Californians head to the polls today to vote in primary elections and the ballots will be longer than voters have seen in the past. That is because new ballot rules goes into effect this election cycle. Under the new “top-two” system, party affiliations are removed from candidates and voters will have the opportunity to choose from any candidate from any party. The top two winners will then square off in the November elections. This applies to all races except the Presidential race.
There are only two propositions on the ballot this cycle:
Prop 28 has been billed as “term limits” legislation but technically lengthens the amount of time legislators can serve. Currently legislators are limited to two 3-year terms in the Assembly and two 4-year terms in the Senate. That’s a total of 14 years a politician can serve in the legislature. Prop 28 reduces that limit to 12 years but allows lawmakers to serve that 12 years in either house.
Prop 29 levies a new $1 per pack cigarette tax to raise money for “cancer” research. Opponents say it creates a new bureaucracy and doesn’t allocate taxes to be spent within the borders California. So far polling on the measures shows Californians in favor of passing both.
A couple of other races to watch in California today:
In Orange County the heated, controversial race for County Supervisor between “establishment” Republican Todd Spitzer and “Tea Party” candidate Deb Pauly will come to a head. Both Spitzer and Pauly have thrown out contentious, serious allegations of misconduct against each other. Pauly was ousted as vice-chair of the OC Republican Party just days ago and Spitzer has been running from a record in which he increased pensions.
The Senate race, where Republican Elizabeth Emken will join 23 other candidates to take on the heavily funded Diane Feinstein
The race for District Attorney in Los Angeles, where Republican Alan Jackson will try to force a run-off against Carmen Trutanich. Trutanich (D) has faced accusations of corruption and bullying, but has raised twice the funds of Jackson.
Two local elections are mirroring what is happening in Wisconsin today. In San Diego and San Jose voters will be asked to decide on pension reforms in order to reign in the city budgets. Predictably, unions have been fighting the measures in both cities. The results will have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the state, as California faces an $85 billion unfunded pension liability in the coming years.
California currently does not have any of those pesky, racist voter identification laws so vote early, vote often.
You can follow election results live at the Orange County Register . I’ll also be doing a live, remote show from a special location to be disclosed at showtime, so tune into the Dark Side with Kira Davis at 7:00 p.m. Pacific.