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CAMPUS
2011 OVEMBER N

FROM THE EDITOR

CONTENTS

PUTTING A FACE ON IMMIGRATION RECONSTRUCTING LIBYA’S GOVERNMENT STUDY ABROAD: THE ARAB SPRING
Dear Readers, Rhetoric about immigration in the United States is decidedly simplistic. Either we want them or we don’t, and the question usually centers on controlling our borders. For running for the highest political office in a ‘nation of immigrants,’ the Republican presidential candidates have been using particularly harsh rhetoric in reference to keeping undocumented immigrants out. However, the reality is that while immigration rhetoric might be decidedly simplistic, immigration as a global issue is decidedly not. In fact, it is complex and multifaceted, and oftentimes there are no clear-cut answers. International migration is driven primarily by wage disparities, unemployment, differentials in life expectances and age gaps. The reasons for migration flows vary with time, place and individual. Our goal in this issue of Campus BluePrint is to humanize the polemic debate about immigration on a global scale. Hope you enjoy, Chelsea Phipps Editor-in-Chief 2

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16 18 22 23 26 27 30

Challenges Face Local Refugees The Church Alternative? Simply Solyndra The Cost of Domestic Violence Redistricting in North Carolina Mexican Homecoming Birthright Citizenship Alabama & Illegal Immigration

Border Politics Through Art 3 Rick Perry and the DREAM Act 4 5 Kurds in Turkey, Post-Earthquake 6 TB and HIV in South Africa Mines 8 Libertarian Opinion: BP Oil Spill GOP Education Policy 9 Voter-Owned Elections 10 15

STAFF
chelsea phipps editor-in-chief sarah bufkin assistant editor carey hanlin managing editor sally fry creative director cari jeffries photo editor kelsey jost-creegan, hayley fahey, ryan ferraioli, troy homesley, molly hrudka, akhil jariwala, alice martin, dinesh mccoy, rachel myrick, jenn nowicki, libby rodenbough, sarah rutherford, kyle sebastian, luda shtessel, kyle villemain, peter vogel, kelly yahner staff writers carey hanlin, jasmine lamb, cassie mcmillan
production and design

anne brenneman, molly hrudka, cari jeffries, alice martin, kyle sebastian, saurav sethia, kelly yahner copy editors kevin diao, gihani dissanayake, stefanie schwemlein, cary simpson, renee sullender, jennifer tran photographers rachel allen, hayley fahey, charlotte lindemanis, aaron lutkowitz bloggers

On the cover: Charcoal Tree by Charlotte Lindemanis

NOVEMBER2011

Challenges
FROM
MOLLY HRUDKA Few students at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill give more than a passing thought to the group of people cleaning their residence halls, the classrooms or the dining halls. Most don’t know that this same group of people has fled their home country because they fear being killed just for speaking their own language. Still fewer are aware of the challenges that these people living and working in the university community are forced to face on a daily basis. Refugees from Burma have been living in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community for years, but that doesn’t mean that the obstacles that confront them are any less significant. Dr. Flicka Bateman, the principal of UNC’s Hospital School, works as a local advocate for the Karen community, the largest group of refugees from Burma living in the United States; according to Bateman, the issues these people face are far more pervasive than most would imagine. One of the most salient examples is the incomprehensibility of the US financial system. “They have no idea what banks are or how to write checks,” Bateman said. “I’ve had people who would not sign to have their checks deposited because they wanted to see their money.” Another obstacle for the refugees from Burma is understanding leases. “They have no idea why there would

Face Local Refugees

BURMA
be rules about why a family of seven has to have three bedrooms when they’re all used to all sleeping together in one large room,” Bateman said. Providing assistance where and when it’s needed, Bateman helps members of the Karen community with a wide array of logistical issues including filing income taxes, filling out job applications, re-certifying for food stamps, arranging medical appointments, coordinating ESL classes and teaching basic interviewing skills. In addition to logistical challenges, Bateman helps members of the Karen community with some of the many cultural differences between Burma and the U.S. For example, the Western concept of names is confusing to them. “They don’t have first names or last names in their culture. They don’t even use their names; it’s considered a form of bragging. They call each other by relation,” Bateman said. Seeking to overcome some of these issues, the Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis for the Peoples of Burma Living in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, developed by the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at UNC’s School of Public Health, analyzed the four main challenges and recommended potential solutions for transcending them. Cited are the difficulties for adults to schedule English classes that don’t conflict with

Refugees from Burma have been living in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community for years, but that doesn’t mean that the obstacles that confront them are any less significant.

work or family life, the lack of community organization in easing the relocation process, the dearth of health knowledge and the lack of interpreters for the various languages spoken within the refugee community. The team stated that the best way to overcome these obstacles is to improve communication between the refugee community and service providers, to make supports like childcare and transportation more visible and accessible and to generate more awareness within the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. Recognizing the obstacles that the refugees face, UNC’s Chapel Hill Immigrant and Refugee Partnership, a subcommittee of Advocates for Human Rights, organizes a sewing cooperative, provides tutoring and encourages cultural exchange in its effort to address some of those challenges. Like the team that developed the Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis, CHIRP coordinator Kelsey Jost-Creegan recognizes the need to foster communication among other groups dedicated to improving the lives of the people of Burma that have resettled here. “I think that our impact could be so much deeper if we were aware of the others and could work together,” JostCreegan said. “That’s definitely something that we’re trying to work on for the future.” • NOVEMBER2011

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THE

CHURCH ALTERNATIVE?
CAREY HANLIN

“Operation Restore Our Community” would give criminals the option to attend a participating Christian church every Sunday for a year as an alternative to going to jail or paying a fine.

Citizens of Bay Minette, Ala. who commit misdemeanors may be getting a new choice: spend time behind bars or spend time in the pews. Officially titled, “Operation Restore Our Community,” the project would give criminals the option to attend a participating Christian church every Sunday for a year as an alternative to going to jail or paying a fine. But the project, which some might see as a sort of “Get out of jail free card,” is seen by others as more of a “Go straight to jail – don’t pass Go” card. Mike Rowland, the town’s chief of police, described the program as a costsaving measure. Bay Minette has seen an increased crime rate in comparison with the state of Alabama as a whole, and according to Rowland, is currently spending approximately 75 dollars per day on each inmate. But the Alabama branch of the American Civil Liberties Union is crying foul. Their official statement, issued on Sept. 23, recognized the right of the town to implement cost-efficient alternatives to prison, but condemned what they saw as a blatant violation of the separation of church and state. The statement closed by saying “…it is a fundamental 4

principle of the Establishment Clause that the government cannot force someone to attend church. When the alternative to church is going to jail, the so-called “choice” available to offenders is no choice at all.” The establishment clause, part of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” and is seen by many – religious and secular alike – as a key component to upholding the religious freedom on which America was founded. So should Bay Minette be able to send its citizens to church? Bjorn Pederson, president of the UNC Secular Student Alliance, approached the question diplomatically. “The issue of merging church and state is a tricky one,” Pederson said. “I don’t believe that church and state should become one entity, certainly, but I’m probably willing to grant more interaction than some non-believers, as I see a democratic system necessarily expressing the view of its constituents.” Bjorn did go on to say that the moment such an interaction compels

or bans any specific beliefs, a line is crossed. The program, which utilizes 56 specifically Christian congregations, has taken heat not just for breaching the establishment clause, but for not giving its citizens a non-Christian alternative. No mosques or synagogues exist in Bay Minette at all, according to the Press-Register. So the program’s exclusivity is not based on any obvious form of intolerance or personal religious superiority. Police chief Mike Rowland told the Press-Register that “It was agreed by all the pastors that at the core of the crime problem was the erosion of family values and morals.” As Robert Gates, one of the participating pastors, put it, “You show me somebody who falls in love with Jesus, and I’ll show you a person who won’t be a problem to society.” But Gates’ point of view begins a slippery slope. Allowing minor criminals of a predominantly Christian town to choose church over jail might not seem like an issue to some, but if the division of church and state isn’t withheld here, how far can it be pushed? •

NOVEMBER2011

SIMPLY SOLYNDRA
AKHIL JARIWALA Solyndra was a solar company in California that specialized in an alternative type of solar panel called CIGS. In the late 2000s, Solyndra’s groundbreaking technology made it a beacon for alternative energy in the United States. Forecasting its success, the Department of Energy granted a $535 million loan guarantee to the company in 2009 as part of the stimulus for job creation. Solyndra attracted a great deal of attention again this year in September when it filed for bankruptcy. With the collapse of Solyndra, Obama detractors had finally found a genuine scandal to rally around. Cries resounded from the right demanding investigations of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its marketdistorting subsidies. Skeptics questioned the viability of the White House’s clean energy platform. This cacophony of whining is nonsensical at best. Let’s start by getting the record straight on Solyndra: 1 Solyndra’s failure is unequivocally an indicator for the success of the rest of the solar industry. Solyndra’s innovative CIGS panels competed directly with traditional photovoltaic modules, which have fallen in price by 70% since Solyndra’s loan was approved, according to Arno Harris at RecurrentEnergy. Solyndra was simply outinnovated in a competitive industry. 2 Compared to the $38.6 billion in investment issued by the DOE’s Loan Guarantee program, Solyndra’s $535M is just a 1.2 percent hiccup. 3 At the current rate of progress, Stephen Lacey of Grist.org predicts that solar energy technologies, priced at $0.10-0.14/ kWh, will be competitive with coal energy, priced at $0.08/kWh, in about five years.

Source: grist.org Solar energy will reach grid parity with coal in the next five years.

