The San Francisco Chronicle: The promise of voter-approved reforms

In ordinary times, a young city councilman with an ounce of sense or ambition would not dare to challenge a member of Congress from his own party, even if the incumbent was routinely rated as one of the worst lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In ordinary times, the Service Employees International Union would not bother to try to influence a legislative election in a Republican area. And in ordinary times, three wealthy Californians who are frustrated with Sacramento gridlock would not think about  investing their time and money in finding a few good men and women who can make a difference in the California Legislature.