"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

California undercuts electoral process

Cross Posted at

Last month I wrote about AR2948 (What Constitution?, also at California Conservative), a bill written by Sen. Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) in the California legislature that would undercut the Electoral process set forth in the constitution.
[AB2948] would ratify an interstate compact under which California's 55 Electoral College members would agree to support the winner of the national popular vote for President regardless of the outcome of the election in California" (San Francisco Examiner, 4/26/06)

What Umberg fails to understand (or chooses to ignore) is the very important role the electoral college plays in regards to balancing powers between states. Much the same way that the Federal Congress is composed of two Houses with very different numbers of members, the Electoral College plays a vital role ensuring that the interests and individuality of each state are not compromised. There was a distinct reason why the framers of our constitution did not call for a popular vote to determine the Presidency in the constitution
I did not expect the bill to pass, primarily because it so brazenly disregards the United states constitution, specifically Article I, Section 10 (h/t MikeZ), "No state shall ... enter into any agreement or compact with another state." Yet, despite the fact that the Bill presents an unconstitutional and unbalanced means of electing our President, on Tuesday the California Legislature still decided to approve it; the bill passed essentially along party lines, with Republicans opposing the bill.

Umberg, the author, says that the basic premise is understandable even to children. However, it appears as though the importance of state's rights and balance of national and local interests, as set forth in the constitution, are not understandable to Democratic Senators. Hopefully Gov. Schwarzenegger will have the foresight to Veto this legislation.

Unfortunately, attempts to undermine our election system is not isolated to California. It has spread to the national level, with Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and John Kerry (D-MA), the two front-runners for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination, proposing legislation that would give felons the right to vote. Despite contradicting the classical social contract,
Since rights come from agreeing to the contract, those who simply choose not to fulfill their contractual obligations, such as by committing crimes, risk losing some of their rights, and the rest of society can be expected to protect itself against the actions of such outlaws. To be a member of society is to accept responsibility for following its rules, along with the threat of punishment for violating them,
this bill also contradicts current US election laws, which prohibit felons from voting. Kerry and Clinton see this as an opportunity for new voters, according to the Chron Watch:
"Whether they admit it or not, the Democrats need lawbreakers such as illegal aliens--who are being illegally registered as Democrats--and killers, rapists, and robbers in order to increase their base of far-left voters," says Mike Baker, political strategist and pollster
The prevailing wisdom behind these legislative efforts is 'if we can't win on the issues, we'll change the rules.' Many are still bitter over Bush' victory in 2000, claiming that Bush 'stole the election' (despite being ratified by the left-leaning Supreme Court). More Democrats are in shock over the poor showing in 2004, showing the mentality of "we were right, it must be the voters that are wrong." Whatever is the impetus behind these maneuvers, they should be rejected.


Blogger T.L. Stanley said...

Excellent post. I agree with you. For some reason, California as a whole seems to think that they are a country. Gosh, I live in California. And, our leaders are real goffy sometimes. Take care.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Butch said...


What did Richard have to say about Freedom's Zone?

7:12 PM  
Blogger prying1 said...

Great Post! Keep working hard so all I have to do is link to your posts! -(:-P)

11:11 PM  
Blogger AmericanZulu said...

"The prevailing wisdom behind these legislative efforts is 'if we can't win on the issues, we'll change the rules.'"

Wisdom and the California Legislature are two polarities that will never attract one another.

Great Post. I agree completely. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Mike D.
w/The Working Patriot

8:38 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

I am a Democrat who thinks AB2948 is one of the stupidest things our "leadership" has done in the state, but for different reasons than you oppose it. This came out of a national plan, headed by Republicans, something you probably don't know.

I see this as a way to steal the electoral votes from the big blue states of California and New York and a few others. It's very tough to win an election without a few delegate-rich states in your pocket.

But with the advent of electronic voting, it's becoming easier and easier to rig the popular vote, especially in the smaller states where no one is paying attention. A few rigged votes here and there can add up to 8 million a lot faster than people realize.

Until we can protect our vote from being stolen by EITHER party, I don't want to throw away this system. As a Californian, we carry a lot of weight.

Once we can all have confidence our votes are counted correctly, THEN, and ONLY THEN, would I be willing to discuss changing to the popular vote, because then it would truly, finally represent the will of the people.

But our vote is completely screwed right now. The meltdown of machines in Maryland yesterday was only the most recent story in a very repetitive set about the failures of using computers to count our votes (and I say that as a former programmer from a major software company. I of ALL people understand how insecure this makes our vote.)

You can imagine how uncomfortable it is for me to have to side with those I would normally vote against, and with those I would normally oppose, but in this case, AB 2948 is a bad idea, and I asked the Governor to veto it at this time.

4:10 PM  

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