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Election rigging House Speaker open to other forms of election rigging

by: Eric B.

Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 17:57:00 PM EST


House Speaker Jase Bolger is currently under investigation by a grand jury for his role in trying to rig a state House race and defraud voters. Now he says he'd be okay with rigging presidential elections and undermining democracy.

Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R) said on Friday that he's open to pursuing the strategy in his state. According to Gongwer (subscription required), Bolger believes a bill by state Rep. Pete Lund (R) -- which has yet to be introduced -- is worthy of strong consideration.

"I hear that more and more from our citizens in various parts of the state of Michigan that they don't feel like their vote for president counts because another area of the state may dominate that or could sway their vote," Bolger told Gongwer. "They feel closer to voting for their congressman or their congresswoman and if that vote coincided with their vote for president they would feel better about that."

 It's a dumb idea, which means it'll probably become law and have an appropriations attached to it so that it can't be overturned.

Rumor has it, by the way, that there are efforts underway to organized and support a ballot question that would take redistricting away from the state Legislature -- people invested in how districts turn out -- and give it to a non-partisan body with an emphasis on making races competitive. That is something that everyone ought to get behind.

Eric B. :: Election rigging House Speaker open to other forms of election rigging
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Hmmm. (0.00 / 0)
I'll venture a bet that NO ONE ever said anything like that to Bolger, well, because that last sentence out of Jase makes no sense.  

Why not put NPV on the ballot? (4.00 / 1)
While taking redistricting out of the hands of the legislature is a very important reform, doing so this cycle is unnecessary since it would have no impact until the next round of redistricting. Moreover, there's a decent chance that if the Republicans actually go through with this highly destructive plan, one of the next two elections will result in a Republican victory despite the Democrats winning the popular vote and enough states to constitute a majority in the Electoral College under the old rules. As such, I would propose that the Democratic Party's priority in 2014 should be to put the NPV Interstate Compact on the ballot in Michigan and as many other states as possible. NPV has consistently polled well since the 1940s and it will look all the more appealing when the Republicans are trying to manipulate the Electoral College, so there's a pretty good chance that it would net 270 EVs if a wide enough net were cast.

It's an imperfect solution, to be sure. For one thing, if the compact is passed, it'll be subjected to a bunch of court challenges. For another, if we ever needed to do a recount, it would be a gigantic mess. But anything is better than allowing one party to manipulate the presidential election so that they have a built in advantage, which would be a massive blow to our credibility throughout the world and a stain on our nation's history.


Why (4.00 / 2)
Why would redistricting reform have no impact until the next round of redistricting? It's pretty well established now that states can redistrict whenever they want, so a redistricting reform initiative could specify that the first commission redistricting would take place in time to have new districts in place for the next election of the office under consideration (so if passed in '14 then U.S. and state representatives in '16 and state senators in '18).

[ Parent ]
Fair Point (4.00 / 1)
That's a good point, but my larger point still stands. Specifically, it is necessary to preempt the Republican attempt to manipulate the Electoral College in their favor, the precedent of which would be disastrous for the country. Even if we redistricted for 2016, the Republicans would still likely control a minimum of 6 seats (I'm guessing they'd get 7-8). That's still 6+ EVs going Blue to Red in a partisan scheme solely designed to build in an advantage for one party in the presidential election. And the only ways to prevent this are either to amend the state constitution so that all of our EVs go to the statewide winner or to push for NPV, and I believe that NPV has a bigger shot at succeeding.

[ Parent ]
Fair Enough (4.00 / 1)
I'm all in favor of NPV. Would it be possible to write an NPV amendment that would mandate winner-take-all until NPV takes over, just to cover the possibility that NPV wouldn't be approved by sufficient states by '16?

[ Parent ]
I don't see why not (0.00 / 0)
Every other state that has passed the NPVIC defaults to awarding their EVs to the winner of the state at present. However, I'd guess that simply putting in an NPV amendment that either defaults to nothing or defaults to whatever current law is would be easier to pass, as it would attract a fair number of Republicans. Otherwise, I could see many Republicans outside southeast Michigan that support NPV voting against it as a major incentive behind the Republican supporters for NPV is that they feel marginalized by the winner-take-all system in a blue-leaning state. And since it would be a midterm election in the sixth year of a Democratic Presidency, chances are that anything on the ballot will require a fair number of Republican voters.

[ Parent ]
I agree (4.00 / 1)
About having to appeal to Rep voters. I made the same point in the discussion re a redistricting reform amendment. Any proposal that looks too connected to the Dem party will be doomed.

[ Parent ]
How? (0.00 / 0)
How is it well established that states can redistrict whenever they want?

[ Parent ]
Thank Tom DeLay for that (4.00 / 1)
The shenanigans he orchestrated in Texas after the 2000 Census, when Democratic legislators were forced back to Austin to allow a vote to redistrict Texas' Congressional seats a second time (this time far more favorable to Republicans), wound up surviving judicial review.

So now states are free to try redistricting any time a Legislature or Governor flips from one party to the other.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Well as I've said (0.00 / 0)
I think redistricting reform should be on the ballot in '14. It has to have lots of funding behind it, and an organization that's willing to do actual market research into what arguments will work in its favor and do the hard work of GOTV. Kind of like what marriage equality proponents did last year in ME, MD, MN, and WA. Until last year, marriage equality ads had focused on rights. Market research, however, showed that Mr and Ms persuadable voter didn't respond to talk of rights so much as they did to talk of fairness, so last year's ads focused on fairness, and the rest is history.

With regard to EV by district, I can see the Reps passing it in a 2014 lame-duck session, with an appropriation attached so it would be in effect for the '16 presidential election.


Who? (0.00 / 0)
Rumor has it, by the way, that there are efforts underway to organized and support a ballot question that would take redistricting away from the state Legislature

Why is this even a rumor?  Whoever is leading up this push should be screaming about it from the mountain tops.  Who is leading up this push?  There is more than pent-up demand to get this thing rolling.


Non-partisan redistricting (4.00 / 1)
I want to know who is talking about it and get in on the action.  It's one of the things that I emailed some of the Democratic leaders about during the lame duck fiasco.


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