• With: Tom Golisano

    This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 22, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right, to Cleveland, Ohio -- President Obama making his 13th stop to the state in almost as many months, nothing new for a president facing another run for office, but, if my guest is right, not fair either to the other two-thirds of the states he says are essentially ignored in presidential races.

    Former Republican gubernatorial candidate of New York Tom Golisano is looking to wipe out the Electoral College, so there is no need for these sort of favoritism trips.

    He just became spokesman of the National Popular Vote Campaign, making that announcement today.

    Very good do see you. How are you doing?

    TOM GOLISANO, CHAIRMAN, PAYCHEX: Good, Neil. It's been a while.

    CAVUTO: Amen. It has, regrettably.

    Tom, what are you up to here? What do you hope to do? Just stop the Electoral College?

    GOLISANO: Well, let me tell you what -- yes, let me tell you what this is about, Neil.

    First of all, we are not trying to get rid of the Electoral College.  What we are trying to do is get the Electoral College to change its method of awarding electoral votes.

    As you know, in the United States of America, the office of the presidency is the only office that a person is elected to and has the possibility of not receiving the majority of the votes. It's happened four times in the history of our country, one just recently.

    CAVUTO: Right.

    GOLISANO: The method that is used is the winner-take-all rule. That is, the highest percentage of votes for a particular candidate in a particular state, the highest percentage, all the electoral votes for that state go to that particular candidate.

    CAVUTO: So there is no proportionality to it at all.

    GOLISANO: None whatsoever.

    CAVUTO: It's you get them all or none, right?

    GOLISANO: That's it. None -- nothing very democratic at all.

    Now, in fairness, it was started a little over 200 years ago. It's not a part of the Constitution. It's actually the role of the states in determining how the electoral process works.

    What we are proposing are two things. One is that the Electoral College has a process to elect the president based on all the votes across the United States of America. In other words, every person that votes, his vote will be treated equally with everybody else in the country.

    And when you have the winner-take-all concept that we have now, that is not necessarily true. And hence comes battleground states, flyover states. I mean, if you think of it, in 2008, for example, 98 percent of the resources spent by both candidates and their visits went to 15 states.  And the other 35 states were totally ignored.

    And they are totally ignored because there is a predisposition for that state to vote for one candidate over -- or vs. another.


    CAVUTO: Well, now, we are looking at a map -- we are looking at a map, Tom, of the 2010 congressional results, heavily red, the indication being that that would favor Republicans in the 2012 contest.

    But, of course, 2008 went very different from that. Having said that, though, would this lessen the likelihood or even eliminate one candidate getting the electoral vote and not getting the popular vote or vice versa?

    GOLISANO: Of course.

    For example, in 2004, and this was probably a very dramatic example, John Kerry actually had 3.5 million votes less than George Bush, 3.5 million votes less. But if 66,000 people in Ohio had changed their vote and voted for Kerry...

    CAVUTO: That's right.

    GOLISANO: ... Kerry would have been the president of the United States with 3.4 million less votes than his opposition, George Bush...


    CAVUTO: But wouldn't you, Tom, still want to gravitate to the states with the most electoral votes anyway, even they were going to be apportioned, that you would still chase California, and Texas, and you would still chase New York, maybe even Ohio, because that's where a lot of the electoral votes were?


    GOLISANO: Well, that's an interesting comment, Neil.

    But one of the things we have to remember, the media cost for going towards advertising for presidential candidates is very high in those larger metropolitan cities or those larger states. The costs for advertising to voters in the smaller areas, the less metropolitan areas, is a lot less on a per-person basis.

    So I think what happens, it puts the presidential candidates in a position where they want to cover the entire country, and not just the 15 battleground states.

    CAVUTO: I think you raise a very good point.

    I'd be remiss, having you here, if I didn't mention this -- this crackdown all the governors are having on -- on unions and related costs.  You've raised this as a public candidate in your own right. In fact, you were way ahead of the candidates pushing and looking into that. What do you think of what's happening pretty much across the country now, Tom?

    GOLISANO: Yes.

    Well, Neil, I think it has been pretty predictable. When states continually seem to outspend their ability to bring in revenue, sooner or later, there have to be clashes. And of course what some states have been able to do, and particularly in New York, is borrow money to cover these deficits.

    Well, we're reaching the end of the line. It is happening with the federal government and now it is happening with all the states -- or most of the states. So, it's -- it's almost like a day of reckoning is finally here.