Category: Blogroll

National Popular Vote Is A Bad Idea

Check out Phyllis’ latest column explaining why national popular vote is a bad idea.

National Popular Vote Is A Bad Idea

by Phyllis Schlafly

Moving quietly under cover of presidential debates and the enormous publicity given to the race for the Republican nomination is a plan to change how U.S. Presidents are elected. It would bypass the procedure spelled out in the U.S. Constitution which has been used successfully for over two centuries.

The Constitution prescribes how we elect our Presidents. It is a mirror image of the Great Compromise designed by the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which brought together the large and small states by means of a national Congress, with the House based on population and the Senate based on state sovereignty.

Likewise, when the presidential electors meet in gatherings known as the Electoral College, each state’s vote is equal to the sum of its House and Senate representation in Congress. Our Founding Fathers understood that America is a nation of both “we the people” and a federal system of states, so it allows all states, regardless of size, to be players in electing our President.

NPV is an attempt to achieve the longtime liberal goal of getting rid of the Electoral College. Instead of proposing an amendment that would first need to be passed by Congress and then ratified by three-fourths of the states (38), NPV is a scheme to deviously bypass the grand design of our U.S. Constitution.

NPV lobbyists are trying to get state legislatures to enact identical bills requiring their own state’s presidential electors to ignore the winner of their own state’s presidential election, and instead cast all their state’s votes for the candidate whom the politicians estimate received the most popular votes nationwide. That candidate would not need a majority or any certain threshold–just more votes than any other candidate (i.e.-a plurality)

The NPV campaign lets people believe that NPV will elect Presidents who win the majority of popular votes, but that is false. Because of third parties, we’ve had many elections (including three of the last five) when no presidential candidate received a popular-vote majority. Abraham Lincoln won with less than 40% of the popular vote and only our Electoral College system elected him President.

If the NPV lobbyists can get enough states whose votes in the Electoral College total at least 270, they will be able to steal votes away from some candidates, transfer those votes to another candidate, and thereby construct a fake majority in the Electoral College. Eight states and the District of Columbia (with 132 electoral votes; half of the 270 needed) have already joined this NPV “compact” to “activate” NPV: Vermont 3, Maryland 10, Washington 12, Illinois 20, New Jersey 14, District of Columbia 3, Massachusetts 11, California 55, and Hawaii 4.

The NPV slogan “Every Vote Equal” is dishonest because the NPV proposal is based on legalizing vote-stealing. For example, Texas or Louisiana could be forced to cast its votes for a candidate who won more votes in other states, such as New York.

If NPV had been in effect in the year 2000, Al Gore would have become President instead of George W. Bush because Gore received more votes than Bush. It’s a mystery how any Republican could support NPV, and it’s no surprise that the Republican National Committee voted unanimously to oppose NPV because members saw it as unconstitutional and unworkable.

Remember our national trauma as we suffered through recounts in Florida where the margin between Bush and Gore was only about 500 votes? If the election is based on the national popular vote and it’s close, NPV would induce recounts in many or most of the 50 states.

Mexico uses a national popular vote system, and it’s a good illustration of why we don’t want it here. In Mexico’s last presidential election, the candidate with the “most votes” received 35.89 percent while his closest rival got 35.31 percent, a margin of just one-half of one percent. In the months that followed, Mexico was on the verge of civil war as the runner-up held mass rallies attracting millions of his angry supporters.

People who pretend that the Electoral College system is undemocratic are not only ignorant of the history and purposes of the U.S. Constitution, but they probably don’t even understand baseball. Basing the election on a plurality of the popular vote while ignoring the states would be like the New York Yankees claiming they won the 1960 World Series because they outscored the Pirates in runs 55-27 and in hits 91-60. Yet, the Pirates fairly won that World Series, 4 games to 3, and no one challenges their victory.

Eagle Forum Collegians Summit July 21-22

Here’s a short message from Collegians Scholar Erin Grant about why you can’t miss Eagle Forum’s annual Collegians Summit in Washington, D.C. on July 21-22.

Last year, over 200 students from all over the country attended our free, 2-day Summit in Washington, D.C. Space is limited, so we want you to be the first to know! We also want to let you in on an exciting and valuable opportunity.

In addition to the summit being free of charge, Eagle Forum offers a limited amount of travel & lodging scholarships to a handful of select students who are enthusiastic and personally involved in the conservative cause on their campus or in their classrooms.

For more information on the scholarship opportunity, visit our brand new website: http://efcollegians.org. Don’t forget to “like” our page on facebook (Eagle Forum Collegians) and follow us on twitter (@EFCollegians)!

Have you marked your calendars for our 18th annual Collegians Summit yet? What are you waiting for?


Obama Wants To Implement National Internet ID Card

Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  Well, those words are even more terrifying coming from the Obama administration.

On January 7, 2011, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined the White House cybersecurity advisor to announce a new government ID card that will contain all your private, personal data like passwords, bank account numbers, etc., and will track your web activity.  The White House wants to create an “identity ecosystem” that will centralize personal information and credentials.  For more info on the supposedly “voluntary” program, check out this editorial from the Washington Times.

The absurdity in all of this is the fact that the government doesn’t have such a great record of keeping information secure.  One just has to think back a couple of months to the WikiLeaks scandal to realize data security and government don’t go hand in hand.  The Washington Times article has a good list of other instances where the government has tried and failed to secure private information.

