Posted by Jesse Shayne on June 18, 2017 at 11:52 AM
June 18, 2017
Progressives Spar Over Open Primaries
You know you’ve made it when you become the subject of a Twitter war.
Over the weekend, DNC establishment figures took to the Twittersphere to duke it out with progressive activists over the Party’s use of closed primaries. The three-day debate was provoked by Young Turks reporter Nomiki Konst, after she tweeted a series of statements in support of open primaries. You can see part of the exchange here.
Konst is a progressive activist and a member of the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission, a group tasked with offering recommendations to make the Party’s primary process more democratic. Her initial tweets came shortly after she spoke about reforming the Democratic Party at The People’s Summit, an annual conference of progressives held in Chicago.
Open Primaries also happened to attend The People’s Summit, where we talked to hundreds of supportive activists.
Florida: Over the past two months, 76 Florida voters testified in favor of open primaries at a series of hearings sponsored by the Constitutional Revision Commission. The CRC convenes every 20 years to discuss changes to the state constitution and can place referendums on the ballot. A group of Florida activists are working to pressure the CRC to place an open primaries referendum on the 2018 ballot. If you’d like to join our Florida campaign, sign up here.
New York: On Tuesday, Jeremy Kaplan, an independent filmmaker and political activist from Brooklyn, published an op-ed calling on NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to expand his failed voting reform package to include open primaries. 3.3 million independents are locked out of New York’s primaries, and the state has the longest waiting period to change party affiliation in the the country. As Francis Barry put it: “New York is the worst state for independents, bar none.” Click here to send Schneiderman a letter in support of open primaries.
Nevada: In a recent op-ed, Doug Goodman, founder of Nevadans for Election Reform, called out Democrats in the State Legislature for refusing to give a hearing to an open primaries bill that was introduced earlier this year. Goodman was instrumental in pushing for open primaries legislation in the Nevada State Assembly in 2017.
New Mexico: Bob Perls, founder of New Mexico Open Primaries, was featured in an expose in Nonprofit Quarterly.
Pennsylvania: Last week, The Philadelphia Citizen published an op-ed in support of adopting a top-two primary system in Pennsylvania, noting the positive impact it’s had on California. Pennsylvania is one of the biggest closed primary states and has no ballot referendum process.
SCOTUS: The Open Primaries movement had a significant victory last month. The Supreme Court let stand a lower court decision that ruled against the Republican and Democratic Parties’ attempts to argue that open primaries are a constitutional violation of their right to freedom of association.
OP Video: 513,000 Americans have seen the new Open Primaries video. Have you?