Far-left laments right-wing California refugees
California’s radical left-wing policies and pandering to illegal aliens has sent millions of white people fleeing the state. California refugees are responsible for pushing the state of Arizona to the right.
Now the radical left is bemoaning a “right-wing takeover” of northern Idaho by California refugees. Only small urban pockets around major Universities vote Democrat and the rest of the state votes solidly Republican.
California is demographically on track to become a majority Latino state with an Asian ruling class.
If anyone in Kootenai County could have predicted the Democrats’ downfall, it was Dan English. He had spent most of his life in the Idaho Panhandle and monitored more than 100 local elections in his 15 years as county clerk. The first ballots he counted, in 1996, revealed tight contests between Republicans and Democrats, but in the years that followed, the margins only widened. By 2002, the Democratic presence had been so whittled down that only one Democrat — English himself — still held an elected county office. For his re-election campaign that year, he distributed wooden nickels labeled, “Save the Last One,” reminding voters of a bygone time when his party dominated the county. That caught the attention ofUSA Today, which observed that English was a rare political survivor in what had become “the most Republican county in the most Republican state in the nation.” Once again, English was spared.
But by Nov. 2, 2010, when he faced another election, Kootenai County had swung even further to the right. President Obama was especially unpopular with Idaho Republicans, and any association with his party and policies had become a political liability. English is a gentle, affable man with bipartisan appeal: His children served on active duty in Iraq; he founded the nonprofit North Idaho Youth for Christ; and he was civically engaged well before he became clerk, serving on the school board and city council. English knew, however, that his record no longer mattered as much as the letter “D” beside his name. “You don’t have anything to worry about. People like you,” his friends assured him, but English had doubts. That November evening, he noticed the election supervisor studying the absentee ballots — often a preview of the final totals — with particular intensity. “I have to run this again. Something’s not right,” she told him. When she left the room, English pulled the results from the trash. “Sure enough, there I was, losing.” He called his wife and said, “I think this may be the end of the run.”
In the end, not a single Democrat was elected to a partisan office in Kootenai County. All three county commissioners, as well as the clerk, the assessor, the sheriff, the treasurer, the county attorney, and the coroner were Republican; so were the nine state legislators representing the area. Voters even backed a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Raúl Labrador, by a 10 percent margin over Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick. (Labrador is now one of Congress’ most conservative members.)
To outside observers, it may have appeared that the county swung along with the nation’s political pendulum. American voters leaned right in 2010, awarding Republicans a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. But in Kootenai County, something far more enduring than partisan realignment had tipped the scales. As English put it, the 2010 election marked “the end of an era” — not only politically, but demographically. Conservative newcomers, primarily from Southern California, had helped quadruple the county population since 1970. Allied with conservative North Idahoans, they systematically transformed the local politics.
Meanwhile, Southern California was struck by a series of disasters in the early 1990s — a recession, an earthquake, race riots — that together marked the beginning of an exodus. Between 1992 and 2000, excluding birth and death rates, California lost 1.8 million more people than it gained; collectively, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona gained 1.4 million more than they lost. More than half of the immigrants to Idaho in that period came from California. Of the top four counties that lost emigrants to Kootenai, three were in California — San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange.
Like many other mass movements, this one spread by word of mouth. In 1990, theCoeur d’Alene Press reported that one Orange County family had convinced “half its neighborhood” to relocate to Coeur d’Alene. A pastor told me that “whole (evangelical) ministries” came north together. By the end of the 1990s, more than 500 California police officers had retired to North Idaho, among them Mark Fuhrman, who committed perjury in the prosecution of O.J. Simpson. One officer told the Los Angeles Times that he left Anaheim because “the narrow roads got wider, orange groves became tract homes and street gangs became too numerous to count.” He went looking for “another Shangri-La,” and found it in Kootenai County.