California again leading nation in reform

Common Cause, the national, non-partisan citizens’ advocacy group, commends the California Legislature for becoming the first in the country today to approve a bill that would endorse the election of the U.S. President by popular vote. Common Cause urges Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to sign the proposal into law.

“This reform would ensure that presidential candidates pay attention to the needs and concerns of voters in all states, not just the handful of ‘swing’ states that can ensure victory in the Electoral College,” said Common Cause President Chellie Pingree. “Presidential candidates in 2004 spent nearly all their time and money trying to win votes in 13 states, and ignoring the other 37. This shows a problem with how we chose our president.”

“For too long, California has been only a stop on the money trail for presidential candidates,” said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause. “The plan endorsed today would assure that presidential candidates spend time in populous states like California, and increase their influence in national elections.”

The bill approved Wednesday is part of a national effort by the National Popular Vote campaign to change the way the nation picks a president.

“The California legislature has shown that California once again can lead the nation in meaningful and positive change,” said Pingree. “We urge that the Governor will become a champion of this crucial reform and reaffirm California’s status as an innovator and leader.”