Inside Government

NEW: For 2nd straight election, inattention leads to huge Assembly upset

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

In 2012, Republican officials were appalled at the incompetence of Lancaster City Councilman Ron Smith, a Republican who somehow managed to lose a safe Assembly seat to a Democrat with so much baggage he looked like a muni airport where the handlers were on strike. Joel Fox has the ugly details: ...

Trial lawyers seek and win extreme verdict they know won’t stand

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

An insane court ruling led me to write this for the U-T San Diego: At a recent federal trial in San Diego, lawyers for Rosario Juarez presented compelling, disturbing evidence that the San Ysidro resident faced repeated gender discrimination while working for a National City AutoZone. This led a j...

Upbeat LAO report lacks key focus: CalSTRS bailout cost

Friday, November 21st, 2014

The Legislative Analyst's Office released an analysis of state revenue this week that suggests the state won't suffer when temporary tax hikes expire. This is from AP: SACRAMENTO -- A steadily improving economy will buffer California's budget from a drop in revenue expected when temporary tax hikes...

Jerry Brown about to annihilate UC president on tuition hikes

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Jerry Brown about to annihilate naif UC president on tuition hikes

Aficionados of California politics are going to be in for a fun exercise over the next month or two. Gov. Jerry Brown is absolutely going to annihilate UC President Janet Napolitano in their fight over her proposal to get UC regents to commit to five years of annual 5 percent tuition increases unles...

2014’s low turnout eases path for 2016 tenure, pension ballot measures

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Rick Claussen, Ned Wigglesworth, and Aaron McLear of the Redwood Pacific consulting group have released an interesting memo that is good news for those considering taking on public employee unions in 2016 with ballot measures putting limits on government pensions or scrapping state laws allowing tea...

Will MWD try — again — to sabotage client seeking new water supplies?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

I've been a journalist in Socal since 1990, and I've never seen a story about government behavior as strange as the ones about the giant Metropolitan Water District of Southern California trying to sabotage its biggest client's efforts to broaden its water supply and reduce its reliance on the MWD -...

Will severe school lunch policies eventually cost Dems? Maybe

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The news this week that UC San Francisco had "unveiled a repository of sugar science, designed to collect the evidence against sweetened foods and disseminate that information to the public — and persuade people to boot fructose and most other refined sugars out of their diets to protect their hea...

Gordon Tullock, RIP

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
Gordon Tullock

The great economist Gordon Tullock died recently at age 92. He is most associated with Public Choice Economics. Under it, economists look at government bureaucrats, not as disinterested, omniscient parties trying to keep things going by enforcing the rule of law, but as themselves flawed actors in t...

Modest-seeming CalSTRS pension estimate lacks key context

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers do a good job of promoting the narrative that state teacher pensions are very modest at best. It's true that there aren't the same type of outrageous stories that we see in local and state government about police chiefs,...

Think tank explained CA’s affordable housing debacles long ago

Monday, November 10th, 2014

A weekend story about the gross failure of affordable housing policies in San Francisco contained plenty of public frustration and official consternation. But it also is one more example of the very shallow way this issue is almost always covered by California journalists, which means they are part ...