Removing School Police Could Create Liability Issues for Districts

An outgrowth of the civil rights protests that target policing is the effort to close down police presence in schools. While the resolutions ending police responsibilities at schools speak to racial concerns and alternative safety programs, ending cooperation with school police not only raises safety fears but liability issues for the school districts.

School districts up and down California are considering, or have already decided, to end school policing. The Sacramento school district cut police spending from the school budget. The San Francisco district, which declared its schools sanctuary places from law enforcement, is ending its contract with police. Oakland Unified School District has its own police department, but the school district voted to close it down when union contracts end, diverting the $2.5 million for other purposes. Yesterday, Los Angeles Unified joined the parade, cutting the school police budget $25 million.

The school district decisions on police have been made quickly in a highly emotional period of protests and self-examination. A longer-term view of studying the problem is in order.

There is undoubtedly a reason that the school districts created police forces or arranged for Service Resource Officers (SRO) to help keep the schools safe. Will those reasons disappear when the police are no longer present? Will the unspecified alternative safety programs be adequate to respond to trouble?

Reportedly, school staff in Oakland called police for help 2,000 times a year. Even if many of those requests for help are unwarranted, some certainly required police assistance.

While safety for the students and staff is the first priority for the school districts, another concern lurks in abandoning school police protection. Civil legal actions against the school districts could result if things go wrong.

In arguing against defunding school police, Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Dallas, Texas school superintendent, said, “When we think about Sandy Hook, Santa Fe, and all those other things, parents will never forgive us if something safety wise happens to their kids. We depend on our police department for safety and security and we expect our officers to build relationships with students.”

The idea is for police to know students and stop trouble before it begins. In that sense, it is a form of community policing.

While the extreme situations such as campus shootings are relatively rare—although not rare enough—by removing police from schools and danger strikes, the law enforcement responding to such a situation would be in a reactive mode. There will be class action lawsuits from parents who felt the school board actions of removing police put their children in jeopardy.

Before school boards reflexively change policies to satisfy current passions, they should pause and study all potential consequences of this action and keep in mind that their first responsibility is to safely protect the students, teachers, and staff.

Joel Fox is Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily.

Auditions for California Governor Are Officially Open

With little fanfare, the third attempt to recall Governor Newsom got underway on June 10th. Proponents have until November 17th to gather 2 million signed petitions, in order for 1.4 million of them to withstand verification and qualify the recall for a special election in early 2021.

There isn’t a seasoned political professional anywhere who takes this effort seriously, because without millions of dollars to pay signature gatherers, state ballot initiatives never qualify. But this season could be different.

Skeptics should consider just two questions: Are there more than 2 million California voters who would sign a recall petition, and if so, can the recall campaign find 2 million voters in California willing and able to sign a recall petition?

The answer to the first question is undoubtedly yes. There aren’t just 2 million California voters willing to sign a recall petition, there are at least twice that many. So why can’t they be found? To this, the answer is unequivocal. They can. And it doesn’t require millions of dollars any more. It requires a grassroots army, a technology platform to facilitate signature gathering, and publicity. And the grassroots army is already formed.

Behind this latest effort to recall Newsom there is an organization with tens of thousands of volunteer activists spread all over the state, with most of them already trained from the earlier recall efforts. The lead proponent, Orrin Heatlie, is a retired police sergeant who has, with extraordinary determination, built a good management team around him and is fully committed to the goal of qualifying a recall.

The online resource the Recall Gavin 2020 campaign has built is user friendly and offers a comprehensive array of tools including pages to download a petitioncirculate petitions, meet county coordinatorsvolunteerschedule events, and locate places to sign petitions. It is a state-of-the art resource, and heralds a revolution in citizen government.

The reasons to recall Gavin Newsom don’t have to be explained during a signature gathering campaign. Any one of California’s nearly 5 million citizens who voted for Trump in 2016 are more than likely to support a Newsom recall, as are millions of others who have been put off by Newsom’s performance since taking office. And over the next few months, millions more are going to reject Newsom as the economic fallout from the COVID pandemic triggers massive government service cuts and tax hikes.

