California’s prisons are constitutionally overcrowded. Our unemployment rate is higher the national average. Even changes in our school funding leave us shortage of the national average for K-12. Our underinvestment in higher education has led to a decline in the percentage of adults who are college graduates. Our tax and regulatory regime is uncompetitive with other states.
So in this campaign season, what’s the biggest issue in California?
Judging by news coverage, the answer is simple: money in politics.
The scandals involving three members of the state senate have turned into a conversation about how to limit money in politics. The big issue in the Secretary of State’s race, the only one with real energy, is the notion of fundraising bands. And we’re all safely ignoring the governor’s race because there are no real challengers – since a challenge can’t be considered real if there aren’t tens of millions of dollars behind it. The initiative battles on health care make the news for all the money that’s attaching to them.