Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Every poll of Californians’ attitudes toward the Legislature and other pieces of state government find deep disdain.

The mood is so sour, in fact, that even when the state’s politicians sponsor ballot measures, they seek to exploit it. One example: Ads for Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure, Proposition 30, assured voters – quite erroneously – that the money would be protected from “Sacramento politicians.”

Proposition 30 passed, thus giving those politicians more money to spend. But the very next measure on the ballot, Proposition 31, failed miserably, even though it purported to reform the government that voters profess to dislike, and so did Proposition 32, which would have reduced unions’ powerful influence on that government.

In these and other respects – such as strengthening the grip of the Legislature’s already dominant Democrats – Californians ratified a seemingly unpopular political status quo.

There are tactical reasons for that somewhat strange outcome. For instance, those in power had a lot of money to spend because they are those in power, while those who wanted change could muster only a fraction of their foes’ wherewithal.

The defeat of Proposition 31 was particularly odd.

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