Skip to main content

Will Weatherford, speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
Will Weatherford, speaker for the Florida House of Representatives, stands against his party's efforts to
skew the will of voters by rigging the electoral college to favor the GOP.
While Republicans ponder their plans to rig the system so that a Democratic presidential candidate who wins a state's popular vote in 2016 won't win a majority of the Electoral College votes in that state, two prominent members of the party in Florida are saying no way. If the system had been arranged in 2012 the way leading Republicans intend for the future, Mitt Romney would now be sitting in the Oval Office despite having lost the popular vote by nearly five million ballots.

Republicans in states where they hold majorities in the legislature but where President Obama won the popular vote, and thus the electoral college vote, want to award the latter's votes by how things went in GOP-gerrymandered congressional districts. If that system had been in place last year in the six target states—Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Virginia—it would have shifted as many as 64 electoral college votes, yielding a close victory for Romney. Republicans are most definitely not proposing to introduce the same plan in states like Texas. There Obama lost the popular vote but would have gained 12 additional electoral votes if the Republican congressional district plan had been in effect.

This isn't some phantom threat of election theft. It's been endorsed by many Republicans, including Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus. It's not the sleaziest ace-up-the-sleeve trick Republicans have ever played, but it ranks high on the list.

However, there are a few Republicans who think the plan reeks:

Virginia State Sen. Ralph Smith (R) has come out against a proposal to apportion electoral votes in the state by Congressional district, warning it could set off a chain reaction of similar schemes around the country. Smith sits on the closely divided Privileges and Elections Committee that is examining the bill, meaning his opposition likely ensures the proposal doesn't reach the floor for a vote.
And Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford doesn't like the idea, and he isn't alone among the state's party leaders who take that stand:
"To me, that's like saying in a football game, 'We should have only three quarters, because we were winning after three quarters and the beat us in the fourth,'" Weatherford [...] told the Herald/Times. "I don't think we need to change the rules of the game, I think we need to get better." [...]

Not only is Weatherford opposed to the idea, fellow Republican and Florida Senate President Don Gaetz is decidedly cool to it. When asked about changing the way Electoral College votes are apportioned, Gaetz thought the entire system should be scrapped.

"I think we should abolish the Electoral College but nobody in Washington has called to ask for my opinion," Gaetz said. "If James Madison had asked me, and I had been there, I would have said a popular vote is a better way to do it." Gaetz said the electoral college shrinks the presidential campaign to a handful of states as it did in 2012.

That puts Gaetz in line with what many progressives say. The National Popular Vote project takes a kind of backdoor approach to breaking the back of electoral college with a system in which state legislatures enact laws guaranteeing that the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide gets the state's electoral votes, too, if enough states sign onto the compact. So far, states with a total of 132 electoral votes have signed on. Once the project encompasses enough states to reach electoral 270 votes, the system is activated.

If Gaetz and Weatherford are serious about their views, they ought to propose it formally in the Florida legislature. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who has also spoken in favor of the popular vote approach, could encourage her state legislature to do the same. Together, those states would bring the National Popular Vote project up to 172, nearly two-thirds of its goal. Making the NPV a success would stop this crooked scam in its tracks and turn the electoral college into an anachronistic appendage.

Join us in supporting Interstate Compact on a National Popular Vote.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:29 AM PST.

Also republished by DKos Florida and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

GainesT1958, JekyllnHyde, Angie in WA State, Mimikatz, dwellscho, Trix, Paleo, teacherken, mimi, Emerson, Andrew C White, LEP, eeff, willyr, recentdemocrat, fugwb, susakinovember, CatFelyne, chimpy, paulitics, Nate Roberts, splashy, navajo, Texknight, TexDem, figbash, Eyesbright, LordMike, wdrath, rlharry, Diana in NoVa, KayCeSF, lyvwyr101, Armand451, rapala, 3goldens, basquebob, Brooke In Seattle, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, rlochow, sodalis, Cory Bantic, zozie, barbybuddy, WB Reeves, tommymet, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, flying shams, Cartoon Peril, raptavio, kestrel9000, MJ via Chicago, tommyfocus2003, MadMs, daeros, Rockydog, BeninSC, jessical, Mary Mike, flumptytail, Dave in Northridge, SeaTurtle, bobswern, jnhobbs, TomP, W T F, MKinTN, JayC, revm3up, mconvente, JaxDem, HappyinNM, NewDealer, bythesea, cumberland sibyl, lineatus, VL Baker, tofumagoo, smartdemmg, Gemina13, prettygirlxoxoxo, CanyonWren, kravitz, papahaha, sfarkash, collardgreens, Railfan, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, FogCityJohn, willynel, The Jester, eXtina, estreya, Polly Syllabic, appledown, elginblt, slice, no way lack of brain, Pakalolo, Jasel, kerflooey, susanaii, allenjo, mama jo, sostos, asterkitty, kevin k, NormAl1792, marleycat, thomask, DruidQueen, BarackStarObama, merrily1000, MRA NY, TRPChicago, Vatexia, SoCalSal, GraciesDaddy, worldforallpeopleorg, Siri, ahumbleopinion, Eric Nelson, barkingcat, a2nite, JGibson, MartyM, Jimmy D 84, tytalus, Glen The Plumber, AZ Sphinx Moth, James Wells, Greenfinches, alice kleeman, Icicle68, Smoh, tampaedski, MBishop1, CalLawyer817, Progressif

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site