An Age of Science - America in the Feynman Era

Sorry on being late posting, lately it has been difficult to keept to schedules. Anyway, I hope you like it as we are one chapter away from ending our introduction.

I imagine it's not quite the cliffhanger, but we will see how this race finally ends. And then get on to the good stuff of actually governing.
I can't believe this story wasn't being reported on my Alert, missed more than 5 updates. Thought it was nice getting to binge read it I'll admit. ;)
I can't believe this story wasn't being reported on my Alert, missed more than 5 updates. Thought it was nice getting to binge read it I'll admit. ;)

I am glad you are enjoying it! And we are just at the introduction, things should start picking up soon.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions on anything, from structure to possible ideas, do tell, I'm all for finding new things and making the format more legible
Chapter 14: where roads end and begin
Two ballrooms were reserved in Los Angeles for the night of November 8, as each candidate had decided to end their campaigns in that city whose influence throughout the election had been crucial and whose support was sought by both.

Feynman had originally intended not to throw an event for the night, preferring to be surprised by victory or face defeat in the warmth of his own home, surrounded by friends and family. Earl Warren put those fantasies to an end and made sure to bookmark the room himself, after studying it with his own eyes and afterwards preparing the catering services himself, through a number of phonecalls all the way from Washington.

The polls seemed to favour Professor Feynman, however, throughout the night a climate of nervous expectation was felt in both ballrooms, as many Reagan supporters still hoped that a victory was attainable by means of what later would be known as a “silent majority”. A constituency built at heart by hard-line conservatives, they believed Feynman to be too liberal to win, when they didn’t deem him an outright communist, as had been popular among such circles.

As silence was felt as news of the counting of votes began to surface, all of California held its breath for just a minute, only to have one of those ballrooms roar in victory. This was the ballroom containing the supporters of now Governor-elect Richard Feynman, who had emerged victorious over Ronald Reagan in the bid for Governor of California.

The victory was, for lack of a better word, resounding, with almost four million Californians voting Democratic, while barely more than two million and one hundred thousand voted Republican, a victory not known since the days of Earl Warren, with 65% of the electorate voting for Feynman. Reagan managed to win Mono, Orange, Sutter, Calaveras and Butte Counties only, a disastrous defeat.

Los Angeles followed a curiously similar percentage to the State result, with 65% of tis electorate voting for Feynman, a resemblance that approached the hundredth of percentage. There, Feynman received particularly the support of Hollywood and Watts, although most neighbourhoods were also predominantly Democratic in this election.

Wilson Riles, attending the celebration, sitting in a prominent position as an honoured guest of Feynman and the Democratic Party, also received the good news of having been elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, albeit with a lesser margin than Feynman. The two would shake hands in the iconic photo Riles would keep in his office for the remainder of his career in public service, representing a partnership he would treasure through the rest of his life.

The victory and ascension to governorship marked the beginning of the very prolific career of Professor Feynman in public service. He would be greeted warmly in Sacramento by his predecessor, who already saw himself as a mentor to the newly-arrived Governor-elect, while many political figures throughout the nation congratulated him for his rise, and many national newspapers spoke of the curious race that California had been.

For Ronald Reagan’s prospects of political career, however, the defeat proved lethal. He and his conservative wing lost the credibility of the Republican Party, and soon their hold over criticism faded and from the ruins of the Reagan campaign a wing of Moderates came, blaming the conservative outlook of the campaign for its failure, while most commentators argued this was a tad bit unfair. Nevertheless, the conservative base that had been Reagan's machine would see itself primaried and voted out from elected office throughout the State in the next election cycles, as the shame of their defeat induced the Californian Republicans to look for greener pastures.

In any case, Ronald and Nancy Reagan themselves would live out their retired life in peace, raising their family (and two Democrats children at that, ironically enough), refusing any further office to seek a new race to run, and making sure to stay faraway from the mess of pointing fingers the Californian Republican Party would become in the next few seasons. They would fade into blissful obscurity soon enough.

For Richard Feynman, however, despite him not being quite aware of it at the time, the adventure had just began, as he prepared to set out to Sacramento and put himself to work on fulfilling the promises that had been made during the campaign trail.

california 1966.png

(just a small wikibox I did to represent the results; I've been wanting to train the graphic aspect of these timelines, tell me what you think)​
Wow! I was not expecting such a big win. That's something like the 4th biggest election win in the history of California gubernatorial competitions.

