October, 2010

Brown Is One Hell Of A Story

Friday, October 29th, 2010

OCT. 29, 2010 For a long time now, I’ve accepted that I have a vested interest in chaos. After all, what good is an investigative reporter when government functions honestly and efficiently? And who wants to write about government officials who plan for the future, give a clear accounting of the ...

Dems Will Reward Union Friends

Friday, October 29th, 2010

OCT. 29, 2010 . Demonstrative of just how raunchy and fierce politics have gotten in America, just last week President Barack Obama told a group of Latino voters, “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with is on issues that are important to us.” He wa...

FPPC Fights For Public Records

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

OCT. 21, 2010 When I was a reporter in Orange County a decade ago, calling the Fair Political Practices Commission could be a frustrating experience. “We cannot comment on the existence of an investigation,” the nice spokesperson would tell me when I called to confirm whether the state’s camp...

Is California An Idiocracy?

Monday, October 18th, 2010

OCT. 18, 2010 While trying to get the assembled, clueless staff at a phone store to tell me how to turn off an annoying e-mail alarm on my new smart phone, I was finally greeted by a manager, who declared that the phone is supposed to work that way. "So when one turns the switch to off, it's su...

Hard Hats And Enviros Hold Hands

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

OCT. 14, 2010 Don’t sweat it if you’ve never heard of the Blue-Green Alliance. I had never heard of it either, until a rally Thursday over at the Federal Building in downtown Sacramento for organized labor, Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign and the proposed California High-Speed Rail proje...

Few Solutions To Pension Mess

Monday, October 11th, 2010

OCT. 11, 2010 It has become almost impossible to exaggerate the depth of the state's pension scandals, as more details emerge not only about the city of Bell, but about common abuses in other burgs. A new report produced by the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, and championed by ...

The Grimes Poll

Friday, October 8th, 2010

OCT. 8, 2010 A friend and I have a bet about this election cycle. He says that voters are lazy, dumb and selfish and will reelect Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer. Being an eternal optimist, I disagree. I think that if voters are provided accurate information, they eventually do the right thing. But t...

Are Smaller Parties Finished?

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

OCT. 7, 2010 For someone who may be the last of her kind, Laura Wells is remarkably chipper – even when talking about the new law that has made her essentially obsolete. “Prop. 14? I hope it has a boomerang effect,” she told me at a recent press conference. “Win with Green in 2014!” Well...

Silly laws, sillier candidates

Monday, October 4th, 2010

OCT. 4, 2010 Every legislator could have skipped out of the country for the entire legislative session, and it would not have mattered one iota to anyone outside of their staff members. That's not cynicism, so much as a fair and balanced assessment of the last legislative session. I'm reminded ...