State Democratic Party Losing Touch with Voters

By Greg Larson

The California electorate was particularly discerning, with a strong differentiation between their votes for candidates and their votes on the ballot measures.

It appears that Democrats won all nine statewide races and retain significant majorities in the California legislative and congressional delegations.

But as evidenced below, the statewide ballot measures paint a completely different picture, one that suggests the Democratic Party itself is increasingly out of touch with the policy preferences of the California electorate.

California voters only agreed with the Democratic Party on 2 out of 9 ballot measures (No on Prop 23 and Yes on Prop 25) while Meg Whitman prevailed on 8 out of 9 ballot measures, opposing the electorate only on Prop 25.  This is a stark difference in voter alignment of only 22 percent for the Democrats and 89 percent for Whitman.

Further analysis shows even greater challenges for Democratic Party constituencies.  Besides the Democratic Party itself and the ultra-liberal San Francisco Bay Guardian, the other top electoral losers on the ballot measures were ALL labor unions and so-called “progressive” coalitions, including the AFL-CIO State Labor Federation, both major teachers’ unions (CTA & CFT), California Nurses Association, SEIU, AFSCME, Building & Construction Trades, the “Courage Campaign” and Health Access California.

At the other extreme, the top ballot measure electoral winners included not only Meg Whitman, but also business groups and major newspapers, including the California Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, California Taxpayers Association,  Farm Bureau,  Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Oakland Tribune/Contra Costa Times, plus the Republican Party and CA Police Chiefs.

Only Common Cause and the AARP scored 100% with the electorate on the ballot measures, but did so by endorsing on only 2 and 3 measures, respectively.  Interestingly, they both joined with the public in strongly supporting independent redistricting (Yes on Prop 20 and No on Prop 27), which was the opposite of the California Democratic Party.  Note that Jerry Brown also scored 100% with the electorate on his ballot measure positions, but he only took public positions on two of them, joining with Meg Whitman in opposition to both Props 19 and 23.

Lessons learned:

1)  The California Democratic Party needs to get back in touch with the policy positions of the California electorate by leading on government reform, not fighting it, and by softening its long-standing blind allegiance to Sacramento-based officials and special interests.

2)  Environmental leaders only won on one of their three core ballot measures, defeating Prop 23 but losing on the passage of Prop 21 and the defeat of Prop 26.  Maybe they should have focused more on their core measures rather than joining in on the failed efforts to fight independent redistricting.

DISCLOSURE: I voted for Jerry Brown and all but one of the statewide Democratic candidates.  I also opposed Props 19, 23, 24, 26 and 27 and supported Props 20, 21, 22 and 25, scoring 7 out of 9 (78%)  with the electorate, losing only with environmental leaders on Props 21 and 26.  In addition, back in the 1980’s I was one of the grassroots leaders of the State Democratic Party that - for a brief while - wrestled away control of the State Party apparatus from the legislative leadership.

HIGH VOTER ALIGNMENT BALLOT MEASURE RATIOS:

Meg Whitman                   8 out of 9     89 %

Long Beach Press Telegram   8 out of 9  

Chamber of Commerce         6 out of 7     86 %

CA Taxpayers Assn             5 out of 6     83 %

CA Police Chiefs Assn         5 out of 6

Silicon Valley Ldrshp Group   4 out of 5     80 %

San Jose Mercury News         7 out of 9     78 %

Los Angeles Times             7 out of 9

Oakland Trib/CC Times       7 out of 9

San Francisco Chronicle       7 out of 9

CA Farm Bureau               7 out of 9

Republican Party               6 out of 8     75 %

LOW VOTER ALIGNMENT BALLOT MEASURE RATIOS:

Health Access CA             1 out of 5       20 %

SF Bay Guardian             2 out of 9       22 %

Democratic Party             2 out of 8       25 %

Young Democrats           2 out of 8

SEIU                         2 out of 8

CA Teachers Assn           2 out of 8

CA Nurses Assn             2 out of 8

Courage Campaign           2 out of 8

Bldg/Construction Trades   2 out of 7       29 %

AFL-CIO Labor Federation   2 out of 7

CA Federation of Teachers   2 out of 7

AFSCME                     2 out of 7

The source data for the above analysis can be found at http://www.CaliforniaChoices.org

38 Comments

    • That would actually be pretty awesome, particularly if Jerry Brown decided to retire after a single term (which at his age, is not a too far-fetched possibility).

