By Steven Tavares

John Burton

Saturday is a time for the often profane chair of the California Democratic Party John Burton to gloat. After sweeping all nine state offices last November, it’s good to be a liberal in the Golden State, but in many ways California was a anomaly in an election featuring historic gains by Republicans across the country.

Burton opened the state Democratic Convention in Sacramento Saturday morning with a spate of shots at conservative ideology. “The voters may have wanted change, but they didn’t want a disaster,” said Burton.
He also urged delegates to fight back against Republican rollbacks of gains in women’s rights, labor issues and the environment. “They want to put poison back in the water,” Burton bluntly said of perceived attacks on environmental protections. “I don’t know if they can find anyone else to attack,” said Burton, “but they’ll do it.”

The San Francisco Democrat also called the open primary system “stupid” and vowed to elect “ real Democrats—liberal and progressive Democrats.”

Late Friday Burton told reporters he believes President Obama can garner at least 53 percent of the vote in California without doing a thing, but vowed he would deliver the state to Democrats in 2012. In a lighter moment, the gruff Burton jokingly chided the singing protesters who paid $78,000 to regale Obama last week in San Francisco. “They pay $78-grand, they can come back and insult me,” reported the Sacramento Bee. “They can take a dump in my salad for $78-grand.”