Shape-shifting pol: It’s dirty pool to mention my shape-shifting

September 28th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

The saga of Nathan Fletcher -- the 90 percent conventional Republican assemblyman who became a righteous, holier-than-thou independent before ending up a 90 percent conventional Democrat, all in 14 months -- took a fun twist Friday. In the first debate involving the three leading candidates in th...

CA auditor demolishes Jerry-Brown-saved-state narrative

September 27th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

The eagnerness of national media to lionize Gov. Jerry Brown as the guy who saved California amounts to an extreme form of cherry-picking. In some ways, Brown has done a better job than his two immediate predecessors in forcing some discipline on the Legislature. But in the big picture, is state gov...

LAUSD offers reminder of pervasiveness of government incompetence

September 26th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

As John Seiler noted, it was completely predictable that students in L.A. Unified would figure out how to get around restrictions on their taxpayer-provided iPads. But another point that needs to be made is the sheer stinking stupidity of a large organization going on a huge spending spree without f...

Who pays for LAUSD’s broken or stolen iPads?

September 26th, 2013 By John Seiler.

I've written a couple of things on the Los Angeles Unified School District's gift of iPads to its students. In July, I predicted the kids would "jailbreak" the iPads. They did. Remember, these iPads are costing taxpayers $1 billion. That's 1/7th what the Proposition 30 tax increase is bringing in...

Jim Rogers: big recession coming

September 26th, 2013 By John Seiler.

As regular readers of this site know, I've long pointed out that recessions hit every 4-6 years. The last one began in Dec. 2007. That's almost 6 years ago, so we're due. Here's a YouTube of famed investor Jim Rogers. He points out that the 2007-09 recession was so bad because of the massive debt...

LAUSD kids ‘jailbreak’ iPads

September 25th, 2013 By John Seiler.

When the Los Angeles Unified School District announced it was giving iPads to its students back in July, I predicted: "The iPads themselves might allow the kids to break out of the system and find Web sites that teach something original and good. But even if the LAUSD puts restrictions on what the ...

Creating a permanent poverty class with minimum wage increases

September 25th, 2013 By Katy Grimes.

Assembly Bill 10 to raise the minimum wage in California, is sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. Brown has indicated he is in a signing mood, and will likely sign the bill. However, should AB 10 by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salina,  be signed into law, it could result in more than 68,000 j...

History suggests Fletcher in trouble in San Diego mayoral special election

September 25th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

The Tuesday night decision by members of San Diego's Democratic Party central committee to endorse City Councilman David Alvarez over Republican assemblyman-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher appears to substantially improve the chances that the Nov. 19 mayoral special election to re...

State, local taxes at record highs

September 24th, 2013 By John Seiler.

Governments everywhere, especially in California, say they need more money. Budgets have been cut. But here's the truth: Revenues from state and local individual income taxes, general sales and gross receipt taxes, motor fuel taxes, motor vehicle taxes and taxes on alcoholic beverages each hit all-...

CA's richest company sees smartphone future more clearly than critics

September 24th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

I am not an Apple cultist. I like the Silicon Valley icon, California's richest company, a great deal and agree that Steve Jobs is a transcendent historical figure. But I gave up on my iPhone 4 when I saw that Google's subsidized, much bigger Nexus 4 phone had virtually the same featur...

The high cost of ignoring the truth: Sacramento Convention Center

September 23rd, 2013 By Katy Grimes.

The City of Sacramento, usually on the wrong side of economic sense and accountability, is planning to build an even bigger, more expensive Convention Center, despite $16 million in annual losses over a 10-year period, and cumulative losses of $218 million over the past 14 years. adobe creative s...

Incomes down for 5th consecutive year

September 23rd, 2013 By John Seiler.

A new report confirms a theme we've advanced here at There has been no economic "recovery." From the Financial Times: "The typical American family now earns less in real terms than in 1989 after household incomes fell for the fifth consecutive year, highlighting how the sluggi...

New America: Parent tossed from public meeting for speaking

September 23rd, 2013 By Katy Grimes.

"Is this America?" the father of school-aged children asked as he was forcefully removed from a was forcefully removed from a Baltimore County School District meeting during the question-and-answer portion of the forum. The parent, Robert Small, concerned about the school district’s plan to u...

LOL: Feds now tout 'higher-performing' rail, not bullet train

September 23rd, 2013 By Chris Reed.

The federal government has long asserted that its provision of $3 billion-plus in 2009 "stimulus" funds to California for its bullet train is strictly governed by rules that will ensure the money is properly spent on viable high-speed rail projects -- ones with identified sources of future funding a...

CA computer problem does not compute

September 22nd, 2013 By John Seiler.

You'd think that the world's center of computer technology could get its own government computers right. The state government, and many local governments, remain plagued with glitches that would bankrupt any private-sector firm. The latest: college essay review servicescheap oem software"...

San Diego mayoral race: Faulconer, Alvarez, Fletcher, Fletcher and Fletcher

September 21st, 2013 By Chris Reed.

This week saw a fun twist in the special election campaign to replace departed pervert Bob Filner as mayor of San Diego. It was the release of a questionnaire that Democratic candidate Nathan Fletcher filled out this month for the San Diego and Imperial Counties' Labor Council as well as the re...

CA unemployment jumps to 8.9%

September 21st, 2013 By John Seiler.

So much for California being "back," as Gov. Jerry Brown keeps badgering us. State unemployment jumped to 8.9 percent in August, from 8.7 percent in July. That's well above the U.S. rate of 7.3 percent. %%anc%% if (1==1) {document.getElementById("link140").style.display="none";} And the 8.9...

FPPC imposes regulation on political bloggers

September 20th, 2013 By Katy Grimes.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission just ruled this week to require campaign committees to report to the State who they pay to post "favorable or unfavorable" content on blogs, social media or online videos, on their campaign finance statements. [caption id="attachment_50190" alig...

Subsidized CA green firm goes belly-up; no one thinks it’s news

September 20th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

When Solyndra collapsed in 2011, the failure of the Bay Area-company got lots of media coverage. Losing more than $500 million of taxpayer funds on a project that was never really vetted by federal stimulus overseers was considered news. Duh. Here's a good overview of scandal coverage from an East C...

Modesto Junior College bans U.S. Constitution

September 20th, 2013 By John Seiler.

Although governments regularly ignore the U.S. Constitution, this is ridiculous. Modesto Junior College has banned the distribution of the Constitution on campus! "The Constitution guarantees the right to free speech, but don’t try to pass out copies of it at Modesto Junior College in California....

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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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