I know it's not big news, but it's still nice to see that Larry Elder is off my LA radio dial.
Tune in to conservative talk radio in California, and the insults quickly fly. Capturing the angry mood of listeners the other day, a popular host in Los Angeles called Republican lawmakers who voted to raise state taxes "a bunch of weak slobs."
With their trademark ferocity, radio stars who helped engineer Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise in the 2003 recall have turned on him over the new tax increases. On stations up and down the state, they are chattering away in hopes of igniting a taxpayers' revolt to kill his budget measures on the May 19 ballot.
But for all the anti-tax swagger and the occasional stunts by personalities like KFI's John and Ken, the reality is that conservative talk radio in California is on the wane. The economy's downturn has depressed ad revenue at stations across the state, thinning the ranks of conservative broadcasters.
For that and other reasons, stations have dropped the shows of at least half a dozen radio personalities and scaled back others, in some cases replacing them with cheaper nationally syndicated programs.
Casualties include Mark Larson in San Diego, Larry Elder and John Ziegler in Los Angeles, Melanie Morgan in San Francisco, and Phil Cowen and Mark Williams in Sacramento.
What these lunatics don't seem to understand is that California is facing a huge economic crisis.
The immediate question facing the state's conservative radio hosts is whether they can wield enough clout to block Schwarzenegger's ballot measures in May. They portray them as reckless proposals that would hasten California's economic decline. The worst, they say, is Proposition 1A, which would extend billions of dollars in tax increases for an extra two years, even while it imposes a spending cap long sought by conservatives.
In a special election likely to draw a dismal turnout, they hope that those most upset by the $12.5 billion in new taxes will be the ones most strongly motivated to cast ballots. Their inspiration is Proposition 13, the 1978 ballot measure that capped property-tax increases.
I'm not sure where they think revenues are going to come from, but protesting the Octomom is pretty pathetic even for them.