In the first statewide election since California voters created the top-two primary system, the two candidates with the most votes on June 5 — regardless of their party affiliation — will move on to face off in the November election. How will the new system impact the state’s political landscape?

Jon Fleischman, GOP strategist and publisher of, a website on California politics
Steve Peace, former California Democratic legislator and co-chairman of the California Independent Voter Project, which authored the Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act
Kevin Yamamura, senior writer for The Sacramento Bee
Laura Wells, 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor of California

  • OccupyBilderberg

    A CBS poll of independent voters showed that if Ron Paul to were go up against Obama, Ron Paul would in with that group.

    It’s also the case that 40% of Americans are independents:

    • OccupyBilderberg

       Typo fixed: Paul would win with that group.

  • Mike Weston

    It seems ironic that the guests for this segment would represent the two dominant parties, leaving other parties out, much like the law does.

    • Watch911MysteriesOnYouTube

       Not too ironic. NPR is funded in large part by the corporate-occupied US government, and by corporate-owned foundations, plus a bunch of suckers who give over their money, but those are predominantly affluent people with cozy corporate jobs. If you want the truth, watch the RT channel on cable or on YouTube. They don’t pull any punches.

      • Fred

        Doesn’t the CEO of NPR make about $760k?

        Oh here I found the link:

        • greg slater

          there’s something about that guy’s teeth that i find very frightening.

          • Fred

             He reminds me of the aliens in They Live.

      • EdwardBernays

         Well, the breakdown is more subtle: They get about 16% from the government, 17% from corporations directly, and 8% from foundations. So about 41% of their money has the potential to cause the corruption that you’re hinting at. Actually another 8% is from colleges, which these days are very much about profits and making people into debt slaves for the 1%, so you could say 49% is corrupting money. Whereas 39% is from the public. Another 8.5% is from “other”, which requires analysis.


  • George

     Steve Peace lives in a fantasy world and the open primary is very dangerous.   Special interests will fund fringe candidates like Orly Tates who wouldn’t stand a chance of getting on the ballot before.  There’s 30 people on the ballot that I’ve never heard of.   Political parties at minimum vet the candidates.

  • California leads the nation in democracy reforms, first with term limits and redistricting reform and now with open primaries. Speaking as a non-partisan independent, I applaud the voters of California, who have had enough with partisan domination of the political process and voted to put an end to it. And, finally, independent voters get to participate in the primary process after being excluded for years by closed primaries.

    Of course, the political parties large and small squeal like the self-serving partisans they are, but who cares? It’s not their democracy, it’s the people’s. These kinds of reforms are needed across the entire country, the sooner, the better.Tony

  • Jack Millerick

    Heard Jon Fleishman this morning on KQED Forum.

    I had to cut the program short and I am not sure if he had a chance to
    address his understanding of the issue as contested by Steve Peace.
    Steve Peace was very pragmatic and made sense in his arguments and there
    appeared to be some embellishments in Fleishman’s understandings.

    I have to point out that in the 1980, registered Independent Mitt Romney
    was one of those, how did he put it,
    “Machiavellian…weird…bizarre…about cynicism….gaming the
    system…” type of people.

    Here is the clip:

    Based on this I assume Fleishman will NOT be voting for Romney for
    president based on those strong words, lest of course you adhere to “do
    as I say, not as I do”. Oh never mind, he believes in the “party system”
    and the hypocrisy associated therein.


Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor