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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Klein-Aaron

Federal Court Blocks ID Law
Based On Controversial Data

A radical group with a history of biased research provided data which a federal court used last week to block a new voter ID law in Texas, ruling the state failed to show that the law would not harm the voting rights of minorities, KleinOnline has learned. The center was heavily instrumental in opposing the voter ID law in Texas as well as a similar law in South Carolina, including providing key data to the Justice Department and to the organizations behind the lawsuits against the two laws.

The voter ID data collected by the group, the Brennan Center for Justice, has been called into question by experts and has been contradicted by other credible studies.

The Brennan Center is located at New York University School of Law. In November 2006, the Brennan Center issued “Citizens Without Proof,” an extensive report that claimed voter ID policies will disfranchise millions of minority, elderly and low-income voters because those voting blocs are less likely to possess documentation than the general population. That singular report is routinely cited by news media and activists seeking to prove voter ID is racist.

In August 2011, the Heritage Foundation critiqued the Brennan report, finding it “both dubious in its methodology and results and suspect in its sweeping conclusions.” According to the Heritage Foundation report, the Brennan Center used biased questioning to obtain its desired result concerning minority voters – a result that is actually contradicted by footnotes buried in the Brennan report itself.

The Brennan Center’s report was based entirely on one survey of only 987 “voting age American citizens.” However, the report contained no information on how the survey determined whether a respondent was actually an American citizen.

One footnote in the Brennan report contradicts the report’s very premise. That note states that “[t]he survey did not yield statistically significant results for differential rates of possession of citizenship documents by race, age, or other identified demographic factors.”

Besides receiving a reported $7.4 million from Soros’s Open Society Institute since 2000, the Brennan Center was also the recipient of grants from the Joyce Foundation from 2000 to 2003. President Obama served on the Joyce board from 1994 through 2002.

Partisan Politics Behind Al Gore’s
Opposition To Electoral College?

Al Gore’s claim that an end to the Electoral College will ensure all voters get equal representation in a popular vote is contradicted by a recently released book that documents how the “popular vote” campaign could see only 14 states – those with the largest populations, most of which are majority-Democrat – decide the presidency for voters in all 50 states.

Gore took to his Current TV to push for the abolishment of the Electoral College and its replacement with a national popular vote process. He claimed that many voters who live outside the dozen or so battleground states are being cheated by the current system that allocates delegates from the state level.

The vote for president is the only one in which all Americans vote for a national leader. In framing the U.S. Constitution, the Founding Fathers rejected a purely popular vote to elect the president in order to balance the power of the larger states against the smaller ones. The Electoral College was fashioned as a compromise between an election of the president by direct popular vote and election by Congress.

This columnist’s new book, Fool Me Twice, documents that a group backed by a who’s who of the progressive left, calling itself the National Popular Vote, or NPV, has already been successful in quietly pushing for abolishing the Electoral College in favor of a popular vote process.

“Under the rubric of a ‘National Popular Vote,’ this plan would allow the 14 most populous American states, mostly majority-Democrat, to determine the outcome of future presidential elections. The voters of the 36 less populous states would then effectively be disenfranchised,” warns the book.

In 2007, Maryland became the first state to approve a “national popular vote” compact. As a result, in a theoretical winner-take-all contest, Maryland would allocate all of its 10 electoral votes to the candidate who won the most votes nationally – even if the same candidate did not win the most votes in Maryland.

Egypt Wants Better Relations With Iran

A delegation of Egyptian military officials and Muslim Brotherhood political leaders quietly met in Tehran with Iranian officials to discuss closer strategic collaboration between the two countries, according to an Egyptian military official who spoke to this column.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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4 Responses to “Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed”

  1. Ooty Cat says:

    With the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, it could only take winning a bare plurality of popular votes in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency with a mere 26% of the nation's votes!

    Gore was referring to the National Popular Vote bil. Itl would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The National Popular Vote bill would change existing state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

    The National Popular Vote bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ ELECTORAL COLLEGE votes from the enacting states. That majority of ELECTORAL COLLEGEl votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate.

    And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don't matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

    With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn't be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted equally for, and directly assist, the candidate for whom it was cast.

    Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states. The political reality would be that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    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). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote
    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc.

  2. Ooty Cat says:

    In terms of recent presidential elections, the 11 largest states include five "red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six "blue" states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). The fact is that the big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

    Among the 11 most populous states in 2004, the highest levels of popular support, hardly overwhelming, were found in the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas (62% Republican),
    * New York (59% Democratic),
    * Georgia (58% Republican),
    * North Carolina (56% Republican),
    * Illinois (55% Democratic),
    * California (55% Democratic), and.
    * New Jersey (53% Democratic).

    In addition, the margins generated by the nation's largest states are hardly overwhelming in relation to the 122,000,000 votes cast nationally. Among the 11 most populous states, the highest margins were the following seven non-battleground states:
    * Texas — 1,691,267 Republican.
    * New York — 1,192,436 Democratic.
    * Georgia — 544,634 Republican.
    * North Carolina — 426,778 Republican.
    * Illinois — 513,342 Democratic.
    * California — 1,023,560 Democratic.
    * New Jersey — 211,826 Democratic.

    To put these numbers in perspective, Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes). Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

  3. Ooty Cat says:

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, will not reach out to about 76% of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided "battleground" states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win. 9 of the original 13 states are considered “fly-over” now. In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives agree, that, at most, only 12 states and their voters will matter. They will decide the election. None of the 10 most rural states will matter, as usual. About 76% of the country will be ignored –including 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and 17 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. This will be more obscene than the 2008 campaign, when candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA). In 2004, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their money and campaign visits in 5 states; over 80% in 9 states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states.

    More than 2/3rds of the states and people have been merely spectators to presidential elections. They have no influence. That's more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans, ignored. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.

    The number and population of battleground states is shrinking as the U.S. population grows.

  4. Ooty Cat says:

    In 1969, The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin. It was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and various members of Congress who later ran for Vice President and President such as then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, and then-Senator Bob Dole.

    On June 7, 2011, the Republican-controlled New York Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill by a 47–13 margin, with Republicans favoring the bill by 21–11. Republicans endorsed by the Conservative Party favored the bill 17–7.

    Jason Cabel Roe, a lifelong conservative activist and professional political consultant wrote in National Popular Vote is Good for Republicans: "I strongly support National Popular Vote. It is good for Republicans, it is good for conservatives… , and it is good for America. National Popular Vote is not a grand conspiracy hatched by the Left to manipulate the election outcome.
    It is a bipartisan effort of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to allow every state – and every voter – to have a say in the selection of our President, and not just the 15 Battle Ground States.

    National Popular Vote is not a change that can be easily explained, nor the ramifications thought through in sound bites. It takes a keen political mind to understand just how much it can help… Republicans…. Opponents either have a knee-jerk reaction to the idea or don’t fully understand it…. We believe that the more exposure and discussion the reform has the more support that will build for it."

    Former Tennessee U.S. Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson(R), former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar (R), and former U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) are co-champions of National Popular Vote.

    National Popular Vote's National Advisory Board includes former Senators Jake Garn (R–UT), and David Durenberger (R–MN) and former congressmen John Anderson (R–IL, I), John Buchanan (R–AL), and Tom Campbell (R–CA).

    Saul Anuzis, former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for five years and a former candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, supports the National Popular Vote plan as the fairest way to make sure every vote matters, and also as a way to help Conservative Republican candidates. This is not a partisan issue and the NPV plan would not help either party over the other.

    Rich Bolen, a Constitutional scholar, attorney at law, and Republican Party Chairman for Lexington County, South Carolina, wrote:"A Conservative Case for National Popular Vote: Why I support a state-based plan to reform the Electoral College."

    Some other supporters who wrote forewords to "Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote " http://www.every-vote-equal.com/ include:

    Laura Brod served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 to 2010 and was the ranking Republican member of the Tax Committee. She was the Minnesota Public Sector Chair for ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and active in the Council of State Governments.

    James Brulte served as Republican Leader of the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1996, California State Senator from 1996 to 2004, and Senate Republican leader from 2000 to 2004.

    Ray Haynes served as the National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2000. He served in the California State Senate from 1994 to 2002 and was elected to the Assembly in 1992 and 2002.

    Dean Murray is a member of the New York State Assembly. He was a Tea Party organizer before being elected to the Assembly as a Republican, Conservative Party member in February 2010. He was described by Fox News as the first Tea Party candidate elected to office in the United States.

    Thomas L. Pearce served as a Michigan State Representative from 2005–2010 and was appointed Dean of the Republican Caucus. He has led several faith-based initiatives in Lansing.

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