Polling Shows California Looks Bleak For Republicans

Share:
Governors-Debate-UCDThe caveat, of course, is that things change in politics very quickly.  In 1994, California was not a blue state.  Pete Wilson had just been re-elected Governor by a wide margin, despite having extremely low opinion ratings.  Dianne Feinstein needed everything she had to hold off what was then a record spending by Michael Huffington.

The Republicans for the first time won the Assembly, although Willie Brown would nullify that advantage.  They won all but two of the partisan constitutional offices.  And they rode the coattails of Three Strikes and Prop 187 to victory.

But something happened in that election that would entirely change the politics of California for at least the next 16 years.  Prop 187 was an effort to crack down on illegal immigration.  It won overwhelmingly.  Even Hispanics voted for it.

However, its passage marked the turning point in California politics.  Why?  First, Latinos registered and voted starting in 1996 in record numbers.  They took what prognosticators predicted would be a Republican Assembly and turned it back to the Democrats.  Not only did they vote in large numbers but they voted overwhelmingly for Democrats for the first time.  Prior to that election, they tended to split their vote and lean Democratic.  After that election, they looked much more like black voters than whites.

Since 1994’s near sweep, only Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (twice) was able to win major statewide office as a Republican.  If Kamala Harris holds onto her 43,000 vote lead, the Democrats will have won every single statewide election in the most Republican of all Republican years.

How bad is it for California Republicans?  Very bad, according to a Los Angeles Times/ USC Poll which shows a deep reluctance among voters to vote for Republicans and a large portion of the state holding views on the role of government, in direct conflict with those of Republicans.

The poll found that 18% of all voters and 31% of Latinos said they will never vote for a Republican.  Only five percent said they will always vote for a Republican.

56% of voters, including 77% of Latinos, support giving illegal immigrants a path to citizens if they fulfill certain obligations.

The LA Times reports, “By a 41-point margin, voters supported reducing the time needed to immigrate  for those who have relatives in the United States. By a 56-point margin, California voters backed a measure that would award citizenship to those who complete college or serve in the military. By a 19-point margin, they endorsed an immigration reform plan that would allow citizenship for those who fulfill specific requirements like paying a fine.”

Those who support same-sex marriage outnumber those that oppose any legal recognition of gay relationships by more than 3 to 1.  49% backed the right to marriage, 29% favored civil unions, and only 15% said there should be no legal recognition at all. Among nonpartisans, support for same-sex marriage rose to 54%.

If the Prop. 8 election were held two years later, would it still have passed?  It seems unlikely, but it took a lot of scare tactics to get it to pass back in 2008.

Moreover, time is not on their side.  The polling found that for those under 30, same-sex marriage was backed by 64%, and young voters back immigrations reform by 10 points higher than the general population.

Furthermore, the LA Times reports, “Ideologically, 42% of those under age 30 described themselves as liberal, whereas only 20% of those age 65 and above did.”

The party also faces difficulty between its own ranks and the state at large.  The bulk of GOP voters want the party to be more conservative, while the plurality of California Voters want them to be more moderate.

The demographics are not working in their favor here, as the state voting population becomes more non-white and non-partisan.

The poll found, “Nonpartisan voters, those who register as “decline to state,” now make up more than 20% of voters in California. Latinos last month made up about one in five voters. In 2010, as in past years, both groups strongly supported Democratic candidates and policies. The poll suggested that was driven, at least in part, by disagreements with major positions held by Republicans.”

“I don’t know how any Republican thinks they can win in California after looking at this,” said GOP pollster Linda DiVall ,who helped direct the survey along with Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg.

“California is a diverse state, and this survey … underscores the price Republicans pay for seeming to not [be] welcoming the next wave of immigrants,” said Democratic pollster Greenberg.

That said, politics are fleeting and often encompass radical changes in a short period of time.  One election in 1994 radically altered the entire political landscape in California and it could happen again.

In fact, I am much more sanguine about the political landscape.  The propositions and political changes may alter this landscape rather dramatically.

Republicans can site the fact that the voters opposed tax changes – they have balked at changing two-thirds voting requirements for new taxes, voted against new fees, voted to require two-thirds voting for fees, etc.

