The New America Foundation
, a prominent centrist think-tank headed by former Washington Post
managing editor Steve Coll and chaired by Google
CEO Eric Schmidt, has filed court papers opposing a failed San Francisco supervisorial candidate's efforts to overturn the city's system of ranked-choice voting.
The foundation has filed an amicus brief contesting Dudum's lawsuit in federal court
, which argues that ranked-choice voting is unconstitutional. Dudum asserts that the system should allow voters to rank every candidate running if they so choose, and not limit them to their top three choices. Dudum cites his own 2006 loss to former supervisor Ed Jew -- now incarcerated on extortion charges
-- as evidence of RCV's failure.
The New America Foundation is calling this effort "sour grapes," however. "The plaintiffs claim they are bringing this lawsuit on behalf of the public interest. In reality, they think that going back to the old, expensive way of electing candidates will help their cause," Gautam Dutta of the foundation said in a statement. "Ron Dudum, however, appears incapable of winning election under either voting method."
There is something strange about Dudum's lawsuit -- even if San Franciscans are limited to "ranking" their top three electoral picks, they still have more freedom to choose candidates than most Americans, who reside in states where you only vote for one person at a time.
At any rate, the New America Foundation's entrance into the local fray over voting methods seems to be further indication that RCV has captured the heart of America's
political center. The New York Times' Thomas
Friedman also praised the system in a recent column, as New America notes in its press release.
Photo | joebeone