Does Your State Want to Replace Electoral College With Popular Vote for President?

Natalie JohnsonBy Natalie Johnson
(Reposted from The Daily Signal)

An 11th state looks ready to join a national movement to sideline the Electoral College and decide presidential elections by popular vote.

A bipartisan bill moving through the Arizona legislature aims to reallocate the state’s 11 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the majority of votes on a national scale rather than the candidate who wins the state.

The legislation is part of a nationwide push called the National Popular Vote plan, an effort to create an agreement among states that vow to automatically elect the president of the United States using the national popular vote instead of the final vote count in each respective state.

Robert Hathorne, a Republican activist residing in Arizona, warns that the initiative would “fundamentally change America” by shifting the national political system from a representative democracy to a pure democracy.

“Majority rules was the greatest fear of our Founding Fathers; this is why ‘democracy’ is not written one time in the 4,543 words of the Constitution,” Hathorne told The Daily Signal.

The framers of the Constitution established the Electoral College to give smaller states a voice against larger states when selecting the nation’s leader. Electoral votes are delegated based on a state’s population. Rhode Island, for example, has four electoral votes, while California has 55.

A presidential candidate currently needs a majority of 270 of the Electoral College’s 538 votes to win the White House.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said the National Popular Vote initiative seeks to breach the Constitution and likely would end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This entirely changes how the president is elected, and therefore, it affects the basic structure of the Electoral College and the Constitution,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.

Advocates are working to secure support from enough states to reach 270 guaranteed electoral votes, which effectively would throw the outcome of presidential races into the hands of the popular vote.

So far, 10 heavily Democratic states—California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—have joined the District of Columbia in signing such legislation into law.

Those states make up 165 electoral votes, meaning the initiative has reached roughly 60 percent of the 270 votes needed to reach its goal of sidelining the Electoral College. Arizona would make it 176. The pact won’t go into effect until enough states sign on to hit 270 votes.

Instead of amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College, popular vote advocates are working around the challenging ratification process by going through the states.

Doing away with the Electoral College completely requires a constitutional amendment, meaning two-thirds of both the House and Senate would have to vote for repeal, and then another three-fourths of the states would have to ratify the new amendment.

The National Popular Vote initiative instead works on the state level through an interstate compact requiring far fewer states to support the new process and reach 270 electoral votes. In fact, that number could have been as low as 11 states.

Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution reads: “No state shall, without the consent of Congress … enter into any agreement or compact with another state or with a foreign power.”

Heritage’s von Spakovsky notes that the Supreme Court clarified this provision in the case Virginia v. Tennessee, ruling that only those interstate agreements that increase state power while diminishing federal power must be submitted for congressional approval.

If the National Popular Vote effort reaches its goal of 270 electoral votes, von Spakovsky predicts, the states that decided not to join the pact immediately will file a lawsuit and ultimately land the case in the Supreme Court.

Opponents of national elections by popular vote, including von Spakovsky and Hathorne, argue that the change would create incentives to commit voter fraud in single-party states and jurisdictions.

In deep-blue New York, for example, the incentive for voter fraud isn’t high, because residents know the state is going to elect a Democrat regardless. But if you move from a state-by-state voting system to a national one, von Spakovsky warns, the incentive to “stuff” voting boxes rises: Not only would a Democrat win New York, but he or she could win the national election.

“Why should as few as 12 to 15 states that make up 270 electoral votes rule over 35 other states?” Hathorne asked.

Proponents such as those working for FairVote, for example, argue that the Electoral College creates a “winner takes all” system that drives disparity between “swing” states, where candidates actively campaign, and “solid” states, which the organization says are largely ignored.

Advocates of a popular vote say the change would make every state significant during the election process.

Today, it’s possible for candidates to secure the White House without winning the popular vote across the nation.

In 2000,  George W. Bush won the presidency after the Supreme Court determined he had won Florida even though Al Gore, his Democratic opponent, won the majority of votes nationally. Bush edged Gore by five electoral votes.

The National Popular Vote movement sprung up in the mid-2000s following Gore’s contentious defeat. Through it, a candidate could win a plurality of the national vote and clinch the big seat.

