May 7, 2013 |
* CONSTITUTION USA WITH PETER SAGAL. 9 p.m. today, WHYY 12. * TED TALKS EDUCATION. 10 p.m. today, WHYY 12. IT DOESN'T take PBS' "Constitution USA with Peter Sagal" long to get to Philadelphia, where the document got hammered out. First, though, Sagal had to buy a motorcycle. Traveling on a customized red-white-and-blue Harley-Davidson - what could be more American? - the host of NPR's "Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!" crisscrosses the country in this monthlong series to talk with people about the document that was ratified nearly 225 years ago and has been causing arguments ever since.
March 20, 2013 |
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, making a rare public foray into state legislative business, is urging Republicans to reconsider their proposal to award the state's electoral votes proportionally instead of on a winner-take-all basis. In a letter Monday to state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), Casey said the change would diminish Pennsylvania's influence in presidential elections relative to other big states that would continue to give all their electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes.
March 19, 2013 |
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, making a rare public foray into state legislative business, is urging Republicans to reconsider their proposal to award the state's electoral votes proportionally instead of on a winner-take-all basis. In a letter Monday to state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), Casey said that the change would "diminish" Pennsylvania's influence in presidential elections relative to other big states that would continue to give all their electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes.
March 8, 2013
Don't swap trees for solar farm I was slack-jawed after reading that the Diocese of Camden plans to cut acres of woods in order to install solar panels behind St. Mary's Catholic Home in Cherry Hill ("Diocese looks to solar panels," Feb. 27). One mature, leafy tree produces enough oxygen in one season for 10 people to breathe for a year; it absorbs chemicals and pollutants from the soil and air, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the "net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. " The diocese chiefly is concerned with finding a cheaper source of electricity.
March 7, 2013
The latest attempt to manipulate Pennsylvania's presidential vote provided another opportunity for Democrats to howl about cheating Republicans. And they had a point. But if state legislators from both parties want to do something more useful - and, yes, that's a big if - they should back a politically neutral proposal to end all such attempts to rig presidential elections. State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Chester) recently introduced a long-threatened bill to award most of Pennsylvania's presidential electors in proportion to the state's popular vote.
February 9, 2013 |
While a Republican initiative to rejigger the Electoral College for future presidential elections is sputtering across the country, it remains alive in Pennsylvania - albeit not on the legislative fast track. Yet state Democrats are wasting no time attacking their opponents, pointing out that the keynote speaker at Friday's GOP state committee meeting in Harrisburg, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, rejected it as a "bad idea" two weeks ago. "It's an obscene effort to rig presidential elections so that Republicans would never lose," said State Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery)
February 3, 2013 |
Sometimes 90 percent just isn't good enough. Ask Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in the U.S. Senate, who, despite a lifetime approval rating of 90 percent from the American Conservative Union, is out of step with some GOP Kentuckians. A recent Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll of 609 registered voters found twice as many people promising to vote against McConnell as those committed to supporting him (34 percent of Republicans said they'd support him against all competitors)
December 27, 2012
By Robert M. Alexander Every four years, citizens are treated to a civics lesson related to one of the most intensely debated institutions in American politics, the Electoral College. Because it determines electoral strategies and contributes to outcomes, it's no surprise that more than 700 proposals to amend or abolish it have been made in Congress. In the wake of last month's election, a spate of such proposals have surfaced at the state level. After the 2000 election, many Democrats were outraged that the electoral vote trumped the popular vote.
December 11, 2012
By Rob Richie and Devin McCarthy State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi piqued our interest last week when he told Bloomberg that his new electoral reform proposal "is not party-specific or partisan in any way, but just an attempt to have the popular vote reflected. " Pennsylvanians' votes certainly weren't reflected after a majority of them chose Democratic House candidates last month. In a remarkable distortion of voter preference, Republicans won 13 of the state's 18 House seats.
December 10, 2012
By Silvio Laccetti The Electoral College is an American institution, though a much-maligned one these days. The criticism will abate, however, when its workings are updated. A new proposal in Pennsylvania could be the beginning. Next week, the presidential electors will meet to officially award their votes to the winning candidate in each state. (There is no national Electoral College meeting; Alexander Hamilton felt that could encourage collusion and corruption.) As you may recall from your civics courses, states get an elector for each member of Congress.