Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The west is sleeping in a fragile freedom, Forgotten is the price that was paid

(Lee Atwater, center, Ed Rollins, left, and Lyn Nofziger, smoke cigars during the final session of the GOP National Convention in 1984 in Dallas. Atwater's insistence on censuring David Duke split the state Party.
Photo by AP/Wide World Photos)***

Like zombies that wouldn't die, the Republican Election Theft Squad is back:
Veteran GOP consultants said Monday that they were relaunching a drive to change the way California allocates its electoral college votes, aimed at helping the 2008 Republican presidential nominee capture the White House.

Political strategist David Gilliard said he was taking over the ballot initiative campaign, along with strategist Ed Rollins and fundraiser Anne Dunsmore. Consultant Mike Arno will oversee the signature-gathering effort.

"Our budget is going to be whatever it takes to make the June ballot," said Gilliard, who played a key role in getting the recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis onto the 2003 ballot.

The proposed initiative would change California's method of allocating its 55 electoral votes from a winner-take-all basis, which favors Democrats, to a congressional district-based approach. Republicans hold 19 congressional seats, so presumably the GOP nominee could win a similar number of electoral votes.

The effort stalled last month when its original organizers failed to raise the $2 million needed to place the initiative on the June ballot.

Sweet. That's this Ed Rollins:
Following the 1993 elections, during a breakfast debriefing, Rollins admitted to journalists that one factor in the success of Christine Todd Whitman in the New Jersey governor's race against incumbent Democrat Jim Florio had been the distribution of "walking around" money to influential persons in inner-city precincts, including African-American pastors.

According to Rollins, workers who had been hired to help get out the Democratic vote were told, "How much have they paid you to do your normal duty? . . . We'll match it. Go home, sit, and watch television." In addition, Rollins said, "We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, 'Do you have a special project?' And they said, 'We've already endorsed Florio.' And we said, 'That's fine, don't get up on the Sunday pulpit and preach. . . . Don't get up there and say it's your moral obligation that you go out on Tuesday and vote for Jim Florio.'" Ministers who cooperated, Rollins said, received contributions to their "favorite charities." As a result, Rollins said, "I think, to a certain extent, we suppressed their vote."

And this Ed Rollins:
Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins has dropped an important clue to the mystery of whether the Reagan-Bush era started in 1980 with an act of treachery that bordered on treason. But it's a clue the mainstream media has misread completely.

In his new book, Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms, Rollins recounted a dinner he had with a top Filipino politician in 1991. Over drinks, the man casually asserted that he had delivered an illegal $10 million cash payment in a suitcase from Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos to Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign.

"I was the guy who gave the ten million from Marcos to your campaign," the Filipino told Rollins, who was Reagan's 1984 campaign manager. "I was the guy who made the arrangements and delivered the cash personally. ...It was a personal gift from Marcos to Reagan."

Makes me proud to be an American.

The Constitution says that states are supposed to decide their own election and Electoral College issues, and only 2 states, Maine and Nebraska, use the proportional Elector system, where the number of electors is split like the popular vote. So why not challenge the system is, say Texas, which is dependably Republican?

Because CA has 55 Electors, while TX has only 34. Splitting the vote in CA would possibly deliver 19 Electors to the Republicans.

The minute the other 48 States decide to go proportional, then it will be OK for CA. Until then, not so much. Of course, the GOP has been trying this crap in CA for a long time. Remember back in 2005 when Arnie wanted to gerrymander the state:
If Schwarzenegger stands his ground, congressional Republicans may have the option of supporting a state ballot initiative later this year that would excuse Congress from any mid-decade redistricting effort.

Such a measure was submitted to the state last month by David Gilliard, a Sacramento political consultant who has discussed it with members of the state's congressional delegation. Before it could go before voters, Gilliard's proposal would need to pass review in the state attorney general's office, and then he would need to gather about 600,000 valid signatures.

Why, look! It's the same Dave Gilliard, back again. Like a zombie that wouldn't die.


David Dayen has more here:
The vital stats are this: they have about 3 1/2 weeks to gather about half a million more signatures to qualify for the ballot. The deadline is November 13. I used to think that this will cost so much money from the Presidential nominee that it would be a negative. Now I'm persuaded that this will be fine. We'll crush this if it gets on the ballot, all the while unifying our caucus, and that will slingshot against Republicans for years to come.

***Imagine, censuring David KKK Duke split the Texas Republican Party in 1984. Clearly NOT the party of Lincoln.