Monday, June 4, 2012

Does California Become A One Party State For Many After Tomorrow?

So tomorrow's election is something kinda new. More like the first round of a sports playoff than politics as we have known it for most of our lives. Or at least the part of our lives that happened after we turned 40, which seems to be the threshold where people start to actually care about things like local politics. That is, if they ever do. Many would prefer not to, and you can't really blame them sometimes. These affairs certainly do get messy.

Now some things are going to be different. Rather than each of the parties voting for who it is they will be putting on the ballot for November to compete for the grand prizes, this time it is only the top two finishers of all the parties combined that get to return to the main stage to duke it out (click here). No matter who it is they might claim to be representing. That's right, in November there will only be two names on the ballot for things like our representatives to Congress, the State Senate and Assembly. With no write-ins allowed, either. Why? Because it's good for us.

This doesn't apply to the Presidential ticket mind you, because those are national candidates and therefore beyond the reach of California's laws. But for most offices you will get to vote for whomever you like tomorrow. Republicans can vote for Democrats, Democrats can vote for American Independents, Libertarians can vote for Greens, and everybody can go buck wild with the Peace and Freedom Party. And who doesn't like Peace and Freedom? Isn't that what we all dream of? I know I do, though I get precious little of it.

The idea behind this is that it will somehow have a moderating effect on what have until now been ideologically rigid party affiliations, something inviting extremism and an inability for compromises that might actually make California a better and happier land. Which is supposedly why Sacramento is such a basket case.

I disagree with this idea somewhat. I think it has more to do with the unhappy combination of vast quantities of corporate lobby cash and a state legislature filled with narrow venal idiots that have caused government to collapse into utter uselessness here. But perhaps I am being too negative.

And then again, perhaps not.

All of which now leads us to this from a blog called Total Buzz, which is part of the Orange County Register news empire (click here):

Veteran handicapper Allan Hoffenblum has identified 34 districts out of the 100 state legislative and 53 congressional races where two candidates from the same party could emerge as the general election finalists. And they're mostly Democrat against Democrat, given the state's partisan divide, which means some Democrats could be seeking GOP votes as never before. In the state Assembly, for example, Hoffenblum has identified 22 potential same-party runoffs in November - and 16 of those would be Democrat vs. Democrat.

To me this indicates that come November there will be significant portions of our unhappy state with only be one party on the ballot. At least for state offices. Something that would make certain parts of California literally a one party state. I find this to be a very uncomfortable thought. I've always believed such things only happened in places like Paraguay, Cuba or Idaho.

There is also something else. I have been an occasional supporter of third parties. I don't always agree with what it is most of them are laying down, but I do enjoy the way they say it. While the Democrats and Republicans tend to make their electoral appeals as vague and, let's face it, dumbed down as humanly possible, third parties are far more visceral in their appeal, and often don't mince words. And frankly some third party candidates have gotten my vote because of this. I think people should actually say something before they get my support.

But those days could now be over. This from the Oakland Tribune (click here):

California's minor parties facing extinction under new voting system - They've been a colorful part of California's political landscape for decades - Greens, Libertarians, American Independents, and members of the Peace and Freedom Party. But after Tuesday's election, most of them will be all but invisible - and perhaps on their way to extinction.

In past years, minor parties held their own primary elections to choose nominees who would go on to compete with Democratic and Republican nominees in general elections. But that's no longer the case under California's new "top two" primary system, in which all voters choose from among all candidates of all parties -- and only the two candidates who get the most votes advance in November, regardless of party.

Because minor party candidates rarely finish in the top two, and it's now harder for their candidates to get on the primary ballot in the first place, the parties will have little or no presence on the general election ballot. And in politics, invisibility means oblivion.

"It could spell the end of the Peace and Freedom Party," said party chairman C.T. Weber, 71, of Sacramento. "It's a shame that democracy is being undermined by this, but that's the reality if we're not able to overturn the law."

Let's face it, the Democrats have been well on the way to seizing single party control of this state for a while now. The super-majorities they have long desired in the State Senate and Assembly could very well happen this year. Making their control in Sacramento complete.

And as if that isn't enough, we now have an electoral system that could, for many parts of California, guarantee that the party that gave us SB 375, centralized development planning and a whole lot of debt will literally be the only party on the ballot most Novembers. You really do have to wonder how much is left for those of us who might want a look at something a little different once in a while.

For many living in California such a thing will now become an option that no longer exists.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

53 comments:

  1. And adding insult to injury, when candidates filed their nomination papers for this California election, they had the opportunity to state their "preferred" party right then. (You will see this "prefers" designation next to their names on the ballots.) In other words, one did not have to be a registered R or D (or whatever) for several months before the election process; one can simply choose at the moment of paying the fee to be on the ballot. Therefore, Tattlers, beware. Some of our current candidates have changed their party affiliations for this election to give them a better opportunity to advance to November. Do your homework, vote wisely tomorrow.

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    1. Rusnak switched from Republican to Democrat just before she filed to run for Assembly. Parties now are like changing shirts.

