California Election Results: What You Need to Know

prop 19The Republican wave that swept across America yesterday didn't make it quite as far as the GOP intended. California election results showed Democrats are still glittering in the Golden State as they took back Sacramento from the retiring Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And that glitter won't be diminished by a smoky haze.

Prop 19, which would have made pot street legal, died yesterday. The 46 percent of Americans who told a Gallup Poll they'd give a thumbs up to legalizing marijuana apparently do not live in California. Or they just don't vote.

So who rose in its place?


California Governor: Remember Jerry Brown? The youngest governor in California history is back. This time the Democrat is the oldest, and he's beaten Republican Meg Whitman of eBay fame in the most expensive political campaign to date. Whitman spent more than $160 million, while Brown raised $32 million, plus the $28 million labor groups put into supporting him. But her cash was no match for his experience. Brown was governor twice in the '70s -- and has a few presidential runs under his belt -- and he's said he's ready to tackle the fiscal mess that is the California budget. He's shed his Moonbeam days (apparently a quirky nickname is a must if you're the Cali head of state?), but does he have stars in his eyes thinking he can fix this?

California Lieutenant Governor: Former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, ousted incumbent Abel Maldonado as lieutenant governor, joining Brown in the state capital. Good timing too -- the gay rights proponent is stepping into power in the wake of courts overturning Prop 8, the hateful gay marriage ban.

California Secretary of State: Debra Bowen is back in office despite a challenge by Republican Damon Dunn. Maybe because Dunn's claim to fame was a professional football player, not a politician? Or maybe voters were just annoyed that he wanted their support even though he himself hadn't voted in an election in his life until 2009? Either way, the one-time Senator has retained the seat for the Democrats, and Dunn can return to political apathy.

California Senator: Three-time Senator Barbara Boxer bid Republican opponent Carly Fiorina adieu, and in doing so helped the Democrats stave off a GOP takeover of the Senate. She was one of the most liberal -- and therefore most vulnerable -- members of the Senate, but her win proves there are people out there who really do support the healthcare bill (sorry Tea Party -- you're not every American).

Californians will have to celebrate all this blue state news without getting baked, but there's always next year. Any voter can place an initiative on the California ballot, and the Democrats now have a budget to balance.

Maybe taxing cannabis will be their solution?


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