Housing market problems

December 28th, 2013 By John Seiler. stories repeatedly have warned that the optimism over California being "back," as Gov. Jerry Brown insists, may be overblown. That doesn't mean a recession is approaching, only that policymakers ought to be careful. Now this from AP: The number of Americans applying for mortgages...

California’s international competition

December 27th, 2013 By John Seiler.

Maybe the publication that is most influential among the global elite is Foreign Affairs, which is published by the Council on Foreign Relations. The new Jan/Feb 2014 number includes a symposium on, "Where to Bet Now: Six Markets to Watch." This is important for California because: 1) California is ...

Trial lawyers’ front group continues to get helping hand from media

December 27th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

Consumer Watchdog's name should be Trial Lawyers' Helper. The organization aggressively works on many fronts to increase the ease with which trial lawyers can take money from people. If it is indeed a "consumer watchdog," than it would be transparent about its operations. It isn't. As Steve Maviglio...

‘Jailed’ teachers protected by union; other teachers vote to decertify CTA

December 27th, 2013 By Katy Grimes.

November and December proved interesting times for teachers and their unions as the calendar marched toward 2014. While some unions are protecting teachers accused of abusing children, other teacher groups voted to decertify their union. In the first major development, the Los Angeles School Repo...

California’s annoying warmth and sunshine

December 26th, 2013 By John Seiler.

I have a tendency to work straight through the day from when I get up at 7 am. Fortunately, I have a dog who insists on being taken out so I walk every few hours wearing a t-shirt and shorts. But I just had another interruption: It's 82 degrees outside here in Huntington Beach and the sun is blaz...

New Mexico residents resisting Obamacare ‘central control’

December 26th, 2013 By Katy Grimes.

A member of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange just reported only 291 people have signed up for Obamacare in her state. The New Mexico state motto is, "Crescit eundo," which means, "It grows as it goes." But it appears the New Mexico health exchange isn't growing, n...

Sally Pipes: No ‘Progress’ under Obamacare

December 26th, 2013 By John Seiler.

Sally Pipes is the president and CEO of's parent think tank, the Pacific Research Institute. She already has written three books about Obamacare, the latest being "The Cure for Obamacare," only a couple of months old. So she knows this policy. Her new article in Forbes updates the...

USA Today: Obamacare a fiasco in at least 34 states

December 26th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

The national media were asleep for a long, long time on Obamacare. But no more. This is from USA Today: "More than half of the counties in 34 states using the federal health insurance exchange lack even a bronze plan that's affordable — by the government's own definition — for 40-year-old coupl...

Insurance agent: Covered CA CEO ‘should immediately resign’

December 25th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

Merry Christmas, everyone! The California media's coverage continue to be on the benign side when it comes to our version of Obamacare. The recent revelations of Covered California's deceit on insurance sign-ups were barely reported, with just a handful of stories. While there have been reports o...

California: worst for small business

December 25th, 2013 By John Seiler.

It's common knowledge that small businesses create most new jobs. Now this bad news for California: "California has landed on another naughty list, ranking as the state with the least friendly policy environment for small businesses, according to report from an advocacy organization. "The Small B...

Judge: Pensions can’t be cut, but pay can

December 24th, 2013 By John Seiler.

California still is a long way from resolving its pension crisis, in the courts and elsewhere. But here's an important new development: "SAN JOSE -- In a landmark ruling that could help shape city budgets around the state, a judge invalidated key parts of San Jose's voter-approved pension cuts but ...

Early warning on big 2014 story: CA trial lawyers’ power play

December 24th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

In an unusually tart warts-and-all Sac Bee profile of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, reporter Chris Cadelago gives early notice on what will be a huge story in state politics next year: "A 2014 initiative advanced by Jones, a Sacramento Democrat, and Consumer Watchdog would give the insurance c...

Obamacare drop-dead date, quietly extended

December 23rd, 2013 By Katy Grimes.

With today as the final deadline to sign up for an Obamacare health plan, the White House announced yet another extension. According to the Washington Post, the White House did this without any public announcement of the change: But, without any public announcement, Obama administration o...

Don’t trust Covered California’s latest round of happy talk

December 23rd, 2013 By Chris Reed.

While the national media increasingly seem to have figured out that Obamacare is a farce, its California version continues to get better press than it should. Stories about the extreme sticker shock faced by CA residents turn up in AP stories about the national problems facing the Affordable Care Ac...

Now Bill Lockyer thinks tax cuts create jobs

December 22nd, 2013 By John Seiler.

When opponents of Proposition 30 said it would kill jobs, Treasurer Bill Lockyer backed it anyway: "I worry a little bit about fairness, although when you look at the income distributions in the last 20 years and see that essentially 80 percent of the people in California have either stagnated or f...

Six Californias?

December 21st, 2013 By John Seiler.

Dissatisfaction with the current state of California continues to spread. The latest idea: Split the mega-state into six smaller states. It comes from tech investor Tim Draper: "TechCrunch has learned about noted technology investor Tim Draper’s plan to split California into six separate states...

Court thwarts CA officials’ cynical race-racket coverup

December 20th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

Chief Justice John Roberts' 2009 opinion calling government racial quotas a "sordid business" hits the spot. Sordid also pretty much describes all government racial maneuvering and gamesmanship. Consider the case now playing out in California courts: "SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a bitter fight over...

GOP launching anti-Obamacare ads at Dems

December 20th, 2013 By John Seiler.

I predicted more than a month ago Republicans' top three strategies for 2014: "1. Attack Obamacare. "2. Attack Obamacare. "3. Attack Obamacare." Of course, that didn't exactly take the talents of Nostradamus. But now my prediction is coming true. It's not even January and here's an ad launche...

Michal Bloomberg’s candor beats Jerry Brown’s candor — by a mile

December 19th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

Jack Dean of the invaluable website sent me a Politicker story about departing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's exit speech that Bloomberg plainly intended to be a historic demarcation of sorts. Bloomberg hammered home the theme that what left-wing politicians in New York h...

Is 2014 the best year for pension reform?

December 19th, 2013 By John Seiler.

I politics, timing is everything. In 1973, Gov. Ronald Reagan pushed Proposition 1 to cut state income taxes 7.5 percent. It lost, 54 percent to 46 percent. Even the Great Communicator couldn't push it over the top. November that year was the high tide of the 1946-73 economic boom in the United S...

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Know Your Bloggers

Joseph Perkins
Joseph Perkins, now assistant editor of the Orange County Register Opinion Pages, started his career as an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal. After serving on the White House Staff of former Vice President Dan Quayle he wrote for the San Diego Union-Tribune where he authored a nationally-syndicated column. Before writing for, Mr. Perkins was also Business Editor for San Diego Magazine.
Chris Reed
Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.
Brian Calle
Brian Calle is Editor-in-Chief of and the Opinion Editor for the Orange County Register. His work has appeared in Bloomberg, Fox News, Forbes, Real Clear Politics, Human Events, Real Clear Markets and City Journal, among other websites and publications. Find him on Twitter: @briancalle
John Seiler
John Seiler has been writing about California for 25 years. That includes 22 years as an editorial writer for the Orange County Register and two years for, where he is managing editor. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Hillsdale College. He was a Russian linguist in U.S. Army military intelligence from 1978 to 1982. He was an editor and writer for Phillips Publishing Company from 1983 to 1986. He has written for Policy Review, Chronicles,, Flash Report and numerous other publications. His email:

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