Category Archives: Electoral College

Chicago: All American City?

CNS News quotes Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as saying, “Chicago is the most American of American cities”. It’s not so much that I disagree with our illustrious Mayor, although I think he is premature in his evaluation. Chicago is what Wall Street would refer to as “a leading indicator”, but even in that, it is not number one. Cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Detroit and New York City are other leading indicators, as are the states of Illinois, California and New Jersey. If you want to know what your city or state will be like in a few years, assuming the current trends continue, you only need to look at these leading indicators of our culture.

Chicago has the highest murder rate in the country, along with the most stringent gun control laws. Its schools are among the worst in the nation, which may explain why its former school Superintendent, Arne Duncan was tapped by Barack Obama to be his Secretary of Education. Chicago’s property, business, sales, gasoline and cigarette taxes are consistently among the highest in the nation. Along with the high taxes, Chicago continues to gouge its citizens with additional “fees” for city services such as, ambulance, parking, and public transportation. The Fiscal Times reports that Illinois leads the nation in citizen exodus following a recent 67% increase in the state’s income tax rate.

Chicago has always been a leader in our slide into socialism. As far back as 1889 a Nationalist Club, advocating for the nationalizing of the nation’s economy was formed in Chicago with famous attorney Clarence Darrow as its head. In 1927, the University of Chicago became the home of America’s first Humanist Fellowship. The U of C has been the Midwest center of the socialist/progressive movement since the turn of the nineteenth Century. It is not by coincidence that President Obama and a surprisingly large number of his closest advisors have their roots in the Chicago socialist/progressive community.

While Chicago has long been a breeding ground for liberals, socialists, communists, humanists, and progressives of every stripe, it is still a long way from being an “all American city” as the 2012 election map shows.

2012 Election May by County

2012 Election Map by County

The electorate was fairly evenly divided in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. The problem was that not enough Republicans, represented by the red states  turned out in sufficient numbers to overcome the Democratic city machines located in the blue patches. Almost all of the (blue) areas where Democrats won in the ’08 and ’12 elections are located around major cities with Democratic Mayors and controlled by “machine politics”.  As this map shows, there is not a single state, with the exception of New England where the Democrats dominate the entire state.

In rural areas the “ground game” is not as effective in getting out the vote because the low population density makes person to person communication more difficult; and they are not as exposed to the constant bombardment of political advertising as those in “major markets”. Also, people in sparsely populated areas are not as affected by regional despots in their day-to-day lives as those in more densely populated areas, therefore they do not “feel” the urgency to vote or see the danger as clearly as their city cousins.

Before the next election we have to figure out how to get patriots in the rural areas of the country more organized and focused on the need for their participation in saving their country from the ravages of humanistic socialism. Tea anyone?

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Choosing The Senate President

Nothing triggers my Don Quixote spirit more so than that part of the Presidential campaign when the Presidential candidate is shopping for a running mate. Reading between the lines, over the lines, or under the lines, I can find nothing in the Constitution to justify the Presidential candidate being allowed to pick the V.P. candidate.

The Founding Fathers intended for the office of Vice President to be the second most powerful office in government. He is to serve as the Presiding Officer over the day-to-activities of the Senate and is to be selected by voters of the entire country, not by the voters of a single state, as is the case today when we allow the Senate Majority Leader to usurp the constitutional duties of the Vice President. The only duties assigned to the Vice President by the Constitution are to count the votes of the Electoral College and to serve as President of the Senate. Click HERE  for a more detailed discussion.

We have seen over the past three-and-a-half years the damage that can be done to our legislative processes and to the country when political hacks whose only loyalty is to their party and their only goal is gaining more power, are allowed to preside over the two houses of Congress. While John Boehner is incompetent as Speaker of the House, at least his office is constitutional and he was duly elected by the membership of the House.  There is however, no constitutional requirement that the Speaker be from the majority party of even a member of Congress.

While the Constitution (Art. 1.2.9) permits the House to elect its Presiding Officer, the same is not true for the Senate. Article I, Sec. 3, clause 6, 7 requires, “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided. The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.”  