Subsidies have been fundamental to the energy conversation since the early 1900s. The Niagara Falls Dam and the Grand Coulee Dam, for example, would never have been built without forwardthinking policymakers interested in revamping our nation’s energy infrastructure. According to a recent paper by Doug Koplow of Earth Track, Inc., the government has been and continues to be the key player in nuclear power by subsidizing production costs at 35 percent. During the last decade, federal government handouts to Big Oil and Big Coal have always far exceeded subsidies to renewables. In an ironic twist, the same DOE Loan Guarantee Program which conservatives have condemned for creating distortions in the free market, has issued more than $6 billion in loan guarantees for coal generation and gasification projects according to nonpartisan watchdog Taxpay-

ers for Common Sense. In other words, renewable energy technologies do not look competitive without government support because of the decades of help their competitors enjoyed before they were born. The playing field was never level to begin with. No matter what some of the Republican presidential contenders may say, subsidies in energy are not going away unless Americans suddenly get excited about the idea of energy prices fluctuating as much as the stock market has these last few months. So what’s the moral of the story? The failure of one company does not signal the need for systemic change in government policy. Still, we do need to revisit the way government loans are handed out. Subsidies in the solar energy field ought to expire once the technology reaches grid parity, but only with the equivalent reduction in government handouts to oil, coal, and natural gas. • NOVEMBER2011

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THE COST OF

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
HAYLEY FAHEY

“There’s a common perception that domestic violence impacts only the two people involved,” said Fuller. “But the impact is much larger.”

In the midst of a month dedicated to raising awareness of domestic violence, the local council of Topeka, Kansas made a decision that raised alarm—Topeka decriminalized domestic violence within its city limits due to insufficient funds to prosecute those cases. The incident caused an uproar amongst domestic-violence survivors and activists, and although the district attorney has recently resumed prosecuting domestic battery misdemeanors, the problem of the enormous cost of the crime in the U.S. still lingers. The issue of decriminalization began as an impasse between Shawnee County and the city of Topeka over budget cuts in their District Attorney offices. After the Shawnee County Commission slashed 10 percent of his budget, District Attorney Chad Taylor announced in September that he would no longer have the funds to prosecute misdemeanors in Topeka, including domestic battery cases. As a result of Taylor’s decision, these misdemeanors were offloaded onto the city government, which also lacked the funds to prosecute them. In order to force Shawnee County to reclaim the cases, members of the Topeka council repealed the law against misdemeanor domestic battery, effectively releasing 30 abuse suspects from containment. Taylor reversed his decision on Oct. 12 and has since resumed prosecuting domestic-violence crimes. But for many the economic impact of domestic violence and the failure of state and local governments to prioritize its prosecution both remain unresolved. “It’s really outrageous that they’re playing with family safety to see who blinks first,” said Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, to the Kansas City

Star. “People could die while they’re waiting to straighten this out.” In a report on the community costs of domestic violence in the U.S., the non-profit organization Advocates for Human Rights found that estimates of the overall economic impact of domestic violence range from $5.8 to 12.6 billion. Hudson Fuller, executive director of the Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County, said that many are unaware of the far-reaching consequences of the crime. “There’s a common perception that domestic violence impacts only the two people involved,” Fuller said, “but the impact is much larger.” The AHR report cites two categories of costs that comprise the overall effects of domestic violence cases. Direct costs include the value of services such as health care, counseling, legal and social services as well as costs for transportation, housing and other refuge services for domestic violence victims. The price tag for these costs is large – upwards of $4 billion for health care alone – and so is the number of parties who must pay it. “[Domestic violence cases] cost employers millions of dollars, [and] emergency rooms billions of dollars every year because of accidents that could have been prevented,” Fuller said. Given the interconnectedness of economic activity, the costs eventually spread to the broader national economy. In a fact sheet on domestic violence in the U.S., the NCADV reports that intimate-partner violence resulted in a loss of almost eight million days of paid work in 2003, which has negatively affected productivity levels and gross domestic product. According to the report, this loss is

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Source: Multco.us, Defining Domestic Violence

the equivalent of more than 32,000 fulltime jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of violence. Beside the direct costs of domestic violence, the non-monetary costs are harder to quantify but even more significant. The most serious of these consequences, AHR reports, is the short- and long-term physical and mental health problems affecting domestic violence victims. These problems range from physical injuries and depression to reproductive problems and higher rates of disease amongst victims’ children, who bear the greatest burden. “The biggest impact is on the kids at home,” Fuller said. “They’re going to grow up statistically with more problems, so we’re going to keep repeating the pattern until the cycle ends.” Adding to concern about the extent of domestic violence are low rates of reporting the crime. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, Domestic Violence is consistently one of the most under-reported crimes. It is for this reason, AHR finds, that estimations

of the overall cost of domestic violence are likely to be lower than the actual amount. Another factor that points to a higher price for domestic violence stems from the differing legal semantics between states. Most states demand that the perpetrator and victim be current or former spouses, domestic partners or joint parents of a child as preconditions for a domestic-violence charge. States such as Delaware, Montana and South Carolina exclude same-sex relationships from their domestic violence laws, and still others exclude emotional and psychological abuse. While these conservative definitions alone often limit states’ actions against the crime, societal misunderstandings of domestic violence may also hinder the enactment of preventative measures in response to it. “The biggest misconception about domestic violence is that it happens to somebody who is not like you,” Fuller said. “But it happens to all people across many demographics, and one in four women statistically become victims of

domestic violence in their lifetime.” Although the Shawnee County district attorney has agreed to continue prosecuting domestic abuse cases, the fact remains that the price of these crimes, socially and economically, is high and still rising. As of this year, half of Shawnee County’s misdemeanors have been domestic battery cases, according to the Los Angeles Times, and domestic-abuse prosecutions have increased over the last three years without extra funding from the county. Fortunately, according to studies cited by AHR, the implementation of programs aimed at intervening in or preventing domestic violence have been highly cost-effective. And at the Family Violence Prevention Center, these are the types of measures that Fuller helps establish. “[We focus] our efforts at kids who have been victims in order to help them learn better ways of dealing with conflict than what is modeled for them at home,” Fuller said. “We hope that will have a longer impact.” •

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MORE THAN LINES
REDISTRICTING NORTH CAROLINA
ing in North Carolina was certainly not comparable to the closed “smoke filled rooms” of the millionaires and political strategists that so skillfully put Republicans in the state legislature. Instead, I came upon the issue while interning at the nonprofit legal advocacy organization, The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, this past summer. Working alongside their Redistricting Organizer, we traveled around the state educating interested community groups (mostly local chapters of the NAACP) about the important role of constituents in the redistricting process. While Republican leadership claims the redistricting process, under their control, was transparent, my coworkers along with progressive grassroots organizations around the state, like Democracy NC, had a very different take. The Republican Redistricting Committee (Democratic legislators were basically shut out of the process) held public hearings starting in April. However, the first map wasn’t released until June. It remains to be seen how effective garnering “public input” without any maps for reference could be. Finally, with the release of the House, Senate and Congressional redistricted maps, we got a taste of the fruit of Art Pope’s generosity. Accusations of “packing” minorities so as to limit their voting strength were leveled aggressively, most notably by President of the North Carolina NAACP, Reverend William J. Barber II. Lines drawn in some cases seemed comically bizarre; in one public hearing, a Raleigh resident spoke from Wilmington because as he put it, “Obviously, no town is too far-reaching to be included in a district with Wake County.” “Double Bunking” is a term I became familiar with—it involves drawing districts so that two sitting incumbents have to run against one another. The new State House and Senate Maps drew several Democratic incumbents in the same district. An example were incumbents Senator Ellie Kinnaird (DOrange) and Senator Bob Atwater (DChatham), who were double-bunked in Senate District 23. Perhaps the most egregious new map drawn by Republicans, and the one that has received the most media attention, is the new Congressional Map for North Carolina. Aaron Blake from the Washington Post wrote in response to the newly drawn Congressional Map, “There may be a new king when it comes to gerrymandering this cycle, and it’s the North Carolina Republican party.” While before the North Carolina Congressional Map was split with six Republican districts and seven Democratic districts, the newly drawn Congressional Map creates three Democratic districts with the other ten strongly leaning toward Republican districts. Incumbent Representatives Heath Shuler, Larry Kissell, Mike McIntyre and Brad Miller are especially vulnerable in the new election cycle. It is the Congressional Map in particular that transforms the state’s political landscape, to a result that does not reflect the complexities of North Carolina’s voting past. Right now the maps are being sent to either the Department of Justice or the D.C. District Court for pre-clearance. If these maps

“I don’t think that Republicans within the NC legislature are evil; I think their actions are more indicative of a broken system.”

