Just When Dems Finally Turn on the Great Society: One of new California Governor Jerry Brown’s best ideas for closing the state’s budget gap was abolishing Community Redevelopment Agencies, which currently soak up 12% of property tax revenues and typically spend them on huge, hideous eminent domain projects that benefit big developers (and the pols they then support). If there’s a failed liberal Great Society idea, this is it. (It was even a failure during the Great Society itself, when it was known as “urban renewal”–such a failure that the anti-LBJ Democratic party platform of 1972 criticized it.)
Democrats in the State Assembly actually voted against the Community Redevelopment ”secret governments,” as Steven Greenhut calls them. But Brown needed a 2/3 vote. He didn’t get it, because all but one of the Assembly’s 27 Republicans either voted to preserve the CRAs or failed to vote at all. Greenhut was not amused.