The President pro tempore is not a permanent office. He is to be chosen by the Senate to serve temporarily as the Presiding Officer of the Senate only, “in the absence of the Vice President, or when he (the V.P.) shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.”  The Speaker of the House is the Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives, and the Vice President of the United States is the Presiding Officer of the Senate. There is no constitutional requirement for him to be a member of the majority party just as there is no requirement that the Speaker of the House be a member of Congress. The President of the Senate is the only officer of the Legislative Branch to be elected nationally and accountable to the voters of the entire country.

While there is no way, in the short term, to bring the Federal government back in line with the Constitution, we should be working tirelessly to that end. In the meanwhile, if Mitt Romney wishes to follow the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution and Amendment XII, in selecting his running mate, he should choose Rick Santorum since he received the second largest number of delegates during the Primaries.

Also see these two posts from the 2008 election cycle.

https://illinoisconservative.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/thomas-jefferson-advice-to-sarah-palin/

https://illinoisconservative.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/sarah-palin-as-president-of-the-senate/

Obama Presidency Most Lawless in History

The Obama government is the most lawless government in American History. When the fifty-five delegates to the Philadelphia Convention debated and crafted the U.S. Constitution their intention was to write the rules for the operation of the federal government. Their task was to preserve the principles of government identified in the Declaration of Independence, while at the same time, drawing up a plan that would provide the new government with the powers necessary for carrying out their legal functions and preserve the sovereignty of the participating states. A crucial goal of the Constitution was to limit the power and scope of the federal government and prevent it from encroaching on the legitimate powers of the states.

Article VI of the Constitution established the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land”. More specifically, it established the Constitution as the supreme law governing the operations and scope of the federal government. Only to the extent that the government is in compliance with the Constitution can it make any claim to being a government “of laws and not of men”.

The first ten Amendments to the Constitution were adopted to clarify portions of the Constitution and give emphasis to its limited powers. The limit on the powers of the federal government was given further emphasis in the Tenth Amendment. From the beginning, many power-hungry elected officials, tried to expand their powers beyond those granted. For the first hundred years Presidents and the Supreme Court were somewhat effective in defending the integrity of the Constitution. However, in the presidential elections of 1892 and 1896 conscious decisions were made by all the major political parties to begin testing the limits imposed by the Constitution.

The most important proposed departures from the original plan was to allow the federal government to collect a graduated income tax, and elect Senators by popular vote rather than by appointment of the state legislators as the Constitution required. The sixteenth and seventeenth amendments ratified in 1913 during the “progressive era” opened the floodgates, allowing for the wholesale violation of the Constitution. The sixteenth Amendment allowed for a direct income tax on individuals, making it possible for socialists and progressives in government to engage in income redistribution through a graduated income tax. The Seventeenth Amendment shifts the election of Senators from the state legislatures to the general population of each state, effectively neutralizing the Tenth Amendment placing the real government power in the hands of political “bosses” of the Parties in power.

Since that time the powers of the federal government and violations of the Constitution have increased exponentially to the point that it is questionable whether we are any longer a Constitutional Republic. Every administration since 1896 has violated the Constitution, both Democrats and Republicans. However, none have so blatantly refused to acknowledge the authority of the Constitution as Barack Obama, beginning with the first sentence of the first Article.

Article 1.1.1 “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

This clause makes it clear that the Executive and Judicial Branches do not have the power to legislate or make laws. Yet, most of the laws enforced by the federal government today that infringe on our liberties originate in the Executive and Judicial Branches and not in the Legislature. The legitimate functions of the various departments in the Executive Branch are to implement the laws and policies established by the Legislative Branch. The Treasury Department, State Department, Interior Department, Justice Department, and Defense Departments exist under the “necessary and proper clause” of the enumerated powers section. Others are unconstitutional because they do not relate to the limited powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution.

