First, California is NOT a direct democracy, in that the population can not either (a) initiate legislation, in detail; and an easily hi-jacked Proposition is not the same thing, and (b) the President/Governor has the 'signing' power that makes a law (here all law); so for example Schweiz is not in the EU, and probably never will be, BECAUSE that is the will of the people, the pols would love to join!
Second, while California has many problems, I lived there for nearly 20 years, it also has the world's third largest economy and has some of the best culture, Universities and business in the whole world, it also has more furits, nuts, gays and liberals, at least out as anywhere, although Schweiz and Deutschland are close seconds.
Last I laugh a bit about your seeming objection to writing 'Schweiz', that is what we write, we do not suggest you call America 'Vereinigte Staaten'
although that is what I write on the bottom of a snail-mail envelope in German speaking countries.
Finally, I think you got a very good deal from the Governator, der Österreich verlust ist für California ein gewinn, grüß Gott