By Gordon Clanton
• After his Prop 30 tax increase passed by 8 percentage points, Jerry Brown has an easy path to re-election in 2014. Business will back the moderate Brown as a check on the legislature where Democrats won two-thirds majorities in both houses. Republicans, whose share of registered voters in the state has slipped below 30 percent, have no hope of winning the governorship in the near future. Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein was re-elected without meaningful opposition. Democrats hold all state offices. The Republican Party has become superfluous in California politics.
• It’s official: Including expenditures by outside groups, the 52nd Congressional District race in which Democrat Scott Peters narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray was the costliest in California at $16.8 million. Truly competitive congressional seats are rare and therefore very expensive.
• Of three local measures on education funding, only Proposition AA (San Dieguito Union High School District) received the 55 percent vote needed to pass. Both Prop CC (Del Mar Union School District) and Prop EE (MiraCosta Community College) were supported by more than half of voters but failed to reach the required 55 percent.
It’s a bad law that routinely thwarts the will of the majority on education funding. As the population ages and as smaller proportions of voters have kids in school, it becomes ever more difficult to pass school bonds.
• Oh, joy! The One Paseo shopping center proposal for Carmel Valley has been reduced from four times what zoning permits to only three times what zoning permits. Kilroy was here.
• Former Del Mar Mayor Carl Hilliard was the subject of a nice piece in the local press. Hilliard, who spent more than $300,000 of his own money running for county supervisor, finished third in the June primary behind Steve Danon and the eventual general election winner Dave Roberts of Solana Beach.
• After hard-fought campaigns pro and con, Del Mar voters decisively rejected the Village Specific Plan (Proposition J) 58-42 percent. The VSP would have increased densities in the commercial zone, allowed apartments above businesses on the west side of Camino del Mar, narrowed that street to one lane in each direction with diagonal parking, and replaced some traffic lights and stop signs with roundabouts.
Now is the time for reconciliation, not triumphalism, not resentment. Now is the time to open a new conversation to heal a divided community and seek common ground for moving Del Mar forward.
Gordon Clanton teaches Sociology at San Diego State University. He welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns available at: http://www.delmartimes.net/columns/