The change “would make recounts an absolute nightmare,” von Spakovsky said, adding:

If electing a president is based entirely on who wins the national popular vote, if that were the 2000 situation, it would have forced a recount in the entire country because every single vote could’ve made a major difference.
In Arizona, the legislation enjoys broad support from both parties in both the House and Senate. But von Spakovsky says voters actually will lose influence if the state switches to the popular vote idea.

He said paid lobbyists, backed by enormous amounts of money, are feeding state legislators “false information” to advance the movement.

“The legislators who have signed on this are being fooled and are being foolish in voting for it,” von Spakovsky said.

Natalie Johnson is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. You can follow her on Twitter at @NatalieJohnsonn

VIDEO: What is Arizona’s Prop 123?

The first video by supporters of Prop 123 has debuted. Watch as parents and teachers explain what Prop 123 is and why they are supporting it on May 17th.

Tyler Bowyer and AJ LaFaro: The Democrats Secret Weapon

A shout out to our friends at PoliticsArizona.com for this post!

Tyler Bowyer ran for MCRC Chairman promising unity and a stop to the disease of divisiveness that plagued the party under AJ LaFaro. Bowyer promised to turn the page.

Bowyer lied. And in doing so, stabbed his former friend Robert Graham squarely between the shoulder blades. Here’s hoping Chairman Graham won’t forget.

On Saturday, Bowyer flat out went after Graham, the popular Arizona GOP Chairman, conspiring with LaFaro to bring a doomed “censure” of the Chairman to the floor.

While publicly he pretends to support unifying the party…

Bowyer Tweet

…Bowyer is clearly working as a pawn in LaFaro’s plot to divide the party. In a video exclusively obtained by Politics Arizona, Bowyer is seen huddling with LaFaro as their efforts to “censure” Chairman Graham go down in flames.

The next time Tyler Bowyer pats you on the back, be sure to get checked out for stab wounds.

Our take on what’s happening with the Arizona Republican Party in 2016?

Delegate stacking!

There is an effort to put delegates committed to Donald Trump into state delegate positions before the Republican State Convention on April 30th. Those elections of delegates will take place from March 26 – April 9th.

State law states that delegates of the parties shall “make their best effort” to support the winner of the presidential preference election. That Presidential Preference Election will take place on March 22, 2016. Arizona is called a “Winner Take All” state.

If Donald Trump wins the Presidential Preference Election on March 22nd AND, the delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention on April 30th are committed to Trump, there will not be a conflict.

But, if Ted Cruz wins the PPE, AND delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention have pledged to Donald Trump, there will be a massive party fight.

Thus, the theory is  that individuals like AJ LaFaro and Rob Haney ferociously recruited Trump-committed precinct committeemen in 2015 so that Tyler Bowyer would appoint these individuals to elect the delegates to the national convention.

Outraged, Lt Col Rogers calls on Sheriff Babeu to exit AZ-1 Congressional Race

Wendy Rogers

On Wednesday, Wendy Rogers called for her opponent, Sheriff Paul Babeu to drop out of the race for Arizona’s first congressional district.  Shocking new allegations of abuse at a boarding house in Massachusetts run by Sheriff Babeu were detailed in an expose Tuesday night by ABC 15.  

“Today I call on Sheriff Babeu to do the right thing. Step down from this race. You are an embarrassment to the Republican Party, the state of Arizona, and our nation. We deserve better,” said Rogers.  

On the tape, Sheriff Babeu can be heard comparing the school’s treatment of children to boot camp.  Rogers, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, had this to say, “I went through military officer training.  It built camaraderie, instilled honor, and made me the professional I am today.  My fellow veterans and I will not stand for Sheriff Babeu’s twisted attempt to justify cruelty to children.”

Rogers further explained, “Sheriff Babeu’s views are also completely at odds with what I have come to know as a foster parent and clinical social worker.  No child is hopeless. All children need and deserve compassion and understanding.”    

The Babeu campaign today released a statement saying, “These allegations prove nothing new.”  In response Rogers said, “His own campaign website touted his executive experience from having led this school as a qualification for elected office.  He held this as evidence of experience, while he knew EXACTLY what this school did.  He has lied to the voters about this, and continues to do so, even as this horrifying evidence comes to light.”

