Democratic Party Leaders Endorse Proposition 45

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Following heavy lobbying from both sides, the California Democratic Party’s executive board has voted to endorse Proposition 45, a measure to give the state insurance commissioner regulatory power over health insurance rates.

The proposition is one of two causing friction within the Democratic Party, pitting pitting trial lawyers and consumer groups against doctors and hospital groups.

In votes at a party gathering in Oakland over the weekend, the executive board remained neutral on Proposition 46, a measure to require drug and alcohol testing on doctors and to raise the cap on pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases.

The endorsement votes followed heavy lobbying in recent weeks of the party’s executive board, which consists of about 300 local activists and committee members and elected officials.

The gathering came as officials in Bakersfield and El Centro counties began recounting ballots in the battle for state controller between two Democrats, John A. Pérez and Betty Yee. Yee finished ahead of Pérez by a tiny margin in the June primary election, according to the initial count.

Though the outcome of the recount remains uncertain, party bylaws made Yee the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate, and she appeared on the party’s endorsement list Friday. Pérez and Yee are competing for the right to face the primary election’s top vote-getter, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, in the November general election.

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

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