Backer of Original Initiative Speaks Out in Colorful Interview with The BRAD BLOG
Says Clintons Are 'Pricks,' Gay People 'Loony,' Republican Ballot Measure Would Return 'Power to the People'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2007, 12:28pm PT  

By Brad Friedman from Denver, CO...

A late-night report from the Firedoglake blog last night indicated that a Republican-backed initiative to split California's 55 electoral votes by Congressional district has been "withdrawn." In fact, it has not, as The BRAD BLOG has confirmed this morning, with both the California Secretary of State's office and the initial proponent of the original initiative. Democrats have regarded the ballot initiative as a dirty trick by Republicans desperate to hold on to the White House in the 2008 general election.

The current version of the initiative, which has raised millions of dollars, is said to have garnered some 400,000 signatures in support and continues to move forward as planned.

There had been two nearly identical initiatives in circulation attempting to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in next June's election in California. The original measure, known as "07-0016," as filed by Anthony F. Andrade Jr., has indeed been withdrawn, according to the California Sec. of State website. But the version of the measure most likely to make its way onto the ballot next year, "07-0032,, barrels full steam ahead for the time being.

The BRAD BLOG has confirmed that point with two officials at the CA Sec. of State's office. We have also confirmed it with Andrade himself, a colorful fellow with whom we spoke earlier today, who now supports the other, still-active, initiative.

Andrade, who says that he's a BRAD BLOG reader himself, submitted the original initiative in May of this year. It was approved for signature circulation on July 3, before the nearly identical initiative, submitted by Thomas W. Hiltachk, a former associate of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was filed on July 10.

Hiltachk's initiative continues to gain momentum and money from Republican backers, while Andrade's original proposal was finally withdrawn from circulation, officially, on November 27.

Andrade, who says he's "a libertarian at heart," told us that Hiltachk saw his original initiative and decided to file a version of his own.

"This asshole goes and reads my initiative, and says 'Ah, I'm gonna file a duplicate,'" he told The BRAD BLOG this morning. "This asshole says he has $2 million," and then it turned out he didn't have a dime. "Perhaps the polite word is 'flake,'" Andrade clarified later during the call.

The Hiltachk proposal was indeed pronounced dead by the LA Times several weeks ago after it was found to have been backed by Rudy Giuliani supporters. The measure has since found new sponsors, also reportedly tied to both Giuliani, as well as California's 49th district U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa. There have also been subsequent allegations of fraud in the gathering of petitions for the measure.

Andrade believes the original backers of the proposal were looking at it as a way to raise money for themselves.

At first labeling the measure a "people's initiative" (after we described it as a "Republican initiative"), Andrade admitted that, while he considers himself more of a libertarian and a Ron Paul supporter, he's most interested in stopping Hillary Clinton from gaining the White House...

"I'm really an anti-Hillary supporter," he told The BRAD BLOG. "I think Bill and her are lowlifes. It's one of those things in life...they are very yuck."

"Yuck?", we asked.

"They're yucky people. If you look at her record in her life, it's been a record of conflict," he explained before describing them as "fucking assholes" and "pricks."

"That's the reason I'm into this. I don't like Hillary. I'm a libertarian at heart. I'm really a Ron Paul backer in truth," he explained.

Surely, we asked, he could see how this initiative --- which would only apply to California and would possibly hand dozens of Electoral College votes to the Republicans that they'd be unlikely to receive otherwise --- would be seen as a partisan scheme meant to take the White House for the Republicans.

"I would agree with that statement," Andrade admitted. "Though it works both ways," he added, arguing that the idea gives more power to the majority, rather than the minority. "There's pluses and minuses to this. You know, when we talk about Texas and New York. It goes back and forth."

Neither Texas nor New York, however, are considering such a measure. So it's only California whose Electoral College votes would go from winner-take-all to being split according to congressional district.

"If Schwarzenegger were to run for president, he would take California. So it's not a dirty trick if you think about it. Because California is so fickle," Andrade contends.

The Governor of California, however, is a foreign-born citizen and constitutionally barred from running for the office of the President of the United States.

Our discussion with Andrade revealed what seemed (to us, anyway) to be a number of interesting conflicts in his political positions. For example, he's against government intrusion in the private lives of Americans, but doesn't feel that a government ban on same-sex marriage is such an intrusion. Approximately seven initiatives that would do exactly that are currently in circulation for possible inclusion on next year's ballot in California.

"Same sex marriage is different. It's by culture. To sanction same sex marriage is to promote a lifestyle that is not really wholesome," he told us, before his comments became a bit more disturbing.

"What do I mean by that? The people that are involved in that lifestyle have a lot of emotional problems. You know what I mean?" he asked. "Look, I don't know if you're gay or not, but the people that I know who are, who are involved in that, are a little bit loony, if you know what I mean."

He says that government intrusion into marriage between two men or two women is not the same as intrusion into our private lives. He argues that it's not a contradictory position from his avowed libertarianism.

"That's the established policy, that marriage is between a man and a woman. If we look at it then, the government could go back and say marriage could be between people and animals."

"But animals can't consent to marriage," we argued, "whereas two men or two woman can." Andrade dismissed our argument before railing against Castro's oppression of majority opinion in Cuba, and "political correctness" in this country, which he says "the black community has a lock on," pointing to the recent Don Imus controversy.

Returning to the other, still-active version of the Electoral College initiative which Andrade has joined the effort to support, we wondered how he felt about the California Republican Party's current fund-raising woes that could lead to layoffs of state staff, as The BRAD BLOG reported yesterday, while this initiative has reportedly succeeding in raising millions of dollars.

Andrade, who helped lead the effort to collect two million petitions in the drive to recall former California Gov. Gray Davis, doesn't buy the argument.

"That issue is one that has to do with, you might say, internal politics and policy. The party gave us [the ballot measure] about $80,000, about three weeks ago," he claimed, by way of shoring up his point that the state GOP is not as short of funds as they may be letting on.

"The Governor can raise millions of dollars. He can bail out the Republican party out in a minute."

He suggests the email comments reported yesterday by CBS News and AP, indicating grave financial problems dogging the state GOP, may be simply smoke and mirrors intended to confuse Democrats.

"It could be psychological warfare where they are telling the Democrats 'oh, poor us, poor us, poor us,'" he suggested.

Andrade's website,, continues its support of the intiative, declaring their mission in large, bright-red letters: "We are going to change California politics and return the power to the people!"