Rights and Liberties

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Pols’ 2010 gas tax swap made road woes worse

It’s become an annual ritual: Stories about the State Board of Equalization announcing it is raising or cutting the state excise tax on gasoline come July 1 to honor the fine print of a 2010 budget deal that requires gas

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Judge: Donor identities can be kept secret — for now

First Amendment advocates are cheering a ruling by U.S. District Judge Manuel Real that foundation donor lists can be kept secret — at least until the matter winds its way through the court system. The matter concerns the billionaire Koch bothers’ Americans for

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Wired: Anti-vaccine parents common in Silicon Valley

The coverage of the measles outbreak in the U.S. often makes the point that opponents of compulsory vaccination for schoolchildren are split politically between affluent leftists with New Age-y views about modern medicine and conservatives who don’t like government telling

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Despite strong profits, Farmer Bros. gives up on CA

A highly profitable coffee distribution and production company with deep roots in Los Angeles County and a national clientele is closing its primary Los Angeles facility and preparing to move to Texas or one of several states promising lower taxes,

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The unexpected check on an Indian casino free-for-all

When state voters approved Proposition 1A in 2000 — the measure paving the way for the broad expansion of Indian casinos in California — opponents warned that once casinos were a big money generator, there would be a free-for-all driven

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Pointless death-penalty ruling 6

As I noted in my blog last week, “Rose Bird’s ghost will kill death penalty,” there aren’t going to be any more executions in California. Future Gov. Jerry Brown appointments to the California Supreme Court will prevent that. So this

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CA road use tax could morph into social engineering experiment

The prospect that Californians will face a new state levy is certain to cause grousing and considerable comment. But a proposal that is increasingly making waves has far-reaching implications and possibilities that have yet to be acknowledged. This is from

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Contra Costa County government scandal: Third World R Us?

It’s long been common in politics for one side to comment on how alleged wrongdoing is covered by the media if their side does it versus how it’s covered if it’s the other side doing it. But this tactic and/or

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Challenge to CA union dues heads to Supreme Court 7

Are union dues mandatory? The U.S. Supreme Court is closeer to taking up that controversy. According to the Center for Individual Rights, which defends individual workers’ rights not to belong to unions and pay dues, specifically to the California Teachers

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LAO report: Dozens of school districts not honoring intent of state law

The state Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report last week on how 50 California school districts were dealing with the requirements of the 2013 Local Control Funding Formula law. That’s Gov. Jerry Brown’s ballyhooed reform measure that is meant to

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