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Iowa Senate Democrats Against Iowa Voters

Iowa Senate Democrats Against Iowa Voters

This just released by Senator Minority Leader Paul McKinley’s (R-Chariton) office:

Senate Democrats Pass “Iowa Voter Irrelevancy Act”

Out of State Government Committee

Senate Republicans instead focus on creating jobs and promoting Iowa’s economy and wonder why Senate Democrats are more focused on making Iowa’s voters irrelevant

DES MOINES, IA  – A Senate Democrat proposal to strip Iowa of its influence in future presidential elections, dubbed the “Iowa Voter Irrelevancy Act”, passed out of the Senate State Government Committee today on an 8-7 vote with two Democrats joining unified Republican opposition to the bill. While Senate Republicans are busy trying to find way to save taxpayers money, keep taxes low, create good paying jobs and grow Iowa’s economy, this unpopular bill is being pushed through the legislative process. Should it gain enough votes in the Iowa House, the Iowa Senate and if it is signed by Governor Culver, Iowans right to have a say in who becomes the President of the United States will be dramatically diminished.

“As Iowans hear the details of this bill, I think they will end up coming to the capitol in outrage and demand answers. This is a terrible piece of legislation and Iowans must contact their legislators about this immediately to stop the Democrats from making Iowa voters irrelevant,” said Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley (R-Chariton). “Senate Republicans are focused on trying to grow Iowa’s economy, create and retain jobs and root out wasteful government spending but it appears that the Democratic agenda rests figuring out ways to cut Iowans out of presidential election process. You would think they already have enough on their plate considering their hundreds of millions in self inflicted budget deficits and their union boss anti-job agenda that will only raise taxes on Iowans already dealing with tough financial times.”

This bill would reverse traditions that date back centuries as our country’s founding fathers put the Electoral College in place to protect smaller states from having their say diminished by the larger, more heavily populated states. As it stands now, Iowa has seven electoral votes and those votes are awarded to whichever presidential candidate manages to win the most votes based on the results of Iowa’s 99 counties. However, this Democrat pushed bill will undermine that storied tradition with one fail swoop. This bill will force Iowa to give its seven electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote instead of Iowa’s popular vote.

“Democrats must really want voters in urban centers like Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami or Boston having more say in the process than the voters in our communities all over the state,” said McKinley. “During last year’s election, groups like ACORN were out meddling with voter registrations and tampering with our elections. Do we really want to give them more opportunity to steal our legitimate right to determine who becomes our country’s president?”

If this bill were enacted, presidential candidates would have very limited motivation to come to Iowa to campaign for votes because Iowa is only about 1/100 of the country’s population. They would instead stick to campaigning in other states where the population is more dense and Iowans would be ignored and our issues would be swept aside. This is just another example of how our founding fathers were once again right on target in their desires to protect smaller states.

“I want to urge every Iowan to immediately contact their Senator about this bill and let them know that it is wrong for Senate Democrats to make Iowa’s voters irrelevant,” said McKinley. “Let them know that with 80,000 Iowans out of work, they should be focused on creating jobs and growing Iowa’s economy instead of limiting our influence in presidential elections.”

Committee Roll Call Vote:

Nay: Sen. Feenstra (R-Hull), Sen. Behn (R-Boone), Sen. Hartsuch (R-Bettendorf), Sen. Seymour (R-Woodbine), Sen. Wieck (R-Sioux City), Sen. Horn (D-Cedar Rapids), Sen. Black (D-Grinnell)

Yes: Sen. Appel (D-Ackworth), Sen. Kibbie (D-Emmetsburg), Sen. Sodders (D-State Center), Sen. Jochum (D-Dubuque), Sen. Hatch (D-Des Moines), Sen. Dearden (D-Des Moines), Sen. Danielson (D-Cedar Falls), Sen. Courtney (D-Burlington)

You already know how I feel if you’ve been following this.  I feel like we’re watching one of those movies where the folks who are supposed to be protecting us are too stupid to realize they’re being taken in by the very people they are supposed to be protecting us from.

Next we’ll be looking at legislating by referendum (works great for California, don’t you think?).  And the current leadership will love it because they can leave the dicey stuff up to the public, similar to their current approach of leaving the dicey stuff up to the courts.  Either way, they don’t have to take a stand.  Only one word for someone like that: coward.