A more pertinent argument against this recall effort is why bother qualifying a recall for a special election, if the general electorate won’t turn Newsom out of office? This is a good question, since it causes many potential supporters to not want to waste their time. But beyond the sheer disruptive value of making Newsom fight to stay in office, there is the chance that someone famous will jump into the race to be the new governor, a great candidate, someone with the common sense and courage to finish what Schwarzenegger started back in 2002.

Conservatives tend to condemn Schwarzenegger for his pivot back in 2006, but they conveniently forget some of the reasons for Schwarzenegger’s defection. When Schwarzenegger took office in 2003, he took aim straight at the public sector unions that even back then were running California’s state and local governments into the ground. He declared total war on these unions in 2005, putting four initiatives onto the state ballot: delayed teacher tenure (Prop. 74), paycheck protection (Prop. 75), spending caps (Prop. 76), and non-partisan redistricting (Prop. 77). His consultants talked him out of a fifth initiative, pension reform. And then what happened?

Where were the GOP members of the assembly and senate? Were they rising with one voice, putting their careers on the line to support a wholesale overhaul of California’s political landscape? Where were the big donors? Where were the consultants? Where were the grassroots? With rare exceptions, they didn’t show up. And the ones who did show up, underfunded, fought without passion. In a campaign that could have made history, Schwarzenegger was abandoned. His defection a year later must be understood in that context. But what he did represents a chance that does not have to be missed a second time.

Meanwhile, here in the present, any aspirant to becoming governor of California may see a powerful synergy between this grassroots army, turning in hundreds of thousands of signatures every week, and putting their own influence and endorsement behind the recall. Who is waiting in the wings? Who would like to seize this opportunity to save California, and by extension, possibly realign politics across the nation?

This is the wild card, the tantalizing possibility, that gives greater life not only to an attempt to qualify the recall for the ballot, but to prevail in the special election, and send Gavin Newsom into an early and ignominious retirement.

There is another potential synergy at work in this recall. By supporting the recall campaign there is a chance for establishment GOP officeholders, professional operatives, and major donors to reestablish a relationship of trust and partnership with their own GOP grassroots. Go find a candidate who, like Schwarzenegger, has the charisma to win the special election and the courage to try to transform the entire state with one comprehensive slate of ballot initiatives, and this time, don’t turn your back on them.

California is ready for change. California’s voters are realizing that until the cost-of-living is lowered through regulatory reform, and the schools are improved by standing up to the teachers unions, their lives are just going to get harder. Newsom is just the latest embodiment of the party that got Californians into this struggle to survive.

This recall campaign is a chance for California’s GOP to be relevant again, and a chance for all Californians to realize that Democrats are not making their lives better, no matter how many BLM bromides they utter, or statues they topple.

This article originally appeared on the website California Globe.

Berkeley City Council passes a budget with $9.2 million cuts to police

Leaders in Berkeley passed a budget Wednesday that included a $9.2 million cut to the city’s Police Department, a sign of how swiftly the protests over George Floyd’s death have moved from streets and Twitter feeds into City Hall.

Mayor Jesse Arreguín proposed the cut, just as the Oakland City Council took steps to further slash its own police budget. The Oakland council had passed a budget last week that chopped law enforcement funding by $14.6 million, then council members decided Tuesday to amend the budget on July 21, after activists said the reduction wasn’t sufficient.

In Berkeley, the meeting began Tuesday night and ended early Wednesday morning.

“The overwhelming message is we do need to defund the police,” Arreguín said, calling his budget a first step toward that ideal, and a “down-payment” on the city’s commitment to re-envision law enforcement. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Los Angeles Will Shrink the LAPD

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to cut hiring at the Police Department, pushing the number of sworn officers well below 10,000 and abandoning a budget priority once seen as untouchable by city leaders.

Faced with a grim budget outlook and deluged by demands for reductions in police spending, the council voted 12 to 2 to take the Los Angeles Police Department down to 9,757 officers by next summer — a level of staffing not seen in the city since 2008.

