2010 Elections

Meg Whitman and the Latino Vote

By Robert Cruickshank

Over a month and a half after Meg Whitman went down in flames, losing to Jerry Brown by 13 points, recriminations are still flying among California Republicans about the embarrassing loss. George Skelton's column yesterday uses an interview with Rob Stutzman, a Senior Advisor to Meg Whitman and a former communications director for Arnold Schwarzenegger, to point out that a big factor in Whitman's defeat was her alienation of the Latino vote:

But the veteran Republican strategist is blaming the mini-landslide size of Whitman's loss on some ugly dust-ups over illegal immigration that alienated Latinos from the GOP....

"Republicans need to understand that they live in suburbs with second-generation Mexican American neighbors whose parents came here and worked in agriculture and the service industries and are very proud" of their families' success, Stutzman says.

Maybe Now for Prison Reform?

By Brian Leubitz

In case you hadn't noticed, we are pretty much at the moment of perfect storm for the prisons. They are wildly overcrowded, and generally wild. They are the subject of Supreme litigation to release 40,000 prisoners. They are costing us more than we are spending on our higher education systems, and oh, yeah, there's the fact that we face about $30 Billion of debt.

So you would think that this would be a fantastic opportunity to try to do something about the prison situation.  For years, the voters and politicians of the state have been scared of doing anything other than trading on fear.  Working on new solutions was considered too risky. 

Post-election Survey: Marijuana, Climate Change, Budget Reform Captured Voters’ Attention

By Public Policy Institute of California

Of the nine propositions on the November statewide ballot, Proposition 19—the unsuccessful measure to legalize marijuana—attracted the most interest among voters, and those who voted against it felt more strongly about the outcome than those who voted yes. These are among the key findings of a post-election survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with support from The James Irvine Foundation.  

In the PPIC survey of 2,003 voters who reported participating in the election, 38 percent say they were most interested in Proposition 19, followed by 16 percent who name Proposition 23, the measure to suspend the state’s air pollution law (AB 32). And, similar to Proposition 19, those who voted no on Proposition 23 are much more likely than those who voted yes to call the outcome of the vote on the measure important.

California GOP To Use White Supremacy To Stop Their Collapse

By Robert Cruickshank

We've been discussing the implications of the decline and fall of the California Republican Party here at Calitics in recent days - they have made themselves unelectable because their base hates 21st century reality, demanding white supremacy and destruction of the public sector despite the fact that a diverse population wants neither. Because of this, the CA GOP will struggle to win statewide elections, leading the corporate elite to bypass the GOP and forcing progressives to step up and ensure that Democratic majorities deliver for the base.

Governor Jerry Brown Will Aggressively Push Change

By Randy Shaw
Beyond Chron

Unlike Barack Obama, incoming California Governor Jerry Brown did not sell himself to voters as an agent of transformative change. To the contrary, Brown was the cool veteran who could be trusted to steer the ship wisely, a career politician offering stability after the shaky Schwarzenegger years. But Brown’s history shows that he likes to shake things up soon after taking office, and he now has the perfect opportunity.

What of the Union that Backed the Wrong Horse?

By Brian Leubitz

Meg Whitman didn't have much in the way of labor support.  However she was able to purchase secure one major public employee union, that of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association.  You might remember this from the incident where CSLEA extracted a promise from Whitman to exclude law enforcement from any pension reform process.  That incident became quite the brouhaha, first in that the candidate then said that she might take public employee pension reform to the ballot (without mentioning the topic of pension reform), and then later because somebody on Jerry Brown's staff called Whitman a "whore" for selling out to the union.

Reaching for a Legacy: A “Nonpartisan” Surrender?

By Peter Schrag

It’s legacy-polishing season, and nobody has ever been busier at it than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Our governor is going out as he came in, and as only he could do it, show-biz all the way. In the process, he’s also determined to prove that he’ll be at the helm until the very last day of his term in Sacramento. How many special legislative sessions has he called?

His own list of achievements, articulated in a string of recent public appearances – a little film, a victory lap on the Jay Leno TV show where his run for office officially began in 2003, an appearance at Democrat Willie Brown’s political breakfast, in interviews – includes his support and successful defense of AB 32, California’s pioneering greenhouse gas emission control law, pension reform, a new set of water laws, even a claim about “historic education reform.”

The Republican Anti-SF Strategy that Wasn't

By Jason Kinney

There are a lot of takeaways from last week's surprising but gracious concession by Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley in one of the closest statewide races in California history, giving Democrats a historic clean sweep on Golden State offices in an otherwise GOP-dominant election year.

Here’s one: Kamala Harris should send a thank-you wreath to the Meg Whitman campaign, which will clearly go down in the annals of California history as an 800-pound, $170-million electoral albatross.

Congratulations to Kamala Harris, California’s New Attorney General

By Eric Bauman
Los Angeles County Democratic Party

On behalf of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, I congratulate Attorney General-Elect Kamala Harris for her victory.  As of today, she leads Republican Steve Cooley by 51,585 votes statewide and she has widened her lead in Los Angeles County significantly by 312,925 votes. Clearly, Los Angeles County voters made the difference in Kamala's victory. 

The Los Angeles County Democratic Party focused on energizing and mobilizing Democratic voters through the campaign season. LACDP has been engaged in observing the vote count process with the Harris campaign and allied groups since Election Night to make sure that every vote is counted as cast. We left no stone unturned and no voter behind - especially when it came to turning out Democratic voters in Republican areas - because every single vote counts in a close race like this one.

How Latino Workers and Unions Kept California from Going Red

By Nina Martin
New America Media

EDITOR'S NOTE: Latinos have a reputation for being unreliable voters when it comes to turning out on Election Day. Yet in the midterm elections, Latino turnout ensured that California remained a blue state and the U.S. Senate remained under Democratic control. Much of the credit in California goes to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which spent millions supporting Democratic candidates and ballot measures such as Proposition 25, the balanced-budget initiative.

To find out more, NAM talked to Richie Ross, a Democratic political consultant for 37 years and a communications specialist for labor unions across the country, who has been deeply involved in efforts to organize Latinos in California since the Cesar Chavez era.

What has been the biggest insight as you try to understand the political impact of anti-immigration laws like SB 1070, which passed in Arizona this year, and Prop. 187, which passed in California in 1994?