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Roundtable: Mayor’s Race, Pension Reform, Open Primaries, 52nd Congressional

Aired 1/6/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Guests: David Rolland, editor, San Diego City Beat

Scott Lewis, CEO,

Michael Smolens, Government and Politics Editor, U-T San Diego


We look at the four major candidates and the issues swirling around the San Diego Mayor's race, including pension reform, outsourcing, and increasing revenue.

The Comprehensive Pension Reform Initiative mandates that new city employees have 401k retirement benefits, rather than defined-benefit pensions. Other provisions of the initiative are not so easily implemented.

California voters passed Proposition 14, calling for open primaries, Last June. Voters this year may vote for whomever they want regardless of party. The top two vote-getters will be on the November ballot. We discuss how this may effect state and Congressional races in 2012.

And we take a look at the interesting race in the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District, which has just a 3% edge in Republican registration. Republican Brian Bilbray faces two strong Democratic contenders: Scott Peters and Lori Saldana.

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Avatar for user 'richardwinger'

richardwinger | January 6, 2012 at 12:48 p.m. ― 5 years, 2 months ago

California's Prop. 14 was not on the ballot as an "open primary." A court ruled that Prop. 62 (the 2004 version, which was the same idea) could not be labeled "open primary" on the ballot or in the voters handbook. Prop. 14 is a top-two primary, not an open primary.

21 states have open primaries, but only California, Louisiana and Washington state have top-two primaries. "Open primary" has been defined in political science textbooks since 1907, and in US Supreme Court opinions starting in 1972, as a system in which each party has its own primary ballot and its own nominees, but any voter is free to choose any party's primary ballot.

By contrast, under Prop. 14, there are no party nominees or party primary ballots.

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