Ed explains Preibus' strategy with regard to the electoral college
If you're just tuning into this, watch Ed explain Republicans' strategy for stealing the 2016 election. My hair is on fire --in advance of my head exploding. Preibus' "in your face" cynicism and thuggery is mind-bending.
I wanted to find a way to change the outcome, so I've been hunting down information on the different states to see how these efforts can be countered. Here's what I have so far.
- Virginia: Virginia has made the first move to change how their electors are allocated. Following their efforts to redistrict state Senate districts, a Senate subcommittee moved on Wednesday to make the change. Go to Credo Action and sign their petition which will remind Governor
UltrasoundMcDonnell that he shouldn't sign any bill that reaches his desk into law if he has aspirations beyond the end of his gubernatorial term. Virginia is also a state covered by the Voting Rights Act, which should mean a serious investigation of Republican efforts to disenfranchise minority voters in the state, who tend to be clustered in the areas. If this becomes law, minority voters will be deemed irrelevant.
There is some cause to hope, however. Republican State Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel opposes the plan. She abstained from the subcommittee vote and has said she would "likely" oppose it in committee or on the floor. I hope she means it, because that would break the tie in the Senate and cause the measure to fail.
- Michigan: Michigan radio host Jack Lessenberry is sounding the alarm about the possibility of similar legislation in that state. MichiganLiberal.com says the answer to any effort to marginalize Michigan should be met with a citizens referendum taking redistricting duties away from the legislature. This might be a long-term solution, but in the short term, it won't change the fact that Michigan's districts are gerrymandered to death.
- Wisconsin and Ohio: Governor Scott Walker has said he would be open to the idea, but I haven't seen or heard about any legislation being introduced. As we all know, both of these state legislatures have a history of using procedure to ramrod legislation through before anyone realizes what they've actually done. In these states, vigilance is required for now.
- Florida: Governor
GollumScott has a problem he might not want to exacerbate right now -- namely, the state really, really disapproves of him. He's also facing heavy criticism over what he and the state legislature did with regard to election "reforms" that left voters standing in long, long lines to vote. In order to scramble for higher ground, he's now supporting some new "reforms" that would extend early voting times. Governor Scott has tried to weasel out of his own role in suppressing minority voters via voter roll purges, and simply making it harder to vote. This has come at a heavy political cost. Signing more voter disenfranchisement measures like these will spell the end of his days in politics. While that might be something he would welcome, I think the Republican party and Scott are more interested in keeping the state in Republican hands for 2016.
- Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania is ground zero, alongside Virginia. Republican Senate Majority Leader Domenic Pileggi has been pushing for this for years. A bill has been introduced with weak sponsorship. There appears to be a real divide in the legislature about doing this because of concerns that Pennsylvania will be less of a player in national elections without the winner-take-all incentive. Nevertheless, Governor Tom Corbett has indicated that he supports it. Pennsylvania is similar to Virginia, in that gerrymandering has enabled Republicans to take over the statehouse because of disproportionate weighting in rural districts. This initiative failed in Pennsylvania before because of concerns about diluting the power of the state's role in national elections. That theme should be the one pushed with legislators now, along with a reminder that voter disenfranchisement doesn't play well with the public at large.
The national initiative to push ahead with the marginalization of these swing states seems to have begun with Saul Anuzis, former Republican state chairman in Michigan and a friend of Domenic Pileggi, the driving force in Pennsylvania. At some point, he got Reince Preibus to sign onto it.
Preibus should watch his back, and remember that what goes around comes around. Just as he stabbed Michael Steele in the back in order to take control of the national Republican party, so too would Saul Anuzis happily stab Preibus in order to step into his position. By pushing the concept of marginalizing states which have been influential in national elections, Anuzis could be moving toward a stealth coup of his own. Republicans do things like this all the time. There's no loyalty among thieves, after all.
Even as Preibus announces his "renewal plan" for the GOP which involves abandoning "the concept of battleground states" (hint, hint), he could be setting up his own battleground and opening the door for Anuzis to walk through and shove a knife in his back, just like he did to Steele in 2011.
In the meantime, he should be shamed over and over again for endorsing a plan that is nothing more than an outright plot to steal the White House by disenfranchising voters and laying waste to the idea that every vote counts.