But when it comes to voting who will carry out policy, California voters have turned against socially conservative Republicans, those candidates who get nominated by their party, for the most part.

The real question is, with the new primary system, will that change the types of Republicans the voters select and thus alter the political landscape again?

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

36 thoughts on “Polling Shows California Looks Bleak For Republicans”

  1. Dr. Wu

    THe Republican primary system in this state seems to guarantee that candidates have to run fairly far to the right. That seems to have worked in other states this year but not in California. And some of the candidates this year (notably Fiorina but also Whitman) were not that strong.

    Barbara Boxer was vulnerable–she is well to the left of most Californians– but Fiorina ran to the right before and after the primaries–not to mention she was an awful CEO at HP. Its hard to run on business competency when your own career showed incompetence.

    If the Republicans put up some decent candidates–and more moderate ones–I think they could win. Rusty has a good point, who’s up and who’s down changes rapidly. But I do think the California Republican party can not expect to run the same playbook as elsewhere (god, guns, gays) and win.

  2. Mr.Toad

    The republicans won’t win in CA as long as they bash latinos.A modern version of Nixon’s southern strategy may work in the rust belt and the south. Demonizing Obama for being black and Pelosi for being a woman worked with undereducated white voters rocked by globalization and predatory lending from Wall St in those regions. In the west the election told a different story, that if you run against immigrants you will lose. How the GOP addresses this conflict holds the key to the White House. Marco Rubio is the future of the Republican party. Whether or not they know it, Tom Tancredo is its past.

  3. hpierce

    I find it somewhat amusing to watch the Republican vs. Democrat debate…. I do not have the numbers, but from what I’ve read, in CA, the “decline to state”/minor party voters may be the largest ‘bloc’. The Democrats and Republicans seem to be going to their ideological extremes, and most people aren’t there. I suspect that the “middle” have either ‘tuned out’ on registering/voting because they dislike/distrust the extremes, or remain registered as ‘partisan’ either thru inertia (I’ve always been a ____), or to be guaranteed a right to vote in primaries… IMHO, we should (since taxpayers are paying for it) require all “parties” to allow and respect truly open primaries.

  4. rusty49

    “Demonizing Obama for being black and Pelosi for being a woman worked with undereducated white voters rocked by globalization and predatory lending from Wall St in those regions.”

    Earth to Mr. Toad, buy a vowel. The GOP isn’t demonizing Obama for being black or Pelosi for being a woman, it’s their policies. The GOP isn’t bashing Latinos, they’re against illegal immigration.

    Did the Democrats demonize Whitman, Fiori and Palin because they’re women?
    I don’t think so, they just didn’t like their conservative views.

  5. wdf1

    The GOP isn’t bashing Latinos, they’re against illegal immigration.

    Illegal immigration, which helps keeps costs low to consumers on things like landscaping and yardcare, garbage collection, produce in the supermarket, janitorial services, childcare, construction, meatpacking, and plenty of other miscellaneous jobs.

    You have certain businesses working behind the scenes to allow for this cheap labor. Either way you go (completely stop illegal immigration or let it happen), you have to deal with the consequences, both good and bad.

  6. E Roberts Musser

    I would say CA is out of step with the rest of the nation. As such, they are the state with the worst credit rating of all 50 states (an A-). People and businesses are leaving the state of CA in droves bc of its out of whack policies, that are destroying it economically from within. At some point, the state has to change the way it does business or go bankrupt. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it is a survival issue…

  7. Don Shor

    Re: state with the worst credit rating of all 50 states. That was true in 2009. As of June, the honor of worst credit rating belongs to Illinois.
    [url]http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2010/06/22/is_illinois_the_new_california_98528.html[/url]

  8. E Roberts Musser

    The irony here is that Illinois is Obama’s home state!
    Notable excerpts from Don Shor’s suggested link:
    “If you go to Sacramento this week, don’t be surprised to hear champagne corks popping and chants of “We’re #2! We’re #2!” The cause for celebration? Illinois has overtaken California as the worst credit risk among American states….

    This issuance provides further evidence that the ratings agencies haven’t fully appreciated the dire nature of state finances, at least in states like California and Illinois. While Illinois carries a Moody’s rating of A1, six notches above junk status, the markets put Illinois’s debt close to the borderline between junk and investment grade…

    Like California, Illinois hasn’t balanced a budget in nearly a decade, and instead uses gimmicks and borrowing to close gaps. Like California, Illinois regularly issues bonds to pay for current government operations. But unlike California, Illinois has some of the country’s least-funded public employee pension plans….

