The Edmond Sun

Opinion

February 17, 2014

Spiking the Electoral College with a free trip to St. Croix

GUTHRIE — Last week the Oklahoma Senate stunned many Oklahomans by approving a proposal to counteract part of the constitutional principle of states’ rights. When the founding fathers designed our Constitution, they included an important mechanism to ensure that smaller states such as Oklahoma were represented in the Electoral College by giving each state two Electoral College votes, regardless of population.

In recent years, a series of the more populous, and the liberal-leaning states have advanced a proposed bypass of the Electoral College. This proposal requires each state to make its Electoral College delegates vote for the presidential candidate that receives the highest total in the national popular vote. Had this system already been in place, Oklahoma’s Electoral College delegates would have voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Gore in 2000, even though Oklahomans voted for the other candidate by a wide margin. And, past votes of hard-working Oklahomans likely would have been offset by the prolific voting tendencies of the Chicago-based deceased voter constituency.

To date, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, Vermont, California and Rhode Island have adopted the proposal after advocacy by what appears to be two partner groups, one of which is part of a George Soros funded operation.

Here’s the problem for these groups: the Washington Post recently opined that if this effort were to be successful, “they’ll likely have to branch out into red states, because there are only so many blue states (and so many electoral votes in them) on the map.”

How could the national popular vote people convince the more sparsely populated red staters to give away their advantage in the Electoral College?

What better way than to put Oklahoma on the list with the liberal states? If the reddest state in the nation signs on, then why wouldn’t other red states?

To this end, the national popular vote group invaded Oklahoma with a high-powered team of sophisticated lobbyists. They wisely kept the issue under the radar and away from the eyes of the public while aggressively trying to convince legislators by using a series of convoluted logic for why this proposal would benefit conservatives.

They financed a series of out-of-state junkets to various vacation sites where they explained this logic against an exotic backdrop of recreational events.

Having succeeded in the Senate, they are preparing to go on the offensive in the House. On March 20, they will finance an all-expenses-paid junket to St. Croix. In this exotic venue, far away from the eyes of the public, they will attempt to convince Oklahoma House members to vote for the bill. Just a few days after they return to the mainland, House members will vote on the proposal.

Fortunately, the public has activated and the outrage has gone viral. This issue is no longer under the radar and many of us in the House are determined to fiercely defend the Electoral College and the founding fathers’ vision. Unlike our Senate colleagues, we have the benefit of public attention and outrage to bolster our case.

I think some of the Senators who voted for this were ambushed by the fact that they didn’t have the benefit of massive public input before they voted. The advocates’ obvious strategy of staying under the radar worked extremely well. There is little doubt in my mind that some of these senators would now change their vote if they could, and the honest and courageous among them will publicly admit their desire to re-vote.

Now, however, those in the House don’t have that excuse. Despite the many thousands of dollars of out-of-state shady money, we know that we may be the last line of defense and we must defeat this bill; all-expense-paid trips to St. Croix notwithstanding.

REP. JASON MURPHEY, R-Guthrie, represents House District 31, which encompasses all of Logan County and a portion of northern Edmond. He may be reached via email at jason.murphey@okhouse.gov.

 

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