One of the most interesting U.S. House races in California in 2014 is the 33rd, where incumbent Henry Waxman is not running for re-election. On April 13, the first debate in that race was held by the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club. Not surprisingly, the Club, being an arm of the Democratic Party, only invited Democrats into that debate. There are 18 candidates on the ballot, including ten Democrats. The Club only invited the four Democrats who have raised at least $200,000: Ted Lieu, Wendy Greuel, Matt Miller, and David Kannoth.
Independent candidate Marianne Williamson has raised several hundred thousand dollars, but she was not invited because she is not a Democrat. This event illustrates one of the many faults with a top-two system held for a partisan office. Williamson has an uphill battle placing first or second in the top-two primary being held June 3; polls suggest the top two spots will go to Lieu and Greuel. Obviously, being excluded from debates does not help Williamson.