Connecticut Subverts the Electoral College, Rejecting Its Own History
Tara Ross / @TaraRoss / May 10, 2018
Tara Ross is a retired lawyer and author of several books, including "The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders' Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule," and "We Elect a President: The Story of Our Electoral College."
Opponents of the Electoral College achieved an important victory last weekend when Connecticut’s legislature passed the so-called National Popular Vote compact. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is expected to sign the measure.
Most Americans have never heard of the National Popular Vote compact, but it is shockingly close to causing a major political and legal firestorm. It is a clever scheme to change how we elect the president without the bother of having to pass a constitutional amendment.
States that approve this legislation enter a simple compact with one another. Each participating state agrees to allocate its electors to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of how its own citizens voted. The compact goes into effect when states holding 270 electoral votes (enough to win the presidency) have agreed to the plan.
With Connecticut’s vote, 11 states and the District of Columbia have now approved the measure, giving the compact a total of 172 electors. It needs only 98 more to reach the 270 mark.
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>>> Purchase Tara Ross’ book, “The Indispensable Guide to the Electoral College, Destroying the Electoral College”
The Constitution State has drifted far from its roots. What would Founders such as Roger Sherman think? That Connecticut statesman was an influential delegate at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The Great Compromise—sometimes called the Connecticut Compromise— which gave Congress its bicameral structure, might never have been brokered without him.
Moreover, Sherman was one of many delegates from small states who refused to go along with the idea of a direct popular vote for the presidency. He knew that little Connecticut would be outvoted time and time again. The people at large, Sherman told the Convention, “will generally vote for some man in their own state, and the largest state will have the best chance for the appointment.”
His words reflected the sentiments of other small state delegates.
“An election by the people [is] liable to the most obvious and striking objections,” Charles Pinckney of South Carolina said. “They will be led by a few active and designing men. The most populous states by combining in favor of the same individual will be able to carry their points.”
Hugh Williamson of North Carolina added that “[t]he people will be sure to vote for some man in their own state, and the largest state will be sure to succeed.”
Another delegate was much more direct. “I do not, gentlemen, trust you,” Gunning Bedford of Delaware blasted. “If you possess the power, the abuse of it could not be checked; and what then would prevent you from exercising it to our destruction?”
His statement was strong, but it reflected the fear felt by every small-state delegate in the room.
>>> “Destroying the Electoral College: The Anti-Federalist National Popular Vote Scheme”
The 2016 election showed just how reasonable those fears were. Much has been made of Hillary
Clinton’s victory in the national popular vote, but less attention has been paid to where she achieved that victory.
More than 20 percent of Clinton’s 65.8 million votes came from only two states: New York and California. Indeed, if we remove those states from the national tally, Clinton loses by more than three 3 million votes.
Such a lopsided result is not what she had in mind, of course, and she surely wishes that she could move some of those votes to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. She needed to diversify her support in order to win because of the Electoral College. She failed to do that.
Now imagine what Clinton—or any candidate—could do without the restraints inherent in the Electoral College system.
If Clinton reaped a reward from those landslide victories in Los Angeles and New York City, wouldn’t she have worked even harder to run up her tallies there? Why would she make extra visits to Rust Belt states if she could make up the votes with massive voter drives in the big cities?
With the Electoral College, the Democratic Party received a firm reminder not to take those states for granted. Without the Electoral College, such states—which make up vast swaths of the electorate—could simply be ignored.
>>> Liberals Claim Electoral College Is Biased. Here Are the Facts.
The 1888 election taught a similar lesson. Landslide margins in a few Southern states gave
Grover Cleveland the edge in the national popular vote. But lopsided regional support wasn’t enough to win him the White House. He learned from his mistakes and came back to win in 1892.
The Electoral College discourages overreliance on a single kind of voter. That’s healthy in a country as diverse as ours. It ensures that small states and less populated parts of the country can make themselves heard. It encourages presidential candidates to build diverse coalitions.
These are principles that Roger Sherman understood so well. He surely wouldn’t understand the decision made by his own state last weekend.
Connecticut has joined an effort to subvert a constitutional institution, even as it attempts an end run around the constitutional amendment process. The Constitution State may no longer be worthy of its name.
Editor’s note: Some quotations in this article have been modified for formatting.
