Inside Government

Immigration: Feinstein acts like Chicago Dem, not CA Dem

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
feinstein-obama

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein won't put up with the CIA spying on lawmakers. Her repeated denunciations of the agency this year have been remarkable, considering her decades as a leading figure in the national security establishment. But Feinstein isn't so forthright when it comes to the polit...

Moody’s raises questions about teacher pension funding fix

Friday, August 15th, 2014
moodys

Soon after the CalSTRS funding fix crafted by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown took effect on July 1, Moody's Investors Service raised CalSTRS' bond issuer rating. But six weeks later, Moody's has put out another release that examines how much strain the law meant to stabilize funding for Ca...

Feds abdicate on own rules for CA bullet train $

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
mercy.bake

The Obama administration has given the state $3.5 billion in funds for its bullet train project. But the 2009 stimulus funds that were the source of most of the federal bequest came with lots of strings attached, as is common with federal grants. Those rules were formally published in the Federal...

Petty corruption all too common at CA special districts

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
corrupt

The California government agencies that provide water, sewage, trash and other special services are often oblivious to ethical norms and tone-deaf to how their actions look to the outside world. Part of it may be these agencies don't get the same scrutiny as City Councils and county Boards of Sup...

Unlike Brown, Hawaii gov took on teachers — and paid

Monday, August 11th, 2014
orwell.quote

As someone who went to college in Hawaii and spent eight years there as a journalist, I know the state's politics pretty well. It is so solidly Democrat that it only has one Republican in its state senate. This monolithic hold on state government in turn empowers the party's base of public employee ...

Legislature returns for last month

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session," Mark Twain supposedly said. That certainly is true in California, where the last month of the legislative session, which we're now in, always sees a frenzy of bill passing -- meaning few legislators have read ...

Prop. 26 shows teeth, kills San Diego hotel tax hike

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

One of the few recent big triumphs of the small-government, low-tax movement in California came in 2010, when state voters approved Proposition 26.  The constitutional amendment cleared up loopholes that allowed governing bodies to pass tax hikes on simple majority votes if they asserted the taxes ...

CA on sidelines as brown energy revolution unfolds

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
gas-prices2

In the 41 years since the OPEC cartel begin throwing its weight around, U.S. consumers have gotten used to fluctuations in the price of gasoline. The dynamics have gotten pretty stable in recent decades as OPEC has deradicalized. In the summer, the price goes up because demand increases. And when th...

Behind push against truancy/absenteeism: unions’ money hunt

Monday, August 4th, 2014

What is by far the single most important factor in how California government functions? I stand by my theory that I wrote up last year for Cal Watchdog: Like Neo figuring out how life was coded to work in “The Matrix,” everything about California politics is much easier to understand once you r...

Associated Press blows coverage of bullet-train ruling

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Led by the Associated Press, the mainstream media coverage of the state appellate court ruling overturning two anti-bullet train trial court rulings is somewhat peculiar in that it depicts the ruling as monumental. Read the 49-page decision, and it seems procedural. I wrote about this for the U-T...