Column: Hubris, thy name is Gavin

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SACRAMENTO — 

Gov. Gavin Newsom should person learned this 4 years ago: You don’t effort to waste voters connected much authorities spending successful a superior election.

Particularly Sacramento spending.

Newsom’s Proposition 1— a connection to pump much money into treating bum group who are mentally ill, supplier addicted aliases alcoholics — whitethorn yet walk aft ballot counting is completed. But arsenic of this writing, it is still excessively adjacent to call, pinch nan yes and nary votes virtually even.

Newsom must beryllium shocked.

In January, nan cocksure politician told Times newsman Taryn Luna successful an interview: “I deliberation it’s going to triumph overwhelmingly. Period. Full stop.”

Typical Newsom hubris.

Many politicos were amazed past twelvemonth erstwhile he insisted that his connection beryllium placed connected nan March 5 statesmanlike superior ballot. Primary elections are often graveyards for wide causes.

That’s because they typically suffer from debased elector turnouts. And that helps blimpish agendas. When turnouts are low, nan electorate consists of a higher proportionality than accustomed of right-leaning voters, including older achromatic group and Republicans.

In this election, nan last turnout will astir apt beryllium a pathetic 33% of registered voters, says Paul Mitchell, who runs Political Data Inc.

So acold successful nan ballot count, 38% of Republicans person returned their mailed ballots, compared pinch only 31% of Democrats, Mitchell says. Also, 51% of voters complete property 65 person sent backmost their ballots, compared pinch conscionable 13% of those nether 35.

White group relationship for 67% of those who formed ballots, though they’re only 55% of registered voters. Conversely, Latino voters dress up conscionable 17% of nan ballots cast, though they magnitude to 28% of those registered.

“When nan younker turnout drops, Latino turnout drops pinch it. Latinos are younger,” Mitchell says.

Four years agone successful a March 3 statesmanlike primary, nan turnout was a spot higher: 47%. But it wasn’t pro-Democrat capable to rescue a $15-billion schoolhouse building enslaved connection that was crafted successful nan Legislature pinch Newsom’s dense input and support. Voters rejected it by six percent points.

The proposition number — 13 — whitethorn person confused voters. The measure’s backers theorized that group feared it would weaken nan sacrosanct 1978 spot taxation simplification initiative, Proposition 13. Maybe immoderate did. But nan existent logic it grounded was that nan turnout was debased and voters objected to nan spending.

That measurement should person been placed connected nan November wide predetermination ballot erstwhile nan turnout was 76%.

In 2008, connected an moreover earlier statesmanlike superior ballot — Feb. 5 — voters rejected a measurement to walk much money connected organization colleges.

You’d deliberation Newsom would person understood nan lesson.

“Always spell to nan wide predetermination if you’re going to inquire voters for money,” says Democratic advisor David Townsend, who has tally galore section enslaved and taxation measures.

“There are much wide voters and they’re younger. They person a longer position of life. They want things to beryllium amended for themselves. Primaries person a bunch of aged guys for illustration you and me.”

Across California connected March 5, astir arsenic galore section schoolhouse enslaved measures grounded (14) arsenic passed (15), according to nan California Taxpayers Assn. Some measures are still excessively adjacent to call.

Newsom’s Proposition 1 included a $6.4-billion bond. But nan costs would double erstwhile liking connected nan borrowing is added. Not each voters are dumb. Many do nan mathematics — and frown astir nan galore billions California already has spent trying to trim homelessness.

The Proposition 1 money would finance building of 4,350 lodging units. There’d beryllium caller curen accommodation for 6,800 bum people. Newsom hyped nan lodging number higher.

Perhaps if nan politician had focused much connected trading his confusing ballot measurement and little connected promoting his nationalist governmental profile, Proposition 1 would person fared better. But mainly, nan connection did worse than expected because it was placed connected nan incorrect ballot — contempt Newsom raising much than $20 cardinal for nan run and opponents spending virtually zilch.

Good time for mean Democrats

Adam Schiff

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) celebrates pinch his woman during an predetermination nighttime statement successful Los Angeles arsenic he seeks to switch Sen. Dianne Feinstein successful nan U.S. Senate.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

It was a bad time for respective Sacramento politicians, particularly liberals. It’s looking for illustration astatine slightest 10 legislators seeking different agency failed.

Several mean legislative candidates did well. But nan adjacent Legislature elected successful November will still beryllium dominated by liberals.

“By and large, it was a beautiful bully nighttime for nan mean side,” says Marty Wilson, main governmental strategist for nan authorities Chamber of Commerce. “It was a coagulated capacity by business-backed Democrats.”

In nan U.S. Senate race, nan much mean campaigner — Democratic Rep. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank — easy hit retired 2 much wide Democrats, Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine and Barbara Lee of Oakland.

But I fishy Schiff’s triumph was owed chiefly to his coagulated sanction recognition earned by being nan House’s starring anti-Trump crusader.

Likewise, Republican Steve Garvey vanished successful nan apical 2 — qualifying for nan November ballot — because of fame gained by being a erstwhile prima ballplayer for nan Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.

Schiff’s cynical TV ads boosting Garvey among Republican voters to guarantee that Porter didn’t go his November competitor astir apt weren’t needed astatine all. He could person emerged pinch a cleaner image.

Porter ran a mediocre campaign, emphasizing issues that didn’t click pinch a low-turnout electorate, railing against firm corruption of politics. Unmoved voters astir apt asked: Yeah, what other is new?

Lee was nan astir awesome campaigner for me. She handled herself good and stuck to her principles, moreover if they were acold excessively liberal, moreover for California. No 1 will get elected legislator advocating a $50 nationalist minimum wage.

All that said, location must beryllium a measurement to count votes faster — moreover while painstakingly making judge they’re legit.

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Source latimes
latimes