      One obstacle:  Ralph Nader has lived his whole life in Connecticut.

  1. Interesting analysis about voter preferences, but too many complicating factors to be able to draw any conclusions about the Democratic Party.

    My assessment is that the ballot propositions demonstrated that California voters are magnanimous, big-hearted do-gooders, so long as there is no personal or immediate cost for their sentiments.

    Bottom line, voters will go along with just about any spending or program that helps children, or the unfortunate, or homeless or (fill in the blank).

    Borrow the money from China.  Borrow the money from future generations.  Beg for the money from the federal government.  Steal the money from inactive bank accounts or abandoned storage lockers.

    JUST DON’T RAISE TAXES OR SCREW WITH PROP 13!  It’s the third, fourth, and fifth rail of California politics.

    Which presents the Democrat one-party establishment with a big problem:

    Jerry Brown is about three things:

    1. He’s ardently against the death penalty.
    2. He is a wacko environmentalist to the core.
    3. He is owned by the public employee unions. 

    Meg Whitman may have spent $140 million of her own money to try to become governor.  But Jerry Brown floated into the governorship on a similarly vast cloud of compaign money thoughtfully, generously, and discreetly provided by the unions.

    The Democrat’s big problem is that by next summer, the California budget will be in even bigger deficit than it is this year, the oppressive anti-business policies of the monopoly Democrat legislature will be further suppressing business activity, reducing tax revenues, and increasing unemployment, and there will be NO—ZERO, ZILCH, NIL, NADA—NO chance that voters will approve a tax increase.

    Governor Schwarzennegger has cut every budget item that the Democrat legislature would allow him to cut.  There is nothing more for Jerry Brown to cut.

    The public unions will NOT ALLOW any cuts in the government workforce or union benefits.

    The California bond rating will be downgraded, California interest payments on the debt will increase.  And the state will slip into actual or de facto bankruptcy.

    California will run out of cash by the end of summer, state employees will be paid with warrants or IOU’s.

    California voters will remember why they didn’t like Jerry Brown the first time he was governor.
    His job approval rating will drop below that of Gray Davis, and voters will be circulating petitions to recall him.

    But the good news is: California will not be inundated by rising sea levels resulting from global warming since the visionary Governor Schwarzenegger has successfully dealt with that problem.

      • > Stop whining. You lost…suck it up for eight years like the country did with the Bush/Cheney error.

        So, Billie-bubb:  you seem to have it all figured out.

        How do you think Governor Brown is going to able to put whatever it is you expect in your supperdish next summer?

        Or, are you assuming a bankrupt government is going to pay your $100K plus government pension forever?

    • Predicto,

      It matters little that we put Dem figureheads in office.  What truly matters is that we crimp their ability to tax and spend.  And we California voters at all levels – state, county and city – did just that.  Damn near all tax/fee measures failed to pass and, as a bonus, it now will require a super majority to increase fees.  That’s cause for celebration!

      • > Damn near all tax/fee measures failed to pass and, as a bonus, it now will require a super majority to increase fees.  That’s cause for celebration!

        Mr. Howe:

        I hope you are correct about the super majority passage of fees, but worry-wart that I am, I remain troubled by a radio commentary I heard regarding the propositions.

        The commentator suggested that the proposition that allows passage of a state budget on a majority vote ALSO enables sneaky and devious legislators to, indirectly raise taxes, too, and avoid a two thirds vote of the people.

        Keep your powder dry and don’t take your eyes off the bastards.

    • My father has an old, small sailboat parked in Oakland (68 islander bahama) I take out.  I’m fairly in tune with the sailing scene, and I read sailings equivalent of the SJ Metro.

      A few months back they were pushing their readers to pass 21.  Why?  All the sailors would get free parking for their boats at Angel island and Catalina island.

      So basically, anyone without a boat, would be paying access for the folks with boats.  I didn’t think this was fair.

      Taking this a step further to the rich without boats, I started thinking of all the CEO’s I had met over the years that parked their toys (RV’s, quads, etc) in the parking lots of the companies I worked at.  Should some guy making $300k @ year with an RV get free parking?  No.

      I would have been OK with prop 21 if the fee was a percentage of your cars value. This way everyone would pay an equal fee.  That would have been fair.

      Thank god it didn’t pass.