The plan to work around the US Constitution (don’t you hate how that thing gets in the way of doing things like restricting freedom?) is just going to create a miserable mess.  Instead of sneaking this past voters just to make Democrats feel better about losing in 2000, let’s have an open public debate about the continued viability of the Electoral College.

Oh, sorry, is that too much trouble?

Unless you want to be treated like sheep, contact your State House Representative and Senator.  At these links you’ll find email, phone numbers, and home addresses.  I would urge you to send an email right away, and perhaps follow up with a phone call.  I have contacted both Representative Peter Cownie and Senator Pat Ward, and they have assured they are “No” votes on this bill, but your legislator need to hear from you!

Getting Around The Constitution

Getting Around The Constitution

Some like to use the Court System.  Some like to use creative Congressional Legislation.  Some even like to use Executive Orders.

Others seek a coalition of states to enact laws to just circumvent the Constitutional system.

Today we look at a bill before the Iowa General Assembly (House version, Senate version).  This same bill has already been enacted into law in Maryland and New Jersey.  It is still in the “Study Bill” state (in a committee for review), and will essentially cause Iowa to select Electors based on the National Popular Vote results instead of Iowa’s Popular Vote results.  Once enough states opt into this coalition to cover 270 electoral votes (the number of votes currently needed to win the Presidency), the law would go into effect.  In case it’s not obvious, the point is to make the College meaningless.

I am very concerned about this bill. I’ll start by saying I support the Electoral College structure that we have in place today to mange the electing of the President, and although I could use this space to explain my support for it, my concern with the bill is not in the value of the College, but rather in the Compact that this bill places Iowa in.

This bill, in concert with the same language in other states’ codes, is intended to provide a means to circumvent the Constitution of the Unites States. I consider that a serious matter. Despite the fact that each state has the right to select its electors for President by whatever means it deems appropriate, this is a creative way to achieve a populist agenda that should be given the due course of debate at a national level and resolved by changing the Constitution as it is intended to be managed.

Further, this bill will hurt Iowans in the following ways:

  1. Iowa, along with the other states that are agreeing to this compact, will become at odds with the Federal Government. Circumventing the Constitution is serious business. Congress will, of course, take notice and somehow act. Congress may act in a way that penalizes the states that participate in this Compact.
  2. If this is passed, I am confident that Iowa will lose its first-in-the-nation caucus status. Both parties will abandon Iowa as due to the negative impact we are supporting against national party politics.
  3. Iowa will lose its voice in the national debate. Becoming part of this Compact will mean that no matter how Iowans vote, it will be the national voice that we speak, not our own.
  4. The loss of Iowa’s relevance will mean that candidates will no longer bother coming to Iowa. They will focus on the urban centers such as the Northeast, Chicago, the West Cost, and Texas. Agrarian states will get no attention.

Other problems with this bill include the fact that this course of action may, ironically, be executable without the favor of a majority of American Citizens. Only required is that the legislatures of enough states to acquire a majority of the Electors approve this measure. Regardless of the polling on this issue, it deserves to be debated and decided by all Americans.

Once this Compact is enacted, the Electoral College will become irrelevant. Congress will be forced to act. It could take the course of withdrawing the Electoral College, which is what the Compact supporters desire more than anything. Again, I will refrain from speaking to that issue at this time.

Or, Congress may decide to take other action to abolish the Compact. It may determine that it will have to define how electors are selected. I don’t think we want that.

We are currently suffering from a series of attacks on the Constitution. Plans nationally to enact the “Fairness Doctrine”, the recently approved Stimulus Package, discussions around nationalizing the banking system, plans to further limit religious expression and the holding of firearms, and the repeated use of the court system to decide the things that we should be deciding in the halls of our legislative bodies are all slowly eating away at the foundation of our law.

Even if this is the direction that Iowans and Americans really want to go, it concerns me that such a dramatic change could be thrust into the heart of our country while we are trying so desperately to recover from economic challenges and a significant shift in popular thinking… this decision, this idea needs more time and more debate.

If you live in Iowa, please contact your State House Representative and Senator.  At the this links you’ll find email, phone numbers, and home addresses.  I would urge you to send an email right away, and perhaps follow up with a phone call.

Since this topic has both Iowa and National impacts, it is being posted on both The Conservative Reader and The Conservative Reader: Iowa.
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