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    2. The Congress candidate, Orswell, is not a Republican, but is on the ballot as one.
      Sacramento is run by special interests, the people have little voice, except we can still vote AGAINST all their damn tax hikes and bogus propositions.
      Eventually, people will get it. Crawford has. Most of the Tattler readers get it.
      Vote NO on Measure A. Vote NO on the Propositions. It's really all we can do, at this time.

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    3. Jack Orswell opted for Republican. He has been endorsed by none other than Susan Henderson.

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    4. Is Susan a Republican or Democrat right now? It's ard to keep up with her.

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    5. Thru the looking glass, sez........June 4, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      She is a Redublratan, or a Dempublicrat, or a Dublican, I pretty sure of it.
      Happy Unbirthday if it is yours.

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    6. Donklephant.

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  2. The entire system has become about excluding taxpayers and residents from the process and limiting choice. It's all the way from the top - elected officials - down to the local and regional government practices excluding public participation. The State of California's special interest cadre is seriously rigging the whole system and setting up a cash flow network (official as well as under the table) grounded in expanding development and growth, which is completely unsustainable and has already outrun water supplies.

    Click on the link above to see a video from fulldisclosure.net

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  3. Interesting election tomorrow in San Jose, Ca.
    Check this out:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/02/us-usa-california-pensions-idUSBRE8510BQ20120602

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    1. The days of public pension spiking and local government giveaways to labor unions and local officials are over. The term "cancer" is fiscally appropriate, particularly since the officials that dole this out are not around to be accountable when the cities and states run out of money. City of Bell being the most painfully obvious and corrupt example.

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  4. Some Monday-Cheerer-Upper, Tattler-in-Chief!

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  5. Let's see. resdistricting, one party runoffs, and super majorities. If this was a 3rd world nation I think the word coup would be used and the United States would be thinking about sending in the Marines.

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  6. Our Maternal PlutocracyJune 4, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    I really feel pretty ok with what has happened. Nothing like the safe and secure feeling you get when mommie makes all the decisions for me. Nothing like the mommie state taking care of all my needs. It's so comforting to know our plutocracy is on the ball, making sure I am protected from myself.
    All the grownups in Sacramento will make sure to tell me not to run out into the street......

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    1. Everything is taken care of. Now, you do your part. Go shopping, and on your way home please stop in at your neighborhood Realtor office. They have things they want to show you.

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    2. This state of affairs is pure old school patriarchy 9:23.

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    3. Once the one party state achieves it's supermajority in the legislature we will finally get the tax increases needed to sustain current spending. Then we'll be free. O

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  7. Oh please...all you paranoid right wing tea party folks, no one is holding a gun to my head telling me who to vote for. Enough pissing and moaning. There is power in the vote. Like Crawford says, do your homework and vote your beliefs. Yes, California is a very blue state, but we've also had our share of red governors. If the left coast is too liberal for you, you can always move to a more conservative state....
    p.s.~ I hate mondays too!

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    1. A lot of people are leaving California. They're following the jobs that have left for places like Nevada, Arizona and Texas. Soon there will be nothing left but folks like you, 9:44. And with so little industry left to pay the taxes necessary for the state to sustain you, how are you going to eat?

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    2. The sky is falling...the sky is falling !!! Good God. "Folks like you"... give me a break. I can take care of myself and my family.. but thanks for your concern 10:14.

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    3. Just when you thought Steve had up and run off, here is is back again.

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    4. I don't think that is Steve, but what do I know.
      9:44 is right - vote.
      We still have majority rule in this country. If most Californians want Dems, Dems we'll have.

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    5. Yes, nothing but Dems. In November that could be all the choice you have.

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    6. 10:45~ No, I'm not "Steve" (whoever the heck that is). All I am saying is to vote. A lot of blood was shed, and many lives were lost, to give us the right to vote. It doesn't matter to me what party or beliefs you have. Just inform yourself and vote for what you believe. We are all Americans. The most powerful weapon we have is our VOTE. It gives "We the People" amazing power. The will of the people must be respected. God bless America !!!

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  8. It's a complete lie that Rusnak changed from Republican to Democrat. She was previously registered as "decline to state" to protect her privacy. You are a liar and a bearer of false witness.

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    1. That sums up what is one of the worst problems in politics - the PR machines, the soulless folk who get their money from selling lies. Not that I believe anything about Rusnak, good or bad, don't know the woman. But these are the kinds of info bits that get stuck in people's heads.

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  9. Don't worry about 9:44. As soon as he/she is eligible for his/her Calpers pension, a move to NV will be in the works. No state income tax, you know.

    After all, who wants to pay the ungodly CA taxes? I got mine!

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  10. "Decline to state" - now we know Rusnak REALLY has the courage of her convictions!

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    1. It pays to keep your options open.

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    2. I think it would have been impossible for Ms. Rusnak to make her party selection until the political demographics of the new district were known. Once it was established that there were more Democrats than Republicans, her choice became clear.

