Monday, 9/27/10, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

63 responses to “Monday, 9/27/10, Public Square

  1. Southwest Airlines To Buy Discount Rival AirTran

    Will this end the question of what should Wichita do to attract Southwest? Seems we’re already giving…

    • I was going to alert everyone to that proposed merger, fnord. Correct me if I’m wrong, but our crack local paper didn’t have a sniff at this in today’s edition. While that’s understandable, I guess, given the apparent time of announcement, if the WSJ had time to generate an article… I guess Carrie Rengers was too busy trying to find out what books everyone was reading to do any real reporting.

      • At no time have I seen a mention of this merger in our local paper. Lots of speculation about how much money Wichita should give Southwest to attract them, etc.

        I think you hit the nail on the head about the level of actual reporting seen in our paper. I still subscribe and each time I make a payment I tell myself it will be the last. Some day I will wise up and realize I could hold other reading materials with my morning coffee, and get my news online like always.

      • wicked

        The merger was one of the news stories listed in the Afternoon Headlines email from the Eagle.

      • prairie pond

        HA! Good one, 617! Maybe Carrie was busy being Sue Chef or eating out with Denise Neil.

  2. Our local school district is building two new high schools, both set to open in 2013 according to the article in this morning’s paper. It says high schools are given directional names. Soooo, these schools are being built near Bel Aire (our city’s northeast) and in the far southeast part of town.

    We already have a North, an East, a Northeast so will they name this new school:

    >O (That would be ‘greater than’ circle, commemorating the argument won by 259 with Towanda’s Circle district)

    or, it could be — take that Andover

    The school in the far southeast has similar naming problems since we already have a Southeast and a South and the aforementioned East. Soooo, how about —

    nearly Derby
    pert near Mulvane
    almost Rose Hill

    What say you? The newspaper article says the school board will consider all suggestions!

    • wicked

      Heights is a direction?

      If so, how about Depths?

      Then we could go with Widths or Wides.

      Or how about Way (whatever direction)? i.e. Way Northeast, Way South

    • Since Heights is my Alma mater, I can answer the question about the name not being directional. It wasn’t a 259 school when it was built, opened or named. They annexed the school when it was three years old. That summer I was between my sophomore and junior years and was working in the school office. Boy! Did we get calls! Oh, my, you would have thought the world had ended! Students who had attended North and Valley Center… now were assigned to Heights.

      One day I answered the phone and it was an irate Mother who told me in very vulgar ways her daughter wasn’t going to attend school with a bunch of farmers. I put her on hold, and explained what the call had been (so far) to the principal. He picked up the phone on his desk, identified himself, listened for a short time and said, “Maham, I’m not sure we can admit her without her 4H card.” 😉

      • wicked


        Yes, I vaguely remember that Heights wasn’t originally part of the Wichita school system. Living off in the other direction and far enough away that there will never be a danger of that happening, it really didn’t matter to me.

        BTW, I dated a guy who went to Heights. That was a LONG time ago.

  3. Report: US would make Internet wiretaps easier

    When I served on a federal grand jury I learned how often social networking sites such as Facebook aid LE in investigations. Now, it seems they want to make it easier to use these type sources.

    I’m not sure how I feel abut this. I often don’t recognize America today.

    • tosmarttobegop

      I had heard a rumor and of course take into account rumors often do not have much foundation of fact to them. But that part of the deal with Microsoft was that they build in a secret assess back door for the Government to be able to access any computer with their operating system.

      So literally the Government could right now if you are on a computer with any of their operating systems since the settlement of the anti-trust suit. the authorities could be poking around your hard drive or even take control of the entire computer.

      • wicked

        Are we sure they aren’t poking into my computer already?

        Not that I care. I do my best to keep my nose clean, and I have freedom of opinion as long as I’m not threatening anyone or their body or life, or I’m not plotting some horendous thing like poking into the government’s computer. 😉

  4. Fox News faces a dilemma as the 2012 presidential campaign—which traditionally starts right after midterm elections—nears: The network has four potential candidates on its payroll in Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum. That’s every major contender save Mitt Romney who’s not currently holding office. The politicians’ paid contributor deals have caused a rift within Fox News and frustrated competitors, because the candidates are contractually forbidden from appearing on another news channel. C-SPAN tried to interview Palin, but was forced to ask Fox’s permission, which was denied. Other TV news networks have had the same experience. Fox says that once the Republicans declare they’re running for office, they’ll have to sever their ties to the channel. But they’re likely to delay that announcement, as Fox offers an unparalleled platform to spout an unfiltered message to conservatives. (Palin has already visited early primary states.) Some Fox employees are uneasy with the arrangement, and they haven’t gotten instructions from higher-ups on how to deal with it. Reporters are “left in the lurch,” not knowing when the candidates will have to leave.

