California is so screwed up that people can’t even hold festivals anymore

Gilroy, a city of 57,000 in northern California, is the southernmost city in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has long been known for its garlic harvest. At certain times of the year, a stroll through the area will aromatically attest to this – so much so that the town has become well known for its annual Garlic Festival, which began in 1978.

The Garlic Festival could attract up to 100,000 visitors, providing a major fundraising opportunity for local nonprofits. But this year, organizers canceled the event indefinitely, citing prohibitive insurance requirements levied by the town of Gilroy.

What responsibility does this harmless, flowery relative of the leek pose? This is where it gets complicated.

In 2019, on the last day of the 3-day festival, a 19-year-old man, who had absorbed a range of extremist literature, event security eluded sneaking into a creek bed for two miles, using bolt cutters on a gate, then killing three people and injuring 17 before committing suicide.

It’s hard to fault the city for requiring more insurance. The city is contesting a lawsuit alleging the festival – which was held on city property – failed to consider current risks for large events and should have had more security personnel and better security of the perimeter. Although, seeing how the killer sneaked up, it’s hard to see how anything other than an Army National Guard battalion could have stopped him.

If an evil, troubled man can start a chain of events that ends an important community event, there might be something more to the story. There are.

For several decades, the Institute for Legal Reform of the United States Chamber of Commerce has conducted periodic surveys of the trial climate in the states. the last ranking published shows California with the third-worst legal climate in the nation, just above last-place Illinois and Louisiana and slightly worse than fourth-place Mississippi.

California has ranked among the five worst states for lawsuits over the past 20 years. And aside from a brief effort to reform the state’s then-out-of-control medical malpractice system in 1975, culminating in the passage of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act known as MICRA, the bar trial was free to print money in the Golden State. , recycling a good portion of their earnings back into the Legislature to make sure something like MICRA never happens again.

The Institute for Legal Reform examines 10 domains that govern the prosecution environment: apply meaningful venue requirements; overall handling of tort and contractual disputes; treatment of collective actions and mass consolidation actions; damage; proportional discovery; scientific and technical evidence; the impartiality of trial judges; jurisdiction of trial judges; fairness of juries; and the quality of appellate review.

California ranked in the bottom five in all but one of the 10 categories, Scientific and Technical Evidence, and ranked worst in three: Handling Class Actions and Mass Consolidation Lawsuits, Damages, and Fairness of Claims. juries.

When coupled with California ranks 46th for state and local taxes in 2022 – New York was 50 years old – its heavy regulatory compliance burden, calculated at $134,000 annually for small business in 2009 and undoubtedly much worse today, its overwhelming response to the Covid-19 virus and crime without consequences thanks to the district attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco, it is no wonder that the inbound movers from other states fell 38% while Californians fleeing the state rose 12% last year.

With Florida and Disney at war with the company’s woke politics, California might have had a chance to get back to business – except California Disneyland closed for more than 13 months due to Covid-19 fears while Florida allowed Disney World to reopen after just four months.

California was once a land of fun and dreams. Among them was the 44-year-old Gilroy Garlic Festival. But it seems California can’t have fun as long as the lawyers have veto power. And the dreams? Dreams come out of the state.


Chuck DeVore is Vice President of National Initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a former California legislator, Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs in the Reagan-era Pentagon, and Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve (retired). American. He is the author of two books, “The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State and Lessons for America” ​​and “China Attacks”, a novel.