    Illinois did enact a pension reform this year, but the reform only applies to newly-hired employees, so it generates only minimal savings in the near-term. Worse, it keeps those new employees on a defined benefit system, only with reduced benefits — leaving open the possibility that legislators will go back and sweeten benefits when the economy looks stronger. (This is a cycle that New York State has been through more than once.) …

    The bond markets are screaming that Illinois needs real fiscal reform, and they didn’t find the pension reform to be satisfactory. To calm the bond markets, Illinois must stop using its pension funds as a venue for backdoor borrowing, stop borrowing to pay for current operations, and stop spending more money than it takes in.
    The Illinois Policy Institute has been advancing a creative solution to the state’s budget woes. They have proposed a constitutional spending cap, similar to one enacted in Colorado in 1992, that would limit state spending growth to population plus inflation growth…”

  9. Don Shor

    California isn’t out of step with the rest of the nation. The divide between the coasts and the middle, and between the urban and rural areas, continues. Here is a good analysis:

    [url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/20/AR2010112002858.html[/url]

    I fully expect the pendulum to swing back somewhat in two years. Meanwhile, 2010 is about as conservative as California is likely to get, so if Republicans keep nominating hard-line conservatives they will continue to be shut out of statewide offices.

  10. Daniel

    [quote]Since 1994’s near sweep, only Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (twice) was able to win major statewide office as a Republican. [/quote]

    Not quite.

    Bill Jones? Republican Secretary of State, re-elected in 1998.
    Chuck Quackenbush? Republican Insurance Commissioner, re-elected 1998.
    Steve Poizner? Republican Insurance Commissioner, elected 2006.

  11. Frankly

    Texas and California are studies in contrast when it comes to immigration. While California rejects immigration reform sweeping most Border States, Texas lawmakers have filed about 30 Arizona-style bills that target undocumented immigrants for their session that will begin in January.

    Despite their differences, California and Texas have much in common. As the second and third largest states (after Alaska), California and Texas are the first and second most populous states. They also have the first and second highest GSP ($1.812 and $1.224 Trillion), and a large number of millionaires per capita (5.66% and 4.33%). Both claim the same number (57) of Fortune 500 companies. Both are coastal states with diverse topology and climate zones and both share a border with Mexico. Texas is 47.8% white and 35.9% Hispanic. California is 42.3% white and 36.6% Hispanic.

    What is the difference then?

    One answer is that Texas has more moderate voters and fewer liberal voters.

    Consider that surveys indicate both Texas and California have about the same percent of people claiming they are conservative (about 40%). Texas voters are 46% Democrat and 42% Republican, while California voters are 44% and 35% Republican. However, only 20% of Texas registered voters say they are strongly Republican, and only 24% say they are strongly Democrat. Contrast this to California where 59% say they are strongly Democrat; and 56% strongly Republican. Lastly, only 20% of Texan voters claim to be liberal; while 31% of California voters do.

    When compared to Texas, California has much stronger party affiliation (and partisanship?) and also has a higher percentage of liberal voters. Liberals tend to be more political active, and hence may more greatly influence political outcomes. In my opinion, many of these are unwelcome outcomes that will continue to drag the state further down to third world status.

    Go here to check my facts:

    http://www.laits.utexas.edu/txp_media/html/poll/features/party_id/slide3.html
    http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/jtf/JTF_VoterProfilesJTF.pdf

  12. biddlin

    ERM-“People and businesses are leaving the state of CA in droves bc of its out of whack policies,…” We apparently need more and bigger droves. The Governor’s population growth projection for California is about 449,000/year through 2013. That includes 100,000/year more immigrating to the state than leaving it.
    Jeff Boone=”Liberals tend to be more political active, and hence may more greatly influence political outcomes. In my opinion, many of these are unwelcome outcomes that will continue to drag the state further down to third world status. ” By more politically active, do you mean to say that they vote in elections? That sounds dangerously democratic alright.

