Steve Poizner, the wealthy Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate, has announced he'll seek statewide office as an independent in 2018 — marking a high-profile defection from the state Republican Party as President Trump's approval ratings sink in California.
It doesn’t have the comedic value of “the era of big government is over” (Bill Clinton’s 1996 State of the Union speech), but I do wonder what Gov. Jerry Brown was getting at in last week’s State of the State address when he assured legislative Republicans: “Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.”
In 1850 California passed its first professional licensing law requiring foreigners to buy a monthly license to mine gold. During the next hundred years the state so dramatically expanded its licensing regime that by 1950 one in every twenty workers required a license. Today one in five working Californians requires a license from the state government; a recent study found that California is the most broadly licensed state in the nation.