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Topic: Michigan new Snyder/Bolger election rigging scheme

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untanglingwebs
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Rachel Maddow Blog


Michigan GOP moving forward on election-rigging scheme


By Steve Benen

-

Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:30 PM EST.


The Republican plan to rig the 2016 presidential election is starting to hit some speed bumps. Leading GOP lawmakers in Florida have already balked, and support among Virginia Republicans is far from unanimous.

But the plan has always involved six states, and even if it falls apart in two, there are four others where it's very much in play. Take Michigan, for example (via Dave Weigel).


Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, confirmed this week he plans to reintroduce legislation that would award all but two of Michigan's 16 Electoral College votes according to congressional district results. The remaining two would go to the candidate winning the statewide majority.

"I believe it's more representative of the people -- closer to the actual vote," said Lund, who proposed a similar bill in 2012. "It got no traction last year. There were people convinced Romney was going to win and this might take (electoral) votes from him."

That's a pretty amazing quote. In fact, it's practically a confession. Republicans in the Wolverine State would have rigged the election, but didn't bother because they thought they might defeat President Obama without cheating. But now that Obama won, it's time to give cheating another try.

But don't worry, this is about making a system "more representative of the people." Didn't he just admit otherwise -- in the same paragraph?

As for making the results "closer to the actual vote," under the election-rigging scheme, Mitt Romney would have lost most of the votes, but won most of the electoral votes. I'm not sure how Pete Lund defines "closer," but it's not a definition I'm familiar with.
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Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Dave Starr
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Didn't Maddow get the memo? There will be no more presidential elections. Obama will be named president for life before 2016. Congress will be dissolved and the constitution will be replaced by presidential edicts.

_________________
I used to care, but I take a pill for that now.

Pushing buttons sure can be fun.

When a lion wants to go somewhere, he doesn’t worry about how many hyenas are in the way.

Paddle faster, I hear banjos.
Post Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:01 am 
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twotap
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Didnt they name that disease that drives cows nuts after her. Laughing

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Barack Hussein Obama--- multiple times.
Post Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Dave Starr
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Yup. I saw a picture of "her", probably a high school senior picture, before the gender reassignment. Quite attractive at one time.

_________________
I used to care, but I take a pill for that now.

Pushing buttons sure can be fun.

When a lion wants to go somewhere, he doesn’t worry about how many hyenas are in the way.

Paddle faster, I hear banjos.
Post Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:02 pm 
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untanglingwebs
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ThinkProgress

Top Republican Distances Himself From GOP’s Election-Rigging Plan

By Igor Volsky on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm


Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) distanced himself from his party’s effort to rig the election by appropriating electoral votes based on gerrymandered Congressional districts, telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday that he opposes the effort.

Republican party leaders in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan have proposed legislation that would change how most electoral votes are allocated, awarding more electoral votes to the winner of individual Congressional districts, rather than the winner of the state as a whole. Since Republicans plan to implement the proposal in states that are heavily gerrymandered to favor the GOP, the resulting maps would guarantee that Republican candidates would win a majority of each state’s electoral votes, even if the Democratic candidate wins the state as a whole.

A growing number of Republicans have rejected the plan. Barbour has now joined their ranks:


ANDREA MITCHELL (HOST): If it were done nationally, Mitt Romney would have been taking the oath of office on Monday.

BARBOUR: That’s true this time. Other time it might have been just the opposite. I’m a traditionalist myself. I really am a conservative. I’m a little bit skeptical of this. [...]

MITCHELL: Doesn’t it make it look as though the Republicans are trying to sort of game the system? [...]

BARBOUR: As I said, I would not be for it. I don’t think there’s any sort of national movement, and you have sort of convinced me that in Virginia there may not be even state movement. It may be an isolated legislator.

During Barbour’s appearance, Mitchell suggested that Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) would also publicly oppose the election rigging scheme.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
Post Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:04 pm 
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untanglingwebs
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ThinkProgress


Joe Scarborough: Republicans Only Kept House Majority Because Of Gerrymandering

By Igor Volsky on Jan 20, 2013 at 11:41 am


MSNBC host and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough admitted on Sunday that Republicans only kept their majority in the House of Representatives as a result of gerrymandering, noting that the GOP received less votes than Democrats in the 2012 election. Scarborough argued that Republicans must prevent radical ultra-conservative voices from dominating the party’s message and pointed out that the GOP is already losing electoral ground among voters who view it as too extreme and out of touch with middle class Americans:

SCARBOROUGH: William F. Buckley in the 1960s at some point had to start defining the boundaries of conservatism. He went after the John Birch Society, Ayn Rand, George Wallace. That has to happen again with this party because it’s getting smaller and smaller. In this debate, we actually have conservative thinkers, talking about ronald reagan being a RINO — a Republican in name only, because he supported an assault weapons ban. They keep pushing themselves closer and closer to the cliff. But I just have to say one other really important point, because I made a mistake over the past month talking about how Republicans have also won a majority in the House. As this article I was referencing mentioned, we actually got a minority of votes nationwide in House races. It was just gerrymandering from 2010 that gave us the majority.