Being a Physics major, I must say I really enjoy this idea. I wonder with Richard Feynman ascension in politics, how will the US be changed? Would Americans become less anti-science and more pro-education by the 2000s? Will the US be stronger overall and other things, as Reagan was knocked out of the race?
BOOK I: To Learn and Teach: California, 1967-1971 - PART I: The Long, Hot First Year - Chapter 1: so Say Good-Bye
To Learn and Teach
California, 1967-1971


1. so Say Good-Bye

Around a year after having for the first time said out loud he should run for Governor of California, at the time still with a comedic tone, the newly-and-very-seriously Governor-elect of California, Professor Richard Feynman, was now in a frantic spirit, together with the rest of his family, as they prepared to move to the capital of California, the city of Sacramento.

It was not, by any means, an easy task. They had lived in Altadena for years; they had made their house there, had their son there. They had ties with the community. The Feynmans were beloved, with the Professor being known as a very friendly man with a good sense of humour, and Gweneth was a pillar of the community, having been a driving force in the building of a library at the local elementary school and heading a local women’s choral group.

Fortunately, the outgoing Governor Pat Brown was being more than helpful in their moving in to the Governor’s Mansion. He was quite friendly to the Professor, and seemed to want to be close with the new administration, being somewhat transparent in his attempt to remain an influence in State politics.

They would keep the house; it was too painful to sell it, as they could not still think of this as anything less than a somewhat long sabbatical. To sell the house would have been to admit they were not returning, and that they were moving away from the community that had meant so much to them. They had enough to provide for that, fortunately.

The Professor had to put his business in order at the University. His departure was bittersweet for his colleagues and students, who were saddened to see him go, as his lectures were quite popular and his friendship quite warm, but it still provided them a good opportunity to have good ties with the State government; Feynman was quite popular with the University boards in these last days, who provided for him to be quite celebrated. And, of course, he was approached quite often with drawn-over-the-knee proposals for projects and changes for him to pursue in Sacramento.

He knew many engineers, and engineers tend to have grandiose ideas. And knowing his own ambitions, many projects for water management came forward. Feynman, quite occupied with moving his all life to a new career, politely smiled and gave them a contact to schedule a meeting when he was already Governor. It seemed meeting engineers would be his new hobby in Sacramento, which was nice as, for what he understood, the place was rather dull in comparison with Los Angeles.

After a generous Christmas celebration in Altadena, surrounded by friends and family, the Feynman family departed on 26 December to Sacramento where, a week later, the inauguration of Richard Feynman as the 33rd Governor of California would take place
I am looking forward to the change in policies. Of course, a scientist deals in facts, and politicians deal in a mix fo facts, deals, and alternative facts/lies. On the other hand, University politics might be decent preparation.
Chapter 2: the Inauguration
2. The Inauguration

One can only imagine how alien it must have seemed for the until-then Professor and now also Governor Richard Feynman to stand before the crowd in Sacramento, surrounded by the political elite of the State of California, including his predecessor, the Senators and Assemblymen, and the members of his new executive.

It was a sunny day, and the people seemed cheerful. To many, this seemed like a blow of fresh air, the innaugration of the 48 years old, meaning the youngest in more than half a century, professor, whose lack of political experience was seen as a bonus of having no burdens of compromise with the previous administrations, of being an outsider to the system. He was quite popular already, and his term hadn't even started.

However, it is understandable that, despite this, he still felt uneasy at the prospect of speaking before this crowd. Although the campaign trails had taught him the fine arts of oratory that he hadn’t picked up already through academic experience, this was still his first speech as the leader of California. Perhaps the one that would define his legacy.

“To a number of us here, myself included, but also, I am glad to say, of many of those standing here by my side, this is a first and, beyond solemn and momentous, rather awkward situation. To be frank, this great event we are taking part on, this transfer of power by the will of the people, amicably and cheerfully, is a wonderful thing.

I am a physicist; we study the changes in the world. I have studied many interactions, many things coming together to form something new. My observations on that have given me the Nobel Prize. But I will have to admit that I had never witnessed such an extraordinary change in the world as the one we see today, as we stand here and see the will of the people be enforced. And, most incredibly of all, this is not an exception event; it is a quotidian one in this nation, and we see it in every decision of importance for the fate of the land.

I can only imagine the sheer forces that must come into play to allow for this process, this change, to occur so neatly, at clock-ordained time, each time that it is necessary. That is the force of the American people, the force to never forgo the right to decide our own fate, and struggle to achieve it.

