Thursday, September 19, 2019

LtGov Pinnell opposes push for National Popular Vote

Last Thursday, I wrote about the continued years-long effort by out-of-state groups to persuade the Oklahoma Legislature to bypass the Electoral College and tie Oklahoma's electoral votes to the National Popular Vote.

Since December 2017, National Popular Vote groups have spent over $47,000 to bring 15 GOP legislators and 12 Democratic legislators to wine-and-dine events in Utah, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts, and New York City.

Members of the State Senate have been particularly targeted, with 20% of the Senate GOP caucus and nearly the entire Democratic caucus having gone on these paid-for junkets. Almost a full third of the entire Senate has been on an out-of-state IRPE trip since 2017.

Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (R-OKC) responded to my request for comment, confirming his past opposition to the National Popular Vote plan. I also asked Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, who holds the constitutional (and primarily ceremonial) office of President of the Senate, for his thoughts on the matter. His statement is below:
"I was opposed to the national popular vote as Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, and I remain opposed. The framers designed this system to give voters in states like Oklahoma a real say in who our president is. If we went to a national popular vote system, presidential candidates would campaign in the large cities on the coasts, and neglect states like Oklahoma. I would be opposed to any effort to go to the national popular vote." -- Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell

Pinnell has a unique background and experience on this matter, given his tenure as state GOP chairman and his time working in conjunction with the RCN and Trump 2016 campaign across the nation. Hopefully he can help counter the NPV/IRPE money and persuade Republican legislators against falling prey to the subversive National Popular Vote campaign.

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