Thursday, November 20, 2014
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COMMENTARY 

The North Dominates the Political Landscape 

California Democrats must be doing something right, notwithstanding the low esteem in which the California Legislature is held.

With the election behind us, and the historic victory of San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris as California Attorney General, Democrats in the Golden State have much to celebrate.

Every statewide officer in California is a Democrat, and the Assembly experienced a gain of one bucking a national trend.

No one from Congress or the State Senate lost his or her seat.

However, in the midst of this Democratic sweep there is an interesting phenomenon that's worthy of analysis.  The vast majority of statewide elected officers came from the North.

Here's the breakdown by office:

                US Senate

                Diane Feinstein - San Francisco

                                former Mayor of San Francisco

                Barbara Boxer - Marin County

                                former Congresswoman and Supervisor in Marin County 

                Governor

                Jerry Brown - Oakland

                                Attorney General

                                                His father, Gov. Pat Brown, came from San Francisco
 

                Lt. Governor

                Marvin Newsome - Mayor of San Francisco

                                His three (3) predecessors came from the North:

                                                Cruz Bustamante - Fresno

                                                John Garamendi - Sacramento

                                                                former Insurance Commissioner

                                                Abel Moldanado - San Luis Obisquo (North Coast)

                                                                former State Senator

 

                Attorney General

                Kamala Harris - District Attorney, San Francisco

                                Her two predecessors -  Jerry Brown and Bill Lockyer came from Oakland

 

                Treasurer

                Bill Lockeyer - Oakland

                                former Attorney General

 

                Insurance Commissioner

                Bill Jones - Sacramento

                                former Assemblyman

                                His predecessors, Steve Poizner and Steve Westley came from Silicon                                    Valley - North

 

                Superintendent of Public Instruction

                Tom Torlakson - Pittsburg, CA

                                born in San Francisco

                                former State Senator and Assemblyman

 

                Controller

                John Chiang - Los Angeles

 

                Secretary of State

                Debra Bowen - Los Angeles

                                former State Senator

 

It is to be noted that the two leading Republican candidates for Governor, Meg Whitman and US Senate Carla Fiorina  were from Silicon Valley (North).  They both lost to Northern Democrats.

 

If you stretch your review a bit here's what you find: 

                State Senate

                Daryll Steinberg - Sacramento

                                President Pro Tempore

                                                His  predecessor was Don Perato from Oakland

 

                Chairman California Democratic Party

                John Burton (Ret.) - San Francisco

                                Former Senate President Pro Tem 

San Francisco and the Bay Area lead with ten (10) of the twelve (12) leadership positions. 

In other words, of the ten (10) State Constitutional offers eight (8) are from the North and two (2) from the South. 

The question which arises about this imbalance is why does the North dominate the South politically?  There are those who believe that the answer lies in the conservative and backward political atmosphere which exists in the Southern California counties - Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara - and you throw in Kern for good measure - all Republican counties. 

The exceptions are big Los Angeles and small Imperial counties with heavy Latino populations.

Category: Op-Ed


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