Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado appeared on the Colbert Report, a popular news show on Comedy Central, to discuss Proposition 14 in California tonight. Prop 14 is referred to as the “Top Two Primary” because only the top two vote getters move on to the general election ballot. Colbert introduced it as a Proposition which was aimed at electing moderates, but Maldonado quibbled on that point, saying, “I don’t want moderates, I want to help people”.
Later on in the interview the Lt. Governor made an analogy to the Olympics, where the best two finalists move on. He asked host Stephen Colbert, “What’s wrong with the Top Two, the best two”?” Colbert replied, humorously, that this was like awarding only the “gold and silver. What about the bronze? Are you saying the bronze medal winners aren’t important?”
Maldonado was asked to explain how Prop 14 would solve the problems, after which he attempted to describe what was wrong with the system in California. Colbert stopped him to ask, “You’re saying it’s dysfunctional because of party primaries?” Maldonado replied, “No it’s dysfunctional because of party bosses.”
Colbert asked about the primary in which voters can choose from any of the ballot-listed candidates and Maldonado replied that: “You can put whatever you want next to your name”. Other than this arguable statement, there was no discussion of how Prop 14 would effect third parties and independent candidates.
At the end of the interview Colbert asked Maldonado if there was anything in the initiative to prevent candidates from spending millions on advertising. Maldonado began to evade the question but Colbert pressed him again, repeating the question. Maldonado eventually answered “No” after which Colbert ended the interview by saying, “It’ll be the two richest guys”.