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So the term limits reform passed and the tobacco tax narrowly failed. The Secretary of State has the county-by-county results which are interesting.
My prediction that it would win after the initial absentee counts gave it a small lead turned out to be dead wrong. Traditionally, in statewide races, the conservative causes tend to come out early with big leads as absentees and rural district returns come in first. The leads tend to erode once the urban votes start coming in, and generally speaking I think a lib candidate or cause is in pretty good shape if it’s within 10 pointsby the time 10 to 15 percent of the vote is counted.
But last night, the prop 29 lead actually eroded as the night went on. Note that it lost by a slim margin in Los Angeles County (by almost exactly the same margin as statewide), which is fairly “blue.” I started to talk about this last night in theory, and it came true even though I didn’t believe it would. Basically, I’m willing to bet that as a regressive tax is was less popular in working class African American and Latino communities, who are probably tired of footing bills as the upper classes are taxed less and less.
Meanwhile, it passed handily in San Francisco (which is almost entirely gentrified), and barely in Humboldt County (where progressives have a libertarian streak that probably played into the mix as well).
So maybe middle class progressives were on the wrong side of the class issue in this one.
What surprised me was that the term limits reform measure passed handily everywhere, blue counties and red. I think maybe the rural counties have caught on that term limits, at least in prior form, weren’t helping them out. We’ll see in a decade or so whether this measure makes a difference.
Norman Solomon came oh so close! The Secretary of State has links to the county results. Norman came in third, just barely under the Republican Roberts, who despite the draw of a more conservative Republican late entry, slipped under the radar to take second.
Norman came in second in Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino (by a wide margin), but lost in all the other counties including Humboldt. I wonder if he hadn’t sent out those hit pieces on Stacey Lawson, which definitely lost him some votes, whether he would be planning his campaign against Huffman right now. It may also be that “rural/urban” culture divide in which even old lefties in Sohum who have listened to him for years on Democracy Now were more easily able to relate to the local appeal of Susan Adams. The precinct analysis may tell the story.
The laissez faire side of local politics had their way yesterday. You will have four votes to one on whatever you want to pass (or maybe 3-2 if it means regulating urban people).
And if the Democratic Central Committee results are any indication, come fall you will have total, absolute control of Eureka. That gives you two years to clean house and remove all that anti-business guano to bring real jobs to Humboldt County. You’ve got Walmart at the Bayshore. You should have no problem landing a Home Depot on the waterfront. Lowes at the old mill site in Fortuna. You can clean up all that red tape at the Planning Department. Declare rural parcels (and potential rural parcels on TPZ) as inventory so that the housing element gets stamped and filed by the state. Rake in all that state money to fill the potholes (ignoring the recomendations of the clueless and pesky staff, whom you can replace anyway). No more cultural elite to hamper the posting of billboards. No more impediments to wind power…., well, we aren’t quite sure about that one, are we? No more smart growth development proposals which might set the wrong precedent. And a train to Redding! Good plan. Have at it.
As I said earlier, my own participation is going to be pretty limited for the next two years. Let’s see what you can do with near absolute political power in the county, outside of that dark region of Arcata (somehow, it’ll be their fault if it all doesn’t pan out I’m sure).
Anyway, seriously. Congrats to the vitors. But there are no excuses now.