  13. Frankly

    “biddlin: By more politically active, do you mean to say that they vote in elections? That sounds dangerously democratic alright.”

    I don’t find any statistics on it… just my opinion. Liberalism seems synonymous with political activism. In fact, I theorize that liberalism is the landing place for armature political activists that cannot give up the habit. It is an admirable thing for someone like me with lots of interest but little time to devote to politics while I run my company to help provide jobs and earn enough to pay my all my bills (taxes being the largest bill).

  14. Frankly

    “That includes 100,000/year more immigrating to the state than leaving it.”

    Sorry to offend with Ayn Randisms: but that is 100,000 moochers to help keep the looters in power while the producers are leaving the state. Sounds just like the plot of one of Rand’s books.

    Unlike New Jersey, with the union-Democrat power base combined with co-opted Latino vote, California will soon vote in tax increases… possibly including the left-favorite overturn of Prop 13. Expect more state producer bleeding after this. After the 2010 election, Texas economic development folk are already giddy with the prospects of luring more business from the sunshine state.

    California liberals tend to create great places to live funded by the taxes generated by the industrial areas they are hell bent on eliminating. The trend line for this demonstrates, of course, unsustainable outcomes. It is unfortunate that more liberals do not grasp the symbiotic relationship with business and do more to embrace it. Instead, their end-game-vision seems to be a much smaller population of high-tech people living in communal yurts made of hemp cloth, burning zero fossil fuels, eating wild tubers and sustainable rodents. That may be where we are headed, since even Dunning is suggesting we start consuming our local squirrel population.

  15. E Roberts Musser

    Don Shor: “California isn’t out of step with the rest of the nation.”

    With the second to worst credit rating of all 50 states, I would say CA is definitly out of step with the rest of the nation…

  16. E Roberts Musser

    biddlin: “The Governor’s population growth projection for California is about 449,000/year through 2013. That includes 100,000/year more immigrating to the state than leaving it.”

    This does not jive with other sources of data… but then I’m not surprised considering the source…

  17. biddlin

    Sorry ERM, I know you don’t trust US Dept. of Commerce either, but the figures jive with the census information. We’ve been hearing this “flight from California” nonsense for the last 40 years and it is still horse twaddle. If you really want low wages, a higher rate of poverty, no consumer protection and 19th century social attitudes, please, relocate to Texas.

  18. wdf1

    JB: I run my company to help provide jobs and earn enough to pay my all my bills (taxes being the largest bill).

    What do you think is a fair tax rate for your business to cover the infrastructure (education/training of workforce, physical infrastructure, service infrastructure)? Do you think that would be a sustainable tax rate?

  19. Frankly

    http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/jtf/JTF_JobCreationJTF.pdf

    This is a good article to help understand the primary engine of job creation for California: small business. Many of these are the companies owned by people making more than $250k… the same demonized wealthy that are so deserving of higher taxes. These are also the people owning companies that survive on the margins. One more regulation, one more tax, and their business model no longer pencils out. Then it is time to close up shop, lay off the employees and seek a cushy government job.

    The false left political template “trickle-down did not work” is seemingly supported by the report of trends for large business: from 1992-2004 the number of these large-company jobs declined by 0.4%. However, much of this has to do with large businesses choosing to expand in other more business-friendly states combined with the overall macro trends to leverage technology to increase productivity. From the Bureau of Labor Stats, from 1976 to 2009 the average annual productivity gain has been almost 2%. Assuming wages increase at the rate of inflation and the company does not grow; this means a company with 1000 employees would theoretically shed 20 jobs every year.

    US real job growth from 1990 to 2009 was 0.96%. However, CA’s figure was 0.66%. This is all the data we need to back the point that business is leaving CA.

  20. wdf1

    US real job growth from 1990 to 2009 was 0.96%. However, CA’s figure was 0.66%. This is all the data we need to back the point that business is leaving CA.

    Yes, but can you say which businesses were leaving California?

    Because if you said defense and aerospace, that would be misleading. I think those jobs disappeared because of the military reductions at the end of the Cold War. It’s important to have context for those numbers.

  21. rusty49

    July 20 News Flash – The total number of California disinvestment events now increases to 85 as Solexant, a San Jose-based company, will build a manufacturing plant in Oregon. So it’s another “green” company diverting its capital out of California. The new facility will have an initial work force of 170 employees, but could increase to 1,000. See the Gresham Outlook story “Solar company chooses Gresham.” Solexant describes itself as a “well funded start-up” at their website here.