Today we have a plethora of Executive Branch bureaucracies, reminiscent of the old Soviet Union, making laws affecting every aspect of our personal and business life. These bureaucracies are headed by “Secretaries” who are illegally authorized by Congress to make laws at their discretion. This is a double violation of the Constitution; (1) Most are unconstitutional because their jurisdictions are not authorized by the Constitution; (2) Congress does not have the authority to delegate its legislative powers to another branch of government.

President Obama has taken this egregious violation of the Constitution to a new height by appointing Czars over the various bureaucracies who answer directly to the President, and have the authority to “dictate” to the Secretaries and department officials the “rules” to be made and enforced by the full power of the federal government. Department Secretaries are confirmed by the Senate and are accountable to it. The Czars are appointed directly by the President and are not confirmed by or accountable to Congress. This situation cannot be allowed to continue if we are to maintain any fragment of our liberty in the future. It is the responsibility of the House of Representatives to cut funding for these unconstitutional departments until they are forced out of existence.

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Article 1.3.6 “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”

This clause makes the Vice President the Chief Executive Officer of the Senate. The phrase, “but shall have no vote” has been interpreted by Senate Political Parties to turn the office of President of the Senate into a ceremonial position with no executive authority. Contrary to the belief of Vice President Biden, The Constitution places the office of Vice President in the Legislative Branch not the Executive; its position in the line of Presidential succession not withstanding. As a matter of fact, Presiding over the Senate is the only duty assigned to the Vice President by the Constitution. The office of Majority Leader, an unconstitutional office created by the Senate in 1921, has been allowed to usurp the authority of the Vice President with impunity for almost a hundred years. The Senate is the primary check on the Executive Branch of government. This departure from the Constitution upsets that balance of power in favor of the Executive Branch. There is no historical or Constitutional justification for the office of Majority Leader in its present form.

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Article 1.7.1:  “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives;”

1.7.2:  “but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

This clause gives the House of Representatives the “power of the purse” since revenue can only be raised to fund the legitimate functions of government and all revenue bills must specify the purposes for which the revenue is to be allocated.

Article 1.9.7:  “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

Since budgets, revenue and allocations are inseparably linked, budgets are to originate in the House although the Senate may propose amendments. The President can make budget recommendations to Congress under Section 2 of the Constitution.

Article 2.3.1:  “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;”

The undisciplined and often unconstitutional methods of budgeting, allocating funds and raising revenue are a primary culprit in our present financial crisis.

Congressional authority for taxing and spending is further explained in section eight, Article I.

Article 1.8.1:  The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States;

1.8.2:  but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

1.8.3:  To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Here Congress is given the power to tax and spend for three specific purposes; pay debts, provide for the general welfare and common defense. This is followed by a list of sixteen specific items for which revenue may be raised and spent, clarifying the general phrases “general welfare” and “common defense”.

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One of the ways Party leaders ensure their choice of candidates for President and Vice President is to manipulate primary dates in violation of Article II of the Constitution. When we cast our votes in a primary election, we are actually voting for an Elector, and only indirectly for the candidate that Elector is pledged to support in the Electoral College. By manipulating the dates on which primaries are held, party leaders are able to influence the outcome through the power of suggestion, with support building for candidates who appear to have the most popular appeal. Article II, Section 1, clause 16, was included in the Constitution specifically to prevent prior voting by one state from influencing the votes in other states.

Article 2.1.16:  “The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”

This clause is a single compound sentence broken only by a semicolon. The rules of English indicates that the Framers intended for the “time of choosing the Electors” and the “day on which they shall give their votes” to be on the same day respectively. The primary system and the primary dates are the creation of Political Parties and not the Constitution. The current primary system often results in candidates being chosen that do not represent the real choice of the voters.

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Article3.2.9:  In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the Supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.

This clause gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over cases in which a state is one of the parties involved. However, due to the number of cases involving states because of the federal government’s overstepping of its Constitution role, for efficiency, cases involving states are handled in the same way any other federal lawsuit is handled; they are first heard in district courts, then appealed to the appellate courts, and eventually to the Supreme Court. We currently have several cases involving states winding their way through the court system; involving immigration, Obama care, and several other matters. Meanwhile the Constitutional issues these cases relate to continue unabated. The Constitution does not give either Congress or the Supreme Court the authority delegate these cases to a lower court.