Arizona High School Students’ Racist Photo: It’s Time to Retire the N-Word

racist

By Rachel Alexander
Reprinted from Townhall

People were horrified Friday when six white girls at Desert View High School in Phoenix decided to spell out a racial slur on their T-shirts, then post a photo of it to Snapchat where it went viral. My children attend that school, and know the girls involved. One of them has a black boyfriend, and at least a couple of the others have also dated black students. Outrage over the photo has gone national, and a petition asking to expel the students has acquired over 37,000 signatures. It is also asking to fire the principal, because there is a perception the school is only going to suspend the students for five days. The school has not formally announced the discipline, obviously under pressure to throw the book at the students. Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a young man who has fashioned himself into a sort of Al Sharpton of Arizona, is organizing a Black Lives Matter rally at the school Monday afternoon.

Here is the problem: Why do people still think it is acceptable to use such an offensive word and joke about it? I blame their parents. Society has become so politically correct that anyone with a pulse should know that using a word that actually is offensive is going to result in a backlash. These girls are 17 and 18 years old, old enough to know better. Unfortunately, parents don’t always monitor what their kids are watching on TV, listening to on their iPods and doing on the Internet. Watch a few too many movies with racial slurs in them, with no parental guidance explaining how inappropriate they are, and a teenager may treat them as a joke.

These students were reportedly bullies who would take photos of other teens, post them on social media and make fun of them. No one ever did anything or stopped them — including their parents. So they began to feel they could get away with anything. The sad thing is, if someone had stepped in and stopped the bullying, they probably wouldn’t have ever gone this far.

While everyone has a right to free speech, there are certain things you don’t say out of common courtesy or because they would have adverse results. Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater is not protected by the First Amendment. While racial slurs aren’t illegal, they are offensive and can result in horrible consequences as happened here. This incident will follow the students around for the rest of their lives. One has reportedly lost a full scholarship to college and was kicked off the soccer team, where she was team captain. They are receiving death threats and fake Twitter accounts have been set up in their names tweeting raunchy things.

Society needs to collectively agree to retire the n-word. This goes for black people too. There seems to be some unwritten rule that it’s acceptable for black athletes and rappers to use the n-word. Keeping the word out there makes it seem acceptable and even funny to some.

The n-word is contributing to racial tensions, and giving Black Lives Matter a reason to agitate. Anyone who is serious about improving race relations should recognize how detrimental this word is. The old adage, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me,” sounds clever but it isn’t accurate. Mental abuse is a known behavior that can result in  psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Some might say that people need to toughen up — but we can all agree that the n-word is one of the rudest words out there and can cause real pain. It is not like the growing list of “microaggressions” and “trigger warnings” the left is creating to arbitrarily and unjustifiably block off words. Whatever happened to politeness and common sense?

Some will argue that retiring the n-word is caving in to the politically correct crowd, almost as bad as banning speech and will lead to retiring more words. The fact is, if done voluntarily, it is not banning free speech. The left and the right rarely agree upon anything, much less which words are offensive. Here is one word that both sides mostly agree needs to go. It will be much more difficult for them to agree on other words. Additionally, it will stop these vicious, high-profile incidents from happening, which ruin so many lives.

Free speech purists may balk at an effort to stop using the n-word. Perhaps label the project something like “Don’t Ban It, Retire It.” The irony is, this kind of free speech is far from free, it is the most costly speech these girls will probably ever engage in.

Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours Announces Re-Election Bid

Jerry Nabours(Flagstaff, AZ) – Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours has drawn petitions to run for re-election in 2016. Mayor Nabours was first elected in 2012 and again in 2014. The mayor’s term is two years.

Nabours says, “The last four years I have worked full time to represent Flagstaff with professionalism and integrity. My underlying goal is always to enhance the quality of life for Flagstaff residents.” Pointing to past successes, Nabours says, “Through my relationships with state officials the City has been able to secure a future water source, get substantial funding for forest thinning and start the process for a Veteran’s assisted living facility. During the last four years I have learned a lot and made many friends, always looking out for Flagstaff.”

