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The Republican Plan to Fix Elections for the Next 30 Years

Lew Uhler Small2

The founder and president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, Lew Uhler tells me he has a plan to fix the presidential elections for the next 30 years. At first glance, he appears to be just another old, white Republican ranting about “how we take this country back.” However, given the setting—the 40th anniversary annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council—and his credentials—he served in both the gubernatorial and presidential Reagan administrations; authored a book with a foreword from famed neoliberal economist Milton Friedman; and sits on the board of directors for the American Conservative Union—I’m inclined to believe that his is a realistic threat.

While the GOP ponders how it can pander to Hispanics, women, and the gay community in the face of a growing membership deficit, Uhler says the solution lies in changing the way electoral votes are allocated in key states. His strategy? To push legislation awarding electoral votes by the winner in congressional districts in the six Republican-controlled state legislatures that are currently winner-take-all states. Those states are Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In four winner-take-all state legislatures held by Democrats—California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—Uhler would pursue ballot initiatives rather than legislation.

According to Lew Uhler, if those changes had been made before 2012, Mitt Romney would be president today, and further, that the GOP can “screw up” on immigration and women’s issues so long as reallocation is in place. Uhler has been talking about this plan as far back as 2007. The difference between now and then is the rise of the Tea Party and the historic flip of state legislatures in the 2010 midterm elections, that garnered 675 state legislative seats and six governorships for the GOP. Twelve states came under its full command, bringing the total of states with a Republican governor and both legislative chambers to 21. Today that number is 24.

When you take those numbers into account, along with ALEC’s string of successes with model legislation like Stand Your Ground, Right to Work, and Voter I.D., Uhler’s plan is not so far-fetched. As a member of ALEC’s Tax & Fiscal Policy Task Force, he has a powerful platform to persuade state legislator members, who are undoubtedly eager to cement Republican rule. Uhler says that Michigan governor Rick Snyder doesn’t want to make reallocation an issue during his re-election campaign, but that they will launch a bill after his win, in the lame-duck session. He also claims that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is already onboard. In an apparent attempt to inspire me to action, Uhler closed with promising that his plan would stop Obama’s transition of this country to a Western European Socialist state. And so, Lew Uhler is, after all, an old, white Republican… with a plan.

About Lady Libertine

Civil libertarian.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “The Republican Plan to Fix Elections for the Next 30 Years

  1. Something else to watch out for.

    Posted by barryelevine | August 19, 2013, 2:35 pm
  2. The Green Party’s approach to addressing the deficiencies of the Electoral College are contained in its Political Reform plank (http://www.gp.org/committees/platform/2012/democracy.php#316100):

    f. Abolish the Electoral College and provide for the direct national election of the president by Instant Runoff Voting. As a step in that direction, support National Popular Vote legislation which would guarantee the Presidency to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia), which would take effect 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).

    Here are links to explanations on how the National Popular Vote works

    http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/explanation.php

    http://www.fairvote.org/national-popular-vote

    The legislature of state of California has already passed legislation to enact the National Popular Vote and the effort to enact it nationally has a number of states representing approximately one half of the Electoral College votes needed to go into effect. If we can get enough other states in the next few years, we could have a national popular vote in 2016.

    Posted by Mike Feinstein | August 19, 2013, 6:33 pm
  3. The Green Party’s approach to addressing the deficiencies of the Electoral College are contained in its Political Reform plank (http://www.gp.org/committees/platform/2012/democracy.php#316100):

    f. Abolish the Electoral College and provide for the direct national election of the president by Instant Runoff Voting. As a step in that direction, support National Popular Vote legislation which would guarantee the Presidency to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia), which would take effect 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).

    Here are links to explanations on how the National Popular Vote works

    http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/explanation.php

    http://www.fairvote.org/national-popular-vote

    The legislature of state of California has already passed legislation to enact the National Popular Vote and the effort to enact it nationally has a number of states representing approximately one half of the Electoral College votes needed to go into effect. If we can get enough other states in the next few years, we could have a national popular vote in 2016.

    Posted by Mike Feinstein (@mikefeinstein) | August 19, 2013, 6:34 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Republicans Fix Elections - August 20, 2013

  2. Pingback: Conservatism… It’s the New Liberalism | Lady Libertine - September 30, 2013

  3. Pingback: Conservatism… It’s the New Liberalism : Quans Place - September 30, 2013

  4. Pingback: Undercover at ALEC | Lady Libertine - December 11, 2013

  5. Pingback: American Legislative Exchange Council - December 11, 2013

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