    In just two days in July, California lost three company headquarters – Globalstar, Inc. will depart Milpitas for Louisiana, eEye of Irvine will move to Arizona, and TriZetto Group will leave Newport Beach for Colorado – which means this year we are seeing a stunning increase in company disinvestments in California.

    In just the first half of this year, there have been 85 such events, much higher than what occurred through all of 2009. An “event” includes instances where companies have closed factories down, moved their headquarters or facilities to another state or country, or targeted locations elsewhere as better places to grow and therefore sent billions of dollars in capital out of state or out of the country.

    Using research methods that involve public domain information only, the 85 known events for the year’s first half compare with 51 for all of last year and 43 events combined for the three-year 2006 – 2008 period.

    About $4.7 billion in capital was spent or committed during the first half of this year for known activities related to out-of-state moves or shifts in investment. If I had time to search SEC disclosures and other documents, the figure would be higher. Prior to giving company details, I will take some editorial prerogatives.

  22. rusty49

    California’s ‘State of Emergency’

    The exodus of known capital and jobs is the “tip of the Iceberg.” The losses are deeper than are recorded here. California is in an “economic state of emergency” that will only get worse because the state government shows no signs of being less hostile to business and because more companies will be leaving. To the degree I know about some of those companies, under Non-Disclosure Agreements there is no way I can discuss them. In any event, the exodus has reached such an alarming point that California ought to declare a “state of economic emergency” just as we have emergencies resulting from floods, fires and earthquakes. Raising taxes or creating new regulations should be out of the question. Unless there is a reduction in the hostility California directs toward businesses, we will see more commercial enterprises calling site selection companies for help in finding friendlier states in which to locate.

    Business leaders who want to keep operations in California must speak up more forcefully against hostile voices in Sacramento – and against business-bashers in Los Angeles City Hall – and make a stronger case for the value that commercial enterprises contribute to this state.

    Who’s on the List?

    Companies of all types are reducing their California footprint. The list includes well-known California-based firms like Google, Hilton, Thomas Brothers Maps, Genentech, Yelp, Apple, Facebook, and DIRECTV. Meanwhile, lesser-known family-owned companies are leaving the state completely, but they prefer to stay out of the limelight and their moves are difficult to track.

    Why do Companies Leave?

    It’s no mystery what California’s problems are – high taxes, undue regulation, excessive fines and fees, high workers’ comp costs, a legal environment stacked against businesses, and lengthy permitting requirements. Contributing factors include staff being unsympathetic or even hostile to business concerns in state agencies and the big-city governments in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Such reasons contributed to California losing more than one million jobs in recent years. See my “Top Ten Reasons Why California Companies Are Calling the Moving Companies.”

  23. Frankly

    “The losses are deeper than are recorded here. California is in an “economic state of emergency” that will only get worse because the state government shows no signs of being less hostile to business and because more companies will be leaving.”

    Well said.

    Rusty: Do you have a theory for why so many in California either don’t believe this, or chose to ignore it?

  24. Frankly

    “What do you think is a fair tax rate for your business to cover the infrastructure (education/training of workforce, physical infrastructure, service infrastructure)?”

    We need to be an easy to do business with state.

    See here: http://www.cnbc.com/id/25501954/

    Currently we are third to last… just behind Hawaii and New Yuk.

    I think we should turn taxation on its head to be market-focused instead of needs-focused.

    We compete with states for business, but we are not competitive. There is an optimum rate of taxation that considers overall costs to do business, and maximizes returns… just like there is an optimum price-point for products and services. Charge too much and you lose business to competition. Charge too little and you leave potential revenue on the table. I like the idea of setting taxes to optimize revenue based on a competitive analysis… where we want to be… say in the top 1/3 of recognized low cost states to do business with.

    I am a flat tax advocate too. Every April I get angry enough to be violent for our idiotic government wasting days of my time to prepare for and file my tax returns. How about we take all the cost and energy spent on tax planning and filing, and figure out a way to direct it toward volunteerism instead?

