Rights and Liberties

Torlakson says real problem is low teacher pay, not tenure

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

This was predictable: Friday's announcement that state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson wanted an appeal of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu's ruling that teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they funnel the worst teachers to struggling schools with mostly min...

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...

Historic Vergara ruling finalized; state has weighty decision on appeal

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

A court decision that puts the interests of Latino and black students and parents on a collision course with those of the mostly white members of the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers has been finalized: The judge in Vergara vs. California today released his...

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...

CA editorial boards cool to anti-Uber power play

Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Uber

The editorial pages of the state's largest newspapers largely agree about Tom Torlakson's being undeserving of a second term as state superintendent of public instruction. Given the breadth of ideological views among these papers, that's pretty rate. Now, rarely enough, we're seeing a second unif...

Is Gov. Brown disinterested in pension reform?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Later today, the governing board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System is expected to pass rules giving state employees 99 ways to spike their "pensionable pay." Gov. Jerry Brown only objected to one of the 99 bonuses. This is the same governor who billed his 2012 pension reform l...

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...

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 ...

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...