California Democrats screwed independents; Now it may backfire on them

California Democrats have a problem that they've brought upon themselves.

This district, held by Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican who is not running again, is a critical part of the Democratic campaign to take back Congress.
But the crowded field of candidates running for this open Republican seat spotlights what has become a major concern for Democrats. Under a new voting system in California, the top two vote-getters in the June primary — no matter their party — will face off in the general election in November. In a year of remarkable political energy stirred by opposition to President Trump, so many Democrats want to run for Congress that they could end up dividing the vote in districts like this one, producing a November runoff between two Republicans and in the process upending any hope of a House takeover.

If there's one thing that Democrats hate more than Republicans, it's independents on the left. Democrats feel they are entitled to those votes. They don't have to earn them.

Which is why Democrats are quick to blame Gore's loss in 2000 on Nader, rather than the millions of Democrats who voted for Bush, and blame Hillary's loss in 2016 on Stein, rather than the millions of Democrats who refused to vote for a bad candidate.

It's from this contempt for leftists that the California Legislature, dominated by Democrats managed to put Prop 14 on the ballot on Feb. 19, 2009, between 4 and 7 a.m., without any public notice or public hearing.

prop14.jpg

California’s Top Two Primary takes power away from third parties representing the 99% and delivers it to the 1%.
...A recent Gallup poll found that nationwide, the share of registered voters identifying as independent has hit a record high of 42 percent. That trend also holds true in California. Yet no third-party or independent candidate for state-wide office will appear on the California general election ballot in November. All were eliminated by Top Two, the new electoral system ushered in by Proposition 14 in 2010. It excludes all but the top-two primary vote-getters from advancing to November, and that effectively means all but the top two political parties.
Top Two has not only foreclosed third-party candidates from the general election but has made it substantially harder for them to get on the primary ballot. From 1992 to 2010, the Green, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, and American Independent parties averaged 127 primary ballot candidates among them in each election cycle. In 2012, in Top Two’s first year, they were able to qualify only 17 for state legislative and congressional races, the fewest since 1966, when only Democrats and Republicans were on the ballot.

It wasn't just a matter of being a top-two finisher. Filing fees were increased to the point that small, left-wing parties had trouble fielding any candidates at all.
In one swift blow California Democrats virtually eliminated all third-party challengers on the left. Hurrah for "democracy"!

The new system normally works great for the establishment. The problem is when the dynamics shift, which is what has happened this year with the progressive base motivated.
So what do the establishment Dems do to fix a less-than-democratic system that isn't working the way they want it to? Why with even less democracy, of course.

Democratic leaders are moving to winnow the field, steering contributions to favored candidates, moving to award the state party endorsement to one person and warning candidates who might have embarrassing chapters in their professional or personal lives of the kind of scrutiny and political attacks that come with entering public life.
But any attempt by the party to interfere is complicated by the strains between establishment Democrats and the more liberal wing of the party, which have been on particular display in this state. Democratic leaders are wary of coming across as old-school bosses stampeding the concerns of grass-roots activists.
“My job is not to tell people they can’t run,” said Eric C. Bauman, the state Democratic leader, who has been trying to trim the field to, ideally, he said, two Democrats. “It’s not to push people out of races. But to try to help good candidates look to see if they have other options they could run for and make an equally important contribution.”

If the name Eric C. Bauman sound familiar, it's because he was the subject of controversy when the state party establishment rammed him into office over the objections of a vast majority of the Democratic grassroots through the use of Super Delegates.
It's because of this contempt for regular voters and the democratic process, that the Republican Party can lose voters, but the Democratic Party fails to gain them.

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Steven D's picture

It's because of this contempt for regular voters and the democratic process, that the Republican Party can lose voters, but the Democratic Party fails to gain them.

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Democrats don't care if they gain voters so long as they control who people can vote for, i.e., keeping the candidates on ballot to those approved by their donors.

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"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

@Steven D
no love for Uncle Chuck

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer's (D-N.Y.) approval rating among New York voters is at its lowest point in almost 20 years, according to a new survey.

Cuomo the worm

Those who viewed Cuomo favorably dropped to 53 percent, down from 62 percent last month. Those who viewed him negatively rose to 40 percent, up from 30 percent during that same time frame.

