Paul Krugman, the liberal Nobel Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times, thinks California is making an economic comeback.
He attributes this mostly to the Republican party’s steady decline in the state, which left Governor Jerry Brown “free to push an agenda of tax hikes and infrastructure spending that sounds remarkably like the kind of thing California used to do before the rise of the radical right.”
But the results of Brown’s most recent tax increases are hardly relieving economic pressures on the nearly two million Californians that remain unemployed in the Democrat-dominated state, whose numbers are growing, not declining.
The truth is that the Democrats, who totally control policies in the state by virtue of "supermajorities" in both houses of the State Legislature, are making California increasingly poorer; the Census Bureau announced last week that California has the highest poverty rate in the nation for the second year in a row. Yet despite California's dreary economic conditions, some of California's Democratic lawmakers are making themselves or their campaign committees richer in a personal sort of "economic comeback," and, in some cases, they are doing so by breaking the law.
One recent investigation into payoffs in the State Capitol has been breathtaking. Powerful liberal Democratic State Senator Ron Calderon recently had his office in the state capitol building raided by the FBI’s Public Corruption Squad. According to the FBI’s search warrant, which was obtained and released by the Al Jazeera American Network, probable cause for the raid included allegations that the Senator had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for legislative favors, including: $60,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent; another $28,000 in bribes from a hospital executive; and tens of thousands of dollars more in bribes paid to the State Senator’s brother through a nonprofit organization.
In other investigations, a Democratic Assemblyman from Watsonville was fined by the state’s campaign finance commission for illegally coordinating his successful election with an independent effort that spent tens of thousands of dollars. Another former Democratic State Senate leader faces “record fines” for misusing his campaign funds on concert tickets, fireworks, and expensive dinners.