California: The Alternative Election Universe

This morning in California it feels a little like we’re emerging from an episode of the TV show Fringe where the characters flash from one universe to another battling each other.

While San Francisco will welcome home the World Series Champion Giants with a parade, in some ways it is de ja vu all over again as Jerry Brown is again Governor but this time San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome is along for the ride as the natural inheritor of the Governor Moonbeam title in his election as Lt Governor.

While the results are not final it appears that Democrats will sweep almost all the major state offices.

With a few notable exceptions, unlike the rest of the nation which had a throw the bums out philosophy, Californians clung to familiar faces.  Senator Barbara Boxer seems to have survived the fight of her political life against Carly Fiorina who has yet to concede the race until the count is official.  Nancy Pelosi was easily reelected to Congress but lost her job as Speaker of the House.  My own Congressman Democrat Jerry McNerney lost his bid for re-election in one of the few competitive seats in the Golden state to a conservative GOP lawyer.

California Ballot Propositions

The results of our latest round of wacky ballot propositions:

“NO” to:

  • Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana (Yes 46%/No 54%)
  • Proposition 21 add parks fee to vehicle registration cost (Yes42%/No 57%)
  • Proposition 23 to suspend AB32 Global Warming Law (Yes39%/No 61%)
  • Proposition 24 repeal business tax breaks (Yes 41%/No 58%)
  • Proposition 27 give back control of redistricting to Legislature (Yes40%/ No 59%)

YES to:

  • Proposition 20 strips legislature of authority to redistrict Congressional seats (Yes61%/No 38%)
  • Proposition 25 allows Legislature to approve state budget by majority vote not 2/3 (Yes 54%/No 45%)
  • Proposition 26 requires 2/3 vote on all fees reclassifying them as taxes (Yes52%/ No 47%)

Lessons?

It will take a few days to know the final results and determine if there are any last minute surprises as the mail-in and military ballots are counted but it appears the lessons from the left coast are:

  • President Obama was not rejected here in California and his efforts for Senator Boxer worked.
  • Democrats dominate the state elective offices and incumbents mostly survived the scare.
  • Nancy Pelosi won re-election but lost badly and will surely be blamed for the GOP takeover of the House
  • $140 million of  her own money could not get Meg Whitman elected Governor
  • Voters told Barbara Boxer you are not a very good senator but Carly outsourced 30,000 HP jobs to China
  • California did not ‘go to pot’ for fear of gangs and the Federal Government warning not to do it.
  • Global Warming Solutions were NOT suspended but “fees” were reclassified as taxes and require 2/3 vote
  • Democrats lost control over Congressional redistricting as voters assigned it to an independent commission
  • Most local levies for schools were OK’d by voters but a hike in vehicle registration fees for parks was rejected

There were a few crazy issues at work:

  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors banned McDonald’s Happy Meal toys to fight obesity in kids
  • Los Angeles voters re-elected a dead state assembly member so now must have a special election.
  • San Francisco voters rejected a proposition to allow non-citizens (read: illegals) to vote for school board
  • San Francisco voters approved a proposition requiring transit workers to contribute toward benefits costs.