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One of the functions of the Executive Branch is to enforce the federal laws through the Justice Department.

Article 2.3.4:  [the President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

The Obama Justice Department picks and chooses the laws it will enforce and ignores those the President disagrees with.  The most obvious laws that Obama refuses to enforce are immigration laws.

4.4.1 The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,

4.4.2 And shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

By any definition, the yearly influx of illegal immigrants into the U.S. amounts to an invasion. Although “invasion” does not necessarily need to involve a foreign military, there have been several instances where foreign military have invaded U.S. territory while the Justice Department does nothing. There have been many instances where armed criminals have invaded our territory and committed murder and kidnapping, again with only a cursory response from the federal government. Example, instead of supplying protection to the State of Arizona when requested, and as the Constitution Demands, the Justice Department brought suit against the state for attempting to enforce the law themselves.

These are just some of the illegal acts committed by the federal government against the original Constitution. When we add violations of the Bill of Rights and other Amendments, the list becomes too long to discuss in detail in a blog post. They would include violation of the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion, expression and assembly; the Second Amendment guaranteeing the right of self-defense; Amendment Four protecting against illegal searches and seizures; and Amendment Five, the double-jeopardy Amendment. Last and most important is the constant and continuing violation of Amendment Ten.

Amendment 10-0:  “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Choosing the Right Candidate

Before we know it, we are going to find ourselves in the midst of the most important primary race in generations. The number of patriots who recognize the perils facing America has grown exponentially over the past two years along with the continued growth of the Tea Party Movement. A number of patriotic politicians have stepped up to the plate to oppose the reckless and dangerous socialist policies of the current administration. Still, as we survey the developing field of possible “conservative” candidates we see a lot of ambiguity as to what it means to be a true constitution  conservative, both among the people and the potential candidates.

There are only two issues in the next election, one for the people and one for the candidates. The one for the people is; do we wish to continue as a constitutional republic or as a democratic socialist oligarchy?  The answer to that question determines the question we must get a clear answer to before we decide to support any candidate in the coming elections.  If the answer is that we want to continue as a constitutional republic, then the only thing we need to know about the candidate is; will he or she fight for our founding principles and defend our founding documents?

This is not something about which we have to speculate.  We have over four hundred years of history as our guide; 169 years of colonialism under a monarchy, 5 years as independent nation states, 8 years as a confederation of sovereign states, and 222 years as a constitutional republic, including some 130 years of experimenting with socialism. The one lesson we should have learned from our own history as well as the history of other nations of the world is that socialism does not work. Yet, in spite of the clear evidence that it does not, our political leaders continue to attempt to force in on an inadequately informed population.

The number one challenge facing the patriot movement today is a lack of knowledge among the voting public concerning our history, our Constitution and our American heritage. America has become a nation addicted to big government socialism. In order to cure any addiction one first has to recognize it and admit that it is a problem and have a real desire to break the habit.

Illinois Conservative.Com has published a new book, “Philosophy of Evil” especially for Tea Party Members and other patriots to help in understanding who we are as a people, where we are today as a nation and how we got here. It is the result of years of study and months of intensive research in American history and the history of socialism, especially as it took root and grew in American society. Philosophy of Evil traces the history of socialism in America from the early experiments with it in colonial times, through the utopian commune movement, the progressive era and its rapid growth in the twentieth century, culminating in the economic, political and social crises we are experiencing  today.

