FIGHT BACK AGAINST REPUBLICAN DIRTY TRICKS
Last weekend a handful of bloggers got together in a quiet residential neighborhood on the northern edges of L.A.'s San Fernando Valley to talk, among other things, about how to thwart Republican efforts to steal the 2008 presidential election with another dirty trick-- this time not in Florida or Ohio-- but right here in California. You may have read about this before but this time David Dayen (D-Day) helped pull together a video that seeks to explain it as well. Take a look:
You want more than just bloggers? Today's New York Times carries a stark warning that the Republican effort is a boldfaced attempt to steal the election again, one that could become a constitutional crisis and one that even Republican Governor Schwarzenegger calls "dirty pool."
It’s panic time in Republican circles. The G.O.P. could go into next year’s election burdened by the twin demons of an unpopular war and an economic downturn. The party that took the White House in 2000 while losing the popular vote figures it may have to do it again.
The Presidential Election Reform Act is the name of a devious proposal that Republican operatives have dreamed up to siphon off 20 or more of the 55 electoral votes that the Democrats would get if, as expected, they win California in 2008.
That’s a lot of electoral votes, the equivalent of winning the state of Ohio. If this proposed change makes it onto the ballot and becomes law, those 20 or so electoral votes could well be enough to hand the White House to a Republican candidate who loses the popular vote nationwide.
...A sign of the bad faith in this proposal is the fact that there is no similar effort by the G.O.P. to apportion electoral votes by Congressional districts in, for example, Texas, a state with 34 electoral votes that is likely to go Republican next year.
Longtime observers in California believe the proponents of this change-- lawyers with close ties to the Republican Party statewide and nationally-- will have no trouble collecting enough signatures to get it on the ballot in June. The first poll taken on the measure, which is not yet widely understood by voters, showed that it would pass.
Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor and one of the nation’s pre-eminent constitutional scholars, believes the initiative is blatantly unconstitutional. “Entirely apart from the politics,” he said, “this clearly violates Article II of the Constitution, which very explicitly requires that the electors for president be selected ‘in such manner as the Legislature’ of the state directs.”
In Mr. Tribe’s view, the “one and only way” for California to change the manner in which its electoral votes are apportioned is through an act of the State Legislature.
...The operatives behind the initiative are experts at causing trouble. The effort is being led by Thomas Hiltachk, a lawyer who was one of the leaders of the successful effort to recall California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003. Politics is not just hardball to this crowd; it’s almost literally a fight to the death.