The Democrats, meanwhile, had a bunch of putzes on the ballot, including an old geezer who was the state's governor about a zillion election cycles ago who they picked for governor again because his competition was more putzes.
While on a roll, voters from both parties passed two propositions in which one would save them money and the other a tiny step to improve their dysfunctional government while, gasp, rejecting three other propositions that would have made public utilities and auto insurers richer and provide a test trial of public financing for a statewide elective office no one gives a damn.
Let's hear it for the Golden State, broke but not beaten. At least as of this morning.
Just think. Meg Whitman spent $81 million of her family fortune to win just the primary. Her opponent, Silicon Valley tycoon and incumbent state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner blew $26 million of his wad to lose by more than 15 points the last I looked. If you took all the money spent by all candidates in the primary and wrote a check to the state, the $19 billion deficit would be reduced by 0.02%.
Hey, it's a start and no dumber a proposal than any of the candidates have suggested. For instance, Whitman said the problem with California government is a "crises of confidence." And a few other things she plans to address, like bitch slapping the state's public union leaders.
Before Whitman moves to Sacramento, she must defeat that old buzzard Jerry Brown, the Democrat, who served Californians as governor from 1975 to 1983 when he was known as Governor Moonbeam for his fascination with the stars, those in Hollywood included. Remember Linda Ronstadt?
Whitman, the former Ebay boss lady and Fiorina, who was dumped unceremoniously as Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO, are not the best of friends but share a common bond -- rich, Republican and female. Whitman congratulated Fiorina Tuesday night when she took the stage at the Universal City Hilton hotel ballroom.
"Career politicians in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., be warned: You now face your worst nightmare — two businesswomen from the real world who know how to create jobs, balance budgets and get things done."
Before buying a one-way ticket to Washington if she doesn't purchase the airline, Carly must defeat Barbara the Boxer who buried some putzes in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
Brown has been keeping his powder dry but has massed a war chest of $20 million to take on Whitman who he challenged with this remark from a Los Angeles bar Tuesday night
"It's not enough for someone rich and restless to look in the mirror one morning and decide, 'I want to be governor of California.' We tried that. It didn't work," Brown said, in reference to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who is termed out of office next year. He's got the 40,000 state workers on his side who Whitman wants to fire.
Fiorina and Boxer exchanged pleasantries, too. A Carly mouthpiece called Boxer "a bitter partisan who has said much but achieved little." Boxer called Fiorina out of step with mainstream California voters and noted that Fiorina fired thousands while running Hewlett-Packard
Cool it ladies. Boxer is right on one thing, California is a blue state, Pacific blue, at that, but so much in the red as in ink the state's love affair with their Democratic politicians could be in for a sea change come November. It's been that Democratic sway since Republican Gov. Pete Wilson riled the state's entire 6 million Latino base with the ill-fated Proposition 113, a precursor to Arizona's recent anti-immigrant law but not as ethnic cleansing.
Speaking of ethnics, Orly Taitz, the target of a last day blitz by progressives in all forms of media, was running about 50 yards behind Damon Dunn, a Stanford grad and former professional football player, who ran a stealth campaign for Secretary of State, a position no one in Calfiornia has a clue what it does except perhaps rubber stamp and certify bureaucratic paperwork.
Thanks, Republicans. Mr. Dunn, meet Democratic incumbent Debra Bowen who's gonna whip your butt in November unless you come out from hiding.
As for those ballot props, Prop. 13 would exempt property value increases from owners retrofitting their property to meet earthquake standards. Get this, it was receiving an 85% yes vote. Proposition 14 was approved, allowing party cross voting in primaries with the idea it would reduce the power of special interests and incumbents in gerrymandered districts.
My apologies for writing mockingly of the candidates, but as a native Californian who has followed state politics for 60 years I have heard these tired old campaign promises a million times. I see little hope of any governor, especially one with not one day of experience in the public arena, to solve its problems just by wishing it and applying business-practice axes to cut spending. Meg Whitman, unless she implodes and the crafty Jerry Brown pulls a prestidigitational miracle, will be the next governor. Even if voters elect a Republican sweep in the Assembly and Senate, which I think would be a mathematical impossibility because of the gerrymandered districts they live in, they still won't be able to balance the budget without raising taxes or throwing millions of the sick, elderly and poor out into the streets. Maybe they will. Ronald Reagan tossed all the inmates in mental hospitals into the streets and the only thing that saved the skin for the former governor was a rebound in the economy which he had nothing, or very little, to do with.