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Mike Spence

Is Today the Day Proposition 14 Officially Limits Voter Choice?

Today, voters in the 36th Congressional District go to the polls to replace Jane Harman.

The district is Democratic, but contains areas the GOP can poll strongly in. Two years ago, the idea would have been for Republicans to recruits a strong candidate and hope for a bloody Democratic primary that nominates a far left candidate. Then hope for some lightning to strike.

The GOP field is filled with several quality candidates. Mike Webb is a City Prosecutor, Mike Gin is mayor, Kit Bobko is a councilman and so far the biggest spender is Craig Huey a successful conservative. Then came Proposition 14.

Proposition 14’s passage means that should candidates get under 50% the top two REGARDLESS of party go on to the “general” election. The last time the state had an open primary that allowed voters to choose candidates from other parties, the voters in open seats went where the action was or in other words where the money was spent. Then all parties that fielded candidates had a spot in the run-off.

In this seat, despite Huey’s spending that would mean a run-off between Democratic Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Democratic… Read More

Mike Spence

California Democratic Party Convention Maintains Insider Endorsement Process: Where’s Calbuzz and the rest of the outraged media?

Six weeks ago the California Republican Convention met to among other things debate rules changes pertaining to the endorsement process since passage of Proposition 14.

The media was relentless. Headlines featured words like “tension’ and “clash”. My favorite came from the lefty blog Calbuzz that asked “Will the Stalinistas strike a blow for authoritarianism?”

All this centered around the fight between two proposals that would let either the state board decide endorsements or a caucus of state and local central committee members. Both plans contained exceptions that specifically protected incumbents. Insiders choosing is the worst possible way to get the candidates we need and don’t get me started on incumbent protection. Ultimately, I wrote an alternative plan supported by Congressman Tom McClintock that rejected both approaches and would lead to pre-primary mail in balloting by Republicans was adopted. (The chairman is announcing something soon, so I won’t steal his thunder or hair gel on this one.) So … Read More