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Coming to a Lame Duck session near you: Lame electoral "reform" bill

by: Eric B.

Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:49:01 AM EST

Remember Pete Lund's electoral college "reform" bill that's really not a reform but a way to help make sure that minority candidates receive a majority of the state's electoral college votes? We stopped hearing about it after Lund starting promoting himself as a viable candidate for the U.S. Senate, but probably not because of that. It was probably because they were putting it on the back burner for a time when they can do outrageously stupid things without consequence. Like this year's Lame Duck session.

GOP lawmakers floated a proposal to apportion the state’s electoral votes by congressional district about a year ago, but retreated when critics in both parties noted it would have awarded most of Michigan’s electors to Mitt Romney in 2012, despite Barack Obama’s first-place finish in the state’s popular vote. But Democratic leaders fear the plan will resurface after this year’s legislative elections, when term-limited Republicans can wreak partisan mischief without fear of voter retaliation.

Our benevolent and spineless overlord Rick Michigan refuses to take a stand on it, saying that it's not on his agenda. Jase Bolger also demurred, using standard nonsense about how he wants everyone's voice to be heard. If the latter is true, we can look forward to Bolger this year getting through legislation that would change the way the state's legislative and Congressional districts are redrawn and end the gerrymandered majorities his party currently enjoys.

Eric B. :: Coming to a Lame Duck session near you: Lame electoral "reform" bill
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... this will be up at the end of this year and passed during the Mother of all Lame Ducks - Dec 2014. 2012 was just a warm up. The bad actors in the MI GOP now have nothing or don't care if they loose anything. They got DeVos money (see the up-coming MJ article to be posted this week) and Greg has most of them under his thumb.

Overlord is a NON-entity now, period.  

One more illustration of how pathetically we've played the game.
We have the majority of voters, but they win the elections.  So after a while, they start thinking how to change the rules of counting votes in order to make the most of their minority.

Complaining about their cheating is mere whining. We've lost a ton of battles - where we had the bigger army - because we've had bad generals. Our main problem isn't that they're looting corpses on the battlefield, and underfeeding prisoners.  We have to become a party that doesn't choose Geoff Fieger or Virg Bernero to lead us.  And which doesn't spend the next 16 years re-enacting Mark Brewer's RMGN! and Faux Tea strategies.

I've made a lot of specific suggestions over the years, many of them detailed under "Technical Politics".  At present, I don't see a single one of those suggestions being carried out.

If Democrats have any hope of winning elections in this state, it'll either be because the Republicans have their own problems, or because our natural majority becomes so large that no minor cheating will suffice to defeat it.

If there's genius or cunning on our side, it's very well concealed.

The MDP is the Detroit Lions of politics
Perennial losers, thanks to incompetence at the top.

The 2010 midterms were the MDP's equivalent of the Lions' 0-16 season. What did the party change after that? Absolutely nothing. If anything, Mark Brewer became even more aloof and arrogant.

The only thing I see new chair Lon Johnson doing different from Brewer is dunning me for cash more frequently. (For the record, I'd rather give money to the buskers outside Comerica Park than to the MDP.)

I see another train wreck coming in November: the Republicans will win every statewide office and keep their majority in both houses of the legislature. And whoever is party chair next year will dun me for money to perpetuate this farce.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
In praise of Lon
Like you, I haven't seen anything definitely useful emerge from Hart-Kennedy yet.  But at least Lon doesn't devote his time and talents to picking fights with allies.  So far as I have heard, Lon hasn't started a single feud, nor snubbed anybody, nor questioned the motives of anybody to the left of Rick Snyder.

At worst, the MDP is a zero.  At best, it's possible they'll become a positive.  

[ Parent ]
Branch Rickey would call Brewer's departure "addition by subtraction"

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
My prediction
My prediction is that at the very worst, if things stay exactly as they have been since November 2012, we probably lose all the state-wide offices unless we have a strong AG or SoS candidate.  Those will be vulnerable even without us actively improving.  I think we tie or narrowly pick up the state house, and maybe win a seat or two in the senate.  As for the supreme court, as usual, we only break even.

Of course, this isn't good enough in a state as blue as Michigan, but the natural lean of the state means that even at our worst, and even in a neutral year, we chip away.

[ Parent ]
Hopefully it won't even be that bad
In 2012, we had some good candidates - but we also had some bad ones.

In 2014, we already have a lot of solid candidates lining up, raising money, knocking on doors - doing what needs to be done.

