Thursday, November 4, 2010
Money can buy a lot of things, but apparently not the California gubernatorial election.
Voters elected Attorney General Jerry Brown to be California’s next governor, despite a multi-million dollar fight from Republican Meg Whitman. As of 10:30am Nov. 3, Brown had defeated Whitman, 54 to 41 percent, following the most expensive governor’s race in state history. Whitman spent more than $160 million, including $142 million of her own money, outspending Brown six-to-one.
The second-in-command post, however, remained neck-and-neck on Election Night. Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado was fighting for his seat – and, quite possibly, his political future – with Democrat Gavin Newsom leading him by less than 1 point.
“It’s going to be a long, long night,” the Republican and former Central Coast Assemblyman says around 10pm on Election Night, via phone from his victory party in Irvine. “It’s been close all the way through. I knew this was going to be a nail-biter.”
By the next morning, Newsom was the clear winner, with 50 percent of the vote to Maldonado’s 39 percent.
Meanwhile, voters handily rejected Proposition 23, the attempt to suspend AB 32, California’s landmark anti-global warming legislation. At press time, the bill had been defeated by 61 percent.
“Prop. 23, like the governor’s race, was an attempt to buy an election – these out-of-state oil interests funded the campaign and tried to fight a law that our legislators had passed,” says Vinz Koller, chair of the Monterey County Democratic Party. “To their credit, California voters said no.”
California voters didn’t, however, lead the nation in legalizing marijuana: The initiative to regulate and tax pot, Proposition 19, failed 46 to 54 percent.
Republicans and Dems alike praised the 55 percent approval of Proposition 25, the majority rules on the budget.
“We should have an on-time budget now,” says Maldonado, who broke rank with his own party twice to break the budget deadlock.