There’s a positive and a negative answer to this question, so we’ll try to examine both points of view.
This Election Will Be Very Meaningful
That’s what all the candidates and the fundraisers tell us.
The Republicans will undoubtedly retain the majority in the House. If they capture the Senate as well, they will retire Harry Reid, who has blocked all bills coming out of the House. Republicans may be able to pass significant legislation on immigration, healthcare or tax reform, for example. The president will use his veto power against almost all Republican legislation, but that will position the Republicans to improve their image and position them well with the electorate for 2016.
A Republican Senate will also be far more influential in moderating any of Obama’s Supreme Court and/or other judicial nominees.
This election will spend the most money for the lowest turnout (particularly on the Democratic side) in our history.
This Election Will Be Meaningless
For openers, it is projected that the 2014 mid-term election will cost over five billion dollars, and that’s congressional races only.
Obama has been in Southern California almost every two weeks this fall to raise money. Candidates don’t want his joint appearances, but he is an incredible fundraising machine.
That’s about 40% more than we spent in the 2010 mid-term and we’ll probably end up with the same polarized situation we have now.
The Republicans will maintain control of the House and the Tea Party conservatives will continue to oppose the views of the more moderate members of the Republican party.
If the Senate stays Democratic (unlikely), the same division will exist in the Republican party and Obama won’t do anymore to work with Congress than he has. That result will be exactly what we have now—nothing happening!
If the Republicans manage to take over the Senate, I don’t believe much more will happen. The Republicans still won’t agree on very much and Obama will demonize them even more. He will use his veto more than any other president and he will continue to circumvent Congress with executive orders.
The Republicans could easily squander their control of both houses of Congress by not being able to agree on important issues.
The California Propositions
As I previously have told you, I tend to be against almost all propositions on the ballot. I’m not completely alone in this feeling. George Skelton, the Dean of Sacramento columnists, writing in the L.A. Times, said about ballot propositions:
“The Legislature and governor get paid to deal with such things. And when they do, we’re usually better served. Our elected representatives can hold public hearings, engage in thoughtful debate, iron out kinks and compromise. Proposed laws can be filtered through a system of checks and balances.
“That is, when the politicians can muster the courage to tackle tough issues.
“The flip side is that it can be argued the Legislature did deal with the concept—and rejected it. That’s what California’s century-old initiative system is designed for, but it’s prone to produce flawed laws.”
Almost all the ballot measures are proposed and financed by special interests for their own benefit; and the advertising for the propositions are confusing and deceptive. Having said that, here’s my take on this year’s six propositions (thank goodness there’s only six):
Prop 1 – Water Bond Funding for Water Quality: Vote YES. Will save money for local governments and improve water infrastructure.
Prop 2 – State Budget Stabilization (Constitutional amendment proposed by the Legislature). Vote YES. To save money during good times and prevent tax increases during dry times.
Prop 45 – Healthcare Insurance: Vote NO. Creates more government regulations, gives too much power to the insurance commissioner. Sponsored by trial lawyers.
Prop 46 – Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors: Vote NO. Another trial lawyer boondoggle.
Prop 47 – Criminal Sentences, Misdemeanor Penalties: Vote NO. Would reduce penalties for drug and theft crimes, and another initiative that should never have been on the state ballot.
Prop 48 – Indian Gaming Compacts: Vote NO. Will create 4,000 jobs, but it is an off-reservation casino.