Indeed, a recent Republican State Leadership Committee report boasted that the only reason the GOP controls the House of Representatives is because state legislatures gerrymandered congressional districts in blue states. “Controlling the redistricting process in these states would have the greatest impact on determining how both state legislative and congressional district boundaries would be drawn,” the report reads.

“Aggregated numbers show voters pulled the lever for Republicans only 49 percent of the time in congressional races, suggesting that 2012 could have been a repeat of 2008, when voters gave control of the White House and both chambers of Congress to Democrats. But, as we see today, that was not the case.”


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:06 pm 
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untanglingwebs
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ThinkProgress - Justice


The GOP Plan To Rig The Next Presidential Election

Virginia Senate Sneaks Through Gerrymandering Bill While Country Watches Inauguration

By Annie-Rose Strasser on Jan 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm


While the eyes of the nation were turned toward President Barack Obama’s second inauguration on Monday, the Virginia State Senate managed to hurriedly pass a bill that would redistrict the state’s senate seats.

The vote, 20-19, would have been a tie had Democratic Senator Henry Marsh been present. Marsh, a civil rights leader, was in Washington, D.C., attending the inauguration.

Had Marsh been present, however, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, would likely have broken the tie. The bill was reportedly pushed through in a matter of hours.

According to Virginia politics blogger Ben Tribbett, the move could potentially eliminate at least one Democratic seat, the 25th district, which currently belongs to former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sen. Creigh Deeds (D).

This isn’t the first time that Virginia has attempted to redraw district lines conveniently for Republicans. Just last month, the state’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli lobbied to have the state exempt from the Voting Rights Act’s redistricting requirements because the state had “outgrown” racism. Largely, redistricting has disenfranchised Democratic votes.

The gerrymandering bill now goes to the heavily Republican House of Delegates for a vote, where it will likely face little opposition.


Update

A reporter for a local Virginia paper reports that the Lieutenant Governor Bolling would not have provided the tie-breaking vote had all Senators been present:
Post Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:08 pm 
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untanglingwebs
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Amanda Terkel

aterkel@huffingtonpost.com

Jase Bolger GOP House Speaker, Open To Changing State's Electoral College Allocation


Posted: 01/25/2013 4:44 pm EST | Updated: 01/25/2013 6:21


WASHINGTON -- One of Michigan's top Republican lawmakers is interested in a proposal to change the way the state allocates its electoral college votes, in a way that would have handed Michigan to Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election despite the fact that he received a minority of the popular vote.

Currently, nearly every state awards their electoral college votes to the presidential candidate who captures a majority of the votes in the entire state. Only Maine and Nebraska award an electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district, with another two votes going to the person who gets the most votes statewide.

But Republicans in some swing states want to be more like Maine and Nebraska.

President Barack Obama won swing states like Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio in the 2012 election. But through heavy redistricting and gerrymandering, the GOP-controlled legislatures in those states have ensured that most congressional districts are heavily Republican. So if the GOP plan to award votes based on congressional districts had been in effect, Obama could have been chosen by the majority of the states' residents but lost the election anyway.

Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R) said on Friday that he's open to pursuing the strategy in his state. According to Gongwer (subscription required), Bolger believes a bill by state Rep. Pete Lund (R) -- which has yet to be introduced -- is worthy of strong consideration.

"I hear that more and more from our citizens in various parts of the state of Michigan that they don't feel like their vote for president counts because another area of the state may dominate that or could sway their vote," Bolger told Gongwer. "They feel closer to voting for their congressman or their congresswoman and if that vote coincided with their vote for president they would feel better about that."

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), however, said the scheme would do nothing but "rig" the next presidential election.

“Let me be clear, this proposal is designed specifically to dilute the influence of minority and urban voters and nullify their voice in the next Presidential election," Peters said in a statement. "Instead of focusing their efforts on ways to rig elections to win with a gerrymandered minority, Republicans should spend their time working to earn a majority of voters."


Lund seemed to acknowledge that there are political motivations behind this push to change the rules. In an interview with the Detroit News, he said he was planning to introduce his bill and admitted that some Republicans were reluctant to support it in the past because it could have hurt Romney.

"It got no traction last year," he said. "There were people convinced Romney was going to win and this might take (electoral) votes from him."

The debate over the strategy heated up in recent days, when Republicans in Virginia's legislature advanced a bill in the state Senate to change the rules of the electoral college, taking advantage of the temporary majority created when a Democratic senator left town to attend Obama's inauguration.