    • The perfect set up for the propaganda machine–complete control of the message and the messengers. I’m sure Sarah Palin is just fine with this arrangement as she has already proven herself to be quite the media whore. (sorry for strong language)

      Does anyone remember how that old intro to the Outer Limits television show went?

      “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set…”

  5. itolduso

    Dems’ take heart!!

    Corporate and shadowfunding of ads be damned!!!

    ‘You can make sure that the tens of millions of dollars spent on misleading ads do not drown out your voice,’ he said. ‘Because no matter how many ads they run — no matter how many elections they try to buy — the power to determine the fate of this country doesn’t lie in their hands. It lies in yours.”

    President Obama

    • tosmarttobegop

      But then raises the question of do the people still have that power or is it nothing but an illusion to pacify us?

      You vote for the candidate you want in office, but then it is said that their opponent wins the popular vote?
      Can you argue with that, if so how?

      We accept that the system works so it must be so, but how do we know it actually does work?
      Spend your time surveying ever single voter to see if the majority did vote for the person that is elected?

      I had started reading a College level Government text book and found according to it that even the founding fathers did not have faith in the masses. Such was the creation of the Electoral college, if and when the masses made a dumb decision as to who to elect.

      The electoral college can supersede the masses decision.

      At the time it was not a real concern for me in 2000, my guy won the election so everything was great!
      But later I understood something, Gore had gotten the popular vote a majority of the American people had voted for him.

      The court had ignored the people in favor of Bush and that is not cool.
      The system that every American puts faith in had broken down and that was more upsetting to me then if it had been President Gore.

      • What was worse than the fact that the Court ignoring the people was that it ignored the law. The law allows for each state to set up its own system to count the vote. The law in the state of florida was being followed when the SCOTUS stepped in and basically handed down an edict to discontinue the mandatory (by law) recount. The SCOTUS ignored the law and made a decision based on —we will never really know.

        When you couldn’t trust the politicians and you couldn’t trust the system, you could still trust the honor, integrity and dignity of the courts–until the year 2000.

    • When the majority of the people do speak and the elections are won, those who are disappointed scream foul, scream no this can’t be… Then obstruct the agenda the majority of the people voted for. Our representative government at work deadlock.

      • tosmarttobegop

        I say it about the legal system but it also goes for Democracy it only works if the majority has faith in it works. I use the example of if the majority woke this morning believing that murder was an acceptable form of conflict resolution.

        There would not be enough law enforcement to enforce a law against murder.
        our system of Governance only works along as the majority still believes it works and are willing to be subservient to it.

        We make the assumption that it works so everyone will live with it and go along.
        The moment that the majority stops believing then our Government and the country will fall.

      • wicked

        Too true, fnord, and until our representatives stop taking money from any and all forms of “lobbying” and learn to work together for the good of the citizens of this country, not the party, not the corporation, this is the way it will be. And it doesn’t appear that will improve.

  6. tosmarttobegop

    Fnord there is what is often called the “plain view doctrine” basically there is no restriction on Law enforcement that if they can see evidence of a criminal act while performing their lawful duties.

    They can act upon it without a warrant or court order.

    Usually that means like if a cop is driving down the street and see that there is a pot plant growing in a planter in your front window.

    They can stop and take action. But it also applies to open public access sites like Face book, Myspace and broadcasts on open air waves.

    If you have a wire-less router they can use a device that will receive your broadcast from the router.

    Your cord-less phone uses a open frequency to broadcast to the receiver get close enough and with a receiver of the same frequency and anyone can hear what is said on your phone.

    It is a concern that this is being expended and I was concern that the boogie man of terrorism would
    would allow for the less restrictive actions that are not terrorist related.

    My old question of just how many terrorists are there in the United States? How many would be needed to justify the loss of Rights and legal restrictions of the Constitution and Federal laws?

    • I am certainly not one who believes the ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong you don’t have to worry about it’ meme. And excusing my loss of rights by telling me it ensures my safety doesn’t satisfy me.