Considering the power that the people of these United States have, the strength within us, one cannot doubt that, if we put our minds to it, nothing is impossible. We have put upon ourselves the task to fulfil great things, and the manifest of our ability to accomplish them is in this day and in all others day as this we have seen come and go and trust will happen for many more generations.

The Constitution of our nation begins with the words, ‘We the people’. This is because it recognizes that only in the people can the power to enforce the laws it carries be found. It does not trust any subsect to rule the others; it mandates, as a condition for its enforcement, that all citizens gather to enforce it. If that isn't happen, true change within it isn't just systematically unjust; it is impossible to maintain in the short or long term.

Therefore, while they say it was me who was empowered today, I do not feel more powerful than before. I must turn then to the true holders of power within this State, the people, and ask you to stand by me and work towards enforcing the great ideals we went to the polls to defend. Without the support and the work of the people, none of them will be fulfilled. With the support and the work of our citizens, however, I foresee no great difficulty in seeing them all accomplished.

Working with engineers, I have learned that it is good conduct to present the program I am asking to be fulfilled. If we want to build a house, we should start by drawing the blueprints. Let us then roll up our sleeves and see what lies ahead.

I have said it plenty of times and I will say it again: my absolute priority in this office is for education. The programs of the previous administration were a good start, lessening the effects of the continued expansion of the school going population. As our State continues to flourish, we will continue to increase the numbers of teachers and positions in our educational systems, to provide the necessary supervision needed, by opening new job offerings that will provide a meaningful source of employment for many capable Californians in educating our children.

Each year we will be needing 20,000 new teachers, 6,000 new classrooms and have the facilities for 450,000 university students. This is so that our State not only is capable of providing for all its people, but that it is prepared to grow stronger and open for more people to arrive at its shores.

It will also be an imperative to improve the quality of the education for each and every children. For that, I plan on sending for the State Curriculum Commission to have assembled the finest assortment of textbooks, focusing on the quality explaining concepts and in their focus on applications of knowledge, so that students can help to improve the conditions of our State from the start. The material that they have know is very deficient, and shall be replaced by better one, up to the high standards we set to ourselves and our government.

Finally, we will make sure that no child is left behind, and that our education system is open for everyone, regardless of the condition of their birth. For that, we will continue efforts into bringing even those most disadvantage amongst ourselves to school; we are particularly concerned about those children who suffer from a physical or mental affliction and are therefore burdened in their education. We will ensure that they will no suffer more than necessary.

We will also strengthen the federal school meal programs, see them enforced and reaching all, especially those who cannot afford it. Our food is the foundation of our health, and so we will see that the food supplied to our children is of the upmost quality and gives them the nutrition needed to grow strong and healthy, to become fine citizens of this State.

Public education is a cornerstone of our democracy. It is important that we demand the best out of it. Without it, our rights are ephemeral and our prosperity will falter. We must protect it and encourage it to grow stronger. And that is what we will do in California.

The second problem that comes with our growing population remains the same. Water. Governor Brown has seen the beginning of great projects that will bring water from where it exists in surplus to places that lack it. By this feat of human genius, we the people will make from barren ground rise the most fertile of lands. Great tracts of Californian desert shall become the new breadbasket of our State, if we see this projects through. And that is what we will do.

Over the last months, I have had the opportunity to speak with local farmers, entrepreneurs and with engineers with great ideas. We have discussed what is needed and what can be done to fulfil the need. I was impressed with how much can be accomplished. Through the next years, more than complete the amazing work already in place, and improve it when needed, we will see more projects, that so far have proven such successes, come to light, and bring water to more Californian lands.

As you can imagine, those two great pillars alone, education and water, will bring many jobs for Californians over the coming years. More than that, they will create a class of hard-working, capable workers that will make this State stand grand among the Union. But we will even go further in our pursuit of putting this land to work.

California has always benefited from encouraging new bold ventures to settle in this land. Fifty years ago, Los Angeles was an oil outpost, not unlike many other now abandoned cities throughout America. Then, fleeing from persecution and seeking a new, more open home, filmmakers came and settled there. Today, thanks to that great migration, Los Angeles is the beating heart of culture in the West Coast, and of cinema worldwide.

California reinvents itself and creates wealth where there was nothing before. What allows that to happens is a willingness to take bold steps and to put ourselves to work, to bring brilliant people to the field and have them build. We will strengthen our Agency for Economic Development to broaden their efforts to bring to our state businesses and ventures that need someone willing to trust them. We will increase private investments into creating new industries that will bring jobs and opportunities of growth to Californians.