Overall, the council’s decision delivered a $150-million hit to the LAPD budget, much of it coming from funds earmarked for police overtime pay. Councilman Curren Price, who pushed for the cuts, said two-thirds of the savings would ultimately be funneled into services for Black, Latino and disenfranchised communities, such as hiring programs and summer youth jobs. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

San Francisco rents are dropping fast as tech companies embrace remote work

New monthly data from apartment rental platform Zumper shows San Francisco rents were down nearly 12% year over year in June, making the city’s decline the largest in the nation, and a record slide for San Francisco.  It’s also the second consecutive month San Francisco rental prices have dropped, says the company, which based these statistics on 9,000 listings in San Francisco. 

According to Zumper, the median rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco fell 11.8% year over year, from $3,720 to $3,280, beating May’s 9% drop. The survey also reports a 1% uptick in national rents, with the average median apartment in the U.S. renting for $1,229 in June.

“Zumper has been tracking rent prices across the country for over five years but we have never seen the market fluctuate quite like this,” says Zumper co-founder and CEO Anthemos Georgiades. “For example, rent prices in San Francisco have historically only gone up and typically only incrementally, yet now we are seeing double-digit percent rent reductions. This is unprecedented for this generation of renters.” …

This article was originally published by CNBC.

49% surge in hospitalizations puts San Francisco on high alert

On a day that California Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled additional restrictions for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, the city of San Francisco announced an alarming rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations that is putting new strain on an anxious health care system.

Among other major developments Tuesday, the state recorded 7,820 new cases — its second highest tally in a 24-hour period — and surpassed 6,000 deaths from the coronavirus; New York, New Jersey and Connecticut imposed a 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving from California; and the nation’s top infectious disease official warned the U.S. could see 100,000 new cases per day if the current upward trajectory does not change.

To date, California has had 231,960 confirmed coronavirus cases. Of those, 25,411 cases, including 578 deaths, have been in the Bay Area. While the state enjoyed early success in “flattening the curve,” recent outbreaks in prisons and nursing homes and an overall relaxing of sheltering restrictions over the last several weeks are now driving a high number of new cases and hospitalizations. The state set the record for the most cases in a day on Monday, with 8,196 cases. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

This November: The Do-Over Ballot

Label the coming election on ballot measures the Do-Over Ballot. Many of the propositions headed for the November ballot are intended to re-do previous actions taken by voters and/or legislators. 

Removing some property tax limits, changing other property tax rules, undoing a ban on affirmative action, toughening criminal penalties—all these ballot measures are intended to undo what California voters did with initiative measures in the past.

There are also attempts to undo legislative actions. There is a referendum to turn over the law passed by the legislature to eliminate cash bail. There is an initiative to separate app-linked drivers that work with companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash from the new labor mandates of AB 5, the worker classification law. There is a measure to supplant rent control limitations set by the legislature with a broader rent control law.

The California ballot is giving current voters a chance to reconsider what was codified in the past and rewrite the law.

However, just because voters can make changes does not mean they will or they should. The wisdom on certain issues expressed by voters in the past can stand the test of time. 

With the direct democracy system in California, issues presented to the voters does not necessarily mean that there is a groundswell of support to change a law or create a law. Many times, the issues are presented to the voters from a special interest perspective. Those who have an interest to change the law can muster enough support—and money—to qualify a measure for the ballot. But it is a large leap from qualification to approval by voters. Maybe that’s why historically only about one-third of all initiatives that make the California ballot pass.

Likewise, legislative actions accomplished within the cozy confines of the capitol building may or may not find broader approval when voters have a chance to speak on the matters through the ballot box.

Highlighting the ballot issues in November that reflect decisions made by voters in the “old days”—defined as more than 20 years ago—are the changes to Proposition 13, other property tax laws and reversing judgment on affirmative action.

Proposition 13 passed in a landslide 42 years ago to place limitations on property taxes. Since California has a unified property tax on all properties since statehood, the limitations covered both residential and commercial property. At the time Prop 13 appeared on the ballot, a split roll was also offered to voters that would apply different tax assessment criteria to residential and commercial property. The voters rejected that proposal. Now comes the latest attempt to split the tax roll with a $12 billion tax increase on business property.

In addition, Proposition of 58 of 1986 and Proposition 193 of 1996, which granted transfer of property between parents and children and grandparents and children without raising property taxes, would be altered by a legislative proposal that carries other provisions, including efforts to help with wildfires. (The legislative proposal was a compromise to replace an initiative that had already qualified for the ballot.)

