presented must have the voter’s current address. Youth are more inclined to move regularly, and unless their ID reflects this move, their voting right will be denied (college students excluded).

It is a complicated, multi-sided issue that is reflected in the Supreme Court’s 6-3 vote. Seeing as we are a youth voting initiative and obviously want as many youth to vote as possible, here’s our question: Do you think that the voter ID law will affect how many youth vote on Tuesday? Do you think turnout would be higher if IDs were not required?

Moral of the story: Don’t forget your IDs on Tuesday Indiana!

Here at Declare Yourself, We're Dancing with (and Registering) the Stars!

Mario visited the Declare Yourself offices today, where he registered to vote!

Not only is Mario a multi-platinum selling singer, actor, and now registered voter, but he's also a celeb on ABC's Dancing With The Stars!

Make sure to watch Mario and his dancing partner Karina Smirnoff on Dancing With The Stars tonight!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Neverending Story

Have you ever heard the old saying, “there’s no point in beating a dead horse?” Well Hillary Clinton disproved this saying yesterday after winning the Pennsylvania primary by a decisive 10 point margin, proving that you in fact can bring a dead horse back to life if you smack it around enough. Now there’s an image.

Barack Obama, who still leads Clinton in delegate, superdelegate, and popular votes, hoped to put the final nail in Clinton’s coffin yesterday. But after Clinton’s decisive victory, her campaign is sufficiently resurrected, and the Democrats will remain in their never-ending battle.

Whereas there has been a huge spike in civic participation due to the exciting Democratic primary, it could be hurting the Democrats in the end and giving the Republicans an advantage. While the Democrats continue to decide which candidate to rally behind, John McCain can move forward as the presumptive Republican nominee and focus on uniting his party behind him.

Meanwhile, the Democratic race is only dividing the DNC further and further, something that could be very bad news for them in November. In Pennsylvania, for example, “only 50 percent of Pennsylvania voters who picked Clinton said they would vote for Obama if he was the Democratic nominee, but 26 percent said they would vote for McCain.” Basically, many Democrats have said that they would rather not vote than vote for the other Democratic candidate.

So here’s the question: would the final outcome of the Democratic primary affect whether or not you vote in November? Would you opt out of voting if your favorite candidate isn’t on the ticket? Obviously we hope you would choose to vote, but if not, tell us why!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

VOTE Pennsylvania!

OK Pennsylvania, now’s your chance! If you haven’t done so yet, you have until 8 pm ET to get to the polls and vote. The Pennsylvania youth voter registration increased by 70% in 2008, so we expect a great turnout!

You have a HUGE say in who will be the next Democratic candidate. Clinton has acknowledged that she “has to win” Pennsylvania in order to win her party’s nomination. Will you help her do it? Will you help Obama defeat her? Will you help McCain continue his momentum? Only YOU can make it happen. So get out and VOTE!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Colbert Bump

As you know, we are a nonpartisan organization, so since we last wrote on Stewart, it is of course necessary to mention the ultimate Republican, Stephan Colbert. Ok fine, that doesn't help us maintain our nonpartisan-ness, but it is worth mentioning.

According to the Truthiness Encyclopedia, The Colbert Bump is defined as "the surge of enthusiasm The American Public has for a politician, candidate for office, author or other personality after they appear on The Colbert Report." Sure, Colbert made it up, but thanks the James Fowler, there is now scientific evidence to back up this phenonmenon.

According to Fowler, a Political Science professor at the University of California, San Diego, Democrats who appeared on the show raised about 44 percent more money after their appearance than they did before. How does this happen when it is mostly us poor young people who are watching the Report? Fowler says,"When someone goes on his show, the fact that someone went on his show becomes news," Fowler said. "And a single appearance turns into an incident that's reported to 30 [million], 50 million people.""His show is very influential among people who influence others," he added. So Colbert IS at the center of the world!

Last Thursday both Senators Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama appeared on The Colbert Report, along with former candidate John Edwards. But where is John McCain?!?

According to Fowler's research, Republicans had either no response or a negative response to their appearance on the Colbert Report. Huckabee appeared in past and while he his donations didn't show any significant increase, his polling percentage increased from 1 to 3% immediately after. As Stephan Colbert said, thats 300%. Now thats a bump!

My question is, if both Obama and Clinton appeared on the Colbert Report at the same time, will they both receive the bump? Or does the bump go to whoever is funnier? Watch the clips below of Hillary and Barack and let us know who you think should get "the Colbert Bump."

Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama

By the way, Stephan, Youth Voter Registration could really use a bump, so bring Declare Yourself on your show!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Obama's "Dick Move of the Week"

In a new weekly segment on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, Stewart will award one lucky recipient with the prestigious “Dick Move of the Week.” And who took home the very first honor last night? None other than Barack Obama!

In a bitter fight to both engage and capture young voters, it seems both Clinton and Obama will stop at nothing to get their attention. But according to Stewart, Obama may have gone too far.

