Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law yesterday a measure that would circumvent the Electoral College by awarding the state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide.
The bill, one of 105 signed by the Democratic governor the day after the General Assembly adjourned, makes Maryland the first in the nation to agree to let the national popular vote trump statewide preference. It would not take effect until states that cumulatively hold 270 electoral votes -- the number needed to win a presidential election -- agree to do the same.
In other words, this is less of a gesture by the folks in Maryland, willing to bow to the popular will, as it is a move by certain politicians to seek another means of doing away with the Electoral College, (since they know they can't get rid of it via Constitutional amendment.
Supporters of the Electoral College measure, including O'Malley, say deciding elections by popular vote would give candidates reason to campaign nationwide and not concentrate their efforts in "battleground" states, such as Ohio, that have dominated recent elections.
During debate, opponents argued that election by popular vote could just switch the target for candidates from closely divided states to large cities -- a scenario that would not necessarily empower Maryland. And they suggested a national recount could be chaotic.
Exactly. If you thought Florida 2000 was a mess, imagine the scenario in a contest w/a close vote in the national popular vote with attorney's combing the countryside looking for individual precincts all across America w/any problems they could bring before a judge. We'd have cases before courts in virtually every state...all getting kicked up to federal district courts...resulting in competing circuit courts, etc., etc.. A lawyers dream world.
This is to say nothing of messing around with the system the Founders gave us, whereby each individual state (especially smaller states) retains an larger measure of influence on the entire outcome.
This is a topic of discussion a month or so ago when some of the usual suspects in Hollywood announced they were getting on the O'Bama bandwagon, but now that the reports are out we find that the list of defectors has extended to Clinton's "home state" of New York:
WASHINGTON - Hundreds of New Yorkers are reaching into their wallets to bankroll Democrat Barack Obama's 2008 presidential bid - including many longtime boosters of arch rival Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In fact, Obama's biggest campaign bundlers in the Big Apple - credited with rounding up Democratic ducats in mammoth chunks - are former big-time Clinton backers who have shifted their allegiance from the hometown senator to the soaring newcomer.
The support of ex-Clintonites has helped the Illinois upstart nearly tie her in the so-called first primary - the three-month fund-raising quarter that ended March 31.
Clinton's campaign machine raked in $26 million, with Obama breathing down her neck at $25 million - a stunning haul for a Senate rookie, which smashed Clinton's carefully crafted persona as the unquestioned front-runner and inevitable presidential nominee.
While it seems that the bigger part of O'Bama's appeal among Dems is that he's "not Hillary', I think you can also throw a little bit of love towards the Internet for this situation. O'Bama raised much more on the net that she did, but the more important point I think is that the Internet itself (and the communication and social networking it makes possible) is responsible for making it easier for candidates to upset the conventional wisdom, especially as it relates to "inevitable nominees". A circumstance which seems to have developed for Hillary among the Democrats and McCain among the Republicans. A good thing in both cases I would say.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) '- Most Florida felons will regain voting and other civil rights more quickly after completing their sentences under changes approved Thursday by the governor and the state clemency board. Republican Gov. Charlie Crist pushed the change, saying the rights to vote, hold office and serve on a jury were fundamental to being part of a democratic society.
With 3-1 vote by Crist and the other members of the state's clemency board, state officials will begin the restoration process for felons once they complete their sentences. Previously, many felons needed to go before the board, which can take years to hear a case because of backlogs. ...
There isn't agreement on how many eligible ex-felons are out there, though it's definitely more than a half-million people. ...
So much for another 2000 style squeaker in the Sunshine State.
And guess who's happy about it?
"A new day is upon us where we encourage our ex-offenders to be active participants in our democracy by voting and seizing opportunities of employment for a new life," said Cusack, a Democrat.
Imagine that. Polipundit says to "color Florida blue". He may be right...and we'll have our own people to thank for it.
ABC actually reports that the new strategy in Iraq associated w/the surge in troop strength is paying off. The first question is "how did that happen?". The second question is, "will anyone get fired?".
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign announced Wednesday that it raised at least $25 million in the first quarter of 2007.
The total comes close to the $26 million raised by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign in the same time period and calls into question the New York Democrat's status as her party's front-runner in 2008.
The Obama for America campaign said more than 100,000 individual donors had contributed to the 2008 presidential campaign of the senator from Illinois.