Ability to secure the data aside, the potential misuse of data is another serious problem.  They claim the Commerce Department is the only agency that will have access to the information, however, it is a short jump to imagine Homeland Security gaining access.  Also, the data would be worth a large amount of money in the wrong hands.  The temptation to sell the information would be great.

Is all of our personal data really something we want to trust the government with?  For the reasons stated above and many, many more, I’m going with a resounding…NO.

FCC vs. AT&T: A Little Known Case With Big Consequences

Most of the media and activist organizations are focused on the Republican effort to Repeal Obamacare this week.  Between that, the state visit by China’s Hu Jintao, and continuing fallout from the Gifford’s shooting, a very important court case has gone largely unnoticed.

This week, the Supreme Court will hear FCC vs AT&T.  Joshua Trevino has a breakdown of the case and what’s at stake:

By way of background, the case stems from a 2004 incident in which AT&T discovered it was overcharging the federal government on work related to E-Rate. The company voluntarily reported itself to the FCC, which then opened an investigation. David Johnson recountswhat happened next:
During the course of the investigation, the FCC ordered AT&T to produce invoices, internal emails and billing information, responses to interrogatories, names of employees involved in the alleged overbilling, and AT&T’s own assessment of the extent to which its employees’ actions violated its internal code of conduct.
Therein lay the cause of the trouble. Once this information was in the FCC’s hands, a trade association called CompTel — comprised of AT&T’s competitors — filed a FOIA request for all the hitherto-proprietary AT&T info in the FCC’s possession. This abuse of the intent of FOIA, which was meant to promote open government rather than corporate intelligence gathering, was — to the surprise of many observers — validated by the FCC in late 2008, when it ruled that corporations are not protected by FOIA’s privacy exemptions. Just over one year later, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the FCC (PDF) in a defense of FOIA’s plain intent.

If the FCC wins this case it will be a signal to companies around the country that FOIA is the vehicle to get information on your competitors.  As Trevino explains:

Now the FCC has appealed to the Supreme Court, and the arguments begin in just two days. If the Court upholds the Third Circuit, all is well: the processes of government cannot be used to further either private agendas, whether driven by profit or ideology. If the Court upholds the FCC, on the other hand, American business is in for a rough time. There’s little doubt that liberals seeking to strike back after Citizens United will exploit FOIA to cause havoc and harm to any corporation that doesn’t toe their line. (As is on cue, here’s Senator Leahy weighing in for the FCC this past November.) It doesn’t take much imagination to see where this leads — especially with the executive agencies of the federal government in Barack Obama’s hands through at least January 2013.

… In the larger sense, it’s about whether the left gets to use FOIA to pry open and terrorize American businesses at will.

The FCC is already unpopular with many Americans due to their blatant power grab called “Net Neutrality”.  It seems they are pushing an increasingly aggressive agenda these days, and I just hope enough conservatives are paying attention.

FCC Passes Net Neutrality Rules

A week ago today, the FCC voted 3-2 along partisan lines to implement new net neutrality regulations.  This is the first time the internet has been subject to regulation by the federal government, and it’s a huge win for left-wing activist groups.  Opposition to the rules was bipartisan in nature and overwhelming.  Over 300 House and Senate members signed a letter opposing internet regulation.  This is the camel’s nose under the tent to content regulation on the internet, Fairness Doctrines, etc.  It is quite possibly the most dangerous thing Congress has done all year–which says a lot if you think about what all Congress has done this year.

The new Republican leadership should make it a priority to block the implementation of net neutrality regulations.

For more information about what net neutrality is, and what it means for the future of the internet, click here.

Take Action

Call your congressional representatives and let them know you want them to prioritize blocking the implementation of net neutrality.

Federal Workers’ Wages Outpace Growth of Private Sector Pay

According to an article in USA Today, federal employees’ wages have increased at a much higher pace than private sector workers.

The number of federal workers earning $150,000 or more a year has soared tenfold in the past five years and doubled since President Obama took office, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Since 2000, federal pay and benefits have increased 3% annually above inflation compared with 0.8% for private workers, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Members of Congress earn $174,000, up from $141,300 in 2000, an increase below the rate of inflation.

Private sector workers are already at a disadvantage.  Back in March of this year, USA Today reported that federal pay was ahead of private industry.  Workers in 8 out of 10 occupations, including accountants, nurses, chemists, surveyors, cooks, clerks and janitors, get paid more on average in the federal government than in the private sector.  The higher wage growth just highlights again the need for reform.

Waxman Net Neutrality Bill Fails Due To Lack of Republican Support

I’ve previously written on the issue of net neutrality, i.e.- government takeover of the internet, and its cooling effect on free speech.  Congress recently had a chance to stop this power grab by the FCC, but failed to come together on the issue.  Rep. Henry Waxman introduced a bill that would have expressly prohibited the reclassification of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as telephone companies under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, reinforcing the spirit of the original law.  The bill was a compromise in that it did allow a few new net neutrality regulations, but they were narrowly crafted and relatively minor compared to the larger issue of reclassification.  Unfortunately, Republicans failed to get behind the legislation, and congress adjourned without any movement on the bill.

Rep. Waxman is using the lack of Republican support as an argument to go ahead and allow the FCC to regulate.  Opponents of net neutrality are now focused on the Lame Duck session as it may be the last hope for a free internet.