Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Non-Californians ask: What's the matter with California?

Here in California, we've grown accustomed to voters from all parts of the country -- some of them more consequential than others -– second-guessing our elections (perhaps because we have so many). This election, in which California somehow missed the cresting anti-Democrat wave, was no exception.

Several writers to [email protected] accused Californians of electing the very people who imperiled our state in the first place. Many also expressed dismay that California took a pass on two prominent business executives (Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina) in favor of Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer. But fear not! Silicon Valley is still producing ex-CEOs faster than we can schedule elections.

Below are the best one-liners from the out-of-state commentators; the entire submissions are posted, without editing, after the jump:

"On Tuesday Californians have proven what most of America has known for decades. That they cannot be trusted to vote in running their own state."

"Why can't you dope smoking idiots see the light and get clue what is really going on in this country and in the world?"

"Albert Einstein once said insanity is '...doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.'  Congratulations, California, for becoming the largest mental hospital on Earth."

-- Paul Thornton

Sub:  tune-in, turn-on, drop out..

.. this is a story about two states,  one with the highest unemployment and the highest foreclosure rate in the country.. the other with record annual debt in the country and on the verge of bankruptcy and, can you believe it, on Nov 2 both toss economic fiscal responsibilty under the bus  .. and to top it off, re-elect the derelicts/Party that got them into this mess - go figure!? .. so I say to both Nevada and California - you got the government you deserve! .. and I truly hope when you're on the verge of bankruptcy and economic collapse, the federal government says an empahatic 'NO' to both of you!

Gary Hilderbrand
Tampa, Fla.

Most of us non- Californians find it unbelievable that California with its very high unemployment, ridiculous taxes, broke state government and illegal immigrant problems would elect the same old, same old politicians - Boxer and Brown - who helped put the state in this awful position to begin with when you could have elected people with real world experience in creating jobs and solving problems.  As more flee the state and take their tax money with them, you only have yourselves to blame. You have ruined a great place to live. Don't look to anyone else in the U.S. for sympathy . . . and you better make changes next time for sure.  Watch New Jersey’s governor to see how you can save CA!

Terry Doyle

It is beyond my ability to understand how a state that is bankrupt and going under financially can elect the same group of people (Brown, Pelosi, Boxer, etc.), that will continue the same stupid programs that have taken a great state like California to the brink and beyond.  What part of stupid and ignorant don't you understand?  What really makes me angry is when you do go bankrupt this next year, your only course of action is to turn to the Federal Gov for help and assistance.  That can only mean one thing, that my tax dollars will be used to bail you out of your misery and stupidity.  I could care less if you want to elect such incompetent and immoral leaders.  What really makes me mad beyond belief is that I will have to help bail you out to save you from your own stupidity.  Why can't you dope smoking idiots see the light and get clue what is really going on in this country and in the world?  Enjoy the loss of income and the highest taxes in the country, none of which will save  you from the ultimate reward....bankruptcy as a state.  You certainly have told the country how you feel.  Now enjoy the rewards.

David Merrell
Mountain Green, Utah

Albert Einstein once said insanity is "...doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  Congratulations, California, for becoming the largest mental hospital on Earth (or shall attempt California-style political correctness and call it a special needs facility).
Voters in the state keep electing the same politicians into office and expect different results? From Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer to Pete Stark and Henry Waxman, Californians are aptly demonstrating that Einstein's words are accurate.  Now add to this the fact that the 28th Senate district re-elects its representative despite the fact that she died two weeks ago.  Now California must pay for a new election to fill this seat, and we all know how the state's coffers are abundantly in surplus at this time.

I was born in California and wandered that desert for nearly 40 years before opting for a fair shot at a decent life.  I am so glad I made that choice.

Enjoy your choices, California, for I don't see how continuing to do the same practices (especially since the re-animation of Jerry Brown came to fruition) is going to lead back to prosperity.

Todd Toepfer
Louisville, Ky.

