Wisconsin NPV debate roundup

2010/02/26
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Last week AB 751’s express trip from introduction on February 15 to a hearing on February 17 caused a stir in the Wisconsin papers and blogosphere. While Save Our States Director Trent England was on the ground there, I jumped into the cyber world to see how Wisconsin voters were responding to the bill.

Almost immediately an alert went out from Wisconsin Family Action who had only just heard of the issue. Within less than 24 hours, they were circulating an online petition, blogs were firing right and left, and talk radio stations had picked up the tune.

Here are some of the articles from the Wisconsin NPV debate.

(Read the comments for some stimulating and well populated debate.)

This is the fastest and most vehement citizen response to the NPV bill we’ve seen. In my home state of Washington, newspapers didn’t even know about HB 5599 until after it had passed.

In most states, citizens, media, and particularly legislators have little to no understanding of the practical, political, and historical impact of the bill. Legislators sometimes approach it like a resolution about how elections should work. But this is a radical reversal of American principles and election practices that would underhandedly change our Constitution.

Last year in his testimony before the State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee, Save Our States Director Trent England urged legislators to consider the importance of the issue.

When James Madison was thinking about creating a new constitution he wrote to Thomas Jefferson and asked for some literature to study. He was already one of the most educated people in the young states. Jefferson sent him a trunk-load of books—a few of which were even in English—that Madison felt he had to read, he was compelled to read, before he would tinker with the fundamental structures of our government. I just hope that the members of this committee and the members of our legislature are dedicating the same time and the same study when they consider something this important.

Fortunately for Wisconsin, voters understand. They question the motives of a group that would sneak through a bill that would make such a dramatic change to our most important election.

Earlier this month, the National Popular Vote bill was overwhelmingly defeated in Maine. Save Our State ally Rep. Herb Adams closed his testimony by reminding legislators,

This is not just any compact between states—like lumber lengths, river basins, or mosquito control. This is about electing the leader of the free world and the commander in chief of the mightiest arsenal in the history of the earth.

Wisconsin voters are weighing in on this monumental debate, and as a result, three cosponsors have removed their names from the bill. What happens in Wisconsin—and West Virginia, Alaska, Vermont, Michigan, and every other state in the union—will affect every American voter.

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