By Tom Del Beccaro, on May 13, 2011


The NPV bill before the California legislature is bad for America and even worse for California Republicans.  I could not be more against this effort.


First, in an era of growing awareness of the need to respect the Constitution, support for an unprecedented end run around the Constitutional amendment process could not be more untimely let alone “extra-constitutional” -- if not out-right unconstitutional.  If such a core Constitutional process as the Electoral College can be averted by this scheme, what would be next and where would it end?  I have no desire to know the answer to those questions.

Second, there was a reason why our Founders did not want a popular vote system.  I remain persuaded by their arguments that have withstood the test of time over those pushing for the effective repeal of the Electoral College today.

Third, the map above should persuade everyone that this effort will result in an even more divided America.  The Democrats will concentrate on certain states and the blue tower areas – especially Los Angeles - and Republicans will concentrate on the red areas.  The further balkanization of America is a bad idea and one major reason the Electoral College exists.  Our Founders wanted to give Delaware a chance against Virginia.  So they gave Delaware a greater voice in choosing the Presidency than just the popular vote.  As such, they wouldn’t want California, Illinois, and New York to dominate our process even more than they already do.

Fourth, in no uncertain terms, that means that Republicans within the LA media market will have a much harder time getting elected.  Seductive claims of more Republican money aside, the bottom line is that Democrats will run more ads in the Los Angeles area to run up their vote totals and that will harm the chances of any Republicans within range of that media market.  Given the pending redistricting, Republicans cannot possibly benefit from more Democrat money in that area.

In sum, this is a bad bill that runs contrary to the very fabric of our Constitution.  The Founders reached a better solution.  I am sticking with that and I more than hope that every State legislature in America does the same.

I urge you to contact your state representative and urge them to vote against this bill.

Thanks Tom,

I appreciate your strong stand for our Constitution and the principles upon which it is based. The moves toward democracy and away from the representative republic that was established by our founders must be stopped. Thanks again for all you are doing to inform the electorate in these most important matters.

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You are correct on principle but have failed to articulate the arguments effectively supporting the Founding Fathers Constitutional reasoning, resorting instead to a partisan argument about how the GOP will be disadvantaged by this bill. You have to make the case on the basis of how the State and Nation will be disadvantaged. This is a bad bill. There is a clear and definite case to be made. You just didn't do it here. I wish you had. I hope you do!

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Here is a published article written last month by me. You can see we agree with Tom

Saving Our Republic


     By Lee Ellis



Is the new National Popular Vote Legislation misleading voters and even some Republican leaders? Is it part of a Leftist master plan to change our Republic by slowly eliminating the Electoral College thus converting our Republic to a European type of a secularist, socialized democracy?


Starting decades ago, this Far Left master plan began with infiltrations of our universities along with the indoctrinations of our youth by tenured Marxist professors, followed by more infiltrations of the main-stream media and some political organizations. America, as a result, started slowly drifting left. The propaganda of “political correctness” accelerated this drift! All this had influenced many of the under 40 year old voters who leaned towards “Hope” and “Change” sans any clear definitions.


The final step by our Marxist enemies must be the complete elimination of our Electoral College thus allowing a few metropolitan areas such as LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit and New York to select all future Presidents. Millions of small town Americans will lose their presidential votes.


The prelude to this could be a bill making its way through the California Assembly, AB459! The San Francisco Chronicle, a left-leaning publication, describes AB459 thusly: "AB459...would change California's system ... states that pass similar legislation would agree through a compact to award all their votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide. The laws wouldn't go into effect until states representing 270 electoral votes, a majority and the number needed to elect a president, agree to the compact.”

Illinois, Hawaii, New Jersey and Maryland -- with a total of 73 electoral votes -- have passed the legislation proposed by National Popular Vote, a nonprofit based in Silicon Valley and founded by Stanford Professor John  Koza, who came up with the idea. 


While many conservatives have tried to reverse this leftist drift via  Tea Parties and a slow awakening of a few  Independents, but is all this too late?  I fear it may be. 


Too many elected politicians think that a compromise with the Left will further their political careers.  America would be better served if strong term limits kept citizen leaders devoting just a few years of service and then returned them to their regular occupations to live under the rules they created.


Only then can we keep our American Republic flourishing as a bastion of freedom!


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Many people wrongly believe the presidential election system we have today is in the Constitution. But 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. 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. Maine and Nebraska currently award electoral votes by congressional district -- a reminder that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not required to change the way the President is elected. National Popular Vote has nothing to do with whether the country has a "republican" form of government or is a "democracy." A "republican" form of government means that the voters do not make laws themselves but, instead, delegate the job to periodically elected officials (Congressmen, Senators, and the President). The United States has a republican form of government regardless of whether popular votes for presidential electors are tallied at the state-level (as has been the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).


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 method (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted 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 the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives agree already, that, at most, only 14 states and their voters will matter. Almost  75% of the country will be ignored --including 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX.  This will be more obscene than the 2008 campaign,, when candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI).  Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA).  In 2004, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their money and campaign visits in 5 states; over 80% in 9 states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states.                                         

2/3rds 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.


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

The National Popular Vote bill is a state-based approach, launched in 2006.  It preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections.  It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College.  It assures that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election.  

The bill would take effect when enacted by states that have a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). Then, 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 would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Electoral College that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws,  not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

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. 

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).  Support is strong among Republican voters, Democratic voters, and independent voters, as well as every demographic group surveyed in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO - 68%, FL - 78%, IA 75%,, MI - 73%, MO - 70%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM-- 76%, NC - 74%, OH - 70%, PA - 78%, VA - 74%, and WI - 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK - 70%, DC - 76%, DE - 75%, ID - 77%, ME - 77%, MT - 72%, NE 74%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM - 76%, OK - 81%, RI - 74%, SD - 71%, UT - 70%, VT - 75%, WV - 81%, and WY - 69%; in Southern and border states: AR - 80%,, KY- 80%, MS - 77%, MO - 70%, NC - 74%, OK - 81%, SC - 71%, VA - 74%, and WV - 81%; and in other states polled: CA - 70%, CT - 74%, MA - 73%, MN - 75%, NY - 79%, OR - 76%, and WA - 77%.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC (3), HI (4), IL (19), NJ (14), MD (11), MA (10), VT (3), and WA (13). These 8 jurisdictions possess 77 electoral votes -- 29% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.



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