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Stepping Back from the Brink


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City Journal

California has a long way to go, but results in San Francisco’s recall election and L.A.’s mayoral race suggest that some restoration of common sense is possible.

Joel Kotkin

June 8, 2022

In yesterday’s primary elections, California took a small step away from the brink. San Franciscans recalled one of the most notorious “progressive prosecutors”—ultra-lenient DA Chesa Boudin—while in Los Angeles, voters made billionaire and former Republican Rick Caruso the front-runner for the November mayor’s race.

These are encouraging developments for anyone who wants a return to sanity in the Golden State, though they fall far short of what conservatives hoped would be a red wave. Nothing better illustrates the lack of a conservative or even centrist counterpoint in California than its not particularly popular governor, Gavin Newsom, winning 56 percent of the vote in an open primary with extraordinarily light turnout. Michael Shellenberger, a skeptical and reality-based progressive, generated lots of positive coverage for his stinging critiques—but alas, few votes, as he polled below 4 percent. The leading Republican, the barely known Brian Dahle, could not break 17 percent.

Why wasn’t voter reaction stronger in a state that most here think is past its prime, becoming ever more unequal and crushed by high taxes and regulation? It’s called political monopolization. Democrats control every statewide office and seem assured of a veto-proof majority in both houses. They dominate local media. They are, in effect, the only party with power and reach statewide, and, notes analyst Dan Walters, they now operate in increasingly stealthy fashion, with few worries about Republican or media scrutiny.

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Here is the thing as I see  it. Rick Caruso may be many things a Conservative is NOT one of them. He switched parties and became a Democrat Just to run for mayor. When he was a Republican you could call him a RINO. That said Compared to Karen Bass he is Ronald Reagan on steroids. She is a through going Progressive.

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