Butler County Times Gazette
  • Kent Bush: Tired of your vote meaning nothing?

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  • By now, it is no secret that I am running as an official write-in candidate for President. I am not running against Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. That fight was won long ago.
    I am running against the Electoral College that renders votes for the President in Kansas meaningless.
    In fact, the experts say this year's Presidential race will be decided by nine states. The other 41 states are ideologically pure enough that there is no suspense as to which candidate will receive their electoral votes.
    So how bad is the Electoral College? Imagine if in 2008 Barack Obama would have won the Presidency and Sarah Palin became his Vice President.
    Does it get any worse than that?
    The Electoral College as it appeared in the Constitution was so bad that it was amended (with the 12th Amendment) before slavery was prohibited (with the 13th Amendment.)
    That's pretty bad.
    That is one of many reasons we have to get our legislators excited about amending the Electoral College again. Several states have passed laws trying to get around the negative effects of the Electoral College without being forced to amend the constitution. Those states are considering laws that award their states electoral votes in proportion with the popular vote. Rather than winner-take-all, this method would allow a candidate to partition the electoral votes of each state so that 70 percent of the popular vote gets more electoral votes than 60 percent of the popular vote. That is a step in the right direction.
    This year's Presidential election is coming down to nine states. Those states will see policies fashioned to the approval of their voters and billions of dollars of advertising will boost the economy in those favored states.
    That is why being a perennial red state is costing the Kansas economy millions every four years. It is economically ignorant and unfair to this state's electorate.
    That is what my running mate and I are hoping to highlight with our campaign. We want you to write us in on your ballot to tell lawmakers at the state and federal levels that you are tired of having your vote and your opinions mean nothing.
    I think I can speak for Mr. Natvig when I say we appreciate all of your votes to nominate us as write-in candidates. The Kansas Secretary of State has cashed my check and you made your votes heard at our official convention at GoJoes Coffee Shop Monday morning.
    The vote count was unanimous.
    Every voter who enjoyed half priced coffee or fountain drinks cast their vote for us. No other candidate was even considered.
    We appreciate that support. That nomination alone puts a dent in the defenses of the Electoral College.
    Page 2 of 2 - One thing Mr. Natvig and I have learned during the early stages of this campaign is that the thirst for scandal among voters is hard to quench. So many people are looking for that "gotcha" moment. Between us we have two wives (one each), four sons (two each) and a daughter (thankfully his).
    Trying to herd those cats will not be easy for the final 50 days of this campaign.
    When our wives go to coffee, who will be listening to their conversation and reporting back to our opponents? How many operatives are making sure Todd's sons don't cheat at golf or Dawit doesn't become the youngest player ever to receive a yellow card in youth soccer – I promise that headlock was unintentional, actually it was more of a hug.
    When Blake saw me speaking to a police officer last week, he asked me if I had robbed a bank. I made it clear that such outbursts are not funny from the son of a candidate for the highest office in the land.
    Every night, Blake asks me how the campaign is going. He can't wait to move into his new room at the White House.
    I may not be able to pull 270 Electoral Votes or even win Kansas' six. Hopefully, what we can do is put an end to this parochial electoral system that weighs swing states more heavily than the other 41 states in the next decade before Blake becomes eligible to vote. Writing us in won't be the end of the problem, but it might be the beginning of the solution.
    Kent Bush is the Augusta Gazette Publisher, a columnist and blogger for the GateHouse Media Network. He can be contacted at publisher@augustagazette.com.
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