The Californian worker is the backbone of our economy and our democracy. To protect him and his valiant efforts towards the Californian dream, we will continue the policies of ensuring their rights, as workers and as consumers. We will continue our work with the unions, to make sure they represent their interests and are clean of all messes, and that they enable for the Californian worker to attain a higher standard of living so that they can bring an even greater strength into each day, promoting the idea of California as the place for the American worker and family.

We will also continue our efforts to protect the consumers, a group to which all Californians belong, against fraud, racketeering and other vicious assaults. We will promote strong legislation to protect Californians from such problems and allow the law to dispose of them and take them off the streets. Our system will be especially focused on public education about these problems, so that the citizen can be attentive and know how to protect himself and report issues to the authorities, for no authority can be more effective than that of the people protecting itself.

It also must be stated that our support to the Californian worker extends to all Californians, regardless of their race, creed, national origin or race. Our Constitution states that we are all equal before the law, and the law will not slander this fine remark. We will make sure the employers and the unions within this State do not dare turn away anyone for a reason beyond their capacities and merit. California shall be exemplary between the States as respecting the rights of every citizen.

That being said, there are two very important things to ensure that the Californian worker is protected, far more than any legislation curbing the ability of their employers to abuse. Protection laws can be looped around, but decent income and proper social insurance will always serve to help any family in need and save them from abuse.

Ours is an expanding economy, and an expanding currency. This means that, each year, what was once a living wage becomes slimmer and slimmer until it is no longer possible living under it. It is for this reason, this inflation of the costs of living, that ever so often the value of the minimum wage and the benefits paid at Social Security have to be increased; although the numbers are the same, the value of the money is lessened.

It is a ridiculous fault of our laws that our workers have to wait for our legislatures to work so that they do not continue to lose wages when the economy improves. To keep this from happening, we propose to make it so that minimum wage laws and the benefits of Social Security are tagged to the value of inflation, so that what it represents is not a number alone, but the actual minimal to provide a workingman a decent livelihood.

We should also continue the improvements of our welfare programs targeting the disabled citizens. To have a man burdened by a disability when something can be done to lift such burden is a stain for the reputation of such a fine State such as ours.

Public health in general should be improved. There is no such a thing as too healthy of a people, and without proper care, the strength of a citizen is harmed by many problems. Air pollution continues to harm many Californians, something which we will see combated. Air pollution affects us all, city and countryside folk alike. With the help of research, we hope to give our automobile industry the ability to solve this problem by improving smog preventive mechanisms, research the State will make sure to incentivise. With the help of our engineers, the dream of a no-smog car can come to fruition sooner than we may even expect.

Another great concern that the modern times have brought to public health is the dangers of atomic radiation. Having worked at the Manhattan Project, helping to build the first atomic bombs during the war, I have witnessed with my own eyes the power the atom has within. At the time, I found it an outstanding thing. Now, I look at it with more concerned eyes. Nuclear energy has proven to be a hazard and a risk to our health and to world peace. I have helped develop this technology, and so it is of the utmost importance to me not to see it used to cause further harm than it already has, and for it to be handled responsibly.

Considering this, I hope that, soon enough, some of these goals can begin the road towards being accomplished, a path we began to trek this November. I have always had some distaste for great secrecy, even when they wanted me to work in secret projects during the war. I said I wanted to research science, and science is how the world works, and that is not secret.

Government work shouldn’t be secret either. I said this back in the war too. It is the authority of the citizens that empowers the government, and it is impossible for the citizen to make an informed choice without information. The whole idea of democracy is that power lies in the public, and that the public should be informed. In secrecy, there isn’t information. In secrecy, there isn’t democracy.

Therefore, I will uphold the principles of government openness as much as it is possible, so that our citizens can understand its inner workings. Government will be honest and will answer before its citizens, for that is the promise of democracy, that has made this country so great.

Today, in this sunny day, I see a new start for a new California. A California of education and research, of growth and equality, of people coming together to improve the lives of all. I will do all within my power to fulfil that vision, the vision you elected to carry on in October.

Let the warmth of this sun mark the entry unto an Age of Science.
I do worry about the long term consequences.
. By this feat of human genius, we the people will make from barren ground rise the most fertile of lands. Great tracts of Californian desert shall become the new breadbasket of our State, if we see this projects through. And that is what we will do.
There is only so much water, and he can run it empty...
I do worry about the long term consequences.

There is only so much water, and he can run it empty...

Yeah, but that's not really something they would be considering at the time. Hopefully the political changes allow that issue to be taken on better in the future.
Chapter 3: the Powers that be
3. the Powers that be

The State government of California was thoroughly reformed in 1966. This was not only because of the ascension of Feynman to the Governorship; the effects were much further, and the State elections had been very peculiar.

The Supreme Court of California had, during the previous mandate, changed the distribution of seats in the Californian Senate, reapportioning it to make them more demographically equal under the mantra of “one man, one vote”. This meant that the distribution of power for the Senate had changed greatly, bringing much greater gravity unto the voters of Southern California. It also meant that, for purposes of fulfilling this requirement, rather than the usual 20 seats, the entire 40 seats of the chamber were at play, including 20 incumbent-free and then 12 with multiple incumbents thrown together and now competing for the nomination.

Those extraordinary conditions made it so that 211 candidates brought their names forward for Senator of California, four times the usual numbers, including many assemblymen who were vying for the more prestigious seat, which by itself had 29 of the 80 State Assembly seats without incumbent.

In essence, the legislative elections were quite interesting, primaries and general votes alike, as many took this change of seats as their opportunity to rise, perhaps inspired by the two newcomers competing in the big leagues within the State. It was a time for renovation in California, in both executive and legislative positions. Neither party could be accused of fetid smell for these elections.

On January 1967, as the session began, the State was thoroughly reinvented in terms of government.

The California State Legislature divided itself between the California State Assembly and the California State Senate. The Assembly, despite not being directly affected by the reapportionment changes, was still quite changed. A separate ballot, they were nonetheless subject to the tides of popularity of the candidates for Governor, with whom the people associated the image and platform of the Party as a whole. In this election, that meant that the Feynman campaign contributed to keep the Democratic lead in the State.

In the State Assembly, the Democrats lost three seats, leaving them with 46 against the Republican’s 34, with the Democrats having 57,5% of the seats in the Assembly, short of a supermajority but still being quite strong. This meant that the Speaker of the California State Assembly, Jesse Marvin Unruh, one of the most powerful Californian politicians, remained at his position. Most observers immediately predicted that the sour relationship between Governor Brown and him would now translate to Feynman.

The Senate saw its composition change dramatically, in turn coinciding with a sharper turn from the Democratic Party, as the Republicans had greater influence among the now better-represented areas, which saw their new greater standing as being due to the Party’s efforts. Even so, with 22 Senators against 18, the Democrats maintained the majority with 55% of that chamber on their hands. The Senate was presided by the Lieutenant Governor of California, who was hitherto Supreme Court of California Justice and former Californian Attorney General Stanley Musk.

Although they had endorsed each other, met and got along well enough, Feynman and Musk weren’t quite close; since the two offices ran separate tickets, this didn’t matter greatly and throughout their tenure the two men would have neither great problems nor great joint victories. Musk would focus himself on presiding the Senate, where he worked towards preserving the constitutionality of laws passed by the Senate and devoting his projects to civil rights legislation, especially attentive to keep them within constitutional bounds, and curbing the growth of conservatism.

The legislative power was, therefore, quite in the hands of the Democrats, despite there being some tensions between the old and new guards, which would reflect in the relationship between Unruh and Feynman. However, such tensions were also felt among the Republicans, whose old guard members, many of them moderates or even progressives, had to handle their fellow-party ultraconservatives that had popped up inspired by Reagan and had occasionally been elected, unlike their leader. This balance of discord gave space for the Feynman administration to work, pitting them against each other as needed.

Regarding the Californian Supreme Court, with Stanley Musk’s withdrawal to become Lieutenant Governor, it was currently one member short. Its Chief Justice, Roger Traynor, was a figure nationally admired for his talents on justice, being recognized as one of the greatest judges in American history, and being an avid opinion writer, being influential throughout the United States. He was also very liberal in inclinations, and it seemed he and the new Governor got along quite well. Besides Traynor, four other Justices were believed to be supportive of Feynman’s platform, with only one, Marshall McComb, being believed to be a potential opponent. With the empty slot to be appointed by Feynman, this made the Supreme Court of California effectively an ally.

Regarding the executive branch, the Superintendent of Public Instruction was the de facto Feynman appointed Wilson Riles, the first African-American to hold state-wide position, and who was, of course, thoroughly aligned with the Feynman platform on education. For Attorney-General, Thomas C. Lynch was re-elected, a man whose main interests were around improving law enforcement, especially in regards to narcotics, and a fierce environmentalist with concern towards water rights. He and Feynman would coexist quite peacefully.

