Saturday, August 18, 2007



If you think the Bush Regime came into power in 2000, and retained it in 2004, fair and square this post probably isn't for you. (That said, I doubt this particular blog is.) Over the course of the last few weeks Californians have been made aware that a shadowy right wing figure, a very wealthy shadowy right wing figure, as a matter of fact, is putting together an assault on the California's ability to deliver its 55 electoral votes to the Democratic nominee for president. Like all but two small states, California awards its treasure trove of electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis.

The kinds of policies one must espouse to win the approval of the Republican base of backward neo-Confederate bigots and paranoid Know Nothings precludes any realistic chance of someone who could win the Republican nomination also winning a majority of votes in a progressive and enlightened state like California. However, California has it's pockets of backwardness too. How else could you account for a congressional delegation that includes some of the most reactionary and corrupt members anywhere-- like Gary Miller, Ken Calvert, Jerry Lewis, John Doolittle, Buck McKeon, Kevin McCarthy, John Campbell, George Radanovich, Devin Nunes, Wally Herger, Dan Lungren, Darrell Issa, David Dreier, Elton Gallegly, and Duncan Hunter?

The Republican proposal mandates awarding presidential electoral votes based on the contests in each district. I think a better idea would just be to get rid of the purposely anti-democratic electoral college entirely. If Delaware, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and a handful of states few people live in nix that, I could even go along with this GOP proposal-- as soon as it's adopted by Texas, Florida and Georgia. But the Republican plan is not meant to reform our electoral system and make it fairer. It's simply intended to try a power grab for the radical right that dominates the national GOP. They expect to use it to shave 20 electoral votes off the Democratic total. Take a look at electoral California by congressional district. These are the results of the 2004 election, showing the congressional district number, the percentage of votes Kerry got, the percentage of votes cast by the ignorant and deluded or by willful fascists for Bush and the name of the district's congressmember:
1- 59.7% 38.4% - THOMPSON
2- 36.6% 62.0% - HERGER
3- 40.8% 58.2% - LUNGREN
4- 37.4% 61.3% - DOOLITTLE
5- 61.1% 37.9% - MATSUI
6- 70.3% 28.1% - WOOLSEY
7- 67.1% 31.8%- MILLER
8- 84.2% 14.0% - PELOSI
9- 85.9% 12.6% - LEE
10- 58.5% 40.4% - TAUSCHER
11- 45.3% 53.9% - McNERNEY
12- 71.5% 27.2% - LANTOS
13- 70.9% 28.0% - STARK
14- 68.3% 30.1% - ESHOO
15- 62.9% 35.9% - HONDA
16- 63.4% 35.5% - LOFGREN
17- 65.6% 33.0% - FARR
18- 49.3% 49.6%- CARDOZA
19- 37.9% 61.1% - RADANOVICH
20- 50.6% 48.5% - COSTA
21- 33.7% 65.4% - NUNES
22- 31.0% 67.9% - McCARTHY
23- 58.3% 40.3% - CAPPS
24- 43.1% 55.7% - GALLEGLY
25- 39.9% 58.8% - McKEON
26- 43.7% 55.1% - DREIER
27- 59.3% 39.3% - SHERMAN
28- 71.0% 27.9% - BERMAN
29- 61.2% 37.4% - SCHIFF
30- 66.1% 32.8% - WAXMAN
31- 76.9% 21.6% - BECERRA
32- 62.3% 36.6% - SOLIS
33- 82.8% 15.9% - WATSON (aka- Howie's district)
34- 68.8% 29.8% - ROYBAL-ALLARD
35- 79.0% 20.0% - WATERS
36- 59.0% 39.6% - HARMAN
37- 73.5% 25.2% - MILLENDER-McDONALD (RIP)
38- 65.3% 33.6% - NAPOLITANO
39- 58.5% 40.3% - LINDA SANCHEZ
40- 38.4% 60.2% - ROYCE
41- 36.9% 61.8% - LEWIS
42- 36.9% 62.0% - MILLER
43- 58.1% 40.7% - BACA
44- 39.9% 59.0% - CALVERT
45- 43.1% 56.0% - BONO
46- 41.6% 56.9% - ROHRABACHER
47- 48.6% 50.0% - LORETTA SANCHEZ
48- 40.4% 58.3% - CAMPBELL
49- 36.5% 62.5% - ISSA
50- 43.9% 55.2% - BILBRAY
51- 53.4% 45.7% - FILNER
52- 37.7% 61.4% - HUNTER
53- 61.2% 37.6% - DAVIS

