Rich Miller and Greg Hinz argue that Scott Lee Cohen pulled more votes for Brady than Quinn, handing the latter the gubernatorial election. Worth reading.

In another post, Miller discusses what will probably be the first hot post-election topic at the state level—tax hikes. It’s an odd post. Miller argues that Quinn has a mandate (because he campaigned on an income tax increase) but it’s really tiny (because he didn’t get a majority). So… it’s not a mandate either way? I think that calls for the Me & Bobby McGee theorem.

Personally, I’m going to be frustrated if it’s only discussed in terms of a “mandate”: it’s a hard question to answer outside of a specific referendum, and California’s referendum system stands as a warning to making law out of mandates. In short: people want stuff without having to pay much for it—which is what individual actors do!—so someone has to be on the other side pricing services.

If there’s a palatable solution to straightening out the state’s budget, I’m unaware of it; “least painful” may be about as much as a mandate as exists.