  2. Its never been any secret that Democratic elected officials in this state tend to be well to the left of actual Democratic voters.  So much so, that its a wonder so many of them remain Democratic voters.  A lot of it is based on an irrational fixation on media-driven, marquee issues, abortion being the most prominent.  If Bill Simon had been pro-Choice, he’d have beat Gray Davis in 2002, despite the fact that due to the Roe vs. Wade decision, and the composition of the California Legislature, its almost difficult to imagine something less important than the position on the abortion issue of California’s Governor.  The problem is that much of our electorate is essentially an ignorant rabble, and so whichever party wins, the minority of us who are informed almost invariably lose.  I mean, when I say that only a mentally retarded person could have voted for Carly Fiorina over Tom Campbell in last June’s Republican primary, I feel like I’m not exaggerating by much.

    • >  I mean, when I say that only a mentally retarded person could have voted for Carly Fiorina over Tom Campbell in last June’s Republican primary, I feel like I’m not exaggerating by much.

      You lookin’ at me, Dude?

  3. I was amused by a radio news story earlier today:

    Reportedly, Governor-Elect Brown had meetings with the majority leader of the State Assembly and with the President Pro Tem of the Senate.

    One told him the budget deficit was $12 billion.  The other told him it was $15 billion.

    I guess this means that if a bag of state money fell of a truck in Sacramento and you kept a billion for yourself but returned the rest, no one would say anything.

  4. Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out to get you.

    Three days after the election, there are 2,342,664 “unprocessed” uncounted ballots in California.

    1,731,059 of the ballots are “Vote-By-Mail” ballots.  News sources report that these votes are “showing up” at vote counting centers.

    Really!  And how are they showing up? 

    Is the post office delivering them?

    Are SEIU couriers wearing purple T-shirts delivering neatly bundled packages of ballots, ninety-nine percent of which vote the straight Democrat ticket?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Who are these “unprocessed ballots” being delivered to?

    One correspondent reports that the county officials “sent out e-mails on the internet to union members” asking for temporary workers to “process” the ballots.

    Another correspondent reports seeing an election worker in Santa Clara County processing ballots while wearing a purple SEIU shirt.

    A campaign volunteer in the 20th Congressional district reported that the SEIU contributed $1.3 million to the defeat of a ballot measure.  SEIU workers in the 20th Congressional district were observed processing ballots for races involving candidates who supported the ballot measure.

    In Nevada, it was revealed that the technicians who maintain the states voting machines are . . . SEIU members.

    Across the United States, the results of the election showed a powerful, historic wave which dramatically shifted power from Democrats to Republicans: 6 Senate seats, 65 House seats, 660 state legislature seats, a dozen governorships, switched from Democrat to Republican.

    Yet in California, UNLIKE most of the rest of the country, Democrats GAINED the governorship, and held all federal and state legislative seats, with only a single congressional race in doubt.

    California was, for the Democrats, a miracle election.  It was so miraculous, in fact, that the margin of victory in the Governor and Senate races even exceeded the wildly optimistic predictions of the Democrat leaning Field Poll.

    How do these miracles happen?

    The immortal Franklin D. Roosevelt’s politically astute friend, Uncle Joe Stalin, famously observed:

    “Elections are not decided by those who vote, but by those who count the votes.”

    Should we be suspicious?

    • I’m a member of the UFCW, and I only voted the way they endorsed in two races, as I recall.  The idea that anyone who’s a member of the SEIU is some stooge who would approve of electoral fraud seems a bit excessive.

      • I’m sure it’s just an innocent coincidence that the head of the SEIU, Andy Stern, was one of the most frequent visitors to the Obama White House, and also that the SEIU gave $30 million in campaign contributions to Democrats and liberal causes.

        Just an innocent coincidence.  The SEIU really has no interest in who wins elections.

        Go back to your homes.  Nothing more to see.

        • Should We Be Suspicious?,

          We should ALWAYS be suspicious.
          It’s been shocking to watch the peoples’ naive, unquestioning acceptance of the fundamental changes in the way we conduct elections and the lack of critical thought and discussion as to how these changes may compromise the integrity of our voting process.
          I don’t know if there IS widespread election fraud, but I do know this; The casual, unvigilant attitude of the liberal majority in this country creates the perfect environment for it.

    • “Yet in California, UNLIKE most of the rest of the country, Democrats GAINED the governorship, and held all federal and state legislative seats, with only a single congressional race in doubt.”

      It was mainly the densely populated coastal counties that voted democratic in this, and past elections.  Of course, the average IQ is also higher in these counties than the rest of California, or the country.  So that easily explains your confusion as to the results.  Both here and nationwide.

