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THE NOONER for December 19, 2012
On Friday, the Secretary of State published the official Statement of Vote. It is therefore time to provide an edited version of Gloria Romero's op-ed in the OC Register, which is still posted and therefore receives The Nooner's "Editorial Negligence of the Year" award. For those that missed my previous rant, Romero's op-ed, published one week after the election, ignored the fact that 3.6 million (37.5%) of ballots had not yet been counted.
I don't do this to make a political statement. I would be happy to do something similar if I was given equal fodder by an op-ed with such factual errors on the left published in a major paper. The issue is not that Romero wrote this, but that the Register published something so factually wrong. When I contacted the Register about this, I was invited to write a letter-to-the-editor. The flawed op-ed is still online, and even the spelling error in the subtitle hasn't been corrected. Well, below is said "letter to the editor," although I think the 6,813 subscribers to The Nooner is likely a bigger audience than the Register's op-ed page.
Anyway, to my many readers from newspapers -- what is the editorial obligation before printing factually wrong op-eds? Your name will be kept confidential.
Published: Nov. 9, 2012 Updated: Nov. 12, 2012 6:48 a.m. Published: Dec. 19, 2012
Gloria Romero: Half the Twenty-seven percent of California electorate didn't vote
A quarter Fifty-five percent of eleigble eligible voters gave Democrats supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature.
By GLORIA ROMERO / For the Register
Pundits called it the most important election of our lifetime. [Ed. -- true!]
Yet, half of twenty-seven percent the California electorate – grown larger due to the ease of online registration – sat out the election. Only 52.8 Following an embarrassingly low turnout of 31% in the June primary, registration rebounded to 72.4% percent of the electorate bothered to vote; only 9.6 5.0 million of the 18.2 million voters just didn't show up, which is only slightly below average for presidential general elections since 1980. California presidential votes were 10.1 percent of those cast nationally, while California's share of the nation's citizen voting age population is 12 percent. Not bad for a state "irrelevant" in the presidential election.
Orange County reported a 54 67.3 percent turnout, slightly better embarrassingly lower than San Diego's 53.3 76.98 percent but far short and of San Francisco's 56.7 72.96 percent. Fresno County was just dismal below Orange County's at 39.1 63.79 percent, which was second lowest to Merced County at 63.51 percent. The highest was Alpine County at 84.9 percent, but since size matters, that translated to 656 voters of its 773 electorate voting Marin County at 87.37 percent. Los Angeles County turned out at an anemic 49.8 percent 68.02 percent but that translated to 2.4 3.2 million voters.
On Election Night and for the first time in decades, California became a truly blue state – with Democrats capturing a supermajority of both legislative houses and the power that comes with it: The right to raise taxes, previously blocked by an ever-growing irrelevant Republican Party, which had increasingly only become relevant for legislative budget votes. And then it was to just say "no." Now even that relevance was gone.
The majority Fifty-five percent of the half nearly three-fourths of the electorate bothering to vote rallied voting surprised everyone by adopting Jerry Brown's campaign to "save public education" and passed the governor's tax initiative (Proposition 30). Indeed, Californians passed 85 percent of school bond and parcel tax measures, authorizing some $12.8 billion in borrowing.
The majority of the half Nearly fifty-seven percent of the three-fourths of the electorate who bothered to vote voting was swayed by opponents of Prop. 32, which sought to cut the special interest money from both corporations and unions.
While raising concerns about independent expenditures allowed under current law, opponents spent some $70 million of reportable money against the measure. The bright spot, even in this loss, is that, while proponents were vastly outspent by the opponents led by public sector unions, a new coalition of Republicans, Independents and Democrats has clearly begun to form.
If this coalition can be solidified, it may be California's best bet to move political reforms forward in the next decade by working across party lines in a new California political playing field.
So, which way forward for California? Will Democrats rush to tax and spend? Are Republicans forever irrelevant in California? Can special interests ever be toppled in California? Gov. Jerry Brown should be applauded for calling on prudence in the Democrats' exercise of this new power. Even while he courted and carried water for certain monied special interests, he clearly understands the old adage of being careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.
But one lesson is clear: Half of California's electorate – 9 million voters – didn't show up. 72 percent of voters voted, and those of us on conservative issues were bested by Democrats and their labor allies. We must retrench and craft better solutions for a California electorate who has not completely bought off on the liberal solutions. My advice, however, is not to go after union dues again, as it seems to really piss labor off and inspires an impressive organizing drive. Slightly more than one-half of the remaining half decided for all 18.2 million voters. Special interests can get what they want when no one bothers to look. Oftentimes they prefer this. Not a good lesson for the civics books.
Voters in Alpine County clearly understood that their vote would be "irrelevant" in the statewide total across California clearly understood that their vote would be "irrelevant" in the presidential election – they still stood and delivered their vote. That's a great lesson for the civics books.
**THE NOONER'S TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS CONTEST**
For the next 12 days (including Saturday and Sunday), CAPoliticalMaps.com and Political Data Inc. will be asking a question each day, which will be answered on the CAPoliticalMaps.com site. The closest (and first in the event of a tie) answer each day by 9pm PST will win a free map from CAPoliticalMaps.com and a $5 Starbucks gift card--a $50.00 value.
YESTERDAY'S QUESTION: How many voters have the first name of "Buddy"?
YESTERDAY'S ANSWER: 453
WINNER: Calvin Sung with 405
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