As it is, Schauer running almost even with Snyder is pretty remarkable. Even more remarkable is that Totten is statistically tied with Schuette in that PPP poll.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
The problem
The problem is that it's been over a year now since RTW, and Schauer has made no gains.  It's amazing a guy so unknown is running about even with Snyder, but for whatever reason, he's been unable to break through.  And we can blame it on the race not having really started, but the whole point of announcing early was to raise money to get his name recognition up.  

That's not happening, and doing all of these little Democratic clubs across the state and daily Facebook quotes is great, but it's not cutting it.  As it is, now Schauer's support in these polls might as well be named "Generic Democrat" and that isn't changing.  In fact, one of the later polls actually showed his name recognition dropping.  Of course, this is probably noise, but the point is that he's not gaining traction.

I'm beginning to get worried.

[ Parent ]
2010 was the MDP fucking up
What rock where you living under????? 2010 was a horrible year for democrats nation wide there was nothing special about Michigan, and furthermore honestly 2010 was nothing that wasn't very predictable, it was the first midterm the party of the president always loses seat, there has only been once in the last 50 years, that I know of when that hasn't happen. Also the president push through congress what was and still is kinda of very contentious legislation, same thing happen to bush and his plan to privatize social security.  

But yes November is going to be a trainwreck, the only seat I have any faith in us carrying at this point is Peters getting the senate seat, he fits the profile of someone, and his done it in the past, of a democratic that can peel some republican vote off, lucky his not pro-life. We will lose everything else, and some seats in the house, we may and this is a big may pick up 1 or 2 senate seats but only because it is so lopsided right now that we almost have too.

[ Parent ]
While I think blaming most of what happened in 2010 at the state level on the state Dems (and, if you're consistent, then you also have to give the state party huge credit for 2008, which is equally as ridiculous), I think you are grossly downplaying the gains Republicans made at the state and nation level in 2010.  

Sure, the trend wasn't going to be good for the party with the presidency in 2010, but the Republican gains and swings were historic in nature.  They were way bigger than they should have been, and beat even the most pessimistic Dems worst-case scenarios.

Because of the uniqueness of what happened in 2010, 2014 won't be like it.  And I very strongly believe that it's not even going to be as bad as 2012, an election in which I put much more blame on the state party because of the relative closeness of so many races even in this gerrymandered to death state of our's.

[ Parent ]
Yea ,but none of 2012
Can really be blame on the state party, the unions are the one who wasted a large amount of resources on Prop 2 and the other proposals, had taken huge amounts of resources away from candidates. Demcom is in control of Candidates, they are run by the officials, and decide where resources will be spend were do you think a group run by officials will spend the money?. JLC was the only separate group that would have spend money on picking up seats, they didn't have as much because a fore mention problems. Most people don't understand that due to the infighting in the party between Mark and the people and groups that hated him, a lot of what you think he could, and what resources you think he would have, were under the control of other groups and had been pulled away from him for years.

[ Parent ]
At the same time
I certainly don't disagree with you - after all, we all know that 2010 was quite bad for Democrats.

At the same time, Democrats actually gained five governorships that year that we didn't have going into that election. And in a lot of other "battleground" states - New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, for instance - Democrats at least won something at the state level. Not Michigan, though.

In Michigan, we lost so many incumbent state reps - high single digits, I believe - and an incumbent Supreme Court justice. It's one thing to lose a couple of incumbents, but with the advantages of incumbency, we shouldn't have lost as many as we did.

In 2009, we wondered if Democrats were going to end up controlling every single level of state government - including the Senate - in time for redistricting.

Again, not to disagree with you, but it was worse than it could've been.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
It's important
It's important to stay vigilant against almost anything, but beyond Susan Demas and then this Freep piece, I've heard absolutely nothing beyond speculation that this will be brought up.  I guess they've obviously heard something I haven't, but then maybe they should give us some names so we can try to find some way to unravel this.  It doesn't help us for the media to put this out there and then not to direct us at the origin of this idea for legislation.  I mean, this totally sounds like something they'd do, but what is the speculation beyond this hunch?

It's a national program.
Remember ten years ago, when the Republican district attorneys all started prosecuting "vote fraud", whenever they could put together any case that kinda-sorta met the legal standards?  A bunch of them resigned or were fired when they balked, and nothing much came of it.  The whole plan was set up in Washington and parceled out to each state.

