By Mary O’KEEFE
The good news: no more political commercials, phone calls asking for candidate support, mailings and door hangers. The bad news: California residents must now start deciphering what all the propositions mean and how it will affect their families and their bottom line.
President Barack Obama (D) was re-elected for a second term. Nationwide he received 60,412,665 votes, with 303 electoral votes. Mitt Romney (R) received 57,616, 691 votes, with 206 electoral votes.
Results from the California General Election website show Obama won California receiving statewide 59.1% of the vote; Romney received 38.6% of the vote. The President had even higher numbers in Los Angeles County with 69.3% of voters supporting him and 28.4% supporting Romney.
Dianne Feinstein (D) won her senate seat allowing her to return to Washington for her fourth term.
Congressman Adam Schiff (D) will also return to Washington representing District 28. Schiff received 76% of the vote; his Republican challenger received 24%.
In the state assembly race, District 43, Mike Gatto (D) will be returning to the California state assembly with 60.5% of the vote. Greg Krikorian (R) received 39.5% of the vote. Carol Liu (D) will return to the state senate to represent District 25 with 60.3% of the vote defeating Gilbert Gonzales (R) who received 39.7%.
In his acceptance speech, President Obama spoke of reaching across the aisle to work together.
“We are an American family and we rise and fall together as one nation, and as one people,” Obama said. “Our road has been hard, our journey long …”
Schiff is hopeful the camaraderie will continue once everyone gets back to Washington. The balance of power has stayed pretty much the same with the Democrats controlling the senate and the Republicans the house.
“I think all of us, on both sides of the aisle, will hit the reset button to solve [the nation’s issues],” Schiff said.
He added he hoped the legislature would get to work on other issues with the economy as priority.
Working together and the economy are also on State Assemblymember Gatto’s mind as well. He will be hitting the ground running today with the first caucus that is being held after the election.
Gatto said they will be working on meeting the newly-elected members and working with those he had worked with in the past including Republicans.
It is the tax code that Gatto will first want to deal with once back in Sacramento.
He added the tax code is complicated and is an unstable source of revenue. During his campaigning he spoke to a lot of voters who voiced their concern about taxes. The concerns came from both Republican and Democratic voters and, he said, it will take both sides of the aisle to work together for any reform.
The highly competitive and extensively advertised Proposition 30 passed with over 50% of the vote. Its competitor, Prop. 38, was soundly defeated receiving about 28% of the vote.
Prop. 30, temporary taxes to fund education, was supported by many educators, and Gov. Jerry Brown.
School districts throughout California are facing severe budget cuts. Those cuts would have been much deeper, according to supporters, if Prop. 30 were not passed.
Glendale Unified School District has been conducting community meetings for several weeks discussing the state of the 2013-14 budget.
“We have to cut $10 million,” said Superintendent Richard Sheehan.
If Prop. 30 hadn’t passed, the district was looking at an additional $11 to $12 million cut.
During the community meetings, district representatives warned that future cuts might result in larger class sizes and possibly a shorter school year.
The battle between Prop. 30 and Prop. 38, both promising money for education, was fierce, inundating voters with mailings and television commercials in the last few weeks leading to the election.
“There was a mixed message in the last three weeks [before the election] with advertisements stating that Prop. 30 would restore programs,” Sheehan said.
However that is not the case, he said. “As of right now, it means no further cuts this year.”
GUSD and other districts cannot determine exactly what Prop. 30 will mean for education until the January 2013 state budget is released. The taxes are retroactive for 2012, but what that amount is won’t be known until April 2013.
“Once again, we are in a wait and see pattern,” Sheehan said.
It took a little longer to get California election results than normal thanks to the weather.
Normally the ballots are moved from the polling places to the counting center in Norwalk via Los Angeles County Sheriff’s helicopter. Those at the center knew there was going to be fog early in the evening but was not certain how far reaching it would be.
“Originally they moved our heliport that is usually at the Norwalk library to Puente Hills but it was too foggy,” said Talyssa Gonzales, spokesperson for L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
The ballots had to be driven in by LASD patrol units.
The Registrar Recorder/County Clerk’s office will not have specific voter numbers according to areas, like La Crescenta, for a few days.
For a full list of election results, visit www.lavote.net.