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Spin Control

Posts tagged: presidential election

WA Lege Day 16: Electoral College change pushed

OLYMPIA — Changing the way the state casts its Electoral College votes for president would be fairer to Eastern Washington voters, a Spokane Valley legislator said Tuesday.

It’s a way Republicans could win the White House through gerrymandered districts without a majority of the popular vote, said the Democratic chairman of the House committee considering the proposal.

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, said a bill he’s sponsoring would award most of the state’s Electoral College votes based on the outcome of the presidential race in each of the Washington’s 10 congressional districts. Two of the Electoral College votes, which are given each state for its two U.S. senators, would go to the state’s overall winner. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

News flash: Obama wins Washington

Rick Lloyd of Spokane Valley, center, and other members of Washington's Electoral College sign paperwork to cast the state's electoral votes for Barack Obama.

OLYMPIA – Forget what the news media told you six weeks ago. Barack Obama was elected to his second term as president Monday in a process that the Founding Fathers dreamed up in 1787 and has confounded Americans pretty regularly since.

The Electoral College – which doesn’t have a mascot, a fight song or even a campus – met at noon Monday in state capitals around the nation and awarded votes to Obama or Mitt Romney based on the general election results.

Each state gets one elector for each member of the U.S. House of Representatives and senator, so in Idaho, the four votes were cast for Republican Mitt Romney, even though the former Massachusetts governor has no chance of moving into the White House.

In Washington, where a majority of votes were cast for Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, 12 men and women selected by Democratic activists gathered in the Capitol’s marble-walled Reception Room to do the official work of casting the Evergreen State’s ballots, which mostly involved signing their names to multiple sheets of paper with official writing and seals.

A bit tedious to watch, maybe, but exciting to be part of, electors said. . . 

It’s presidential election day. No, really. It is

OLYMPIA — The next president of the United States will be elected today.

Barring some real skullduggery so remote it can't be mapped out here, that will be Barack Obama.

What? You thought Obama was re-elected more than a month ago? It was in all the papers, and on all the cable news networks — even Fox News after Karl Rove calmed down?

Not exactly. That was the general election, but the president, as you will recall from junior high civics, is elected by the Electoral College.

The EC, as its closest friends call it, meets today. Not in one place, but in state capitals all over the nation. In Washington, they will meet in the State Reception Room at noon, where they are expected to cast the state's 12 votes for Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

We’re not the best presidential bellwethers

There was a time in the mid 20th Century when, as Washington and Idaho went in presidential elections, so went the country.

But voters in the two states have been imperfect bellwethers of the presidential elections before and since. Spokane County voters have been a little better. They’ve voted for the candidate who eventually won the Electoral College count in 25 of the 30 presidential elections since Washington and Idaho became states.

Kootenai County voters picked 22 out of 30, but have the longer winning streak, voting for the presidential winner in every election from 1916 to 1972.

To read the rest of this post, or to see a chart of how the two states, Spokane and Kootenai counties have voted in every presidential election since statehood, click here to go inside the blog.  

‘Birther’ claim challenges Obama spot on WA ballot

OLYMPIA — Barack Obama makes jokes about people who question his birth certificate, and his campaign even is selling a coffee mug with the presidential face on one side and a reproduction of the certificate on the other.

Mitt Romney tried to make a joke about birth certificates in Michigan last week. Some people laughed, some people didn't.

But Linda Jordan of Seattle apparently is not joking in court action filed this week in Thurston County Superior Court against the Washington secretary of state, asking the court to keep Obama off the November ballot because, she contends, his birth certificate is forged and he is not a “natural born citizen.”

The state Attorney General's office was also serious in its reply today that Jordan's lawsuit is flawed for several reasons, all of which could lead to its dismissal: It doesn't name Obama as a plaintiff; it's a federal issue, involving the U.S. Constitution; the secretary of state doesn't have the authority to check on the eligibility of candidates and toss one off if he or she doesn't measure up.

Beyond that, Deputy Solicitor General Jeff Even says in a court filing, Jordan doesn't provide any proof that Obama isn't a natural born citizen. “She merely claims to have offered evidence of a forged birth certificate — a birth certificate that has never been requested by or submitted to, the secretary of state — and to have offered additional suspicions regarding a social security number.”

