Is the Average Voter an Idiot?

Most voters are not stupid. However, they are overwhelmed by their own lives, often uneducated on public issues and misinformed by an increasingly biased and malevolent media. Hence, the substance that formed Winston Churchill’s opinion: “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”


How the Minority Wins Elections

Lost in the exaggerated numbers of Tuesday’s primary election vote totals is this very frightening reality: Less than 8 percent of the electorate is all it takes to amass political power in our county. And if there is money to push an issue, it’s becoming almost impossible to stop millionaires and multinational corporations from getting what they want.


Showing Strength in Numbers

San Jose Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio says he didn’t raise campaign money at the end of December out of respect for the holidays. At this point, he’ll also be able to solemnly respect Easter, Passover and Cinco de Mayo. Campaign disclosure forms go public later this week, but Oliverio proudly leaked that he raised the maximum amount of money allowed for the District 6 primary—$121,000—in just the last two and a half months.

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Election Rejections

Iowa just held its Republican Primary to ring in the New Year, which means two things: It’s officially election season from now through Nov. 6, and the opinions of Iowans no longer matter. Much was made about the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which, according to the court’s interpretation of the First Amendment, means the government can’t limit spending on elections by companies and nonprofits. A battle is now being fought at the local level in Milpitas, where community activist Ed Riffle is challenging the constitutionality of a new ordinance passed by the City Council that limits campaign contributions to $500 per election.

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Herrera May Need Help of Civil Unions

District 8 Councilmember Rose Herrera, whose seat comes up for renewal in 2012, has suddenly gotten popular with the union leaders representing the city’s public employees. Her sudden popularity might be due to the fact that Herrera could be fighting for her political life in next year’s election.