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Igor reports: "Republican party leaders in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan have proposed legislation that would change how most electoral votes are allocated ... "

Former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour has distanced himself from GOP plans to rig the electoral college. (photo: AP)
Former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour has distanced himself from GOP plans to rig the electoral college. (photo: AP)

Top Republican Distances Himself From GOP's Election-Rigging Plan

By Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress

26 January 13


ormer Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) distanced himself from his party’s effort to rig the election by appropriating electoral votes based on gerrymandered Congressional districts, telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday that he opposes the effort.

Republican party leaders in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan have proposed legislation that would change how most electoral votes are allocated, awarding more electoral votes to the winner of individual Congressional districts, rather than the winner of the state as a whole. Since Republicans plan to implement the proposal in states that are heavily gerrymandered to favor the GOP, the resulting maps would guarantee that Republican candidates would win a majority of each state’s electoral votes, even if the Democratic candidate wins the state as a whole.

A growing number of Republicans have rejected the plan. Barbour has now joined their ranks:

ANDREA MITCHELL (HOST): If it were done nationally, Mitt Romney would have been taking the oath of office on Monday.

BARBOUR: That’s true this time. Other time it might have been just the opposite. I’m a traditionalist myself. I really am a conservative. I’m a little bit skeptical of this. [ ... ]

MITCHELL: Doesn’t it make it look as though the Republicans are trying to sort of game the system? [ ... ]

BARBOUR: As I said, I would not be for it. I don’t think there’s any sort of national movement, and you have sort of convinced me that in Virginia there may not be even state movement. It may be an isolated legislator.

Watch it:

During Barbour’s appearance, Mitchell suggested that Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) would also publicly oppose the election rigging scheme. your social media marketing partner


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+101 # Skeeziks 2013-01-26 10:09
"I’m a little bit skeptical of this."

A little bi skeptical in Republican Conservative talk probably means, "I wouldn't fight against it. If we can do it, it must be the right thing to do."

This century's Republicans are just that obsessed with having the power. Nothing else Just the power. As long as they can win, the whole of the country can just have to make it on its own.
+91 # Barbara K 2013-01-26 11:09
The Rs are being nothing more than power grabbing mongrels, without the intelligence of the mongrels. They won't win because they have morphed into Taliban Extremists. They can lie and try to tell us that they are changing their agenda, etc., but we already know what liars they are and won't believe anything they say. They have come up with nothing that will help the country out of the mess they put us in. They vote against anything that would have helped us. We already know all we need to know about these sleazeballs now trying to cheat to see if they can win the war with us that way. Face it folks, The Rs have declared war on us with their nasty stunts in the states and in Washington. They need to stop obsessing over our bodies and take care of the country in the manner they ended up in their seats to do. They hate government, so get rid of them. We need legislators who at least like our government and us. This extreme hate they have shown us for over 12 years now tells us what their real agenda is. They want to kill our Democracy and are doing so state by state by D.C.
The sooner we rid ourselves of them, the better off we will be. Do you really want to live without our form of government we have had, or the one they are forcing on us now? Arming all the people to get what they want is no way to do it either, we are also armed. We know who the enemy is.
+27 # Merschrod 2013-01-26 13:58
Now Barb, do not malign the Taliban!
+10 # Third_stone 2013-01-26 14:09
Do not miss that the Taliban still hold all the power in Afghanistan and are only waiting for us to leave.
+6 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-01-26 18:51
I totally agree with your point of view. Barbour is merely
down-playing what he and other Republicans really want to do. It has been said, "if the parade is essentially suspect don't be the first person in line." Fortunately for the Party of crazies, Sara Palin was not picked by the Republican machinery to lead the parade.
0 # bmiluski 2013-01-30 08:53
Unfortunately, there will always be another sarah palin waiting in the wings.
+82 # Robert B 2013-01-26 10:48
At what point do schemes like this become a coup d'etat?
+43 # Gogojoe 2013-01-26 11:24
When we let it!
+19 # Third_stone 2013-01-26 14:10
Approximately at the election of Bush the second.
+8 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-26 18:46
Quoting Third_stone:

Approximately at the election of Bush the second.

At the Supremes' 'selection', not our election.
+44 # HowardMH 2013-01-26 11:03
Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra- cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.
Don't count Scrooge/Marley out yet. The super rich still have many millions to spend on campaign ads for the Publicans, and the millions if idiots and morons in the US that listen to the propaganda there is still plenty of time to be brain washed. Ops, I said “Brain”. Doesn’t a brain have to have more than two brain cells to actually be called a brain.
I agree the Republicans are a bunch of idiots and so are the Democrats. I am referring in both cases to the 85% of the population that doesn't know, doesn't care, and doesn't understand anything about what is going on in their corrupt bought government. The country has been bought and paid for by less than 50 Billionaires. That is 50, not 500, not even 1000 just 50.
The problem is not the stupid politicians but the millions of stupid imbeciles that vote for them, because of all the political ads that are telling the stupid people what to do – and the stupid people are continually doing it.
+59 # Rich Austin 2013-01-26 11:35
Please, please, please, please, please, please, please remember: It is vox populi that elects legislators.