Governor Moonbeam is back. Senator Boxer will return to represent you in DC.

You morons in CA deserve them both; they are yours.

You had a chance to turn your state around and rebuild the past prosperity you once enjoyed.

You chose to stay with the failed politics of the last thirty years; the destruction of freedom, capitalism, free enterprise, entrapronuralism and self determination.

Good luck on the path to socialism. It will be the end of your utopia!

C.T. Roberts

Californians, you deserve your sad fate.  How in the world you could be so foolish as to reelect a tax-and-spend retread like Jerry Brown over someone who's actually created jobs and successfully run large companies is beyond comprehension.  And how on earth you could reelect Barbara Boxer is equally incomrehensible.  Do you just enjoy economic stagnation and bankruptcy?  I guess you folks must think that the economy is swell and that the problem is that we need bigger deficits and even more debt.  Perhaps you should secede and rejoin Mexico, since that seems to be the kind of government you prefer. 

Mike Griffith
Woodbridge, Va.

On Tuesday Californians have proven what most of America has known for decades. That they cannot be trusted to vote in running their own state.

You're broke and getting broker. And you elect Gov. Moonbeam once again. And Barbara Boxer. What is it that you don't get?

I think you do get it and worse I think you know the federal government will bail you out.

Mark Newman
Lutz, Fla.

What is God's name is the matter with you people?  Boxer?  Brown?  Laughable.  When your economy swirls down the toilet because of your frank recklessness and craven fiscal irresponsibility do not expect me or anyone else to bail you out.  Do not expect me or anyone else to pay for your reckless spending, your illegal immigrants, your insane public employee contracts and pensions, your bizarre public policy bents and anti-business jihad.  You really missed the boat and a great opportunity to get California, a beautiful state, progressing in the right direction with Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina.  Instead you have chosen the low class malignanint narcissist Boxer, and the old clueless hippie Brown.  Good luck with that suckers.  You're on your own as far as I'm concerned. 

Kathryn Werdal

Comments () | Archives (28)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Maybe Californians realized that it was CEOs, Wall Street, and their rich Republican buddies in Congress and the White House for 8 years that got us into this mess, and not Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown. How quickly you forget that there was a SURPLUS when George Bush took office. The Republicans spent all of it and put us into debt by lying us into war and giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy. Just maybe Californians are saner than the rest of the country. You all just voted for your own demise. Do you really think these wealthy Republicans care about you or the deficit? Really? They want to add $700 billion to the deficit by extending the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of the wealthiest in the country, without paying for it!! EIGHT YEARS OF TOTAL REPUBLICAN RULE IS WHAT GOT US INTO THIS MESS! AND YOU THINK CALIFORNIA IS CRAZY?? KEEP ON LISTENING TO THE LIARS ON FOX "NEWS" YOU IDIOTS!


The governor isn't that big a deal anyway. The state legislature that passes tge budget and writes our laws has been controlled by the Democrats pretty much continuously since about 1970. They gave the unions the absurd benefits package that is now bankrupting the state. Unfortunately, the state is so heinously gerrymandered that there seems little hope of it ever being corrected. I pray our newly created redistricting commission can help.

Dan Jeffs

California's worst case scenario: Voter-assisted economic suicide.

As if voters aren't suffering enough from the economic crash -- and Washington-aggravated aftermath -- the worst case scenario for California is the election of Jerry Brown and the slate of Democrats for the executive branch, the retention of a large Democrat majority in the Legislature, the passage of Propositions 25, and the defeat of Proposition 23.

Coupled with the State implementing forced Obamacare -- and enforcing AB-32's skyrocketing energy costs -- raising the cost of living to new heights, that certainly amounts to voter-assisted -- job-killing -- economic suicide.

Indeed, driving the national economy into a ditch will be mild compared to our state government and political zealots driving California's economy over a 2010-foot cliff, in a union-driven green machine. Problem is, the indoctrinated and deceived majority of voters are pulling the rest of us over the cliff with them.


