California's Problem? Unions Control Politics

Mike Murphy, who ran Meg Whitman's campaign for governor of California, explained the loss by saying that the state is a virtual lock for Democrats.

Money became part of it, but it's a--it's a Hobson's choice for Republicans in California because the big unions in the last couple of years have spent $300 million on politics. So you either can't raise enough money to compete and they swamp you--because the public employee unions run California politics, they paid for Jerry Brown's campaign--or you spend your own money. But if you're a self-funder, the press wants to make that money the issue.

MR. GREGORY: What happened in California? You thought this would be closer. In the end, it wasn't.

MR. MURPHY: It wasn't. We got beat and, you know, I ran the campaign, and I take responsibility for it. It's a very blue state and it's getting bluer. As the red, you know, wave kind of went one way, there was a bit of a blue riptide coming the other way. We had a tough time in Washington state and Oregon and definitely in California. And I think the other thing is that CEO candidates who are doing kind of a tough medicine message, be it, you know, Linda McMahon in Connecticut in a blue state...

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

MR. MURPHY: ...Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, Meg and Carly Fiorina in California, they weren't buying it. So we just couldn't get there. We could win the Republicans, win the independents, but in California if you don't win a lot of Democrats...

The fact that public employees get to elect their bosses is not just a problem on the west coast. It kills us in Massachusetts, and around the country, as well.