ZAINA ALSOUS New Yorker reporter-at-large Jane Meyer recently published an article exploring the development of REDMAP, the savvy Republican political strategy aimed at taking over state legislatures in 2010. In North Carolina, this strategy was mostly funded by conservative multimillionaire Arthur (Art) Pope, or as The News and Observer anointed him, “The Knight of the Right.” The result is now well known—Republicans won the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time in 140 years. What is not well known is what happened when the 2010 North Carolina Census results were delivered to the desks of Republican Senator Bob Rucho and Republican Representative David Lewis, the two men whose names are attached to the Republican deformation of the state’s political landscape. The result of which, litigation notwithstanding, could forever change the political identity of the state of North Carolina. My purview to the issue of redistrict8

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HOMEWORD BOUND
INCREASE IN MEXICAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS GOING BACK TO MEXICO
KYLE VILLEMAIN pass pre-clearance and make it through the litigation process that is likely to take place, as I think they will, political representation in North Carolina will become radically different for the next ten years and potentially much longer. I don’t think that Republicans within the NC legislature are evil; I think their actions are more indicative of a broken system. The redistricting process was first envisioned as a means to promote equitable representation dependent upon demographic shifts. Today, it is a tool used to craft a polarized political landscape that makes it nearly impossible for incumbents to be defeated. Many Republicans note that their actions are similar to those of Democrats who controlled the legislature for over 100 years. I don’t take comfort in the redistricting process being a trophy of war for the winning political party. These lines aren’t arbitrary; they are demarcations for the political representation of those of us that live in this state. North Carolina has always been an interesting mix politically; historically we have elected Democrats as governors, Republicans as senators, both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama as President of the United States. We are neither blue nor red. We are a blend of varying political interests and these maps do not fairly reflect the voice of the people in North Carolina. • Despite escalating rhetoric from some politicians over the threat posed by illegal immigration, the flow of Mexican immigrants to America has actually significantly decreased due in part to increased border security but also to internal factors in Mexico. The illegal immigrant population in America climbed from 8.4 million in 2000 to 12 million in 2007 but has since fallen to 11.2 million, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. While the decline in illegal immigration is easy to trace, its causes are less clear. Many experts, however, think that the increase of opportunities in Mexico is the primary reason for the change. One reason for the drop is the shrinking family size in Mexico. From an extremely high 6.8 kids per woman in 1970, Mexico’s census bureau, the INEGI, estimates that the birth rate in 2010 was only 2.0 kids per woman. Shrinking family size has reduced the economic incentive to emigrate and allowed the Mexican economy to provide jobs to youths who, in the past, may have left the country. Mexico’s economy grew at 5.5 percent in 2010 and over the past ten years per-capita Gross Domestic Product has increased over 45 percent, according to economist Robert Newell. The growing economy, however, is not the only cause of the decline in illegal immigration. A combination of Mexican drug cartel activity and increased border security has made crossing illegally much more difficult and dangerous. According to The Houston Chronicle, the murder rate in Ciudad Juarez, previously a major crossing point for immigrants, has jumped from 200 murders a year before 2008 to over 2,000 murders a year in 2009. Mexican drug cartels also seem to target emigrants in particular. In 2010, Mexican soldiers discovered 72 bodies, all economic migrants who were held for ransom and shot. Even if immigrants are not assailed by drug cartels, an illegal border crossing is harder than it has been in years past. In late 2010, Congress approved an additional $600 million in border security, $300 million of which goes to hire 1,500 new personnel. Life in America is also becoming more difficult for illegal immigrants as state legislatures are enacting tough immigration laws and the federal government has stepped up deportations. According to The Washington Post, the Immigration and Customs Agency under the Obama administration deported close to 400,000 illegal immigrants in 2010, a 25 percent increase from 2007. Not only is it becoming difficult to live in America, the economic pay-off of living here is decreasing. According to The New York Times, illegal immigrants in the 1960s could earn 10 times what they could earn in Mexico. By 2003, they could earn only 3.7 times more, and the difference has fallen since. The effect is a reversal of the long-standing trend of Mexican illegal immigration to America. What such a trend means for the US approach toward undocumented immigrants already living within its borders, however, remains to be seen. • NOVEMBER2011

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AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP
Based on Blood or Birth?
LIBBY RODENBOUGH It’s a rare occasion these days that you hear someone refer to Virginia Dare as an “anchor baby.” And yet, wasn’t she the prototype, nay, the pioneer of American anchor babying? Born to Ananias and Eleanor (whose name may have actually been spelled Elyonor, of all abominations) Dare, two flagrant nonAmericans, Virgina Dare planted her insurrectionist infant toes in the golden sands of Roanoke in 1587 to enjoy all the contemporaneous spoils of Americanism (namely, being lost, possibly on Croatoan Island, for all eternity). And yet, little alien-spawn Virginia has ascended to near-sainthood in the canon of American folklore. What gives? One eensy detail that should not escape our probe is the color of little Virginia’s skin, the kind of color that, for whatever reason, rarely seems to draw the “anchor baby” designation. An almost equally obvious explanation is that American citizenship didn’t exist yet. It follows that there were also no laws regulating American citizenship, so Virginia gets a free pass courtesy of our distaste for all things ex post facto…this time. But times have changed since Virginia sailed the ocean blue. These days, nearly 400,000 babies gain full citizen10

These days, nearly 400,000 babies gain full citizenship every year on the mere merit of their delivery room’s geographic coordinates, despite the fact that their parents are not citizens.

ship every year on the mere merit of their delivery room’s geographic coordinates, despite the fact that their parents are not citizens. On the one hand, this is pretty flattering. People really seem to like us! On the other, there’s something not quite right about the whole picture. First, what extraordinary conditions have driven mothers to abandon their own homelands to raise their children in a foreign country? Second, do we really want something as valuable as American citizenship to be available to every Tom, Dick and Jane who waltzes over the border while inside a uterus? The first question is one I won’t touch with ten-foot pole (or perhaps a ten-foot fencepost). I will say, however, that significant scholarship suggests most illegal immigrants come to America for jobs, not their children’s citizenship (or their own—Mitt Romney and others might be pleasantly surprised to find that family members of “anchor babies” seeking citizenship still require a sponsor, and the babies generally have difficulty meeting the financial requirements for sponsorship). We’ve apparently made it easy enough for foreign workers to get jobs without official documents, and salaries tend to trump

shiny citizen badges (you have one of those, right?). The second question is no less contentious, but it is the beast I have chosen to engage today. Beginning with semantics, I’ll observe that if the babies in question had names like Tom, Dick and Jane, they might be less offensive to the most rabid guardians of our citizenship; in reality, they are more often Santiagos, Diegos and Valerias. This is not an irrelevant distinction; altering birthright citizenship in an increasingly xenophobic country could mean the creation of an underclass based on names or appearances (sound familiar?). Almost without meaning to, I’ve just introduced the term to which this debate boils down: birthright citizenship. A tenant of U.S. citizenship derived from the 14th Amendment, our particular brand of birthright citizenship is known as jus soli—meaning your right to citizenship is determined by the soil on which you are born. This contrasts with jus sanguinis, the “right of blood,” whereby citizenship is conferred based on the preexisting citizenship of one or both parents. You might think that the American way of doing things pervades throughout the world (this seems to be

NOVEMBER2011

a common assumption in a wide range of matters); however, less than 20 percent of countries grant citizenship to babies just for being born within their borders. George Will reignited debate on the constitutional viability of our birthright citizenship doctrine in March 2010 (the doctrine has been challenged in court several times throughout our history) with an op-ed in the Washington Post that argued our Founding Fathers “could not have intended birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants because in 1868 there were and never had been any illegal immigrants because no law ever had restricted immigration” (Will’s emphasis). This claim packs about the same punch as the contention that the Fathers could not have intended First Amendment rights to extend to online publications. So true, and yet so blindly irrelevant. But Will—and many other wise voices that have since echoed his—are not entirely off track. Shouldn’t citizenship mean more to us than an acceptable zip code? Shouldn’t there be some expectation of heritage, of loyalty? After all, our country doesn’t ask much else in return for all of the rewards of citizenship—jury duty now and again, and the far-off specter of a military draft. Still, there are a number of philosophical and practical flaws in the arguments driving the “anchor baby” crusade. The case that our continued sanctioning of the principle of jus solis birthright citizenship places us in the minority of all countries is nearly smelly with irony coming as it does (to generalize broadly) from the same mouths that so staunchly glorify American exceptionalism. As for solving our immigration woes, altering the requirements for U.S. citizenship does nothing to address the

root causes of that problem—i.e. the jobs we obligingly provide to illegal immigrants and the government policies (NAFTA, one among many) that have contributed to the enormous economic disparity between the United States and Latin America. And, as a technicality, the immediate effect of abandoning jus solis birthright citizenship would be a massive increase in the population of illegal immigrants, because those 400,000 or so babies would then be counted as illegal immigrants each year. On a very practical level, assuming we would alter our citizenship requirements to entail the preexisting U.S. citizenship of one or both parents, the bureaucracy involved in verifying parentage for citizenship purposes would be another headache for the poor, suffering libertarians of this nation. And need I mention the rhetoric employed too often by proponents of halting jus solis birthright citizenship? “Anchor baby,” “alien,” “illegal” and the like are hugely effective, hugely dehumanizing propagandist tools that distract, to dangerous effect, from the true complexities at issue. We often look back upon enterprising young newcomers to our country like Virginia Dare with admiration. Is our admiration contingent upon her skin color or language (though “gardyloo” and “maugre” don’t sound that American to me)? Is our long and cruelly paradoxical history of xenophobia destined to alter our very understanding of citizenship? To periodically examine the ways we think about citizenship is important, even necessary. But we should open our inquiry for the right reasons— for the preservation of the goodness American citizenship represents, not to restrict it to people who fit the stereotypes created by our most narrowminded. •

Do we really want something as valuable as American citizenship to be available to every Tom, Dick and Jane who waltzes over the border while inside a uterus?