I can't believe that so many people are demanding a return to the wonderful days of Herbert Hoover! They truly must want to create the second great Republican Depression.

Even "W" tried to avoid that with his TARP package, but today's conservatives are demanding the exact same policies that have proved so disastrous in the past.


If the way Jerry Brown ran his campaign is any indicator as to how he'll govern, California voters made the right choice. He is wise with money. Look at how Meg spent and spent and spent. He waited it out until after Labor Day. He had way less money to work with, yet he got elected. I think he will be frugal and smart.
On another note, as a state worker, I can tell you that state salaries are NOT inflated and neither is the workforce, as we rank third lowest in workers per capita in the U.S. $50,000 a year is the average wage, which is a typical middle class salary. Thay may be considered high in other parts of the country, but so is the cost of living here. We contribute to our own pensions and insurance plans. Local (city and county) government pays way better than the state does and the majority of the pension costs come from law enforcement and fire fighters. The state payroll is only about 11% of the total budget. Also, not everyone is paid out of the general fund. I work for a user-funded agency, yet I was still furloughed 3 days a month for two years. We have been vilified by the right and made to be the scapegoats for all of California's problems. Not so. Not at all. The budget never gets passed because the majority is held hostage by the minority over taxes. Corporations and the wealthy continue to get all the tax breaks and we, the middle class, have to pick up the slack (and yes I pay taxes too!) Unions have been vilified as well. Unions set the standard for good wages and decent work environments. Without them, we would all be at the mercy of the mega corps, begging for scraps to feed our families, while they make off with huge profits at our expense. Follow the money and you'll find out where the problems began.


More proof that the less you know, the easier it is to express worthless opinions.

Hold on to your hats, and watch California go, folks. Not for nothing is it called
the Golden State!

Joe the Taxpayer...

Very Simple!


It's a WELFARE STATE! Dummy...


Where is the revenue going to come from?


I am glad Republicans took the House, so there are not many chances for a California bail out from Washington's friends!
To all people here saying that wealthy people (such as CEO) endangered the wellfare of Joe the Plumber, I would say: no NORMAL wealthy person will do business or invest her/his money if she/he doesn't have incentives to do so!
California hasn't been a decent environment for business for many years because of OLD polices - it is the main reason of outsourcing jobs to India & China! So stop throwing negativity over Whitman&Fiorina for outsourcing!
Californians had a chance for a positive change- that doesn't come every year- but they missed the opportunity and they will get the same stuff from the same people!
Brown & Boxer won the election because both are artists of crowd's manipulation! (amnesty of illegals is a hot topic for reaching the masses!!!).
Whitman& Fiorina lost because both explained real facts of problems and ways to tackle them from business point of views!
My favorite Brown's linefrom his campaign was "We are all God's children". He should have let God alone from his speeach ...
A Texas Independent

d morvan

First of all, California has over 12% of the population of the United States. With a base of 38 million and counting, our economy is the 8th largest in terms of world economies and the largest in the U.S.. Over 80% of the U.S. is in debt and sinking. I voted Republican but also realize that California is much beloved and scorned for our attitudes, Dude. We are still an envied state across the nation. So before you all decide to rag on California clean up your own messes and please stop watching the Rose parade on New Years and moving out here.

Boxer Swamp

-Over 3.8 million voters chose someone OTHER than Boxer.
-Over 48% of voters chose someone OTHER than Boxer.
-Barbara Boxer lost in 38 out of 58 counties.
-In four counties that Boxer did "win", she garnered LESS than 50% of the vote.
They were Lake, Sacramento, San Benito, and Santa Barbara Counties.
- 29 California newspapers chose to endorse Fiorina.
Another 2 including the San Francisco Chronicle did not endorse anyone.
-Overall, 31 newspapers chose NOT to endorse Barbara Boxer.

