Rights and Liberties

L.A. restaurants make plain there’s no such thing as a free lunch

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
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Is it a passive-aggressive way for independent businesses to let customers know about the cost of government regulation? Or just a trick that allows those businesses to charge more than they normally would without prompting grousing from their customers? Whatever the truth is, L.A. Weekly note...

CA Democrats’ ritual: Passing doomed gun laws to media cheers

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
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House Republicans face fire from many quarters for the dozens of times they have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the critics sometimes aren't just the usual partisan soldiers. Plenty of editorial boards are incensed by this tactic. They say it is a symbol of Washington's allegedly hor...

Legislature should have heeded Brit regulators on plastic bags

Monday, September 1st, 2014
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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
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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...

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
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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
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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...