This week, the state Senate and Assembly may take up a legislative rarity: a bill that could actually strengthen democracy in California. The measure, championed by Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg, would mandate that initiatives be voted on only in general elections, not in primaries.
Steinberg's brainchild has been condemned as just the latest partisan ploy from a Sacramento pol. Republicans complain that it seeks to move a ballot measure they support — barring unions from spending some of their members' dues on election campaigns — from next year's June primary to the November general election. Democrats counter that next year's primary is likely to have a disproportionately Republican electorate, as the GOP's presidential nomination contest may still be ongoing while Democrat Barack Obama will be running unopposed.