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Rep. Gary Miller (R)
California Rep. Gary Miller, who won a fluky re-election victory in a decidedly blue seat last cycle, has decided not to press his luck a second time and will instead retire at the end of this term. In 2012, redistricting pushed Miller, a conservative Republican, to run for another term in the newly redrawn 31st District—one that should have favored Democrats.

However, thanks to California's "top-two" primary system (where the top pair of vote-getters advance, regardless of party) and a four-way split among Democrats, Miller and another Republican, state Sen. Bob Dutton, snuck into the November general election. So in a district that Barack Obama carried by a 57-41 margin, voters were stuck choosing between two Republicans for the House—a mockery of democracy.

Miller ultimately prevailed, but his unique good fortune wasn't going to obtain again. In addition to a fractured Democratic field, he'd have needed another credible GOP candidate to run once more. But no plausible Republican would have been interested in a bank-shot suicide mission for the sole purpose of keeping Miller's career on life support for one more term. So Miller was sure to (finally) face a Democrat this November, and he'd have been the underdog had he forged ahead.

Now, things could actually get more complicated. As in 2012, there's no dominant Democratic standard-bearer. The guy who was expected to face Miller that year, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, is running again, and this time with explicit DCCC support. But Aguilar botched things last time in the primary, coming in third (just a point behind Dutton), and his fundraising has been pretty mediocre. Attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes, meanwhile, has the backing of EMILY's List, and she doubled up Aguilar on the fundraising front last quarter.

Also in the mix is ex-Rep. Joe Baca. Baca's run a weird campaign that's been invisible except when he's screwed up, but he did represent around 44 percent of the 31st District prior to redistricting. And finally, there's San Bernardino School Board Member Danny Tillman, who is African American and may do well among the district's small black population.

So Democrats have another four-way divide, with each candidate offering a different sort of appeal to different constituencies. That means if two—but no more or fewer than two—well-matched Republicans enter the race, we could be in for another nightmare. Democrats are going to be extremely vigilant about preventing a repeat, but with the D-Trip and EMILY going at it, and the untamable lone wolf Baca prowling at the edges, there's little chance of reaching consensus before the June primary.

Still, another political perfect storm is unlikely, even though it's not impossible. With that in mind, Daily Kos Elections is moving this race from Lean Democrat to Likely Democrat, on the assumption that we'll see a traditional Democrat versus Republican race in the fall. If the primary goes haywire once more, though, we'll revisit our rating accordingly.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 01:10 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  can't California fix this problem? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, TofG

    They've got a Democratic governor and control both houses of the legislature. It seems to me that they should have run-offs for primary elections to ensure the primary nominee gets 50 percent or more of the vote...and then have a Democrat and Republican in the general election.

    This stupid system which enables Democrats to balkanize their vote, enabling two Republicans...representing a miniscule portion of the primary electorate...is insane.

    Who came up with such an idiotic system anyway? And why is nobody doing anything to fix it?

    •  "top two" *was* the fix (7+ / 0-)

      The problem was apparently having too many 3rd party candidates fouling up the waters.  Now it's become harder to organize as a 3rd party at the state level, although the top two primary system is not wholly to blame for that.

    •  Californian voters voted for Top Two primaries. (6+ / 0-)
      •  I sure as hell didn't vote for it (8+ / 0-)

        For the life of me I can't understand why my fellow-Californians thought this was a good idea.

        •  top two (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, Capt Crunch, Jacob1145, sfbob

          top two was funded by an extremely wealthy republican activist.

          think his name is Munger

          And his purpose was to screw the Ds.

          •  Of course! What other motivation does the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jacob1145, sfbob

            GOP EVER have?!

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 05:08:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Charlie Munger, Jr (4+ / 0-)

            He's the son of Warren Buffet's partner (Charlie Munger, Sr.) and a Stanford physicist.  He's also the half-brother of Molly Munger, liberal activist.  

            In 2012, California had the odd spectacle of seeing a budget initiative placed on the ballot by the governor face major financial opposition from the right by Charlie and from the left by Molly.

            My understanding of his intent in backing of the jungle primary is that it would keep the CA GOP from drifting further right and becoming increasingly irrelevant, by forcing moderation on the GOP.  The wide partisan division of the CA GOP and CA Democrats largely prefigured the situation at the federal level (only more extreme).  The 2/3rds requirement for budget and taxation bills played a similar role to the filibuster.  

