Some of the stories we’ll be following here at Calitics:
• CA-10 becomes a left-wing district. John Garamendi, one of the most progressive California politicians we have and a true leader on a broad range of issues, is going to get elected to Congress today. While the right thinks they have an upset potential here, it’s simply not going to happen. Garamendi has a great GOTV operation and widespread support in the district. And whereas the right will spin whatever Harmer’s vote total turns out to be as some sort of victory, the real story here is that CA-10, which as recently as 1996 was a red district, has now become a solidly progressive district. We always said the 10th could do better than Ellen Tauscher. Today John Garamendi is going to prove it.
• Californians will vote to tax themselves to support government spending. In cities across the state there are local tax measures on the ballot to help local governments survive the effects of the economic crisis and the theft of their funds by state government. Many of these will pass, and disprove the conventional wisdom that Californians won’t tax themselves.
• The majority will be prevented from governing itself. Perhaps even more important than the number of tax measures that get 66.7% is the number that get 50%+1. Most of the local tax measures that will “fail” will have easily cleared the 50% mark. But thanks to the 2/3rds rule that gives conservatives veto power over virtually all local government decisions, the desire of the majority of Californians to preserve their parks, libraries, police and fire departments will be blocked.
• The battle between democracy and teabaggery. American politics is quickly returning to its pre-1950 state, where the centrist consensus is rendered impossible by economic insecurity that foregrounds the debate of whether we should use democracy to promote prosperity, or whether we should attack democracy and government as undermining the wealthy and the privileged. Most of the tax proposals revolve around this very question, but so do issues like whether the Carmel Valley will choose to incorporate or not. Supporters of incorporation espouse local control and democracy; opponents claim a Town of Carmel Valley will provide another layer of oppressive government and will raise people’s taxes. (It’s amusing watching them complain that a town won’t be “financially viable” – by that logic the state of California should be dissolved and the USA disbanded.)
• The fight for equality. Both Maine and Washington are voting today on equal rights laws – Maine will vote on whether to keep marriage equality; Washington will vote on whether to keep domestic partnership rights (itself a test of whether WA will support full marriage equality). The outcome of both ballot questions will shed light on how we can reverse last year’s injustice and repeal Proposition 8.
What stories will you be following? Tell us in the comments.