Tag Archives: Top 2

Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen

People fail to understand the mechanics about the political system in the state of California where political campaigns are won and lost in a jungle primary called the Top 2 system.  Democrats were shut out in 2012 in Congressional District 31 and Republicans were shut out of the 2016 US Senate race. Yes, it is nice that people want to participate in the political process, but the more people entering in a race such as for California Governor then Republicans will risk a race between two Democratic Party candidates.

I recognize that 11 months prior to the primary people want to start their exploratory committees and I can understand that. However, we had around 13 candidates running for US Senate which diluted the vote share in 2016. We must have the discipline to cut it down to 2 or 3. People need to decide by November if they have the feasibility to seriously contend for a statewide race.

There are also numerous state legislative, statewide and even Board of Equalization races one can consider running for as well. For example, Assembly District 52 had no Republican running for the race and we had to endure a 2 Democratic Party candidate campaign. I know people want the bully pulpit of running for major office, but there are other ways one can get the attention desired to get their issues out in the open as a state legislative or congressional candidate.

The problem is Republicans undervote instead of voting for Loretta Sanchez in 2016. I do recognize that Republicans want a choice, not an echo however we have to fully understand the mechanics of the Top 2 primary system. The factions in the California Republican Party need to become more united than the Democratic Party in our state and figure out how to fairly divvy up the statewide slate so we can work together instead of working against each other. It would be tragic if we end up in a condition like the Hawaiian Republican Party where Charles Munger Jr. would be a king of a crumbling castle.

Resist the Top 2 Urge to Sit Races Out

Democrat on Democrat races should be avoided big time. Republicans should contest all legislative races when they can. Moderate Democrats are just as rare as finding gnomes that steal your missing socks. Republicans need to make Democrats work twice as hard to earn that second Top 2 spot in heavily Democratic Party districts.

Again, I do agree with California Conservative commentator Stephen Frank about why we should not drop out from elections to make a two candidate same party general election. I could only imagine if Alfonso Sanchez ran against Connie Leyva in that November general election and won, he would be voting for most of the tripe Connie has voted in her year in office in Senate District 20. A progressive is a progressive no matter if he or she has a Chamber of Commerce endorsement. We would of likely seen Alfonso vote for SB 4 to strain fiscally constrained Medi-Cal to undocumented Californians when we are struggling to pay medical providers and find new ones that would accept the low reimbursement rates. Or laws such as SB 600 to provide anti-discrimination protection to undocumented illegal Californians due to their citizenship and lack of speaking the English language.

Even if your local party is not going to give you the 1000 or 1700 dollar checks to run for state legislature or congress, run as a write in if your legislator is unopposed. Make it where legislators have to earn their seats instead of being simply anointed. Ignore calls from the Chamber of Commerce encouraging you to drop out of the race, because we have to demand that Chamber of Commerce endorsed Democrats must earn their street credibility.

Say no to the establishment, no one is anointed.

Prevent Obstacles to Ballot Access

My webserver got compromised awhile back where some of my old posts were wiped off my blog. This was originally written in 2015. However with Top 2, the write in method of ballot access is integral in the primary when there is no one willing to pony up money in non competitive districts.

There is a new bill coming thru the State Assembly called AB 372 which recently passed thru the Assembly Elections Committee 4 to 2. AB 372 wants to inflict ballot fees to candidates who win as a write-in during the Top 2 Primary that was created thanks to the implementation of Proposition 14 in 2010.

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-District 5) represents a district that strongly leans towards the Republican Party and no one decided to run for the seat not until the write in period happened where a Libertarian Party activist Patrick D. Hogan decided to challenge him. Even though Hogan got a place in the general election he only scored 25 percent against the incumbent Bigelow.

Bigelow thinks this bill is going to save the counties and the state money, but he can be far from that. It is going to cost time and money for the elections offices to check petitions in lieu when they already have countless obligations already. The Supreme Court of the United States has already spoken on this matter as well. The US Supreme Court said in Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut, 479 US 208 (1986), on page 218, that “the cost of administering the election system is not a sufficient basis here for infringing appellees’ First Amendment rights.”

There are already enough obstacles to protect incumbents in elections unless you are tied to a multi-millionaire such as Charles Munger Jr or Tom Steyer. The system is already rigged for the incumbents and the well-off. Ballot statements are not cheap where in assembly districts they can cost over $4,000 and even if you do not have the money you are still expected to pay the bill for the ballot statement as an indigent candidate.

Due to political parties are not guaranteed a slot if their candidate wins a primary there is less candidates running in elections thanks to Top 2. 1 Board of Equalization candidate, 3 State Senate Candidates and 6 State Assembly candidates were afforded ballot access in 2014 thanks to this new system. It gave people a chance to vote for the candidate of their choosing. Bigelow is not just hurting Libertarians in his district, but he also will hurt young activists who ran as write-in’s and won a Top 2 nomination who are members of his political party.