Hearing tomorrow afternoon before Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee. Some pertinent documents are “submitted for your approval,” as Rod Serling used to say.


Documents:

Romney stopping somewhere in WA today, with McMorris Rodgers

GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney has at least  one thing in common with President Barack Obama: He's treating the Puget Sound like an ATM machine.

Romney will make a stop somewhere in King County today for a fund-raiser. There are no public events and the Romney campaign has been closed mouthed about where the money  even takes place. Even State Chairman Kirby Wilbur said over the weekend he hadn't been told where it would be.

Two days earlier and he could've had a really high-profile venue with a stop in Tacoma on Saturday at the GOP State Convention, fired up his supporters, won over some Ron Paul supporters with a good speech to the 1,500 or so Republicans in attendance. Oh, well.

One of the co-sponsors of today's fund-raiser is U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who was given a new campaign job Monday in advance of the event. She's already the state co-chairwoman of the Romney campaign as well as a Romney delegate to the national convention.

The new job: Campaign liaison to the Republican Conference in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The campaign actually announced the new position for early this morning, way in advance of the fund-raiser, via press release with the expected quotes from Romney and McMorris Rodgers about how each is honored to be working with the other. It can be read in full here, for those who want the “full scoop.”

Obama was in Seattle last month, for two campaign fund-raising events and anyone who wanted a glimpse of something other than the motorcade had to buy a ticket. But there was news coverage of both events.

Sunday Spin: Does familiarity breed endorsement?

With presidential candidates making their quadrennial stops in the Inland Northwest ahead of the caucuses, Republican voters might be wondering how to pick among the four remaining candidates.

After all, none of the four has very strong connections to the region, or has spent much time in the area when not on the campaign trail. And some haven’t even made so much a pit stop here yet.

Spin Control decided to get some insight from one fairly well-known Republican who served with at least three of the four would-be nominees. Former Rep. George Nethercutt was elected to the House in the historic GOP takeover engineered by Newt Gingrich, and served with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul during his six years there.

So who’s he backing? . . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog.

A Romney coming Tuesday (not Mitt)

Mitt Romney doesn’t have a campaign stop in the Inland Northwest yet, but one of his sons, Josh, is attending a campaign meet and greet, plus caucus training, at 12:15 Tuesday at Center Place in the Spokane Valley.

Changing the game for presidential elections

How would you feel if you and 99 percent of Washington voted for Barack Obama last year, but the state’s Electoral College votes went for John McCain?

OK, you Republicans out there, stop rubbing you hands gleefully at the prospect. What would you say if the state’s voters went 99 percent for McCain, but its electoral votes went for Obama?

Those are far-fetched, but conceivable, scenarios for a future election under a law Gov. Chris Gregoire signed last week.

So is that a good law or a bad law? Depends on who you ask…

Go inside the blog to read more.

Wait a minute on that election change

A Shaw Island man filed Wednesday for a referendum to block the new law that would change the way Washington allocates its Electoral College votes.

The bill was signed this week by Gov. Chris Gregoire, and mentioned in Spin Control on Tuesday.

David John Anderson filed a request for the referendum with the Secretary of State’s office. He’ll have until July 25 to gather 120,577 valid signatures from Washington voters. If he’s successful, voters will decide in November whether they approve of the measure.

Technically, the law is put on hold until the referendum issue is resolved. But practically speaking, it’s probably on hold for much longer, because it requires states with a majority of Electoral College votes to enact similar legislation.

As the U.S. goes, so goes WA

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill today that could dramatically change presidential elections in  years to come. It could result in Washington voters picking one candidate, but the state’s Electoral College votes going to another.

SB 5569 is part of a national movement to “reform” the Electoral College system by tying it to the popular vote. If enough states sign onto the idea, the state’s will give their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Think of that for a minute.

In 1976, even though Washington voters backed Gerald Ford, Washington’s votes would have gone to Jimmy Carter. In 1988, even though Washington voters backed Michael Dukakis, the electoral votes would have gone to George H.W. Bush. In 2004, even though the state’s voters went for John Kerry, Washington’s electoral votes would have gone to George W. Bush.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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