California Electoral College Split Intiative Dead?
The California ballot initiative which would allocate the country’s largest trove of Electoral College votes on a district-by-district basis (essentially handing Republicans 18ish free votes) is reportedly dead.
Plagued by a lack of money, supporters of a statewide initiative drive to change the way California’s 55 electoral votes are apportioned, first revealed here by Top of the Ticket in July, are pulling the plug on that effort.
In an exclusive report to appear on this website late tonight and in Friday’s print editions, The Times’ Dan Morain reports that the proposal to change the winner-take-all electoral vote allocation to one by congressional district is virtually dead with the resignation of key supporters, internal disputes and a lack of funds.
Here’s Morain’s piece, “GOP electoral initiative dealt major blows.”
Unable to raise sufficient money and angered over a lack of disclosure by its one large donor, veteran political law attorney Thomas Hiltachk, who drafted the measure, said he was resigning from the committee.Hiltachk’s departure is a major blow to the operation because he organized other consultants who had set about trying to raise money and gather signatures for the initiative. Campaign spokesman Kevin Eckery said he was ending his role as well.
There remained a chance that the measure could be revived, but only if a major donor were to come forward to fund the petition drive. However, time is short to gather the hundreds of thousands of signatures needed by the end of November. And backers said Thursday that they believed the measure was all but dead, at least for the 2008 election.
“‘Shambles’ is the wrong word,” said strategist Marty Wilson, who curtailed his fundraising efforts weeks ago. “The campaign never got off the ground.”
While it may have been a good thing for California and Californians, the initiative’s chances of passing always struck me as slim. Why would a state that reliably votes Democrat in national elections turn around and give a sizable chunk of its Electoral votes to the opposition party?