How Mitt Romney cheated his way to the GOP nomination

Doug Wead The Blog

New evidence is coming out about just how tough and dirty the Mitt Romney campaign fought to block the Ron Paul takeover of the Republican Party at the State Conventions last summer.

It may offer a little sneak preview of what a Romney presidency will be like.  And barring war with Syria or some other dramatic October surprise, Romney may well win this election.  The economy should decide that.

It  turns out that Mitt Romney and other Republican operatives were apparently very much aware of what was going on at the precinct, county, district and state conventions.  This was not greedy state and county chairmen wanting to hang onto power so they could go to the RNC as delegates and get drunk.  The hardball tactics were apparently approved and refined from state to state from Iowa, where the state chairman got money for the GOP and promises and conveniently kept…

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Top-Two-Go-Through Limits Voters’ Choice

State primary elections in the United States are used to narrow the field of candidates for the general election. They originated out of the progressive movement to take the power of candidate nomination from party leaders to the people. There are several types of primaries which states have used over the years; open, closed, semi-open, semi-closed, blanket, and other mixes. One type of primary known as top-two (aka qualifying primary, top-two primary, Louisiana primary, Cajun primary or jungle primary) is creating quite a stir. For good reason it would seem.

Under the top-two system, state primaries include all candidates from any number of parties. Candidates decide what party they will affiliate themselves with, with no official sponsoring from the party itself. Voters cast votes for candidate regardless of the party to which they themselves belong. Only the top two vote getters appear on the ballot in the November general election. The obvious potential outcome is that two candidates from the same party move on to the general election leaving the voters with no real ideological options.

“The top-two system was introduced by Governor Edwin Edwards of Louisiana, a conservative Democrat, who had been elected to his first term as Governor in 1972. Louisiana was a one-party state, with all the legislators Democrats throughout the previous 50 years, except that in 1972, three Republicans were elected to the legislature. Edwards invited the top-two system and had it passed through the legislature, because he thought it would prevent any more Republicans from winning. He thought they would fail to place first or second in the first round.” http://www.stoptoptwo.org/about/

Christina Tobin, in an interview with Judge Napolitano, pointed out how top-two protected incumbants. She stated that in Louisianna, where top-two has been in effect for over thirty-years, there was never an incumbant knocked off the ballot. In 2008, Louisiana dropped top-two and 5 incumbants lost in the primaries.

“Louisiana’s top-two system at first only applied to state and local elections, and went into effect in 1975. In 1978, the legislature extended top-two to congressional elections. The first round was to be in September, and if anyone got at least 50%, that person was elected. Most Louisiana congressional elections were thus only one-round elections.

“However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that the Louisiana style of top-two elections for Congress violated federal law that told the states to hold congressional elections in November. So Louisiana adjusted its top-two system for Congress to say that the first round would be in November, and if no one got at least 50%, there would be a run-off in December between the top two vote getters. In 2006, the legislature decided it would restore normal partisan elections for Congress (but not state office) and ended top-two in congressional elections. In 2010, the legislature restored top-two elections for Congress, starting in 2012.” http://www.stoptoptwo.org/about/

“Top Two systems, although they can technically differ based on language, are notorious for implicitly shutting out third parties by implementing hefty ballot registration requirements, fostering a hostile mainstream media and promoting massive spending early on in the primary race. These tactics undeniably put third parties at a disadvantage due to the ethical nature of their fundraising which does not include massive corporate bankrolling such as is the tactic of the major parties.

“Despite the advantages the ruling parties have already built for themselves, they push to implement Top Two election systems in states nationwide to ensure that a pesky third party can never disturb their one party, two faction rule ever again. Imagine – being given the option of only two pre-screened candidates on Election Day – and worse, by law! Can you say, Oligopoly?

“Advocates of Top Two argue that any candidate could run in the first round of voting – the general primary – only after which would the field be reduced to the top two candidates. Nonetheless, they fail to acknowledge the fact that relegating third party candidates to the first round will deprive voters of the important role third parties have played in general election cycles by injecting fresh ideas into debates and ultimately playing a part in deciding elections.” http://freeandequal.org/latest/stop-top-twothe-corporate-control-of-elections

For much more on the topic see http://www.stoptoptwo.org/

The Left’s Obsession with Equality of Outcomes, Taken to a Logical Extreme « International Liberty

In my efforts to win people’s hearts and minds, I run into the same obstacles over and over again.

Many people equate Republicans with limited government, so you have to explain that there’s a giant difference between the views of the Cato Institute and the decisions of statists like Richard Nixon or George W. Bush.

Some folks think capitalism and cronyism are the same thing. I try to show them that there is no role for corrupt favoritism in a genuine free market, which is why it is doubly counterproductive when Republicans support policies and programs such as TARP, the Export-Import Bank, agriculture subsidies, and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac handouts.

Lots of people mistakenly believe the economy is a fixed pie, so they think if someone such as Steve Jobs becomes wealthy, then other people necessarily have less money.

I have ways of dealing with all these myths. I don’t pretend to be successful in all or even most cases, but I think I’ve helped lead some people out of the darkness.

via The Left’s Obsession with Equality of Outcomes, Taken to a Logical Extreme « International Liberty.

International Liberty

Back in 2010, I wrote about the Free State Project, which is based on the idea that libertarians should all move to New Hampshire and turn the state into a free market experiment.

I was impressed when I spoke at one of their conferences and gave them a plug, but more recently I’m running into people who are so discouraged about America’s fiscal outlook that they’re thinking of moving to some other nation.

Wealthy people seem to prefer Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, while middle-class people mostly talk about Australia and Latin America (mainly Costa Rica or Panama).

But maybe Canada is the place to go. It’s now the 5th-freest economy in the world, while the United States has dropped to 18th place.

I’m a big fan of Canada’s fiscal reforms. On several occasions, I’ve explained how Canadian lawmakers boosted economic and fiscal performance by…

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