Vol. 10, No. 5 – December 7 – December 20, 2016 – Opinion/Editorial

•  This is the first time that I’ve placed an opinion letter (sent to our Mailbox) in my column. But I feel that this is an important enough topic to get your comments regarding the Electoral College, which I commented about it in our last issue. Would love to hear from more of you.

Sheldon Brown:

Before tossing off the slavery pacification theory you might want to read the history of The Electoral College. And who cares if you think the name is stupid. Have some respect for the foundations of our Republic, especially when the news (such as you report) is filled with fake history.

Joyce Ward

Thanks for your email. I’m glad that you care about what I think and took the to send me a note with your thoughts.

The “slavery pacification” as you call it is not theory, it is documented history.

Please look at the following video, http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2016/11/22/why-was-the-electoral-college-created-slavery-orig.cnn for a brief explanation and this excerpt from TIME Magazine.

TIME Magazine

“Remember what the country looked like in 1787: The important division was between states that relied on slavery and those that didn’t, not between large and small states. A direct election for president did not sit well with most delegates from the slave states, which had large populations but far fewer eligible voters. They gravitated toward the electoral college as a compromise because it was based on population. The convention had agreed to count each slave as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of calculating each state’s allotment of seats in Congress. For Virginia, which had the largest population among the original 13 states, that meant more clout in choosing the president.”

“Standard civics-class accounts of the Electoral College rarely mention the real demon dooming direct national election in 1787 and 1803: slavery.”

“At the Philadelphia convention, the visionary Pennsylvanian James Wilson proposed direct national election of the president. But the savvy Virginian James Madison responded that such a system would prove unacceptable to the South: ‘The right of suffrage was much more diffusive [i.e., extensive] in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.’ In other words, in a direct election system, the North would outnumber the South, whose many slaves (more than half a million in all) of course could not vote. But the Electoral College—a prototype of which Madison proposed in this same speech—instead let each southern state count its slaves, albeit with a two-fifths discount, in computing its share of the overall count.”

“If the system’s pro-slavery tilt was not overwhelmingly obvious when the Constitution was ratified, it quickly became so. For 32 of the Constitution’s first 36 years, a white slaveholding Virginian occupied the presidency.”

“Southerner Thomas Jefferson, for example, won the election of 1800-01 against Northerner John Adams in a race where the slavery-skew of the Electoral College was the decisive margin of victory: without the extra Electoral College votes generated by slavery, the mostly southern states that supported Jefferson would not have sufficed to give him a majority. As pointed observers remarked at the time, Thomas Jefferson metaphorically rode into the executive mansion on the backs of slaves.”

I hope that this helps your understanding, and I still think that it’s a stupid name. A degree from the Electoral College is as worthless as one from Trump University.

•  The second seat on the Ventura School board is finally decided after many recounts with Jackie Moran winning. The final tally is Jackie Moran 13,894, Don Wood 13,681.

•  The City Council has approved the following appointments (recommended by the Appointments Recommendation Committee) for advisory boards:

Downtown Parking Advisory:

  • Ashley Pope (Spice-Topia) and Debbie Fox (Fox Fine Jewelry). Excellent choices because are both are downtown business owners.
  • Mobile Home Rent Review Board: Terrence Towner.

•  I have been asked about the Rhumb Line Restaurant’s new ownership (the business, not the building). Their plans are to close in February for about 6-weeks to remodel, change the name and the menu. I hope that it’s a big success, as it’s a wonderful location night and day to enjoy sunsets and watch the harbor boats.

•  There is a new Christmas tree lot located at Seaward and Pierpont – Winter Springs Christmas Trees – that is run by the tree growers who came down from Oregon . A nice young couple, so check it out. They also sell a lot of really nice children’s books. We got a really nice tree there.

•  A group calling for California to secede from the United States submitted a proposed petition recently seeking a ballot measure that would strip the state constitution of language that says California is an inseparable part of the nation. The group has gained momentum with the election of Donald Trump.

The Yes California Independence Campaign hopes to put a question on the November 2018 ballot authorizing a vote on independence in spring 2019.

The group’s Vice President Marcus Ruiz Evans said the organization now has 15,000 Twitter followers, 30,000 Facebook followers and 13,000 volunteers who have signed up to collect signatures.

Before you get too excited about this happening, the U.S. Constitution does not provide for state secession. It is basically impossible, but fun to think about. Experts say the only way to legally secede would be to change the federal Constitution, which requires the approval of Congress and 38 states.

Dividing a state into two would be a little easier (Virginia and West Virginia did it a long time ago) but repeated attempts to create a 51st state in Northern California, named the State of Jefferson, have also failed. That movement generally draws more conservative supporters who are dissatisfied with California’s dominance by Democrats.


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