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Archive for July 19th, 2011

Billionaire pushes popular vote plan

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In 2000, more people voted for Al Gore than did George W. Bush. However Bush was elected president.

In 2004, Bush won Ohio by a razor-thin 66,000 votes enough to capture enough electoral college votes and defeat John Kerry. However, what looked like a close election was not close at all across the nation as Bush won by more than 3 million votes.

Tom Golisano is a businessman, sports owner and part-time politician. He is also an Independent. He thinks it is time for the electoral college to come to an end.

“It is the only election that works that way in the United States of America, it was formed and created that way in a much different era,” Golisano said. “There were very few states, no means of communication or computing.”

Golisano knows a thing or two about elections. He ran for Governor of New York as an independent three different times, using almost all his own money to mount serious, but unsuccessful elections.  He stepped down from the company he founded, Paychex in 2004 and sold his interest in the NHL Buffalo Sabres earlier this year.

Now, semi-retired, Golisano is pushing state legislatures across the country to pass a law that would force them to surrender their electoral votes to the candidate for president that receives the most popular votes. Golisano is half-way to his goal of getting states that equal 270 electoral votes to sign on. Enough to render the electoral college symbolic.

We will have a more in-depth look at his efforts to get rid of the electoral college in the coming weeks.

But that wasn’t the only news Golisano broke while he was on with us.  Sports fans in Western New York (full disclosure, my hometown) are worried about the future of the NFL Buffalo Bills.  Golisano is credited with saving the Sabres franchise and now many are wondering if he plans to do the same for the Bills, when current owner Ralph Wilson passes away. (Wilson is in his 90’s and hasn’t given a clear indication for the future of the team).

Here is what Golisano told me:

I’m concerned about the Buffalo Bills, ever leaving the community of Buffalo, I think it would be a terrible shame. I have made the commitment that if that likelihood appears to be happening, I will try and get involved and see what I can do to prevent it.” – B. Thomas Golisano on NBC12 First at 4, 7/19/2011

You can see the full interview with Golisano below:


Written by Ryan Nobles

July 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm