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CA Dems also splitting on social-services spending

January 31st, 2015 By John Seiler.

As noted in a previous blog, "CA Dem vs CA Dem on taxes," California's virtual one-party state is developing fissures. One is over taxes. Another is over spending on social programs. New Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, and others believe Gov. Jerry Brown is too frugal with ...

Jerry Brown’s $24 million campaign war chest

January 31st, 2015 By John Seiler.

Being close to a one-party state is distorting California politics in unpredictable ways. The latest: According to the Los Angeles Times, Gov. Jerry Brown still holds almost $24 million in his 2014 war chest for governor. The reason is his Republican opponent last November, Neel Kashkari, wasn't...

Brown, Newsom ace Napolitano

January 29th, 2015 By John Seiler.

This now is Gov. Jerry Brown's ninth decade in California politics. He was born in 1938 into his father's ambitions in state politics, culminating in Pat Brown's governorship from 1959-1966. From his website: Jerry Brown has more experience, and success, than any statewide politician in history....

Fracking with no freshwater — or water — increasingly common

January 29th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

The next great environmental fight in California is likely to be over hydraulic fracturing, the energy extraction process that uses underground water cannons to blast away rock and reach oil and natural gas reserves. Gov. Jerry Brown appears ready to allow expanded use of fracking, as it is better k...

CA road use tax could morph into social engineering experiment

January 28th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

The prospect that Californians will face a new state levy is certain to cause grousing and considerable comment. But a proposal that is increasingly making waves has far-reaching implications and possibilities that have yet to be acknowledged. This is from the San Jose Mercury-News: More people a...

CA Dem vs. CA Dem on taxes

January 27th, 2015 By John Seiler.

One-party systems are inherently unstable. People inevitably choose sides. And budget realities always limit what government can do, bringing conflict. So it's not surprising Democrats in California, who dominate the minority Republicans despite some GOP gains last November, are fighting among th...

Contra Costa County government scandal: Third World R Us?

January 27th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

It's long been common in politics for one side to comment on how alleged wrongdoing is covered by the media if their side does it versus how it's covered if it's the other side doing it. But this tactic and/or genuinely aggrieved reaction is being fine-tuned as the years go along. The first time ...

Challenge to CA union dues heads to Supreme Court

January 26th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Are union dues mandatory? The U.S. Supreme Court is closeer to taking up that controversy. According to the Center for Individual Rights, which defends individual workers' rights not to belong to unions and pay dues, specifically to the California Teachers Association: Friedrichs v. CTA, CIR’s ch...

School Choice Week kicks off today

January 25th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Today begins National School Choice Week, designed to heighten awareness for innovations in education. According to "Independently planned by a diverse and growing coalition of individuals, schools, and organizations, National School Choice Week features thousands of unique ev...

LAO report: Dozens of school districts not honoring intent of state law

January 25th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

The state Legislative Analyst's Office released a report last week on how 50 California school districts were dealing with the requirements of the 2013 Local Control Funding Formula law. That's Gov. Jerry Brown's ballyhooed reform measure that is meant to devote more school resources to helping indi...

Villaraigosa record has pluses for Senate bid — and landmines

January 24th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

The signs are growing that state and national Democrats' attempts to clear the U.S. Senate field in 2016 for California Attorney General Kamala Harris aren't working. Several well-known Democrats are seriously considering challenging Harris, and at least a couple seem likely to run -- starting with ...

Surf City to repeal bag ban

January 24th, 2015 By John Seiler.

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes governments actually repeal bad laws. That is happening in Huntington Beach, where, reported the Orange County Register: the council took the first step to repeal the ban on single-use plastic bags, saying there’s no evidence that it helps the environment...

Leg Analyst: School reserves law not working

January 23rd, 2015 By John Seiler.

Whether finances are personal, business or government, having a reserve makes sense. You never know when an emergency might crop up and you'll need the funds. Indeed, last November voters approved Proposition 2, which increased the state's "rainy day" fund for its budget. It was supported by Gov....

Rose Bird’s ghost will kill CA death penalty

January 22nd, 2015 By John Seiler.

Given that Gov. Jerry Brown was just elected to an unprecedented fourth term, it's not surprising an old controversy would come up: the death penalty. As the Los Angeles Times reported, his recent appointments of three liberal justices to the California Supreme Court give "hope" to those on the stat...

UC president appears to cave in fight with Gov. Brown

January 22nd, 2015 By Chris Reed.

Three months ago, University of California President Janet Napolitano triggered a fight with Gov. Jerry Brown and leaders of the Legislature when she persuaded the UC regents to commit to a five-year plan in which tuition was raised by 5 percent every year -- unless the state government provided mor...

Sen. Villaraigosa?

January 21st, 2015 By John Seiler.

Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is looking for voters to promote him to U.S. senator in 2016. The Times ran an analysis of his pluses and minuses. Basically, his strength is that he's a Latino candidate who could count on Southern California Latino voters in a presidential election year, ...

State of the Union won’t help shrinking CA middle class

January 20th, 2015 By John Seiler.

California is a place where middle-class jobs are vanishing faster than a politician's word of honor. But it's not surprising President Obama discussed this problem in last night's State of the Union Address. His solution has three parts: 1. Raise taxes on the wealthy -- that is, investors. Whic...

IRS now comes for Covered CA folks

January 20th, 2015 By John Seiler.

The Grim Reaper -- the IRS -- comes for everybody in the end. Even if you get what was supposed to be "free" or at least "subsidized" medical insurance under Covered California, our state's implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. According to the Contra Costa Times: More than a mil...

Food stamps up in CA, down in Kansas

January 19th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Despite the economic recovery, poverty is increasing in California. It's one of the few states to see an increase in the use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014, food stamp use i...

9th Circuit throws out San Jose suit against MLB

January 18th, 2015 By John Seiler.

San Jose has been trying to snatch the A's from Oakland. But Major League Baseball has said, "You're out!" MLB also depends on a 100-year-old antitrust exemption that lets it control its teams more than is allowed in pro football, basketball and hockey. The Chronicle reported: A federal appeals ...

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