Guest blogged by Jon Ponder of Pensito Review, with additional reporting by Brad Friedman
The Republican Party's effort to unilaterally award itself 20 or so of California's 55 Electoral College votes in next year's Presidential Election has failed to reach its fundraising goals for a second time, according to the LA Times today...
Republican backers of the measure, which could have tilted the presidential contest toward the GOP nominee by changing how California awards electoral votes, conceded that they were unable to raise sufficient funds.
Dave Gilliard, the manager of the current campaign, expressed bewilderment over the fact that more GOP fatcats did not pour money into the campaign.
"I was surprised that more people that finance these types of efforts didn't step forward...We had strong supporters and good supporters but didn't come anywhere close to making the budget," Gilliard told the Los Angeles Times.
Gilliard's "surprise" is itself surprising. GOP big money donors know, just as certainly Gilliard must know, that ballot initiatives tend to fail if California voters suspect the proposition has a hidden agenda.
The stated intent of Gilliard's initiative was to make the California system "fair." In fact, the real purpose was to give about 40 percent of the state's Electoral College votes to the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee.
In September, the measure had been pronounced dead by the LA Times after the campaign's manager discovered that its sole donation had been laundered through a front group to disguise the donor's identity as a campaign chair and fundraiser for GOP presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani. It was brought back to life in October after Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) kicked in $100,000 and the California Republican Party --- who would more recently cry that they were cash poor --- donated $150,000 towards the scheme.
In November, reports began to surface that the backers were using an initiative relating to kids with cancer as a cover to gather signatures in what appears to have been a fraudulent attempt to gain signatures for the measure. And The BRAD BLOG recently offered an exclusive interview with Anthony F. Andrade Jr., the man who originally proposed the scheme to split California's electoral votes. Andrade's comments about the initiative, and all manner of things --- including labeling homosexuals as "loony" and Bill and Hillary Clinton as "pricks" and "assholes" --- were colorful, to say the least.
But like Jason in a bad Friday the Thirteenth movie the measure may not be fully dead yet. The LA Times also reports today that proponents of the scheme "were holding out hope that the measure could appear on the November ballot with the presidential contest. But [Gilliard] said that was a dicey scenario: Even if it is on that ballot and wins voter approval, it might not affect the 2008 election."
A video report from CBS News over the weekend, showing apparent efforts by supporters to fraudulently receive signatures for the measure, follows below...