Repeal of affirmative action occurred in 1996, with 54.5% of the voters supporting Proposition 209. With the question of unequal treatment of Blacks the burning issue of the day, a supermajority in the legislature decided it was time to repeal Proposition 209 and placed a repeal measure on the ballot.

The legislature’s 1995 Costa-Hawkins bill placed limits on local rent control. An initiative similar to one voters defeated in 2018 has qualified for the ballot to give local governments power to ignore the legislature’s Costa-Hawkins limitations.

Over twenty-plus years after these laws came into being, activists and legislators looking at the changed political landscape think the time is right to present alternatives to voters.

But not all measures in the Do-Over ballot want to change laws that go back decades. Other efforts of a Do-Over are of more recent vintage.

A ballot measure to change reforms brought by 2014’s Proposition 47, which recategorized some nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies has been criticized by the law enforcement community. An initiative statute has qualified for the ballot to reestablish some criminal activities as felonies. Given the debate over treatment of minorities within the justice system, this measure will also share the attention of change in the current political environment.

Both the cash bail restriction and the worker classification bill faced heated opposition in the legislature and once they became law, the opposition switched to the ballot front, as is a custom in California, to undo them either in whole or in part.

A referendum froze the bail law from being implemented until the voters pass judgment in November. The worker classification law, AB 5, is on the books but the piece of it that affects the app-driver industry is being challenged by the companies directly affected. The initiative proponents would declare the drivers are independent contractors and are not covered by the law. Ironically, AB 5 was created chiefly with the app-driver workers in mind.

In a democracy, voters’ attitudes can be tested anew. In some cases, many voters would be new to the issue at hand and see it through modern-day sensibilities. Yet, the judgments of preceding generations won’t be easily cast aside.

There will be additional ballot propositions in November to consider but the voters of 2020 have the chance to re-do a number of policy issues in the state that were created previously. We’ll see if they think it’s time for a Do-Over.

Joel Fox is Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily.

Protests Heat Up Los Angeles D.A. Contest

Less than a week after video surfaced of a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee into the neck of George Floyd, the man challenging Jackie Lacey for the office of Los Angeles County district attorney attempted to connect the tragic case to her record of failing to prosecute killings by police.

By late June, after weeks of unrest and protests over Floyd’s death that included demands for her resignation, Lacey joined other L.A. County law enforcement leaders in calling for the creation of a task force to investigate future police killings, a possible nod to criticisms that internal reviews are biased toward police.

The November contest between Lacey and former San Francisco Dist. Atty. George Gascón to oversee the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office had already been framed as a test of appetites for criminal justice reform, with Gascón the flag-bearer for a nationwide movement to elect progressive prosecutors and Lacey representing a more traditional approach to crime and punishment. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

LAPD Posts Images of Property Damage From Riots – Seeks to ID Suspects

The Los Angeles Police Department posted a collection of images and video online Monday showing people lighting fires and destroying property during recent protests in Los Angeles, and called for the public’s help in identifying suspects.

The FBI, working with the LAPD, has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the highlighted incidents, which officials said endangered residents and undermined the message of peaceful protesters.

“The FBI respects and supports those who are exercising their 1st Amendment rights, including the right to peacefully protest,” said Voviette Morgan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office. “Individuals should not have to have their constitutionally protected rights hijacked by individuals committing criminal activity.” …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

Why A Newsom Recall Can Succeed

There isn’t a political professional to be found in California who believes that the current attempt to recall Gavin Newsom will succeed. With petitions approved for circulation and a deadline of November 17, recall campaign volunteers are trying to defy the momentum of history.

To recall a sitting governor in California today, based on the voter turnout in the November 2018 state election, proponents will have to turn in 2.0 million signed petitions in order to yield, after verification of signatures, addresses, registration status, eliminating duplicates, etc., a net total of 1,495,709 validated petitions. Without millions to pay professional signature gatherers, this is considered impossible.

It’s not impossible. Not with the power of the internet and social media. Skeptics must consider only two factors: Are there more than 2.0 million California voters who would sign a recall petition? The answer to that is undoubtedly yes. The second question is more to the point: Can the recall campaign find 2.0 million voters in California willing and able to sign a recall petition?

