For a Kinder, Gentler Society
California after Arnold
  • Stephen D. Cummings
  • and Patrick B. Reddy
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
California after Arnold.
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This book is a "must-read" for political activists, academics, journalists and political junkies of all sorts. It shows where the Golden State has been in the past two generations, where it is now and where it is going.

The book describes the Schwarzenegger Administration in the context of broad political, demographic, economic and historical forces going back to the 1911 structural political reforms of Hiram Johnson, and it illustrates how Democrats and Republicans have won past elections in California, the strategies they have used, and why.

In addition, over 100 charts unwind a tangle of details and line them up by region, ethnicity, income, party affiliation, and voter turnout over time, including results on initiatives regarding everything from water rights to hand guns.


About the Author

Steve Cummings has been campaigning for Democratic candidates since the rise of Eugene McCarthy in 1968.

With an MBA in Finance, he spent 18 years in the banking industry. He has been active in economic development issues and since 1990 has published economic statistics on Ventura County, California. Active in the Democratic Party for many years, he is a member of the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee and the Democratic State Central Committee of the California Democratic Party, an officer of the California Democratic Council (CDC), the statewide organization of Democratic Clubs, and treasurer of a new Labor-Democratic organization affiliated with Tri-Counties (California) Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

He is the author of the book 'Red States, Blue States and the Coming Sharecropper Society' (Algora, 2008) and "California after Arnold" (Algora, 2009).

 

Patrick Reddy is a Democratic political consultant with nearly two decades of experience in California politics. Prior to moving to California, he was a research assistant to William Schneider of Cable News Network, the Los Angeles Times and National Journal. Mr. Reddy has worked for CNN on their exit polls and Election Night broadcasts. He also has worked as a Legislative Assistant in the California State Assembly and the State Senate for nearly a decade.

About the Book
As Arnold Schwarzenegger begins to end his internationally famous and historic governorship, the intense jockeying to replace him has started. National figures like Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsome and Antonio Villaraigosa are among...
As Arnold Schwarzenegger begins to end his internationally famous and historic governorship, the intense jockeying to replace him has started. National figures like Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsome and Antonio Villaraigosa are among the contenders.  

California after Arnold
provides historic perspective for the Schwarzenegger Administration, looks at the current state of California politics and society, and offers some projections for the future of the Golden State.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, given his outsized career as a bodybuilder and movie star, Schwarzenegger has produced a very mixed record as Governor: while he utterly failed to terminate what he called “crazy deficit spending,” he has achieved far-reaching reforms in the areas of legislative redistricting, the environment and labor laws.

As the most populous state in the union and the eighth largest economy in the world, California politics continues to influence events well beyond its borders. For example, the electoral votes of the Golden State elected two presidents in the 20th Century: Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and Richard Nixon in 1968.  California governors invariably find themselves on prospective presidential candidates’ lists and indeed, the state has produced a plethora of national candidates: Hiram Johnson, Herbert Hoover, Earl Warren, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jerry Brown and Pete Wilson, plus Schwarzenegger, who surely would have run had he been eligible.

Much has been written, and will surely be written, on California politics, but no other work will contain such a comprehensive collection of demographic and politics data, relying on actual election returns, Census data and exit polls, including 100+ tables that break out demographic and voter details for all to see.

The book illustrates how Democrats and Republicans have won, the different strategies they have used and why.  The book looks at the prospective candidates in 2010 and also at the long-term prospects of both parties and various ethnic and interest groups.