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EMILIO VICENTE
PUTTING A FACE ON IMMIGRATION
Emilio’s experience epitomizes the struggle of many undocumented students who are concerned for their future in the United States

RACHEL MYRICK In a country burdened by economic downturn during election season, politicians are feeling pressured to identify a scapegoat, and the growing community of undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. makes an easy target. In recent months, hardened political rhetoric has been backed by federal and local action that, in 2011 alone, led to the deportation of an estimated 400,000 undocumented immigrants. Stamping out “illegal immigrants” has been a chief priority for both federal and state agencies as unemployment levels for Americans remain high. On the federal level, the DREAM Act, which would have afforded undocumented students the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in the U.S., was struck down by Congress earlier this year. Congress is now considering a motion to require employers to use E-Verify, an electronic employment-verification program that would prohibit undocumented immigrants from getting work. The political nature of immigration has ignited controversies on a state and local level as well. This past September, Alabama passed some of the harshest immigration laws to date, causing floods of migrant farmworkers to vacate the state. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has established programs, in effect in counties across the U.S., enabling local law-enforcement agencies to work with federal agencies to identify and deport “criminal aliens.” These measures have led to questions about the transparency and legitimacy of such processes. Emilio Vicente, a first-year student from Siler City, NC, is vocal about his status as an undocumented immigrant. He hopes his story will dispel common misconceptions about undocumented workers and encourage students to think critically about immigration policy. Vicente’s experience epitomizes the struggle of many undocumented students who are concerned for their future in the United States. His story challenges the UNC community to acknowledge and understand the human face behind a divisive political issue.

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Q: When and why did your family come to the United States?
A: My Dad came first. He came between 1991 and 1992. He lived in different places across the United States and settled in Siler City because of the poultry plants. He decided to bring my mom and the rest of my family in 1997. I was only six, and I crossed the border with them. We decided to leave because we were living in very poor conditions. The only way for my parents to feed us was by taking us to this country.

pain because he could communicate better with them. He was uncertain of whether he would be able to live another day. My dad also hadn’t seen his mother in 13 years.

Q: Why did you decide to stay in the United States?
A: My parents gave me the option to go back when I was 15. But at that time, I didn’t know my own culture. I felt like this [the United States] was my country. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to excel academically in Guatemala. I wanted to graduate and hoped to go to college.

“I think I definitely want to go to law school or some type of higher education. I want to go as far as I can with my education.”

Q: Were you always open about the fact that you were undocumented?
A: After junior year, I became really involved in immigration issues and started becoming open about my status. I told some administrators and teachers because I needed help in the college application process. Most of my teachers were supportive.

Q: What was the college application and decision process like for you?
A: It was stressful because at that point, there was a big concern about if I got accepted, whether I would be able to pay for it. The way the system is set up, most states around the country do allow undocumented students to apply for college but they charge them out-ofstate tuition. The way that North Carolina is set up for colleges is that each university can decide whether or not to admit undocumented immigrants, but they have to classify them as “international” students and charge them as out-of-state students. Fortunately, I was able to find a private scholarship to pay for my education. Every year 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, but only about 5 to 10 percent of those students are able to go onto college.

Q: You mentioned your parents are back in Guatemala. Could you tell me how that decision came about?
A: My dad was working for a lumber company. [In 2001], right after Sept. 11, one of the machines at his work was jammed. He went under it to fix it, and someone turned on the machine, so it fell on him and broke his spinal cord. He was paralyzed and wasn’t treated fairly or properly. He thought if he went back home to Guatemala, it would be easier for doctors to understand his

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“A lot of undocumented students are also targeted because of simple mistakes.”

“I think the biggest thing our campus lacks is awareness of immigration overall.”

“Undocumented immigrants contribute to things like Social Security but don’t see benefits.”

Q: What do you want to do after college?
A: Getting a job is the number-one factor that I’m worried about. There is always a funding problem. Some of the schools I got accepted into gave me money, but it wasn’t enough to pay my tuition for every year. I think I definitely want to go to law school or some type of higher education. I want to go as far as I can with my education and try to help change the way that the system is set up. I have a friend who graduated from college and has a degree in biology. But because she’s undocumented, she has to work for minimum wage babysitting. Undocumented immigrants can’t use their knowledge, their degrees.

Q: You are the co-chair of a new Campus Y committee called Students United for Immigrant Equality. Can you tell me about its objectives?
A: Students United for Immigrant Equality was founded last year. One of the reasons it was founded was to raise awareness about immigration issues on campus. Last year was a big year for immigration awareness. There was a lot of activism at other universities, like at Duke, and I think it made sense for UNC to be on board. I think moving forward, we want to do a lot of advocacy and awareness on campus [with] immigration. We hope to make an impact on UNC community by putting a face on what immigration is.

The other misconception is we are taking American jobs. Undocumented immigrants work in jobs that most people don’t do or don’t want to do.

Q: Can you tell me little bit about immigration policies on the local, state, federal level that you are trying to actively promote or change?
A: A lot of states are passing policies that discriminate against undocumented workers. The Arizona biill has been very controversial. Alabama just passed a law requiring schools to ask students of their status. A lot of undocumented students are also targeted because of simple mistakes. And why should you be prosecuting a student who doesn’t have a criminal record? We are wasting resources and money on somebody who is not a threat to society. The United States has to realize that a lot of free trade policies, like NAFTA, are the reason that so many Latin Americans have been put out of work and have to move to the United States. We need a comprehensive system for undocumented immigrations who can fix their status if they’ve been here for a number of years. We should at least have the opportunity to apply to be a legal resident. I don’t think that people coming here to seek a better future is a terrible crime. •

Q: How do you think the UNC community ranks in terms of how open and welcome it is to undocumented immigrants? How would you want to see that changed or improved?
A: I think the biggest thing is that nobody knows what being undocumented means. I think most people get their news from mainstream media, and most mainstream media ignores immigration or portrays it in a way that is not positive. Even the word “illegal” is a very powerful word. It makes people think “bad” or “criminal.” Being undocumented is a civil offense, not a crime. I think the biggest thing our campus lacks is awareness of immigration overall. 14

Q: I feel like undocumented immigration, especially in North Carolina, is something that has a lot of misconceptions surrounding it. Are there any myths in particular you would wish to dispel?
A: That immigrants don’t pay taxes. Most immigrants do pay taxes because the government issues them an individual Tax ID number (I-10). It’s just for reporting taxes. I guarantee you that almost every single undocumented person has to report taxes. My brothers report taxes. When I go and buy stuff, I pay sales tax just like everyone else. This also means that undocumented immigrants contribute to things like Social Security but don’t ever see the benefits.

NOVEMBER2011

DISCOURAGING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN ALABAMA
Signed into law last June by Gov.Robert Bentley, Alabama’s “Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act” (HB56) is being alternately hailed and reviled as one of the strictest immigration laws in the country. The law is intended to discourage illegal immigration to Alabama. And a plethora of measures enacted under the statute do just that. According to the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act forbids “concealing, harboring and transporting illegal aliens.” The law also prohibits the hiring of undocumented workers by requiring businesses to confirm the immigration status of employees, ends the classification of payments made to undocumented workers as a business expense and voids all contracts involving undocumented workers. Under the new law, any unauthorized immigrant conducting a “business transaction” with the state, the most common example being renewing a driver’s license, is committing a felony. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, under the new law, Alabama’s Department of Homeland Security may even “hire and maintain its own immigration police force.” HB56 also restricts access to public benefits and prohibits the provision of sanctuary to illegal immigrants. Police officers must now attempt to ascertain the immigration status of those who have been stopped or arrested if suspicion exists that the individual is undocumented. The ACLU has expressed concern that this law promotes racial profiling and harassment of Hispanic citizens. Public schools have been directed to report the immigration status of new students and their parents to the State Board of Education, although it is worth noting that this provision applies only to students registering for the first time and that no student will be turned away based on immigration status. Data collected by the state will be used to research the fiscal and social costs associated with the education of undocumented children. This provision sparked widespread concern that parents would withdraw their children from school; several school districts issued statements reassuring parents that the law would not affect students already enrolled. The U.S. Department of Justice hopes to block the legislation on the grounds that immigration is a foreign-policy issue and therefore the domain of the federal government. They met with some success on Oct. 14 when the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals blocked the enforcement of Section 28 based on the Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe, which established that excluding undocumented children from the public-education system violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The Justice Department’s appeal came after U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn upheld the majority of HB56 in September. Blackburn struck down the bans on transporting or sheltering undocumented immigrants and undocumented students attending public universities. She also blocked the section that would ban undocumented immigrants from “apply[ing] for work, solicit[ing] work in a public or private place or perform[ing] work as an employee or independent contractor in this state.” As a result of HB56, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Tom Perez has expressed concern that victims may be reluctant to report crimes for fear of deportation. In addition, various industries, such as agriculture and construction, have seen their workforce disappear overnight. • KYLE SEBASTIAN

Public schools have been directed to report the immigration status of new students and their parents to the State Board of Education...

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15

“THE

SPACE

IN BETWEEN”

Margarita Cabrera Represents Border Politics Through Art

ALICE MARTIN

“There are many elements to her work, from confronting border politics to re-humanizing the corporate structure,” Matijcio said. “But at its core, Margarita’s work is about sharing stories as a vehicle of sociopolitical agency.”

In the deserts of the American southwest, along the U.S.-Mexico border, only two sources of green catch the eye: the desert cacti and the uniforms of the Mexican border-patrol guards. In an art exhibit currently showing at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, bearing the name “The Space in Between,” immigrant artist Margarita Cabrera creates her own desert that combines these subjects. Her desert is comprised of handmade, life-size cacti, created using the actual uniforms of the border patrol guards, and the space left in between the plants. This desert is just one installation in Cabrera’s exhibit, which recreates specific objects in inventive ways to illustrate border politics and the struggles of immigrant life in America today. Steven Matijcio, the curator of the exhibit at SECCA, highlights the primary messages present in Cabrera’s work. “There are many elements to her work, from confronting border politics to re-humanizing the corporate structure,” Matijcio said. “But at its core, Margarita’s work is about sharing stories as a vehicle of sociopolitical agency.”