      I think law enforcement proves daily how incompetent they are.

  7. tosmarttobegop

    If every crime that is committed was discovered and punished the only solution would be to build a prison wall around the entire country. Everyone is a criminal, everyone violates laws and either willfully or ignorantly.

    If you drive a car today you will violate some law, if the authorities were to search your house they could find some crime that is being committed.

    When ever I stopped a car and the driver would in anger say, “Why aren’t you out catching real criminals instead of harassing honest citizens?”. I would respond that I am otherwise I would not have stopped you!

    Orwell’s “1984” on the face of it sounds like a good thing, there would be no one that got away with committing a crime. There would be no doubt of who is guilty since they would be on tape and there would be more then enough witnesses.

    But then back to my statement, everyone commits crime some are so minor that it would not be worth it to try and catch them. A lot of times it is they do not know they are committing a crime or do not think it is a crime.

  8. I see evidence on a daily basis that too many law enforcement personnel concentrate on the low-hanging fruit, spend their time and energy on what is easiest, and all too often those they ‘catch’ don’t provide a threat to anyone. If they reel in those who commit minor crimes they can honestly say they caught criminals. All too often no one is kept any safer.

    My question is whether or not these LE personnel are able to look themselves in the mirror and believe they did a good job?

  9. I know when democrats are in the majority legislation gets passed, not as much as they attempt since everything is filibustered, but legislation does indeed get passed. It royally pisses off the Republicans when anything passes so they are more than a little pissed off right now since so much has been accomplished since President Obama’s inauguration (a short 20 months!). When Republicans are in the majority, nothing gets passed. And, it isn’t all due to obstruction by opponents. In fact, mostly, it’s because they do nothing, try nothing, don’t even pretend by bringing legislation to the floor.

    What legislation was passed from 2000 to 2006 when Republicans had the presidency and both houses of Congress?

  10. tosmarttobegop

    I can tell you there are many types of cops, I refer to them as “traffic cops” and “Felony cops”.
    In my case I had the lowest ticket count of all the department but I had the highest number of arrests and cases filed with the D.A. for crimes like Burglary, assault and Battery.

    The word on the street was if you are going to commit a crime do it on first or second shift.
    Don’t do it on third shift or Rick will catch up!

    But that is because of where my focus was, I hated traffic as the majority of people you will stop were not doing something willingly or with total intent of violation of the law. Yeah I know that many do know they are speeding.

    But part of why so many cops end up on the minor things is that it is what is often done so openly.
    As such that is where the focus becomes and there is where many people see the effectiveness of a department.

    LOL my father-in-law never complained about the places that were being broken into it was always about how many people were getting away with running the stop sign that was close to his house!

    We had a city council member who stated he could not understand why there was a five man Police force in the town? Why he remembered back in 1948 there was only one cop in town and they got along just fine!
    He pointed to the low crime rate in Rush and said that there was no need for so many cops.

    It did not occur to him the reason for the low crime rate was because there was a effective law enforcement agency in the town. Lord Knows I knew how many crimes were being committed in that town of 1,300 people!

  11. tosmarttobegop

    A researcher looking for the holy grail going to see a remote Monastery.
    The film shows her walking up a narrow and loose rock path along the mountain face toward the top of the mountain where the Monastery was build.

    She reaches the top and there is the Monastery she sought, so she walked across the black top two lane divided road to the front doors! HEEEE I kid you not!!!!

    Was just on National geo channel.

  12. 6176746f6c6c65

    Watching “Castle”, enjoying it (as normal). Query: Will Castle and Beckett ever ‘get together’?

    • wicked

      We’re Castle fans here, too. 🙂

      “Getting together” is what killed Moonlighting (Cybill Shepherd & Bruce Willis), or at least that’s what I heard. It’s true that once the push/pull of sexual attraction has been ‘consumated,’ it’s hard to keep the sexual tension between 2 characters as strong as it was before.

      My daughter guessed Alexander was his middle name. All I could think of was Brandy Alexander. I must need a drink. LOL

      I bought her the book Heat Wave by “Richard Castle” to read. Not sure if she has yet.

  13. mvymvy

    The current system of electing the president ensures that the candidates, after the primaries, do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all rule (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but now used by 48 states), under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided “battleground” states and their voters. In 2008, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their campaign events and ad money in just six states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). 19 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states (with less than 7 electoral college votes) were not among them. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). In 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states; over 80% in nine states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states, and candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states.

    Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.

    Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    Because of the state-by-state winner-take-all electoral votes laws in 48 states, a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation’s 56 (1 in 14) presidential elections. Near misses are now frequently common. A shift of 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of 3,500,000 votes.

  14. mvymvy

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Every vote 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 a handful of swing states.

    The bill 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). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action, without federal constitutional amendments.

    The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado– 68%, Iowa –75%, Michigan– 73%, Missouri– 70%, New Hampshire– 69%, Nevada– 72%, New Mexico– 76%, North Carolina– 74%, Ohio– 70%, Pennsylvania — 78%, Virginia — 74%, and Wisconsin — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska — 70%, DC — 76%, Delaware –75%, Maine — 77%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Rhode Island — 74%, and Vermont — 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas –80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi –77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, and Virginia — 74%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 74% , Massachusetts — 73%, Minnesota — 75%, New York — 79%, Washington — 77%, and West Virginia- 81%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia (3), Maine (4), Michigan (17), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New York (31), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California (55), Colorado (9), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), New Jersey (15), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (11). The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These six states possess 73 electoral votes — 27% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


    • I’ll look at the link. I’ll be looking to see whether the proposal you present keeps highly populated states from having undue influence. I have always been interested in the way Maine and Nebraska handle their electoral votes, and will be interested in seeing what this is all about.

      However, I must tell you my opinion is that much of our problems are due to voters who are ill-informed or believe what someone wants them to believe and all too often with no regard for truth or facts. These are the people who aren’t interested and therefore spend as little time as necessary listening to anything political. They go to the polls because they feel it’s a responsibility but they don’t prepare responsibly. How does changing the way elections are conducted change that?

  15. I gave the link cursory examination. It seems to provide more information about activities around the proposal than what the proposal actually is. I don’t find anywhere that explains this sentence: The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia).

    What does it mean? Does it mean the candidate who gets the most votes in Kansas will also get all seven of our state’s electoral votes, while the person receiving the most popular votes in Colorado will receive all nine of that state’s electoral votes? Or, does it mean you add up all the popular votes and then award all the electoral votes to the candidate who received the largest total of popular votes?

    So far, unless I can find a place that has more information and answers more questions, I’m not interested, and don’t see any merit in your proposal.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      OK, fnord, this is what I gleaned from the link. The total number of electoral votes held by the states which are members of the compact are to be voted for the candidate carrying the majority (plurality, too, I guess) of the popular vote in the 50 states and DC regardless of whether that candidate carried the popular vote in each of such states. IOW, if candidate A carries the popular vote in all 50 states plus DC, candidate A is to receive the total number of electoral votes held by the several states signatories to the compact, even if candidate B carried the vote in a number of said states.

      Clear? 🙂

      • Then how can they say this doesn’t do away with the electoral college? Seems to me it elects by popular vote.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        Their language is purposely vague; as proposed, it does not do away with the Electoral College, it neuters it (which seems to be the goal).

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        I suspect the proponents want this, so long as it is “their” candidate with the greater/est number of popular votes nation-wide. Flip the situation, and see if the same folks are supportive.

  16. I remain interested in the way Maine and Nebraska assign their electoral votes.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      Me, too; 6c70 has provided me an insight as to how the Maine system works, which seems a bit more equitable than “winner take all”, but does not accurately divide the electoral votes in a strictly proportionate manner (ref. popular vote). Main provides its 4 electoral votes go as follows: 1 for the winner of each congressional district, with the other 2 to the winner of the state as a whole. Thus, the “winner” receives a minimum of 3 electoral votes, even if s/he has a margin of victory of under 1% in the popular vote.

      All that said, it’s still more equitable than “winner take all”, imho.

      • paulasayles

        I must admit that upon learning of the parliamentary system of govt in Britain, I have taken a bit of a fancy to it. I like the fact that nationally the seats are apportioned according to the vote. It allows for a multiparty system and, to a small degree, takes the character assassination out of campaigning since it is a platform that is being advertised by a party and not so much a candidate.

        I also think that the Electoral votes should be apportioned more fairly. I have never liked the fact that what few votes Kansas has go to whichever candidate wins the rural vote. I wonder what the mechanism for change at the State level would be?

