Column: California voters don’t like where the state’s headed. But they still want Newsom in office.
The Democrats’ big opportunity in the governor’s race
Democrats have historically had a good shot at state government when they’ve had the White House and a majority of congressional seats. But when Donald Trump won by a wide margin, they went to work on a platform focused on opposing his agenda and electing governors who would be more amenable to compromise.
That’s not happening in California.
In the past few weeks, California Democrats have been talking about the value in electing progressive candidates. They may have been on to something.
On paper, the state of California is one of the most progressive places in the country. It’s got a robust progressive judiciary, which has played a role in overturning key pieces of Trump’s agenda and preventing a host of federal regulations, especially on the environment. It’s also got a robust progressive public education system, which helped ensure that schools and teachers are more equipped to tackle the challenges of today and the challenges of tomorrow.
These are all accomplishments of progressive policymakers. But to fully take advantage of them, you need to be able to put candidates in office who are capable of working with others. And that’s what California Democrats are hoping for in this upcoming gubernatorial election — candidates who will be interested in improving the state’s educational and economic infrastructure.
So what makes a smart progressive governent in California?
The good news is that these candidates are already running — but it’s unlikely that most Californians have heard of them.
One of them is Gavin Newsom, the secretary of state and lieutenant governor.
He’s running for governor as a progressive, although he has criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. He’s been one of the strongest advocates of lowering the state’s corporate tax rate, which is now one of the lowest in the country. He