Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California voters largely ignored June primary; Congress has some theories why

California Voters Participate In The State's Pivotal Primary

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Voter turnout in June was the lowest ever for a California presidential primary. One member of Congress says voters are asking, "What difference does it make?”

Californians stayed home for June’s primary election in record numbers. Two out of three registered voters did not cast a ballot, the lowest turnout ever in a California presidential primary.

Political experts — those who run for office every two years — have a few theories about why voters were so turned off and whether things will be different in November.

Democrats had plenty of reasons: St. Helena's Mike Thompson blames it on the lack of suspense — "We knew who our presidential standard bearer was going to be"; Jackie Speier of San Mateo figures it's voter fatigue because the "campaigning has been going on for so long"; Anaheim's Loretta Sanchez says members of Congress are also to blame because "we all saved our money for a general election."

Democratic Congressman Jim Costa of Fresno points out one other thing missing from the June ballot: propositions. "That usually attracts voter interest." 


President Clinton to visit Los Angeles for Obama fundraiser



Former President Bill Clinton will be in Los Angeles in two weeks to raise money for President Barack Obama's reelection.

Former President Bill Clinton will be in Los Angeles in two weeks for an outrageously expensive breakfast on behalf of the Obama campaign — and he’s bringing a new Democratic Party star along with him.

The former president and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who got raves for his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, will headline an Oct. 8 breakfast at the home of Michael King, whose family ran King World Productions.

For $10,000 a couple can get a photo op and premium seating at the breakfast. Couples willing to spend a bit more — $40,000 — can also get a meet-and-greet opportunity. General admission to the event is a relative steal at $1,000.

The breakfast will take place the morning after President Barack Obama rocks out at the 30 Days to Victory concert at Nokia Theatre. Confirmed artists include Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, and Earth Wind and Fire.


Obama campaign reaches out to Latino voters in Los Angeles

Obama reelection sign

Alice Walton/KPCC

Signs for President Obama line the wall of his campaign office in South Los Angeles.

Latinos for Obama

Alice Walton/KPCC

A Latinos for Obama sign posted at a South Los Angeles campaign office.

Valerie Jarrett Obama campaign

Alice Walton/KPCC

Presidential senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, second from left, speaks to Obama campaign volunteers about what's on the minds of Latino voters.

Education, the environment and childhood obesity were among the top issues discussed Friday at a Latino roundtable in South Los Angeles hosted by the Obama reelection campaign.

Presidential senior adviser Valerie Jarrett joined El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero, L.A. City Councilman Ed Reyes and Maria Elena Durazo of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to talk about issues that are important to Latino voters this election season. The talk was open to campaign volunteers and reporters.

“Although California isn’t a battleground state, what you’re doing on the phones is so important because we have key states such as Nevada and Colorado that aren’t that far away,” Jarrett said.

The president appears to have a stronghold on the Latino vote. The latest Gallup poll shows Obama leading Republican nominee Mitt Romney 64 percent to 27 percent among Latino voters.