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    3. I courageously take the stand that the political parties to choose from are such corrupt doddering old messes that I refuse to align myself with any particular one and will vote for the person I think may remember the concept of integrity regardless of party affiliation.

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  11. Rusnak versus Holden in November. Think of the postcards!

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    1. My mailbox is not up to the tonnage!

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  12. Michael Cacciotti gets three votes from this Democratic household. I read an analysis of all this somewhere that stated he was the only one that had not run down his opponents and although he has sent out a good number of mailers he has done this with a miniscule budge in comparison to Holden and Rusnak.

    Who put this on the ballot in 2010 and why? Did the proponents of this change get the advantage that they wanted? I am asking this in the recollection that the folks that wanted to get rid of Gray Davis, spent gazillions of $$ and got the Arnold. What a mess that turned out to be!!!!!!!

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    1. This open primary was championed in part by Arnold Schwartenegger along with other democrats. They felt it would create a more moderate group of elected officials. I think it creates more confusion and obfuscation.
      Are you voting for Cacciotti because he didn't send you a lot of mailers? How about what he stands for, what his principles are and how he intends to implement them if he is sent to Sacramento?

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    2. "Arnold Schwartenegger along with other democrafts." This may be news to you, but Arnold wasn't a Democrat. Talk about revisionist politics.

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    3. He just played one on TV.

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  13. Holden postcard: "Hey, at least you know what I really stand for!"

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    1. The sheer wastefulness Holden has shown by inundating our Decline to State household with mailers has made my decision about him.

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    2. I know what you mean 1:28....We're getting calls from all the DEMS, all over Los Angeles for all the offices.....they must be desperate? Weird.

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    3. They aren't desperate, they want to block the GOP out of contention for November. They want a Rusnak/ Holden final round. This is a statewide strategy. They are going for it all. Then they can tax you to death. They have a lot of pensions to pay.

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  14. Not all the lies and duplicity are coming from the candidates. Remember Fay Angus's sage advice when the building industry launched their attack on Measure V with their lies and dire warnings....Follow the money. Why do you think every time you turn on TV or the radio, some alleged doctor is warning you about all the awful things that will happen if Proposition 29 passes. What WILL happen is that fewer kids will start smoking and there will be more money for cancer research. Please don't be taken in and vote YES on Prop 29. Don't let big tobacco win!

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    1. Amen. It is always about the money. Nobody launches a media blitz like the tobacco companies have over Prop 29 out of idealism. They just want to keep cigarettes cheap so the chumps keep buying them.

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    2. Anyone who's not hip to those old Merchants O' Death by now is choosing blindness.
      And btw Lance Armstrong is using his fame in a brilliant way against Big Tabaccy.

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    3. Q: Why doesn't government ban tobacco if it's so evil?

      A: Because government is addicted to the tax money like it's nicotine!

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    4. Yeah, let's price the kids out of cigarettes so they'll switch to pot and grow their own. By the way, Arnold was faux Republican I'm not sure what the voters were thinking when they voted for the one party system in California , but here we are, with two Dems spending big bucks to be the top two, crowding out all the others. You remember way back in April when some the tattlers were whimpering about another big Democrat who was spending lots of money to get elected in Sierra Madre? That was just a start of what politics will be in the State and from here on out in our City. And the Tea Party has nothing to do with this. It was the voters themselves that brought on this mess.

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    5. Whimpering? No way. Kvetching maybe.

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    6. I was cussing and lamenting.

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    7. It is hard to believe, but pictures of that guy's mug standing in front of firetrucks and with half undressed cops actually won him votes. They were written for people with a third grade intellect, and it worked. Just like all these Harden and Rusnak cards. Same cynical philosophy.

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  15. Rusnak and Holden never stated they are against the building of the the new tunnel. The ex Mayor of South Pasadena does NOT want a tunnel built! Cacciotti is experienced and does not need any developer near his town or this county. He is the BEST choice. The other candidates are Tea drinkers, and we know how dangerous too many of them have proven to be.

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    1. Cacciotti is a lot of things, the best choice is not one of them. Just look at his participation in the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments. As a member of the Governing Board, he has allowed the Executive Director direct millions of taxpayer dollars into his own pockets via his privately owned management company.

      Just recently, Cacciotti voted to approved a resolution recommending that the Board of Supervisors move forward with a proposal to levy a new "rain" tax on each and every property owner in the County! That's right a damn rain tax where each owner is assessed for the amount of run off their property contributes....really?

      And not a modest tax either, large parcels like Lowe's or Costco will pay upward of $15,000 per year.

      That is not the type of leadership, or more accurately lack of leadership, that we need.

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  16. I am a lifelong democrat, and even I know how badly these people have screwed up this state. I won't be voting for any this time around. Years ago we used to throw the bums out when things got this bad. Now we give them a supermajority and even more ways to win elections. This state needs to be put on a suicide watch. It is killing itself.

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  17. I much prefer the Occupy Crowd to the Tea Party fanatics. The Occupy crowd always cleans up after itself and never gets arrested.

    Oh crap, I got it backwards, again!

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