"This overwhelming response, in only a few short weeks, shows the hunger for a different kind of politics in this country and a belief at the grass-roots level that Barack Obama can bring out the best in America to solve our problems," said Penny Pritzker, Obama for America's finance chair, in a news release.
While you've gotta' give some credit to a guy who was a measley state senator roughly 2 years ago and rakes in a cool 25 million in one quarter...only a million behind Hillary Clinton, the fact is...he was only a million behind Hillary Clinton. What I mean is that he's got a big fat target painted on his chest now...and Team Clinton plays rough. Look for the long knives to come out very, very soon.
In fact, I'd wager that the rough and tumble of the process on the Dem side of the aisle will make any political hardball on the GOP side pale by comparison. Why, you ask? For starters, this is the Clinton's we're talking about, and she's being seriiously challenged for something that they think should be hers by right. Second, the nutroots on the left (the types who helped beat Joe Lieberman in his own primary) can't stand her...and Barak will probably be their proxy before it's over.
So it's the internet moonbat crowd vs. Her Royal Highness. Lots of good entertainment headed our way.
Liberals are always a good source of comedy, and the article below re: political demographics and conservative breeding habits is no exception:
According to another set of data, for the past 30 years or so, conservatives -- particularly those of the right-wing red-state Christian strain -- have been out-breeding liberals by a margin of at least 20 percent, if not far more.
It's true. The reason? Why, God loves babies, of course. White American babies, most especially. Also: issues of space, religion, sexual orientation and, of course, conscience. Or, you know, lack thereof.
One theory goes like this: Libs are generally more socially conscious and hence tend to actually give a modicum of thought to what it means to pop out a brood of children in this modern overstuffed age. Also, many other liberal bohos are (admittedly) happy selfish suckwads who want all the modern booty for themselves and won't want to give up the Ducati and the plasma and the biannual trip to Cinque Terre for the sake of a pod of rug rats and 15 grand a year (each) for private kindergarten. Translation: Libs just aren't procreating like they could/should be.
Conservative Christians, of course, have no such conscience. Among the right-wing God-lovin' set, there is often little real awareness of planetary health or resource abuse or the notion that birth control is actually a very, very good idea indeed, and therefore it's completely natural to worship at the altar of minivans and SUVs and megachurches and massive all-American entitlement and have little qualm about popping out six, seven, 19 gloopy tots to populate the world with frat boys and Ford F-150 buyers and food court managers.
Just when we managed to get SOME kind of progress on an issue like protecting our border w/and actual physical barrier - or at least 850 miles worth of one anyway - along comes Congress (and the White House) looking to reduce the impact of even that small victory.
Six months after approving a bill promising to build some 850 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Bush administration and Senate Republicans are now saying 370 miles is enough.
In his negotiations with Republican senators, Mr. Bush also appears to have rejected the key compromise in the Senate bill passed last year: allowing only longtime illegal aliens with "roots" to have a path to citizenship. He instead favors a more circuitous path that is open to almost all illegal aliens.
Add New Jersey to the list of states that will make the front-loading problem worse...and in the process actually reduce the influence that their state's voters will have on the process.
New Jersey is the latest state to join the 'front loading' frenzy, moving its presidential primary date in an effort to play a bigger role in the nominating process. Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine signed a bill Sunday to move the state's presidential primary to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in February, which will be Feb. 5 in 2008.
'For far too long presidential candidates have seen New Jersey only as a source of campaign cash,' Corzine said in a statement. 'New Jersey is now a primetime player in the nomination process, and candidates will have to come here, speak to voters and hear and respond to our concerns about a variety of issues that impact our state.'
This is actually the second time that New Jersey's 2008 presidential primary date has been switched. The state was scheduled to hold its presidential primary on June 3 before a law was passed last year moving the primary to a date at the end of February that would have fallen on Feb. 26 next year.
But New Jersey boosters contended that the surge of states moving their primaries even earlier threatened to again leave their state behind the curve in the nominating process, and legislators moved to schedule the primary Feb. 5.
Yet New Jersey already faces some formidable competition for the attention that its political leaders seek. California and New York previously had enacted laws shifting their presidential primaries to Feb. 5, and more than a dozen other states have either already done so or are contemplating such a move.
National primary, here we come. It looks as though everyone is bent and determined to "break" the primary system this year, in as big a way possible, instead of continuing to allow it to break "slowly" I suppose.