I know it’s been kind of sparse. I’ve actually been out in the field. I’ll be back in the blogging saddle soon enough.

For now, a friend did pass along

this story, knowing I’ve been following the movement to push the California presidential primary up to February 2008 rather than June.

The full California Senate has now approved the bill to do just that. The LA Times dug up a great old quote in its story about the vote:

For 1998, California lawmakers moved the state’s presidential primary election to the first Tuesday in March. It stayed there until 2004, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill returning the election to June.

Lawmakers called the early March primary a failure — by the time California voted in March 2004, 20 other states had held elections and Sen. John Kerry was the presumed Democratic presidential nominee.

“An early primary didn’t make us any more relevant,” Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) said in August 2004. “The only result was a lower turnout.”

Today, Nuñez is a strong supporter of moving the primary again, saying it will make California more relevant in national politics.

“Some national issues, including immigration and coastal oil drilling, are issues that disproportionally impact states like California,” Nunez said today in a speech to the Sacramento Press Club. “I think prospective nominees should be vetted on their views on these issues sooner rather than later. The early presidential primary in California will do just that.”

But Nuñez has another reason: He hopes to use an early primary ballot to ask voters to relax term limits.

The LA Times, however, doesn’t really explain how this is different than 2004. In 2004, they moved the whole primary to March, not just the presidential decision. In other words, we voted on mayor, city attorney, City Council and a bunch of other positions then. This time around, they want to make us go to the polls in February, then in June and then in November. Three times. Add an extra election — at an estimated cost of $90 million across the state — just so that Nuñez and others can extend term limits in time to allow them to run for reelection.

Why we should spend so much as a state on an extra election for no other reason than that is incomprehensible.

SCOTT LEWIS

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