To this second question, the professionals would have an immediate and unequivocal answer. No. But they are mistaken. In today’s fraught political environment, in this season of heightened political awareness, in this era of internet access, Gavin Newsom is one viral video away from seeing his name on a recall ballot, in a special election to be held in early 2021.

Newsom, to his credit, is taking the Recall Gavin 2020 campaign more seriously than the thousands of members of California’s conservative establishment elite, who remain skeptical. Around the time recall petitions were approved for circulation by the California Secretary of State, Newsom released an official statement in response:

“GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM’S ANSWER TO RECALL STATEMENT: WARNING: THIS UNWARRANTED RECALL EFFORT WILL COST CALIFORNIA TAXPAYERS 81 MILLION DOLLARS! IT IS BEING PUSHED BY POLITICAL EXTREMISTS SUPPORTING PRESIDENT TRUMP’S HATEFUL ATTACKS ON CALIFORNIA. In 2018 California voters elected Governor Gavin Newsom by historic margins. As Governor, Newsom is working to 1) increase funding for public education, 2) protect and secure Californians’ health and health care, 3) improve water, roads, and bridges, 4) address the challenges of housing affordability and homelessness, and 5) prepare for the threats of wildfires. Our budget is balanced. Our fiscal reserves are unprecedented. Our economy and employment are historically strong. Yet a handful of partisan activists supporting President Trump and his dangerous agenda to divide America are trying to overturn the definitive will of California voters and bring Washington’s broken government to California with this recall effort. The last thing California needs is another wasteful special election, supported by those who demonize California’s people and attack California’s values. Do not be fooled – California’s police officers, firefighters, first responders, public school teachers, health providers, and business leaders all STRONGLY OPPOSE this costly recall. DO NOT HAND OVER YOUR SIGNATURE, YOUR SUPPORT OR YOUR PERSONAL, PRIVATE INFORMATION TO THIS DESTRUCTIVE RECALL SCHEME.”

Who is the “Political Extremist?”

To lead off by calling the recall proponents “political extremists” who are “supporting President Trump’s hateful attacks on California” is unfortunately typical of not just Newsom, but all Democrats. They always start by smearing their opponents. But Newsom goes on to defend his record, and every point he makes invites vigorous rebuttal.

Newsom claims to be “working” on the following five big projects, “1) increase funding for public education, 2) protect and secure Californians’ health and health care, 3) improve water, roads, and bridges, 4) address the challenges of housing affordability and homelessness, and 5) prepare for the threats of wildfires.”

An objective examination of Newsom’s performance on each of these five projects yields withering criticisms. His drive to increase funding for public education is a gift to the teachers unions, who have monopolized public education. For over a generation they emphasized leftist indoctrination over genuine education. Their failures have been especially felt in California’s low income inner cities. These unions protect bad teachers and disruptive students, they shut down any attempts to introduce alternatives such as charter schools, and they never saw a tax increase or budget boost they didn’t like. By all means, Gov. Newsom, give them more money.

As for California’s need for “secure” health care, Newsom has not done anything to lift the restrictions on the number of nursing graduates coming out of California’s colleges and universities. He hasn’t even signed a waiver to permit independent contractors to continue to work for clinics and hospitals during the COVID crisis. And he’s willing to spend hundreds of millions to provide free health care to undocumented immigrants, which even if motivated by compassion, ignores the challenges facing millions of working citizens who still cannot afford health care in California.

And then there’s “improve water, roads, and bridges.” Where? Newsom continues to try to fund “High Speed Rail,” wasting billions, instead of improving infrastructure Californians need. Has Newsom ever said a word about reforming CalTrans, the state department responsible for implementing road improvements, where additional billions are squandered? Has he done anything to reform CEQA, California’s disastrous Environmental Quality Act, which ties any attempt to improve roads up in the bureaucracies and courts for years, costing additional billions?

When it comes to “housing affordability and homelessness,” Newsom’s record is a corrupt joke. His solution to housing affordability ought to be to deregulate the process of building new suburbs and enabling infrastructure. Instead, since California’s state government has made it impossible for developers to sell affordable homes and still make a profit, Newsom has conned voters into passing tens of billions in bond financings. These billions are used to pay Newsom’s cronies, who are building “affordable” housing at an average cost well in excess of a half-million per unit.

