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Mayor Villaraigosa [hearts] him some open primaries?

June 22, 2009 |  3:51 pm

Antonio Did my ears deceive me?

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, announcing on CNN that he won't be running for governor (this time), talked about the ''abomination'' of what's going on in Sacramento, referred to his teen-aged daughter as ''the apple of my eye'' and ''my precious'' (shades of ''Lord of the Rings''), and then delivered what was for me the stunner. He said one of the reforms we need in California is ... open primaries.

Just about the only thing the Democratic and Republican parties have deeply and truly agreed on of late is that open primaries are anathema to the party system. They've gone to court in years past to keep primaries closed.

And now here's Villaraigosa, former Democratic speaker of the state Assembly and chief wrangler of Democrats there, saying that we need open primaries?

Beyond the fact that voters love the idea as much as political parties hate it, the mayor's remarks suggest that he thinks he may do better in open primaries than closed ones. Is his relationship with his own party changing? It's an interesting notion, but now we won't be able to explore it until 2012 at the earliest, if the mayor does run for partisan office, and if the ballot is thrown open to all comers.

Party on, mayor!

Photo credit: Damian Dovarganes / AP

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