            In CA the problem has been solved at least temporarily by the Dems winning a 2/3rds supermajority in both houses as well as Jerry Brown's office, something that was probably more related to the reform of redistricting than to the jungle primary.

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 05:22:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And the redistricting was done (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GleninCA, benamery21

              by a commission, not by Democrats.

              Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
              Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

              by BentLiberal on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:19:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                The CA Dems had typically favored incumbent safety over maximizing seats, to the extent that an independent commission resulted in seat gains.

                Incidentally, Munger also provided funding to the commission redistricting initiatives (Prop 11 in 2008 and Prop 20 ($12mil) in 2010).

                Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                by benamery21 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:33:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well incumbent safety is not necesairly good for (0+ / 0-)

                  voters, certainly not as good as it is for the political parties holding the seats.  That's a great example of political parties not working toward giving voters a fair voice and democracy. Then when that apple cart gets upset, it's not suprising the political parties would scream, "but democracy!"

                  But they made a lot of the bed they lay in!

                  Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
                  Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

                  by BentLiberal on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:19:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The 'jungle' primary helped redistrict the state (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sfbob

              in favor of the Dems. Still a bad idea and law

              •  What I mean is that under the new law, the (0+ / 0-)

                redistricting was set up by an 'independent council' I don't know how they were chosen (again I voted against this initiative), but somehow the new configurations favored the Democrats.....
                I read that after the redistricting, the Repubs in Sacramento tried to lobby against the same redistricting measures that were passed by the voters - the same initiative that they had enthusiastically endorsed!
                I'm sure that since then, they've gone back to the drawing board and will again try to come up with some type of scheme to take over the state.....

                •  Two different changes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  brunoboy

                  Commission redistricting for US House seats in CA was Prop 20.  Jungle primary was Prop14.

                  The commission is selected as described on their website:

                  http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov/...

                  The commission is significantly less favorable to Democrats than a Democratic gerrymander could have been, however, it was more favorable under the election conditions obtaining in 2012 than the bi-partisan incumbent protection gerrymander which had effect over the previous 5 cycles.

                  Suggestions that Democrats unduly influenced public comment are warrantless, in my opinion, since A)this was an open process, both parties attempted to influence it, and it wasn't exactly subtle and B)The majority of the Republicans on the commission voted for the maps.

                  Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                  by benamery21 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 09:31:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  What's funny is that it helped turn California (0+ / 0-)

            more blue, although that could change. It's a bad law

        •  And my Party did not get out the vote. I think it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jacob1145

          was an off-off election (June in off year). I worked like crazy on getting a defeat and won the position in my county, but elsewhere around the many parts of the state the Party was just not working effectively.

          Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings. —Nelson Mandela

          by kaliope on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 05:04:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Washington is stuck with the same system (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dbug

        "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:01:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's something I wrote in 2010 on DKos (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen, Lefty Coaster

          Read this link: WA-LD31: Three Democrats Endorse Crazy Republican Pam Roach

          From my point of view, Pam Roach was (probably still is) a despicable right-wing Republican, who incidentally was kicked out of the Republican caucus meetings until she took anger management classes.

          But in the top-two primary system (which sucks), she and another Republican got the most votes (barely beating out two Democrats). The 2010 general election offered voters in that district a choice between the crazy angry lady and a guy who had been convicted of molesting young girls.

          --

          The top-two system is nuts. I think it started in Louisiana.

          The reason it was adopted is complicated (WA doesn't ask voters to register by party, and the Republicans switched to a primary while the Democrats still had caucuses and that didn't work and blah blah blah).

          "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

          by Dbug on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:02:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  great questions (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, Eyesbright, GleninCA, wdrath

      There are folks here on DKos who are involved in the Dem Party of California. Let's hope it is being discussed.

      Agree with your overarching points, but just one point is open to dispute. Mainly because our Dem base doesn't turn out in the June (primary) election and the GOP base does. 2012 was the first June election under the top-two system, and the GOP percentages in some districts (like CA-31) was 60% of the vote and in other cases more.

      Take CA-25 as an example: Democratic share of the votes in November was almost 50%, but in June's (primary) election the Dem vote was only 30% of the primary electorate. Under the old system it didn't matter.

