Gerrymandering into "safe" legislative districts means that state senators and assembly members face no serious opposition and can't get voted out of office unless they're caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy. There's no incentive for them to perform, since the initiative/referendum process means they can pawn off the difficult or controversial issues onto the people themselves. Add into that the tendency of the public to vote yes on bond measures and entitlement programs while simultaneously taking away the ability to pay for such things by limiting the ability to collect taxes (see Prop. 13), and then requiring a 2/3 majority vote to pass a simple budget, and you've got a recipe for, well, the disaster we find ourselves in today.
I'm a native Californian, and I'm completely disgusted. We need to rewrite the state constitution to fix these issues, or nothing will ever change.
--My comment on Rod Dreher's blog