    However, before any of this, we need to shrink the size and scope of government, roll back state employee compensation and benefits, and make all agencies and programs much more efficient. See New Jersey for what that looks like.

    Bottom line is that we are much better off having a more robust and humming private economy where more people can take care of more of their own needs and help others, instead of a nanny state government attempting to perform as their surrogate mother.

  25. rusty49

    “Rusty: Do you have a theory for why so many in California either don’t believe this, or chose to ignore it?”

    Easy, the Democrats have been running things in California for the last
    14 years and they hate to admit that their policies are ruining the state.

  26. wdf1

    JB: Am I to infer from your comments about Texas that because of a different political philosophy, Texas will survive this economy in better shape than California?

    So far, Texas has been spared from the very worst effects of the recession, but it is interesting that the recession has now hit Texas tax receipts at a scale on par with California. To be fair, I think the numbers thrown around here are for a two-year budget rather than a one-year budget (which California works with).

    [url]http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/11/20/2646452/when-texas-legislature-convenes.html[/url]

    It’s interesting that Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich were touting the resiliance of the Texas economy was a year ago. Probaby better to pass judgement on these times a few years down the road, but in late 2010, that comparison doesn’t look quite as favorable to Texas.

    [url]http://www.rickperry.org/media-articles/texas-leads-california-dreams[/url]

  27. Frankly

    “wdf1: Am I to infer from your comments about Texas that because of a different political philosophy, Texas will survive this economy in better shape than California? “

    Yes

    “the recession has now hit Texas tax receipts at a scale on par with California. “

    I don’t think the fiscal problems in Texas come close to the order of magnitude of fiscal problems in California. However, like low-tax Ireland, any severe downturn in the economy is going to hurt the public-sector harder. You can measure that, or you can measure the overall financial well being of the population. Considering the later, here is some stats on Texas vs. California (and not the MLB competition)…

    _____________________________________TX_______________CA
    TOP INCOME TAX RATE:_________________0%______________10.55%
    SALES TAX RATE______________________6.25%_____________8.25%
    CORP TAX RATE________________________1%_______________8.84%
    CAP GAINS TAX RATE___________________0%______________10.30%
    MEDIAN ANN PROP TAX________________$2,232____________$2,829

    STATE UNEMPLOYMENT___________________8.1%_____________12.4%
    RANK: EMP BENEFIT % OF WAGES__________#2______________#47
    RANK: PER CAP GOV SPENDING____________#9______________#47
    RANK: ECONOMIC FREEDOM INDEX__________#17_____________#49
    RANK: FORBES BEST STATES DO BIZ_______#9______________#40
    RANK: FEWEST GOVT EMP PER CAP_________#24_____________#41
    RANK: TORT LIABILITY INDEX____________#2______________#27
    Per Capita Income_____________________#22_____________#11
    Cost of Living________________________#6______________#49
    RANK: HIGHEST PRISON GUARD PAY________#47_____________#1
    Public vs Private Pay Diff____________-17%____________0%

    It is funny talking to Californians that tell me “I would never live in Texas… yuk!” I guess the perception of desire has its cost. However, my view is that Californians use the superficial beauty thing to ignore the growing ugliness in our economic house. The anology is Greece… a beautiful place that grown substancially uglier by other measures.

    Of greater concern in the Texas vs. California competition for businesses and jobs. It does not look good for California. http://www.economist.com/node/13990207

  28. wdf1

    It is funny talking to Californians that tell me “I would never live in Texas… yuk!” I guess the perception of desire has its cost. However, my view is that Californians use the superficial beauty thing to ignore the growing ugliness in our economic house.

    I grew up in Texas and went to college there. My folks still live there. It has its good points and its drawbacks. On balance I prefer California at this point in my life.

    Nearly all suburban communities that I saw there tended to have a bit more of laissez faire attitude when it came to planning. Sometimes rather inconvenient to get to a grocery store from certain parts of town, fewer city parks, very few bike lanes, many instances when building was a bit more spur of the moment rather than for a longer term vision. Okay. I’m thinking more about Davis, here, to represent California, but I notice some similar aspects in other California cities.

    Texas is more vulnerable to a downturn in the oil industry. So sometimes when the rest of the country enjoys lower gas prices, Texas suffers a mini-recession. Texas has also been burned before with the laissez faire attitude — Enron and Arthur Anderson.

