California Should Celebrate Its National Election Contributions

California Should Celebrate Its National Election Contributions

I and others complain that California, whose polls close at the latest hours, and which is far from a swing state, and has one of the last primaries, appears to be far from a crucial participant in the primaries or the general election. Further thought shows that we play a crucial part in the nation in terms of progressive and humanitarian policies. We should continue voting in the primaries and the general election to continue to advance these policies.

To start, we should celebrate that we are not exposed to massive amounts of the falsehoods of the Trump ads, or the repetitive showing of Trump’s misbehavior in the Clinton’s ads. Repetition breeds boredom and contempt. We still are exposed to some of them, which are embedded in nationwide programs.

Starting with the House, California has 53 representatives, the largest delegation, with 39 Democrats and 14 Republicans. This includes House minority leader, Democrat Nancy Pelosi. While the House Republican majority dominates all votes, Pelosi and Democrat minorities on all committees are able to provide progressive, humanitarian, and informed input to all House proceedings. If the Senate becomes Democrat in this election, the House Democrats will have much greater influence in getting successful legislation passed.

California will continue to have two Democratic Senators, first with Diane Feinstein continuing on. With California’s primary system of the two leading open candidates progressing to the general election, we will replace retiring Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer with either Democrat Kamala Harris or Loretta Sanchez. If Democrats rule the next Senate, we will play a crucial role considering our leading population and industrial output, and our leadership in Pacific trade.

In terms of California serving as campaigns’ ATMs in terms of funding candidates, it is good that we have California billionaires to balance fossil fuel billionaires in the Midwest and coal producing states, and banking billionaires in the Wall Street commuter states. While idealists would like Citizens United license to free spending on PACS to be overturned, it is hard to overturn Supreme Court judgements. This election has also shown that the best backed Republican primary candidate, Gov. Jeb Bush, amounted to nothing in terms of getting votes. Also, in the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders was well funded with average $27 contributions. In the final two days of the general election, Trump is doing well even with less funding. I would much rather have the Voting Rights Act fully restored by Congress.

Locally, in terms of Coastal California, the fourteen coastal California Congressmen contain two Republicans, both of whom are climate science deniers. The Newport Beach centered Republican Dana Rohrbacher is here to stay, and will probably be asking Congress for funds to deal with eventual coastal funding for sea level rise. Further South from Dana Point to North of San Diego, Republican and former head of the House Investigative Committee (Clinton email expert) Darrell Issa (also the richest member of Congress) is said to be in a close race. That is another reason for Coastal Californians to vote.
In the national electoral vote, all of California’s 53 + 2 = 55 electors will be voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton, even though 14 districts may have a plurality for Trump. Today’s USC Dornsife/ LA Times poll for California has Clinton at 54%, Trump at only 30%, no answer at 10%, Johnson at 4%, and Stein at 3%. This may seem unfair, but the majority of states, 33, have Republican governors and usually vote Republican nationally, subsuming their Democratic voters into their straight Republican electors. So California, with the largest population, is necessary to restore balance to the electoral college.

The is another reason California Democrats should add their vote to the total, instead of relying on other Democratic voters alone.  Most people look at the popular vote to decide who really wins the election, and look at the vote to decide whether the winner has a mandate to govern.  Since California is the largest state with 37 million people, or 12% of the population and voters, you should turn out to establish that the winner actually has some sort of mandate.

There also are a large number of propositions on the ballot. Unfortunately, they require careful study, and are sometimes interconnected with other propositions, and a few are purposely misleading and funded by developers with much to gain from them. So far, about a half a billion dollars have been spent on the proposition advertising, most saying little. Do your best following your favorite newspaper or party recommendations. Obviously, as we say every election year, the proposition laws need to be limited, with most of the detail left up to the legislature.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in 2016 Election, 2016 Primaries, California Democratic Primary, Clinton, Donald Trump, Politics, Sea Level Rise, Voting Rights. Bookmark the permalink.

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