The Republicans could never win California, but they could possibly win 22 votes, more than the entire state of Ohio! According to our pals at the Courage Campaign "The
lawyers for the Republican Party that have filed this initiative will pay $1.5 million or more to put this on the ballot. That's right, they'll buy signatures. Then, they'll get money from every right wing conservative corporation and person in the country to advertise and try to buy votes by confusing people with manipulative ads-- you know the ones that say up is down and black is white. They're already claiming this initiative will bring "fairness" and "democracy" to California. Give me a break.
Karl Rove may be leaving the White House but his tactics are alive and well in California. But we can stop them by pledging to oppose this right-wing power grab today."

As surely as the Republicans stole the election of 2000 in Florida and 2004 in Ohio, they plan to steal 2008 in California, That Courage Campaign link above is a place where you can get involved in stopping them. It's worth the effort. Or do you want another 4 or 8 years of Bush-like rule?


David Dayen has the full story at Calitics. Essentially, there are now two competing propositions, the Republican one that would be ridiculously unfair to impose on California without similar legislation in the rest of the country, and now a Democratic (and democratic) one that actually calls for electing presidents through the popular vote. Long overdue.

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At 9:47 PM, Blogger Glancing Header said...

It's not just 'pockets of backwardness' that gives us solid Republican districts in California -- it's gerrymandered pockets of backwardness designed to be guaranteed Republican seats.

The Republican nominee simply needs to have a pulse (and perhaps not even that) to walk away with 20 EV's, even if he loses the state overall in a landslide.

The attention now will hopefully make it more difficult to have the GOP frame this the way they want to -- but with enough money they'll manage to get it on the ballot and the real fight will be from March through June next year to make sure people vote it down.

The critical thing to me seems to be how to sustain the energy from the primary election to ensure large Dem turnout against this initiatiave in June -- and to do so without distracting us too much from all the other important election races.

At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, progressives, HERE's your hypocrisy test.
ALL states should be set up this way.
Democrats would pick up a lot of votes in the South and SW if this was put in nationwide and end the recent horrific impact of an electoral college.

Howie, our biased shit doesn't stink?

At 12:04 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Bil, did you read my piece? I said that. I suggested that we approve this idea on the same day that it's adopted by Texas, Georgia and Florida.

At 7:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, THANKS Howie, going to fast and missed that middle'ish paragraph. Thanks for the link too.

Right on, Bastards >:->

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Lars said...

Congressional allocation of electoral votes is nothing more than a power play by a state’s minority party. The Republicans in California are trying to do it by initiative. The Democrats in North Carolina (a red presidential state) tried to do it through legislation. It is a partisan solution to a non-partisan problem.

The real solution is to move to a direct national popular vote for President. That system would eliminate the reality of “battleground” and “safe” states. Every voter would become a battleground as each candidate would be competing for each vote, not for a given state or congressional district. Under a national popular vote system, every vote would be equal. The candidate with the most votes would win.

A group called National Popular Vote ( is trying to implement just such a change. There are identical bills pending in more than 40 states. They have received positive mention in the NY Times, LA Times and a bunch of other papers.

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Electoral College system has led to hung elections in 1800 (only the third election held under it!) 1824, 1876, and 2000. In 1836 the Senate for the only time had to choose the Vice President, (a pro forma act simply recognizing that the candidate with the plurality of EC votes was elected).

The 12th Amendment (ratified in 1804) actually had to establish a Presidential ticket to recognize the existence of political parties, which the Framers hadn't allowed for, to prevent another 1800 debacle. We now have a direct popular vote to choose our U.S. Senators, which wasn't in the original Constitution, why not a direct popular vote for the Presidential Ticket?

At 2:50 PM, Blogger peterrl said...

What is needed is an aggressive campaign for either every one of the 50 states to have their votes counted this way, or none.

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think the Bush Regime came into power in 2000, and retained it in 2004, fair and square this post probably isn't for you.

If you have proof to the contrary, for god sakes, man, share it with the rest of us.

Until then STFU

At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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