Goofy Golden State Vote

Random Lengths News | November 8, 2006
Sometimes I think the voters of this state are just plain goofy because of the way they vote, other times slightly schizophrenic. Just look at this week’s election results where the majority of registered California Democrats voted in five candidates in the top seven leadership jobs––the two exceptions being the governor and the insurance commissioner. This, just one year after the muscle-man Gropenator was trounced in his special election attacking public service employee pensions for nurses, firefighters and teachers. Obviously the Democrats have the majority of the registered voters on their side. On a order of two to one– enough to elect Garamendi as Lieutenant Governor, Jerry “moonbeam” Brown as Attorney General, John Chaing as Controller, Bill Lockyer as Treasurer-– and even squeaked in Debra Bowen for Secretary of State–Cruz Bustamante might have done better if he hadn’t lost weight. So how did the Schwarz stay in as Governor?

Now, California is known as the “left coast” by most of the nation and usually with some cause. In San Francisco this week they ran a ballot proposition to impeach Bush–– not unreasonable considering his lying to Congress on the War in Iraq, prisoner abuse and covering up just about everything else–– AND the Democrats have now taken back the House of Representatives. The least the Dems could do is to investigate someone like Bush or Cheney for corruption.

California does lead the nation with the most Congressional districts, 53, with 31 of them controlled by the Dems and now the first woman Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who is considered by some in her San Francisco district as being kind of “conservative.” Keep in mind that terms like “moderate,” “liberal” and “conservative” take on significantly different meanings in Frisco by the Bay than they do in Los Angeles or even Pedro. It should be interesting to see just how “left coast” Pelosi will be as Speaker.

However, this is not the first time (or probably the last) that California voters gullibly swallow another goofy “B movie” actor for high office. The last one, Ronald Reagan, was not only a disaster as governor, gutting the California University system and closing the State’s mental hospitals, but then we sent him to Washington DC to screw up the entire nation as well. Think Iran Contra scandal for a moment and then think about where we are with Iran today? The only saving grace here is that unless we change the US Constitution, Arnold can’t run for President, because he wasn’t born here, but he could and I predict he will run for the US Senate. Couldn’t we just have his wife Maria Shriver without having him around with that menacing grin and his covert economic agenda?

Schwarzenegger will, in the end, come back to haunt the goofy California electorate like a bad holiday fruit cake that keeps getting passed around as a gift––it looks good all wrapped up, but nobody really wants to open it. Suffer we will, because the Gropenator is now acting at being bipartisan, making friends with State Assembly leader Fabian Nunez, and smoking cigars in his Sacramento tent with other Democrats. I guess the problem we have in the LA Harbor area is that both Betty Karnette (D-54 Assembly) and Alan Lowenthal (D-37 Senate) don’t smoke cigars.

Talking about clearing the air, the other wacky thing about our elections is the amount of over-the-top fear mongering that we allow, which takes up so much expensive air time that in the last weeks of every election cycle, the only thing to do was tune it all out. Prop 87, the oil severance tax for alternative energy, is a prime example of the oil company’s bulldog tactics of bullying the voters. Pandering to their fears at the pump, fear of not reading the “12,000 words” in the proposition to create a new “unaccountable bureaucracy,” fear of fear. The deal is that we are one of the largest oil consuming states in the United States, a market that the oil companies can’t do without. They need to pay their fair share of taxes. They will do anything to avoid doing so. The thing is that nearly every other state in the Union has just this kind of severance tax; it just isn’t used to create “alternative energy.”

Jerry Brown was hounded with the moniker “governor Moonbeam” some thirty odd years ago when he mused that it would be great if there were wireless phones that bounced messages off of satellites so that in the event of the phone lines going down during an earthquake, the government could still communicate to emergency service providers. The mainstream press thought he was really out there and had a field day with it. The idea of taxing oil companies to invest in alternative energy or that we should have public funding of political campaigns may sound bizarre to some, but you might want to get back to me after you hang up you cell phone and think about the taxes you pay for having a phone in your pocket.

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