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Closing the Curtain on Election 2010

The last ballots are finally dribbling in to decide the election races with razor-thin margins. Two races we have followed on the Left Coast have turned out not to be close enough for a recount.

In Washington, State Supreme Court Justice Richard "The Heckler" Sanders has lost by 0.68%, not close enough for a recount, Peter Callaghan reports for the News Tribune.

In California, L.A. DA Steve Cooley has conceded the race to S.F. DA Kamala Harris.

Nationwide, this election has produced significant gains for the advocates of the law-abiding public and significant losses for the friends of criminals.  California, however, is looking gloomy.  Although far from perfect, the Governator has been at least generally on the side of the law-abiding.  For the next four years, we will have both a chief executive and a chief prosecutor whose hearts are largely in the opposing camp.  The Legislature, of course, will continue to dance to the ACLU tune, with the FOCs solidly in control and the moderate Democrats too spineless to exercise their balance-of-power position.

In 2012, California will have a new apportionment.  A bold experiment with a citizens' commission may get us competitive districts that represent communities instead of the incumbent-protection gerrymander that effectively locks each seat for one party or the other.  If legislators believe they will face competitive races, they may be more cooperative as that election approaches.  We may have some good initiatives on the ballot as well.  The sun has set in California even while rising in most of the country, but there is hope for change in the next cycle.

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