California Electoral Vote Reform: The White House Takes No Stand

With polls showing state voters favoring a move to change California’s electoral vote distribution from winner-take-all statewide to winner-take-all by congressional district, the White House is not taking any stand on the revolutionary proposal that would have given George W. Bush 22 electoral votes from the Golden State in 2000 rather than none.

At the Friday afternoon press briefing at the White House, I asked Press Secretary Dana Perino about the current movement in California, which is backed by such major Bush fund-raisers as hotelier Duane Roberts.

“Well, it’s the first I’ve heard of it,” replied Perino, “and I don’t know what the President’s position is on it.”

At this point, a committee has been formed to collect the 433,000 signatures that need to be certified by the California secretary of state in order to place the electoral vote reform proposal on the statewide ballot in June of ’08. Already, Maine and Nebraska apportion electoral votes through winner-take-all by congressional district rather than winner-take-all by state.

“Read my column,” I admonished Perino with a wink, “It’s all about it.”

As laughter filled the James Brady Briefing Room, Perino quipped: “Great advertisement.”

Forewarned is forearmed: Just as this isn’t the last Californians have heard of this change, this surely is not the last time Dana will hear of it either.