Far Left California? Not So Much

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

California is undeniably a deep blue state, but that doesn’t mean the electorate is all that “progressive” (read: “liberal.” “left-wing,” or “Berniecrat”—your choice.) . The Golden State is Obama-Clinton-Jerry Brown territory, not the far-left bastion painted by national Republicans.

This year’s mid-term election results underscored that reality.

Governor-elect Gavin Newsom talked a progressive game and cruised to an easy victory; but he never really veered that much to the left when it came to specifics. During the last legislative session, Newsom captured the hearts of the California Nurses Association and their allies by advocating “single-payer” health care, but his espousal of “universal health care” during this year’s campaign is littered with caveats. In reality, Newsom pretty much segued to the same slightly left-of-center middle ground on health care and other issues that his main Democratic primary opponents, Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang, occupied.

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End of Brown Era—Pat & Jerry

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

At the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs post election conference yesterday at Cal State LA, political consultant Mike Madrid declared that the Brown era of politics focused on building and infrastructure is over with the end of Jerry Brown’s fourth term as governor. He wasn’t referring to just the current governor but to his father, Pat Brown, as well. Both Browns focused on building from water works and highways to the bullet train.

Darry Sragow, editor of the California Target Book echoed that thought, calling Jerry Brown brilliant, but as governor, he “replicated” his father as a builder of things and didn’t move too far on social programs. Sragow predicted that would change under new governor, Gavin Newsom.

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California’s Legislators Lack Private Sector Experience

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

Back in the days of adding machines and manual ledgers, final election results in California were usually done by midnight on election day. Sometimes there would be a few precincts counting ballots into the wee hours of the morning, and you wouldn’t know a result till the next day. Fast forward to 2018, and the age of global interconnectedness, with instantaneous algorithmic management of everything from power grids to Facebook feeds, yet here in California the complete results of the 2018 midterms won’t be available until December 7th. Go figure.

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The Follow Up to the Vetoed Bank of Los Angeles

Jack Humphreville
LA Watchdog writer for CityWatch, President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and Publisher of the Recycler

Angelenos and the City of Los Angeles dodged a potentially fatal bullet on Tuesday, November 6, when 58% of the City’s voters said NO to Charter Amendment B, which, according a Los Angeles Times editorial, was “one of the most ill-conceived, half-baked measures to come out of City Hall in years, and that’s saying something.”

This overwhelming NO vote was despite endorsements from 170 organizations, citizens, and many elected officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council President Herb Wesson, and eleven other members of the City Council (Cedillo, Blumenfield, Ryu, Koretz, Martinez, Rodriquez, Price, Bonin, Englander, O’Farrell, and Buscaino).

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Cox Winning as Governor in State of Southern California; Newsom Takes Other Two States

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Remember Proposition 9 missing from your ballot—the proposal by venture capitalist Tim Draper to split California into three states? The California Supreme Court expressed doubt that the state could be divided by initiative and pulled the measure from the ballot. But I wondered who might have prevailed as governor in these three states between the two candidates who did run for governor of California. Take heart John Cox, you might have been governor in the State of Southern California.

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Can We Turn Local Government Into a Game?

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

When I served as co-president of the Glboal Forum on Modern Direct Democracy in Rome earlier this fall, I was impressed by ideas from all over the world. But none more so than Gianluca Sgueo, a thoughtful and interdisciplinary scholar at the New York University campus in Florence.

In a paper for the Global Forum, Sgueo noted all the way that cities around the world are bringing citizens into municipal decision-making via game-like platforms. He wrote:

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Whose Money Is It, Anyway?

Stuart Waldman
President, Valley Industry & Commerce Association

Like any business-minded voter, I weigh each ballot proposition carefully to decide whether the benefit will outweigh any burden. As the leader of a business association, I can advocate and explain how each measure will impact jobs in the San Fernando Valley. Across the whole country, stakeholder groups can join together and exercise their First Amendment rights to build coalitions to drive voter opinion for or against ballot propositions.

You know who isn’t allowed to spend money shaping public opinion in support of new taxes? Public bodies such as municipal governments and agencies.

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Energy Storage Isn’t Ready for Wide Deployment

Todd Royal
Todd Royal is an independent public policy consultant focusing on the geopolitical implications of energy based in Los Angeles, California.

California Senate Bill 100 (SB 100) mandates 100% clean energy deployment by 2045. Hydroelectric power won’t be included in this mix. Currently, there isn’t enough renewable energy – particularly solar and wind (the two main renewable and clean energy sources) deployed across the United States to meet Los Angeles County’s on-demand energy needs.

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California’s Democrats Have No Excuses Now

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

There is no excuse for California Democrats not to remake our governing system now.

They no longer can blame a cautious, fiscally conservative governor. He’s retiring, and he’s being replaced by a man who ran on “Courage, for a Change.” That governor takes office with more power than any governor in the history of the state (for reasons I previously explained here).

Supermajority blocks on constitutional changes no longer provide an excuse. Because Democrats will have 2/3 supermajorities in the legislature again. And they should be able to hold onto them this time.

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Cannabis in California’s Heartland: First they Voted Red, then they Approved a Cannabis Tax

Clint Oliver
Fresno City Council Member

On Tuesday, Republican voters in my Central California city did something that just a couple of years ago, would have been considered completely out of character for a conservative voting bloc – they marked their ballots to advance cannabis policy.

A great number of them also proudly voted for incumbent Republican Congressman Devin Nunes – convincingly rejecting upstart Democrat challenger Andrew Janz by a solid 12-point margin. While this contentious election in California’s bible belt sometimes pitted neighbor against neighbor, there was one thing the great majority did agree on. Cannabis.

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