      Now we need a campaign to get out the Dem base in the June election. That's what can be done right away. That's the only way to combat the "two and only two credible Republican" scenario, and prevent the very calculating GOP bigwigs in California from winning another fluke election. Believe me, they are plotting to do just what David is suggesting above.

      Another Bernie Sanders Gay Democrat.

      by brunoboy on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 01:42:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Miller can also pull a fake retirement (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        calvinshobbes, GleninCA

        His announcement today will provoke a Republican to get in the race for CA-31. Then the day that filing closes for the June election, Miller simply "un-retires." Then Repubs have their favorite scenario lined up: they can get the top two spots again.

        Another Bernie Sanders Gay Democrat.

        by brunoboy on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 02:24:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's not a problem, it's a great thing (12+ / 0-)

      We likely will get two liberals/progressives running for Waxman's seat in the general election.

      The reason Miller won is because the leading Dem candidate ran a lousy campaign, and the state party didn't come in and do what they did with Brownley in the Ventura district.

      Top two in a progressive state is a godsend.  It doesn't prevent Dems from being incompetent sometimes though.

      All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian. -- Pat Paulsen

      by tommypaine on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 02:02:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rec'd for great sig line n/t (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfbob, chuck utzman, GleninCA, CF of Aus
      •  how is that better than having two liberals (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PassionateJus

        running for Waxman's seat in a Democratic primary?

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 05:49:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This diary focuses on an outlying result (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stevenaxelrod

          to suggest that the system always works badly for Democrats. A quick look at the make-up of the elected legislators in both CA houses says otherwise.

          The truth is that partisans from both parties don't like the new system because they think they each have a guaranteed right to be in the election.

          Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
          Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

          by BentLiberal on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:25:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think they have a guaranteed right (0+ / 0-)

            I just think that the top two system allows a party that doesn't at all represent the will of the voters to dominate the ballot.

            Actually, I don't think it. It's mathematics. Of all the systems California could have replaced the plurality system with, they chose one of maybe three that was worse.

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

            by Phoenix Rising on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:49:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Does a system geared toward maintaining incumbants (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              stevenaxelrod

              and safe seats represent the best interests of voters? Because that's what the 2 political parties have done for years in California. Together, Republican and Democratic party officials have worked together to ensure safe seats for their incumbents or their own people. They don't like each other and they fight over the pie they have, but they don't want others lining up for the pie.

              Now maybe this wasn't the best replacement, but I almost have to laugh at loud about cries of "but democracy" from political parties pretending that their existing m.o. prior to the new system was about anything but maintaining power.

              Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
              Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

              by BentLiberal on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:24:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  how does this threaten incumbents (0+ / 0-)

                more than the traditional system?

                It's probably protects relative moderates from ideological challenges from the left or right. The Democratic state senators in Washington who caucused with Republicans are probably protected because even if they go to the general election against a more progressive Democrat, the Republicans will vote for the incumbent.

                On the other hand, Mike Honda doesn't look at all under threat. Yeah, Pete Stark got knocked out, but that could've happened in a primary too. Incumbents do lose primaries sometimes. It happened in a state house district nearby to me in 2012, and to a number of other congressman across the country last year.

                ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                by James Allen on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:51:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  It's probably better than top-two (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BentLiberal

                At least generally the incumbent in a protectively drawn district represents (in some vague way) the political leanings of the majority of the district.

                The top-two system has a decent chance of screwing even that little bit up. So long as the dominant party in a district with top-two primaries is politically active (i.e. has multiple candidates running), then there is a decent chance that the minority party can slip in and steal the election.

                You want to get rid of incumbent protection, use non-partisan redistricting with some sensible rules. You want an effective voting system, use Ranked Choice or Instant Runoff. There's no perfect voting system, but top-two is among the top two or three worst available.

                Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

                by Phoenix Rising on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 03:02:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  wdrath - it's in the CA Constitution (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TXdem, Eyesbright, BentLiberal, wdrath

      put there by the voters through a referendum. It cannot be changed legislatively. The thought was that in a very partisan district if the top two were of the same party, the more moderate candidate would win the general. The voters were looking for less partisanship.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 02:28:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  perhaps it's time for a new referrendum (0+ / 0-)

        to fix the insanity caused by this one.

