California political influence 101

People in the northern reaches of California are talking about creating a new state, and there’s a ballot initiative circulating that would break California into six separate states.

These movements are energized by people who believe sharp philosophical differences make the state ungovernable, and that residents of the Central Valley and the rural north are ignored by Sacramento and big political wheels on the coast. When President Obama visited Fresno a couple of weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee sarcastically thanked him

Show me the money

Show me the money

for visiting someplace in California other than the coast.

Some statistics released last week by the California Secretary of State explain why the coast gets so much attention from politicians: Over 80 percent of political contributions in the state come from the Bay Area and the Los Angeles–San Diego corridor.

The Central Valley (that includes us) ponies up 10.7 percent of the contributions, while the counties north of us kick in less than one percent.

That’s why the movers and shakers ignore us. As former state Assembly Speaker and Treasurer Jesse Unruh once observed: “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”


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