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UC Berkeley prof behind invest/spend semantic ploy

June 12th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

AP reporter Judy Lin had a fun story Wednesday about how Democrats are playing the semantic spin game: "SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As billions of dollars in unexpected tax revenue pour into California, Democratic lawmakers have proposed all kinds of ways to distribute the windfall after years of recess...

The left-wing theory driving Vergara ruling

June 12th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

A point that hasn't been made nearly enough by the MSM is that the Vergara vs. California ruling rejecting the state's lax teacher tenure practices depends on a legal doctrine associated with lefty causes. That doctrine deals with "disparate impact" and holds that if a seemingly neutral law has the...

‘Kaustrodamus': The L.A. journo who saw Cantor’s demise coming

June 11th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Mickey Kaus is a very smart L.A. pundit whose Kaufiles was one of the original news blogs that mattered. He now writes mainly for the Daily Caller. In 1992, he wrote "The End of Equality," a powerful book-length analysis of Democratic economic agenda and social programs that argued presciently that ...

Post-Vergara: Civil war possible among CA Dems

June 11th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Vergara storm is coming, and I've got a feeling that it's going to be gigantic. The ruling's potential impact on California public education -- and public education nationally -- could be immense. Even if it doesn't stand, it will inspire similar lawsuits everywhere, and similar concerns abou...

CA may take lead in codifying what is legally acceptable sex

June 10th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Nanny State impulse, when its most ardent proponents gain power, is a scary thing to witness. This is from the L.A. Daily News: "LONG BEACH --- A bill on its way to the state Assembly mandates that California’s public universities adopt a policy requiring college students to obtain ongoing co...

Rail board chair Dan Richard responds to critical post

June 10th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Dan Richard, the chair of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, sent this to Cal Watchdog in response to my Monday morning post: "In his campaign to stop California from building the nation’s first high-speed rail system, Chris Reed (, June 9, 2014) continues to rely on disto...

State’s Bay Bridge follies will have bullet train encore

June 9th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

When the first stories came out about the problems with the $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge construction project, there was a faintly surprised tone to some of the coverage. They can't get stuff like welds right? Really? But I was unsurprised. It was completely in keeping with the engi...

Light-rail love affair: CA pols, media stuck in 1980s

June 8th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Californians with a green streak are in love with mass transit -- at least when it involves rail. Buses are far better at helping people, especially poor people, to and from work. But there's something about rail and how it seems like an explicit rejection of the internal combustion engine that attr...

Changing CA politics: What’s the biggest potential shift?

June 7th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The open-primary success of relatively moderate GOP candidates in statewide races has prompted lots of thumbsucker punditry lately. For example, Dan Walters sees Tuesday's results as suggesting a mild GOP comeback. There's also the evidence that the Legislature isn't as wacky as it used to be sin...

Fewer statewide offices would help

June 6th, 2014 By John Seiler.

How embarrassing. State Sen. Leland Yee, D-Sacramento, came in third in the race for controller, with almost 300,000 votes, even though earlier this year he was indicted on federal corruption charges and dropped out of the race. In the L.A. Times, Mark Z. Barack came up with the most plausible an...

Why did Brown take high road and pass on fixing GOP race?

June 6th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In the summer of 2001, Gov. Gray Davis was in trouble for a trillion reasons, only starting with his feckless response to the winter 2000-01 rolling blackouts and energy crisis. He was facing a formidable 2002 re-election challenge from Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, a wealthy, moderate, highly ...

Can Kashkari win?

June 5th, 2014 By John Seiler.

No question Neel Kashkari has a tough road ahead in his battle to defeat Gov. Jerry Brown in the November gubernatorial election. Brown is running what I have called his "Morning in California" campaign. It emphasize how he ended the budget deficit inherited from Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegge...

Why Swearengin’s finish in controller’s race is deceptive

June 5th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The fact that Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin finished first in the state controller's primary and that another Republican -- David Evans -- was running a strong third surprised just about all California GOPers and may lead them to unrealistic confidence about her chances in November. Evans was a ...

CA Dems may finally have CTA vs. Latino showdown

June 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

As I've written many times over the years -- here's one example -- the stability and durability of the California Democratic coalition is downright peculiar. Why? Because the interests of its richest, most powerful faction -- the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teach...

Aftermath: Kashkari faces tough battle with Brown

June 4th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Now is the hard part for Neel Kashkari: Facing the formidable Gov. Jerry Brown. The Republican Kashkari finished second in yesterday's Top Two primary, at 19 percent, well behind Brown's 55 percent. The first problem is that Brown currently is highly popular and is riding what I have called a "M...

Where’s Arnold in the governor’s race?

June 3rd, 2014 By John Seiler.

Where's ex-Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the primary election races decided today? By far the most successful GOP candidate in California in the last 15 years, he is nowhere to be seen in this important election. He has endorsed nobody for governor, and nobody for any other races. Jus...

CSU ‘student success fees’ an obnoxious surcharge

June 3rd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

California lawmakers of both parties have long been upset that UC and CSU leaders look to raise tuition as option number one during budget headaches instead of scrutinizing their operating budgets for fat. But for poor students, at least tuition hikes are often offset by tuition waiver programs. ...

Who’s a senator?

June 2nd, 2014 By John Seiler.

You've probably heard about some of the weird goings on in the California Senate. Here's the latest:

Tim Donnelly is no Tom McClintock. He’s the village idiot.

June 1st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

I understand why my CWD colleague and friend John Seiler sees the Neel Kashkari vs. Tim Donnelly fight through the prism of past fights between relatively liberal establishment GOP types and some conservative grassroots candidates. The idea that a 2008 Obama voter has the enthusiastic support of ...

Why not drive away more companies?

June 1st, 2014 By John Seiler.

Taking a tactic from the envy playbook , Democrats in the California Senate want to grab even more from successful businesses. Which would drive away even more companies. The Register reported: A bill sponsored by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, would set a sliding sc...

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