        •  I follow CA politics and the public seems (0+ / 0-)

          to like the law as it exists, while the Dems in particular don't. I don't think anyone is willing to spend the millions to put it on the ballot and to fund the campaign to overturn it because I don't think a repeal would win.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 08:50:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  so...Democrats...who are (0+ / 0-)

            in complete control of California government...are rolling over and refusing to correct an extraordinarily flawed, insane voting system? Hmmmmmm....

            •  they almost deserve to lose more (0+ / 0-)

              seats...for sheer stupidity

            •  The Democratic legislature could put it (0+ / 0-)

              on the ballot but only the people can decide because it's in the CA Constitution. The Dems could also fund the millions of dollars it would take to publicize the repeal but I don't think the voters would overturn it and it could give the Dems a black eye. The people are looking for less partisanship and they like this system.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:11:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  if the shoe were on the other foot... (0+ / 0-)

                ...and Republicans were in the same boat, in control of the legislature and the governor's mansion...they would do whatever it takes to fix it.

                •  While only used for a short time, there is no (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib

                  dissatisfaction with these primaries by the general public.

                  In theory, candidates in the general election should be closer to what the voters generally want and elections should become more competitive.  Prior to this change defeating incumbents in general elections was very rare.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:53:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  The more moderate candidate does not have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        an advantage.

        The advantage goes to whoever is closest to the views of voters.

        The biggest problem occurs if something like the following occurs -- party X has 2 candidates in the primary and party Y has 5 candidates.  Then the results from the primary are that party Y has more total votes, but the top two vote getters are both from party X and these are the only candidates in the general election.  This problem should be rare as voters are likely to desert the weaker party Y candidates to prevent this odd case from happening.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:00:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Eloise Gomez Reyes (4+ / 0-)

      Eloise is the bomb and one of my favorite candidates running for Congress this cycle.  And what a compelling life story!

      Eloise Gomez Reyes has spent her life fighting for families in the Inland Empire. Born and raised by the train tracks in South Colton, Eloise grew up in a working class family and learned the value of hard work and helping her neighbors at a very young age. When she was 12, Eloise began working the fields as an onion topper alongside her mother and her five brothers and sisters to earn money for school clothes. Her parents taught their children that education is the pathway to success and that helping others and supporting their community is the pathway to personal fulfillment, no matter what you have.

      Eloise worked up to three jobs at a time on campus and at The Broadway at Inland Center to put herself through San Bernardino Valley College and graduated from USC. She went on to earn her law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and started her career representing injured workers and unions in workers compensation matters, including the California Teachers Association and the United Auto Workers. Eloise then moved back to Colton and became one of the first Latinas to open and manage her own law office in the Inland Empire while raising her son with her husband of 32 years, Frank.

      As a small business owner for over two decades, Eloise has met a payroll and navigated government red tape while standing up and fighting for clients who could not fight for themselves. She recently represented a group of residents on the south side of Colton in their fight against a toxic dump site planned near their low income housing project. Eloise brought together local community groups and defeated the planned toxic dump.

      When she was a young girl, Eloise had witnessed her parents having been taken advantage of by an attorney they reached out to for assistance and became dedicated to providing legal aid to struggling families. For over 25 years now, she has been volunteering for Legal Aid and providing pro bono legal services to needy families in the Inland Empire. Because of her commitment to the community, she was just named Attorney of the Year by the Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association.

      Eloise’s commitment to the local community goes beyond volunteer legal work. She is a founding Board member of the Inland Empire Community Health Center in Bloomington and is on the Executive Board for the Children’s Spine Foundation.

      Now, Eloise is running for Congress to take her passion for building a strong community and serving others to Washington to put the people of the 31st District first. Eloise will use the values she learned picking onions, watching her parents help others, and bringing people together to stand up for local families to get the results we need from Congress.

      http://www.eloiseforcongress.com/

      Please "Like" her on her Facebook page!

      https://www.facebook.com/...

      "The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn't say 'give me your english-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses'

      by unapologeticliberal777 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 05:43:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Forget it, Jake. It's the Inland Empire. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BentLiberal

      It's not a problem with the voting system, so much as it is the dysfunctional Democratic leadership in the area. Take one look at San Bernardino and tell me they need more Joe Baca. Gutted by the close of Norton Air Force Base in the 90's, San Berdoo never recovered. Although Baca is a solid Democrat on social issues, he had failed to bring home the bacon to his district and goddamn it shows with a city bankruptcy two years ago and 13% unemployment. No mas Baca.