      Glorifying national ignorance is not the path to success.

      • > Of course, the average IQ is also higher in these counties than the rest of California, or the country.

        BWAHAAHAAAHAA!!!

        A completely made-up bogus factoid that moonbats like because it makes them feel good.

        Where’s the evidence?

        By the way, did you know that it is ILLEGAL in California to give an IQ test to a black school child.

        Hence, your factoid could also be interpreted as covert, sneaky racism because the population that you are suggesting has a high IQ EXCLUDES blacks!!!  If blacks were included in the YOUR populaton sample it would bring the average IQ down because—well—blacks have lower IQs.

        Is THAT why you are saying that costal counties have a higher IQ?

        Since YOU have a high IQ, you KNEW all of this, didn’t you.  So your racism was conscious, premeditated and intentional racism.

    • Ah Ha! Purple shirts! That PROVES it!  Right?

      Somebody needs to turn off Fox and talk radio and go outside for a deep breath of fresh air. It might help clear your head of those paranoid delusions about people in purple shirts!

      • > Ah Ha! Purple shirts! That PROVES it!  Right?

        > Somebody needs to turn off Fox and talk radio and go outside for a deep breath of fresh air.

        Somebody needs to look at what those guys in purple shirts are actually doing, who’s paying them to do what they do, and where the money to pay them comes from.

        Follow the money.

        I’m very confident that Mr. Then Again’s answer to all the above questions is:  “Duh—I don’t know”.

        I’m sure that Mr. Then Again is gratified by the fact that there has been ONLY one reported beating of a black American citizen by SEIU thugs wearing their purple shirts during the entire 2010 election cycle.  No need to look for any more, right?

        • I saw many purple shirts on the Grassy Knoll in Dallas and on many episodes of X-Files.  Of course the economic meltdown was caused by the purple shirt people and they hid the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as well. 

          King Kong had a purple shirt on before he climbed the Empire State Building as well.  Tokyo Rose in WWII was wore a purple shirt and the guy who kidnapped the Linbdurgh Baby….that’s right, he had a purple shirt on as well.

          There is no bigfoor, lochness monster, or ufo’s and there is no conspiracy of purple shirt people stealing elections.

          Although the Queen, the Rothchilds, Warren Buffett (Omaha not Jimmy), and Lady Gaga get together each year and conspire to take over the world, and they wear purple shirts.

        • Dear Grassy Knoll:

          Were the SEIU Purple Shirters counting votes on the Grassy Knoll?

          I wasn’t there.  I don’t know.  I assume that you WERE there and can testify that they were merely engaged in beating black conservative protesters and not engaged in vote fraud.

          However.  I AM persuaded that the SEUI Purple Shirters WERE counting election ballots in California CD-11:

          http://www.trivalleypatriots.com/

          I remain suspicious.

      • > It might help clear your head of those paranoid delusions about people in purple shirts!

        Tryning to clear my head . . . . trying . . . . trying . . . .

        It’s not working.

        SEIU Assualt at San Jose computer manufacturer

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnZyOhEN1KU&feature=related

        SEIU Perp in Handcuffs After Assaullt on Black Vendor

        http://www.politicalbyline.com/2009/08/07/seiu-thugs-beat-black-conservative-activist/

        SEIU Assult in Hospital

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hznSuacEN_I&feature=related

  5. “A contract between SEIU Local 1107 and Clark County—where voting glitches were reported Tuesday—makes the SEIU the sole union representative for, among other professions, voting machine technicians. “

    “The union [SEIU] is putting big money into the Nevada Senate race to support Reid…”

    http://fxn.ws/aO7qCI

    “a Reid staffer sent an email to Harrah’s top lobbyist Jan Jones, who in turn distributed the email to executives — offering any help possible to get out the vote for Reid. Upon learning that mid-level supervisors are not “cooperating with and listening to upper management,” the Reid staffer even goes so far as to suggest that Harrah’s execs “put a headlock on your supervisors to get them to follow through.”

    http://bit.ly/aymgvX

    Hugo Chavez would be proud.

    • That certainly proves it…this of course means that Prince who sang “Purple Rain” is their leader.

      If you play “Purple Rain” backwards it says, “Steal Elections SEIU”.  Novice, you are so smart.

