Is the Secretary of State reporting election results wrong?

Go on the web site election night, and you’ll see state legislative races listed district by district. And the results will be reported by candidates—how many votes, and what percentage of the vote, went to each candidate.

This sort of result reporting once made sense. In earlier eras, campaign were run by candidates, who raised money and sought votes. Then those candidates were elected to office.

But no more. Candidates no longer lead their own campaigns. They are empty vessels; the real campaigns are run by special interests via independent expenditures. This is a game of PACs.

So shouldn’t election results be reported by independent expenditure committee instead of by candidate?

Such a shift to IE-based results shouldn’t be that hard, especially for our innovative Secretary of State Alex Padilla, to get up and online. And it would be easier for regular voters than wading through 80 Assembly contests and 20 Senate contests. Show us instead how many independent expenditure committees won how many races, and how many votes.

Of course, the Secretary of State might still list – somewhere buried in the web site – the actual names of candidates. It might be interesting trivia to some insiders to know which human beings actually will sit in the legislature. Though that data should list which IE owns that particular politician, rather than party (which in this era of union Democrats and business Democrats doesn’t tell you much anyway).

What Californians need to know, in our auctions (I mean elections), is which interest group won what. The state – and our media – should report these results first and most prominently. They are the results that matter most.