SECCA is a state museum under the umbrella of the North Carolina Museum of Art and is located in Winston-Salem. The museum is dedicated to contemporary art and aims to be a “platform and catalyst for important issues and ideas affecting people today,” according to Matijcio. Cabrera’s exhibit speaks directly to this goal by focusing on contemporary issues and trying to start a community-driven conversation by illustrating an intersection between contemporary art and Mexican folklore. A focal point of the show is Cabrera’s ongoing series of desert plants, a project that allows her to work with immigrant communities across the country. The goal of the project is to get people from these communities to create lifesized desert plants made from border patrol uniforms and embroider them, using traditional Mexican techniques to tell stories of personal migration. Cabrera has co-organized workshops to teach indigenous embroidery techniques to people in immigrant communities and help them to create these desert plants in Texas, California, New York and, more recently, Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

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The workshops allow the participants to cross other borders of language and culture to bring their stories to the attention of different communities across the country. Now, these stories are being brought to North Carolina. “This state has one of the fastest growing Hispanic populations in the country, and they need a more prominent voice in the evolving social and cultural anatomy of North Carolina,” Matijcio said. The title of the show, “The Space in Between,” stems primarily from this series of desert plants. Cabrera explains that she used the term Nepantla, meaning “the space in the middle,” as inspiration for the title in reference to marginalized cultures. Gloria Anzaldua, an immigration activist and author of the book, Borderlands/La Frontera, sees the term of ‘Nepantla’ to mean both the physicality of living in the borderlands and the process of making space for new life and creation. In addition to the desert plants, the show includes a number of common objects that Cabrera has recreated to be covered in vinyl, with an excess amount of visible threads attached. This gives each of the objects a sagging, soft appearance. The objects depicted range from a baby grand piano and a lifesized, fully reconstructed Hummer vehicle to bicycles, irons and other household items. Cabrera’s use of vinyl in these pieces is particularly meaningful. “Vinyl is often used to cover surfaces,” Cabrera said. “I wanted to use it in the opposite way, to expose everything.” The effect of this technique is to personify the objects, to make them appear anthropomorphic. The items become

more like the people that labored to create them. The sagging appearances combined with the excess threads left visible make the viewer appreciate the manual labor that goes into creating everyday items, drawing attention to the exploitation of immigrant workers. Another piece that holds a prominent position in the exhibit is a series of recreated backpacks. These packs and the items inside of them, all recreated in vinyl, are representations of packs that were confiscated by borderpatrol guards. The backpacks and the possessions inside illustrate the life of a person who is both transitory and vulnerable. “We will never know the names of their owners or the specific situation around their capture, but by carefully reproducing that which they carried towards dreams of a new life, Cabrera creates moving portraits of people in flux,” Matijcio said. The desert plants along with various other traditional Mexican handicrafts, showcased on a Mexican hot dog stand featured in the exhibit, are for sale. The proceeds from these sales go to Florezca, a multi-national corporation created by Cabrera to support and fund projects that work for fair working conditions and the protection of immigration rights. In this way, Cabrera hopes to create action through her work rather than just create work about the problem of border relations and immigrant working conditions. “People of all cultures in North Carolina need to see this show, so that they can hear these stories and add their voices to the conversation,” Matijcio said. “In volatile political territory, it’s only through dialogue that awareness and understanding can take shape.” •

“We will never know the names of their owners or the specific situation around their capture, but by carefully reproducing that which they carried towards dreams of a new life, Cabrera creates moving portraits of people in flux,” Matijcio said.

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RICK PERRYAND
TROY HOMESLEY Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is once again creating controversy, but this time the backlash originates within his own political party. Ten years ago, during his first year as governor, Perry supported and passed into law House Bill 1403, which allowed all students living in Texas to pay in-state tuition, regardless of their citizenship status. The bill also required beneficiaries to apply for permanent residency. This Texas law planted the seed that blossomed into a nationwide movement calling for the federal enactment of the DREAM Act. Most recently, California has passed legislation that resembles the ideals embodied by Perry’s original DREAM Act. President Barack Obama has repeatedly called for federal legislation to enact the DREAM Act. Presidential candidates contending with Perry for the GOP endorsement have attacked Perry for his 2001 support of the measure. Other Republican contenders have cited Perry’s compassionate language toward undocumented workers at a 2001 Border Summit as a way to alienate conservative voters. “As a compassionate state, we know that for our children to succeed, they must not only be healthy, but educated,” Perry said to summit attendees. “We must say to every Texas child learning in a Texas classroom, ‘We don’t care where you come from, but where you are going, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get there.’” In a late September GOP presidential-candidate debate, Perry went even 18

THE DREAM ACT
further in response to a question regarding the Texas DREAM Act. “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” Perry said. Last year, approximately 16,000 Texas students benefited from the Texas DREAM Act. Jose Don-Terron was one of those beneficiaries. Don-Terron graduated from UT Austin, where he became heavily involved with the undocumented youth movement. Today, he works for the North Carolina DREAM Team and helps to prevent the deportation of undocumented youth. “Are we launching a campaign or building a movement? We’re building a movement. This is much bigger than a piece of legislation; rather, this is about a community living in fear. We are standing up for our community and empowering our youth,” Don-Terron said. According to a recent UCLA study, on a national level the DREAM Act could potentially impact 2.1 million young people. The study also found that within a 40-year period, anywhere between $1.38 trillion and $3.6 trillion in taxable income would be generated by immigrants who achieve resident status through a federal DREAM Act. The statistics look promising, and progressives accept the DREAM Act as a just and pragmatic attempt to integrate immigrants into American society. Perry knows his voter base, however, and he is finding a way to put his past support of the Texas DREAM Act in a different perspective. Perry stands by his passage of the Texas DREAM Act, yet he staunchly opposes the DREAM Act on a federal level. “I think that the federal DREAM Act is just amnesty, and I’m not for amnesty,” Perry said. When Perry passed the Texas DREAM Act of 2001, he did so because he saw potential in a large group of immigrant children who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. Rather than deporting these young people, Perry decided to give them the opportunity of integration and citizenship through education, a decision that was surely influenced by the growing constituency of immigrant voters in his state. According to Don-Terron, a conversation with a staff member in the Texas legislatures office revealed Perry’s real stance on the issue. “Rick Perry wasn’t truly that supportive of this issue, and probably wouldn’t be,” Don-Terron said. “Other demands were coming from the immigrant community, and Perry gave the community an ultimatum rather than granting each right that was deserved.” Today, Perry faces another election. It is time for Perry and others like him to look back at their roots, in this case, Perry’s governorship, and hold positions that are practical rather than popular. As the 2012 elections approach, it might benefit Perry to recognize that approximately 12.2 million Hispanics are eagerly awaiting a trip to the polls in November. •

NOVEMBER2011

Reconstructing Libya’s Government
An Interview with Dr. Andrew Reynolds
JENN NOWICKI Dr. Andrew Reynolds is the Chair of the Global Studies Department and a professor of Political Science. He has served as a consultant on issues of electoral and constitutional design for Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Fiji, Guyana, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Most recently he has been working in Libya as a consultant in the reconstruction of the new government.

Please tell us about your role in the reconstruction of the Libyan government.
We were thinking through some of the issues about the election, and we were setting up an assembly that could draft a new constitution. So, practically...what needed to be done to set up the elections so they could begin, let them be free and fair, sort of more broadly how you would communicate that to parties, and the government officials as well, to try and get everybody on board.

What are the priorities one has to keep in mind when reconstructing a government like Libya's?
Well, obviously there are so many things, but I would rank them-- my gut feeling is that inclusion is the first step. Inclusion in the sense that you decide how to set up your state, and as you decide who to consult with when you're setting up those new rules, you try and be as inclusive as possible. And then the challenges are huge, you know you have challenges of turning water on, and electricity, and providing security, and taking the guns out of private ownership, and getting the oil flow turned back on.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF DR. ANDREW REYNOLDS

Andrew Reynolds in Benghazi, Libya as a consultant in the reconstruction of the new government.

What are the things you would want to avoid?
You want to avoid a situation that will give power back to the people who were in power before. Now that doesn't mean Gaddafi and his family, that means the sort of entrenched elite, strong local men who used to run the Libyans in town and dictated in the past. And many of those people are still around, and you know some of the senior government ministers of Gaddafi's government moved over to the rebels, and some of them are considered to be very good people and they've earned their right to be there, but

with a lot of people at that next level, you could have systems that are an advantage to them. If you were the strong wealthy guy in a town in Libya two years ago, you're probably still the strong wealthy guy today. And if you hold elections that only give power to those people, you create a parliament that is a replica of what used to be before. And that's no women, that's no young people, it's no liberals, no one secular and no progressives; it's like the old Libyan parliament system. In Tunisia, last weekend, they went through the whole process; they elected a new constitution assembly. Tunisia did a NOVEMBER2011

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“I'm cautiously optimistic. I'm more optimistic about Libya than I am about Egypt or Syria or Yemen.”
They'll be the countries that we'll point to and say, for the Arab Spring, those two cases were good and they turned out well.

Speaking of Egypt, what went wrong considering the uprising earlier in the year was led mostly by students and intellectuals?
Well that's the big question; it's a huge question, and clearly things did go wrong. I think it's perfectly reasonable to say that the revolution was led and promoted by young, eager professional people, workers, Facebook groups, social media, with a lot of it coming out of the American University in Cairo, and that they were the spark that helped defeat Mubarak. Now all of those groups have been shut down. Almost uniformly they are very angry and are rising up against the military government. So, what went wrong? The military took over the situation and have acted in an incredibly secretive and repressive way, and have not been responsive to popular opinion. At the start they did believe that the military would be good for an interim period.But it's not turned out that way.

