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Bud's Beat

By: Bud Pisarek, Loomis News Correspondent
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California voters had their say about politics when they went to cast their votes in last week’s mid-term primary election. They came not in droves but more like dribbles that gave this election the record for low turnouts. Placer County’s 36.84 percent beat the statewide average of 20 percent. The results brought no surprises except perhaps for Proposition 14. That victory will change the way elections will be held, unless its challenged in the courts. Prop. 14 provides for an open primary. It will allow each voter to pick his or her preference without regard to party affiliation. Traditionally, only those registered in any of the recognized parties could vote for their party’s candidate. Other states have experimented with the concept, but then returned to a “closed” primary. The state of Washington has adopted the open primary method that California’s new law will mirror. Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger supported “14.” Politicos are not too happy with the constitutional change and have labeled it “Arnold’s Revenge.” Analysts say it will deprive minor parties their chances of getting their members on the ballot. Only the two top vote-getters will be eligible to be on the general election ballot. When it came to individual races, voters echoed pollsters. In the governor’s race, Meg Whitman easily took the GOP honors and will face the Dems’ top vote-getter, Jerry Brown. Carly Fiorina, a Republican novice, will challenge four-term veteran Barbara Boxer. Whitman and Fiorina spent millions of their own money in the primary campaign, Brown, not facing any real primary opposition, is reported to have $24 million for his race in November. Locally, Placer supervisor Rocky Rockholm lost to Jack Duran. Auditor-controller Katherine Martinis was re-elected. All other county positions went unchallenged. The hot races in the fall should bring the voter out to the polls. Or will they?