Patrick Caldwell

Patrick Caldwell is a writing fellow at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Perryland

The animosity between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry at Tuesday's debate might have surprised a few viewers, but their their dislike for each other is well known among reporters who follow the candidates. Both The New York Times and the Washington Post ran articles after the debate which highlighted that history. Here's how WaPo describes how the two related as state governors in the 2000s: They did not have a productive working relationship, according to Republicans who worked with both men, and each harbored a disdain for the other that was seemingly driven by cultural stereotypes and their perceptions of each other. They share little in their upbringings, careers, faiths or lifestyles. This isn't the first time Perry has found himself in this kind of tussle with another Republican. Perry and George W. Bush don't like each other either. And when he faced Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the gubernatorial primary last year, Perry viciously attacked her as an emblem of establishment thinking—...

Republicans Only Hate 9-9-9 Because It Makes Their Goal Too Clear

After Herman Cain rose to the first tier in the latest polls, the other Republican candidates finally decided to pay attention to what has been his sole selling point: the catchy 9-9-9 tax plan. The results weren't pretty at last night's debate. "Herman's well-meaning, and I love his boldness, and it's great," Rick Santorum said. "But the fact of the matter is, I mean, reports are now out that 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under his plan." "I like your chutzpah on this, Herman, but I have to tell you," Mitt Romney said, joining the chorus, "the analysis I did, person by person, return by return, is that middle-income people see higher taxes under your plan." They mostly danced around what exactly was wrong with Cain's plan, but Ron Paul went straight to the problem. "Oh, it is [dangerous], because it raises revenues, and the worst part about it; it's regressive," he said. "A lot of people aren't paying any taxes, and I like that. I don't think that we should even things...

Romney's Lawn Problem

As Jamelle noted earlier, things got testy between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry at last night's debate. After being hammered on immigration issues for the past several weeks, Rick Perry turned the tables and accused Romney of hypocrisy. “Mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective,” Perry said, “because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year." Romney turned red, visibly shaking during the exchange as Perry spoke over him. “Rick, I don’t think I’ve ever hired an illegal in my life. … I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals," he said. So what's the hubbub about? Perry was referencing a series of articles in the The Boston Globe revealing that undocumented immigrants worked on lawn care at Romney's home in Belmont while the Massachusetts governor was posturing over the need for stricter immigration enforcement. The Globe first reported in 2006 that the firm Romney hired to tend his two-and-a-half-acre estate was staffed by...

iVote

As I wrote yesterday, 2010 has been a rough year for voting-rights advocates. Under the guise of fighting voter fraud, Republicans have exploited their new legislative majorities in the states to pass a slew of bills that will restrict access to the ballot. But with all the doom and gloom, there are bright spots. Late last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that will allow residents of the state to register to vote online. “The registration process is the biggest barrier for young Americans participating in our political process," Rock the Vote president Heather Smith said in a statement, "and too many are left out of the process because of outdated and restrictive voter registration practices." I spoke with Eric Marshall of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights' for my print piece last month. In normal years, his group would be pushing state legislatures to update their voting systems and help increase turnout. "There's a broad concept that we support called voter-...

Block the Vote

Flickr/Vaguely Artistic My feature from the November issue is up on the homepage today. Republicans, after gaining control of many state legislatures in 2010, have undertaken a coordinated effort to suppress voting rights. Photo-identification laws have been the splashiest measures passed, but a slew of subtler changes pose just as large a threat. My piece covers the full national landscape, but I highlighted Maine, where Republicans used their first legislative majority in nearly four decades to rescind Election Day registration laws, a measure used by 60,000 voters in 2008. Voting-rights groups have fought back, and a referendum on same-day registration will be on the ballot next month. Charlie Webster, the chair of the Maine Republican Party, has been warning about rampant voter fraud in his home state. When I spoke with him last month, Webster mentioned a specific allegation about individuals who registered their address as a hotel. "We found 19 in 2004 in the John Kerry-George...

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