Modoc A Bellwether Again

You never hear much about Modoc County. Stuck in the far northeastern corner of California, closer to Seattle than to Los Angeles, it's an afterthought -- if you've ever thought about it.

But 20 years ago, Modoc enjoyed a certain political celebrity. It was California's bellwether; the county voted for the California winner in every gubernatorial and presidential election from 1912 until the 1990s (with the exception of one governor the county just couldn't stand--guy by the name of Jerry Brown. Wonder what became of him). But then the state started to go more Democratic and Modoc started to go the other way.

This week came news that Modoc might be a bellwether of a scarier sort. The county board of supervisors, saying that Modoc was virtually bankrupt, asked for an emergency loan from the state -- and was turned down. Modoc may soon be in the headlines again, as an emblem of a California that can't pay its bills.

Contact Us