Here's a short summary of these authors' understanding of what's wrong with California:
Good summary and the rest is amplification: our unrealistic limitations on the power to tax, coupled with our ever expanding demand for state services; our almost inadvertent sabotage of local government when we moved both budgeting and school funding to the state capital; the super-majority requirements which allow one third plus one member of one house of the legislature to dictate to the majority; the legislative term limits that destroy any vestige of political competence or policy expertise; the initiative industry that repeatedly saddles the state with poorly drafted laws that cannot be amended; and a state so large that its component communities have few shared values or even points of reference.
In particular, the dwindling fraction of our population that is white -- and still constitutes most of the electorate -- often refuses to recognize any social contract with the majority of color. So some of them -- not all white Californians by any means -- have captured the Republican party and use it to stamp their feet, refuse to be taxed for the benefit of all, and impede development of a new social contract more in accord with the needs and values of the current population.
California Crackup barely mentions the state's racial diversity. Come on guys, there is an elephant in the living room! By failing to take race into account, these writers undermine any serious credibility with me -- an undermining that was completed by their advocacy of such non-solutions as proportional representation, instant run off voting and even a constitutional convention. What California needs is not structural contrivances.
Rather, what we need is a functioning democracy. To get there, we need a new value consensus that is capable of assembling a relatively stable plurality, even a majority. When, and as, we approach envisioning such a consensus -- and living out our demographic changes carries us ever closer -- we'll figure out how to achieve structural reform.