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California Stays the Course, Post Election

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California is still the same place, if unseasonably hot; but pot is still illegal for non-patients, our greenhouse gas legislation is still in place, Barbara Boxer is still our senator, and Jerry Brown is still our governor (after that nearly 20 year gap in which he wasn't...) and someone will be our new Attorney General as current one Brown returns to his old job, but we're not sure who yet.

Democrat Kamala Harris is seeming slightly ahead in the AG race, but it is still being contested, so L.A. may continue to have Steve Cooley to stick around (or be kicked around by Steve Cooley).

While the national story was pro-GOP, California went its own way, with no Republican gain in the legislature (or Senate, or governorship). The Assembly Republican Caucus gets a new leader after the Party's unimpressive showing.

Other lessons of the election: the west coast rules the east when it comes to swaying the governor's race; despite constant fears about the influence of money in politics, Meg Whitman's loss proves money cannot buy you political love; and the passage of Prop. 25 should mean less budget deadlock. But still, as the L.A. Times reports:

[Senate leader Darrell] Steinberg called Proposition 25 "a real game changer," saying Democrats would have enough votes to pass the budget without Republicans, reducing GOP legislators' leverage to hold the budget up unless their demands are met. But he said he called his Republican colleagues and offered to work closely with them on future budgets....Senate minority leader Bob Dutton of Rancho Cucamonga said the new budget vote standard means Democrats will have to take more responsibility for budget problems because it will be harder for them to blame Republicans for resisting changes.... At the same time, the requirement for a two-thirds vote on some fees [because of Prop 26 also passing] will force Democrats to collaborate across the aisle and listen to the public, he said.

Image taken by Flickr user Steve Rhodes. Used under user Creative Commons license.

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