Barbara Boxer's infamous 34 year political career began as a Marin County Supervisor in 1976.
She has been killing jobs and wasting taxdollars from day one.
Her first political goal was to turn the runways at Hamilton Air Force Base into Boxer Swamp.
It has cost over $200 million in taxdollars to turn a job producing airport into an useless swamp.



Unlike most of the red states, Californians have been bankrolling the fed govt for years, putting in more money than we get back.

lori santos

The republicans get the nation into the mess with support of a civil rights action in Iraq and saying Iraq will pay for it during the Bush era, then all the mortgage scams and wallstreet scams the repubs pulled starting with enron, there is no wonder the people with the intact memories voted for Democrats, seeing as it is only taking twice as long to bail the Nation out of the "feed the Wealthy policies the Repubs instituted in their welfare for the rich programs, and their attempt at joint ownership of Iraq oil fields that never trickled into the lower classes of the middle and poor yet stayed within the supra wealthy, because no one here has seen any money from Iraq's civil rights police action.


Oh! thank God for California and the Californians. They rejected the horrrors of the ex industry leaders who are the most unlikely characters to run a State or Nation. Boxer is the best and good at it, Brown will be farsighted and honorable, even if he's painful in his economics. California will remain at the forefront of thinking and lead the nation and those that live there will prosper.

Mitchell Young

" please stop watching the Rose parade on New Years and moving out here."

D. Morvan, California had net domestic outmigration (that is, more US citizens/residents left the state than moved here) in every single year of the last decade, and most years in the last two decades. Literally millions more Americans moved out than in -- people voting with their feet. Sure the state looks great from Zacatecas, but no longer does it lure many people from Iowa.

Barry Robertson

You know what I love about non-Californian's? They have no idea what it means to be a Californian. Yeah, we have our share of problems and yes our budget is in the toilet right now; but at least we care about all of those who are within our borders.

Yes, we have pensions because Wall Street can't be trusted with our money; just ask the millions of retiree's with 401(k)'s looking for work since Bernie Madoff took their money. How about all those businesses leaving California because they care enough to pollute the environment for my child. Lets not forget the $700 BILLION that the Republicans want to add to the deficit by extending Bush tax cuts to the top two percent income earners; that's fiscally responsible to make sure that a person who makes millions or billions of dollars pays less tax then I do on a $55,000.00/year with a state employee pay check. And finally, lets not forget that making rich people richer is the main goal of the United States of I Hate Middle Class Americans.

If being broke and living with insane morons doing the same thing over and over is what I am to live with then I am happy. For those of you who don't like California, as the bumper sticker in the 80's said, "Welcome to California, now go home." And, for those of you who may be visiting with your condescending attitudes and unchecked piousness, "Best wishes from California, now stay home."

When California comes out from under the fog of failed Republican policies that have driven us into financial crisis, both locally and and from Washington, D.C., then maybe the rest of the country will realize how smart we really are. Meg Whitman said, "When I came to California 30 years ago, California was great." Thirty years ago, Jerry Brown was Governor. Oops! I guess Jerry got Meg's endorsement.

By the way, Moonbeams ideas 30 years ago are the the ideas that are now being advocated by people all over the country. I'd say Moonbeam was 30 years ahead of his time.

A proud Democrat in California.

Gregory Camden

Let's just call California the Titanic state.


Dear Non-Californians:
You morons elected the same idiots that put the whole country into this state - GOP, and you are criticizing us??? You don't know squat about California, and pretend that you do so you can have an opinion on what WE do. You don't know our laws, you don't know our proposition system, you don't even know that Jerry Brown was a fiscal conservative. So keep your opinions to yourself or we will have to run somebody from California for President Again and straighten you all out.
PS. We still have the 8th largest economy in the world - without the rest of you!!!