A woman walks by a caricature of Gaddafi in Tripoli.

pretty good job of opening up the place to everybody else. Right now the committee in parliament, the results came out yesterday, the largest party is the Muslim Brotherhood party. But that's only 40 percent of parliament and you have many many other parties in parliament representing independents and different progressives; it's a very inclusive assembly.

Approximately how long do you predict the rebuilding process to take in Libya?
Building a democratic institution is a very long process, and still a process that established Western democracies go through as well. It will take probably a long time for Libya to have a stable, vibrant democracy. I would expect to see a more vibrant democracy in Libya quicker than I see it happening in Afghanistan, or Sudan for example. But we're talking decades, not years or months.

Are you optimistic that the new government will be able to set up a peaceful democracy?
Yeah, I'm cautiously optimistic. I'm more optimistic about Libya than I am about Egypt or Syria or Yemen. Libya has a lot of things going for it. It's a small population, it's a fairly well educated population, it's not a population that necessarily will be divided ethnically or socially. It has good resources, it has a lot of oil, and it is very easy to extract quality oil, and it has infrastructure that is not bad compared to a lot of other states. It has good roads, it has hospitals, it has schools, it has a middle class that can take political power. I'm cautiously optimistic that Libya like Tunisia, will be one of the beacons of democratization and stability in the region. 20

What effect do you think the announcement by New Transitional Council's (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil, wherein he publicly declared that Sharia Law would be the new rule of Libya, will have on the rebuilding process?
I think that's more for public consumption, it's not really going to happen. This is one of the more secular and progressive Islamic states, and even the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic organizations are like the Tunisians, pretty liberal. They're not going to do that.

NOVEMBER2011

“The U.S. is incredibly liked by many Libyans right now because of their support for NATO and of the uprising.”
Yes, there has been a lot of a backlash from secular and women's groups afraid of losing their rights.
No, he's only talking up the Muslim/Islamic side because he has to do it to some extent.

What effect, if any, has Gaddafi's death had on the rebuilding process?
I think it just highlights the fact that this is very chaotic, and that the government, the NTC, doesn't really have control over all its constituents. ...Practically what it meant was that they declared Liberation Day, which is when the timetable starts; the clock starts on Liberation Day. So, when it was done last week, now they have 240 days to set up an election for a new government. It was Gaddafi's death that triggered Liberation Day.

What role do other nations, either immediately in the region or further abroad, have on the reconstruction of Libya?
They have a huge role, and they're already having a huge role in Western Europe; Italy, France, and Germany and the United Kingdom are heavily involved and will be involved in the economic reconstruction. The U.S. is incredibly liked by many Libyans right now because of their support for NATO and of the uprising. So you'll see the West more involved in Libya than China or Russia.
Gaddafi, former dictator of Libya, is shown in a wanted sign in Tripoli.

Have there been any major challenges or surprises you have encountered along the way?
I suppose I was surprised I was so optimistic about what I saw. I'm surprised that I thought that the case was better than all the other cases. I've worked in a lot of other cases that look much worse, so if I compare it to Sudan or if I compare it to Yemen or Afghanistan, Libya looks so much better and so much more optimistic. That's certainly not to say that it doesn't have significant problems and challenges, but the challenges are at a lower level than they are in other places that I've worked in. •

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THE KURDISH ISSUE
HOW TURKEY IS MARGINALIZING AN ENTIRE FIFTH OF ITS POPULATION
KELLY YAHNER

A bicycle bomb exploded in the wealthy Etiler neighborhood of Istanbul on May 26, injuring eight people including a woman whose leg was severed. The PKK, or Kurdish Worker’s Party, was later implicated in the attack. The PKK, a militant front for the marginalized Kurdish population in Turkey, has long been on the US list of terrorist organizations, although it hardly represents the Kurdish population as a whole. The Kurdish population of southeastern Turkey, an ethnic group that also includes populations in Syria, Iran and Iraq, has been forced to “Turkify,” or assimilate into Turkish culture. The Turkish government has banned traditional Kurdish schooling and cultural events and has even attempted to crack down on the use of the Kurdish language, despite the fact that the Kurdish population comprises anywhere from 11 to 20 million people—nearly one fifth of Turkey’s entire population. The conflict stems from calls for an independent Kurdish nation, Kurdistan, in the mid-1980s. The Turkish government responded by sending the military into Kurdish towns and rounding up so-called Kurdish ‘dissidents.’ The Turkish government has also increased raids since September, even going so far as conducting raids across the Iraqi border in search of reported PKK camps. The Turkish government, particularly current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, have used the Kurdish issue for political gain while ignoring calls for reform. The bombing in Etiler could not have come at a more convenient time for Erdoğan and the AKP, as elections were only a few weeks away. Erdoğan and the AKP seized on the bombing, immediately blaming it on the PKK without any substantiated evidence to suggest that the PKK was even involved. Prior to the bombing, AKP candidates had been

advocating for a EU-supported constitutional reform that would allow Kurds to have their own educational system in a step to “de-Turkify” them. Candidates like Erdoğan, whose stance on the Kurdish issue has hindered Turkish efforts to gain acceptance into the European Union, often capitalize on acts of violence, blaming the PKK in order to boost their approval ratings. Many members of the Turkish population, particularly youth, are being educated with a false stereotype that all Kurds are terrorists, even though the overwhelming majority of Kurds are peaceful Turkish citizens. The AKP continues to capitalize on anti-Kurdish sentiment without attempting reforms, thereby perpetuating the problem. The October 23rd earthquake in Turkey, which struck in a southeastern region highly populated by Kurds, has only worsened living conditions for many of the Kurdish people. As the Turkish government does not acknowledge many Kurds as legal citizens, most of the Kurdish population is not receiving government aid. Other than trying to attract international good will and attempting to come closer to EU acceptance, the AKP lacks much incentive to provide aid to this segment of its population. The Turkish government and the AKP in particular maintains a relationship with the Kurdish issue that revolves around acknowledging the problem only if it will bring political gains. While this is not a new concept in politics, it is rare that a government will blatantly marginalize a fifth of its population. The Kurdish issue must be resolved for Turkey to establish peace and bring about economic growth and social justice for all citizens, despite their ethnic background. •

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THE PRICE OF GOLD
TB and HIV in South African Mines A Hidden Public Health Crisis
CHELSEA PHIPPS

The South African Gold Mining Industry has the highest rates of tuberculosis in the world. TB is an illness caused by inhalation of airborne bacterium that primarily affects the lungs. The combination of prolonged inhalation of silica dust from the ore in mines and HIV increases multiplicatively mine workers’ susceptibility to contracting TB. The result is a public health disaster with contraction rates of 3,000-7,000 in 100,000, 28 times the amount of cases necessary to be a declared emergency by the World Health Organization. “I call the mines a perfect storm of disease,” said Jonathan Smith, a lecturer at Yale University who conducted research about TB and HIV vulnerabilities in the migrant populations of South Africa. In addition to the underlying TB risk created by the high levels of silica dust and HIV, Smith explains that “The mines are the deepest in the world. Circulation and ventilation are really bad so, if one person coughs, that bacteria doesn’t have anywhere to go so everyone is going to breathe it in.” South Africa’s economy was built on the mining industry, especially gold mining. It was reported in 2009 that the mining industry contributed to 8.8 percent of South Africa’s GDP directly, and another ten percent indirectly, in addition to around one million jobs. For as long as the mining industry has existed, so has the problem with miners and TB contraction. In as early as Oct. 29, 1902, Mr. William Caine made a speech in the British House of Commons bringing attention to the Secretary of State for the Colonies about the “death rate from miners’ phthisis [TB] in Johannesburg, and the fact that miners return home to this country incapacitated by this disease” and calling for a commission to be appointed to make inquiries. The Southern African Development Community, an inter-government organization headquartered in Botswana, cre-

ated a Policy Framework on Mobility and Communicable Diseases in April 2009 that called communicable diseases, especially HIV, TB and malaria, the “greatest causes of morbidity and mortality in the region.” It cited the long history of cross-border migration, increased movement of skilled health workers out of the region, increased frequency of circular movement with people going home more often and the certain gaps in the regional response to communicable diseases as being contributing factors to the current public health situation. The region lacks appropriate coordination in health services and disease control across borders, suffers from difficulty in accessing health and preventive services, has inadequate disease surveillance, research and epidemic preparedness and has inadequate education for the migrant workers. The SADC Policy Framework called for “Recruitment agencies to (by regulation) provide information on TB risks (e.g. association with silicosis in mining sector) to prospective clients for employment in foreign countries.” Research published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that mining was a significant determinant of TB in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study found that mining production was associated with higher population TB incidence rates after adjustment for economic and population controls, even independent of high HIV prevalence. South Africa’s Minister of Health Barbara Hogan wrote a letter to the Chief Executive of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa M. G. Diliza saying that the Chamber felt that the mining industry was being unfairly targeted in the SADC Policy Framework. “We agree with the principle that information on risks faced in any workplace should be made available to prospective employees. This statement NOVEMBER2011

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Jonathan Smith dances with locals while doing research in South Africa for the film “They Go to Die.”

