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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Monday, September 07, 2009

The War for the California Republican Party

California registers voters by party, and since the 2002 elections, the Republicans have invited independents ("decline to state") to vote in their primaries.[1] At the upcoming state GOP convention, there will be an effort to change the rule and restore closed GOP primaries.

What the columnist below calls an "open" primary is actually a semi-closed primary, in which independents are the only non-members eligible to vote.

California voters have until 15 days before a primary to change their registration. ~~ SR


by Neil Stevens | REDSTATE | September 6, 2009

At our next Republican Convention [September 27] here in California, the most important vote we take may be the vote to close our primary elections, ensuring that people are Republicans before they can choose who will represent our party on the ballot. Since... we opened our primaries to those who do not join a party, we have had no noteworthy statewide electoral success from primary-nominated Republicans (our dear Governor Schwarzenegger, remember, bypassed the primary process in the recall of Governor Gray Davis).

So the benefits of the [semi-closed] primary have been shown to be minimal. Yet a certain coalition of Republicans will be fighting hard to keep our primaries open [to independents]. Notable in that coalition are the backers of Meg “I’m a huge fan of Van Jones” Whitman, candidate for Governor; Carly “The fundamental objective [of HP is] to be a good international citizen” Fiorina, candidate for Senate; and of course Governor Arnold “Right-wing crazies” Schwarzenegger. See a pattern?

This is what I’ve been saying all along about the Chuck DeVore/Carly Fiorina primary race for Senate. This is about more than who’s going to be the sacrifice on the ballot this time around. This is about what our party will stand for, and who will get to claim the mantle of speaking for the party the next time our legislative conservatives obstruct Democrat tax hikes.

And I’m perfectly willing to concede our two US Senate seats and Governor’s chair in exchange for strong Assembly and state Senate caucuses, as well as strong conservatives in the US House, free of undermining influences from said Senate nominees and Governor’s offices. We’re not going to win the statewide offices anyway, because if push came to shove the unions and their allies would start running ads with as many lies as it took to win, or to raise the money it took to run those ads, just as the pro-abort forces did to beat back Parental Notification last year.

Just look at the record: We did no better containing spending under Schwarzenegger than under Davis*, this despite his big talk on taxes and spending. As usual, the squish on social policy turned out to be a squish on fiscal policy as well, failing to use the line-item veto to bring the budget under control, instead letting the spending grow until it became a crisis, and then supporting tax hikes and accounting shell games to pretend to fix the crisis.

Outside of the obscure technical offices like Secretary of State or Insurance Commissioner, or the recall fluke which bypassed the base**, with or without Independents in our primaries we haven’t been able to do anything statewide since... Read more>>>>


[1] The 2008 Republican presidential primary was closed, whereas the Democratic and American Independent parties invited independents into their presidential primaries. In state and congressional elections, independents now have their choice of the Democratic, Republican, or American Independent primary. California's county and municipal elections are nonpartisan: All voters receive the same ballot, which lists all the candidates for each office.


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