A friend yesterday asked when Oregon became so progressive and California fell to the wayside? It took me a second, but then I realized it wasn't that OR is more progressive, quite the opposite. It's that OR is less partisan and Republicans are more moderate.
Bipartisan gerrymandering in CA is at an all time high, which leaves seats protected and inhibits more moderate representatives from winning them. This has caused much of budget gridlock and even more of the rancor that's surrounded a moderate Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
When districts are aligned so tightly on partisan lines, it makes pushing social, even moderate social issues more difficult. Pockets of CA are much more progressive than any part of OR. The Bay Area, for example.
As for electing a openly gay mayor in CA.
It could happen in SF, Oakland, Los Angeles, or San Jose, but only if the candidate also fell in line with the California Democratic Party. Vallejo almost elected Gary Cloutier as the Bay Area's first openly gay mayor in 2007. Cloutier was sworn in before a recount showed Osby Davis won by less than five votes.
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