  29. wdf1

    I don’t have time to research at the moment, but I would suspect that Texas probably collects more in property taxes from commercial businesses than California, and they definitely collect more in oil revenue.

  30. Frankly

    wfd1: on the planning point… it is interesting… I don’t know if liberals plan more beautiful places to live… or, they are attracted to more beautiful places to live… or both. I think both. However, is seems that they create these great places to live by accepting fiscal deficits and then relying on other more industrialized and commercial-friendly places to supplement them. That being the case, it explains why California is in such dire fiscal straits… more liberals living in more beautiful places that run with a deficit.

    My family comes from a small (very conservative)town in Nebraska. The downtown streets were red brick, with red and tan brick storefronts. The streets were lined with old cast-iron street lamps and trees. It was all very attractive and charming.

    About 15 years ago, they “modernized” the downtown… replacing most of the brick… removing trees to widen the street… changing the lamps to concrete posts. About the same time a Wal-Mart was completed at the edge of town. Today many of the downtown stores are boarded up and it looks like every other small Midwestern town. However, unemployment in the state is currently about 6%.

    The search should be for the happy medium… a symbiotic relationship where the planners and blockers collaborate with those that want a smaller public footprint and a robust private economy.

    By the way, my Midwestern uncles call me a CA liberal after hearing my political views.

  31. E Roberts Musser

    JB: “By the way, my Midwestern uncles call me a CA liberal after hearing my political views.”

    LOL I’m from the East Coast (in heart and soul), and would move back in a heartbeat if it were in the cards. CA is too liberal (sometimes downright whacko) for me, dry, hot, the housing is packed too close together, and the land here is FLAT, FLAT, FLAT (I miss the rolling hills of MD and VA). Give me New England anytime. There are things I like about CA (proposition system, parks), but on balance, NOT. Just personal opinion…

  32. Frankly

    “I’m from the East Coast (in heart and soul), and would move back in a heartbeat if it were in the cards.”

    Elaine: I hear you. I have lived in a number of states. I love much about the East Coast… although there are few wacky people there too, but a different kind of wacky than what CA produces. I actually like much of the CA wackiness, except when it destroys the private economy and makes my tax bill unbearable.

  33. E Roberts Musser

    JB: ” I actually like much of the CA wackiness, except when it destroys the private economy and makes my tax bill unbearable.”

    Yes, the anti-business/anti-corporate sentiment/illogic here in CA is just ridiculous. My daughter was telling me about her roommate, who refuses to do business with Starbucks bc she views it as big and bad bc its “corporate”, but sees no problem with doing business with Trader Joe’s or a dozen other stores that are in fact just as “corporate” but somehow “trendier”. There are those who decry “big box retail” bc it ostensibly doesn’t keep the money “local”, but will not hesitate to purchase goods online which hardly keeps the money local – and see no hypocrisy in this disingenuous position.

  34. wdf1

    Yes, the anti-business/anti-corporate sentiment/illogic here in CA is just ridiculous. My daughter was telling me about her roommate, who refuses to do business with Starbucks bc she views it as big and bad bc its “corporate”, but sees no problem with doing business with Trader Joe’s or a dozen other stores that are in fact just as “corporate” but somehow “trendier”.

    I am mostly with you on this. Another aspect to this issue is that some corporations who run franchises in different communities are more generous in their support of the local community than are others. Target is a bit friendlier in giving donations and grants to support the arts, for instance. Trader Joe’s, on the other hand, gives very very little. It might have a little something to do with whether it is publicly traded (Target, for instance) or not (Trader Joe’s).

  35. E Roberts Musser

    wdf1: “I am mostly with you on this. Another aspect to this issue is that some corporations who run franchises in different communities are more generous in their support of the local community than are others. Target is a bit friendlier in giving donations and grants to support the arts, for instance. Trader Joe’s, on the other hand, gives very very little. It might have a little something to do with whether it is publicly traded (Target, for instance) or not (Trader Joe’s).”

    I hadn’t even thought about this point, but it is a good one. Many corporations at the local level give generously to the community. For one, Hanlee’s in Davis has been very, very good to the Davis schools. I’m sure there are many others…

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for