Do NOT trust Michigan Republicans on this
There are reports all over the internet saying that the Republican plan to change how electoral votes are assigned in order to exploit their insidious gerrymandering of Congressional districts is dead in the water in Michigan.
The reports about the death of this scheme, which is basically a billboard saying: “Welcome to the Michigan Republican Party where we can’t win elections unless we cheat”, are based on comments made by both Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Governor Rick Snyder. But, as I pointed out earlier this week, both Richardville and Snyder said nearly the exact same words regarding making Michigan a Right to Work state only to turn around and jam it through in less than a week during the inflamed duck session.
But, besides the fact that these two cannot be trusted when they say something is “not on their agenda”, we have the Michigan House of Representatives and Crazy Tea Party Ideologues. It is in the House where the legislation was originally introduced. They hadn’t weighed in recently on this scheme to give their conservatively gerrymandered Congressional Districts more clout the heavily-populated and generally more Democratic urban and suburban districts — until yesterday.
House Speaker Jase Bolger, a man with a proud history of tinkering with elections he can’t win in order to change the outcome, had this to say (via Gongwer):
I hear that more and more from our citizens in various parts of the state of Michigan that they don’t feel like their vote for president counts because another area of the state may dominate that or could sway their vote,” Bolger told Gongwer. “They feel closer to voting for their congressman or their congresswoman and if that vote coincided with their vote for president they would feel better about that.
He also released this statement through his spokesperson Ari Adler:
The speaker has said he is interested in looking at the proposal that Representative Lund puts forward. One of the issues right now is there is no formal legislation to review. It is merely an idea that is being discussed. People have already started to make up their minds when they don’t have all the information. Representative Lund has been talking about this for two years, and I anticipate he will continue wanting to talk about it. The speaker has said on every issue that we should be willing to have a good discussion before we make any decisions.
Representative Pete Lund is the original author of the bill which failed to move in the last legislative session. He has already said that he has every intention of re-introducing this legislation at some later point, likely after all of the national attention has died down and, as is the well-known MO of the Michigan Republicans, either sneak it through when people are distracted with other things or simply ram it through in a flurry of activity in which Democrats are shut out of the process and no public input is taken.
Governor Snyder’s argument is that “it’s not the right time” and should happen “before Census is taken and before redistricting takes place.” However, if you were going to go forward with this crass political power grab and consolidation and wanted to pretend that it wasn’t a partisan scheme to cheat, the time to do it actually would be now before we know which party’s candidate is mostly like to succeed. So, in reality, Gov. Snyder’s argument doesn’t really make any sense even though it sounds good.
When Snyder and Richardville say “it’s not the right time”, they simply mean they are waiting for a time when it’s less visible and less politically damaging. Nothing more. They are NOT to be trusted on this and we will keep a laser focus on any Republican attempts to steal elections in this way.
Adding… Think about Dick DeVos and his role in this for a moment. DeVos has got to be smarting over the fact that his corporatist pal Mitt Romney lost Michigan. If there was ever a presidential candidate a multimillionaire like Dick DeVos could get behind, it was Mitt Romney. DeVos most certainly has this on his mind as this discussion plays out across the country and, especially, right here in Michigan. If they haven’t already, I’m sure Governor Snyder and Republican legislative leaders can count on a visit from DeVos very soon. We already know that Devos is willing to buy new policies and laws by bribing/blackmailing lawmakers. There’s no reason at all to believe he’s not willing to do this same for something that is this important to his goal of corporate control of our state and national governments.