A Republican in Santa Monica: Is Top Two an Antidote to “Rational Ignorance”?

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

My good friend, Joe Mathews, has thrown a couple gauntlets at my feet (here and here) regarding my support of the Top Two. In one piece, he cites the results of Oregon’s Citizens’ Initiative Review (some form of which I’d like to see here), and in a second, he indicates that Neel Kashkari’s campaign for […]

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SB 1253 and Our Next Secretary of State

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

While responses to SB 1253 (“Ballot Initiative Transparency Act”) range from the disappointed to the ecstatic and everywhere in the middle, what can’t be disputed is this: our next Secretary of State is going to be pretty busy for at least the next four years. Along with the multiple challenges currently miring the office – […]

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“For the Privilege of Doing Business in California…”

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

It’s one of those phrases that sticks in your head because it uniquely and simply describes a concept whose time has come. A friend who is the Chief Information Officer for a Bay Area municipality recently shared with me his department’s goal: whenever a resident engages with the City – whether it’s to obtain a […]

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On SoS Field Poll: Maybe It’s Not (Just) About Parties

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

In my esteemed colleague Joe Mathews’ recent piece in these (web) pages, he offers this reason for my current 13-point lead in the statewide Field Poll on the Secretary of State race: “Those surveys reflect one fact: Peterson is a Republican.” While I would like to think these results are all due to my offering […]

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A (Very) Political Reform

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

I missed Republican Assemblyman Jeff Gorell’s Thursday press conference announcing his proposal to make the Secretary of State office a “non-partisan” position, and moving the responsibility for title/summary writing to that office. I was in Soledad that morning training two dozen government officials in how to lead a non-partisan public process. The irony. I met […]

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Are We “Nudging” California Voters to Register No Party Preference?

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

The recently announced party registration numbers in California have pundits buzzing about the continuing growth of “No Party Preference” voters alongside the declining memberships in the Democrat and Republican parties. “Indie voters have growing clout in California elections” blares a KPCC headline, and reporter Sharon McNary goes on to list reasons ranging from online registration […]

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California’s 20th-Century “Voting Experience”

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

A drive through the office parks of Silicon Valley may fool you into thinking California is a state with its eyes focused firmly on the future. But there’s nothing like a national report from a presidential commission on state election systems to make you feel like you’re living in the Dark Ages. Silicon Valley, meet […]

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Imagine There’s No (Republican) Party…

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

With the latest entrant into California’s Secretary of State campaign comes this irony: I’m not the best-known Republican in the race, but I am the only Republican. When I asked Dan Schnur’s advice about my run for Secretary of State last April, he asked me why I was running. My answer was simple: with my […]

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Advice from Ike I Like

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

The subject of not one, but two best-selling biographies (this one and this one) published in the last 18 months, the record of Dwight Eisenhower has many historians and political pundits pining for the days of strong, pragmatic leadership. Consider Joe Scarborough’s upcoming book, The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered […]

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Do We Have a “Grover Norquist Problem”?

Pete Peterson
Candidate (R) for California Secretary of State, and Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy

The recent news from the political research firm Grassroots Lab, that registered Republicans comprise a majority of California’s local government elected positions, has sent shockwaves through the Party’s ranks. In a state where Democrats are a super majority in the Legislature and hold every statewide office, the fact that Republicans serve in about half of […]

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