Among the most challenging issues now facing Flagstaff, Nabours cites traffic and housing. He says “NAU has grown by thousands of students in the past four years and the Board of Regents is projecting more. That is our reality. The more we ignore the situation the less housing is available for non-student residents. We need creative solutions to solve both housing and traffic and I am working on both.”

Nabours serves on the executive committee of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns and is Vice-chair of the Greater Arizona Mayor’s Association. He is a retired lawyer and has lived in Flagstaff for 40 years. He is married and raised two children in Flagstaff.

The city election will be held in conjunction with county, state and federal offices on November 8th. City elections have no party designation. Nabours is a registered independent. The mayor is paid $36,000 per year.

Mesa Crime That ‘Shocks The Soul’ Committed By Homosexual Illegal Alien Tranny

The AZMedia tried to bury an important fact regarding the sickening story of a 3 year old girl that was discovered duct-taped, in a garbage bag, and covered in feces after she was offered up for sex to a stranger.

In paragraph twenty (yes TWENTY), the local MSM begrudgingly admits that Francisco Javier Rios-Covarrubias is here illegally — oh, he’s also a homosexual tranny who frequently sought out anonymous gay sex.

Neighbors of Rios-Covarrubias described him as a man who liked dressing in women’s clothing. An apartment complex manager says he only lived in the community for a few months.

Rios-Covarrubias faced a Maricopa County Superior Court judge Tuesday to answer to charges of kidnapping, sexual conduct with a minor, felony child abuse and sex trafficking. The judge did not find sufficient evidence on the latter charge.

Rios-Covarrubias was denied bail because he is in the U.S. illegally, he also has been placed on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.

Read the full (sickening) story here

KJZZ: Constantin Querard and Shane Wikfors discuss the schism in the Maricopa GOP

Steve Goldstein with the Phoenix NPR affiliate, KJZZ, interviewed Republican consultants Constantin Querard and Shane Wikfors today on his show Here and Now.

ConstantinQuerardQuerard and Wikfors who are both conservative Republicans, discussed the ongoing intra-party battle taking place at the Maricopa County GOP level for several years.

Shane WikforsAt the center of the battle is Arizona senior Senator John McCain and a handful of Republican precinct committeemen.

Listen as Querard details how this fight began, how it has affected the rank-and-file Republican activists and how it continues to play out in GOP in-fighting.
Wikfors, who is resigning his position as a Republican precinct committeeman, describes how the in-fighting is affecting the GOP brand and party’s ability to grow and raise money.

The Bloodlust of the Maricopa GOP

Judas Iscariot is back! This is the latest episode of insanity being spearheaded by former Maricopa County Chaurmen AJ LaFaro and company. This will be brought up from the floor at this Saturday’s State Party meeting. 

AZGOP State Committeemen’s Resolution To Censure Chairman Robert Graham

We, the State Committeemen of the Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP), from which Chairman Robert Graham was elected, are obligated to hold all of our leaders accountable for their actions. Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders. Today we are faced with both in as much Robert Graham is by far one of the worst Party Chairman the AZGOP has ever endured. So with conviction we rise and declare:

WHEREAS, Chairman Robert Graham

· has continued to violate the Arizona Revised Statutes, the Bylaws of the Arizona Republican Party and several of the County and Legislative District Republican Committees; and 

· has repeatedly disregarded and disrespected the will of an overwhelming majority of the AZGOP State and Precinct Committeemen; and

· has conducted dictatorial actions that have been a calculated and insidious conspiracy to purge grassroots and conservative Republicans from the AZGOP for his personal benefit, the benefit of his cronies and the Republican establishment cabal. 

BE IT RESOLVED that Robert Graham’s constant intimidation, bullying, overreach and unilateral policies will no longer be tolerated;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the AZGOP State Committeemen have lost confidence in Robert Graham and will no longer support him or his actions;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED the AZGOP State Committeemen censures Robert Graham for his continued disservice to our Party, State and Nation.

Why I Am Resigning As A Republican Precinct Committeeman

If you’re considering becoming a Maricopa County Republican Precinct Committeeman. Stop! It’s not worth your time, energy or money. Even more important, it’s not worth sacrificing your integrity, civility and decency.