  6. SEIU and election fraud go together like peas and carrots.

    Judge won’t reinstate 6,000 purged voters

    “The motion for the preliminary injunction is one of several federal challenges regarding purged voters filed against the secretary of state by Common Cause of Colorado, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and the Service Employees International Union.”

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16382570

    SEIU using multiple non-profits to push Immigrant votes

    “Mi Familia Vota has been operating under the SEIU umbrella since at least 2004”

    http://huntercantor.com/seiu-and-my-familia-vota-connections-documentation/

    “Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who also worked for the Service Employees International Union before coming to Houston. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid.”

    http://fxn.ws/awMChz

    “The SEIU’s parent organization has paid ACORN for training, voter registration and other organizing work, and SEIU locals have paid ACORN affiliates for their services, according to union reports. ACORN founder Wade Rathke was a top member of the SEIU’s board until last year and founded two SEIU locals—in Chicago and New Orleans. SEIU President Andy Stern serves on an advisory panel that was supposed to help ACORN fix financial problems after an embezzlement was discovered last year.”

    http://wapo.st/2yrHua

  7. I think political parties are basically brands like coke/pepsi, Apple, NFL teams, etc.  Loyalty exists to the brand based on feelings created through marketing.

    The actual product (say the performance of the football team on the field) does not really seem to factor in.  Apple fans think apple does everything better, even when they just put it the same crap in a pretty new box and get 50% profit margins from “cool kids” trying to stay cool.  Nike, Honda…think about it.

    The lesson is that Democrat is the dominant brand in California.  Someone passionate about politics wanting to make a difference must register as a democrat in order to be eligible for public office.  If you disagree on principles with some of the stands of the party, you must work from within to change it rather than be in the wilderness of opposition.  Many have learned this lesson, and California has democrats of all flavors in the big tent.

    California, despite its many failings, does have progressive era reforms on the books like initiative, referendum and recall.  We can express public policy opinions and over-ride the careerists who’s pursuit of power is more important to them than what they actually do while in power.  Its flawed, but at least its a relief valve.

  8. “We’re nothing but a mirror of our consistent thoughts. You tend to manifest what you focus on. If you look around for what’s wrong, you’ll find it. But as all we know up here in San Francisco, when you focus on what’s right, you see it all around you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with California that can’t be fixed by what’s right with California. If you’re from another state, you’d love to have the problems of California.”

    —Gavin Newsome

    Jerry “Uncle Fester” Brown + Gavin Newsome = Cali’s dynamic duo of lunacy for the next 4 years.  God help us all.

    • > Jerry “Uncle Fester” Brown + Gavin Newsome = Cali’s dynamic duo of lunacy for the next 4 years.  God help us all.

      Call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I just feel there’s a chance that we will be blessed with God’s help sooner than 4 years.

      Jerry Brown is:

      A. An anti-death penalty zealot; he has said he is going to appoint the same type of judges he appointed his last time as governor (Rose Bird);

      B. An envionmental wacko who actually believes all the “global warming” buncombe;

      C. A lap poodle for the government employee unions (where do you think the money came from that trumped Meg Whitmans $140 million?)

      Bottom line: with an all Democrat legislature, expect California to race to the front of the line of ALL states for oppressive business environment and high taxes.

      This will result in, more business bankruptcies, businesses and taxpayers fleeing the state, steeply declining tax revenues, wildly excessive demands by government employee unions, exploding debt, deeper and deeper cuts in government “services”, and inevitable insolvency.  And, there will be NO bailout from Washington.

      Within a year, the majority of voters will come to the realization that Jerry Brown is an even bigger jerk than the last time he was governor, California is in an even worse mess than it was under Gray Davis, and Californians discovered that they didn’t have to put up with Gray Davis.

      If we can do it to Gray Davis, we can do it to Jerry Brown.  We’ve been through the drill.

      I think it is entirely possible that Jerry Brown will face a recall election, and people won’t have to wait for his “second term” to decide whether its justified.  This is his third term, and we’re SURE it’s justified.

  9. > I think political parties are basically brands like coke/pepsi, Apple, NFL teams, etc.  Loyalty exists to the brand based on feelings created through marketing.

    Correct.  And the leftist ruling establishment in California has done a superb job of trashing the “Republican” brand, while the stupid Republicans sat on their fat wallets and wondered why the Democrats were saying all those horrible, awful, untrue things about them.

    George W. Bush probably deserves the most blame for being “The Great Non-Communicator”.