  17. 6176746f6c6c65

    The goal of this doesn’t seem to me to be the increase in influence of the “flyover” states, but to minimize the power of states such as New York, California, etc. Note the following from the original post: “A shift of 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of 3,500,000 votes.” I’ve a strong feeling that this is what is of concern, given that a similar statement might be made concerning the 2000 election, Florida, etc., with the difference being the identity of the person elected.

  18. mvymvy

    Dividing a state’s electoral votes by congressional district would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system. What the country needs is a national popular vote to make every person’s vote equally important to presidential campaigns.

    If the district approach were used nationally, it would less be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts.

    The district approach would not cause presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state. Under the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws(whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, for example, there are only 2 districts the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. In California, the presidential race is competitive in only 3 of the state’s 53 districts. Nationwide, there are only 55 “battleground” districts that are competitive in presidential elections. Under the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, two-thirds of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, seven-eighths of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

    Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

    A national popular vote is the way to make every person’s vote equal and guarantee that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states becomes President.

  19. mvymvy

    State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award electoral college votes were eventually enacted by 48 states after the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.

    The Founding Fathers only said in the U.S. Constitution about presidential elections (only after debating among 60 ballots for choosing a method): “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.”

    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 rule) 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.

    In 1789 only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all rule to award electoral votes.

    The winner-take-all rule is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all rule (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 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 rule.

    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 rule is used by 48 of the 50 states.

  20. mvymvy

    The 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States and a candidate would win the Presidency if 100% of the voters in these 11 states voted for one candidate. However, if anyone is concerned about the this theoretical possibility, it should be pointed out that, under the current system, a candidate could win the Presidency by winning a mere 51% of the vote in these same 11 states — that is, a mere 26% of the nation’s votes.

    The political reality is that the 11 largest states rarely agree on any political question. In terms of recent presidential elections, the 11 largest states include five “red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six “blue” states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). The fact is that the big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

    Moreover, the notion that any candidate could win 100% of the vote in one group of states and 0% in another group of states is far-fetched. Indeed, among the 11 most populous states, the highest levels of popular support , hardly overwhelming, were found in the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas (62% Republican),
    * New York (59% Democratic),
    * Georgia (58% Republican),
    * North Carolina (56% Republican),
    * Illinois (55% Democratic),
    * California (55% Democratic), and
    * New Jersey (53% Democratic).

    In addition, the margins generated by the nation’s largest states are hardly overwhelming in relation to the 122,000,000 votes cast nationally. Among the 11 most populous states, the highest margins were the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas — 1,691,267 Republican
    * New York — 1,192,436 Democratic
    * Georgia — 544,634 Republican
    * North Carolina — 426,778 Republican
    * Illinois — 513,342 Democratic
    * California — 1,023,560 Democratic
    * New Jersey — 211,826 Democratic

    To put these numbers in perspective, Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes). Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004.

    In 2004, 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

  21. mvymvy

    The bill 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). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

  22. 6176746f6c6c65

    Understand your position; but, in recounting the 11 most populous states, it should be noted that California carries 55 electoral votes, while Texas, holding the next greatest number, carries 34, a difference of 21.

    I point this out to suggest that the “per district” allocation of electoral votes would, if the states are as politically divided as argued, result in closer elections, with the potential for more attention (read $$ spent on campaigning there) from the candidates than under the “winner take all” system.

    One question; is your support of this such that you could have accepted Sen. Gore as President following the 2000 election? It seems to me that GWB was the election winner in 2000 despite being “in second place” in the popular vote nation-wide.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      I’ve another question, one of interpretation: if one assumes that the proposal is for a true majority of the popular vote election of the President, then why is it worded in the curious manner presented; unless the intent is to truly not have a popular vote election, but rather the bastard offspring of the union of the current system and a popular vote system, i.e., to win, candidate A must win the popular vote in a number of states such that the
      number of states won exceeds the number of states won by the opponent.

      To rephrase, is it a true “majority of the popular vote” won result that is desired, or a “majority of popular vote” in e.g., 26 states won that is desired?

      For if it is the former, there would be no need to worry about states, just the aggregate numbers of votes cast; if the latter, then this is not a good faith proposal for “majority wins”, but rather an attempt to control the outcome of a presidential election by a manner other than a pure majority vote, dressed up to look like one. Kind of like putting lipstick on a pig, don’t you think?

