Props 16 and 17 Lose

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When I went to sleep last night, California Props 16 and 17 were winning by narrow margins. This morning, with 100% of the vote cast, they lost. There is a God.

This means that PG&E (Prop 16) and Mercury Insurance (Prop 17) have just wasted a boatload of money trying to use the ballot box to improve their corporate fortunes. In turn, this means that other corporations might be a little less willing to try their hand at this in the future. Only a little less, mind you, but that’s way better than the alternative. If they had passed there would have been an absolute tidal wave of stuff like this in the future.

Proposition 14, which essentially gives California an open primary system, was approved. I was against it, but I don’t mind all that much that it passed. It’s not as if our politics can get an awful lot worse than it already is. We’ll see how it works out.

UPDATE: A reader emails to note that Prop 14 passed every place except San Francisco and Orange Country. “FWIW, my guess is that what SF and the OC have in common is a high level of partisanship relative to other counties, and partisans are more likely to want to protect their own party’s primaries.” That sounds like a reasonable theory to me.

UPDATE 2: Mickey Kaus won 5% of the vote in the Democratic Senate primary, well behind second-place vote-getter Brian Quintana. Barbara Boxer won 80% of the vote.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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