    Bush was not a bad communicator, he basically just didn’t communicate at all.  He had the mindset that all the stupid, outlandish things that Democrats were saying about him were obviously stupid and untrue and the people would figure it out on there on. 

    Wrong!!!

    Things didn’t work out that way.  Too many people thought that since Bush didn’t respond to the attacks on him, the attacks probably must be true!

    Clinton had exactly the opposite approach, and it worked well for him.  Clinton set up permanent campaign “war rooms” to monitor all attacks on him and make sure that there was a serious and energetic counter response as rapidly as possible, with particular focus on making sure his response was in the same news cycle.

    That way, the public always had the critics story and Clinton’s story side by side, and it was always easy for Clinton’s partisans to side with Clinton.

    One of the big mysteries of Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor is that she didn’t seem to realize the importance of “messaging”.  She was a former product manager for consumer products powerhouse Procter and Gamble and should have been a very sophisticated deep thinker about selling soap to consumers.

    She spent a ton of money to get her message out, but at the end of the day, her “message” seemed to be focused on building her “name recognition”.

    Seems dumb to me.

    Plenty of people in California got the message: “Hi, I’m Meg Whitman, I’m running for governor.”

    Yeah.  So what.

    What they needed to hear was: “Jerry Brown is goofy, failed, hippie dinosaur from the sixties, who put the big government unions in the driver’s seat in California, and appointed criminal loving justices to the Supreme court.  If you vote for that jerk, you’ll regret it.”

    Yes.  I know. I know.  Negative campaigning.

    But, A) it’s true, and B) it works.

  10. The ‘Golden State’ Still Doesn’t Get It

    The midterm elections turned into a sweeping repudiation of the Democrats’ failed status quo — except, that is, in California. There, not only did the Democrats not lose, they gained clout.

    Even as voters in other states said they’d had enough of ever bigger, more intrusive and higher-cost government by the Democrats, California voters said, “More please.”

    With the exception of the governor’s office, California has been a virtual one-party state since the 1960s. Now, thanks to decades of anti-business policies promulgated by a series of left-leaning legislatures, its economy and finances are a mess, and it’s hemorrhaging jobs, businesses and productive entrepreneurs to other states.

    The pattern continued on Tuesday, when voters rehired 1970s Democratic gubernatorial retread Jerry Brown and rejected moderate Republican and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina for far-left, five-term incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer.

    How bad has it gotten in the erstwhile Golden State? Consider:

    see part 2 below

  11. part 2:

    How bad has it gotten in the erstwhile Golden State? Consider:

    • Some 2.3 million Californians are without jobs, for a 12.4% unemployment rate — one of the highest in the country.

    • From 2001 to 2010, factory jobs plummeted from 1.87 million to 1.23 million — a loss of 34% of the state’s industrial base. Ask any company, and it’ll tell you the same thing: It’s now almost impossible to build a big factory in California.

    • With just 12% of the U.S. population, California has almost a third of the nation’s welfare recipients. Some joke the state motto should be changed from “The Golden State” to “The Welfare State.” Meanwhile, 15.3% of all Californians live in poverty.

    • The state budget gap for 2009-10 was $45.5 billion, or 53% of total state spending — the largest in any state’s history.

    • The state’s sales tax is the nation’s highest, and its income tax the third-highest, the BusinessInsider.com Web site recently noted. Meanwhile, the Tax Foundation’s “State Business Tax Climate Index” ranks California 48th.

    • In a ranking by corporate relocation expert Ronald Pollina of the 50 states based on 31 factors for job creation, California finished dead last.

    • In another ranking, this one by the Beacon Hill Institute on state competitiveness, California came in 32nd — down seven spots in just one year.

    • California is home to 25% of America’s 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants. A 2004 study estimated that illegals cost the state’s citizens $10.5 billion a year — roughly $1,200 per family.

    • Unfunded pension liabilities for California’s state and public employees may be as much as $500 billion — roughly 17% of the nation’s total $3 trillion at the state and local level.

    This has been building for decades. Yet, despite the abysmal track record, Democrats in this election not only won six of the state’s seven top jobs, they extended their hold over the state legislature, too. The GOP gained a record 680 seats in statehouses nationwide on Tuesday. In California, they gained none.

    Even Democratic candidate Jenny Oropeza, who died two weeks ago, still managed to defeat live Republican John Stammreich in a race for a state Senate seat.

    California really bucked the national trend.

