Great Republican Idea: What If 2000 Rural CO Voters Got Twice As Many 'Votes' As 761,000 People In Denver?
The Electoral College so nice, they want to do it twice.
The state of Colorado has a problem, at least if you're a Republican seeking high office: In the past 50 years, the state has only elected one Republican as governor (Bill Owens, who served from 1999 to 2007). But one of the GOP candidates for governor this year, Greg Lopez, has a great idea that he thinks could fix that little difficulty, mostly by putting in place a kind of state electoral college, in which rural counties' voters would have far more power than voters in cities. Forget "one person, one vote," because it's far fairer if you don't count all votes equally.
Don't stare at us like that. It's not our idea, it's Lopez's.
You might also be unsurprised to know that Lopez, the former mayor of Parker, Colorado, thinks Donald Trump really won the 2020 election but had it stolen from him. Just because Democrats far outnumber Republicans statewide shouldn't mean they really represent Coloradans.
Yeah, You've Seen This Weirdo Before. And The Reporter Who Destroyed Him
You may remember Lopez from his insane evasions in an interview earlier this month with Denver TV journo Kyle Clark, in which Lopez refused to own up to his very funny homophobic joke about Gov. Jared Polis (D), who is gay. Lopez had said to a Republican crowd, “I think it’s time we had a real first lady, don’t you?” The crowd ate that up, because Polis is married to a dude, and isn't that just hilarious? Pressed to explain exactly what he'd meant by a "real first lady," Lopez told Clark he simply was talking about what a wonderful gal his wife is, you see? They've been married 34 years!
Clark wasn't having it, no thank you, and drily replied, "I think that there’s a chance that you think I and the folks watching are dumber than we are."
Who Needs Tyranny Of The Majority When Tyranny Of The Minority Is More Fun?
Now Clark is back with the lowdown on Lopez's state electoral college idea, which a "political tracker" recorded when Lopez outlined it during a May 15 campaign appearance. It's really the bestest idea, as long as you're willing to throw out the idea that every citizen's vote should count equally — and it should not, since that hasn't helped Republicans. We like the part where he openly says he supports "doing away with the popular vote" just right there in plain English. We've bolded it below so you won't miss it.
“One of the things that I’m going to do, and I’ve already put this plan together, is, as governor, I’m going to introduce a conversation about doing away with the popular vote for statewide elected officials and doing an electoral college vote for statewide elected officials,” Lopez said.
Lopez said his electoral college plan would weight counties’ votes based on their voter turnout percentage to encourage turnout.
“I’ve already got the plan in place,” Lopez said. “The most that any county can get is 11 electoral college votes. The least that a county can get is three.”
You can see the logic: Republicans keep losing the popular vote for president, but they sometimes win the Electoral College anyway, so clearly the electoral vote is fair and the popular vote has to be suspect.
Here's video from KUSA/KTVD, which explains exactly how extremely the scheme would skew voting in Colorado. "Cockamamie " doesn't even begin to describe it.
Lopez's campaign wouldn't agree to talk to the TV station about the plan unless Clark would agree to another sit-down interview with Lopez at his campaign headquarters. Gosh, considering the fact that Lopez became a national laughingstock after that earlier interview, we can only assume he and his campaign are masochists. (We kid. The homophobia and misogyny no doubt brought in all sorts of attention and money from rich GOP donors.)
Oh No, Not Math!
So instead, Clark and his team decided to approximate how the scheme might have worked in the 2018 election that put Polis in office. Using the rough criteria Lopez outlined, they distributed between three and 11 electoral votes per county based on county turnout in the governor's race. The rubric completely disregarded the population size of each county since Lopez said he's getting rid of undemocratic ideas like the "popular vote."
The results were pretty impressive. Instead of winning the 2018 election for governor by 10 points — the actual results — Polis would have been blown out of the water by Republican Walker Stapleton. In mere reality, Polis won 53.4 percent to Stapleton's 42.8 percent. But an electoral system like Lopez wants would have "swung that race for Republicans by nearly 30 percentage points, resulting in the equivalent of an 18 percentage point victory for Stapleton over Polis." Some details:
Colorado’s rural, conservative counties had seven of the 10 highest voter turnout percentages in the 2018 race for governor. Those counties had an average of 1,077 ballots cast in the election.
