Washington enacts NPV

2009/04/29
By

Some citizens remain defiant

To the dismay of natives and neighbors, on Tuesday afternoon the state of Washington headed over the proverbial bridge, following Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Illinois into the Koza abyss.

After barely making it out of the Senate before the cuttoff on March 12, SB 5599, “Approving the entry of Washington into the agreement among the states to elect the president by national popular vote,” moved to the House State Government Operations and Tribal Affiars Committee. At a public hearing, more than two sign-in sheets were filled with the names of citizens opposed to the bill. Eight offered compelling testimony against it. On the other side were the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Joe McDermott, and a lobbyist for the National Popular Vote organization who merely offered to answer questions. Not a single committee member did, confirming to voters how lightly they take questions like how we elect our president.

In the last month it became clearer than ever how little legislators care about the opinion of their constituents. In spite of NPV’s claim to overwhelming approval from the public, their tactic seems to be to avoid the public eye. When they attract it, the response is not in their favor.

Even so, the committee passed the bill 5-2, moving it to Rules.

Late on April 15, SB 5599 passed the House, making Washington the ninth state where the bill has moved through both chambers. Yesterday afternoon Gov. Gregoire signed it, and the total number of NPV states went up to five.

In the last few weeks citizens recognized that their cries were falling on deaf ears and began discussing how they can still prevent Washington from disappearing into NPV’s anchluss. The morning after the governor signed the bill, David Anderson, a private citizen, filed a referendum.

It’s wonderful to see citizens take an active interest in protecting the voice of their state. But it’s bitterly ironic when they have to do it in spite of their elected officials.

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