Republican Congressman Tom Rooney announces his retirement
February 20, 2018
Son of Groucho / CCL
Republican Rep. Tom Rooney is done with being a Congressman.
The Florida representative announced on Monday that he will not campaign for a sixth term in Congress.
Will not run again“After what will be 10 years in the United States Congress representing the good people of Florida’s Heartland, it’s time to ‘hang ’em up’ as my old football coach used to say. I will not be running for re-election to Congress in 2018,” he said in a statement on Monday.
“I want to thank my constituents for allowing me the opportunity to serve them in Washington. I also want to recognize the amazing team that has worked alongside for the people of Florida’s 16th and 17th districts over five terms, especially Chief of Staff Jess Moore, District Director Leah Valenti, Field Rep Sherry McCorkle, and Office Manager Dean Lester, who have been with me since the beginning,” he said.
Rooney is one of the top Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Earlier this month he said that partisanship was destroying the committee and could damage national security, Fox News reported.
Florida School ShootingRooney’s announcement came days after a gunman stormed Parkland High School in Florida and killed 17 people.
The Florida representative issued a statement after the shooting calling for measures to be taken to protect kids. “My heart is broken over the news of the shooting in Parkland this week. As a father to three children of my own, I cannot fathom what it must be like to send your child off to school and plan their funeral all in the same day,” he said in a statement.
“As details surrounding the shooting have emerged, it has become clear to me we have a lot of work to do. As lawmakers, people expect us to act to stop this needless bloodshed and violence. Congress can – and should – immediately work in a bipartisan way to provide ample federal resources to help make sure that no one wishing to commit these mass atrocities can even step foot inside a school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had a school resource officer on campus, but it is obvious just one resource officer is not enough. That’s why I am requesting increased federal funding for the federal COPS Hiring Program to make sure state and local law enforcement entities can put school resource officers in every corner of every school,” he wrote.
“We also need to prioritize identifying and treating children with serious emotional issues and mental illnesses. The Parkland shooter showed all the signs of someone who was immensely disturbed and clearly posed a threat to human life. If he had been treated for these problems earlier, or had federal authorities appropriately heeded these warnings, maybe this terrible incident could have been prevented. If one thing is clear to me, it’s that we have failed in our duty to keep our kids safe. They cannot wait in fear for our help any longer. Now is the time for us to act,” he said.
Rep. Rooney did not say if the Russian investigation or the Parkland shooting were part of the reason he decided to retire from Congress.
Republican RetirementsRooney is just the latest Republican to announce his impending retirement. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) disappointed many when he announced last month that he would leave the Capitol after finishing out his term and return to working in the justice system.
Reps. Bob Goodlatte, Darrell Issa, and Lynn Jenkins are a few of the other Republican representatives who won’t be running for re-election.
The Senate faces losses as well. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is also retiring this year, opening the door for former presidential candidate Mitt Romney to take his seat. Other Republican senators who won’t return include Sen. Bob Corker from Tennessee and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona.
It’s a troubling sign for the Republicans, who will now have more open seats to fill than the Democrats currently do. As the Atlantic reports, “just nine House Democrats are retiring outright or have already resigned, compared with 25 Republicans.”
On the other hand, open seats mean more opportunity for fresh faces and new ideas, and maybe, just maybe, more conservative candidates.
Following is list of who in Senate and a link to those in House who voted against the fiscally irresponsible 2018 Budget - thanks Tina.
Obviously, there were differing motivations involved in their decision.
Conservative/Non-establishment Repubs who voted against it knew it was not fiscally responsible and/or it did not include any $ to construct the Wall. Dems who voted against it did so because DACA not part of it - Pelosi voted against it before she voted for it by the way.
The House roll call: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2018/roll069.xml
16 Republican Senators who voted against it were: Burr, Cassidy, Corker, Crapo, Daines, Enzi, Flake, Grassley, Johnson, Kennedy, Lankford, Lee, Paul, Risch, Sasse, and Toomey.
For us Floridians, Rubio & Nelson both voted for this irresponsible bill. For us Central Floridians, Ross, Rooney, Soto all voted for it - very disappointing. Also disappointing is DeSantis who has announced his candidacy for Gov voted for it. True to his conservative form Dan Webster voted against it.
National Popular Vote, Fairfield Glade, TN