California needs a two-thirds majority to pass the budget. The hard-line Republicans, who are already doing poorly with the public, looked bad. After long delays, six Republicans offered to support a vicious budget, with modest tax increases on matters that left business and the wealthy unaffected. Republicans required that the Legislature agreed to put a number of very restrictive budget referenda on a special election. This strategy was a brilliant success in tripping up the Democrats, who mostly supported the measure, while both anti-tax forces and most unions opposed it.
Besides, if Prop 1A had passed, the state would have to put funds into a rainy day fund, which would have provided a tempting target for future tax cutters.
All but one insignificant measure that affected legislators' salaries lost.
The media played the election is if it was a resounding victory for anti-tax forces. Even more cuts will hit education and the poor. And the Democrats will have no alternative to offer.