We invite our readers to go to our website, check out the subject index and read the sample chapters we have posted there. We believe an understanding of the information found in this book is essential to the restoration of America as a constitutional republic. As Thomas Jefferson said concerning his writing of the Declaration of Independence,

“[Our purpose is] not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent. …. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it [is] intended to be an expression of the American mind.”  Thomas Jefferson, 1825

New Book
Philosophy of Evil
Socialism in America

Click HERE for more information

It’s Time To Retire Both Political Parties: Part II

The two-party system that has been in place for most of our existence as a nation has not served us well. For over a century, we have been moving inexorably toward the abyss of national socialism under the American pseudonym of “progressivism”. It has made little difference which political party has been in power. Under the Democrat Party, we move faster and under the Republican Party, we move slower, but always in the same direction. Now we find ourselves at the very brink of the abyss.

Most of us have been unaware of the perilous path down which our national leaders have been leading us. The election of Barack Obama and the introduction of one socialist policy after another by him and his progressive Democrat followers has brought the problem into sharp focus. For the first time in their life, millions of Americans are paying attention to the direction we are going and beginning to weigh the consequences. Anger and frustration has become the normal daily state of an ever-growing number of our people. The most frequently asked question is, what can we do to turn things around? How can we stop the seemingly unstoppable rush into socialism?

It is easy to blame, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Durbin, et al. A little reflection, however, points to another mostly unrecognized culprit. As already pointed out, we have been moving in the same direction for more than a hundred years. There is not an official in government that has been in office for that length of time. Presidents, Senators and Congressmen come and go while the condition continues to worsen. It is not the people in power that causes our problem— although they are certainly culpable and need to be held accountable — the real problem is the system itself. We have allowed ourselves, over the years, to become subjects of the Republican or Democrat Parties.

The last two elections have shown just how tyrannical these parties have become.  Two examples stand out, the nomination of John McCain for President in ‘08, and in Illinois, the nomination of Mark Kirk for Senate in this election. If you need further proof, consider the bills that have been passed and signed during this Congress, against the will of the people. If you need still more proof consider the situation with illegal immigration, particularly in Arizona. Decisions are made by members of the Party establishment and millions of dollars are targeted at the voting public to get them to “rubber stamp” the Party’s decision. All too often it works, albeit often against the best interest of the Country.

We are always going to have political parties and I am not suggesting that we get rid of them. However, the Republican and Democrat Parties have become too powerful, have too much control over government at all levels, and have strayed too far from our founding principles, for us to allow the status quo to continue. Both parties must be stripped of their power for the good of the country and the survival of the Republic. If that suggestion seems too radical for some, consider that the founding documents are devoid of any reference or foundation principle to justify the prominence either Party has in the running of our government today.

The good news is that reforming our political system does not require an Amendment to the Constitution. Primary elections, winner-take-all outcomes, and the nominating processes, are all extra-constitutional and in some cases unconstitutional. Ostensibly, the political customs and traditions developed over the years are for the convenience of the voters. In reality, they are designed to secure the power of the respective political parties. The timing and order of primaries, the gerrymandering of Congressional Districts, the hurdles aspiring candidates are forced to go through and a host of others are all designed to provide job security to incumbents and protect the Party in power.

A relatively small number of major changes could correct our electoral system and bring it in line with the Constitution and intent of the Founders. A similar small number of changes in the way Washington does business would return us closer to the model of government left to us by the Founders.

Electoral Process

The tradition of primary elections has no basis in the Constitution. Primaries are completely and solely for the benefit of political parties for the purpose of deciding on a single candidate for each office to appear on the ballot in the general election. The winner take all policy adhered to by most states is also not required by the Constitution. The Constitution does not require a majority vote for the offices of Representative or Senator. However, the Constitution does not preclude the states from requiring a majority vote for those offices. For those states choosing a majority requirement, a second runoff election could be held among the top vote getters for each office, similar to the process prescribed in Article II for choosing a President and Vice President by Congress when there is no Electoral College majority.

