Arizona Citizens Supporting Honest Representative Government At All Levels
[Editor: You may have heard about the National Popular Vote issue that is being considered as an interstate compact bill by our Legislature in the session starting January, 2016. There is a lot of information out on this, some true, some not. In an effort to inform all of you - and all those you chose to send this to - we have solicited arguments for both sides of the issue. We have printed in full what we were sent from Constantin Querard - PRO and Bill Baxter - CON. There is a lot of important information on this post and it's long, so read it all so you have a full understanding of both sides of the issue.]
Constantin Querard is a political consultant and a paid lobbyist on issues through his current business, Grassroots Partners. He's been active in those fields representing candidates and issues for a decade in Arizona. He is currently a paid lobbyist for the National Popular Vote organization, 99% of the money came from two gentlemen... Dr. John Koza, who is a liberal gentleman from California who made his money from inventions related to the scratch off lottery ticket, and Tom Golisano, a conservative gentleman from New York who owns Paychex, the payroll processing company.. Here is his submission:
Between now and early 2016 there will be a great deal of discussion regarding National Popular Vote. The debate is healthy and welcome. As someone who was originally introduced to the idea as something I should oppose, it took me a very long time to actually learn what the bill did and didn’t do. Not content to just believe someone else’s 5 minute video or a short email filled with bumper sticker slogans, I went to work learning everything I could about the bill. Eventually I came to support the bill and offered to help advance the idea here in Arizona.
When I started it was important to me that we started with the grassroots, not legislators. And for much of this year I have been meeting with and speaking with 100’s of activists to explain National Popular Vote in detail. I have also spoken at LD meetings and Tea Party meetings to a lot of additional people.
My rule has been simple. I’ll talk to anyone who is interested in learning about the issue. That offer still stands. When I see someone speaking out about the issue and reciting “facts” that have been publicly disproven, I reach out and offer to discuss it with them. When I hear from someone who doesn’t understand the issue but wants to, I’m happy to spend the time explaining it. I understand that not everyone will agree, but the debate is well served by everyone working from the same set of facts. From time to time I run into someone who doesn’t want to even discuss discussing the idea. Well, not much I can do there.
Some important facts would help the debate along. First, what we are proposing is Constitutional and has been vetted time and time again over the last 10+ years. In fact, the Supreme Court has spoken of this specific power for decades. Second, it makes no changes at all to the Electoral College. I wouldn’t support any Constitutional amendments or any efforts to change the Electoral College. Third, National Popular Vote is the only way we can ensure that a vote in Arizona matters as much as a vote in swing states like Florida, Ohio or Virginia. You might not think it matters very much, but the effect of our current Winner-Take-All rules warps public policy and leads to liberal policies that we all have to pay for. For too long, campaigns have crafted expensive, big-government programs to buy the votes of swing voters in swing states and the rest of us have had to pay for them. Our leading opponent brags that our current system is better because it forces the political parties to nominate moderate candidates that will appeal to moderate swing voters in swing states. Our current system is ideal if you are looking for a Bush-Kasich ticket to appeal to moderate voters and help capture the important battleground states of Florida and Ohio. I say “No Thanks!” Every vote in Arizona ought to be just as important as every vote in Florida or Ohio, and our candidate ought to be a real conservative who can turn out our whole party across the entire country.
If the topic interests you, let me know. If you think you like the idea or loathe the idea, but want to learn more about it so you can form a more informed opinion, let me know. I’m speaking at groups all over the state and if I don’t have something convenient, I’ll set something up for you.
This issue is important to the future of our state and country. I hope you’ll take me up on my offer.
Bill Baxter got involved in politics in1964, working on Goldwater’s campaign with John Shadegg and others at Camelback High; elected president of the TAR organization back then. Has been active in varying degrees since, always a ‘politico’. His degree is technical, he has a deep academic background from UofA in political science and history, as those have always been his passion. He got very involved again in 2010 in the old LD20 (now LD18), and among many strong and admirable people, helped recover that LD for the conservative cause, served as first vice chair from 2010 to 2012 and also served as a member of the AzGOP Executive Committee from 2013 to 2015. "So it is with some perspective and knowledge that I comment on various issues, including this one."
[A] previous discussion prompted me to do a lot more research, and communicate personally with members of the RNC and a well known constitutional attorney. All are opposed to NPV, as is the RNC.
4 years ago the RNC rejected NPV, and has not seen fit to reconsider that opinion. You may or may not be a fan of the RNC, but clearly they want to win elections and have the resources to evaluate measures such as NPV with a view to elect more Republicans (even if not the Republicans YOU would support).
I am including some pertinent results of the research below. The verbiage provided is a very small part of the information contained in the links. There are analyses of the effect of NPV contained in the links, as well as articulation of the potential downsides.
NPV clearly changes the effect of the electoral college, despite claims to the contrary. It is sufficient to say that currently it is possible that the electoral college and the popular vote may produce different results, as fully intended by the founders.If NPV is implemented, that will no longer be the case. So therefore, the effect of the electoral college is dramatically altered. Instead of reflecting the voters in a given state, under NPV the electoral college would reflect the national popular vote, even if that is contrary to the vote totals in a state. Given that, how does one assert that NPV does not change the electoral college? NPV alters how the electoral college works based on a state compact which could itself be unconstitutional. State compacts are addressed specifically in the constitution. They are prohibited without congressional approval.
