How do you recapture the reputation of a state? California, which is teetering on the edge of receivership, used to be known as the forward-thinking state of the nation. It was also known for many years as a state with good government and efficient bureaucracy. Today, those attributes seem a joke on citizens and the rest of the nation. Part of the problem arose from Californians themselves through the initiative process that hamstrung the legislature. Another part is the legislature that has gerrymandered itself into power. A third part of the problem has been the governors who have been unable to persuade the legislature to make hard choices. The mixture has been lethal and it will take many years, if ever, for California to stand out again. It has been a long fall for the state’s reputation. It will be an equally long recovery.

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