The recent primary election results in California brought some rare good tidings to the beleaguered Golden State GOP.
The Democrats in the California State Legislature, who once thought that they were easily going to recapture supermajorities in both state houses, now see their desired outcome as a much more remote possibility.
Surprisingly, candidates in key races for the California State Senate, who by significant margins obtained the highest vote counts, were Republicans.
The state senate is significant in that it is the legislative body in which Democrats were involved in scandals, which resulted in three politicians being suspended from office and criminal charges being lodged against them.
The highest profile case to hit the news was that of Sen. Leland Yee, who allegedly sought to pay off his campaign debt through an illegal arms deal. According to prosecutors, Yee, an advocate for gun control, met with an undercover federal agent in a coffee shop to allegedly engage in what Yee had been told was a $2 million arms transaction, which would include the purchase of shoulder-fired missiles from Islamic rebels who were located in the Philippines.
In another case, Sen. Ronald Calderon was indicted by a federal grand jury and pleaded not guilty to charges relating to wire fraud, bribery, money laundering, and falsification of tax returns.
Additionally, a jury found Sen. Roderick Wright guilty on charges of voter fraud and perjury for having misrepresented his district residency.
Yee and Calderon cannot run again, having been term-limited out, and Wright is actually not up for re-election. However, the scandal coverage appears to be affording Republicans the opportunity to at least serve as a check against the heavily skewed power of the Democrats.
As a result of the scandals, Democrats in the California legislature are two votes shy of the two-thirds majority that they enjoyed two years ago. If actually achieved again, a supermajority status would allow the Democrats to implement a radically left-of-center wish list, which includes social experimentation, tax increases, virtually unlimited spending, and even the overriding of vetoes, all without Republican input or support.
The formula for the Democrat retaking of the desired supermajority status has been further altered by redistricting, which took place in 2011 and resulted from a growth in population that had occurred in the inland portion of Southern California, known locally as the “Inland Empire.” The redistricting ultimately caused a senate seat from the San Francisco Bay Area to be replaced with one in Riverside County in Southern California.
The previous 8th Senate District in the Bay Area, which incidentally had elected Sen. Yee, had been solidly Democratic. The new 28th Senate District located in Riverside County is firmly Republican and does not have an incumbent candidate.
In order to take back the supermajority that the state senate had previously possessed, Democrats need to win 13 of the 20 districts that will be on the ballot come this November; however, the Democrats received the highest primary vote tally in only 9 of the 20 districts.
Interestingly, Republicans beat Democrats by significant margins in 5 state senate districts, and did so despite the significant advantages that Democrats enjoyed in voter registration.
Even in the lower house, the California state assembly, the GOP vote count was higher than the Democrats in several key races. Democrats presently hold 55 of the 80 total votes in the state assembly and hope to keep this supermajority.
Although Democrats have downplayed the primary results, the GOP has increased the party’s ground operations and improved the quality of legislative candidates.
The publicized corruption, misplaced priorities, and faltering economy may just have an effect on voter turnout in the general election and an impact on whether Democrats will achieve a lock on the supermajority status that they seek.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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