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Election System

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2009 | GEORGE SKELTON
California's dysfunctional Legislature is largely the result of a dysfunctional election system. The system is geared to elect ideologues, not pragmatists -- liberals and conservatives, rather than moderates. That, combined with two voter-injected poisons -- term limits and the two-thirds vote requirement -- is what increasingly has led to legislative gridlock. This isn't news to a lot of folks, although not everyone agrees with all of it, especially the two-thirds vote absurdity.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2012 | By Michael J. Mishak and Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - State lawmakers were sworn in to a reshaped Legislature on Monday, with Democrats holding historic two-thirds supermajorities in both houses and the party's leaders calling for investment in public education and infrastructure after years of fiscal retrenchment. Arguing that California had turned the page on its perpetual budget crisis, leaders ticked off a list of priorities, saying they would use their new powers to help restore spending to popular social services and curb tuition at public colleges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 5, 2000
In your June 27 editorial you "mourned" the end of California's blanket primary by a Supreme Court decision. You hinted that California may even find that the real need is for an effective state campaign reform system. Let's take a look at Maine. That state has enacted full public financing for qualified candidates who are running for state offices. One-third of Maine's candidates are now receiving such public funding. These candidates are enthusiastic about Maine's election system, which frees them from ties to moneyed special-interest groups.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 2012 | By Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times
If the spectacle of two career Democrats going at it over bragging rights to Republican support seems odd, blame it on California's new election system. The June primary sent the top two vote-getters to the November election, producing several same-party contests in which candidates are vying for voters outside their own party. The competition for that unusual support has reached ferocious proportions in the high-profile clash between seasoned Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2013 | By Jean Merl
A Latino activist organization is stepping up its longtime efforts to change the way elections are conducted in the city of Whittier, the group announced this week. The Whittier Latino Coalition delivered a letter from its law firm to city officials during Tuesday's council meeting that charged the city of violating state and federal voting rights laws by continuing to elect its council members from the city at large. The coalition believes that at-large voting puts underrepresented minority groups at a disadvantage and wants the city to create geographic districts to elect council members.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2013 | By Frank Shyong and Joseph Serna
In a new critique of how minorities are treated in the Antelope Valley, a judge has ruled that Palmdale violated state voting laws by maintaining an election system that stymied Latinos and blacks from winning office. The judge's findings come a month after the U.S. Justice Department accused Palmdale, Lancaster and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department of a systematic effort to discriminate against minorities who received low-income subsidized housing. Federal officials said deputies conducted widespread unlawful searches of homes, improper detentions and used unreasonable force that specifically targeted blacks and Latinos.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 1989
Recent action by five members of the San Diego City Council to deny federal funds to Councilman Bob Filner's district have been characterized by some members of the media as confirming their worst fears about the effect of district-only elections on council decisions. Longtime opponents of district elections are claiming that the five council members who took San Ysidro's share of the Community Development Block Grant funds were mindful of never again having to worry about getting votes in San Ysidro.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2013 | By Jean Merl
A Los Angeles County Superior court judge, who earlier this year found the city of Palmdale to be in violation of the California Voting Rights Act, has ordered the city to holdĀ  a new, by-district election for its four City Council posts. In a ruling dated last week and received by the parties over the weekend, Judge Mark V. Mooney ordered that the special election, to replace the balloting for council seats held last month, is to be conducted June 3, the same day as the California primary.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2013 | By Jean Merl
In the middle of a widely watched court battle over its system for choosing officials, the city of Palmdale elected its first African American councilman Tuesday. Retired college administrator Fred Thompson won one of two City Council seats on the ballot. But it will be up to an appellate court to determine whether the election is legitimate. Activists recently won a lawsuit that said the city's at-large method of electing officials violates the California Voting Rights Act, citing as evidence that the minorities who make up much of Palmdale's population have been largely unable to elect one of their own due to racially polarized voting.
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