Departed Californians Swing Election

NOV. 2, 2010


Given that a couple of million Californians have left the state in the past 20 years, most of them Republicans, it’s surprising that Democrats didn’t do better. Jerry Brown, as  I write, won by only 5 percentage points over Meg Whitman for governor; Gavin Newsom by 4 points over tax-increaser Abel Maldonado for lieutenant governor. Barbara Boxer appears to have won over Carly Fiorina.

If 2 million Republicans still were in the state, instead of elsewhere, the Republicans would be triumphing here much as they are throughout the country.

Brown’s victory will continue to drive mostly Republicans from the state. Perhaps Meg Whitman would have, too, if she had become governor. The state’s anti-business climate is just too severe for serious jobs creation — except in a few industries in the high-tech sector, such as Silicon Valley (although Apple just located its new server farm in North Carolina); or in the “clean” industries favored by AB32 and other environmental laws and regulations.

Another big problem was that Republicans just didn’t have good generalship, especially from Whitman and her team. “It was a lack of leadership,” Bob Pace told me; he’s a former Young Republican activist and in the 1990s was the associate representative of the Executive Committee of the California Republican Party. “They’re not growing the party at all here. In 1994, we won seven Assembly seats, threw out [longtime Democratic Assembly Speaker] Willie Brown, and took over the Assembly.”

With the Legislature gerrymandered beyond terrestrial reason, the Legislature will be the same in 2011: extreme, leftist, irrational, under the control — like Jerry Brown — of the state government workers’ unions. Moreover, the passage of Proposition 25 drops to a majority, from two-thirds, the requirement for passing a state budget. That makes the Republicans even more irrelevant than they already were.

After the Democrats running the Legislature pass even wilder spending programs with majority votes, and Gov. Brown signs them into law, the deficits will be higher, and there will be great pressure to increase taxes to pay for the spending. The state will be headed even more quickly down the High-Speed Railroad to bankruptcy (even though a state supposedly can’t declare bankruptcy).

Brown said that he wouldn’t raise taxes without a vote of the people. Another former governor, Gray Davis — also Brown’s chief of staff 30 years ago — said Brown would put taxes on the ballot for a special election he would call for next year. Voters generally have been against tax increases. But given the propaganda campaign waged against Prop. 23 by such mega-millionaires and billionaires as Bill Gates, James Cameron, Gov. Schwarzenegger and others, tax increases well could pass.

Also boding ill for the state are some of the results from the propositions. Prop. 19, which would have legalized marijuana, lost. Probably no surprise there. The hippie lettuce already is practically legal anyway. But throwing thousands of potheads in prison is good business for police and prison guards, two powerful union constituencies for both parties and all the major candidates.

Prop. 22 passed easily. It guarantees that redevelopment agencies will be funded in their quests to seize private property to give it to big-box stores and other powerful companies. It’s a twofer against jobs: It erodes the property rights that are essential to business and jobs creation. And it is “ballot-box budgeting,” meaning the Legislature will have less money it can tap before raising taxes.

Prop. 23, as mentioned, would have suspended the anti-jobs AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. It didn’t help that Meg Whitman, the putative pro-business candidate, also opposed Prop. 23. It’s fantastical that voters believed bureaucracies and state dictates could create jobs better than can entrepreneurs. Actually, the California entrepreneurs still will be creating jobs — in other states. Even if AB32 “worked,” California’s economy is but 2 percent of the global economy. So any reduction in greenhouse gases will have no effect on anything.

And as the national tide toward Republicans shows, the rest of the country hasn’t bought into the enviro-premises behind AB32. Indeed, as I reported here on, the Republicans who will be taking over the House plan on holding hearings questioning the very existence of man-caused global warming.

Dozens of other states not wedded to the global-warming paradigm will be wooing, and winning, California jobs.

Californians also should realize that, with Nancy Pelosi shoved out of the Speaker’s seat, the House isn’t going to approve any bailout for California. The rest of the country envies our weather, while laughing at our Moonbeam nuttiness.

Moreover, the federal government has its own massive problems, beginning with the $13 trillion debt run up under Republican President Bush and Democratic President Obama. There isn’t any money for bailing out California.

Another problem is that, as the nation as a whole continues to suffer, other states are going to begin offering more incentives for businesses to move there from California, especially the ultimate incentive of tax cuts.