Remember the Florida chad nightmare in 2000? We won that one. Will we win the next one? Can you imagine a national recount? Or even a recount involving a number of states, each with their own rules? How about hanging chads in 10 or 20 states? With NPV, states will have more motivation to recount if the national popular vote turns out contrary to their preference.
How long will it take to determine who won which state and how many cases will be filed in court, and how many shenanigans will be attempted to alter the vote? Will it be March before we find out who won the election?
What will happen if state legislatures refuse to comply with NPV when the results go against them? Who will enforce that? The supreme court? Based on something that is constitutionally ‘shaky’ anyway?
What happens if 270 electoral votes are gained in the NPV compact, which would make NPV operational per the compact, and then a couple Left-leaning states decide that if they allocate electoral votes by congressional district (*definitely* allowed under the constitution) they can split their state’s electoral votes and thereby throw enough electoral votes to the Democrat candidate to seal permanent Democrat victories for the White House? They are smart enough to do that and likely have thought about it.
What happens if the ‘swing’ states decide not to get on board with NPV? They are not likely to want to give up the attention they get.
The idea that candidates will campaign in Wyoming (ok, a stretch) is qustionable. Candidates are likely to play to the population centers. They are unlikely to campaign in low population areas, which are most of the country. It at minimum it is very uncertain whether they will pay more attention to the small states or the red states. That is pure supposition not supported by any study to date. In fact, if you dig into the studies from Heritage and Cato and others, you will see that from the minimal data available, less than comprehensive, it appears that since most voters don’t even know the electoral college exists, NPV will have no measurable effect on turnout. I don’t want to include all of this detail here as I am trying to summarize, but the detail is in the links.
The Cato analysis indicates that Arizona loses ‘relative influence’ under NPV (see link below).
The fact is that while political scientists on both sides have studied portions of this issue, it is incredibly complex and we have no evidence to prove it one way or the other. So we’re going to bet the farm on NPV?
NPV removes Federalism from the national electoral process. States no longer matter. If you like the 10th amendment, and state’s rights, you should not be supporting NPV. The votes of entire states will be disregarded if they vary from the national popular total. Different interests in those diverse states no longer matter. The founders instituted the electoral college to protect minority interests and prevent the tyranny of democracy. You all know we are not a democracy. Democracy leads to tyranny. Every time. No exceptions. While there was intense debate, and compromise, the electoral college was put in place as a protection for states who have interests different from the national population centers. NPV completely removes that protection.
If you like voter fraud, you will LOVE NPV. With NPV, the fraudsters, virtually all Democrat (as you know and truly so) no longer need to try to guess in what swing states and districts to focus their efforts. They simply need to crank up the fraud in blue states and they can win the White House every time. Why did the guy who thought this up (John Koza) who is a huge Democrat donor and backed by Soros, initiated this? Why is it that only blue states that have passed this?
Do they know something you don’t?
Bottom line is this: There is a lot of risk associated with NPV, and only faith that it will make things better. Anyone who tells you they can predict how this will work is confusing their own suppositions with facts on the ground. It intentionally gets around the constitution (as John Koza says ‘an end run is not illegal in football’). Maybe it will be a nightmare. Each person should evaluate risk vs reward. The reward is a completely un-provable supposition. Some very smart people have tried to project some of this, but much research is lacking. What we have now is a leap of faith. The decision is easy for me…. I don’t do risk without fully understanding and validating the reward, especially when it concerns my country.
From the Heritage Foundation:
The National Popular Vote (NPV) plan is the latest in a long line of schemes designed to replace the Electoral College. Imbued with the ideals of this nation’s Founders, the Electoral College has proved itself to be both effective in providing orderly elections for President and resilient in allowing a stable transfer of power of the leadership of the world’s greatest democracy. Therefore, while it would be a mistake to replace the Electoral College, replacing this system with the NPV would be a disaster. The NPV would devalue the minority interests that the Founders sought to protect, create electoral administrative problems, encourage voter fraud, and radicalize the U.S. political system. It also would likely violate the U.S. Constitution’s Compact Clause while directly contravening the Founders’ view of federalism and a representative republic. In an age of perceived political dysfunction, effective policies already in place—especially successful policies established by this nation’s Founders, such as the Electoral College—should be preserved.
The latest scheme, the National Popular Vote (NPV) plan, is bad public policy. The NPV plan would:
The NPV plan also strikes at the Founders' view of federalism and a representative republic—one in which popular sovereignty is balanced by structural protections for state governments and minority interests.
The winner-take-all system for electoral votes reduces the possibility of a recount since popular vote totals are often much closer than the Electoral College totals. In fact, former FEC chairman Bradley Smith points out that “recounts may have been necessary in as many as six presidential elections since 1880, if a national popular vote system had been in place. That’s nearly one out of every six elections”
The prospect of a candidate challenging “every precinct, in every county, in every state of the Union,” should be abhorrent to anyone who witnessed the drama, cost, delay, and undue litigation sparked by the Florida recount of 2000. Worse still, there is little chance that the ballots would be recounted in a consistent manner across the nation or that there would be a national, as opposed to piecemeal, recount.