Cuomo took a hit with Democrats, but was worse with Republicans, while his popularity fell in New York City and dropped significantly in upstate, said Steven Greenberg, a spokesman for the Siena College poll.

“Of course, much of what Cuomo has been talking about over the last several weeks has been overshadowed by the ongoing coverage of the federal corruption trial in Manhattan, in which the governor has been featured prominently," Greenberg said in a statement.

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Meteor Man's picture

I totally missed this:

The Voter Information Guide did not provide a summary or text of SB 6, which fleshes out critical details of Proposition 14; nor did Proposition 14’s official ballot title and summary refer to it. Many potential negative effects of Top Two were hidden from voters, and opportunities to vet and correct them before the measure was placed on the ballot were denied to the public.

Dammit! I was only partially aware of how deceitful California Dems were and used to consider myself a high information voter back in the day.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

snoopydawg's picture

@Meteor Man

This left the field wide open for California’s largest corporations - which enthusiastically favored Proposition 14 because they thought it would result in the election of corporate-friendly public officials - to flood the airwaves with propoganda about how Top Two would increase voter choice. In fact, it has done the opposite, to the point of excluding “no corporate money” candidates from the general election debate.

Ron Paul put it this way.

These parties aren’t different, they’re all the same. The monetary policy stays the same. The welfare system stays the same. The foreign policy stays the same. . . . There is but one party.

The Great Sage:

Or as Ronald Reagan put it, “We don’t need a third party. We need a second party.”

Trying to convince people of this is a losing battle. They're minds are made up on this and they refuse to let the truth get in their way.

coughToPcough

Don't feel bad about this, they fooled many of us.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

Why Is It So Hard for Democracy to Deal With Inequality? https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/opinion/democracy-inequality-thomas-p...

Hints at who has taken over the party.

"If Democrats must adopt a broader agenda to counter inequality, Piketty’s study is indispensable. He demonstrates that the highly educated constituency currently controlling the party has been ineffective in protecting the material interests of the less well off.

For one thing, the well-educated leadership of the left is thriving under the status quo. The economic gains of those with college degrees — now, remember, the majority of the Democratic electorate — are shown in the accompanying graphic. From 1988 to 2012, the inflation-adjusted income of college graduates increased by 16 percent and for those with advanced degrees by 42 percent."

The democratic leadership will do fine under either regime. It'll pander to single issue voting blocs, and if history is a guide, ultimately disappoint them. But hey, they're not Trump.

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@Snode
even The Atlantic can see through this

To be clear, Democratic leaders are not the only members of the American elite who seem increasingly predisposed to grant Trump a presumption of regularity. The tenor of press coverage of Trump has also become more muted, with ordinary discussions of his policy initiatives competing for space with ever-present scandals. And the Republican Party, of course, has long quelled most of the dissent in its ranks over the president.
...Recent shifts in elite opinion do not seem to reflect any change of public sentiment. Trump is nearly as unpopular as ever. Voters disapprove of the president by huge margins. Opinion polling consistently finds that over half the country “strongly disapproves” of him. Indeed, loathing for Trump is so profound that he is able to move public opinion towards almost any position, simply by taking the other side.
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@gjohnsit This is why those with impeachment dreams are going to be very disappointed. TPTB are absolutely ok with Trump. Pelosi doesn't have to take impeachment off the table because it will never get close to that point.

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Just another Bozo on the bus.

snoopydawg's picture

@Snode

What they offer

IMG_1808.JPG

What we want

IMG_1809.JPG

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

orlbucfan's picture

@snoopydawg My eyes aren't that good now. The last thing any of us on here want is the orange dimwit and the FRightwing fascists/jesus jerks who control him and the GOPukes. Rec'd!!

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Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

snoopydawg's picture

@orlbucfan

The Hillary photo is full of rich people in suits and ties and the Berner one is full of us regular folks. (psst, there's more people at Bernie's rally than Her's fundraiser.

Smile

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

@snoopydawg My eyes are kinda off too, Is that $5,000 a plate rubber chicken and endless white wine in the first photo?

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@snoopydawg
Sign says Trump. It's a Trump rally.

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And when the PTB decide which two candidates they want cheated in, the people can't even hope to do an end run around them, toward democracy... the fascist grip tightens... better start thinking about ways to bite those grasping fingers hard enough to make them let go, before it's too late and everyone strangles.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.