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Republican California Electoral Vote Scam Floundering

Things aren't going too well for the Republican crooks who are trying to steal the 2008 presidential election by splitting California's electoral votes according to the LA Times:

Unable to raise sufficient money and angered over a lack of disclosure by its one large donor, veteran political law attorney Thomas Hiltachk, who drafted the measure, said he was resigning from the committee.

Hiltachk's departure is a major blow to the operation because he organized other consultants who had set about trying to raise money and gather signatures for the initiative. Campaign spokesman Kevin Eckery said he was ending his role as well.

There remained a chance that the measure could be revived, but only if a major donor were to come forward to fund the petition drive. However, time is short to gather the hundreds of thousands of signatures needed by the end of November. And backers said Thursday that they believed the measure was all but dead, at least for the 2008 election.

Great news for those of us who believe in democracy, and bad news for the right-wingers who wanted to rig the electoral vote so a Republican could back into the presidency in 2008 just as he did in 2000. The Republicans are having a very difficult time raising money for all of their campaigns next year and the big-money donors to back this proposition just haven't materialized. The campaign received one large contribution of $175,000 by an organization that was formed the day before and hasn't disclosed its donors. We are all dying to know who they might be.

Media Transparency has the background on this scurrilous plot. They expose the fact that the law firm behind this proposition is closely linked to highly partisan Republican operatives and campaigns.

Part of me is disappointed to see this proposition dying before it ever gets off the ground. I think its presence on the ballot could help to significantly increase turnout among traditional Democratic electoral groups. The fact that the Republicans are trying this in a state with the greatest percentage of minority voters in the country would help to drive home the message to Latinos, Asians and African-Americans that the Republicans just don't want them. It is certainly all too obvious that the Republicans have hatched this scheme to dilute the importance of California voters while at the same time they have shown no interest in modifying how electoral votes are apportioned in whitebread states that typically cast their votes for the Republican candidate. Once again, Republican racism is on display for the whole world to see,

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Comments (2)

Lee Ward:

Who was the slimy Republican behind this effort to screw this country?

Rudy Giuliani, using one of his billionaire pals.

A major New York fundraiser for GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has been revealed as the money man behind a proposed ballot measure that would have changed California's winner-take-all Electoral College vote system - and likely benefited Republicans.

Paul Singer, a billionaire hedge fund executive and Giuliani policy adviser, acknowledged his role to the New York Daily News on Friday just a day after GOP organizers in California said they were folding their effort to collect signatures for the group called Californians for Equal Representation.

The Chronicle reported earlier this week that Missouri attorney Charles Hurtt III was the legal agent for a tax-exempt corporation called "Take Initiative America," which provided the sole donation - $175,000 - to the effort to qualify the measure for the California ballot.

But Hurtt and his organization would not reveal the source of their money - even as Democrats in California threatened legal action and charged that the GOP-backed effort smacked of money laundering. They suggested there were numerous links between the ballot effort and the Giuliani campaign, and challenged the former New York mayor's campaign aides to reveal where the money came from. Giuliani spokesman Jarrod Agen told The Chronicle, "This is completely independent from our campaign, and frankly, it's not an initiative that serves our campaign's best interests."

As long as 70% of the people disapprove of the current system of electing the President, proposals to divide electoral votes (either by congressional district or proportionally) will continue to pop up in states selected for partisan reasons.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal, and to guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill would not take effect piecemeal, but only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes --- that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill is enacted in a group of states possessing 270 or more electoral votes, all of the electoral votes from those states would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill has 364 legislative sponsors in 47 states. It has been signed into law in Maryland. Since its introduction in February 2006, the bill has passed by 11 legislative houses (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, and North Carolina, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, and California).


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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