Another unforeseen consequence of the NPV is that the plan would encourage vote fraud. Currently, a fraudulent vote is counted only in the district in which it was cast and therefore can affect the electoral votes only in that particular state. Under the NPV, however, vote fraud in any state would affect the aggregate national vote.
To a would-be wrongdoer, this is a drastic increase in the potential benefit obtained from casting fraudulent ballots. Fraudsters would be encouraged to engage in fraud to obtain further votes for their national candidate or to deny votes for the opposition candidate. Under the current system, there are some states where such fraud would make no difference, but with the NPV, every fraudulent vote obtained anywhere could make the difference in changing the outcome of the national race.
This prospect is even more worrisome when one considers how much easier it is to cast fraudulent votes in strongly partisan neighborhoods and one-party districts where there are no (or few) members of the opposition party to work as election officials or poll watchers. There is little incentive to engage in such partisan fraud where it is most possible now, since the dominant party is likely to win anyway, but under the NPV scheme, there is an increased incentive to engage in fraud in such states that are the most corrupt and one-sided even if others have relatively clean elections. Thus, this scheme makes all states—especially one-party states and those with a history of tolerating fraud—targets for fraud, likely increasing this type of misbehavior nationwide.
The NPV is both unconstitutional and bad public policy. It would devalue the minority interests that the Founders sought to protect, create electoral administrative problems, and radicalize the U.S. political system. If the proponents of the NPV believe that this change is necessary, they should convince Congress and the American people and use the proper method for amending the Constitution.
From the CATO Institute:
The National Popular Vote plan (NPV), introduced in more than 40 states, and adopted by 4 (now more… bb), proposes an interstate compact to bring about direct election of the president of the United States. The proposal eliminates states as electoral
districts in presidential elections by creating a national electoral district for the presidential election, thereby advancing a national political identity for the United States. States with small populations and states that are competitive may benefit from the electoral college.
Few states clearly benefit from direct election of the president. NPV brings about this change without amending the Constitution, thereby undermining the legitimacy of presidential elections. It also weakens federalism by eliminating the role of the states in presidential contests. NPV nationalizes disputed outcomes and cannot offer any certainty that states will not withdraw from the compact when the results of an election become known. NPV will encourage presidential campaigns to focus their efforts in dense media markets where costs per vote are lowest; many states now ignored by candidates will continue to be ignored under NPV.
For these reasons, states should not join the National Popular Vote compact.
From Prager University (a video):
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/curtis-gans/national-popular-vote_b_1... Huffington Post, mind you !!!
http://www.lwvvc.org/NPVArgument_con.pdf League of Women Voters !!!
http://www.redstate.com/diary/Morton_C_Blackwell/2011/06/24/nationa... Arizona LOSES power under NPV, as documented in previous links !!!!
I think this is enough. I have about 30 more links for you from conservative organizations, but I think you get the point. Flush this idea, now.
AFA POLICY: THE COMMENTS BOX IS FOR ABBREVIATED ONE OR TWO SHORT PARAGRAPH RESPONSES. IF YOU HAVE A LONGER RESPONSE, PLEASE START A NEW DISCUSSION.
Thanks AFA for running this out there again. Re-reading this reminds me just how bad NPV is which is probably why only those paid to support it do support it. What kind of tripe were the legislators sold to get them on board with this? We need to call every last one of them. Here is a link to the sponsors: CALL THEM http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=HB2456&Se...
I initially thought it was worth looking into. Speaking with a friend, he pointed out the main failure of the NPV is the fact the design of the system requires a break between people and the government, this is the state. So when he stated:
NPV removes Federalism from the national electoral process. States no longer matter. If you like the 10th amendment..
He hit it on the head. This is bad for everyone.
After reading 'ACTUALLY, I'm not so sure the RNC wants to win elections.' It reminded me of my wife reading something from the RNC, and stating 'I see they are still pushing the 'scorched earth' policy as she shook her head.'
As per Lenin or Stalin I'm not sure, but one of them said what's important is not how many people vote or who votes, but WHO counts the votes.
Lenin taught, "Communism must be built by non-communist hands." The People who remain ignorant are always manipulated by populist movements. Thinking 'constitutionally', or gaining the mindset of the early leaders of our nation does require a paradigm shift. So it is no surprise that NPV gains support in tea parties and other political groups.
NPV only grows when the only information they receive is from a highly paid consultant. When people hear the whole story with the historical indicators and the fact that only DEEP BLUE Socialist states have signed on, their position changes.
NPV meets the criteria of what your quote of Lenin refers to. NPV is using conservatives to distort the intent of the Founding Fathers to prohibit our government being run as a democracy instead of a representative republic. Richard Daley who created the election of John F. Kennedy with voter fraud is prima facie evidence. Imagine what thirty states that encompass the 50 largest cities - all under the control of socialist (communist) leaders.
Thanks for bringing the fact that communist policies are being advanced by non-communists. Important concept.