A 9NEWS analysis estimated that, under Lopez’s plan, Polis would have received 181 electoral votes to Stapleton’s 263.
And because Lopez's system would apparently include no weighting for population size, his electoral college would be even more lopsided than the federal one, which at least includes some consideration of state population by including states' House seats. The federal system still gives small states disproportionate power, but wowie, look at this hypothetical outcome in Colorado. We've added boldface to emphasize the population disparities:
Lopez’s weighting system would have given the 2,013 combined voters in Hinsdale, Kiowa and Mineral counties a total of 33 electoral votes, more than double the 14 electoral votes of Denver, Arapahoe and Adams counties’ combined 761,873 voters.
Well that seems fair. You want a little more representation, Denver, you'll have to improve your voter turnout so maybe someday you'll have equal political power to a county with 3,000 voters.
'One Person, One Vote' Is Not Even In The Bible
At that May 15 campaign appearance, Lopez explains why this scheme would be waaaaay better than merely letting the tyrannical depraved liberal majority in urban areas have their votes count equally to those of the God-fearing voters in rural areas:
“It’s not about one-person, one-vote. It’s about true representation.”
As we keep saying, this is what you get when you subscribe to the most extreme versions of the John Birch Society's insistence that America isn't a democracy, it's a republic: Not only is democracy bad, anything that even allows too much majority influence is bad, too, so to truly avoid what the Founders feared was "the tyranny of the majority," it's probably best to let numerical minorities engineer the system to keep themselves in power. Representation is all fine and well, but the less it's tainted by democracy, the better for the Republic.
Happily, U of Denver political science prof Sara Chatfield told Clark in an interview that in the extremely unlikely event Lopez could become governor and persuade voters to pass it as a constitutional amendment, it's so glaringly unconstitutional that it wouldn't stand a chance in court. And wouldn't you know it, the case that established one person, one vote as the standard came out of an earlier attempt to disenfranchise minorities!
Chafield pointed to the 1964 Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims striking down Alabama’s plan to give one state Senate seat to each county.
“The Supreme Court struck that down on the principle of one-person, one-vote. So I think that case, although it’s a little different, demonstrates that just because something is in the U.S. Constitution doesn’t mean it’s actually democratic or constitutional at the state level,” Chatfield said.
Mind you, while it's an entirely hypothetical notion for Colorado, we can see a smaller, already red state like Idaho doing it just to make sure scary urban liberal coastal elites in Boise don't get too much power in the state Lege.
This Guy's FULL Of Bad Ideas!
Lopez's campaign website says nothing about this state electoral college idea, although its
"issues" page does promise Lopez would issue an executive order that would effectively end automatic voter registration. The site explains it's actually a vital moral issue, because "It is wrong for the state government to force a citizen to register to vote; that is an individual choice that should not be imposed by the government." His ideas on choices are flexible; Lopez is fine with banning abortion with no exceptions, not even for the life or health of the pregnant person.
Also, in that earlier interview with Clark, Lopez explained he wants to end Colorado's statewide vote-by-mail system, because voting is too easy and people should show their commitment to citizenship by standing in line. Here's the video, cued up to that bit of brilliance:
It's about making sure people feel they're providing their civic duty, that they're standing in line because they're proud Americans. A lot of people fought for the right to stand in line! You know, we stand in line for concerts, we stand in line for baseball games and football games. Why can't we stand in line to vote? We don't ask people to do this every week, we ask them to do it every two years.
Lopez said he believed that when voting is more inconvenient, people will actually be better informed about the issues, somehow. He also doesn't buy the idea that standing in line could be a burden for people who don't have a lot of time to stand in line, because "where there's a will, there's a way," and people will obviously just have to make the time if they want to exercise their franchise. Indeed, he explained, if more people had to stand in line to vote, it would "send a message to future generations that this is our civic duty."
After all, Martin Luther King simply wanted the right to vote. He never fought for voting to be easy, and indeed, maybe the best way to honor his dream is to make sure people get clubbed and hit with firehoses before they can vote. That can be their way to prove their willingness to have some skin — and hair, blood, bone fragments, and bits of brain matter — in the game.
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That next GOP coke boner orgy is going to be hella awkward. Allegedly.
Last night GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn did the first and only decent thing he's ever done in his short, feckless life. Shortly after 10 p.m., he called up GOP state Sen. Chuck Edwards, and conceded the primary.
"Congratulations to @ChuckEdwards4NC on securing the nomination tonight," he tweeted shortly after. "It’s time for the NC-11 GOP to rally behind the Republican ticket to defeat the Democrats’ nominee this November."
Thus ends the brief, embarrassing political career of the youngest member of Congress in five decades, who found out the hard way that pissing off the Republican establishment in your home state and embarrassing the shit out of your colleagues in DC can be bad for your political health. Because there's absolutely no question who shivved the 26-year-old man child — and it sure as hell wasn't the Blue Team.
The GOP might have been annoyed when Congressman Boy Band called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a "thug," but they were livid when he started blabbing about Republican electeds throwing coke boner orgies.
In November, the freshman congressman abruptly announced he was switching districts, blocking the candidacy of Republican state House Speaker Tim Moore, whom Cawthorn described as "another establishment go-along-to-get-along Republican." Blindsiding your own party isn't exactly a galaxy brain political move, and then this genius didn't even wind up switching districts!
Pissing off people with a lot of political capital is a weird choice, but it's one Cawthorn made a lot, routinely attacking GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, both of whom are pretty popular in the Tar Heel state. If no member of your state's congressional delegation has endorsed you, and the two senators have both come out against you and raised money for your primary challenger, you done fucked up.
So the past month has seen regular drops of videos of Cawthorn acting like the teenage douchebro in a John Hughes movie. Which left us here at your Wonkette kinda conflicted, since we obviously wanted that guy gone, but also found it pretty filthy how the GOP went full gay panic on Cawthorn in an effort to turn North Carolina Republicans against him. Because Cawthorn's Venmo messages to his male aide/cousin for stupid shit like "getting naked for me in Sweden" were clearly a joke, and the "funny" part was "haw haw, I ain't no sissy queer." Ditto for the photos of him in women's underwear and the video of him cavorting naked in bed with said aide.
No one gave a rat's ass about Cawthorn constantly getting caught driving recklessly and trying to take guns on airplanes, much less his role in fomenting an insurrection. But whoever was doing those oppo drops clearly meant to smear Cawthorn by releasing a video of the congressman getting his crotch (sort of kind of) groped by a man. The obvious implication is that Cawthorn is secretly gay, which is gross and bad and a reason not to vote for him. And it worked! Even Donald Trump was wondering aloud if the allegation against the little dipshit was that he was “fucking his cousin.”
Not that Trump withdrew his endorsement. “When Madison was first elected to Congress, he did a great job,” Trump gushed on Truth Social earlier this week. “Recently, he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again…let’s give Madison a second chance!”
"No matter what you are facing, when Donald Trump has your back, he has your back to the end," said
no one ever Cawthorn. But even Trump's endorsement wasn't enough to push him over the finish line in the face of this smear campaign.
“You know what? I'll tell you, there's been a coordinated strike carried out by, really, kind of the old establishment wing of our party,” Cawthorn said Tuesday before the votes had been tabulated. “And it's really something that I think is a loser's mentality. They realize the direction the country's going in, the direction that the population's going in, and if they want to be able to pay off people from my past to try and bring up old pictures or things that happened years and years ago, I feel free to let them do that. I think the American people will see through that.”
So much for the "loser's mentality." Those guys played the homophobia card, and it was a winner. So, good riddance. And also, UGHHHHHHHHH.
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Trump continues primary endorsement streak of selecting absolute worst of the bunch.
It’s primary election day in Pennsylvania, so let’s talk a little about the GOP primary for governor. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf won re-election in 2018 by 17 points, but he’s limited to just two terms and can’t run again. Republicans are hot to seize the governorship in a tough year for Democrats. Leading the pack is state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who Donald Trump recently endorsed at the last minute. Mother Jones speculates that this was so Trump could claim credit for Mastriano’s sure thing.
