Here’s a morsel of good news from Richmond: Virginia will not be joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact movement.
This year, anyway.
For the second time in 10 days a State Senate committee saved us from extreme bills that had already passed the drunk-with-power House of Delegates.
First, it was the vague assault weapons bill, which would have turned thousands of law-abiding Virginia gun owners into felons. That proposal was scrapped, thanks to four bold Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who sided with their GOP colleagues.
This week, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee tabled — for this session, anyway –– HB177, a measure that would have relinquished Virginia’s sovereignty to California and New York by awarding our electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in presidential elections.
It’s mind-boggling that a majority in the House of Delegates actually supported this:
“Under the compact, Virginia agrees to award its electoral votes to the presidential ticket that receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia,” a bill summary states. “The compact goes into effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have joined the compact.”
What’s encouraging, however, is that the committee vote not to send the bill to the full Senate was 14-1, meaning that all but one Democrat joined all of the Republicans in opposition. Only Janet Howell D-Fairfax wanted to push the measure along.
Look, the establishment of the electoral college by the Founding Fathers was intended to thwart a tyranny by the masses. They wanted to guarantee that citizens in rural areas and less populated states would have a voice in the selection of the president and would not be forgotten by the federal government.
It’s genius, really.
The national movement to scrap the electoral college and marginalize so-called red states gathered steam in the past two years, pushed by bitter Hillary Clinton supporters who refuse to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election.
It’s simple. Clinton doesn’t reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue because she failed to campaign in places she needed to win. Like Wisconsin.
As a result, Clinton won just 227 electoral votes to President Trump’s 304.
If the majority of states want to dump the electoral college — and that would be a mistake — they should do it the right way: by amending the US Constitution, not making an end run around it.
This column was published originally at www.kerrydougherty.com.