More Election Rigging
Republicans don't like the inescapable fact that Oakland County is moving into the blue column. In Presidential elections, Democrats tend to win countywide offices. In 2012, 54.4% of voters cast a straight ticket for Democrats, just 45.3% for Republicans.
Barack Obama carried Mitt Romney's home county 53.4%-45.4%. Democrat Lisa Brown ousted the Republican Bill Bullard as county clerk; Mike Bishop (now Congressman-elect) lost badly to Democrat Jessica Cooper for county prosecutor. Oakland County voters were also ticket splitters, reelecting longtime County Executive Brooks Patterson with 56.7% and Sheriff Michael Bouchard with 58.9%.
Thanks to gerrymandering, the Blue-leaning county still sent nine Republicans and just five Democrats to the state House of Representatives in 2012.
These numbers are disturbing to Republicans who fear that when Patterson retires, his successor will likely be a Democrat. That's because Oakland is becoming a Democratic county.
When they can't win elections, they change the rules to improve their odds.
Republicans did it three years ago by changing the way county commission districts were drawn. Instead of having the job done by a bipartisan commission, they passed a special bill turning the 2011 redistricting over to the Republican-controlled county commission. Governor Rick Snyder did linguistic backflips to claim the bill encompassed "two elements of good government": making the election cycle the same as in Wayne and Macomb counties, and reducing the number of county commissioners.
Now, a bill sailing through the lame duck Legislature would change the term of the County Executive so that Patterson's successor is elected in a non-presidential year. The theory: fewer Democrats vote in mid-term elections, so that increases the likelihood that Republicans will hold onto the top county job. The bill passed the gerrymandered state Senate on a party line vote yesterday and, no doubt, will get prompt attention in the state House before adjournment.
This comes on top of efforts to rig the election of President of the United States by ending the century-old practice of "winner take all" for the state's electoral votes. Republicans, who concede they can't win statewide for President, are pushing through a change which would give the loser a share of Michigan's 16 electoral votes. In 2012, it would have given Mitt Romney 5 electoral votes as a consolation prize for losing in his home state.