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If I Had a Hammer

Jun
22
2004

Once again, California Controller Steve Westly is taking a beating from fellow Democrats. They’re trying to slam the door on his attempt to revive the state’s open primary. (this link is no longer active)
Westly and former LA Mayor Richard Riorden are behind a ballot initiative to allow voters to cross parties in a primary election. It’s one of those “may the best candidate win,” ideas that Progressive Libertarians like Westly are so fond of. With good reason, of course. The idea here is to get more people into voting booths. One way to do that: make voting easy and interesting and less partisan.


A June Field poll showed the measure would probably pass. Just about half of the voters surveyed in a Field Poll earlier this month approved of the idea. Democrats liked it a little more (48% in favor) than Republicans (46% support). But unaffiliated voters really like the idea – 60 percent – and they’re a large – the second largest in San Francisco and most of the Peninsula – voting block in this part of the world.
The whole idea doesn’t – as Westly has quietly acknowledged – sit well with incumbents and, well, that’s who runs the legislature. So, naturally, they had to stop this plan – What! You want more people to vote? – before things really got out of hand. A candidate who can appeal to both parties and attract voters from anywhere might really build up a head of steam for the general election and more easily challenge an incumbent.
Well, they got caught by The Bee. That’s round one to the California Senate. Next it goes to the Assembly. I’ll save the comments about how badly the California Legislature – as a group – is doing in polls of their approval ratings. Let’s just say they’d be happy with 50 percent in favor. You can’t give these guys enough rope, can you?

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 4:57 PM | Permalink

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