In the governor’s race, Mastriano built up a roughly 10-point lead over his rivals before securing Trump’s support. He was central to Trump’s efforts in Pennsylvania to overturn the 2020 election. He also organized bus trips to Washington, DC, for the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and was outside the Capitol that day—though there is no evidence he entered the building and he has not been accused of breaking any laws.
That’s what passes for integrity in the modern Republican Party, that there’s no conclusive proof that their its nominee for governor of a major swing state participated in a violent coup attempt. He just tried to overturn the results of a free and fair election, but peacefully.
Mastriano is a nightmare candidate with reported ties to the QAnon cult, and has fully embraced Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election he lost like a loser. Mastriano is now polling 12 points ahead of former congressman Lou Barletta, who along with Tom Marino was among the first GOP House members to endorse Trump in 2016. However, Trump now raves that Mastriano "has been with me right from the beginning, and now I have an obligation to be with him.”
Trump stabs people in the back so often he should sell Trump-brand daggers, but nonetheless Marino expressed his disappointment this weekend over the Mastriano endorsement.
Former PA congressman Tom Marino, who along with Barletta backed Trump in 2016, rips Trump for the Mastriano endorsement. \u201cWhere in the hell is the loyalty?\u201dpic.twitter.com/xsWCwHchjZ— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman) 1652563067
MARINO: Where in the hell is the loyalty? Lou and I were the first congressmen to come out and endorse Trump in his first election. We took a lot of heat about it ... We were at the rallies, talking to people, and throwing our support behind Trump early on. Our leadership ... told us when we they heard that we did this that our political careers were over ... I’m very disappointed in the former president because apparently the loyalty does not go as far as he says his loyalty does.
They’re obviously slow studies, but Marino and Barletta have finally learned how loyalty works with Donald Trump. They can check with Jeff Sessions for their parting gifts. Barletta is actually on the ballot so he has to play nice and say he’ll look forward to Trump’s endorsement in the general election. Marino, however, hasn’t pulled any punches. He’s accused Trump of throwing Barletta under the bus and just backing whoever was ahead in the polls so he’d look like a “political genius.” (Yeah, even the former Trump supporter agrees with Mother Jones.) He’s also gone so far as to say he won’t support anyone Trump endorses.
Trump’s thrown a grenade into the GOP governor’s primary, and that’s good news for decent people who like democracy. The presumptive Democratic nominee for governor is Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who fended off Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss in the state. Here’s a tweet from Shapiro just a week before the election.
If all the votes are added up in PA, Trump is going to lose. That\u2019s why he\u2019s working overtime to subtract as many votes as possible from this process.\n\nFor the record, he\u2019s 0-6 against us in court. We\u2019ve protected voting rights. Now, ignore the noise\u2014vote!https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/trump-pennsylvania-rallies-20201031.html\u00a0\u2026— Josh Shapiro (@Josh Shapiro) 1604177045
It's critical that Democrats hold the governor’s office. Pennsylvania’s secretary of state isn’t an elected position, so a Trumpist governor can fill the position with the election denier of their choosing. Mastriano, who thinks votes were stolen from Trump even in California, is such a hack that GOP primary candidates Jake Corman and Melissa Hart each dropped out of the race last week and endorsed Barletta.
Barletta probably deserves Trump’s betrayal, but Pennsylvania doesn’t deserve Doug Mastriano.
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Before entering politics, Madison Cawthorn managed a Chick-fil-A and worked as a staff assistant the district office of his predecessor Mark Meadows. While Your Wonkette would never denigrate honest work, there's nothing in this guy's resume that would indicate that he was prepared to be an actual factual congressman in the US House of Representatives. Indeed Meadows, who presumably had some idea of Cawthorn's abilities, went balls to the wall in a failed effort to make sure he didn't have to hand his seat off to the then-24-year-old.
And just this once, we will have to agree with Mark Meadows. The past two years have shown exactly why Trump's chief of staff wanted a replacement-level, middle-aged white lady who would toe the party line instead of a shitposting toddler who alternates between run-ins with the police and attacking his fellow Republicans. Which is why the members of his own caucus are unsubtly trying to shiv Cawthorn before next week's primary, in hopes that his constituents will abort this non-viable congressman and spare them the pain of having to carry him another term.