At least two Virginia Republican lawmakers have spoken out against what their colleagues are doing. Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford (R) has also said he is against changing the electoral college rules in his state.

The plan in Virginia appears dead for now, as Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said on Friday that he opposes it.
Post Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:16 pm 
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untanglingwebs
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Rachel maddow Blog

And then there were none?


By Steve Benen

-

Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:20 PM EST.

WKAR-MSU/Flickr

Shortly after the 2012 elections, Republicans started kicking around a radical idea: identify battleground states where President Obama won, noting which ones were run by Republican policymakers, and changing the way they allocate electoral votes. Instead of a winner-take-all system used by nearly every state, these states would rig the election by awarding votes based on gerrymandered congressional district lines.

Six states were immediately part of the mix: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. And slowly but surely, as revulsion to the scheme has grown, the number of states where the plan is viable has dwindled.

First, leading GOP lawmakers in Florida have already balked, and soon after, Republican unanimity in Virginia collapsed. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) reconsidered his lukewarm encouragement, and in Ohio every state GOP leader decided they weren't interested. Even Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R), who put this idea on the table in the first place, said, "Nobody in Ohio is advocating this."


The state House may be considering a new and controversial plan on how Michigan's electoral college votes are distributed, but the state Senate isn't interested, said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville.

"I don't know that the system now is broken. So I don't know that we need to fix it," he said.... Changing the system, "Is not on our agenda," he said.

To be sure, Michigan Republicans have demonstrated the capacity to quickly change their minds, and Mr. Richardville might be persuaded to put it on his agenda at some point in the future, but if the state Senate isn't interested, the scheme can't pass.


And that leaves Pennsylvania, where the plan remains on the table, but where there's been no action on the scheme.

If the plans fall apart completely, and no state follow through on the idea, it's fair to say the sunlight (i.e. public attention and media scrutiny) served as the ideal disinfectant.
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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:31 pm 
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untanglingwebs
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Sounds too much like his rhetoric on the Right-to-work. Probably means he will sign it in a New York minute.





Gov. Rick Snyder now 'very skeptical' of proposal to divide Michigan's electoral votes



By Jonathan Oosting | joosting@mlive.com
on January 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM, updated January 29, 2013 at 5:51 PM


LANSING, MI -- Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said last week that he was "open minded" about changing Michigan's winner-take-all system for awarding Electoral College votes in presidential elections.

It appears that is no longer the case.

Snyder, appearing today on Bloomberg TV in Washington D.C., said he is "very skeptical of the idea and the time frame" of legislation that Republican Rep. Pete Lund is poised to reintroduce in the state House.

"You don't want to change the playing field so it's an unfair advantage for someone," the governor said. "In a lot of ways, we want to make sure we're reflecting the vote of the people, and this could challenge that. So in many respects, the right time to do it is before a Census is taken and before redistricting takes place.

"I don't think this is an appropriate time for it."

Michigan currently awards its 16 electoral votes to the winner of the statewide vote. Last year, that was President Barack Obama, who beat Republican challenger Mitt Romney by more than 449,000 votes.

Lund's pending proposal, first introduced in 2012, would award one vote to the winner of each of the state's 14 Congressional districts and two votes to the winner of the statewide vote. Last year, Romney would have won 9 electoral votes to Obama's 7.

Michigan Democrats have come out strongly against the pending proposal. Party chairman Mark Brewer on Monday called it an "election rigging scheme" and linked it to similar efforts to split electoral votes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

While Snyder and other Republican leaders had expressed a willingness to discuss changing Michigan's electoral system, noting it was important to address the topic before the next presidential election cycle begins, Lund's proposal appears to have fallen out of favor before he even reintroduced it.

Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville argued that splitting up the state's electoral votes could diminish Michigan's relevance in presidential elections.

"The all-or-nothing makes Michigan more important because all those electoral votes will go to one side," he said. "I think you saw in the last election cycle that Michigan got a lot of attention right up to the very end, and that's because all of those votes were in contention."

Snyder was in the nation's capital to deliver an opening address at the Outlook 2013 conference hosted by Governing Magazine. In both his speech and later television appearance, the governor reiterated his call for additional funding to repair Michigan roads and bridges.

"This is like getting an oil change," he said. "By investing $1.2 billion a year over 10 years, if we didn't do that, our bill would be over $25 billion. So it's better than a 2 to 1 savings."

Check out the full Bloomberg interview in the embedded player above to hear Snyder discuss Michigan's economic outlook and his thoughts on immigration.

Jonathan Oosting is a Capitol reporter for MLive Media Group. Email him at joosting@mlive.com or follow at twitter.com/jonathanoosting.
Post Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:35 am 
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