What I saw take place at the 2016 mandatory meeting of Maricopa County Republicans was utterly despicable, demeaning and disturbing. On the evening of Saturday, January 16, 2016, an angry mob decided to commit an act of political cannibalism on two of its own leaders.

Jeni White and Aaron Borders, 1st and 2nd vice-chairs for the Maricopa County Executive Committee were recalled by their fellow Republicans. The reason? Asking for more transparency and accountability from the Chairman, Tyler Bowyer.

[Note: I have known, advised and worked with all three members – Jeni, Aaron and Tyler as colleagues and friends for several years. They are all very hard working Republicans who have sacrificed time, talent and treasure.]

After 26 years, I have decided to resign my position as a Republican Precinct  because the culture and mission of the organization has deteriorated to the point that it has become dysfunctional and no longer effective or relevant.

As an individual Republican, I can be far more effective influencing my neighbors, community, city and state than being part of a ego-driven, self-serving, bitter, angry, cancerous organization.

Saturday’s special recall meeting was entirely unnecessary. It was disastrously run and it revealed an ugly side of local Republicans I am ashamed to be associated with.

Prior to the meeting, Republicans passed a series of resolution (which have no real effect other than making a public statement). I voted for almost all of them.

One resolution that passed that I strongly believed was completely unnecessary (keyword unnecessary) was the “Anybody But McCain” resolution. This was the same resolution that was passed in 2015 (and probably 2014, 2013, etc.) and has had absolutely no effect other than violate the bylaws’ neutrality provision and earn the county (and state by association) negative media attention.

In doing this, the county should expect absolutely NO financial, logistic, or material support from Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake and probably the entire state and congressional delegation. After the Saturday vote, none of our elected officials will want to be associated with the county party and neither will their donors. Criticizing your own elected officials in the public square is a sure way to guarantee a collapse of your financial support. In my opinion, the 600+ PC’s would have been better off writing our senior senator a personal letter calling him out.

[And this is coming from someone who gave eight months of his life trying to defeat McCain in the 2010 primary election! I obviously won’t be voting for John McCain in the primary election this time because like Hugh Hewitt, while I believe that John McCain sacrificed as a great American, he is a lousy senator and a terrible Republican.]

Other than the 12+ hours that I will never get back from Saturday’s meeting, what really turned me off about the Maricopa County Republican meeting was how poorly run the meeting was. When the special recall meeting began, to Tyler’s credit, he stepped aside from running the meeting but in grave error, the meeting was run by Dan Grimm who earlier in the week, paid for a political hit piece against White and Borders. The meeting should actually have been run by a 3rd party – preferably someone from the state party or another county. Because of this move, no one can say that it was an objectively well-managed meeting.

Additionally, rules and procedures were botched in order to kangaroo court a decision. This to me, was the most disturbing part of the meeting as I watched fellow Republicans froth at the mouth shouting at each other – something you would see from rabid union members or Democrat activists. It was utterly shocking.

A vote was taken and when it was announced that White and Borders were recalled, the mob cheered. It was truly a sad day for Maricopa County Republicans.

(I voted AGAINST the recall of ALL three members.)

I made the decision then and there that I wanted no part of an organization that behaved in this manner. Shame on these Republicans for treating their fellow Republicans in such a disrespectful, uncivil, disturbing way.

Many of these Republicans I have been friends with for a long time – some for over a decade. We have worked on important projects trying to save unborn babies, preserving the family, protecting the Second Amendment and taxpayer rights. When I was first recruited as a PC into the party, I came in as a evangelical conservative. I am still that same person and even deeper in my faith.

National conservative leaders such as Daniel Garza and Arthur Brooks have demonstrated a positive and winning way forward for the conservative movement and Republican party. I believe they are absolutely on message when it comes to adding to and multiplying the size and strength of the GOP. What I saw Saturday from Maricopa County Republicans was nothing but subtraction and division. That’s not for me.

As my two youngest children come of age and engage in the American civic experience, I don’t ever want them to see what I saw last Saturday. I want to protect them from that ugliness and anger. That’s not the GOP I want to be a part of and it’s not the GOP I want them to inherit.