Friday, December 9th, 2016

More fallout on Newcomer’s decision to co-sponsor AB751

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As we noted previously, State Representative Scott Newcomer reversed himself on supporting AB751, the bill to throw Wisconsin’s electors at the winner of the national popular vote regardless of the voter preference of Wisconsinites. Newcomer claimed he did not understand the bill when he agreed to co-sponsor it.

Local blogger Silent E commented on the reversal, “Newcomer has now pulled a John Kerry.” Ouch.

But the first reaction from Newcomer’s primary opponents is in from Chris Kapenga:

February 18, 2010

RE: Assembly Bill 751

This past week a bill was introduced in the state assembly that, if passed, would make the president of the United States elected by means of a national popular vote. Assembly Bill 751(AB 751) states that the popular vote of the country would determine what presidential candidate the Electoral College would vote for. For instance, if John McCain had won the popular vote of the country as a whole, the Wisconsin electoral votes would have been cast for him, even if the state had a majority of its voters choosing Barack Obama. If enacted this would be a huge disadvantage for the people of Wisconsin. It is another example of the lack of common sense that so many of our elected officials suffer from, and is what has motivated me to run against Mr. Newcomer for the 33rd Assembly District seat.

To better understand AB 751, it helps to look at the founding fathers purpose behind the Electoral College. When establishing our government they were concerned about smaller states being overpowered by larger states, so in order to better balance the power they created the Electoral College. This body is made up of electors from each state based on the total number of Senators and Representatives that state has in Congress. In Wisconsin it benefits us because it allows more say in who is elected president than if a national popular vote were in place.

Based on this understanding it is incomprehensible why our Representatives would introduce a bill that is 100% bad for the people of Wisconsin, no matter what political party you align with. It would essentially render our vote useless because the power would shift back to the high-population states. Wisconsin’s Electoral College votes would be based on the will of the people in those states and not our own. Historically, there have been many attempts to amend the constitution to use a national popular vote system, and they have all failed. This is an attempt to circumvent not only the established process of amending the constitution, but the very constitution itself.

Scott Newcomer of the 33rd Assembly District was the only Representative in Waukesha County to sponsor the bill. If he paid attention to his constituents he would know that the majority of us place a significant amount of value on the constitution, and we appreciate that it protects smaller population states like Wisconsin.

The subject of the bill was taken up by a popular radio talk show host this past week, and Representative Newcomer was blasted for being a part of it. He was repeatedly hammered for even considering something this ridiculous, and at one point was called a “lint trap for bad ideas”.

Newcomer explains in a published email to the host that “I pulled my name off of the bill yesterday and no longer support the idea. I rushed into putting my name on the bill and didn’t do the proper due diligence upfront. I made a mistake…” No responsible legislator would just slap their name on a bill. Maybe Mr. Newcomer should spend a bit more time in Madison focusing on our best interests, as it was recently reported he has the lowest number of days worked in Madison of any legislator in the county.

My question is did he even read the bill or was he just trying to get his name on a piece of legislation for his resume? Within the first four lines of Assembly bill 751 it reads “entering into an agreement among the states to elect the president of the United States by means of a national popular vote.” I’m pretty sure the constituents of the 33rd assembly district would know what that means. Scott Newcomer’s lack of attention to his job resembles those in Washington who pass bills without reading them. We can’t afford any more of Scott Newcomer’s mistakes, and we should expect more from those in government.

Wisconsin needs qualified people to get involved in government. We need people who share our values of hard work, honesty and integrity. When I read through legislation being proposed I measure it against two standards. First, does it fall within constitutional boundaries? Second, does it help improve the lives of Wisconsinites? If I saw a bill like this come across my desk I can guaranty that after thoroughly reading it I would not even consider it. After all, the constitution is not something you rush into changing or you might make a mistake.

Chris Kapenga

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