As for California’s homeless, instead of providing cost-effective shelters in low cost areas of California’s beleaguered counties, Newsom, along with all the Democratic mayors, have allowed the homeless to take over downtown areas and choice neighborhoods throughout the state. By the tens of thousands, these homeless squatters openly consume hard drugs, steal to support their habits, harass working residents, and often cope with terrifying mental illness. Does Newsom challenge any of the laws and court rulings that might allow the state to help these homeless? Of course not. Build “supportive housing” instead, on expensive real estate. Newsom’s performance on California’s homeless crisis epitomizes cowardice and corruption.

Point five in Newsom’s description of his priority projects is to “prepare for wildfires.” This is laughable. Has Newsom ever acknowledged that poor forestry management is the reason California is experiencing catastrophic wildfires, or that droughts just as severe as those in recent years have occurred for centuries? Has Newsom made any credible attempt to allow timber companies to selectively harvest mature trees, many of them dying, in exchange for also clearing away underbrush? That deal would cost taxpayers nothing. Has Newsom admitted that most of the stress on the forests is because the trees have become too dense due to fire suppression, preventing healthy trees from getting enough nutrients? Or will he keep on bellowing “climate change,” and use that mantra to tighten the screws of the regulatory state?

When it comes to political solutions, Newsom is the extremist. He is a puppet of the teachers union, an organization with extremist views that they pass on to California’s captive youth through the public school system. He is a puppet of extreme environmentalists, a powerful lobby that effectively fights any attempts to build cost-effective transportation assets or housing subdivisions. He is a puppet of crony developers who rely on subsidies and tax breaks to build a handful of ridiculously expensive “affordable” or “supportive” housing units, solving nothing. And he is a puppet of the compassion brigades, who think letting people kill themselves on the streets with heroin and methamphetamine is respecting their “lifestyle.”

Newsom’s Comeuppance is Inevitable

While the “projects” Newsom touts as his accomplishments merely reveal him to be a dangerous fraud, what he states next offers clues to his dismal political future. He writes “Our budget is balanced. Our fiscal reserves are unprecedented. Our economy and employment are historically strong.”

Now we know Gavin Newsom isn’t this stupid. He submitted his statement against the latest recall effort in June. Newsom knew perfectly well that California’s 2020-21 budget is now forecast to have a $54 billion deficit. As for “fiscal reserves” that are “unprecedented,” really? How much? At best, $18 billion, much of which will be used up in this fiscal year, and which in any case is nowhere near the $54 billion they’re going to need next year.

More to the point, however, Newsom’s “historically strong” economy was on thin ice before the pandemic wreaked catastrophic damage on it. Has Gavin Newsom ever stuck his neck out and explained that by most credible estimates, the unfunded pension liability for California’s state and local government agencies now tops nearly a half trillion dollars? Where does he think he’s going to find all that money? Has Newsom ever suggested that maybe, just maybe, California’s public sector workers might accept lower pension benefit accruals at least for future work? Of course not. Public sector unions, along with tech billionaires, own Gavin Newsom.

Instead of focusing on these economic challenges, and calling for meaningful reforms to public education, housing polices, environmental regulations, and how we help the homeless, Newsom spouts Black Lives Matter slogans. He says nothing as the legislature decides to remove the statue of Christoper Columbus – on of the bravest human beings the world has ever seen – from the state capitol rotunda. To be exceedingly generous, and at best, this is useless posturing.

If Gavin Newsom weren’t a coward and a puppet, deserving to be recalled, he would tell the truth: People with low incomes in California will be helped, regardless of the color of their skin, if California’s cost-of-living is lowered through regulatory reform, and the schools are improved by standing up to the teachers unions.

Eventually these truths will be understood by the majority of Californians, and Gavin Newsom will be swept into political oblivion. Don’t feel sorry for him. The coiffured aristocrat will merely retire to one of his wine estates, enjoying that life of hereditary privilege and obscene wealth that he so readily condemns in his public statements.

Californians may yet defy the skeptics, and confound the professionals. They may send this embodiment of Democratic party dysfunction to an early retirement.

This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.