The Dirty Tricks Initiative is Back

Remember back to 2007.  It was the days of George W. Bush, and you had your mullet. Well, maybe not the mullet, but there were some serious Republican Dirty Tricks going on.  In the continuing effort to a) steal power for the Republicans and b) do some seriously dirty tricks, right-wing initiative filer extraordinaire Ted Costa has brought back the Dirty Tricks Initiative.  He filed it with the AG’s office last week. More from Dan Morain:

With no fanfare, Costa last week submitted to the attorney general’s office an initiative he calls the “Electoral College Reform Act.” On its face, the populist proposal would play to voters’ sense of fairness and desire for competition among candidates.

In reality, this initiative would be a Republican power grab with national implications. The change contemplated by Costa and other consultants could push a Republican to victory in a close presidential race.

“It is the kind of thing that puts the metal to the grindstone and sparks fly,” Costa told me.

Under the proposal, California’s 55 electoral votes no longer would go to whoever wins the popular vote. Rather, they’d be apportioned based on the candidate who wins in particular congressional districts(SacBee)

Here’s the thing. Costa loves to put these initiatives out there, and see what he gets.  Normally, it’s nothing.  But on occasion, see the 2003 recall, he catches lightning in a bottle and he’s off to the races.  The scarier part is that if President Obama doesn’t have any challengers in the primary, we are looking at a very Republican electorate in the presidential primary.

It could be something of a perfect storm, if Costa can get Darrell Issa or some other rich Republican to fund this one.  It was a nightmare last time, and it will be a nightmare again.  If the Republicans take 15-20 electoral college votes from California, it becomes extremely difficult to challenge them.  

At this point, there is a long way to go, but if it does grow, we’ll need to rally again to kill the Dirty Tricks once again.

5 thoughts on “The Dirty Tricks Initiative is Back”

  1. We should amend the Constitution to have initiatives on the ballot only every two years during General Elections, and never in a Primary Election.  That way more voters will weigh in and decide on important changes to our Constitution.  It is more democratic this way.

    The only good thing that comes from fighting these “dirty trick initiatives” during Primaries is that it keeps us on our game and able to beat back all this mischievousness when we really need to.  Otherwise, it is a waste of time, effort and resources.

  2. The scarier part is that if President Obama doesn’t have any challengers in the primary, we are looking at a very Republican electorate in the presidential primary.


    Don’t bet on Obama not having a primary opponent

    He probably won’t, but it is possible

    Especially if he extends the Bush tax cuts again

  3. This is an obvious attempt by the Republicans to be relevant in California.

    Did you realize that 2 States already do this- congressional awarding of electoral votes?  Both Maine and Nebraska use this same methodolgy.

    Maine voters have awarded all the electoral votes to the Democrat in each of the past 5 presidential elections. They have used the congressional district format since the 70’s.

    Nebraska had the first split vote allocation in 2008 with McCain winning 4 of the 5 electoral votes and Obama one (for winning the vote in 1 district).

    So, although the timing of this proposal clearly is a raw political stunt, the concept may have some standing in practice.

    But politics should have no place in a decision such as this one.  If we were to go down this road, the change should occur in 20 years time to try to remove the unsavory nature of this proposal now.

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