Tuesday, March 22, 2011

California Prop 14 Open Primaries: What about the will of the people? Proposition 14

And while we're talking about the new California voting system, let's remember that it won 54% in a primary election.


  • EDITORIAL: Open primaries: What about will of the people? (The Bakersfield Californian) Hey, what about the will of the people? What about all of those voters who unambiguously declared their support for a top-two runoff?
  • Calif. GOP rejects divisive open primary plan (By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press, Bakersfield Now.com) California Republicans on Sunday approved a compromise that leaves in place the current nominating system for GOP candidates in 2012 and will let party members use mail-in balloting to endorse candidates for office starting in 2014.
  • California GOP struggles with internal strife (Joe Garofoli,Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle) Republicans, believing that the system could "disenfranchise" them in a state where they are vastly outnumbered, looked for a way for the party to influence the process.
  • Most Republican presidential hopefuls skip California GOP convention (By Jack Chang, The Sacramento Bee) Most of the convention action focused on how to deal with voter-approved Proposition 14, the open-primary measure, which all but cut out parties from the nominating process. The proposition didn't affect presidential primaries.
  • Republicans vote to nominate candidates by mail to sidestep 'top-two primary' system - California Republicans vote to enact a sweeping end-run around the spirit of the "top-two primary" system adopted by voters as Proposition 14. The party decides to conduct a mail-in nominating process with all registered GOP voters before the primary election. (By Seema Mehta and Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times)
  • The GOP searches for relevance post-Proposition 14 (Opinion L.A. - OPED by Jon Healey, LA Times) You might argue that the pre-primary is, as Mehta and Reston put it, "a sweeping end-run around the spirit" of the new primary system. (I'm still trying to figure out how one would run around a spirit, but I digress.) But what are the parties supposed to do in a new system that essentially amounts to a general election and a runoff?
  • State Republican Party leaders seek to hold onto clout despite open primary - At the party's convention this weekend, bosses will attempt to curb the effect of the 'top-two' voting system passed by voters last year and maintain their influence over candidates. (By Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times)
  • U.S. District Court Holds Hearing in California Case on Party Label Discrimination (Ballot Access News) The judge seemed uncomfortable with this case, and suggested that party labels on the ballot are not important, because candidates can describe themselves in the Voters Pamphlet. 
  • California GOP rejects divisive open primary plan (By JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press, Mercury News) The party was beset by infighting during its weekend spring convention in Sacramento over how to respond to Proposition 14, the voter-approved ballot measure that was intended to produce more moderate candidates for office from both political parties. Under that system, the top two candidates advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. The GOP delegates on Sunday passed a plan that calls on the party to let members vote by mail to nominate candidates, starting in 2014. It was unclear how the vote-by-mail process will occur, how much it will cost or whether it will have any real effect on campaigns by discouraging other Republicans from aggressively contesting primary seats.
  • Marin Voice: Open primaries are coming (By Richard Rubin, Guest op-ed column, Marin Independent Journal) The landscape is strewn with the carcasses of political parties, beginning with the Federalists in 1789 led by Alexander Hamilton, which pretty much vanished by the War of 1812. Between its founding and now, no less than 116 parties have hoisted their standards. Not all fielded candidates. Many lasted only a few years. About 50 survive today, but few of any note.
  • Calif. Republicans debate future amid budget drama (AP -- San Francisco Chronicle) Another proposal, introduced by Nehring, would let party leaders officially endorse Republican candidates ahead of primaries. It is an attempt to blunt the impact of Proposition 14, the voter-approved measure that allows the top two vote-getters to advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. Opponents of Nehring's plan, including nearly all Republicans in the state's congressional delegation and Legislature, say it would disenfranchise Republican voters and cut off funding for candidates who survive the primary but did not win the party's official endorsement.
  • Republicans should listen to Kevin McCarthy (By Judy Lloyd, Co-owner of Altamont Solutions, Fox & Hounds Daily) California’s highest ranking Congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy has become active in this debate. He is co-sponsoring a measure with State Senate Leader Bob Dutton and Assembly Leader Connie Conway. The plan focuses on the principle that Republican voters should decide who their nominees are – not party insiders.
  • Contra Costa Times Readers' Forum: GOP voters should pick party nominees (By Judy Lloyd, Inside Bay Area - Oakland Tribune) California's highest-ranking congressional Republican, Kevin McCarthy, has become active in this debate. He is co-sponsoring a measure with state Senate Leader Bob Dutton and Assembly Leader Connie Conway. The plan focuses on the principle that Republican voters should decide who their nominees are -- not party insiders.
  • The rigged redistricting process (By Thomas E. Mann and and Norman J. Ornstein, EDITORIAL Washington Post) Voters are supposed to choose their representatives, but the flawed redistricting process in our nation too often allows representatives to choose their voters. This rigged game is in full flower in Virginia, which has an accelerated redistricting process this year because elections for its House of Delegates and Senate take place in November. State Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D) was stunningly candid in a recent radio interview in describing the process politicians would follow to redraw the lines.

1 comment:

d.eris said...

"let's remember that it won 54% in a primary election."

This is actually one of my biggest problems with the passage of prop 14. Right after it passed, I crunched the numbers in a post at Poli-Tea and showed that though prop 14 passed with 54% of the vote, voter turnout was very low, as per usual in a primary election. That 54% of the vote was equal to just 12% of registered voters in the state!