From the Sidelines 9-12-11

By Irving Leemon, Contributing Columnist
(This was written on September 7th at 1:30 PM, before the Republican debates.) Our state legislators in their wisdom have taken one of our cherished freedoms away. They have decided that all of California’s electoral votes in national elections will go to the presidential candidate with the highest national popular vote count. If I vote for a Republican and a Democrat gets the most popular votes nationally, it’s as if I did not vote. This appears to me to be an end run around the one citizen one vote, and Electoral College required by the United States constitution.

Rick Perry

Rick Perry

In the previous system this state’s electoral votes were apportioned according to each district’s vote, therefore, each vote had more meaning. On another subject, the Texas governor keeps harping on how he has increased the number of jobs in Texas. The only problem is, the jobs that he “created” are the lowest skilled and lowest paying jobs available. Most of the new jobs are paying just barely above this nation’s poverty level. People in those new jobs are having trouble meeting their bills and putting food on the table. And, health insurance is practically none existent for them.

They want federal government to stop paying for health insurance, do away with social security, government supervised and subsidized health care, publish poverty level data, and also stop paying for education. The proposal that disaster relief be paid for by taking the money from other programs would prove disastrous for this country’s economy. What programs would they raid to pay for it? It really sounds as if they want to do away with disaster relief altogether. Rick Perry and the Tea Party want to dismantle the safe guards against total collapse of the economy and other programs that have been put in place during the last 70 years.

Until the government starts to start funding projects like refurbishing the nation’s infrastructure, this economy will continue to be in the doldrums. Those projects will put people back to work and reduce the frustration people are feeling. Like the great depression, crime is on the way up. Robberies are increasing at a fast pace, and bomb threats and shootings are happening every day. People are becoming more and more frustrated in their attempts to keep themselves and their families’ body and sole together. It also appears as if they are attempting to recreate the robber barons of old by eliminating competition with the elimination of controls to allow companies to swallow each other up and create monopolies. If this is what Rick Perry and the Tea Party mean by less government, I don’t want any part of it. Agree, Disagree? Email ilemon@socal.rr.com.

Iving Lemon

Contributing Columnist

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Posted by on Sep 13 2011. Filed under Opinions and Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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1 Comment for “From the Sidelines 9-12-11”

  1. No freedoms have been taken away.

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

    With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn’t be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in the current handful of swing states. California would matter. Under the current system, we are ignored.

    The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

    The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, are an example of state laws eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

    Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution– “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

    The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. It is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state’s electoral votes.

    As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.

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