  23. 6176746f6c6c65

    I agree that the constitutional wording does not compel any one way for the several states to determine how to award the respective electoral votes of each state. If one returns to the language of Article II, § 1, before its amendment by the 12th Amendment, it is clear to me that the type of compact suggested would have been abhorrent to the Founders. But, I digress.

    This is an attempt, it seems to me, to remove the protection (such as it is) of the Electoral College of the several states, especially the smaller states, in favor of an end run to avoid the messy job of a constitutional amendment to seek a desired outcome, one, which I suggest, would not be so avidly sought had the results of the 2004 election been reversed, or had there been a true majority of the popular vote (and not a majority of the popular vote as cast in each state) result in 2000.

  24. 6176746f6c6c65

    After reexamining the contents of the link, as amplified by the comments of mvymvy, it appears to me the proposal is focused upon the following: states would enact, through adoption of legislation identical in its terms, a method of casting the electoral votes of each state enacting said statutes for the candidate who won the majority vote in the 50 states and DC, that is, the candidate that carried the greater/greatest number of states by popular vote, even if said candidate did not receive a majority of the popular vote nationally, counted and tallied without regard to state borders. Thus, it is offered, affording the voters in each state knowledge that her/his vote matters, when it really doesn’t.

    I say this for the simple reason that if a state is a member of the compact, regardless of the winner of the popular vote in that state, that state’s electoral votes will be cast for the overall winner. Thus, if Kansas is a member of this alliance, and, Hell having frozen, casts a majority of the popular vote for the Democratic Party candidate, if the GOP candidate won the popular vote in a majority of the other states, say 26, then the 6 electoral votes of Kansas would be cast for the GOP candidate.

    This is how I see this; an attempt to circumvent the fact that the majority (as in a majority of the voting population) vote being concentrated in a relatively small number of states, it is potentially possible for those states to elect the President through the Electoral College process, regardless of the votes of the other states. This is what the Electoral College compromise was designed to guard against; I don’t think any thinking person would deny its loss of effectiveness in today’s society.

    I personally am not for abolition of the Electoral College; I am for “tweaking” it, along the lines of the Maine approach. I am most definitely not in favor of what I understand the linked proposal to be in any manner, seeing it as a naked attempt to preserve power when such power should not be preserved. Let’s be real here; this cuts both ways. The example first offered was 2004; another that could be presented is 2000 (although, it’s my thought that Bush Lite would have won the election in a much less dramatic fashion had the linked proposal a) be as I think it is, and b) been in effect.

    It seems clear from the link that the last thing desired by the proponents is a “pure majority” popular vote; note the emphasis in some earlier posts by mvymvy on the per state margins, an emphasis which makes no sense in a pure majority popular vote election, but makes a whole lot of sense in my interpretation.

    As many know, I’m not a fan of a “pure democracy”, for I fear the “tyranny of the majority”; but, given the evolution of our political system, I’m also not in favor of disenfranchisement of voters. Tweak the system; don’t do any end runs around it.

  25. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting, 6176. It’s easy to see why they were vague about what their proposition actually is. Certainly not an improvement, does not offer greater equality to the individual voter.

    Maine and Nebraska both use an alternative method of distributing their electoral votes, called the Congressional District Method. Currently, these two states are the only two in the union that diverge from the traditional winner-take-all method of electoral vote allocation.

    With the district method, a state divides itself into a number of districts, allocating one of its state-wide electoral votes to each district. The winner of each district is awarded that district’s electoral vote, and the winner of the state-wide vote is then awarded the state’s remaining two electoral votes.

    This method has been used in Maine since 1972 and Nebraska since 1996, though since both states have adopted this modification, the statewide winners have consistently swept all of the state’s districts as well. Consequently, neither state has ever split its electoral votes.

    Although this method still fails to reach the full ideal of one-man one-vote, it has been proposed as a nationwide reform for the way in which Electoral votes are distributed.

    NOTE! Nebraska’s electoral votes were split in the 2008 presidential election. The above must have been written before that election.

    • wicked

      Didn’t Colorado almost go to a different counting system a few years ago? I keep thinking it was considering it at one time.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        Yes, Colorado was considering this. I’m unclear about whether it made it to a vote and defeated, or whether it’s pending somewhere. Given the political demographics of Colorado, I’d think it would be a popular issue.

  26. mvymvy

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. Every vote 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 a handful of swing states.

    When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from the enacting states (with at least 270 electoral college votes) would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).