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CalWatchDog.com Blog

 

Is climate a winning issue for Tom Steyer?

January 17th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Can the climate vote? According to National Journal, billionaire hedge-fund maestro Tom Steyer is considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. In a discussion on Reddit, he said: Steyer defended his heavy spending in several 2014 elections, wh...

L.A. could consolidate elections

January 16th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Los Angeles is considering holding its local elections at the same time as national ones. According to the L.A. Times, "Charter Amendments 1 and 2 would consolidate city and school board contests with state and federal elections starting in 2020. Currently, the City Charter requires city elections t...

San Diego mayor leery of subsidizing stadium, sees political risk

January 16th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer's call for another task force to consider how to build the Chargers a new stadium and keep the NFL team from fleeing to a newly plausible Los Angeles stadium prompted an are-you-kidding-me reaction from the team, which has sought a new stadium for a dozen years. Fa...

Sanchez vs. Harris to replace Boxer?

January 16th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Attorney General Kamala Harris' high-speed rail trip to the U.S. Senate might face a block on the tracks. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, is considering a run. When I was at the Orange County Register, we met with her numerous times. We disagreed on many issues. But she is a delightful, even f...

Race is on for 37th state Senate District

January 15th, 2015 By John Seiler.

The race is on to fill three vacant state Senate seats. According to Gov. Jerry Brown's office, he just issued "proclamations declaring special elections for the 7th, 21st and 37th Senate Districts of the State of California." The primary will be March 17, with the runoff on May 19. The Top Two syst...

Top lawyer for controller benefits from much-criticized state perk

January 14th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

The state government's practice of letting workers defy official state policy and pile up unused vacation days and cash them in upon retirement has been criticized on and off for years. California government watchdogs and journalists have outlined the budget problems this causes and noted other stat...

Auditor: CA courts not spending money judiciously

January 14th, 2015 By John Seiler.

California's state and local courts commonly complain they don't get enough funds to do their jobs. And if there's one area where I would want more government spending, it would be to make the courts more efficient. Having to deal with the justice system is difficult enough, even if you're innocent ...

Kamala Harris to run for U.S. Senate

January 13th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Today California Attorney General Kamala Harris will announce her candidacy for U.S. Senate. She seeks to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer, who last week announced her retirement. Both are Democrats. Even though the election is more than 21 months away, it's a smart move by Harris -- whose career has b...

Harry Jaffa, RIP

January 12th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Harry Jaffa, 96, died on Saturday. He was one of the rare persons who combined an influential academic career with activism in politics, in particular the Goldwater Movement of 1964. Professor Emeritus at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate University and a distinguished fellow of th...

Some crucial context on Brown’s new energy policy and AB 32

January 12th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to seek to extend the state of California's push against global warming to 2030 with a further embrace of costlier-but-cleaner energy got a positive response from many environmental groups and journalists. The idea that California would commit itself to getting half its e...

Martin Anderson, RIP

January 11th, 2015 By John Seiler.

One of the architects of American prosperity died last week, economist Martin Anderson. He was a key architect of Reaganomics in the early 1980s, which provided the foundation of prosperity in America, and worldwide, until the 2008 Great Recession. Anderson long was associated with the Hoover I...

Oxy CA energy spinoff has bumpy launch

January 11th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

When energy giant Occidental launched a spinoff to focus on California energy exploration on Dec. 1, the circumstances facing California Resources Corp. were daunting. The plunging price of oil made unconventional energy extraction methods, which cost more, less attractive. And California greens wer...

State in use-it-or-lose-it mode with $4B in bullet-train funds

January 10th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

The California bullet-train project -- stalled for years by legal fights over land acquisition and the state's business plan, uneven progress in planning and Gov. Jerry Brown's abrupt downsizing of the scale of the project in 2013 -- had its symbolic groundbreaking on Tuesday in Fresno. The 1,00...

College kids read at 7th-grade level

January 9th, 2015 By John Seiler.

This is shocking. After 13 years in U.S. public schools,  our college kids read only at a 7th-grade level, on average. Reported Breitbart Texas: The premise behind the Common Core State Standards is that all public school students will be college and career ready for the theoretical workforce ...

Sen. Boxer to retire

January 8th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., today announced her retirement. In office since her 1992 election, she has been considered one of the country's most liberal senators. Elected the same year as the more moderate Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the two were called the "Thelma & Louise" of the Sen...

Mercedes also flees to lower-tax state, shuns CA

January 8th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Toyota's HQ last year fled high-tax California for low-tax Texas. In 2005, Nissan split the Golden State for the Volunteer State, Tennessee, for the same reason. Now Mercedes is moving its HQ from high-tax New Jersey -- basically, California with bad weather and a Republican governor -- for Georg...

Internet taxes could slam California

January 7th, 2015 By John Seiler.

California benefits from the Internet currently being largely tax-free. Generally, the only taxes are for signing up for a local Internet service provider. It's a flat fee no matter if you hog the Internet by watching continuous Netflix videos, or more profitably use your time reading everything on ...

Brown increases power over UC

January 7th, 2015 By John Seiler.

With NFL playoffs and BCS championship here, on whom would you bet? The four-term governor of California, who learned politics at his father's knee 70 years ago? Or the former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security? So the odds are Gov. Jerry Brown, in the end, will best University of ...

Brown budget drops Friday

January 6th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Gov. Jerry Brown's Inaugural Address, delivered yesterday, promised frugality while advancing ambitious goals on climate change, health care, education and the high-speed rail program. Rhetoric aside, the rubber hits the road on Friday with the numbers in his budget proposal for fiscal year 2015-16...

Can GOP stop FCC attack on the Internet?

January 6th, 2015 By John Seiler.

The Federal Communications Commission, controlled by Obama Democrats, is poised to impose a 1930s telephone-regulation model on the Internet. It makes no sense in a time when Internet costs drop by half every year to 18 months. They call it "net neutrality," but it should be called "government ta...

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