Politics and Elections

Backdrop to CalPERS’ many debacles: Agency thinks it’s great

Sunday, July 13th, 2014
pension_reform_money

The giant California Public Employees' Retirement System, as one might suspect from its massive and self-important Sacramento headquarters, thinks it is the bomb -- a flawless organization that should inspire awe in onlookers. Yes, of course, the phenomenon of government agency leaders and their ...

Feeble CalPERS reform shows Brown who runs Sacramento

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Taken at face value, the pension reforms touted by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 and 2012 were genuinely far-reaching for a California Democrat, even one as allegedly independent as Brown. But from the 2014 perspective, two of the key provisions previously sought by the gov have not only gone nowhere; th...

High court ruling a blow to California SEIU

Monday, June 30th, 2014

In a fresh demonstration that the Roberts court is incrementalist and not the wild-eyed bunch that some on the left assert, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of an appeal that argued that in-home care workers in Illinois should not be compelled to pay union dues. As Politico reported Sunday,...

Wretched teacher discipline law: CTA shows it’s still in charge

Friday, June 27th, 2014

More than three years after appalling evidence emerged that a teacher at a school in an impoverished neighborhood in south Los Angeles had been feeding semen-laced food to his students, California finally has a law on the books that makes it easier to fire such perverts. In 2011, L.A. Unified admini...

Brown vs. Kashkari debate

Saturday, June 21st, 2014
Brown Whitman debate

Let's hope Gov. Jerry Brown accepts the invitation to debate Neel Kashkari issued by the consortium that hosted Brown's debate in 2010 with Meg Whitman. The Orange County Register and KABC also have reached out to Brown for a debate they would sponsor. Brown is the key to the debates. Kashkari o...

Chapman Forecast: Steady CA growth

Friday, June 20th, 2014
chapman 1, real GDP

Chapman University's new economic forecast projects steady but not spectacular economic growth for California and the nation. Real U.S. GDP growth could continue at about 2 percent a year. That's not as good as the 5 percent or more during previous recoveries, but obviously better than a recession. ...

Knives already out for CA’s emerging House star

Saturday, June 14th, 2014
Republicans Budget

The flurry of reports that Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, is a lock to replace Eric Cantor of Virginia as House majority leader has led the mainstream media to do the usual profiles and think pieces about D.C.'s newest political star. Some of it is even enjoyable speculation that his rise is ba...

Cap-and-trade share not close to $ bullet train needs

Friday, June 13th, 2014
kevin-mccarthy

Gov. Jerry Brown has managed to secure a steady source of funding -- cap-and-trade fees related to AB 32 -- for his $68 billion bullet-train project. It appears that he did so by winning teacher unions' support with a simply bizarre budget provision forcing school districts to spend down their reser...

‘Kaustrodamus’: The L.A. journo who saw Cantor’s demise coming

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
tapper.tweet.kaus

Mickey Kaus is a very smart L.A. pundit whose Kaufiles was one of the original news blogs that mattered. He now writes mainly for the Daily Caller. In 1992, he wrote "The End of Equality," a powerful book-length analysis of Democratic economic agenda and social programs that argued presciently that ...

Changing CA politics: What’s the biggest potential shift?

Saturday, June 7th, 2014
CA_politics

The open-primary success of relatively moderate GOP candidates in statewide races has prompted lots of thumbsucker punditry lately. For example, Dan Walters sees Tuesday's results as suggesting a mild GOP comeback. There's also the evidence that the Legislature isn't as wacky as it used to be sin...