Prop. 31 loses badly

Nov. 7, 2012

By Wayne Lusvardi

Proposition 31 was wiped out by voters yesterday.  The Government Performance and Accountability Act got just 39 percent of the votes, with 61 percent against.

Part of the likely reason it lost big was that it was undoubtedly the most confusing voter initiative on the ballot.  Factions of both Democrats and Republicans opposed and endorsed it.

The California Republican Party endorsed it but the California Federation of Republican Women opposed it.  The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the California Teachers Association opposed it.

But the liberal leaning think tank California Forward, headed by former Democratic state Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg and funded by European billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, were its main supporters.

The official position of the Libertarian Party of California was opposed to Proposition 31.  Interestingly, the California Green Party lined up with Libertarians in opposing it.  However, the proposition has appealed to many libertarian-leaning organizations, such as the Lincoln Club of Orange County and the Reason Foundation.

Voters that may have been looking for who supported or opposed Prop. 31 as a guide to how to vote were often confused.  The typical guides of party label did not serve as reliable.  This indicates that political parties in California have a decreasing hold on voters, despite the emergence of a de facto Fusion Party in California.


The confusion by the Republican Party was perhaps typical of the party’s problems in California.

Moreover, few recognized that, if enacted, Prop. 31 would make it nearly impossible to make any substantial cuts to the state budget, including to public pension plans.  Neither would it limit the use of bonds or voter initiatives to fund local public projects.

Until later, many supporters did not look at the fine print that created a new unelected layer of local government — called Strategic Action Plan Committees — that would regionalize revenue sharing in California.

Prominent author Stanley Kurtz wrote an article in National Review, “California’s Awful Prop.31: Is This Your Future?”, and came out against California Proposition 31. He cited my articles here at

Then Republicans began to take notice.  The question then became: Could  the collective Republican mind be changed after the party had officially supported it at their annual convention? Given that Prop. 31 lost, apparently that happened.

In its September newsletter, the California Federation of Republican Women reconsidered its prior position on Proposition 31 and reversed its position to oppose it.  This was partly in response to our article “California Prop. 31 Will Regionalize State Revenue Sharing.”

Prop. 31 did have some good points that should be brought back in future reforms, such as two-year budgeting. But this time around, voters saw that the bad outweighed the good.





Write a comment
  1. NormD
    NormD 7 November, 2012, 10:18

    I tried, I really tried, to make sense of this beast. I gave up and voted no. My guess is that I was not alone. There were way too many things lumped into a single prop.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 November, 2012, 11:15

    Makes no diff…your ruled now…bow to the Old Buzzard….he bdat you big time and will regularily for years to come!

    Reply this comment
  3. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 7 November, 2012, 17:21

    The old Watchdog doesn’t seem to have much to say today. Just one post. Probably because they are in a state of shock.

    Let’s review: The President is reelected. Prop. 30 wins. Prop. 32 is trounced. The Legislature likely will have a Democratic super majority. And Republican registration falls to an all-time low.

    At the same time, the Republican Party and the other anti-government zealots continue to pursue economic and social policies that are totally out of step with the majority of Californians.

    Duh, could it be that the more rigid the conservatives are, the more irrelevant they become? Just sayin’

    Reply this comment
  4. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 7 November, 2012, 18:10

    LOL…even commie steve from sacto is jumping on the gloating bandwagon!

    BTW Steve 32 lost by less than 2 points, that is not being “trounced”. 30 was trounced.

    Reply this comment
  5. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 7 November, 2012, 20:09

    Steve: We did a lot of blogging instead of the usual news articles. And you know we’ve been as hard on the Republicans as on the Democrats.

    It’s also not accurate to say the Republican party is “anti-government.” Remember how Bush ran up record deficits on his wild spending binges? And how Schwarzenegger went on record spending sprees — at one time the state budget was $110 billion — then increased taxes to pay for it?

    And as President Obama kept pointing out, the inspiration of Obamacare was Romneycare.

    Just wait till the economy collapses in 2013, especially in California. Guess who will get all the blame?

    — John Seiler

    Reply this comment
  6. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 7 November, 2012, 23:19

    Rex, Prop. 32 lost by 12 points–and that is being trounced. Prop. 30 lost by 7.8 points–and that is being trounced. It is not necessary to call another poster a commie. You got your ass kicked, and we have all been gentle with you–how about returning such, in-kind.

    Reply this comment
  7. Queeg
    Queeg 9 November, 2012, 07:53

    Doomers Steve warned you…you never listen…you think your hip name calling and bashing fellow citizens…

    You got what you deserve. A very very minority party of cocktail party grazers and deliverance boys barking at their Golden Calf!

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

CA Legislature now a Dem supermajority

Nov. 7, 2012 Katy Grimes: Many in California expected the Democrats to gain a supermajority in the state Senate. But

Traitorous tax increasers lose

John Seiler: One good result from the election. Traitorous tax increasers Abel Maldonado and Mike Villines lost their statewide races,

Assembly Crime and Punishment

Katy Grimes: It’s never surprising when the wrath of the Speaker of the Assembly comes down on a member for