GOP bends election laws in CA

Newsweek suggests that the Republicans have finally figured out a way to undermine the large state’s tendency to swing Democratic:

Instead of laboring in vain to turn California Red, a clever lawyer for the state Republican Party thought of a gimmicky shortcut. Thomas Hiltachk, who specializes in ballot referenda that try to fool people in the titles and fine print, is sponsoring a ballot initiative for the June 3, 2008, California primary (which now falls four months after the state’s presidential primary).

I think that is a nice way of saying he is someone who specializes in lying and tricking people.

And if the idea was somehow adopted nationally, it would mean competing for votes in only about 60 far-flung congressional districts—roughly 7 percent of the country. Everyone else’s vote would not “count,” if you want to look at it that way.

Apparently counting votes is no way to run an election. This clever fellow wanted to find a way to modify the rules so that the other side can never win.

Thomas Hiltachk, some will know, is the arch-conservative who tried last year to abolish overtime after an 8-hour workday, and who successfully filed Proposition 69 — a DNA database for felons.

Going back even further it appears Hiltachk did work for a smoking “watchdog” group called the Los Angeles Hospitality Coalition, which was exposed as a shameless front for Philip Morris.

“Of all the outrageous and unbelievable things that happen in Washington, this one takes the cake,” said Ellen Miller of the Center for Responsive Politics, which studies campaign contributions and fully discloses its own funding, which comes from foundations. “Posing as a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization to be unveiled as nothing but a special interest tool is really the bottom line of gall.”

Or so they thought…new depths are now being probed.

Bending the truth and a spate of questionable ethics has somehow served Hiltachk well, leading him to become the Governor’s right-hand man — a GOP weapon now apparently targeted against fair elections.

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