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THE NOONER for December 19, 2012

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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.



For the next 12 days (including Saturday and Sunday), and Political Data Inc. will be asking a question each day, which will be answered on the site. The closest (and first in the event of a tie) answer each day by 9pm PST will win a free map from and a $5 Starbucks gift card--a $50.00 value.

YESTERDAY'S QUESTION:  How many voters have the first name of "Buddy"?


WINNER:  Calvin Sung with 405

TODAY'S QUESTION:  How many voters are named George Bailey? [SUBMIT AN ANSWER]



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And Then, The Opposition Blinked
Timm Herdt @
As the calendar closes on an election year that seemed would never end, it provides a last-chance opportunity to recount the year's most significant political story in California that hardly anyone noticed. It was the passage of Proposition 39, a $1 billion corporate tax increase that somehow slipped under the radar.

California Lawmakers Move To Make State's Tough Gun Laws Even Tougher
Jim Sanders @
California already has a reputation as the nation's toughest gun-control state, but lawmakers are moving quickly to add further restrictions after last week's schoolhouse massacre.

Jerry Brown names former adviser, news exec to CSU board
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed former campaign adviser Douglas Faigin, president of City News Service Inc., to the California State University Board of Trustees.

Under CalSTRS Pressure, Owner To Sell Firearms Maker
Dale Kasler @
Amid public outcry and under pressure from California pension officials, the owner of a gun maker whose weapon was used in the Connecticut school massacre put the company up for sale Tuesday.

Long Beach Phone Tax Case Tests Taxpayers' Rights
Dan Walters @
A Long Beach city telephone tax dispute pending before the state Supreme Court is shaping up as a test of taxpayers' rights that's drawing national attention.

USC Would Gain Control Of Taxpayer-owned Parking Lots Under Proposal
Monte Morin @
A proposed agreement between the state and USC would give the private university control of taxpayer-owned parking lots that serve the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and several public museums at Exposition Park. Released in draft form Tuesday, the proposal is...

Jerry Brown taps former Pennsylvania prison chief to lead California prisons
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed a former Pennsylvania prison chief secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Brown's office announced this morning.

Proposed Cap On Federal Tax Deductions Would Hit California Hard
Michael Hiltzik @
The mortgage interest and state and local tax deductions are among the tax breaks that could be capped under proposals to limit federal tax deductions.

Editorial: Court cases challenge the primacy of state employee pensions
Public employee union leaders have always argued that pension obligations between state and local governments and their employees are a contract. As such, they are unbreakable. Under that theory, pension benefits are vested rights conferred when a government worker is hired.

Unions plan new offensive after Michigan loss
Blindsided by a new law weakening union rights in Michigan, organized labor is preparing to target Republican governors in politically important states up for re-election in 2014 _ part of a renewed offensive against perceived anti-union policies.

Instagram Backtracks On Photo Policy
Caleb Garling and James Temple @
It took less than two years for the San Francisco-born photo-sharing social network Instagram to attract 100 million users and get a billion-dollar buyout offer. It took less than a day for the hugely popular app to sour many of those users in a search for more revenue. On Tuesday, the company scrambled to do damage control after announcing policy changes that would allow it to make users' photos part of advertising on its network, posting a note that tried to clarify the proposed changes.

Wildlife Area: State Audit Hits Lease Agreement
A state audit recommends that the California Department of Fish and Game discipline an employee who oversaw an agricultural lease agreement at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area and received $5,000 worth of Home Depot gift cards.

California firefighters' political spending reflects grudge
Jon Ortiz @
Among the hundreds of campaign expenses incurred by the state firefighters' union political action committees this year, two relatively small line items reflect a grudge the organization has held for years.

Jerry Brown Names New Prisons Secretary - Sfgate
Jeffrey Beard, a psychologist who ran Pennsylvania's prisons from 2001 to 2010, will take one of the most challenging positions in state government as secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Since his retirement from Pennsylvania prisons in 2010, Beard has been a consultant to correctional institutions, including those in California.

Obama backs Feinstein gun control initiative, aides say
Christi Parsons @
President Obama supports an effort already afoot in the U.S. Senate to renew the expired ban on assault weapons, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Prosecutors' Opposition Could Limit Release Of Third-strike Inmates
State inmates serving life terms are starting to file resentencing petitions with local judges following the passage of Proposition 36, the ballot measure that overhauls California's controversial three strikes law. But opposition from local prosecutors and other factors could limit the number of qualifying inmates who actually get released.

11,200 child-care slots in Los Angeles County lost during recession
Teresa Watanabe @
Loss of $1.2 billion in state funds for early child-care and education programs was the biggest cut in six decades and hurt low-income communities the most.

Light Rail Plan For Los Angeles International Airport Advances
Dan Weikel @
Los Angeles World Airports and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are finally working together to develop options for a rail stop at LAX.

California teachers fund reviewing firearm holdings
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
SACRAMENTO -- The nation's largest teachers' pension fund announced Tuesday that it was reviewing its firearms holdings after determining that its investment in a gun maker was linked to one of the weapons used in last week's Connecticut school massacre.

Gun Sales Hit All-time High
According to the California Department of Justice, gun sales increased 49 percent after the November election, compared to the same time last year. And sales on Black Friday jumped 59 percent from the year before, spokeswoman Michelle Gregory said. The agency expects 725,000 weapons will be legally purchased this year, almost twice the 370,628 firearms bought five years ago.

Economic Scene: Say Goodbye to the Government, Under Either Fiscal Plan
The contemplated cuts in discretionary spending would make the federal government little more than a heavily armed pension plan with a health insurer on the side.