If we followed the spirit and letter of the Constitution and applied the electoral model put forth in the election of a President, to other elective offices, it would simplify the election process and more than likely, result in better representation. While the Constitution allows the states to determine the manner in which electors are chosen or appointed, it also allows Congress to set the time of choosing electors and the day on which they shall vote. Article II, Section 1, clauses 16 and 17 reads,

“The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”

Traditionally, the time for choosing Electors is a multi-step process, not sanctioned by the Constitution. Electors are first chosen in the primaries and advance to the party convention. The convention delegates then usually take the candidate with the highest number of Electoral College votes pledged to him or her in the primaries nationwide and declare that person to be their candidate for the general election. This step requires a percentage of the Electoral College candidates to change their pledge from the candidates for whom citizens voted, to the Party‘s ultimate selection. (Note: the name appearing on the primary ballot is the candidate running for office, but the real candidate is the Electoral College candidate pledged to vote for that candidate, not the candidate himself or herself.) This process is not only highly confusing to voters but is constitutionally suspect in its legality, if not downright unconstitutional.

A major factor in choosing Electoral College Candidates is the timing sequence of the various primaries, taking advantage of the “lemming” factor, the popularity of the candidates building on the outcomes of each succeeding primary. The wording of the Constitution clauses quoted above may allow each state to choose their electors on a different day. However, the normal understanding would be that all states should do so on the same day, just as the day on which they actually vote is required to be the same nationwide. The nation would be better served if the primary process were done away with and a general election day determined on which candidates for state, local, and Congressional offices, and Electoral College members were elected. If runoffs are required for various offices, those elections could take place on the same day the Electoral College meets to vote.

Summation: Under this process, a single “election day” would be held nationwide. Candidates for state and local offices would be elected as well as members of Congress and Electoral College members. Party affiliation would not appear on the ballots and would not be a factor in voting. The practice of substituting the names of candidates for President and Vice President for the Electoral College candidates would still be permitted as a service to the voters. Any required runoff elections may or may not be held in conjunction with the day the Electoral College votes.

This reform alone in our election process would remove much of the power from the two major parties and make it much easier for alternative parties to form and be counted.

To be continued in future posts…

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Democrat Scheme to Steal 2012 Election

Democrats attempt to bypass Electoral College in Presidential Elections

The most devious and cynical attempt to date for undermining our Constitution is taking place just below the radar, totally unknown to the average American. I am talking about the ongoing effort to nullify the Electoral College and circumvent the requirements of the Constitution through state law. The most recent state to join in the effort was New York, when its Senate on Wednesday, passed the National Popular Vote Bill 52-7.

The effort was started by a California based group called the National Popular Vote (NPV).  NPV was organized in response to the 2000 election when, they contend, Al Gore received 500,000 more popular votes than George Bush did, yet the Electoral College gave the victory to Bush. The purpose of NPV is to bypass the Electoral College and elect the President strictly on the results of the nationwide popular vote. The allure of the idea is that deciding the winner of the Presidential race by popular vote seems more democratic.

According to NPV, “The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee a majority of the Electoral College to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would reform the Electoral College so that the electoral vote in the Electoral College reflects the choice of the nation’s voters for President of the United States.”

The plan is quite simple, Get enough states with combined Electoral College votes amounting to more than 270 to pass a state law allocating their state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most national popular vote. The plan would make the Electoral College irrelevant without the messy requirement to pass a Constitutional Amendment.

“Under the U.S. Constitution, the states have exclusive and plenary (complete) power to allocate their electoral votes, and may change their state laws concerning the awarding of their electoral votes at any time. Under the National Popular Vote bill, all of the state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 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).”  ~NPV Website

Thus far, the bill has been signed into law in five states, Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington. New York will be number six when passed by the lower House and signed by the Governor. These six states account for 92 of the 270 electoral votes needed to put the plan into effect. An additional 30 legislative chambers representing 20 states have already passed the bill and are awaiting action by the other state chamber and/or the Governor’s signature.

At first glance, most Americans do not see anything wrong with the plan since it does make the election of the President more democratic. For most of us, attempting to understand the Electoral College and its importance, causes our brain to go numb and our eyes to glaze over. Nevertheless, since it is the Electoral College that protects us from “a tyranny of the majority”, we need to have at least a fundamental understanding of how it works and why.

