Apparently the real victory for Mr. Maldonado, the Republican who broke ranks to end the “crisis” (by raising taxes by almost $13billion) was a provision to create (or potentially create, subject to a referendum, of course) an “open primary” system.

A proposed constitutional amendment would go before voters in June 2010 instituting a “top-two” primary system, which would effectively eliminate party primary ballots, erase candidate party labels in primary elections and allow voters to choose the two candidates – of whatever party – who would compete in the general election.

An open primary would dissolve the current political primary system, and has the potential to seriously erode party power and change the entire landscape of state politics.

The measure was the work of Republican state Sen. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County), the swing vote Democrats needed to push through state budget legislation Thursday morning. That vote earned him the wrath of his party.

So, in other words, Maldonado has cut a deal whereas while earning the wrath of his party he weakens the party, therefore weakening the party’s ability to affect his reelection (by pushing an alternative in the primary). How “courageous” of Maldonado to cut a deal to protect his job, and how “bi-partisan” of all the other legislators to agree to protect their jobs from “party politics.”

Meanwhile, about $26 billion dollars of the Stimulus Package will be coming California’s way. Wonder how much of that will given BACK to Californians in a tax cut? Anyone want to guess?

California “closes the gap” and changes “party politics.”
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