Thursday, September 06, 2007

More dirty tricks news

Over the past few weeks, I've written about how the CA Republican party wants to use California's Electoral College electors as insurance in the '08 presidential election because of their fear they can't win the White House if the deck isn't stacked in their favor.

It's been a busy week on that front.

As a recap, the situation is this: Attorneys for the CA Republican party have filed to have an initiative placed on the June 08 ballot that would change the way California's 55 Electoral College votes are apportioned. Instead of winner take all, they're proposing they be based on the winner in each congressional district. Due to the way California is gerrymandered into fairly safe seats, the Republican presidential candidate would automatically pick up about 20 more electors.

Believe it or not, I'm with Arnold on this one.

"I feel like, if you're all of a sudden in the middle of the game start changing the rules, it's kind of odd," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-California. "It almost feels like a loser's mentality, saying, 'I cannot win with those rules. So let me change the rules.'"

Well said. I'm always very happy when I can agree with my governor.

However, I'd still like him to give it a quick read. He keeps saying he can't comment fully because he hasn't read it. It's short! It's important! His former lawyer and his party are behind it! Come on now. It'll just take five minutes. He should brush up on it before this weekend's CA Republican party convention because it's on the agenda to be formally endorsed.

I know he has a copy handy because Julia Rosen hand delivered 2,148 copies to his office on Monday;

We asked the blogosphere and thousands of Courage Campaign members to send him a copy and boy did you deliver.

But on Thursday he's still saying he's not familiar with the wording.


You can go to the Courage Campaign website and send Arnold a message that we want him read and to lead.

On Wednesday the CA Secretary of State's office cleared the initiative for signature gathering. They need to collect 433,971 valid signatures by Feb 4th to get on the June ballot. Here are the title and official summary from the Secretary of State's office.

Presidential Electors. Political Party Nomination and Election by Congressional District. Statute.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS. POLITICAL PARTY NOMINATION AND ELECTION BY CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. STATUTE. Requires California to join two other states in selecting electors for president by the plurality vote in each congressional district. Provides for political party nomination of electors pledged to vote for that party's candidate. Independent electors to be chosen by independent presidential candidates and also elected by congressional district. Two at-large electors to be selected based on plurality of statewide vote for president. Mandates that electors vote for candidate for whom they are pledged. Eliminates $10 compensation and 5 cents per mile reimbursement of electors. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Reduced state expenses of less than $10,000 every four years. (Initiative 07-0032.)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1268 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 07-0032.

The proponent for this measure, Thomas W. Hiltachk, must collect the signatures of 433,971 registered voters - the number equal to 5% of the total votes cast for governor in the 2006 gubernatorial election - in order to qualify the measure for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by February 4, 2008.

Since they've got the big bucks behind this, I imagine there will be an army of paid signature gatherers out there within days.

If you want to read more about this current batch of dirty tricks, there's a lot of good posts and diaries out there.

Calitics has been all over this.

Dday has an informative and interesting diary at Daily Kos about the funding behind the effort.

Lawyers behind a California ballot proposal that could benefit the 2008 Republican presidential nominee have ties to a Texas homebuilder who financed attacks on Democrat John Kerry's Vietnam War record in the 2004 presidential campaign.

What are they going to do? Swiftboat the entire country?

Don't answer that.

Todd Beeton also has a story about the initiative on his Courage Campaign blog.

And finally, if you can donate $20 to save 20 electoral votes, you can do that through our friends at Act Blue. Be sure to leave them a tip!

And don't sign that petition!

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