Tonight, Republicans also gained at least nine governorships. That means that, as Gov. Brown attacks our businesses, pro-business Republicans will be beckoning from across the land.

The national political gridlock well could mean that nothing is done to resolve the national political and economic problems, leading them to get worse. That, again, would mean that states would be in a dog-eat-dog competition to attract businesses from each other. When the national economy is growing, there’s little reason for businesses to move. When the national economy is stagnant or declining, businesses look for better conditions to make profits and create jobs, in other states or other countries.

Starting tonight, the state’s focus now shifts from Gov. Schwarzenegger to Gov. Brown. He will be challenged early. “Start the recall,” Orange County resident Tim Braun told me when I asked what happens next. “Things aren’t going to get better. Within a year, people will be talking about a recall.”

It happened to Davis in 1993. I could happen to his former boss, the once and future Gov. Brown.

John Seiler is a reporter and analyst for His email: [email protected].


Write a comment
  1. Paul Taylor Examiner
    Paul Taylor Examiner 3 November, 2010, 07:33

    California wipes out on the conservative wave election. This confirms California’s status as a failed state under the oppression of militant immigrant, labor and green special interests. The once “Golden State” is broke and broken.

    Reply this comment
  2. Fred Mangels
    Fred Mangels 3 November, 2010, 08:44

    Agreed. I was watching Prop 23. Prop 23 was the big one, imo. If California voters could pass Prop 23, that meant to me they weren’t totally clueless and might eventually be able to pull the state out of the hole it’s in. If it failed, it showed they were unable to recognize what put the state in the hole it’s in to begin with.

    This state is in a hole and the voters just keep on digging deeper.

    Reply this comment
  3. F. Stephen Masek
    F. Stephen Masek 3 November, 2010, 09:20

    I wonder how many people voted against Prop 23, thinking they were voting against global warming laws and regulations?

    Reply this comment
  4. Ron Kilmartin
    Ron Kilmartin 3 November, 2010, 09:42

    The failure of 23 can be attributed to the overbearing anti-23 propaganda financed by the green gadget fleecers and the cap and trade fleecers, aided by a compliant press unwilling to dig into the substance of the issue, and depart from following the Democratic party line. However, even some Republicans were clueless on Prop 23, most of all Whitman, but also including the “Citizens for Good Government” out of Covina, which sent out a mailer to Republican voters recommending a no on 23.

    Actually Schwarzenegger has been far worse than Whitman, having propelled AB 32 from the very start. I carried on a 4 year correspondence with him on the falsity of the AGW hoax, even sent him a book on the subject. He never got his head out of the sand. He was under a trance induced by the late Stephen Schneider of Stanford University, one of the priests of the anti-carbon church The governor considers AB 32 his personal legacy and gift to California! It will not take long for everyone to realize that AB 32 is a scandal without precedent and will far outrank the Teapot Dome and Watergate scandals of the past.

    Reply this comment
  5. DavidfromLosGatos
    DavidfromLosGatos 3 November, 2010, 11:24

    There may be an off-setting benefit for the current public employees (union or otherwise) to having retirees leave, since this may result in an increased taxable valuation of the houses (many of) the retirees have been living in under prop 13 protection for all of these years.

    And, if it is true that a large portion of the six figure pensions given to public safety employees are not subject to state income tax anyway because of a disability claim, then the state is not losing out as much.

    In my opinion, CA will see more affluent immigrants from places like Taiwan, Mainland China and India offset much of the affluent white flight. Again, property taxes under prop 13 tend to go up with turnover (notwithstanding the RE bubble bust).

    Reply this comment
  6. daryl
    daryl 3 November, 2010, 11:50

    Now why would the smart, ambitious people from Taiwan, China, and India keep coming here instead of going to Texas and Tennessee?
    Why worry about businesses and jobs when we can all have food stamps? Legalized pot would have made easing the pain even easier.

    Reply this comment
  7. section9
    section9 3 November, 2010, 13:52

    I’m from Florida. I hadn’t thought of the implications of a couple of million Republicans being forced to pull up stakes and leave the Golden State since 1992, when Clinton won the state in a landslide.

