Skip to comments.California, the Alternative to Republican Rule –After Nearly Becoming a Home to It
Posted on 04/21/2011 1:07:00 PM PDT by SmithL
California is being looked at as the rare alternative to Tea-Party rule these days. Jerry Browns direct style and transparent budget strategy as governor have led to a waning in peoples longtime pessimism about state government. Yet, with the extreme policies of other new governors dominating the news -- and with Meg Whitman remaining in the public eye-- one must wonder how it would have been if California had voted the other way in 2010. It was certainly significant that voters went to the polls and beat back Whitman's $178 million candidacy. This is further relevant because in California elections one can always expect that well-moneyed novices will throw their hat into the ring.
The idea of a Governor Whitman can feel remote now, notably with Browns smooth transition into his old job. But the races here were considered close, and Whitmans unprecedented self-funding ensured that she would remain competitive throughout (and of course the news was constantly buzzing that Tea-Party momentum might jump all the way to the coast).
As we witness a brand-new Republican governor dominate national news with a labor war in Wisconsin, it is clear that larger non-red states can flip to crimson, and overnight. The shifts can border on the surreal. Floridas new governor recently refused $2.4 billion in federal funding, for high-speed rail no less.
Though conservatives lack an outsize presence in California these days, their offensive continues --statewide Democratic sweep notwithstanding. Due to Washington anti-tax icon Grover Norquists push for statehouse Republicans to sign a no tax pledge, Browns proposed tax referendum is looking unlikely to make it to the voters to be voted on. The GOP even tried to outsource a debate with Brown by asking Norquist to debate Brown for them.
Also, Whitman, it will be remembered, ran to the right in the 2010 primary so as to ensure victory --and made sure to state during the general election: A lot of Tea-Partiers were excited by my candidacy. We would have seen just how excited, had she won. The professionally-funded Tea-Party operations and stridency would have been amped up all the more for a prize as big and rare as California.
Would a political rookie have withstood that or even wanted to? A.G. Block, associate director of the UC Center Sacramento, noted, "I can't imagine she wouldn't have looked at what is happening in Wisconsin and tried in some way to replicate it in California."
One can only guess, particularly because the former Ebay CEO continues to divulge little about herself. The post-race spotlight offered a good opportunity for Whitman to announce some local pet cause. Instead there has only been her swearing in to multiple boards -and corporate advisory roles- including Procter and Gambles and HPs (a former employer and another Silicon Valley heavyweight, though HP was challenged about its new board selection process). This month Whitman reiterated that she want(s) to stay involved in public policy.
Furthermore, in Tea-Party style, candidate Whitman employed pre-selected audiences and avoided media and editorial boards. Her campaign materials and the endless frills reminded one of a larger scale Arnold Schwarzenegger, if such a thing could be possible. The latter, with his private-jet commute, irked people so much that the famously frugal Brown has earned major plaudits simply by locking down in Sacramento and actually making himself available to the people and the press (and even the other party) a highly unlikely scenario under a Whitman administration. Her call to Take Back Sac was more akin to the Take Back America anti-Obama slogans nationwide.
With an ascendant right-wing on the scene had Brown lost, we could have expected huge cuts and the dredging up of hot-button issues. One can only imagine what it would be like if immigration were in the mix now. The veteran Browns cagey dance to fix the budget, and dysfunctional Sacramento itself, has been a study in nuance from day one.
If conservatives had been empowered here, like they have been to re-fight health care in Washington, it would have been a disaster. California Republicans were fine with letting immigration spin their 2010 primary into a war of Arizona-like fury (while voters awaited reality-like budget ideas). The creative messaging of Whitmans campaign would have been laughed off by an emboldened right-wing. Forget the harmonious Spanish-language ads. It would have been all tough as nails, to quote her ad with campaign chair and former governor Pete Wilson.
Brown did win, of course. But as we watch what is happening in the rest of the country, we would do well to remember how easily it might have descended here as well. Finally, lest we forget, conservatives were able to recall the last California governor who beat them.
We will find out over the next couple of years just what kind of alternative it represents. I have a feeling it will turn out to not be a very good one.
One can only imagine what it would be like if immigration were in the mix now.
Gee, maybe billions could be cut from state and local funding that currently go towards providing taxpayer-funded services to illegals? What a concept!
But we’ll to run RINOs out there instead of giving what used to be a pretty savvy electorate a choice.
Make that we’ll CONTINUE to run . .
If the Democrats had the answers, California would not be in the financial shape it is in today.
Jerry Brown came into office with only one tool in his tool box, taxes. The Democrats one answer to every problem more money. When they run out, they simply search for ways to raise taxes.
The really sad thing is that if the Democrats were not anti-business (piling on with more and more rules, laws, regulations to the point of killing the goose that pays for everything) California’s economy would have produced enough in taxes to pay for all their socialist programs.
Why is it the socialist that want to spend the money have no idea how to generate wealth?
and the democrats will continue to ignore that we do need huge cuts. The refusal to 'dredge up' issues like immigration and busted public employee unions has left the state bankrupt and gone begging to other states for cash.
The exodus of Republicans and other business owners continues unabated leaving a state woefully unable to support it's welfare roles. Auto registrations are being taxed, effectively doubling or tripling the cost, in order to keep state parks semi-open. Our roads are potholed and our bridges are crumbling. Yet we allow our welfare roles to increase without limit.
Crime in Sacramento County is exploding and gang graffitti is starting to cover anything that doesn't move, ala Los Angeles/Berkeley/Oakland/SanFran. Burglaries, squatters, and shooting murders appear to be here to stay and our housing and job markets are the worst in the state.
This is the legacy of the California Democrats. This is what has happened to our state and our capitol since Reagan. It's enough to make you wanna cry.
California is the example of liberalism’s effect.
No serious Republican has been in a position of power in decades.
California, Exhibit A for the proposition “Liberal government sucks.”
he be smokin’ the top shelf stuff.
“The professionally-funded Tea-Party”
Whaaa? This idiot must live on a different planet.
“From the Peoples Republic of Beserkeley.”
Ooops, sorry. She lives in a different universe!
California is on life support and Brown is more a mortician than physician. Stick a fork in it, 50 years of progressivism have done their damage.
A friend of mine just moved from the Los Angeles area to Boise, Idaho. The return of Jerry Brown, taxes, and a fear of a collapse of the California state government figured heavily in his decision. Soon there will be only hippies and illegals in California.
WTF? Where’s the “Major Barf Alert” on the headline?
Oh, you didn’t notice the source?
LOL! Oh, sure, I noticed the source. I’m still a big believer in the Barf Alert, though.
Exactly. Despite the occasional "R" in the governor's office, the Democrats have had an iron grip on the legislature for over 40 years with one single two year Assembly aberration in the mid-90s.
I just realized the title. For 40 years Democrats have had the legislature so at what point did CA nearly become home to Republican rule?
Denial is a powerful thing.
Reality will have its way with California and its endless spending/regulating Democrats sooner or later.
The state is broke and only getting more so.
One of the first things that should be done is this: Since the 9th Circuit Court declared that Arizona cannot put the emphasis on border security and illegals that Arizona had decided on, each and every illegal who breaks ANY law in Arizona (and I mean right down the “drunk and disorderly”) should be promptly put on a bus and sent to San Francisco, home of the 9th Circuit, and we can wait to see how long it takes before the liberal snobs in San Fran start to cry foul. You can rest assured that the thousands spent on bussing (since I would anticipate several busses full per week) would pay for itself in not having to support illegals in Arizona.