Mark Finchem and Katie Hobbs were once political allies
The assault against the electoral college remains a primary objective of the left: can’t have all those pesky rural Americans having as much of a voice as coastal elites. But now, the left has political allies within the Republican Party. Yet, they're not only inside the Party, these people are comfortably cruising as MAGA patriots.
President Trump’s electoral victory in November 2016 reignited the national discussion on the topic; in an article published by a local Arizona news outlet November 12, 2016:
Republican Donald Trump won the presidency based on Electoral College numbers. Democrat Hillary Clinton appears on track to win the popular vote. As a result, the debate over how the United States picks its president israging [sic].
At that time, I remember speaking to a distraught leftist, who lamented how “unfair” a representative voting system was. This dimwitted Democrat would prefer tyranny of the majority apparently — needless to say, she’s never read Federalist 10.
In light of the delayed results for the last presidential election, Richard Bruneau at The Federalist on November 19, 2020 wrote on the importance of preserving the institution, saying:
The founders designed the Electoral College to moderate the influence of large states and big cities over small states and rural districts. Rhode Island, for example, with three electoral votes would hardly matter if the presidency were decided strictly by a national popular vote.
Eliminate the Electoral College, and the voice of voters in small states all but disappears in the presidential election.
Equally important, a direct popular vote would further erode the power of the states in maintaining the intended constitutional balance between the national and state governments. The dispersion of power between the states, especially in relation to the federal government, is among the greatest protections against a concentrated national tyranny.
It should be obvious to any freedom-loving American who believes in limited government — or shorthand, any MAGA Republican — that subverting or abolishing the Electoral College in favor of a popular vote system is the nail in the coffin for these United States as we know it.
In 2016, a host of Arizona legislators introduced House Bill 2456, with a reference title of “national popular vote; interstate agreement” — of the 45 lawmakers who signed on as sponsors, two names stand out in particular: Mark Finchem and Katie Hobbs. Yes, the very same Mark Finchem recognized for his perpetual existence in a ten-gallon hat and his firebrand rhetoric, and the very same Katie Hobbs currently embroiled in Kari Lake’s lawsuit. The bill would have handed over Arizona’s sovereignty, entering into a multi-state agreement to give Arizona’s electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate won the popular vote. From The Arizona Republic:
Maryland in 2007 passed a state law that would give Maryland’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of who wins the state. But the law takes effect only if states totaling more than half the electoral votes, 270, also pass the law. So far, according to National Popular Vote Inc., 11 states have passed the law, totaling 165 electoral votes.
Arizona this past session got close the [sic] joining those states.
But then, in on his white horse rode Andy Biggs — the article ended with:
Senate President Andy Biggs… who was just elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, did not assign the bill to the committees required to advance it, killing it.
Having lived in Arizona from 2014–2022, I am unfortunately well-acquainted with the players in Phoenix — without Biggs, this bill would have made it to the governor’s desk, and undoubtedly, Doug Ducey would have signed it.
A few years back, a friend endowed me with some simple, yet profound political wisdom. Raised on a farm in North Dakota in the 1970s, he told me that when a dog would get into the chicken coop and kill the fowl, the farmer would tie a dead bird around the dog’s collar, letting it decay to teach the dog to never do it again. Well, politicians and their sellout moves are the same. You tie that bad bill, that bad deal around their neck, in hopes they never do it again — HB 2456 is Finchem’s dead chicken. (Or his Rio Nuevo deal, which gave a “Tucson taxing district an additional decade of life”, but that’s for another time.)
The radical left is on a mission to abolish the Electoral College — quite a feat — so its adherents have adapted and changed their strategy. Now they’re working to bypass it rather than abolish it, all with the help of people like Mark Finchem and Katie Hobbs.
Image: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons, unaltered.