Junk bond territory 0

California’s dysfunctional government yesterday saw its bond rating drop again: Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) — California bondholders got an early glimpse of what the state’s budget-negotiation season may bring as a looming $20 billion deficit led Standard & Poor’s to cut

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Capitol Security Conundrum 0

Having been recently mugged downtown, I carry pepper spray. Last week, I forgot I had it in my pocket, and went through the security screening at the entrance to the State Capitol. The metal detector beeped, I blushed and handed

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Helping Haiti 0

One thing right about California is we know how to deal with earthquakes. After the 7.0 temblor in Haiti that reportedly killed many thousands, California will be sending rescue teams to help dig people out from under the rubble. If

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Vote by mail soars in 72nd race 0

Fred Smoller of Brandman University (and an advisor to CalWatchdog) made this observation regarding the 72nd Assembly District race: “With 197 of 197 precincts reporting, turnout for the 72nd special election was a dismal 14.8 percent. 81 percent of the

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Will Norby be the new McClintock? 0

Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby, a Republican from Fullerton, easily won the 72nd Assembly District seat vacated by a disgraced Mike Duvall. This was no surprise given that California’s heavily gerrymandered legislative districts assure that Republicans will win Republican seats

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'Almost non-existent' 0

The Legislative Analyst’s Office released their long-awaited 2010-11 Budget Analysis this afternoon, and it’s not likely anyone will have any trouble finding the money quote: “While the odds seem favorable for some federal relief sought by the administration, we believe the likelihood

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Arnold's top achievement 0

Gov. Arnold’s more than six years in office have been pretty dismal. He never “blew up the boxes” of government waste, as he promised. He never came close to solving the state’s endemic budget deficits. But there’s one area where

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Is FI$Cal doomed? 1

And now it’s time to talk about the Financial Information System for California, which is known colloquially by the obscenely cutesy acronym FI$Cal. It doesn’t get a lot of press, but this project—conceived back in 2007 as an “historic partnership” between

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Where's Marty? 0

Just sat in on a 3:30 pm conference call sponsored by the Governor’s Office of External Affairs. Brand new Finance Director Ana Matosantos was there, as was Labor Department Director Vicky Bradshaw. Matosantos spoke quickly, throwing out a lot of

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Arnold's budget: More cuts needed

I’m working on a longer piece on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2010-11 budget proposal [pdf]. My preliminary thoughts: It’s a start on reducing a projected $19.9 billion deficit. It cuts spending an additional $8.5 billion, shifts $4.5 billion in spending, and

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