“Is the Party Over?”

A law review article by Dr. Jessica A. Levinson was published recently that looks at the issue of minor party ballot access in the Post-Prop 14 (Top Two Primary) era. Levinson, the Director of Political Reform at the Center for Governmental Studies, wrote the article for the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review .

Minor parties in California will face their most significant crisis to date in 2014 as a result of the intersection of two laws;
Proposition 14 permits only the two candidates who received the most votes (regardless of party affiliation) to appear on the General Election ballot. While most elections will still feature one Democrat and one Republican, some may feature two candidates from a single party. Most importantly, it is highly unlikely that Minor Party candidates will ever appear on the General Election ballot for statewide offices.
Election Code Section 5100.  In the words of Dr. Levinson;

“Recognized parties can remain ballot qualified by one of three routes. First, parties can poll 2 percent of the vote for any statewide race in a nonpresidential (midterm) year on a general election ballot. Second, parties can obtain registration numbers of 1 percent of the previous gubernatorial vote.17 Third, parties can garner petition signatures from at least 10 percent of registered voters.”

Without any changes to the Election Code, it’s quite likely that most of California’s minor parties will lose their ballot status following the 2014 General Election. Dr. Levinson’s article is one of the first to look at what will be one of the biggest shifts in California politics in 20 years.

LINK:  “Is the Party Over? Examining the Constitutionality of Proposition 14 as It Relates to Ballot Access for Minor Parties by Jessica A. Levinson, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review (Volume 44, Issue 2; Winter 2011)

November 2011 Elections

Although the 2012 elections are still a year off, some local elections are happening today across the state. Election results should go live at some point after 8:00 pm tonight. The results are available at;

Assemblyman Warren Furutani running for Los Angeles City Council (Results Here or Here)
Rudy Svorinich Jr. is also running in that race.

State Senator Leland Yee running for Mayor of San Francisco (Results Here)
Michela Alioto-Pier and Lea Sherman are also running for Mayor.

Former Assembly candidate Mike Ten is running for South Pasadena City Council.

Term Limits. Another 22 Term Out

In December, twenty-two Assemblymembers will be reaching their “term-out tipping point”. The group includes 17 Democrats and 5 Republicans. This group will bring the total number of California legislators affected by term limits to; 195 termed out of the Assembly and 28 termed out of both houses.

Although the standard definition of “terming out” refers to the date that a legislator leaves office, it might be more accurate to use it to describe the “tipping point” during their final term on which they become ineligible to run again. According to the state constitution, this date is the first day of the second half of their final term in office. Assembly terms (two years long) reach their midpoint in an oddnumbered year while Senate terms (four years) tip during even-numbered years.


California Term Limits Statistics (as of 12/5/2011)

Legislators with Term Limits Era Service: 432
Termed out of Assembly: 195
Termed out of Senate: 84
Termed out of both houses: 28


The legislators terming out of the Assembly on December 5th are; Jim Beall, Julia Brownley, Charles M. Calderon, Wilmer Amina Carter, Gilbert Cedillo, Paul Cook, Mike Davis, Mike Eng, Mike Feuer, Felipe Fuentes*, Cathleen Galgiani, Martin Garrick, Mary Hayashi, Jared Huffman, Kevin Jeffries, Fiona Ma, Tony Mendoza, Anthony Portantino, Jim Silva, Cameron Smyth, Jose Solorio, and Sandré Swanson.

* NOTE: Fuentes was elected in a Special Election in May 2007. All others on this list were elected in November 2006 and sworn into office in December 2006.