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Election Day Wrap-up

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

To the relief of all Californians, Election Day has finally arrived! No more television commercials and a mailbox full of mailers.

The key item to watch for is turnout – who comes out to vote? Will the turnout exceed 73-74 percent or be lower. I believe the 73-74 percent plateau is a key marker in how some races end up. Since 1980 voter turnout in presidential elections has ranged from 65.5 percent to 79.4 percent of registered voters. The turnout could determine the results of many campaigns since casual voters often are not measured well by the polls and could tip a race for office or a ballot measure one way or another. There are many close races churning in California.
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The most important thing is to vote. As you know Fox and Hounds Daily often carries different perspectives on our site concerning the ballot measures, other issues, and to a lesser extent, candidate races. However, all our writers, no matter their perspective encourage everyone to get out and vote!

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Some important things to look for: Will California Democrats succeed in getting the two-thirds majority in the Senate, and maybe even the Assembly?

Will the gap between President Obama’s vote total and Governor Romney’s vote total in this state be close to Obama’s 24% victory over John McCain or much lower as indicated by some polls? That could determine the enthusiasm of voters and, in turn, be reflected in the results of other races and ballot measures.

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Will any of the tax increase measures pass and what will that mean for efforts to restructure California’s tax system, which should be a priority over the next two years. If the Prop 30 or Prop 38 tax increases pass there will be little incentive for the legislature to look at tax reform. If the Prop 31 budget reform fails, reform efforts may also take a hit.

The Small Business Action Committee took positions in opposition to Proposition 30 and support of Propositions 31, 32 and 40, the redistricting referendum. Our goal with this agenda was to seek long-term reform.

As we emailed SBAC supporters on the first two measures:

Small business can be greatly effected by Prop 30 with its sales tax increase component and its income tax increases since most small business are S-Corps, sole-proprietorships, and LLCs, which pay their business taxes through the personal income tax.

Prop 32 levels the playing field by lessening the influence of corporations and unions to spend lavishly on legislators, which makes it easier for the small business’ voice to be heard.

As to SBAC PAC’s involvement in the campaign and the controversy over the donations from the Americans for Responsible Leadership, which finally revealed its revenue source yesterday, the following is the PAC’s response:

“Small Business Action Committee PAC, which is not a party to the recent FPPC litigation against Americans for Responsible Leadership, has fully complied with all California disclosure requirements and has disclosed all of its donors in accordance with the law.  SBAC PAC does due diligence regarding each contribution and donor to ensure organizations are bona fide and in good standing and immediately communicates any filing responsibilities they may have under the Political Reform Act.

“SBAC PAC had no knowledge that the contribution was from an intermediary. As it does with all its donors, upon accepting the donation from Americans for Responsible Leadership SBAC PAC sent a donor advice letter explaining the organization’s filing responsibilities. Based on new information received from the FPPC, SBAC PAC immediately amended its disclosure reports accordingly.”

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Elections matter and California’s political landscape will be altered by tomorrow. As will the national political scene. I’ll be on Channel 5 in Los Angeles tonight commenting mostly on national politics, but if they let me, I’ll try to get some thoughts in on California politics as well.

Be sure to vote.

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