    “Democrats had a 13-point party identification advantage among California voters, compared with an even split nationwide,” wrote Jack Pitney, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, on the National Review’s blog. “California voters approved of President Obama’s performance by a 10-point margin, whereas the national electorate disapproved by nine points.

    “It’s a different kind of state,” he said. That may be the understatement of 2010.

    A large part of the state’s Democratic tilt comes from its massive Latino population. The Los Angeles Times noted that it made up 22% of the voting pool, “a record tally that mortally wounded many Republicans.”

    Indeed, Latinos went for Democrats by 2-to-1 — perhaps ending the naive idea of some in the GOP of a New Majority built on the burgeoning Latino population.

    But the real political problem lies in Sacramento, the state capital, which is run not so much by politicians as by the unions they’ve sold out to — state employees, nurses, teachers and prison guards.

    For their part, politicians have largely ignored the state’s crumbling infrastructure, failing schools and dismal job market. And it’s about to get worse.

    Voters also approved a new measure requiring a simple legislative majority to approve a state budget. It previously took two-thirds, giving Republicans far more leverage. Democrats, in other words, will now find it even easier to spend money they don’t have.

    Moreover, as its tax base shrivels, the state is lurching ever closer to fiscal insolvency. At some point, it will ask Congress for a bailout, and how likely is that with the new Republican majority?

    Worse is the feeling among the state’s businesses of an entrenched, almost pathological antipathy toward any job-creating activity.

    As Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers memorably put it: “The killer factor in California for a manufacturer to create, say, 1,000 blue-collar jobs is a hostile government that doesn’t want you there and demonstrates it in thousands of ways.”

    So far this year, thanks to California’s unfriendly political environment, strict regulations and high taxes, 32 companies have announced they’ll either expand elsewhere, move or shut down operations, according to the California Manufacturers & Technology Association.

    For many, it’s as simple as ABC — Anywhere But California. This is an issue near and dear to our hearts. Investor’s Business Daily was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles — and for a quarter of a century has proudly called California its home.

    But we too have been affected by the state’s poisonous, anti-business political environment. With de facto one-party rule in the state since the 1960s and few signs of change anytime soon, our optimism about the state’s future has begun to wane.

    As a result, sad to say, much of IBD’s future growth will happen at a new facility in Texas — where local and state authorities have bent over backwards to make us feel welcome.

    California was once like Texas, but lost its way. Today, when comparisons are made, California is most often compared to Greece — another idyllic place with a sunny, Mediterranean climate on the verge of bankruptcy.

    In the end, only the voters of California can change things. But on Tuesday, they opted for more of the same governance that will only make conditions worse.

    • Oh, wow!

      California is destined to be the PERFECT LIBERAL DEMOCRAT SOCIAL UTOPIA.

      Democrat Governer
      Democrat Attorney General
      Democrat Secretary of State
      Democrat Controller
      Democrat majority Senate
      Democrat majority Assembly

      A simple majority budget rule.

      Unionized everything.

      A High Speed Rail System.

      Unlimited borrowing as far as the eye can see.

      An end to air pollution and global warming!

      Cinch your napkin up around your neck, get your knife and fork, look up at the sky and open your mouth:

      IT’S GONNA BE RAINING PIE!!!!

      How could anything go wrong?

  12. Maybe finally Democrat Legislature Disaster will get credit they deserve for worst in US state government

    – worst budget deficit,
    – worst roads in US,
    – worst credit rating,
    – excessive government employee pensions
    – worst unemployment
    – worst jobs / business climate

    and many other wacky spending, tax and political ideas and out of control spending  

    democrat’s will have difficult time blaming totally inept Republicans who after spending $200 million couldn’t elect a single statewide politician during worst California unemployment and budget crisis giving voters no realistic alternative choices

  13. > democrat’s will have difficult time blaming totally inept Republicans who after spending $200 million couldn’t elect a single statewide politician . . .

    No problem.  Democrats are still blaming Herbert Hoover, aren’t they.

  14. From former Bill Clinton political advisor, Dick Morris:

    > OBAMA MAY FACE LEFT-WING PRIMARY

    > By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

    . . . .

    > There are three possible contenders who might enter Democratic Primaries against Obama: Russ Feingold, Dennis Kucinich, and Jerry Brown.

    . . . .

    > Eventually, Brown could declare that the best way to serve the people of California is to run for president.  “Once you get running for president into your system, its hard to get rid of it,” a very close friend of the new Governor recently said.