Is California Ungovernable?

Monday, 22 Oct 2007 03:15 PM

By Newsmax Staff

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Diversity and division in the nation’s most populous state have led some pundits to declare that California is “ungovernable.”

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, George Skelton refers to a conversation 18 years ago between California Sen. Pete Wilson and political guru Stu Spencer:

“Then-Sen. Pete Wilson was agonizing over whether to run for governor. Old pal Spencer – a political adviser to presidents and governors, most notable Ronald Reagan – invited Wilson to his isolated Oregon ranch for some frank talk…

“‘You’ve got the best job in the world right now – senator from California,’ Spencer told Wilson. ‘I don’t know why’n hell you’d run for governor. California is ungovernable.’”

According to Skelton, Spencer was referring to the state’s wide diversity of viewpoints and geography, along with constant population growth and lack of political discipline.

Wilson ran anyway and won.

This month Skelton called Spencer, now 80, and asked if he still felt the same way about California.

It might be even worse today, was Spencer’s response.

“This public is more polarized because we’re more diverse,” he said. “We’ve got a bigger mass of bodies and we’re more diverse economically. People are divided about what they want … There’s not much unanimity or desire to compromise.”

Skelton cited several factors that may make California ungovernable, among them:

  • Legislative term limits that produce inexperienced, shortsighted lawmakers.

  • A two-thirds vote requirement for almost any legislation involving money.

  • Outrageous gerrymandering that all but eliminates two-party competition in many districts and leads to the election of “rigid ideologues.”

  • A ballot initiative system that has “run amok” and become a tool of special interests.

    The state also has a governor – Arnold Schwarzenegger – who is “stubborn, overreaches and has to be loved,” says Skelton, who concludes: “The Capitol today lacks strong, effective leadership in every position of power. That, along with a sorry system, makes the state look ungovernable.”

  • © 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

      Comment  |
       Contact  |
      Print   |
      Copy Shortlink
    Around the Web
    Join the Newsmax Community
    Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
    >> Register to share your comments with the community.
    >> Login if you are already a member.
    blog comments powered by Disqus
    Zip Code:
    Privacy: We never share your email.
    Follow Newsmax
    Like us
    on Facebook
    Follow us
    on Twitter
    Add us
    on Google Plus
    Around the Web
    Top Stories
    You May Also Like

    Boston Bomb Suspect’s Friend Pleads Guilty to Gun Charge

    Friday, 19 Dec 2014 19:41 PM

    A close friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded guilty to owning the handgun Tsarnaev allege . . .

    Obama Appointee's Group Accused of Illegal Politicking

    Friday, 19 Dec 2014 19:09 PM

    A nonprofit group run by an Obama administration appointee may have supported Democratic mayoral candidates in Californi . . .

    Rep. Erik Paulsen: Obamacare About to Hit Every American

    Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:41 PM

    Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen says that every American is about to feel the effects of Obamacare when tax season hits in 2 . . .

    Most Commented

    Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

    America's News Page
    ©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved