On Monday, California Senate President Don Perata said the new state budget has a $10 billion hole in it. This morning, a page one story in The Press Democrat described how hometown candidates are busy trashing each other – while avoiding any discussion of the financial crisis that will soon confront local government.

While the candidates are content to hide out in some alternate reality, people are losing their jobs and watching their savings evaporate. And when the state gets around to dealing with its budget crisis, the impacts on local government will be draconian.

How do otherwise idealistic people get caught up in this stuff? That’s easy. They want to win more than they want to be straight with voters about the issues that matter.