Two things to watch for in CA

Pub date June 5, 2012
WriterTim Redmond
SectionPolitics Blog

There are two things that could be really significant around the state tonight (and no, I’m not talking about which liberal, balding Jewish man wins the primary in the San Fernando Valley, which will almost certainly be replayed in the fall). There’s a real chance that, thanks to redistricting, the Democrats could pick up enough seats to win a super-majority in the state Senate — meaning they could pass new taxes despite GOP recalcitrance. And while it’s unlikely that the Dems will get a two-thirds majority in the Assembly, there are a few Republicans out there who are starting to question the Grover Norquist line.

So what happens if, say, both houses approve an oil-severance tax or a restoration of the vehicle license fee? Will the Guv, who insisted in his campaign that he’d accept “no new taxes without a vote of the people” going to veto it? Seriously — is Jerry Brown going to veto an oil-severance tax?

Then there’s the Second Congressional District, where corporate Dem Jared Huffman is almost certainly going to come in first — but Norman Solomon, who is way closer politically to outgoing Rep. Lynn Woolsey, has a good chance of coming in second and making it to the November election. In which case the North Coast will see a classic fight between the left and the center of the Democratic Party, in one of the most progressive districts in the country — and it will attract national attention.

By the way: I’ve been checking out so many blogs tonight that I can’t remember where I saw this, but: The huge turnout in Wisconsin indicates that sharp political distinctions, clear-cut lines and hard fights, improve voter turnout. These cautious, don’t-take-risks pols shouldn’t be surprised that hardly anyone wants to vote for them.