It's time for working class people in WI, VA, PA, and MI [and elsewhere] to wake up!

Stop electing democracy-steal ing creeps to office!
+22 # motamanx 2013-01-26 12:06
How can the people from these excellent states keep electing such dweebs? This means you too, NC.
+24 # Working Class 2013-01-26 12:33
Quoting Rich Austin:
Please, please, please, please, please, please, please remember: It is vox populi that elects legislators.

It's time for working class people in WI, VA, PA, and MI [and elsewhere] to wake up!

Stop electing democracy-stealing creeps to office!

Rich's advice is right on the money. However, I would add another approach as well. In California, and several other states, laws have been passed that would circumvent the Electoral College, without the almost impossible need to amend the US Constitution. These states have passed laws that they will award their Electoral College votes to the candidate that wins the national popular vote. These laws are sitting on the shelve, so to speak, and won't go into effect until enough other states pass laws to bring the total Electoral College votes in play to 270. Currently the total Electoral votes covered by such laws exceed 130. In other words we are half way to electing our President by nationwide popular vote. It could very well be that the Repub’s are trying to getting ahead of this trend with their recent scheme to rig Presidential elections. Those of you in states who have not passed this law please consider organizing to do so, either through your legislature or via referendum. The only thing a bully understands is getting punched in the nose when he crosses the line. It’s way past time we take a swing.
+18 # DPM 2013-01-26 11:36
A politicians answer. "Worm and squirm" your way through the answer. they are so full of B.S. they can't help but regurgitate B.S. every time they open their mouths. Regardless of party. Another example, this week, is Harry Reid. Different party, same crap!
+14 # MainStreetMentor 2013-01-26 11:45
RepubTeacans ideas of "fair play" is to stack the deck in their favor. This idea, too, seems to be an "off-shoot" of the failed efforts of Karl Rove - and ANY RepubTeacan of Democrat that listens to such twisted ideological attempted manipulations is doomed to ultimately lose favor with the population. And that in turn will mean less elected officials from their party.
+11 # Citizen Mike 2013-01-26 11:47
The bottom line is they cheat and lie. Historically, both parties have stolen votes and rigged elections.
+17 # motamanx 2013-01-26 12:08
Not with the same disasterous effect that happened in 2000. Or 2004, when the vote counters started counting backwards in OH.
+16 # motamanx 2013-01-26 12:11
The Democrats could stop a lot of the rot, but they don't --because, led by Harry Reid, they have the guts of a butterfly.
+38 # moby doug 2013-01-26 11:49
The Repigs have already gamed the system with their 2010 Congressional gerrymandering in states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Of course, the Scalia Supreme Crt gamed the system when they gave the Presidency to Bush in 2000, stopped blacks from voting in Florida in 2000, miscounted the Ohio Presidential votes in 2004, etc etc etc. All this subversion is business as usual for the GOP.
+15 # jmathis 2013-01-26 11:53
If you can't win fair and square, change the rules. Fair play, democracy, the American way?
+8 # cafetomo 2013-01-26 12:17
first rule about election rigging is;
Don't talk about election rigging.

If the GOP had a superpower, it would be ignorance.

No, not theirs.
+6 # mswyers 2013-01-26 13:09
One has to wonder if they are so interested in a non-winner take all voting system, why they haven't been behind abolishing the electoral college.
0 # bmiluski 2013-01-30 09:01
I absolutely agree. Isn't it about time to abolish that outdated, antiquated piece of political machinery. Just think, if it had been gone in 2000, we'd never would have had 4,486 dead American men and women in Iraq and 2,177 dead American men and women in Afghanistan.
+10 # reiverpacific 2013-01-26 14:22
These Retardican's statements are like corporate TV ads, especially the ones like BP's "We're working for the environment".
Whatever they say, believe the opposite.
+15 # kelly 2013-01-26 15:51
Wake up!
You want to get mad??? Sure this obvious ploy is despicable but would it even be possible if we democrats allowed ourselves to become so lethargic?
Howard Dean came up with a perfectly good 50 state plan to get our houses in order and was completely ignored by everyone. Our state organizations are in shambles. I know people didn't like Dean but that was a great idea. If we don't want to be "pushed around" then admit we have a big problem in the state races that we don't see in the national ones. Get the machines going. I know it's hard because we don't have the money that the republicans have every two years...we have to save up twice as long just to match 'em for the once every four years. But there is no other way. Gerrymandered districts are killing us here and unless we do something, we are doomed.
+1 # flippancy 2013-01-26 23:17
Frankly, not liking Howard Dean is an exercise in abject stupidity.
+1 # DevinMacGregor 2013-01-26 16:02
In order to make change we need to understand why it is in the first place. The Electoral College represents the number of congressional members you have. Each state votes as a BLOCK. Winner of popular vote for that state gets ALL electoral votes. This is how voting was in the Roman Republic. 36 tribes would vote as a block. In the military they voted in 100 man blocks.