      "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

      by Jason Hackman on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:01:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It was an initiative that passed by the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PassionateJus

      voters a few years ago. I voted against it. I believe that it was a scam to ensure more Repubs, because there are so many Democrats in California. They usually have only a few candidates in the primaries, as opposed to the Democrats and liberal independents

  •  Some more details (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    Miller originally represented some of the reddest parts of Orange County, as well as some of southern Los Angeles County.  His district was merged with that of Ed Royce--and even though it was more his district than Royce's, Miller opted to parachute into this San Bernadino-based district even though he had never represented any of it before.

    "Leave us alone!" -Mike Capuano

    by Christian Dem in NC on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 02:42:45 PM PST

  •  Who are the potential GOP candidates? (0+ / 0-)

    Dutton again? If there is only one GOP candidate, I wonder if you could ended with two Dems in the runoff?

  •  That's my district! Woohoo! (7+ / 0-)

    Our district was pasted together from the ruins of old districts "represented" by Jerry Lewis (gack) or Joe Baca (choke). We finally get rid of both those losers and end up with Gary Miller! (What did we do to be so cursed? Oh yes. The same people who bankrupted our city were just this month voted back into office. We are permanently doomed.)

    Thank goodness, no more Gary Miller.

    But please god-in-heaven, no more Bacas.

    The Baca family is running a little fiefdom in the Inland Empire. There is Papa Joe, Joe Jr. and Jeremy. For a while, if you lived under particularly bad skies, you could look up and see nothing but Bacas above you all the way to the capitol.

    I know Pete Aquilar is no great shakes, but he's certainly no Joe Baca. Let's send Pete to Washington this time!

    Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving party. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. 21352

    by pucklady on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 02:57:52 PM PST

  •  Good riddance n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    “He talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans.” James Carville

    by Mokislab on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 03:18:00 PM PST

  •  Sometimes top-2 is going to work in our favor (9+ / 0-)

    For example, in deep-red districts, and there are still a few, there's a possibility of getting a RINO vs a total nutcase in the general.

    All 4 Dem candidates knew the rules, and the truth is, the fact none of them could finish second is pathetic.

    •  In fact, this diary details an outlying case (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevenaxelrod

      offers no other race results, and then "concludes" that this is a bad system.

      Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
      Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

      by BentLiberal on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:28:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And if 6 qualified Dems compete? (0+ / 0-)

      Is it still their fault?

      At some point the basic problem of the system of top-two open primaries beats out whether or not any one of them is good enough to make the cut.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:11:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My x Congressman (in the OC). And my God, (0+ / 0-)

    what a weird guy he is.

    I attended one of his healthcare open forums and it was an unmitigated disaster, like many were.

    He's as right wing as it gets around here.

    Glad he's going. Good riddance.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 05:11:51 PM PST

  •  I hate the current system (0+ / 0-)

    Which was the result of paying off Republican Abe Maldonado to break a budget logjam with his vote.

    The deal was to get it on the ballot.

    Sucks - I've seen Democrats screw each other throughout the state.

  •  "a mockery of democracy." (0+ / 0-)

    A funny thing -- and one that has absolutely nothing to do with  the distinguished FP diarist.

    I've expressed my concern on a few occasions that the GOP is on the way to becoming, if it's not already there, a non-viable party, one in danger of total collapse.

    That wouldn't be so bad in a parliamentary system where there tends to be multiple parties, but that's not what we've got.  In the absence of a new party forming or an existing party stepping up and getting unexpectedly serious, we seem on the verge of becoming a one-party system.

    And that strikes me as very bad.
    Certainly much worse than being able to vote for two parties in the primaries for a seat that comes up for re-election in two years.

    And yet, at least a few DKers seem not merely content, but gleeful at the prospect.

    Most people -- not me, of course -- call themselves progressives around here.  I sometimes wonder what that really means.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:57:37 PM PST

    •  I am more than gleeful at that prospect (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      killacity

      The Rs and teabaggers have done just enormous damage to this country and the world.  Their demise would be a great improvement to society.  The correct number of Rs should be zero.  The teabaggers and KKKhristian jihadists that run that party are beyond evil.

