Thursday, September 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Higher turnout and other fall election certainties

TomEliasW

By
From page A8 | August 10, 2014 |

Make no mistake, the fall election season began on the evening of June 3, just as soon as the primary election polls closed. But no one has spent much on the election since then, nor has the vast majority of voters focused on any issues to be decided in November.

This will change in a month or so, when the campaign gets underway semi-officially during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

When it does, three things will be certain:

* Many more voters will turn out this fall than cast primary ballots.

* Even though the fall campaign features just seven propositions, including four in the initiative and referendum category of popularly placed proposals, two or three of them will be election centerpieces and spending records will be set.

* Democrats will be favored in every statewide contest, even for controller, where the leading primary vote-getter was Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. Things are likely to turn out just as expected, too.

These three items may not seem tightly linked, but they definitely are.

The presence of the initiatives and referendum on the ballot will attract far more voters than the record-low turnout of two months ago. That’s precisely what Democrats in the Legislature planned back in 2011, voting overwhelmingly to place all propositions qualified via voter signatures onto the November ballot, keeping June initiative-free.

They wanted more voters at the polls in November, when they mostly compete against Republicans, rather than have the big numbers come out for the intra-party fratricide of the top-two primary.

The likely result of those machinations and the higher turnout they will produce is that Democrats stand to win all statewide offices.

Republicans feared just this when initiatives and referenda were removed from the June ballot. At the time, state Sen. Bob Dutton of Rancho Cucamonga, then the Republican leader in the Senate, called the measure “game-playing.”

But Gov. Jerry Brown, somehow keeping a straight face, said it was really about getting more voters involved in key decisions. He noted that in 2010, the last general election not including a presidential race, 10.3 million Californians voted in November, compared with just 5.7 million in that year’s primary.

With Democrats holding a large plurality among registered voters, the more people participate in the fall, the better Democrats figure to do. That’s especially important for the only two Democrats who had close races last June. Yes, Democratic Board of Equalization member Betty Yee squeaked into November by just 400 votes over former Democratic Assembly Speaker John Pérez and will have to make up ground on Swearengin, who finished a few percentage points ahead of both Democrats.

A bigger turnout is also important for Democratic state Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles, who barely won a primary plurality over Republican academic Pete Peterson.

The one ballot measure figuring to draw the most voter attention — and special interest money — will be Proposition 45, an attempt to place health insurance rates under the same kind of regulation by the state insurance commissioner as auto and property insurance now get. This one is strongly backed by the Consumer Watchdog advocacy group, whose founder, Harvey Rosenfield, wrote the 1988 Proposition 108 that created the current insurance regulations.

Expect that one to draw more than $40 million, the bulk from insurance companies fighting it.

Also of high interest will be Proposition 48, a referendum placed on the ballot by a combination of anti-gambling groups and existing Indian casinos. This one would overturn two gaming compacts setting up the state’s first off-reservation casinos.

Expect heavy interest, too, in the Proposition 43 water bond, if Brown and legislators can agree on its precise content. Figuring to be little understood by many voters is Proposition 44, which would make permanent a rainy-day fund to cover potential state budget shortfalls.

Two other initiatives also will draw heavy investment, as trial lawyers seek to increase current maximum medical practice judgments and liberal groups try to reduce some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

No one yet knows how all these issues will come out, but for sure they will interest far more voters than the boring June primary, exactly as the Democrats planned.

— Reach syndicated columnist Tom Elias at tdelias@aol.com

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Jurors see Marsh questioned by police

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Grace Garden: Five years of feeding the needy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Wildfire shows explosive growth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Bike sale on Friday will benefit King High

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

    Per Capita Davis: What to think

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

     
    International Festival moves to park for fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Essay contest underway

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Sudwerk Wet Hop Lager plants seeds for area hops rebirth

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Speakers plumb issues around the Constitution

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian pop band Dick Diver plays Third Space

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    RepowerYolo hosts solar seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Local Girl Scouts are looking for a few good leaders

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    Reneau, Silberstein will read their poetry Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Parents host campaign coffees for Archer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Nominate deserving volunteers for top citizen honors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Governor signs bill to support state’s ailing bee population

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Backyard poultry symposium Sunday at UCD

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5

     
    Forum will answer questions about new license law

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    PG&E, Dixon company unveil truck that can restore power

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    $12M earmarked for UCD life sciences center in Chile

    By Karen Nikos-Rose | From Page: A7

    .

    Forum

    She’s had it with his neglect

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Off-leash dogs are a danger

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Davis makes the NY Times

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Affordable housing affects health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Choose to wipe out hunger

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    DHS girls pound Mustangs in the pool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Davis captures final nonleague volleyball outing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS golfers blow past St. Francis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils blow out Marauders at Brown Stadium

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth softball: Hurricanes win one of two slugfests with Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: These Diamonds are forever in the record books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Davis falls to Vintage in a JV shootout

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

     
    Baseball roundup: Duffy comes up big for Giants in Arizona

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Young Devil harriers carry the day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    DHS girls tennis team stunned at Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Students get into the act with Shakespeare

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Street-smart tips for safe cycling

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

    What’s happening, Sept. 18

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    Eagle Scout project makes life easier for Yolo Basin volunteers

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

    Catie Curtis brings folk-rock ‘Flying Dream’ to The Palms on Friday Sept. 19

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Wineaux: Back and forth in the high and low debate

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Jean Botelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, September 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6