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Free Citizen

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

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Monday, March 29, 2010

Netflix CEO Puts Cash Down "Open Primary" Rathole

On June 8, the California ballots will feature Proposition 14, a measure for a Louisiana-style "top two open primary,"[1] and the campaign is heating up.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently transferred $500,000 from his campaign account to the campaign in favor of Prop. 14.

Also, Ballot Access News reports that Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, last week gave $257,328 to the campaign for Prop. 14.

What would be the motivation of the CEO of Netflix to throw a quarter of a million dollars down a rathole? I was on the verge of joining Netflix, but I just decided to join Blockbuster instead. Besides, you can return Blockbuster’s DVDs to their brick-and-mortar stores.

I guess Schwarzenegger doesn’t think he’s screwed up California quite enough yet, so he wants to add the “top two open primary” to his checkered legacy. In addition to Governor Ahnuld, these were among the backers of California’s 2004 “open primary” initiative: now-CIA director Leon Panetta (D), ex-Governor Pete Wilson (R), and ex-Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan (R). And yet the voters still had the good sense to defeat this monstrosity, as it lost in 51 of the state’s 58 counties.

The opponents of the “open primary” (Prop. 62) raised enough money in 2004 to beat this abomination. I’m confident that they will again be able to get their message to the voters.

I am continually amazed that some independents and small party members support the “top two open primary.” I guess they don’t give a damn about having a chance to elect independents and small party candidates to office, since the final choice in the “top two” is almost always one Democrat and one Republican, two Democrats, OR two Republicans.

Incidentally, I wonder how the Netflix CEO arrived at such an oddball figure as $257,328.

Maybe that was what he had left in his petty cash account.


[1] All candidates, including independents, are listed on a single ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the runoff. The California proposal is for all state and congressional offices.


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