Steve Tilley vs. the Constitution
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And, he’s back.

Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley (R-Perryville) has signed onto legislation designed to circumvent the Electoral College in presidential elections. Like his position on embryonic stem cell research and the national debt, Tilley seems far out of step with Missouri’s Republican base on this. And this guy wants to be Lt. Governor?  Please.

This might be old news to some.

I see that Big Government’s Josie Wales blogged about the national effort last August. But this is the first I heard of it in Missouri, and the first I’d heard that Tilley’s a co-sponsor (h/t Caroline Mueller). As Josie said:

Under the progressive-statist plan to eliminate the electoral college, a state’s popular will would be rejected for the national will.  I cannot think of anything more un-democratic than changing someone’s vote without his consent!  But this is the plan states like Masachusetts now encourage.

Make no mistake: on this issue, Tilley sides with the hardest of the hard left.

The movement’s goal is to get states to require Electors to vote according to the national popular vote instead of the according to the way residents of a state vote.

For example, in 2008, Missouri’s 11 Electors voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin because they won the majority of votes in the state.  Under HB974, which Tilley co-sponsored, those votes would have gone to Barack Obama because Obama won the popular vote.

If the law passed in all 50 states, the electoral college would always be a unanimous vote for the popular vote winner, making the body meaningless.

Direct democracy fails.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees every state a republican form of government.  And as conservative activist Caroline Mueller pointed out privately, if we’re going to do away with the Electoral College, the way to do it is through a Constitutional Amendment, not legislative slight-of-hand. (Caroline says she opposes such an amendment, btw.)

But let’s not do it at all.

Luckily, conservative floor leader Tim Jones (R-Ballwin) and other conservatives in the House will fight against this measure to make Missouri’s electoral votes meaningless.

Team Tilley strikes out again.

P.S.  On our end of the political spectrum, Ed Martin has a State Sovereignty page up.

  • mvy

    The National Popular Vote 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.

    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). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado– 68%, Florida – 78%, Iowa –75%, Michigan– 73%, Missouri– 70%, New Hampshire– 69%, Nevada– 72%, New Mexico– 76%, North Carolina– 74%, Ohio– 70%, Pennsylvania — 78%, Virginia — 74%, and Wisconsin — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska — 70%, DC — 76%, Delaware –75%, Idaho – 77%, Maine — 77%, Montana – 72%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Oklahoma – 81%, Rhode Island — 74%, South Dakota – 71%, Utah – 70%, Vermont — 75%, and West Virginia – 81%, and Wyoming – 69%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas –80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi –77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, Oklahoma – 81%, South Carolina – 71%, Virginia — 74%, and West Virginia – 81%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 74%,, Massachusetts — 73%, Minnesota — 75%, New York — 79%, Oregon – 76%, and Washington — 77%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large population states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, The District of Columbia, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These seven states have 74 electoral votes — 27% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  • mvy

    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).

    If a “republican” form of government means that the presidential electors exercise independent judgment (like the College of Cardinals that elects the Pope), we have had a “democratic” method of electing presidential electors since 1796 (the first contested presidential election). Ever since 1796, presidential candidates have been nominated by a central authority (originally congressional caucuses, and now party conventions) and electors are reliable rubberstamps for the voters of the district or state that elected them.

  • mvy

    Most people wrongly believe the presidential election system we have today is in the Constitution, and think that any change would need an amendment. 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, Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

    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 winner-take-all method is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. 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 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.

    The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes.

  • Anonymous

    It looks like Steve Tilley sells his soul pretty cheaply. He took 200,000 from Rex Singfeld and then supported local control. Now he wants to basically eliminate the electoral college. The country is based on a Representative Republic not mob rule. The electoral college works because without it the smaller states would have no representation. On the National level in the Senate they want to do away with going through the confirmation hearings on the Presidents nominees for certain positions. They want to streamline Government. What are these Republicans thinking???

    • mvy

      The small states are the most disadvantaged group of states under the current system of electing the President. Political clout comes from being a closely divided battleground state, not the two-vote bonus. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all method (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but 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.

      None of the 10 most rural states (VT, ME, WV, MS, SD, AR, MT, ND, AL, and KY) is a battleground state.
      The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes does not enhance the influence of rural states, because the most rural states are not battleground states.

      12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes) are almost invariably non-competitive, and ignored, in presidential elections. Six regularly vote Republican (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota),, and six regularly vote Democratic (Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and DC) in presidential elections
      Despite the fact that these 12 lowest population states together possess 40 electoral votes, because they are not closely divided battleground states, none of these 12 states get visits, advertising or polling or policy considerations by presidential candidates.

      The concept of a national popular vote for President is far from being politically “radioactive” in small states, because the small states recognize they are the most disadvantaged group of states under the current system.

      In the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill already has been approved by nine state legislative chambers, including one house in, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Maine and both houses in Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It has been enacted by the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

  • HC

    OOPS. But Tilly is in the majority.
    How about that!
    Some just can’t let go of the left hand that holds them.

  • HC

    Tilly. What an idiot.
    Sometimes some do this just to aggravate ’cause they lost the majority.
    Waaaa.

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