A strange partnership emerged with the Secretary of State, the re-elected officer Frank M. Jordan, an old veteran who happened to be a Republican within a Democratic administration, being so ever since the days of Pat Brown. His victory would be slim but real against the Democratic candidate, and what some had though would be a thorn in the administration became quite the contrary as Jordan called the attention of Feynman to his earlier efforts to establish state-wide machine voting and vote-by-mail. He had taken an interest into this question after the delayed results of the 1960 elections, and ever since had been a champion for those modernising techniques. Jordan would find in Feynman a new ally towards achieving those goals, which would become one of the landmarks of that governorship.

The State Controller election was won by Democrat Ronald B. Cameron, who had served for two terms in the House of Representatives in Washington DC before returning home to California. He was a very ambitious man, whose career in national office had left him wanting for more in public service.

In January 1967, Sacramento inaugurated a new government. The State Legislature was greatly changed, both in representation and in the representatives themselves, and the Executive too had several newcomers who had to handle the old guard as they prepared to see the platforms that had seen them elected go through.

It was a challenge, yes, but one worth pursuing.
Chapter 4: a Welcome Surprise
a Welcome Surprise

The first major surprise the Feynman administration would find upon arriving to power was that the State of California, so plentiful it was, was facing a major financial crisis, comparable only to the Great Depression, as the State government faced a deficit of one million dollars each day, mounting up to a looming crisis that the Brown administration had left for the new governor, whoever that might be, to handle.

Of course, this deficit issue was quite problematic to allow the campaign promises of improving the conditions and the projects of several Californian institutions, from education to water works.

The first instinct of Feynman was to look into the spending of the former administration, where he found some questionable costs that he set out to clean. He sold the Governor’s state-owned airplane and cut by a great degree out-of-state travels by state employees, deeming both extravagant expenses that could be easily be done without. He also took measures to keep the purchase of new cars for State officials at a low, although he did not, as was suggested by the State’s accountants, stop the construction projects, as they had been a major point in his platform.

The first months of office were a constant struggle between Feynman and the more pragmatic and overall trimmer-happy officers of the executive, who battled for slashing the funds of several government programs that Feynman saw as too sacred to interfere with.

The greatest battle of that Sacramento war was the university system that with 10 universities, 19 state colleges, 85 junior colleges and, overall, with a counter-cultural trend that had upset enough Californians to give Reagan a platform to begin with, was a prime target for trimming costs. It was large, expensive and, at the moment, somewhat unpopular among a great number of Californians. However, it also happened to be the ‘home district’ of Governor Feynman, his constituency, one of the groups he had pledged himself towards and, perhaps more important in the mind of the still-fresh governor, the home of many of his friends. He was vehemently opposed to the stalking that was taking place.

The pursuers of this policy wanted Feynman to insist on a fifteen percent cut to the costs of the university, which they stated would help balance the budget without causing actual harm to its programs. He refused to allow himself to be used as a voice for such proposal, but it still continued to gain power within his cabinet.

What most offended Feynman and also University of California’s President Clark Kerr, whom Feynman had stood out to defend during the campaign, was the proposal of instituting a tuition for the University, with the idea of having it cover its own costs. This went against both their principles as scientists and pursuers of merit, and to the classic Democratic principles of Great Society, that saw it a duty to give students a free education.

The fierce resistance of both Feynman and Kerr, who both threatened to resign if such talks continued, were enough to keep the University unharmed, a feat that cost Feynman dear in the polls (although, being early in his term, it wouldn’t affect him much later on). Tuition would not be instituted.

Despite that, the core issue remained as California, despite the cuttings (and lack thereof) remained with a pressing budget deficit. Feynman had no choice but to propose an extraordinarily high tax raise, which was thoroughly criticised by the Republicans in the State Legislature, but passed nonetheless. It increased taxes on sales, personal income, banks and corporations, insurance companies, liquor and cigarettes. It was the largest tax hike ever proposed in California, which did not help the public opinion to forgive Feynman either, at least at the beginning.

The first contact between Governor Feynman and actual governorship was not pleasant by any means. He inherited a very bad situation and handled it with as much grace as possible, solving the problem while keeping true to his principles and electoral promises. With time, and as the economy healed, his popularity would rise again among the people, and his leeway to actually focus on matters more interesting to him than counting dollars increased.