Voters are tired of coronations. People should be able to hear the arguments why we should keep a legislator or change him or her with a new replacement. Adding procedural language to make a legislator winning by acclimation because the challenger does not have the money to pay the filing fee during the general election is outright wrong.

Additional information thanks to Richard Winger of Ballot Access news for this article.

How To Improve California Voter Engagement

Prop 14 increased the number of under votes because people were sick of having to vote for a D v D or R v R. This decreases the engagement of the voters. We do not even have the right to have a write in vote in the general election.

I would like to see a solution that provides voters flexibility. How about fusion voting where minor parties can endorse one of the top two candidates, voters would be able to write in votes for any candidate who does not run in the Top 2 primary or run if one of the Top 2 candidates die before the general election, and ballot qualification based on electoral performance with the Top 2 primary.

If We Are Going to Surrender Why Play?

The first major election of Top 2 proved that the Republican Party is not a factor in California Politics. I had to endure a D v D race in Congressional District 35. Choosing between Gloria Negrette Mcleod and Joe Baca was like if you wanted to be shot or beaten by a baseball bat.

The Munger/Maldonado idea of Top 2 was one of the worst ideas for the Republican Party. Many seats did not have a Republican running because many felt that if we are not going to make it in the Top 2 runoff where the Republican was eliminated in AD 50 (Santa Monica), why spend the $955-$1740 to run for office for the filing fee.

However by crowding the ballot with a Republican we could force the Democratic Party to spend twice as much money to try and earn Republican support. Gloria did make visits to Tea Party groups and Joe Baca spoke about his NRA support, but aside from that it was only symbolism over substance.

I am not expecting hundred thousand dollar expenditures even if the California Republican Party and its county parties become better in being fiscally sound. However I would like to see filing fees reimbursed  and ballot statements paid for the general election at the bare minimum.

Many of us find sitting in the bleachers and watching the Democratic Party killing off industry in our state repulsing. We do not want to surrender without a fight.

Here are my solutions to modify the state elections code.

a. Revise Proposition 14 to allow for political parties to nominate a candidate for the Top 2 primary if individuals do not jump in the fray.

b. If no candidate runs in a legislative district or drops their partisan affiliation in the middle of a term in a central committee (ex: Nathan Fletcher, Paul Leon), the committee with the largest amount of voters would be able to vote on a replacement member that would inherit state and county central committee members. I wanted to be appointed to CD-35 on the central committee, but since I didn’t get the $1740 to run, I was not able to be on the committee.

Protest Against Top Two

Top two is making it where voters will have no choice this November. Are you a Republican in Congressional District 35, a Democratic Party supporter in District 31?  How about we send a message by spoiling our ballots? We can not get a write in candidate to run this November because write in votes will not count and they are not allowed, but we can spoil our ballots by voting for both candidates.

Joe Baca and Gloria Negrette Mcleod are basically identical in the eyes of a Republican, Bob Dutton and Gary Miller are basically identical in the eyes of a Democratic Party supporter, why vote for them?

I am thinking we need to spoil our ballots or even leave the races blank to show how voter choice was destroyed.

Turd Two Offering No Choice For Political Outsiders

No choice in November

The June Primary in California offers no choice for many Southern California voters in particular in the High Desert’s CA-08, Pomona’s CA-35 and San Bernardino’s CA-31.

First we go with CA-31, the district has an ethnic minority dominance while two white guys will be running against each other. This election will be an utter snooze fest for people who could care less about Gary Miller or Bob Dutton. The winning Republican Party candidate should face the reality if Democrats mobilize they are going to be in a world of hurt. This is going to be one competitive district for the rest of this decade. Unfortunately the Democratic Party has some individuals who refuse the consolidate which might give away the district to the Republicans indefinitely.

Gary and Bob have identical views on many issues, where just like in CA-35 it will be a contest of personalities. I would have to ask their views on issues such as indefinite detention of Americans and how would they deal with the drug war as issues to focus on. Non neo-conservatives are going to have a hard time determining who would be the best representative for the district.

In future columns I am going to do some investigative reporting. Voters need to know what their candidates stand on the issues. Perhaps we need a checklist and if your favorite candidate matches the positions you agree on vote for that individual. For Republicans in CA-35 and Democrats in CA-31 we need to know what these unknown individuals stand for so we can make the best choice. Due to top two, we have NO write in vote choice. We can abstain, but if we abstain we end up giving away our vote to the people who make a choice.

I am hoping to team up with Democratic Party supporters in CA-31 and Republicans in CA-35 to come up with a list of issues that they care about and see if we are going to have to vote on the superficial if our top two choices are identical? Is Bob Dutton easier on the eye than Gary Miller? Should we vote for Gloria Negrette Mcleod  because she is not as allegedly sexist as Joe Baca?