Last week the eager students at Indiana University mobbed the Obama camp when word got out that they were giving away free tickets to an upcoming Dave Matthews Band concert. So why does this make him a “dick?” It doesn’t. “It’s not what they gave away,” Stewart explains. “It’s when they gave it away.” Apparently, the Obama team conveniently distributed tickets to the herd at the exact same time as Bill Clinton’s campaign speech on the SAME CAMPUS.

College students and Dave Matthews go hand-in-hand. It is not surprising that students would flock to Obama if it meant free Dave Matthews tickets, potentially leaving Clinton’s speech emptier than it otherwise would have been. So congratulations Obama for winning Stewart’s very first “Dick Move of the Week!”

But do you agree? Do you think it was a “dick move?” Did the Obama camp strategically try and sabotage a Clinton event? Was it intentional or simply accidental? Would Clinton or McCain do the same thing? Tell us what you think!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Monica Lewinsky is SO 1990s

When last I checked, America had all but moved on from the whole “Monicagate” thing. You’d never know this today, however, if you followed Chelsea Clinton around on her mother’s campaign trail. On at least three occasions, Clinton has yielded questions from college students regarding the infamous affair in which her father, then President Bill Clinton, engaged in “sexual relations with that woman,” intern Monica Lewinsky.

The Lewinsky scandal first resurfaced last month with the release of new documents proving that then First Lady Hilary Clinton was in the White House on multiple occasions when her husband was having sexual encounters with Lewinsky. Upon the scandal’s recent revival, the Clinton making the most headlines is neither Bill nor Hilary, but rather daughter Chelsea.

When a student at Butler University asked Chelsea about the affair’s affect on her mother’s presidential bid, she was taken aback, saying, “Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me that question in the, I don't know maybe, 70 college campuses I've now been to, and I do not think that is any of your business.” But is she right? Is it our business?

One student at NC State thinks it is. Bryce Davis posed a similar question to Clinton a week later and got an equally “mind your own business” answer from her. Davis shot back by saying, ”Fortunately or unfortunately he is the president, or was president at the time so as American people, I feel that it is our business."

Chelsea has continued to be asked similar questions and continued to dodge them left and right. But who’s right? Should Chelsea be able to keep her family business to herself as we all would like to do? Or is she SOL because her father happened to be the American people’s president at the time and now her mother is hoping to do the same? Tell us what you think!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

VP Condi? Not Likely...

Unlike the Democrats who are still deciding on their presidential candidate, the Republicans can move on to the next step. Now that they have their presumptive nominee in John McCain, they can look for his future running mate. And whose name has been mentioned the most? Current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Not only would Rice add “star power” to the Republican ticket, but she could also be a valuable partner to take on the first African-American or female presidential candidate from the Democrats. There’s only one problem with this plan: she’s not interested.

Rice dismissed rumors today about a possible John McCain partnership by saying, "I very much look forward to watching this campaign and voting as a voter.” She continued, “I have a lot of work to do and then I'll happily go back to Stanford." Rice served as a Stanford provost from 1993-1999 before joining the Bush White House staff and still remains a tenured professor there.

"I have always said that the one thing that I have not seen myself doing is running for elected office in the United States," Rice has said, and she plans to stay true to her word by returning to Stanford.

So if Rice is out, let’s take a look at who is left. McCain says he has a list of 20 potential running mates. Although he hasn’t said who made the cut, possible names include:

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford

So what do you think? Who do you think would be the best vice presidential candidate for John McCain? Who would best increase his chances of winning in November?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Whose Political Endorsement Matters More, Superdelegates or Heidi?

It was announced today that the Democratic National Committee is taking big steps to get Florida and Michigan their delegate seats and allow them to participate in this year’s presidential primary, but no one cares. If this goes through, the almost 300 delegates will have a huge say in who the Democratic nominee will be, but no one cares.

In other news, Heidi Montag, famous from MTV’s The Hills today announced that not only is she a Republican (a rare find in Hollywood), but she also is endorsing assumed Republican nominee John McCain. Heidi is not a superdelegate, she’s not even a college graduate, yet her endorsement has been the story in politics all day. Every celebrity news media from Perez Hilton to Access Hollywood has reported about it. Even more surprising, well respected media such as TIME and the Los Angeles Times are weighing in on the endorsement.

Even the big shot himself acknowledged his new young endorsement. When asked, McCain said, “I’m honored to have Heidi’s support and I want to assure her that I never miss an episode of 'The Hills,' especially since the new season started.”

Now here is my question: Will Heidi’s endorsement have any effect on how youth look at McCain? He has been criticized several times about being too out of touch with the younger demographic, but The Hills star obviously disagrees. And now that McCain willingly admits to watching MTV’s most popular show, is he really as out of touch as people say?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Join Our Street Team!

Declare Yourself has been on tour with Taste of Chaos for the last month, registering people to vote…
Because, why not combine the two best things: VOTING and MUSIC.

And soon, we’ll be doing it again at the Van’s Warped Tour

We’re always looking for volunteers to help. Join our online street team for more info, other volunteer opportunities, and tons of free stuff: