BTS 10/30/06: US Election Coverage; Latin America

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Tonight we look at the upcoming election: Wendy Weiser in today’s NYTimes alerts us to threats to Franchise and highlights what to watch for next Tuesday.

We then talk to Horace Small about the race-card being played in Massachusetts gubernatorial race; Chris Slevin in Ohio looking at contested races and monitoring candidates on their attitude to trade issues; Paul Stephens in Montana on the Tester/Burns Senatorial race as well as how global warming, fires and coal count in this race.

At the end of the hour we talk to Miguel Tinker Salas about Oaxaca, elections changing the face of Latin America and to Ericka Verba about the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies Conference in Dominguez Hills this weekend which will survey the changes to our south.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Wendy R. Weiser is the deputy director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. She works on a range of litigation, scholarship, and advocacy matters concerning voting rights, election reform, and fair courts. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, she was a senior attorney at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now called Legal Momentum), where she worked on issues of federalism and access to justice, equal protection, and the rights of victims of domestic and sexual violence. She was previously a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and a law clerk to Judge Eugene H. Nickerson in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

2. Horace Small, an African American and the Executive Director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, has been organizer for 30 years and was the National President of the National Federation of Black Organizers and Activists for a two-year term and founder of the Philadelphia Community School, which trained hundreds of activists in the skills of organizing and citizens empowerment.

3. Chris Slevin is the director of the Citizens Trade PAC, a connected
PAC of the CTC coalition of labor, environmental, farm and consumer groups. The PAC’s mission is to hold current officials accountable for pro-CAFTA votes, as well as other bilateral NAFTA expansions, and to support candidates who recognize the failures of Bush administration trade policies, and will work to shape a trade policy that puts labor and environmental standards on par with commercial standards.

4. Paul Stephens is editor of the Montana Green Bulletin.

5. Miguel Tinker Salas is professor of Latin American history at Pomona College. One of the nation's foremost authorities on political issues confronting Mexico and Latin America, he is author of Under the Shadow of the Eagles, The Border and the Transformation of Sonora During the Porfiriato (1997). His expertise includes: contemporary Mexican politics, Mexican border society, Mexico in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Latin American history, Chicanos/as and Latinos in the United States, Chicano/a history, Latin American immigration and the Diaspora.