    The environment out there literally reads like the middle chapters of “Atlas Shrugged”. Only the Men of the Mind aren’t on strike and going to Galt’s Gulch, they’re moving to Texas.

    How long can this go on?

    Reply this comment
  8. DavidfromLosGatos
    DavidfromLosGatos 3 November, 2010, 15:44

    “Now why would the smart, ambitious people from Taiwan, China, and India keep coming here instead of going to Texas and Tennessee?”

    Daryl, you may be right. I may be wrong. But, living in Silicon Valley, I am surrounded by smart, ambitious people from Taiwan, China, and India, and their numbers seem to grow as a percentage of the population of the wealthy communities along the west side of the Valley.

    Reply this comment
  9. CalGirl2
    CalGirl2 5 November, 2010, 05:35

    The story of the Red part of the State; Fresno County (population 967,000). Fresno has always been a conservative, Chrisitian, farming area. Hispanics/Latinos make up the majority of the population (that’s a fact). There are 469 precincts in Fresno County.
    About 2 wks before the elections, we receive postcards saying our polling place may have changed. Out of the 405 polling places, 200 are closed. There is a public outcry, so the Registrar announces a Saturday vote (9AM-5PM). The Registrar says, if your polling place has moved, you have to vote on Saturday. If you can’t make it on Sat., your only other choice is to go to the Fresno Elections Office (that includes voters in the outlying towns). There is another public outcry, so the Registrar announces by radio and TV (it’s too late to mail anything) that you can vote on Saturday or Tuesday. Four days before elections, we receive a Measure Q in the mail; seems they forgot to put it on the ballot. We read it, vote on it, and mail it back. I found out later, many of my neighbors did not receive one or thought it was junk mail and threw it out. We receive another postcard in the mail, stating the Propositions 22 and 23 were incorrectly worded. There had been a court-ordered change on the wording of both propositions (by this time, 144,000 absentee ballots had already been received-too late for them to read the proper wording). The postcard announced the corrected wording would be posted at the polling places because it was too late to change the ballots. Three days before elections, “The Daily Beast” reports that the City of Fresno is the dumbest city in CA. and that San Francisco is the third smartest city in the Nation. You gotta wonder about the timing of that report. Today is Nov. 5th, and Fresno is still counting ballots. There are races that have not been determined. As of yesterday, there were still 90,000 absentee ballots to be counted. Our illustrious Secretary of State, Debra Bowen (Democrat) and our Registrar blame the “inefficiency” on a shortage of staff due to budget cuts. Does a shortage of staff also mean a shortage of intellect? Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina were very popular here. Our unemployment rate is at 17%, but hey!, our Mayor got a phone call yesterday, from the Feds. Seems we are going to get a high speed train and it will tear up about 60,000 acres of prime farmland. It will create thousands of jobs, starting at the end of 2012. In the meantime, 2 of my neighbors moved to Oregon last month, another is moving to Indiana and another is waiting to sell their home and move to Oregon. Yup, if you want to stay sane, “Move East young man, move East”.

    Reply this comment
  10. daryl
    daryl 6 November, 2010, 00:00

    What’s the big deal about saving farmland? Can’t irrigate it anyway, since the human rights of the Delta Smelt trumps anything Americans need or want. Besides we can buy all our food from Red China with food stamps. They’ll loan us the money on easy terms. Too bad we still can’t buy pot with food stamps, but maybe that will be the next issue for bright Progressive people to unite behind.

    Reply this comment
  11. Ron Kilmartin
    Ron Kilmartin 7 November, 2010, 18:54

    The high-speed train is another boondoggle that we do not need now of all times. We do need the water and ag-production. Where is the engineering economic analysis that would decommission 60,000 acres of high-value crops and substitute a bullet train? Brown Senior was not a boondoggle man. His projects went a long way towards building the state infrastructure. So now we have Moonbeam (age of limits) Brown coming in to the worst state financial crisis since the 1930s, committed come hell or high water to implementing the AB 32 job loss and business flight bill, and of course committed to support of the state employee unions which he authorized decades earlier. Multiple forces point towards a major reduction in state GDP and state and local tax revenue. Only the AB 32 fleecers will make out in this environment.

    Reply this comment
  12. WASP
    WASP 14 November, 2010, 11:53

    Packing as we speak.

    Reply this comment

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