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In debate, Brown mocks Mississippi and Arkansas (i.e., the Clintons)

September 5th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In Thursday night's debate between Gov. Jerry Brown and Neel Kashkari, the candidates sounded pretty scripted until Brown was asked about California's ability to deal with its huge pension shortfalls. Brown depicted that as an absurd question for a wealthy state with a proud history and vast reso...

Debate: Kashkari closing channels Reagan in 1980

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Questioner asks about high cost of UC, CSU being barrier to poor students. Kashkari sympathizes and cites student loan burders. Brown notes, correctly, how many CSU and UC students pay no tuition because of waivers and says CA students have lower loan burden than national average. Questione...

Debate: Kashkari mocks focus on plastic bags, football practice limits

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Questioner asks Kashkari if he would oppose CA's continued implementation of Obamacare if elected. He says he lost his own policy cuz of ACA and notes how the law creates incentive for employers to stop offering full-time jobs. Brown links Kashkari to Goldman Sachs, says he's like arsonist put...

Debate: Brown offers up whopper, claims he’s stopped pension spiking

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Questioner asks how state can pay for bullet train given House opposition to any further federal funding. Brown ducks question with broad defense of project. "This train makes a lot of sense," it's not "crazy," as Kashkari says. Kashkari: "He's raising your gas prices to fund his vanity projec...

Debate: Brown defends realignment as ‘success’

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Questioner asks Kashkari about his key role in the Troubled Asset Relief Program under Presidents Bush and Obama. He strongly defends his record, says TARP made all money back, and notes Brown praised TARP's effects. Brown: "When you hand out money, you can get everyone to go along." And he takes...

Debate: Kashkari says Brown should be ashamed of Vergara appeal

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In response to a question about AB 32 driving up gasoline prices next year, Brown ducks and talks broadly about CA's role as a trendsetter and the need to fight climate change. Moderator interrupts and tries to get him to talk about gas prices going up. Brown says gas prices go up and down all th...

Debate: Kashkari notes Obama administration knocks state tunnel plan

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In response to first question about Brown's big lead in polls, Kashkari brushes it off and attacks Brown's love of the bullet train and says water and education should be the priority instead. Brown sticks to the California comeback theme. The format requiring shorter answers than most debates...

Debate: Brown lays ‘CA comeback’ meme on thick early

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In Jerry Brown's opening statement, he depicts a happy California that has largely left behind the problems he inherited in 2010. He says California has recovered all the jobs it has lost during the Great Recession, but doesn't mention these jobs pay significantly worse than the ones they replace...

Live-blogging Brown/Kashkari debate

September 4th, 2014 By Brian Calle. will be live-blogging throughout the gubernatorial debate tonight, between Gov. Jerry Brown and challenger Neel Kashkari. The debate kicks off at 7 p.m. Stay tuned...

L.A. restaurants make plain there’s no such thing as a free lunch

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Is it a passive-aggressive way for independent businesses to let customers know about the cost of government regulation? Or just a trick that allows those businesses to charge more than they normally would without prompting grousing from their customers? Whatever the truth is, L.A. Weekly note...

CA Democrats’ ritual: Passing doomed gun laws to media cheers

September 3rd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

House Republicans face fire from many quarters for the dozens of times they have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the critics sometimes aren't just the usual partisan soldiers. Plenty of editorial boards are incensed by this tactic. They say it is a symbol of Washington's allegedly hor...

Teacher compensation database undercuts CTA claims

September 2nd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Transparency California group's database of school district compensation undercuts teacher unions' claims that teacher pay scales are ungenerous and capped at unfairly low levels. When very generous health benefits and good pension benefits are factored in, that doesn't look to be true in the...

Legislature should have heeded Brit regulators on plastic bags

September 1st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Dubious bills often get passed on the final night of the state legislative session, and 2014 was no exception: A measure to make California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags. SB270 passed despite fierce opposition from plastic bag manufacturers and after initially failing...

AG’s low-key Vergara appeal has damage-control vibe

August 31st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Without fanfare, Attorney General Kamala Harris appealed the Vergara decision throwing out state teacher tenure and job-protection laws late Friday at the direction of Gov. Jerry Brown and with the encouragement of state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Unlike with most major a...

Torlakson says real problem is low teacher pay, not tenure

August 30th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

This was predictable: Friday's announcement that state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson wanted an appeal of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu's ruling that teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they funnel the worst teachers to struggling schools with mostly min...

Bill would end Medi-Cal asset seizures

August 29th, 2014 By John Seiler.

"Nothing is certain in this world except death and taxes" is an old saying. California also has seizures after death. Now, the California Legislature just passed a bill to limit the seizure of the estates of Medi-Cal recipients. The Mercury-News reported: Hanging in the balance are the hopes --...

Unions win court round in battle with charter cities

August 29th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Unions lost round one of their battle with California cities over "prevailing wages" on public works projects in 2012. That's when the California Supreme Court ruled against a law they'd gotten the Legislature to pass targeting charter cities for their refusal to mandate union-level pay on such proj...

Historic Vergara ruling finalized; state has weighty decision on appeal

August 28th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

A court decision that puts the interests of Latino and black students and parents on a collision course with those of the mostly white members of the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers has been finalized: The judge in Vergara vs. California today released his...

Gut and amend time

August 28th, 2014 By John Seiler.

"Laws are like sausages. You should never see them made," is a variant on a saying by Otto von Bismarck. The old Prussian has been dead 116 years, but if he came back he certainly would recognize the California Legislature's "gut and amend" process, which even sounds like making sausages. Except the...

Mexico moves toward free-market oil

August 27th, 2014 By John Seiler.

After its 1994 peso crisis, Mexico could have chosen more socialism -- or move toward capitalism. It chose the latter and has been one of the world's growth success stories ever since. Tax rates actually are lower than in El Norte (although property rights still are not as secure -- for now). N...

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