Excerpt
California’s politics is as remarkable as California’s personality. Since Governor Hiram Johnson revolutionized California’s government with the initiation of the initiative, referendum, and recall in 1911, California has practiced a form of direct ballot box democracy unlike any other state. The combination of Arnold Schwarzenegger, California, and its unique politics came together in its gaudiest form with the 2003 recall election of Governor Gray Davis. The recall was part direct...
California’s politics is as remarkable as California’s personality. Since Governor Hiram Johnson revolutionized California’s government with the initiation of the initiative, referendum, and recall in 1911, California has practiced a form of direct ballot box democracy unlike any other state. The combination of Arnold Schwarzenegger, California, and its unique politics came together in its gaudiest form with the 2003 recall election of Governor Gray Davis. The recall was part direct democracy, part voter outrage and revenge, part media circus and Hollywood glamour. With 135 of the most bizarre candidates ever to run for major public office, the result was an election that installed as governor an ex-bodybuilder who made his early success in Hollywood running around nearly naked in various films and who was a Republican who married into the Kennedy family. In one evening in October 2003, Arnold was transformed into Governor Schwarzenegger of California.

The “Arnold Show” has been going on for six years now and has another year and a half to run. It has been quite a ride from the highs of 2004, to the crash of the special election of 2005, to re-election in 2006, to the current battle over the California budget and the ongoing battle with the global financial crisis that is pounding the state and is guaranteed to make the governor’s remaining term in office a difficult one. Likewise, the upcoming 2010 election to select Schwarzenegger’s successor as governor is clouded by the state’s fiscal mess, and the fact that previous governors faced economic crises with the specter of Hiram Johnson’s recall provision hanging over them like a guillotine or the Sword of Damocles. The question one has to ask, then, is what happens to California after Arnold?

That is the question that this book attempts to answer. It attempts to do so in three parts. The first part is the Arnold factor, with Chapter 1 about the 2003 recall, Chapter 2 covering Arnold’s years as governor, and Chapter 3 his ultimate legacy as governor.

Part 2 is about California. Chapter 4 is a brief history of California politics from 1911 to the present and shows the historical forces that affect the upcoming 2010 election. It covers the legacy of Hiram Johnson’s reforms, describes the rise of the Democratic Party, and culminates in the election of Pat Brown in 1958, followed by the conservative era of the Reagan Coalition from the 1960s through the 1980s when working class Democrats were firmly in the Republican camp based on social issues, and the break-up of that coalition, starting in 1992, into the current Democratic Coalition based on the return of those working class Democrats and the rising electoral strength of minority voters. Chapter 5 discusses the institutional structures such as the initiative and the Two-Thirds Budget rule, term limits, and other forces that affect how politics is run in California. Chapter 6 covers the issues that the next governor will be facing.

Part 3 is about California in 2010 and the 2010 election. Chapter 7 tracks the demographic, economic and political changes from 1958 and how they will impact 2010 and future elections. It breaks California down by regions, race and ethnicity, class and ideology. Chapter 8 is about the governorship, with profiles and characteristics of past governors, and biographical sketches of the candidates. The last chapter is an assessment of who most likely will be the party nominees and who will be elected the next Governor of California.

Following the text is an extensive statistical appendix covering the demographics of California from 1960 to the present, the geographic and ethnic breakouts of the governor and U.S. Senate races from 1958 to 2008, and the geographic and ethnic breakouts for key ballot propositions from 1958 to 2008. The appendix is the most detailed collection of California election data of its kind in one source.

California and its people continue to fascinate observers of all kinds. Its sheer size, diversity and economic power mean that it has the ability to influence events in the United States and around the world. It directly impacted two presidential elections in 1916 and 1968. Californians were elected four times between 1968 and 1984. Today, the current battle regarding Governor Schwarzenegger, the California legislature, and the California budget makes headlines in the foreign press as well as this country. The next governor of California will not only have to deal with the current financial crisis, but will be making decisions that will affect the nation and the world. It is for this reason that books like this one are written.
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Pages 330
Year: 2009
LC Classification: JK8716.C86
Dewey code: 320.794--dc22
BISAC: POL020000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / State & Provincial
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-087586-738-0
Price: USD 23.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-087586-739-7
Price: USD 33.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-087586-740-3
Price: USD 23.95
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