California Voters Stick With Incumbents, Simplify Budget

Adriana Orellana

California voters chose Attorney General Jerry Brown governor for the third time Nov. 2, in an election which also returned to office incumbents Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Adam Schiff.

Brown previously served as governor from 1975 to 1983.

Mike Gatto was reelected in the 43rd Assembly District and Anthony Portantino in the 44th.

After months of campaigning, Brown defeated Republican Meg Whitman by a margin of 53.4 percent to 41.5 percent. With many issues facing California, the new governor will have to make decisions dealing with the state’s economy, creating jobs and reducing the unemployment rate, immigration, health care, as well as the budget and California’s fiscal crisis.

In debates with Whitman, Brown said he would begin to balance the budget this month, as well as find ways to improve the economy.

In regards to immigration policies, Brown proposed an immigration reform bill to be implemented on a federal level that would offer a path to citizenship, but that business that hired undocumented workers should be held responsible for hiring illegal immigrants.

“Brown’s election will make it a little easier for bills that pass the legislature to be signed into law, since he is a Democrat as is the majority of both houses of the legislature,” said John Queen, political science professor at Glendale Community College.

“Brown, however, is not predictably liberal on all issues,” Queen said. “The budget will be easier to adopt since now it only requires a majority vote from both houses, but raising taxes still requires two thirds of each chamber, so it will be hard to match tax revenue to the state’s budgetary expenses.”

Brown also intends to work with California’s community college system and has said he will try to keep the burdens on students graduating at a minimum. “Transfer courses should be closely aligned with, and accepted by, the CSU and UC systems,” said Brown.

“Students are often forced to take redundant courses to graduate from the CSU and UC systems, although they have completed the coursework at community colleges.”

“Brown said that when he was governor in the ’70s and ’80s, funding was increased for the community colleges, but also said that money can be saved by ‘prudent management,’ ” said Queen.

“Given that the economy is still weak, I don’t expect to see a flood of money go into community colleges. I do think that he will be less inclined than the Schwarzenegger administration to cut Cal Grants,” said Queen.

Queen also said that Brown had resisted taking specific positions on a lot of issues including community colleges.
For more of Brown’s proposals and solutions as governor visit

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer was re-elected with 51.8 percent of the votes to her Republican challenger Carly Fiorina’s 42.8 percent.

Democrat, and San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom was elected Lieutenant Governor with 49.9 percent of the votes over Republican incumbent Abel Maldonado’s 39.6 percent.

Democratic incumbent Debra Bowen was reelected Secretary of State with 53.6 percent of the votes to Republican Damon Dunn’s 38.8 percent of votes.

The election result for Attorney General was still undecided at the time of print due to the tight race of the candidates and the uncounted votes.

The state ballot measures that passed included 20, 22, 25 and 26. Prop. 22 will prohibit the state from taking local funds and from delaying the distribution of tax revenues during times of severe fiscal hardship. The passing of Prop. 25 means a simple majority vote is needed to pass the state budget, and through Prop. 26 a two-thirds vote is needed to pass some state and local fees.

The propositions that did not pass include Prop. 19, which would have legalized marijuana in California; Prop. 21, which would have added an $18 vehicle license surcharge to obtain money for state park funding; Prop. 23, which would have suspended the Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32), which will reduce the state’s level of greenhouse gases emission by 2020; Prop. 24, which would have repealed the allowance of lower business tax liability and stopped corporate tax breaks; and, Prop. 27, which would have eliminated the state redistricting commission.

On the State Assembly level, incumbent Anthony Portantino (D) won for the 44th District with 64.2 percent over Anthony Day’s (R.) 32.3 percent. Portantino, who is very active in public education, opposes raising community college fees. Portantino wants to raise the minimum wage to help low and middle-class workers, and believes in families having affordable health care.

The 43rd State Assembly District, composed of Glendale, Burbank, and parts of North Hollywood, was won by Democratic incumbent Mike Gatto, who obtained 66 percent of the votes, while his Republican challenger, Sunder Ramani, obtained 34 percent of the votes.

Gatto, who feels that the involvement of small businesses growing in California will help fix the economy, said, “The big issue is a difference in fighting for the good government reforms that we need against the problems that have marked government in the past years.”

Democratic incumbent Adam Schiff won the 29th Congressional District, which comprises Glendale, Burbank, and Pasadena, with 65.1 percent of the votes over 31.8 percent received by Republican challenger John Colbert.

One of Schiff’s main goals is to have more efficient and cleaner sources of energy, which will also create more jobs, as well as reduced energy costs.

“Unless action is taken soon we will lose the treasure of California’s environmental beauty,” said Schiff.

For more information on the Nov. 2 election results visit