Or 2006, when we saw a huge Republican brouhaha about purging the voter rolls, which in Michigan led to mailing 7 million First Class postcards to voters, with the idea that when 600,000 were returned undeliverable by the USPS, that they'd be removed from the rolls?  Nothing happened, but it wasn't Terry Land's idea - it came from the RNC.

In 2010, there was a big Republican push to take over as many state legislatures as possible - actually funneling national money to critical races that might tip control of a house - which succeeded.  (That is to say, the corresponding Democratic effort was a shambles.)

Anyway, undermining the Democratic showing in the Electoral College is 2014's secret plan.  Our local Republicans may not be thinking about it very much, but they'll get their instructions, and they'll do what they're told.

Will they be able to find the votes to push it through? I have my doubts.  Screwing around with the presidential vote in an obviously underhanded way is asking a lot of somebody in a marginal seat, especially if they have their eyes set on another office when they term out of their present job.  The editorial consensus is going to be very harsh, and the stink of hypocrisy will be hard to ignore.

[ Parent ]
But how many times have they been able to pull this off?

[ Parent ]
That was a totally rhetorical question, as I already know the answer to it.

[ Parent ]
Twenty five years ago, the Republicans had their own Mark Brewer
His name was Spence Abraham - also a Harvard guy - and his tenure as MRP Chair was one long string of screwups. His party managed to duck the worst results, but not without some close calls and some desperate maneuvering.  

Unfortunately, since that time the Republicans have stuck to their knitting, and given up on bizarre schemes.  Looking broadly at the past 30 years and both parties, it certainly seems that narrow focus, old-fashioned techniques, and the conventional wisdom have done better than inspired or ambitious plans.

[ Parent ]
Leadership needed
Mark Brewer's preoccupation with hare-brained schemes was the biggest reason I lost faith in him as a party leader.  But, realistically, the Dems failure to recruit and support strong candidates for statewide offices has been a far more important problem.  In the Dem party, nominations have been more often won through trade-offs than candid assessment of strengths and weaknesses of potential candidates. I hope things improve under Lon Johnson.  I don't think we should give him 18 years to get the job done.

[ Parent ]
Leadership needed
Mark Brewer's preoccupation with hare-brained schemes was the biggest reason I lost faith in him as a party leader.  But, realistically, the Dems failure to recruit and support strong candidates for statewide offices has been a far more important problem.  In the Dem party, nominations have been more often won through trade-offs than candid assessment of strengths and weaknesses of potential candidates. I hope things improve under Lon Johnson.  I don't think we should give him 18 years to get the job done.

[ Parent ]
"Spence Abraham"
The guy who failed upward spectacularly?  The one who became a U.S. Senator and then, after losing to Debbie Stabenow, became Secretary of Energy?  They didn't punish him.  Instead, his career looks like luck and wingnut welfare at work.

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

[ Parent ]
Failing upward.
Mark Brewer ought to take Spence as a role model.

Unlike Brewer, who clung to the MDP chair like it was the only piece of floating wreckage within his reach, Spence has spent his time in public life leaping from one burning hulk to the next.

[ Parent ]
73% of MI Voters Support a National Popular Vote
A survey of Michigan voters showed 73% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
Support was 73% among independents, 78% among Democrats, and 68% among Republicans.
By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 67% among 30-45 year olds, 74% among 46-65 year olds, and 75% for those older than 65.
By gender, support was 86% among women and 59% among men.

On December 11, 2008, The Michigan House of Representatives passed the National Popular Vote bill (HB 6610) by a 65-36 margin.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.  All voters in Michigan would matter.

When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes- enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).
Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO - 68%, FL - 78%, IA 75%, MI - 73%, MO - 70%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM- 76%, NC - 74%, OH - 70%, PA - 78%, VA - 74%, and WI - 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK - 70%, DC - 76%, DE - 75%, ID - 77%, ME - 77%, MT - 72%, NE 74%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM - 76%, OK - 81%, RI - 74%, SD - 71%, UT - 70%, VT - 75%, WV - 81%, and WY - 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR - 80%, KY- 80%, MS - 77%, MO - 70%, NC - 74%, OK - 81%, SC - 71%, TN - 83%, VA - 74%, and WV - 81%; and in other states polled: AZ - 67%, CA - 70%, CT - 74%, MA - 73%, MN - 75%, NY - 79%, OR - 76%, and WA - 77%.
Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The bill has passed 32 state legislative chambers in 21 rural, small, medium, and large states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 10 jurisdictions with 136 electoral votes - 50.4% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

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