could thus be phrased in more general terms without seeming to be prejudiced against certain industries,” Diliza wrote. Despite their defensiveness, the mining industry has a long way to go in terms of providing appropriate health care to their workers. Deloitte Consulting found in an actuarial study in February 2005 that the fund administered by the compensation commissioner for occupational diseases that was designed to compensate mine works who become ill has assets of 969 million rand (almost 120 million U.S. dollars) and liabilities of 1.5 billion rand (almost 186 million U.S. dollars). “The mines are incredibly rich,” said Gregg Gonsalves, an advocate who worked for The AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa (ARASA). “They need to make sure all mines are providing health care to their workers and some system of continuity once they leave the mines.” Because the miners tend to be made 24

up of migrant populations that are forced to live in crowded conditions, many turn to the sex industry, which in turn increases HIV rates. “Not too many people know about the sort of unholy alliance between HIV and TB. Hundreds of men are dying every year from TB and HIV and they’re bringing it home to their families. It’s a hidden scandal,” Gonsalves said. According to Paula Akugizibwe, ARASA’s former Advocacy Coordinator, it is lack of political acknowledgement of the issue in addition to lack of political will to solve it that has kept TB so prolific in the mines. “The mining sector argued in its response to the SADC Policy Framework that they cannot be expected to uphold the right to health, that it’s a government obligation. That they could actually say that is probably one of the most naked exposés of their attitude to the workers,” Akugizibwe said. Creating the necessary political will

to affect change will mean spreading awareness to a still largely ignorant public. Jonathan Smith intends to do this through a documentary film-in-progress named They Go to Die after the phrase South African government officials use to refer to the cycle of death caused by TB in the mines. In his documentary, Smith follows the stories of four former migrant gold mineworkers in South Africa and Swaziland who are co-infected with TB and HIV. In an effort to balance academic rigor with entertainment to engage society on an issue already backed with data, the film will show how corporate indifference has led to the public health crisis. “The film intends to use personal storytelling and emotion to inspire change by allowing people to peer into a window into the epidemic in the hopes of humanizing the epidemic,” Smith said. •

NOVEMBER2011

PHOTO COURTESY OF JONATHAN SMITH

REVOLUTION IN CAIRO
A Study Abroad Experiential Education on the Arab Spring
KELSEY JOST-CREEGAN Students sat clustered in the hotel lobby, staring wide-eyed at the events unfolding on the news. Outside, the occasional eruption of tear gas bombs was punctured with the staccato of rubber bullets. Barely two weeks after we had arrived in Egypt ready to spend the semester at the American University in Cairo, the unimaginable had happened: the country had erupted in a wave of popular protests in what would become a Revolution. Although my stay in Egypt was ultimately cut short, the experience taught me more than I had ever hoped to learn. It was deeply moving to watch people my own age take enormous risks to fight for their rights and civil liberties. Witnessing my peers at AUC risking their lives in the face of violent brutality, I became keenly aware of how often I take for granted my rights of free speech and participation in my own government. I also became aware of the many assumptions of security and autonomy that I operate on daily. Living under a state that had little concern for individual liberty or expression– even outside of the overtly political realm–was rattling. Of course, the inconveniences or potential danger that I faced dwarf significantly in comparison to that experienced by the Egyptian people. Even my limited experience, however, was really eye opening. I realized that I have an enormous expectation of individual autonomy. That the government could turn off my phone and prohibit me from communicating with my family, and could physically restrict my movement by implementing a 16-hour day curfew, was absolutely foreign to me. Furthermore, the government’s impressive ability to limit access to information–both by blocking internet access and by turning off news stations one by one–made it nearly impossible to find an accurate assessment of the situation. The resulting uncertainty was undoubtedly one of the most stressful aspects of the experience. I also realized tangibly what a privilege it is to live each day assured of personal security. Violent interactions between the people and police, followed by the complete lack of police presence when the government pulled forces off the street, ruptured my operational assumption of physical safety. On a personal level, our defense against potential looting devolved to a fire hose and men armed with sticks. On an observational level, I saw new friends return suffering from the effects of tear gas and distributing brochures on how to protect yourself while protesting. In addition, there were basic challenges to autonomy that I had never even considered. Tasks as simple as purchasing everyday goods become uncertain when ATMs run out of cash and the banking system is essentially non-operational. Even with cash, each day the grocery store shelves got a bit emptier as more people stocked up and no resupplies came through. Too often I take my ‘rights’ for granted. Because I consider them ‘rights’, I feel that they are owed to me, just as I believe they are owed to people in the world. While I still believe that access to civil and political rights as well as financial and physical security should be available to all, the obvious reality is that they are not–neither within the global community nor within our national and local communities. My experience demonstrated to me just how precious and vulnerable these rights are. The difficulties that I faced were mere annoyances when compared with the true suffering that others would endure. Additionally, I did not have had to leave my own community to witness disparities in the distribution of rights and security. The dramatic nature of my two weeks in Egypt, however, made these realities tangible to me in ways they had never been before. My time in Egypt impressed upon me the importance of not taking rights and security for granted. Watching my classmates take such extreme risk for the betterment of their society, I was forced to ask myself very difficult questions about how far I would go to defend my personal convictions. The strength of the protesters in upholding values of peace and dignity in their struggle, even when countered with brutal violence, was truly awe-inspiring. • NOVEMBER2011

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BP DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL

NOT THAT BAD
RYAN FERRAIOLI An explosion occurred in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20th, 2010. This explosion took place 52 miles off the coast on an off shore oil drilling rig that had just finished drilling an exploratory well 4,992 feet below the sea. The events on this fateful day released 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf waters and created the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. However, despite these daunting numbers, the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill has proven to be much less disastrous than originally thought. When the leak first began, the unprecedented flow of oil and global coverage of the event led to all sorts of gloom and doom reports. Media outlets were reporting that marine life in the Gulf was never going to be the same, coastal economies would be ruined and some marine populations would be driven to extinction. These initial reports and theories ultimately led to the Obama Administration levying a moratorium on off shore Gulf drilling. However, a full year after the disaster, these reports and the actions taken by the Obama Administration seem to be far removed from the reality of the situation. According to a report done by Texas A&M, there were no significant damages done to the shrimp, oyster and finfish populations of the Gulf as a result of the oil or dispersants used during the spill. Furthermore, population projects are expected to continue as normal, and could potentially see better than pre-spill numbers due to 26

OP-ED: Libertarian Perspective
ness claims – enough to cover losses through the 2013 fishing season. Additionally, BP has paid $2.78 billion in damages to the real estate and tourism industries, as well as over $1.1 billion in cleanup costs. All this in addition to the projection that the marine population will most likely be stronger this season than it would normally have been – more good news for the Gulf industries. Although BP’s claims and payment processes is far from perfect, one would have great difficulty claiming that BP has not allocated appropriate resources to cover the damages caused by the spill. A review of the facts surrounding the oil spill and knowledge of the oil industry indicates that the Obama Administration wildly overreacted to the event. The decision to ban off shore drill was not only rash, but unwarranted, as off shore drilling is less risky than some of the normal actives we engage in on a daily bases, such as driving. When one reviews the evidence and sees that the marine populations have not been damaged, a repeat event is highly unlikely and that BP has covered significant portions of the economic costs, the only reasonable conclusion is that the Deepwater Horizon Spill was simply… not that bad. •

the lack of commercial fishing during and after the spill. The probability of another Deepwater Horizon event happening again is also very unlikely. Since 1947, 50,000 wells have been drilled in the Gulf of Mexico and approximately 3,600 structures now stand in the Gulf, with 700 wells having been drilled in waters deeper than the BP rig. Despite all of this activity, from 1964-2009 there have only been six blowout events of significance (events exceeding 1,000 barrels of spillage). According to a post spill report by the Department of the Interior, the rate of blowouts per well drilled has not increased despite increased activity in deep waters and accusations of widespread corporate “cost cutting.” The reality is, given these numbers, the odds of a similar event happening again are less likely than the odds of getting into a car crash and being hit by debris from space–multiple times over. The political inconsistencies are clear since no one is banging the drum to stop people from driving or walking around outside because it is too dangerous or risky. Unfortunately, this logic is lost when it comes to the Obama Administration and the energy industry. Even the economic damages caused by the oil spill have been overstated. BP has established a $20 billion fund in order to pay fishermen’s and small businesses’ claimed opportunity costs. As of December 31, BP has paid over $400 million in individual and small busi-

NOVEMBER2011

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES ON EDUCATION
DINESH MCCOY The headlines regarding the recent Republican debates have focused on the political jabs between the candidates. Discussions about the Rick Perry’s stance on HPV vaccinations, Mitt’s flip-flop on “Romneycare,” and the feasibility of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan are some of many points that the candidates have used to tarnish their opponents. Economic considerations have dominated the general discourse, and Republicans currently hope to capitalize on the public’s generally negative emotions about the American economy. The issue of education, and what to do about the decline of American education when compared to the rest of the world, however, has largely faded from the Republican political discussion. Meanwhile, Barack Obama recently changed aspects of No Child Left Behind to provide greater flexibility to state governments and proposed new regulations on student debt caused by loans in order to limit the financial burden for graduates entering a precarious job market. In order to provide a clearer picture of where the Republican candidates stand on education, Campus BluePrint has created this review. We hope to provide you with meaningful information, as the candidates’ views on education policy have implications for the entire public education system in the United States.

