NPV in Oregon


The more they think about it, the less they think of it

Deep thinking and deliberation are getting in the way of the National Popular Vote campaign in Oregon (HB 3517). This is my conclusion after stopping briefly in Salem yesterday and talking with a few legislators and several legislative staff.

It was all true to a pattern that I’ve seen in my cross-country travels. NPV’s soundbites, at first, have some appeal. Yet as thoughtful legislators consider the novel—not to mention profoundly important—issue of how best to elect the President of the United States, they come to realize how many questions NPV simply does not, cannot, answer. Cosponsors back out; chairmen hold off.

NPV brags about how many bills they have had introduced, how many hearings have been held, but almost every time, NPV legislation has then died. Often the very same legislators who initially moved NPV later had second thoughts. This is happening in Oregon, and rightly so.

It is a credit to legislators when they are willing to consider all the evidence and even to change their minds. I always give legislators the benefit of the doubt—often talking with cosponsors and even prime-sponsors of NPV. Wisconsin is just one example of a state where legislators changed position after hearing the “other side.” (Yesterday was the only time I’ve encountered a rude legislator, Vicki Berger, who appeared desperately out of her depth and almost frantic that someone would disagree with her in her office.)

A legislative session isn’t over until it’s over. NPV has hired at least two high-powered lobbyists in Salem. (A lobbyist in another state capital who was offered a contract by NPV tells me that they pay “very well”; nevertheless, he recognized the threat NPV poses to our republic and he  turned them down.) Yet a growing number of Oregon legislators are asking the right questions about NPV, making it evermore likely that the legislation there will fail.


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9 Responses to NPV in Oregon

  1. Amm on 2011/07/05 at 6:02 PM

    NPV has to change its rules regarding the election as well as different approaches which confusing the people and also they are losing the faith from the people too.

  2. Bennet on 2011/07/05 at 7:04 PM


  3. Rajesh Chaturvedi on 2011/07/05 at 7:18 PM

    This is not how an electoral college works. The legislators have been elected to be the leaders, they have not been given any sort of instruction to exercise their rights irresponsibly. This is how legislation fails and non-cooperation increases, legislators should obligate themselves to avoid certain situations.

  4. Shital More on 2011/07/05 at 8:17 PM

    National Popular Vote in Oregon is certainly a great approach. They must modify their rules in order to get much more positive response. There is yet a lot to come from NPV voting.

  5. shanthiimurugesh on 2011/07/05 at 8:42 PM

    Since NPV has changed its rules it confuses the people of Oregon, So we can consider the National Popular Vote to alter and consider it, because the NPV would be the best for the people.

  6. selva on 2011/07/05 at 9:04 PM

    National Popular Vote in Oregon is certainly a great approach. But it must be change its rule then only it get positive response.

  7. saleem on 2011/07/05 at 9:17 PM

    Since US is United and States, why not give a chance for the republicans and democrats to become united in selecting the President in a democratic way as NPV.

  8. animesh chatterjee on 2011/07/05 at 10:04 PM

    The working procedures of National Popular Vote campaign in Oregon is not serving the required purpose of it. So it should be changed immediately.

  9. sathish on 2011/07/05 at 10:19 PM

    I will not agree with Rajesh Chaturvedi has commented. Of course the legislators have been elected to be the leaders, How you are saying they did not face any instruction. They are pushing with some instructions and responsibilities then only they been elected to leaders.

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