As the CA Democratic Party convention opens I’m reminded of the saying about a butterfly flapping its wings and unintended consequences. Delegates are already talking about how inconvenient it is having half of the convention at the hotel and the rest at the convention center and having to shuttle between the two. In defense of Chairman Burton and party staff it really is not their fault. Believe it or not, it is actually an unintended consequence of Prop 14 (Top 2 primary).
How is that? Before Prop 14 the parties had their endorsements votes later in the year and had more options as to when to hold them. However, one of the less noticed provisions of Top 2 is that it gave parties the right to have their endorsements printed in the sample ballot. To take advantage parties have to submit their endorsements to local election officials next Wednesday (the deadline was originally even earlier but pushed back by the Legislature).
The problem is that leaves the parties very little flexibility as to when to schedule their conventions (CDP is making its endorsements before filing has even closed for some offices). And while Los Angeles is a big city, there are only so many places that can host 3,000 delegates, plus all the staff, campaigns and others that come along with such an event. Even fewer meet the Democrat's requirements that venues treat their employees fairly, provide equal access to those with special needs, etc. Throw in other conventions and events competing for space and only a few available windows to schedule and the CDP ended up having to split the convention between two locations.
So… for those of you in LA this weekend, when you are grumbling as you wait in line to board your shuttle realize that the series of events that led to your current plight began more than four years ago.