Breaking Down The Candidates’ Positions
U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN) Bachmann is known for her tea party politics, and her education history and viewpoints back up this description. According to an interview in Bloomberg News, Bachman says she first got involved in politics because she was bothered by the school work that her foster children brought home, which she claims didn’t have “an academic foundation.” As a result, Bachmann started a charter school, but was forced to resign after the school was accused of teaching religion. Bachmann later ran for school board in Stillwater, MN - an election that remains her lone political defeat. Bachmann’s current presidential platform has been vague on specifics. She has criticized No Child Left Behind as “teaching to the test” and has said she would repeal all federal education laws. She would also abolish the Department of Education, a popular position for politicians looking to downsize government. Former C.E.O. of Godfather’s Pizza Herman Cain Cain has only his current political platform to represent his views on education policy. Cain’s website highlights business ideas being transferred to education, and he supports incentivizing education with “pay-for-performance” measures for teachers and creating a competitive education market in which parents can compare schools. Cain also supports increasing vouchers, and advocates for policies that promote school choice. Like many of the Republican candidates, Cain opposes No Child Left Behind, and criticizes all government programs on education policy that include “unfunded mandates.” Cain has used the term “unbundling” to describe his goal for U.S. education, as this phrase captures his goal of redistributing national government influence to empower local and privately run schools. NOVEMBER2011
• PHOTOS COURTESY OF GAGE SKIDMORE

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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (GA) Gingrich has found himself in an awkward position regarding education reforms. His record on education during his time as a representative centered around providing incentives for science and math education and providing scholarships and vouchers for high-performing students in low-performing schools. In 2009, however, Gingrich publicly toured with current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and praised President Obama’s policy changes. In an interview with POLITICO, Gingrich praised President Obama for his effort to make public schools more accountable by measuring teacher and student performance and called Education Secretary Arne Duncan “a serious innovator.” Thus, Gingrich’s comments on education this election season are limited compared to some of the other candidates, but he has stated support for the general reduction of the role of the Department of Education. Governor Rick Perry (TX) Perry has headed a staunchly conservative policy towards education in the state of Texas. Texas is one of only two states that refused to participate in the development of Common Core State Standards, and one of only four states that did not apply for funding from President Obama’s Race to the Top competition. During Perry’s time as governor, controversial curriculum changes were made in Texas that included textbooks that according to The New York Times “[stressed] the superiority of American capitalism” and “[questioned] the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government.” He has also angered some conservatives, who have questioned him about his support for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Perry has made few public statements about education during his campaign so far, but has expressed support for teacher incentive pay and decreasing the federal role in education policy. U.S. Representative Ron Paul (TX) Paul may have the strongest views against government involvement in education. In fact, one of Paul’s main education policies is supporting home-schooling, for which he says he would provide a tax credit. Paul has decried the Department of Education by stating that it is “a propaganda machine” working to “indoctrinate children,” and has consistently supported abolishing it. He also voted against No Child Left Behind when it was first proposed, rejecting it, along with government loans for students, as intrusions of government into private lives. Paul has said that, “education is not a right,” and instead believes it is something to be earned.

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NOVEMBER2011

Former Governor Jon Huntsman (UT) Huntsman has largely drawn attention for his views on science and its implications in public education. His open views of accepting climate change and evolution as fact have caused some controversy in the Republican presidential race, and he said in an interview on ABC, “I can’t remember a time in our history where we actually were willing to shun science and become a party that was antithetical to science.” During his time as the governor of Utah, Huntsman raised teacher salaries and advocated increasing early education programs. His more conservative decisions during his term included creating a state-wide private school voucher program and fostering a relationship between the private sector and public schools. During the August 11th Republic debate, however, Huntsman echoed other Republican viewpoints saying, “We need choice. We need vouchers. We need more technology in the classroom.” Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (PA) Santorum’s education policy is based on socially conservative ideology. Like the other candidates, Santorum supports limiting the role of the Department of Education and has supported voucher systems and other generally conservative education policies. Santorum’s education buzzword has been “customization,” claiming that the current public school system creates “uniformity.” His socially conservative stances on education include teaching creationism in schools and eliminating early-education programs, which he has criticized as early efforts to “indoctrinate” children. Santorum speaks often about indoctrination of secular and humanist values in public school systems, criticizing the current higher education system in America for its role in the process: “Sixty-two percent of incoming freshmen come into college with a faith conviction and leave without it. … I suspect if you took a control group of kids who don’t go to college, that doesn’t happen.” Former Governor Mitt Romney (MA) In contrast to many of the other candidates, Romney supports the existence of the Department of Education, and also supports No Child Left Behind for its creation of standards. During his time in office, he lifted Massachusetts’s cap on charter schools and made it easier to fire teachers. Like Cain, Romney has transferred many business approaches to education, supporting incentivizing teacher pay, giving merit scholarships to high performing students, and creating a broader system of school choice. Romney has shown support for components of the Race to the Top campaign, specifically approving its system in which “teachers get evaluated and that schools have the opportunity to see which teachers are succeeding and which ones are failing.” Despite this, in conservative circles Romney has echoed other candidates, questioning the constitutionality of some government involvement in education. •

NOVEMBER2011

29

SUNSET LOOMS

ON A BRIGHT IDEA?

PUBLIC FINANCING FOR CANDIDATES

PETER VOGEL

Proponents of the program fear that the incessant need to raise money limits viable candidates to the wealthy...

With the jury still out regarding the success of Chapel Hill’s Voter Owned Election program in creating more competitive and democratic elections, both its supporters and critics have begun to doubt that it will be extended past 2012. In 2008, Chapel Hill’s Town Council saw “a compelling need to address the detrimental effects of increasingly large amounts of money being raised and spent to influence the outcome of elections for mayor and town council.” And so it enacted the VOE program. First used in the 2009 municipal elections, the VOE offers grants to candidates that can demonstrate public support for their campaign by raising contributions between $5 and $20. To qualify, candidates for Town Council must raise a total of $838 from 83 or more contributors. Mayoral candidates need $1,676 from at least 165 contributors. In exchange, the candidates abide by strict limits on fundraising and forego in-kind contributions completely. According to Melissa Price Kromm, the coalition director of North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, the VOE program aspires to help voters “make choices that reflect their values” by ensuring that all viable candidates have the means to run and that all concerned citizens have the ability to participate in the political process in ways other than voting.

In 2009, two candidates, current Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Councilwoman Penny Rich, participated in the programs. Both were elected. This year Mayor Kleinschmit is technically participating in the program, while raising no funds. Candidates Donna Bell and Jason Baker qualified for public funds for their council races. Another candidate, Carl Schuler, fell short of the required $838 from 83 contributors to qualify. Both the Town Council and the North Carolina General Assembly will need to take action in order to extend the program beyond its July 1, 2012 expiration date. For Councilwoman Donna Bell, the choice facing the state is a no-brainer. Bell, who was appointed to Town Council in 2009, says she considered running this year because of the public-financing program, noting “I am a social worker. I don’t know many people that can write me checks for over 200 dollars.” Responding to the idea that the program cost taxpayers too much money, Bell countered that “they are not paying for my campaign, they’re paying for their election process.” Proponents of the program fear that the incessant need to raise money limits viable candidates to the wealthy and discourages candidates from meeting with and addressing the needs of less affluent voters. While no clear trends

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NOVEMBER2011

can be extrapolated from the experiment in Chapel Hill thus far, Price points to reforms in the North Carolina Council of State elections as a sign that similar programs work. According to an NCVE study, the introduction of public financing into the 2008 Commissioner of Insurance race lead to an 83 percent decline in total contributions from industries regulated by the commissioner. According to Wayne Goodwin, winner of the race, “The money chase… decimates what a candidate should be doing: spending time with voters.” But not all observers are so convinced of the program’s merit. Town Council candidate Jon DeHart takes issue with the fact that taxpayers cannot choose to opt out of financing the program at the state level like they can at the federal. Furthermore, DeHart sees the ability to independently raise funds as a crucial litmus test of a candidate’s viability. “$4,000 gets it done,” DeHart said. “If people trust you enough to vote for you, they should trust you enough to give you money.” Others view restrictions on campaign spending as restrictions on free speech. In June, the Supreme Court ruled in Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett that an Arizona state law which provided matching funds for all candidates was unconstitutional. This ruling had a particular effect on North Carolina when the State Board of Elections decided to eliminate a “rescue fund” provision of the VOE program. The rescue fund provided a one-time payment of $2,234 for township candidates and $4,468 for mayoral candidates, if their opponent outraised them by over 140 percent. Council candidate Lee Storrow expressed disappointment in this decision. In his view, the rescue fund—which did not impose spending

equality on the candidates—is very different from the system used in Arizona. Likewise, one of the central rationales for the law is that money can play a corrosive role in campaigns. But money also provides the vital service of allowing qualified candidates to reach the public. “Strong candidates are able to garner lots of votes and lots of money because they are strong,” UNC Political Science Professor Tom Carsey said. Supporters fire back that while correlation is not causation, more time is needed to study how money and public financing affect elections. “These [public financing programs] are experiments,” Price said. }The problem is we keep getting beaten back.” Finally, there is the partisan political element. Price believes that Chapel Hill “supports the spirit of the program.” But the party composition of the NC General Assembly has changed since 2009. Today the Republican-dominated legislature seems unlikely to vote for the continuation, much less the expansion of the VOE. Yet progressives and other supporters are not giving up yet. Thanks to a severability clause, the program can continue even if the State Board of Elections chooses to eliminate some of its provisions. Likewise the grassroots campaign network that helped to pass the program remains undaunted. Storrow, while not participating in the program, stressed “we need to advocate for this as a community.” Even if 2011 is the last year for Voter Owned Elections in Chapel Hill, residences should find solace in remembering that money is not destiny. “Look at Laurin Easthom—she raised a lot less money than I did [in 2009], and she got a lot more votes,” DeHart recalled. •

“If people trust you enough to vote for you, they should trust you enough to give you money.” —Jon DeHart

NOVEMBER2011

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Published with support from: Campus Progress, a division of the Center for American Progress. Campus Progress works to help young people — advocates, activists, journalists, artists — make their voices heard on issues that matter. Learn more at CampusProgress.org
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