Credits: Image by Brian Ryman

Top 2 – Destroying Voter Choice

2010 was the year when the Republican Party nominated horrific choices for Statewide Offices such as Meg Whitman who believed she could buy her election, Abel Maldonado who decided to ditch his taxpayer pledge with Grover Norquist, Steve Cooley, who believed Proposition 8 should be defended because it was passed by the voters, but if marijuana legalization passed with Proposition 19 Steve would refuse to defend it, which made Steve look foolish. Mike Villines, was bought and paid for by the insurance lobby and also backfired on his pledge to Grover as well.

Many of us ended up voting for the Libertarian Party that year because we were fed up of the choices the Republican Party gave us. And thanks to Abel Maldonado and Charles Munger Jr, they gave us the turd sandwich known as Proposition 14. If you do not like what the establishment feeds us in June we have to choose between giant douche and turd sandwich in November with no ability to write in a choice.

Because of Proposition 14, we are going to have less third parties where the Green Party, Libertarian Party and the Peace and Freedom Party will likely lose their ballot access. Minor party candidates have more roadblocks to getting on the ballot now thanks to Proposition 14 where they have to get the same amount of signatures required as Republicans and Democrats to get on the ballot for no charge at 1500 signatures for State Assembly and 3000 for congress and state senate. Before Proposition 14, minor parties only needed at most 150 signatures to get candidates on the ballot for legislative races.

Since Top 2 destroys the chance for a minor party to get nominated in a general election, getting 2% in a statewide non-presidential general election it will be harder for parties to maintain their ballot access. If we want to preserve Top 2 and preserve ballot access, it should also be based on the minor parties presidential candidate or the performance during the Top 2 primary to determine ballot qualified status.

Many of us do not want to live in a world where it is just Democrats, Republicans and opportunistic Decline to States who express no party preference. Third parties help deliver new ideas and help keep the major parties on course. If people do not like the war on marijuana or do not want nuclear power, they can take advantage of the different ideas expressed by the third parties in our state.

I may of liked Charles Munger in his quest to make the California Republican Party more electable, but Proposition 14 is more like throwing the baby with the bath water. Even though the base of the California Republican Party may believe they are the Utah Republican Party, having third party competition does help hit home that the Republican Party does need to evolve or die in California if they want a Republican revolution to hit our state in the near future.

Living in a Democratic Party leaning community, I am not pleased that I will be faced with two Democrats battling against each other for Congressional District 35 this November. Even though proponents say this will force the candidates to reach out to non Democratic Party voters aside from them sending countless political mail and robo calls, they are not doing much to find common ground with Republicans to win our vote. However political parties who are out of contention  are hoping that the fratricide ends up draining the bank accounts of their opposing party.

Top 2 is a fraud and I hope the courts end up tossing this experiment down the trash can. Forcing voters to choose a vote that they can not believe in is very dishonest, at least in Top 2 state of Washington people who do not run in the Top 2 primary can become write-in candidates in the general election.

Joe Baca Decimates Negrette Mcleod

Joe Baca Postcard

Even though the main event does not start in November, Joe is not resting on his laurels. My family received over four postcards explaining how regressive Gloria is on the issues and Gloria can not afford to snooze on this campaign if she expects a chance to have a fighting chance against Joe.

Sadly with Top 2 there is no opportunity for a write-in vote in the November election so voters will be forced to choose the best Democratic Party representative. Joe has sent ads explaining Gloria’s cuts on education spending, Gloria accepting health insurance money to kill rate reform to make health insurance more unaffordable in our state and Gloria allowing infant formula and baby food to be sold after the use by date risking the health of our children and grandchildren.

With Gloria’s campaign on auto-pilot it is going to make it very hard on her to gain to momentum to control the message. In politics the goal of the game is whoever defines the issue or the message first usually is the winner.

I guess this seat might be Joe Baca’s for the next fifteen years at best unless we get a new younger Latino leader to run for the seat in the future.Even though I lean progressive on certain issues, I just feel maybe if we meld Gloria and Joe into the perfect political love child we would have the ideal candidate.

I feel like burning an effigy of Charles Munger for creating these political situations where Republicans have to vote for Tweedledee and Tweedledum. I would of been happy to see even having to vote for Ben Lopez or Scott Folkens to register my disgust with the Democratic Party choices.

None of The Above for California

Californians should be able to express their displeasure for Top 2. We should be able to vote for a non-binding None of the Above as our choice in November. If you are in Duncan Hunter Jr.’s district in rural San Diego, or if you live in my congressional district in Pomona we should be able to vote for None of the Above. When your two candidates who win the top 2 are basically virtually the same, why vote?

Since we are not allowed for a write-in vote in November, this would be the best compromise. This would be a non-binding NOTA process, where this would not lead to a re-vote or a new election process. If Joe Baca got 25,360 votes, Gloria Negrette Mcleod got 39,550 votes and NOTA got 16,350 votes Gloria would still win the election.

In Nevada you must give up your vote for a candidate in order to vote for None of the Above and I would expect the same process to happen if we did it in California.