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California on the Brink – Votes and Money

by | Jan 31, 2018 | Columns

Could California lose a seat in Congress, and possibly an electoral vote? The prospect is not as far-fetched as it might seem, and it has Democrats across the Golden State biting their nails and scrambling to find a solution.

In what many local officials and media are calling “Trump’s Revenge on California,” the immigration reform is having a severe impact on the state, especially with the upcoming 2020 census and the billions of dollars at stake for federal funding based on population. Possible inclusion of a question asking citizenship on the census has politicians worried that for the first time in the state’s history, it may lose one of its 53 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Crisis Control

Gov. Jerry Brown is anxious enough to have “proposed spending more than $40 million on the state’s own census-related outreach efforts to avoid that fate.”

Politico suggests that the fear is justified, as immigrants fear being deported and are not likely to participate in the census. Even legal immigrants are concerned and may avoid anything to do with the federal government; resulting in a much lower population count than the state can afford:

Jerry Brown

“If millions of non-citizens refuse to participate in the US Census, the Democrats will take [a] massive political beating,” Tony Quinn, a political analyst and former Republican legislative aide, wrote in the Fox & Hounds political blog . “That’s because electoral districts must be drawn based on population. The non-citizen population resides in heavily Democratic areas; if they are not counted, those areas will not have sufficient population to support Democratic congressional and legislative districts, especially in the big cities.”

California officials are responsible for alienating the voters, especially after the decision to become a Sanctuary State. Going against the federal government on immigration reform probably wasn’t the best decision, but then the Golden State isn’t known for making sound judgments. Still, liberals and state lawmakers have convinced the government, especially the president, is out to get them. Daniel Zingale, of the nonpartisan advocacy group The California Endowment, said:

“It’s already a toxic environment coming forward from D.C., when you add up all of these things — the abandonment of competent leadership, the proposed citizenship question, the hostile environment toward a state like ours and our diverse population, it is perceived here as a less than act of good faith coming from Washington, D.C.”

Zingale added, “I think Californians have never felt less represented in the national capital than we’re feeling right now.”

Dangerous Ground

The Trump Administration isn’t targeting just California – the reform is nation-wide. But officials in the land of Hollywood, tech, and sunshine have always held themselves in lofty esteem – so much so, that there are talks of seceding from the nation.

The state is already in danger of losing millions of dollars in federal grants for refusing to help with immigration reform efforts. Now the decision to become a sanctuary for illegals may very well cost it billions more as well as losing controlling seats and electoral votes. The sunshine state may very well find itself quite a bit less blue in the next couple of years, and we all know that is creating an epidemic of panic among the Democrats.

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