In 1992, the country was dragged into a souring economy despite victorious mood within the country in the prior year as American troops pushed Iraqi forces from Kuwait. President George H.W. Bush was riding high in the polls until reality hit home as challenger then-Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas campaign strategist James Carville inserted the phrase “It’s the economy stupid” became a lexicon throughout the campaign that delivered a blow to the incumbent President.
In 2003, California got a rude awakening at the beginning of the year when Governor Gray Davis announced that the state budget deficit got so big to the amount of $38 billion which was the largest deficit on record. Though, the electricity crisis few years prior which set things in motion that became a public relations and political nightmare that caused Governor Davis to become too slow and aloof as to how to handle the matter. The VLF (vehicle license fee) known as the car tax was tripled that was used to bring down the large deficit caused an uproar throughout the state that prompted California’s first ever successful recall of Governor Gray Davis from office.
What could we expect going into the 2016 election campaign discussions from the general public?
We must go back few years to see what percolated the issue of public safety that is becoming a concern among California voters.
In 2011, Governor Brown signed AB 109 which was dubbed as Public Safety Realignment as it forced the state to reduce the number of inmates in state prisons to 137% of capacity as a solution under U.S. Supreme Court order. It also provides for local custody for non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offenders and it make changes to the state parole and add extra burdens to the counties to provide resources to local public safety programs.
In 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47 by a wide margin of 59% to 41% known as “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” initiative, which would modify from felony to misdemeanor for drug possession offenses and crimes involving less than $950 of petty theft, stolen property and forging/writing bad checks.
Sadly, the recent wave of crime incidents has Californians on edge:
California voters must ask themselves at what price are they willing to pay whether to reward career politicians for another term or career politicians seeking another elective office to keep their communities safe.
Or are California voters willing to turn the page by sending new leaders at the dais or in the capitol who are willing to answer the call to “keep my community safe”.
We will find out on November 8, 2016!