This real issue here is gerrymandering. If the lines were drawn up in a non partisan way what is wrong with proportional electoral votes? Each EC vote as is now represents a congressional district and btw this is how the Democratic Primary went in 2008. They went away from the winner take all system. But how is a national popular vote better? End of the night whom ever has most votes gets all the EC votes even though in some state that state did not for for that candidate. POTUS is elected by FIFTY states not 300 million people. This is why amendments to the constitution have to be ratified by each state. What happens is the nullification of any one state from having an input so why have state lines?
+14 # Regina 2013-01-26 16:48
First the "red" states gerrymandered their districts. Now they're maneuvering to have votes counted by district instead of people. Our elections would then be won by real estate instead of people. Where in the Constitution does it say that each square mile shall have a vote?
+1 # ghostperson 2013-01-26 20:25
On acre one vote? Don't think so.
+5 # Result of Virginia Slim Commercials 2013-01-27 00:12
PA is a now a Blue State, but the gerrymandered districts are out of balance with something like 22 R's in Congress and 5 D's. Good example. The R's are over reaching and hopefully this nonsense will get thrown out of court. How can you fight in PA?, you write to congressperson who is an R who doesn't represent your voice and there is no option for a referendum. So, it looks like public protest and awareness are all we have until the 2020 census! This is so bad that I heard recently that in these seriously gerrymandered States, that the D's will not likely win the Congress in 2014 either. The game is stacked against us. To better understand, the computer modeling is so sophisticated to develop the districts. Most people live in their homes for 10-20 years when raising families. They know you are a super voter, if you vote in the primaries, so they watered down the D votes, so the votes simply won't count for Congress no matter what we do! If they get away with this, they will control the congress & white house in the future for certain. They won't represent the electorate and we might actually have an uprising as a result!
0 # bmiluski 2013-01-30 09:03
Why not. The supreme court decided that corporations are people.
+11 # genierae 2013-01-26 17:22
They are losing elections because their ideology supports the rich at the expense of the poor, and their solution is to use more pleasant language? They're going to smile while they stick a shiv in our backs? It's like moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic as it goes down.
+6 # ghostperson 2013-01-26 20:07
Will anyone with integrity in the GOP please stand up?

Can't win on merit, so you cheat?

The GOP is signing its own death warrant.
0 # flippancy 2013-01-26 23:23
Quoting ghostperson:
Will anyone with integrity in the GOP please stand up?

Can't win on merit, so you cheat?

The GOP is signing its own death warrant.

In your proposal nobody except those with no integrity. There is not one single national Republican with integrity, so any one standing would be lying. Unless maybe you count Ray LaHood who does, but he's no longer in congress. Chuck Hagel mey make a good Sec't of defense, but his company stole the senatorial election for him, so he has no integrity.

In Illinois we have one good one, Judy Baar Topinka.
+3 # brenda 2013-01-27 04:44
What an anti-American anti-democratic scheme. I hope this one makes the American History books for the next generations to see the Republican Party at its lowest of lows. I also hope that Americans see through this scam and reject the Republican's from winning any more terms for a while.
+4 # AJNorth 2013-01-27 05:57
To paraphrase the great Fred Allen (the youngsters can look him up), "You can take the sincerity of Barbour, put it in the navel of a flea -- and have enough room left over for Reinhold Reince Priebus, Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck."
+5 # RMDC 2013-01-27 08:14
THis is really rich -- a deep southern politician disavowing vote rigging. Whites have controlled southern politics for a century and a half by rigging the vote. They have used every strategy under the sun to keep blacks from voting.

All Barbour is really saying is that he's a liar and would not admit to what he is clearly guilty of.

Barbour is the perfect model of the white southern politican. He can speak in a nice soft voice, but his operatives are ruthless in suppressing the black vote and keeping power in white hands.
0 # WestWinds 2013-01-27 17:34
Gee, Haley Barbour from a red state like Old Miss distancing himself from bad behavior? Wow, there may be hope for the Republican Party yet.

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