      But fear not, eventually there would be another right-leaning party that would rise up.  It always happens, and my hope would be whatever replaces it eventually would actually be a real opposition party rather than a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic pile of bigoted shit that they are today.

      I'm a part owner of a small business.  I recently fired two teabaggers largely for their political views and successfully fought tooth and nail to deny them unemployment insurance.  Five years I wouldn't have done this, but I no longer consider these creatures my fellow countrypeople.

      Racism, misogyny, and homophobia should NOT be protected by the Constitution.

      by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:51:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are free to have your beliefs. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PassionateJus, Be Skeptical

        Even if you would delight in stifling all others.

        I suspect that my father spun in his grave at Arlington as you typed your reply.

        Your kind of country is not what he died for.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:14:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You sound like a loathsome boss (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac

        and represent the worst of the Democratic Party.   Yuck...

        •  Why am I "loathsome" boss? (0+ / 0-)

          Because I won't tolerate racist, homophobic views?  

          If so, I'm more than proud to be a "loathsome boss".

          Racism, misogyny, and homophobia should NOT be protected by the Constitution.

          by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 06:37:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pride comes before the fall (0+ / 0-)

            Your are going to tumble hard on your hubris and it won't be pretty.

            •  Keep dreaming (0+ / 0-)

              If you want to defend racists, teabaggers, homophobes and the sort, well that's your problem.

              Racism, misogyny, and homophobia should NOT be protected by the Constitution.

              by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 08:26:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your mind is clouding your perceptions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dinotrac

                If you really think this site is infested with teabaggers, and you see a bagger lurking behind every comment that you find slightly less than pure, than the problem may be less political and more perceptual.

                Aren't there enough real enemies out there?

                •  I never said that this site (0+ / 0-)

                  is infested with them.  What I said is that I uncovered two of my employees to be teabaggers and racists, and I fired them with cause, and fought successfully to deny them unemployment insurance.  

                  By calling me a "loathsome boss" for my actions, you are defending the racist teabaggers I fired.

                  Racism, misogyny, and homophobia should NOT be protected by the Constitution.

                  by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 08:46:32 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That raises an interesting question: (0+ / 0-)

                    Is such a defense right or wrong.

                    First, you had every right to fire your employees.  You don't need any cause at all.

                    If your employees were truly fired for cause, then you had every to fight to deny them unemployment insurance.

                    If, as often happens, you simply fought their unemployment claims because you didn't want them to collect, that would make you a loathsome boss.

                    As to defending your employees, that is a different thing from endorsing or defending their views. As a participant on this site, you must surely be aware of the ACLU and its history or representing Nazis, Klansmen, and all manner of people with unacceptable, even dangerous, beliefs.  You defend rights because you have to, even when exercised by people you detest.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:49:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Writing on the wall (0+ / 0-)

    Generally the same thing that happened with Matheson and McIntyre - even for "nonstandard" Democrat (or Republican) it becomes more and more difficult to win districts leaning (Presidentially) to other party. Gone are the times of Gene Taylor and Bobby Bright on Democratic side, and William Green and Connie Morella on Republican. Polarization and straight ticket voting reign supreme.

    In fact, for political junkie, like me, it's a very bad thing. Soon we will have nothing to do, at least - during general election time. Look at primary winner of corresponding party (Democratic in district with Democratic PVI and vice versa) and, volia, he/she is a next Congressman. No guesses, no "personal qualities" - that all is not important. Only letter after name. And all we will talk about - 30-40 districts in D+3 - R+3 zone.

    BORING, GUYS!!!!! And not interesting at all. I will not even say, that centrists (of their own party, but even really BIG faction in any of 2 big parties, and vote mostly not for those they like most, but against those they hate most) stand before difficult choice, but even in the main parties itself almost all struggle will be for "Lifetime" districts, where party is strong. There will be much more districts (hopeless), where only 1 party will run it's candidates. Life will be good (and simple) for political operators, but, IMHO, for them only.

  •  Mockery of democracy? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see how a dysfunctional Democratic Party not being automatically allowed to advance to the second round is a mockery of democracy.  Seems like a failure of the Party to me.

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:48:43 PM PST

  •  The real mockery of Democracy (0+ / 0-)

    is the map they drew for California, lol.  :P  (North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois have worse maps in my opinion, but still)

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