Ballot Access News: Monterey County Herald Makes Gaffe in Editorial on Proposition 14

Ballot Access News:

The Monterey Herald of May 23 has this somewhat ambivalent endorsement of California’s Proposition 14, the top-two ballot measure on the June 8 ballot. The Herald discusses some of the problems with Proposition 14, but ends by saying it still endorsed the measure because the California League of Women Voters supports it. However, the California League of Women Voters does not support Proposition 14. The League is officially neutral. However, the League’s web page discussion of Proposition 14 notes that if both Proposition 14 and Proposition 15 are enacted, Proposition 15 cannot be enacted with further legislation, court action, or another vote of the people, because the two don’t fit together. Proposition 15 is public funding. The California League, and the Monterey County Herald, both support Proposition 15.

UPDATE: editorial page editor Joseph Livernois says he is aware of the mistake and that the paper will correct it. I have e-mailed him urging him to read the political science research of Boris Shor, which says that polarization is not cured by blanket or top-two primaries. I am urging him to come out against Prop. 14.

The California League of Women Voters is neutral on Proposition 14 because the California League has never studied primary systems. However, the Washington state League has studied primary systems, and the Washington State League wrote the ballot pamphlet argument against Washington state’s top-two measure, I-872 in November 2004.

The only statewide California ballot propositions on which the League has a position are Propositions 15 and 16. See here.

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