Fighting the One-Party State at the Local Level in California

It isn’t a partisan observation to say that California is a one-party state. It’s just stating a fact. The Democratic Party controls all the levers of political power in California. Consider the evidence: GOP registration is down to 23 percent of registered voters. There is a Democratic “mega-majority” (75% or more) in both chambers of the state legislature. The GOP only holds 7 out of 53 congressional seats. Democrats occupy every state office from Governor on down. The GOP hasn’t elected a U.S. Senator to represent California since 1988. Democrats control the city councils and boards of supervisors in almost every city and county. There are roughly 10,000 elected positions in California, from school boards to utility commissions and special districts, and Democrats run candidates and have professional funded campaigns for all of them, all the time.

The reasons that California is a one-party state are also not hard to understand. For this as well, the evidence is overwhelming. Virtually every financial special interest in California supports Democrats. Public sector unions, which are almost exclusively supportive of Democratic candidates and causes, collect and spend $800 million per year. California’s high tech industry, commanding mind-blowing wealth, is solidly Democratic. California’s wealthy and influential entertainment industry is solidly Democratic. The media establishment in California is also solidly Democratic, wielding priceless influence over voters. And as if that weren’t enough, politically active billionaires spend amazing sums of money in California to support Democrats.

It takes BIG money to control California politics, and […] Read More

Using Online Resources to Qualify Ballot Measures

There is a mass delusion afflicting millions of Californians. They endure a cost-of-living nearly twice the national average, high taxes, the highest incidence of poverty, the most hostile business climate, some of the worst K-12 schools, well over a $1.0 trillion in bond and pension debt, unaffordable homes, among the highest prices in the nation for gasoline and electricity, water rationing, and they drive on congested and decaying roads and freeways.

Yet the latest PPIC poll, released this month, finds 49 percent of likely voters approve of Governor Newsom’s job performance, and 47 percent approve of the state legislature.

Meanwhile, on the streets and in the parks of every major California city, over 150,000 homeless people are permanently encamped. Literally tens of thousands of them are either insane, diseased, drug addicts, criminals, or all of the above. As working Californians attempt to keep their shops open, or walk to work, or live in peace, these homeless, who need help, not “lifestyle tolerance,” defecate, shoot heroin, and shriek in terror of schizophrenic demons. But instead of declaring an emergency, Governor Newsom just throws additional billions at what is a well documented scam, where politically favored cronies build “supportive housing” at average costs of over $500,000 per unit.

Yet this same poll finds that “fifty-eight percent of Californians are optimistic that the governor and legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot […] Read More

How Voters Can Transform California in One Election

Oxnard, California, wouldn’t immediately come to mind as the epicenter of a political revolution, but that’s exactly what it will be, if a small group of citizen activists succeed in putting not one, but five reforms in front of voters in the next major election.

The citizens initiative has been available to Californians at the state and local level for decades, but they are relatively unusual in local elections, and typically come one at a time. Local activists in San Jose and San Diego, for example, both placed pension reform initiatives on their municipal ballots, which voters passed by by landslide margins.

But what’s happening in Oxnard is unique, because voters may have the chance to vote on an entire slate of initiatives. While each one addresses a different topic of reform – financial transparency, street maintenance, term limits, open meetings, and permit streamlining – if voters approved all of them, they would have a mutually reinforcing impact. They would transform local politics in Oxnard forever, and pave the way to even bigger reforms.

At the state level, a slate of initiatives was tried in 2005 by then Governor Schwarzenegger. Taking office in Nov. 2003, Schwarzenegger tried for over a year to get California’s legislature to implement the reforms that voters had apparently mandated when they recalled the previous governor, Gray Davis. Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger’s initiatives had no viable campaign. Tepid variants of “it’s gone too far” doused the airwaves, barely, while the opposition went […] Read More