California Continues Its March to the Left

Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris urges funds for tracking prescription drugsOn Tuesday, California voters lurched even further to the political Left, bringing the state even more out of step with the rest of the country. In a battle of two Democrats for a U.S. Senate seat, Bay Area leftist Attorney General Kamala Harris trounced Orange County moderate Rep. Loretta Sanchez, two to one – a greater margin than the victory in the state of Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

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The Senate election again showed the bankruptcy of the “Top Two” primary reform of 2010, Proposition 14, which was supposed to produce moderate victors. As in many other local races, this race mainly prevented voters from having alternatives on the ballot from the Republican Party and third parties.

On the 17 state initiatives, giddy voters overall imposed massively higher taxes, spending and regulations. Combined with the $15 per hour minimum wage passed earlier this year by the Legislature, California in the future is going to be a much more expensive and less pleasant place to live. The next recession, which could hit next year, again will zoom unemployment above the 10 percent level and rapidly empty the state treasury, despite – or, rather, because of – the tax increases.

The Proposition 55 tax “extension,” really a $7 billion tax increase, belies the promise in 2012 that Proposition 30’s tax increase was “temporary.” The real problem here is that Prop. 30 was supposed to cover state deficits during the economic recovery from the Great Recession. But there’s no recession in 2016 and no deficits. So taxes should have been allowed to subside to the previous level. What will be done in the next recession? Another $7 billion tax increase – “temporary,” of course? Then another? And another?

Indeed, Prop. 55 passed with more than 60 percent of the vote, which for state teachers’ unions and other tax obsessives is like putting catnip in front of a mountain lion.

The Proposition 56 tax increase of $2 a pack of cigarettes, as I warned in a previous article on this site, will gouge poor people almost exclusively. How many non-poor people do you know that smoke a pack a day? And it will ignite a massively bigger black market in smokes. All to fund special interests favored by hedge fund billionaire and perpetual Silicon Valley busybody Tom Steyer.

Proposition 58 also passed, bringing back the retched, illiterate-producing Bilingual Education. As I wrote here, it’s one of the biggest education scams ever. Asian parents make sure their kids don’t get near this educational malpractice. But Hispanic kids won’t learn English or Spanish well, keeping them behind other kids.

As to regulations, Proposition 63’s absurd new gun-control measures passed, bringing certain lawsuits by gun groups for violations of the Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms.” Given that President Trump will be appointing pro-Second Amendment justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, the odds are that 63, and equally absurd gun controls passed by the Legislature earlier this year, will be overturned.

Like state officials in general, voters haven’t heard the proof that gun control only works on honest citizens; that criminals easily can get guns and ammo. Conversely, when honest citizens are armed, crime drops because criminals fear being shot by potential victims.

On the positive side, the drug companies successfully spent heavily to defeat Proposition 61’s price controls on prescription drugs. Even Bernie Sanders ads didn’t help any more than did his national backing of Hillary.

Although the death penalty again was upheld with the defeat of Proposition 62, as I pointed out here, no future governor will allow an execution, so the matter is mute – except to get cooperation from criminals too dumb to know they can’t be executed.

Proposition 57, criminal sentence reduction, passed with nearly two-thirds of the vote. That seems reasonable, but if crime keeps increasing, you can bet a tightening measure will be on the 2018 ballot. These things go in cycles. The 1990s saw Three Strikes imposed with Proposition 184 in 1994, which was too strict. Like the 1960s, now is a time of laxity. The pendulum probably will swing back the other way eventually.

Overall, the election will drive tens of thousands of productive people and thousands of businesses from the state to seek a better life in other states, or even countries, despite almost guaranteed worse weather.

Those who stay can light up with the passage of Proposition 64, legalizing recreational use of marijuana, evaporating their troubles in a purple haze of hallucinogenic bliss.

John Seiler is a longtime California columnist. His email:


  1. No Prop. 66 interest, eh? The journalist profession seemed soured these days, at least with national elections.

  2. Kamala is going to really enjoy being a junior back-bencher in a minority-caucus run by Chuckie Schumer. She will discover what “powerlessness” means, on steroids.
    Now, perhaps CA can have a real AG, not a ‘pretty face’ posing as one.

  3. retiredxlr8r says

    Virtual death spiral!
    California is no longer a state in the United States.
    California is no longer legislated by a democratic legislature, but a socialist government headed towards communism.
    Prop 57 puts it’s citizens in harms way.
    Prop 63 a violation of the Second Amendment, puts it’s citizens even more in harms way.
    I detest California’s government, it’s governor, and most of the legislatures, not to mention those in the senate, today and tomorrow.
    God help us but this is a state lost to the evil intent of selfish individuals, both the voter and the elected.

  4. So glad we were able to escape the socialist state of california a year and half ago. We are very happy now in the conservative state of Idaho.

  5. I left it blank as no knowledge of sanchez and I will not support a brown crony either–brown needs to be recalled now

  6. You think she is bad wait until liberal (Dem of course!)Antonio Villaraigosa runs for gov!!! When he was major of Los Angeles I studied him. His intellect is low just enough to pass as a liberal Dem hack politician.Eric Garcetti is poles apart in intelligence!!! He is a lib and a Dem, but he is ON everything. Very impressive! He is fully informed on even small details.He gets things done.When you compare the two men it is like night and day.
    If Antonio gets in as Gov. expect one fail after another. In his private like he chases the women.He left his long time wife with 6 kids for a young women whom he was seeing behind his wife’s back but this young woman later rejected him!
    He is a disaster,but he could win now because he is latino. Not being ‘racist’ just a fact.
    We need a good Republican to run against him should they nominate this lib left wing bonehead.It’s scarey as he would be worse that guv ‘Moon beamless.’

  7. Max got out 18 months ago, we get out in less than six…
    This election and the subsequent secession talk validates my hypothesis that Cali is LOST for at least a generation…
    I ain’t got that kind of time to make it before retirement, so we’re out to a purple state and eventually to Idaho to retire on a golf course…

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