Republicans in California are trying to change the way electoral votes from California are distributed.

Veteran GOP consultants said Monday that they were relaunching a drive to change the way California allocates its electoral college votes, aimed at helping the 2008 Republican presidential nominee capture the White House.

Political strategist David Gilliard said he was taking over the ballot initiative campaign, along with strategist Ed Rollins and fundraiser Anne Dunsmore. Consultant Mike Arno will oversee the signature-gathering effort.

“Our budget is going to be whatever it takes to make the June ballot,” said Gilliard, who played a key role in getting the recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis onto the 2003 ballot.

The proposed initiative would change California’s method of allocating its 55 electoral votes from a winner-take-all basis, which favors Democrats, to a congressional district-based approach. Republicans hold 19 congressional seats, so presumably the GOP nominee could win a similar number of electoral votes.

Amazingly enough, Markos Moulitsas, the Daily Kos himself, is thrilled with this development.

The move is brilliant. For one, every state should allocate EVs in this manner. Maine and Nebraska already have some variation of proportionate EV allocation, and it would force the parties and candidates to pay attention to swing regions unlucky enough to not reside in a swing state. There are more than 18 states in the union, but you wouldn’t know it from the way this campaign will be waged.

Oh, sorry. Got my links mixed up. This is his reaction to when Colorado was going to change its electoral vote distribution. If you click here, you’ll see his reaction to the California effort, which he considers election stealing, compares to a “bad horror movie”, and calls it an attempt to “game the system”.

What’s the difference? Well, if you know your netroots, you won’t be surprised. For the Colorado effort, this would benefit Democrats.

But on a more immediate tactical level, this initiative will force Republicans to spend a great deal of money in Colorado when they hoped to completely ignore the state and take its nine EVs for granted. Despite all the talk of Colorado being in play this year, Kerry still has a ways to go before he pulls the state in play.

But the effort in California could give more votes to the Republican nominee. True to form, what Kos thinks is good or evil is entirely, exclusively a case of how its politics fall. He was for electoral vote reallocation before he was against it.

For the record, I was against the Colorado effort, and I’m against this one. Click here for why, but it boils down to the idea that the Electoral College favors broad support over the most support in close races. Whether or not you agree with this is one thing, but for one’s support for the system to be utterly devoid of an understanding of its principles is partisanship at its blindest.

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