When the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 was considering the method for selecting the Chief Executive, they were faced with two choices. One, elect the President by the popular vote of the people or two, elect him by a vote of the national legislature. To understand why this choice is important we have to remember that to the Founders, who were students of both history and human nature, the thought of a pure democracy was anathema. Another important fact is that the Federal Government was intended to represent the states, and the people only indirectly through their state governments.

The Electoral College plan was a compromise between the two choices. In the compromise, states were to be divided into districts and voters in each district would choose electors who in turn would vote for the President. The rise in power of political parties modified this plan somewhat but we still follow the general practice required by the Constitution, in form, if not in substance. The most important point to consider is that the NPV bill is in direct opposition to the Founders desire to avoid the election of the President by popular vote. Participants in the Constitution Convention considered that option and rejected it as being too prone to corruption and abuse.

In the NPV plan quoted above it is claimed that, “the states have exclusive and plenary (complete) power to allocate their electoral votes.” This is an outright misrepresentation of the clear text and intent of the Constitution. Article II section 1, gives the states the authority to “appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of Electors,…” The state Legislature only has the authority to determine the manner in which electors are appointed. It does not have the authority to determine how they will vote. Neither does it have the power to “allocate” those votes to anyone other that the person for whom they were cast.

This is shown by the carefully thought out procedures for protecting the integrity of Electoral College votes and transmitting them to Congress. Both Article II and the Twelfth Amendment place the same requirements for protecting the integrity of the vote. In legal terms, it is called the “chain of custody”.

Article II: “And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.”

Twelfth Amendment: “and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;”

Even IF the states were allowed to “allocate” the electoral votes as they saw fit, there are still some major ethical questions to be considered. The “watchdog” over the Electoral Votes is the National Archives and Record’s Administration Office of the Federal Register. (NARA) In its instructions to the states, the NARA requires each state to submit a “Certificate of Ascertainment” immediately after the General Election as soon as the votes are counted and certified.

  • Each Certificate must list the names of the electors chosen by the voters and the number of votes received.
  • Each Certificate must list the names of all other candidates for elector and the number of votes received.
  • Each Certificate must be signed by the Governor and carry the seal of the State.

The Certificates of Ascertainment, are to be prepared “as soon as election results are final” and submitted to NARA. This step is usually completed in early November. The Electors do not meet until mid-December. In order for the scheme of NPV to work, many electors would have to vote  contrary to the pledge they made to the voters who elected them in the General Election. While this may be legal, no one can claim that it is ethical.

Another Constitutional hurdle the NPV must overcome is found in Article I, Section 10 that requires the approval of Congress before a state can “enter into any agreement or compact with another state”.

Based on the rate the bills have been moving, it could well be in place for the 2012 elections.Why, you may ask, are the Democrats so eager to get this scheme in place as quickly as possible?  To answer this question, we only have to look at the geographical layout of country.  Under this scheme, the President could be elected by just the voters of the most populous states. The majority of the voters in those states are located in large metropolitan areas. Nineteen of the twenty-five largest cities in the U.S. have Democratic Mayors and are dominated by Democratic political machines, many of them almost as corrupt as the Chicago machine that gave us Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, and Tony Rezko.  These large Metropolitan Centers are strategically located to maximize Democrat votes.

On the East Coast, there is New York that has a Democrat/Republican/Independent Mayor. The rest, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston and Washington all have Democrat Mayors. In the Midwest, Columbus, Indianapolis, Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee all have Democrat Mayors. On the West Coast, there are Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Once the NPV plan is in place campaign money and effort need only be concentrated in the large population centers. By coincidence, it is these large population centers, controlled by Democrats that are most susceptible to voter fraud, especially with organizations like ACORN, and similar groups conducting “get out the vote“ campaigns.

It is likely that the only way Obama can win reelection in 2012, unless things change, is by massive voter fraud. The NPV plan is designed to facilitate just such an outcome. It is doubtful that the National Popular Vote Bills can pass Supreme Court muster. However, by the time they  get to the Supreme Court it will be too late for the 2012 election.

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