Response to Barry Robertson
"If being broke and living with insane morons doing the same thing over and over is what I am to live with then I am happy." You nailed it! At least we all know your standards in making choices.
A proud Independent


Response to d morvan: *Nobody envies California's actual problems that are MAGNIFIED BY ITS SIZE &ITS IMPORTANCE WHITIN the UNION and belive it or not, all non-Californian are proud that California is part of US; people are upset & concerned of your choices, not about your country!!!
*A growing population NOT ALWAYS is a good thing. If the growth is sustainable is OK , if not is not OK.
Good luck with your choices.
A Texas Independent

thomas preston

To those of you who laugh at the stupidity of California, beware. Many of our idiots are fleeing this third world state and crossing into yours! Hey, we wrecked our state, now we split because we cannot clean up the mess. Just like little kids our California politicians are....."It's not my fault" is their common theme. The California politicians claim they are working their tales off....legalize marijuan, get driver's license for illegal immigrants, lower college fees for those same illegals, build new ethnic culturual centers, pass laws making it mandatory to spade your dog and so on.... This state is just plain dumb...ignorant populace which makes the elected goofballs happy.


It is not the Republicans that got us to this mess in California. IT is the democrat. They have the whole State for a long time. The UNIONS and the STATE LEGISLATURE are the cause of CALIFORNIA DOWNFALL. Just like General Motors WE WILL SEE THE SAME.


Sure DONTBLAMEME works for the Government. Sure he/she will vote for Brown. What else is different? Unions and Government... that is like General Motors and their Unions... Guess where all this will end up?


Every comment from red states that get more money from the Feds than they pay in should be flagged for the hypocrites they are! Hey, give California her own money back to spend as she pleases instead of subsidizing many, many other states thru Fed subsidies.

Beverly Price

Funny how most of the people criticizing Californians for voting in Democrats are from states who take money from California. If they don't like how we vote - fine. Let's keep our tax dollars in-state and spend it to cure our unemployment.


As a Californian, I too just shake my head in amazement.
We have a state run by Unions, illegal immigrant sympathizers, environmentalist and socialist. We have the city of Bell leading the way in how politicians and their protectorate can feed at the public trouth. We have extravagant pay packages everwhere. We have every increasing public sector employees with what they think is an endless supply of money to feed their desire. We have govennment shutting off the water supply for irrigation in the Central Valley causing 50 percent unemployment.

Business is leaving California at at alarming rate. We have entitlements that even make Liberals blush. How high can politicians raise taxes and still keep any kind of tax base in the State.

Fiscal responsibility, living within ones means, encourging business to operate in California, and tying to slow the severe bleeding that illegal immigration causes are concepts that our elected official refuse to address.

I don't know how California can not go bankrupt. The Feds should NOT bail out the state. When is it that Officials have to face the music. What is it that will stop the "death spiral"

There are not enough voters in the State
that recognized the problem. We are just going to have to crash and burn. Perhaps than, we can rise from the ash as a viable State.


Those flyover idiots ask what's wrong with California. I ask what's wrong with America? Besides, Texas is hardly a role model for any state to follow. I heard a high school cheerleader who was raped by the star football player was kicked off the squad because she refused to cheer for him. Her attacker was still allowed to play for the team. Her family sued the school, the principal and the superintendent who oversees the school. A federal district judge dismissed the lawsuit and the dismissal was upheld by a three-panel federal appeals court, led by Priscilla Owen, one of Duhbya's gifts to the judiciary. I remember when Duhbya appointed Owen on the Court of Appeals, Senate Democrats tried to filibuster her nomination. They back off when the Senate Majority Leader at the time, Bill Frist, threatened to change the filibuster rules by a majority vote with Dick Cheney leading the way. So Owen was confirmed by an unflattering 54-46 despite Republicans running the Senate at the time. Now the federal appeals court has a judge that says rape victims must cheer their attackers or be kicked off the team. She also ruled that the rape victim must pay her school's and school district's legal fees and court costs too. Yep, this is Texas' contribution to America.


Response to phoenixandrew: Your point is completely out of the topic that is discussed here.



In Case You Missed It...



Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

In Case You Missed It...