Sunday, November 11, 2012

The biggest political story you probably haven't heard

(At least if you're not on Pacific Time) were California propositions 30, 32, and 36. I don't have time to give this the write-up it deserves, but the LA Times voting guide is a good starting point. The short version is this: under long odds  (including the worst piece of vanity politics since Nader hung it up and a special cameo appearance from the Koch brothers) and by significant margins, the largest state in the union has just made a sharp turn to the left on taxes, education, unions and mass incarceration.

What's more, I suspect that the interest in these issues may have pumped up voter turn out and, as a result, helped Obama's popular vote totals. Add to that a potential supermajority in both houses.

None of this may be as interesting as genetically modified food and condoms for porn stars but it's a damned sight more important.


  1. Two thirds in the Assembly, two thirds in the Senate, the Democratic party can pass whatever they want to pass without participation from the opposition party. Prop 30, while not as big as Prop 13 (that is the table setter for all matters taxes) was a major change in attitude. Now if the new Legislature, with its two thirds super majority chooses to tackle the problems with Prop 13 (i.e., commercial property exemptions) that will be very big. And this is the time to make those changes.

    1. I think you have to figure in 36's impact on the budget as well. The cost of mass incarceration is a huge part of the problem.

    2. IMO, Three Strikes was always problematic for Californians. IRC, it barely passed in Santa Clara County, and only after the sheriff based her campaign on it. Wasn't it already enacted by the legislature by the time the prop passed anyway?
      Where I agree that Prop 36 changes the budget dynamic, it wasn't the reason that Californians modified the statute. I don't perceive Prop 36 to be the sea change that is an all democratic legislature with a sane governor (no Bobby Jindal for Sacramento). That's much larger then a recognition that the Three Strikes prop was flawed. That was understood from the git go, but the emotional argument won over. If the electorate could swallow Prop 30 (higher taxes?! Quick to the fainting couch!) then a sober look at commercial real estate taxes is possible.