Politics and Elections

NEW: Legislature should have heeded Brit regulators on plastic bags

Monday, September 1st, 2014
10-ten-myths-about-plastic-bags1

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

Sunday, August 31st, 2014
Tenure_Image

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...

Unions win court round in battle with charter cities

Friday, August 29th, 2014
Prevailing-Wage2

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...

Vergara appeal decision: Nixon goes to China for Jerry Brown?

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

To an astounding degree, prominent California Democrats have so far avoided substantive comment on Judge Rolf Treu's landmark -- but tentative -- June 10 ruling in Los Angeles Superior Court that teacher tenure laws are so harmful to minority students in poor neighborhoods that it "shocks the consc...

Trust in govt. drops to new low

Sunday, August 24th, 2014
gallup chart

A new Gallup Poll shows what we all know just from talking to people: Trust in government is at a new low. Just 19 percent say they trust government "Just about always/Most of the time." Must be government workers and their kin. An appallingly low 81 percent trust the government "Only some...

A voting lottery?

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Los Angeles is considering turning voting into a lottery. Last year's mayoral election saw a turnout of just 25 percent. The idea is to hold out the potential of winning a cash prize for showing up to do one's civic duty. But why should we care about people who don't care about voting, or are too...

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 ...

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,...