On Wednesday, the Post ran a story on how much the rest of the North Carolina delegation, particularly Senator Thom Tillis, despises this little twit.
Tillis and many of North Carolina’s top Republicans, including the state’s House speaker and Senate leader, are backing a challenger, state Sen. Chuck Edwards, in next Tuesday’s primary. Tillis has personally raised money for the effort. An allied super PAC is bombarding the district with TV ads and mail pieces highlighting Cawthorn’s string of scandals and indiscretions — a list that gets longer with almost each passing day.
It appears never to have occurred to this brain genius that there might be a political consequence for talking smack about his fellow Republicans.
“Why is your wife attacking me on Twitter?” Cawthorn texted Tillis back in November.
“Just spit ballin here, but maybe because you’ve attacked her husband?” Tillis shot back
“I don’t feel like I’ve attacked you that much,” Cawthorn responded. “I think I’ve said I don’t think your conservative enough, did not realize that made us enemies.”
In fact, Cawthorn made a lot of enemies in North Carolina, which is why Susan Tillis was tweeting about him. Because without talking to any of his fellow Tar Heel Gippers, the Boy Wonder announced last year that he was switching to run in a safer Republican seat. Not to improve his own electoral prospects, he assured voters, but because “I am afraid that another establishment go-along-to-get-along Republican would prevail there. I will not let that happen.”
That "establishment go-along-to-get-along Republican" Cawthorn cockblocked was House Speaker Tim Moore, i.e. not someone whom a normal person would seek to alienate if he wanted a future in North Carolina Republican politics. In the end, Cawthorn didn't even wind up switching districts!
And that was before this undisciplined little shit told a podcaster that he was being invited to cocaine orgies by his fellow congressmen, which appears to have been the last straw for many of his Republican colleagues in DC, who were perhaps able to overlook the multiple instances of driving on a suspended license and bringing a gun on a plane, which did not directly involve them.
For the past month, the knives have been out for Cawthorn, with regular drops of videos of him acting like a second-string high school quarterback on spring break. Here he is in women's underwear! Here he is getting his crotch groped by a male aide, who is also his cousin. Here he is sending Venmo messages paying the aide for "getting naked for me in Sweden." Here he is cavorting naked in bed with said aide. Here's Donald Trump wondering if Madison Cawthorn is “fucking his cousin?”
Today CNN has a story about how much everyone in North Carolina and DC hates Madison Cawthorn. Spoiler Alert: It is a lot.
"I met with the guy and said, 'Don't break the law again. You break the law one more time, I'm going to start calling for you to be kicked out,'" a Republican lawmaker told CNN. "And I don't mean kicked out of (the House Freedom) Caucus, I mean kicked out of Conference. Voting him out. He's a black eye on our conference."
Very brave, anonymous congressperson!
Let's go out on a limb and assume that Kevin McCarthy, that spineless bowl of jell-o, ain't gonna do shit to punish Cawthorn. But Republicans' willingness to say out loud that this guy is a bloody idiot shows that they realize just how much of a problem he is for the caucus.
He's getting no support in the primary from his fellow North Carolina House members:
Asked whether he supported Cawthorn for his reelection, Rep. David Rouzer said, "I'm not getting involved in the primary one way or another."
Rep. Dan Bishop said, "I don't have a comment on that."
Rep. Virginia Foxx laughed, paused, and said, "Right now, I'm just going to vote." Her campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
And both Tillis and Senator Richard Burr, who is retiring, have explicitly come out against him.
"There's no one thing that put me in a position to where the first time in my career I'm opposing a sitting Republican," said Tillis, who has recommended that the Ethics Committee investigate Cawthorn for possibly involvement in a crypto pump and dump scheme. "I've never done it. But it's the totality. It's a lack of seriousness."
Burr was less circumspect: "He's an embarrassment on any day that ends in 'y.'"
But with all of that, Cawthorn is still polling ahead of his closest opponent, state Sen. Chuck Edwards. The next Ronald Reagan Memorial Boner Orgy is gonna be pretty awkward after that kid pulls off a win next week. Ah, well, nothing a little cocaine can't fix.
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