Politics and Elections

8 of 9 Water Bond Czars hail from NorCal

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

  Call them Water Bond Czars. They’re the nine members of the California Water Commission and will decide how to implement Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the Nov. 4 ballot, should voters pass it. While most media have focused on what’s in the bond, little attention h...

Does anyone cover the news in Sacramento?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

California is perhaps the most significant state in the union both culturally and economically. One in every eight Americans lives here. In 2012, California’s GDP was $1.9 trillion — roughly the same size as that of Italy and Russia.  If we were a nation, we’d consistently be in the top-10 l...

Initiative would revive redevelopment agencies

Monday, April 14th, 2014
Revenge of the Jedi

  If it were a movie, it might be called “Revenge of the JEDI: the Redevelopment Empire Strikes Back.” It’s the California Jobs and Education Development Initiative (JEDI), which would enable the revival of the 425 redevelopment agencies eliminated in 2011 by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Cali...

CA GOP stays neutral on new electoral-college initiative

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
My Vote Counts

  An initiative seeking to get on California’s November ballot likely would add 20 or more Electoral College votes to the Republican candidate’s tally in the 2016 presidential election. That’s more Electoral College votes than the battleground state of Ohio by itself -- or the battleground...

California experiments with open-source voting

Friday, March 28th, 2014
California experiments with open-source voting

  After spending tens of millions of dollars in recent years on ineffective voting systems, California election officials are planning to experiment with an "open source" system that may prove to be the cure-all for secure, accessible balloting – or just another expensive failure. Most comp...

SD26: Coastal Los Angeles state Senate race tests non-partisan brand

Monday, March 24th, 2014
26th senate district

Political analysts say it's too soon to evaluate the impacts of California's top-two election system. But this year a coastal Los Angeles state Senate seat will provide a vital case study on the effects of the new system. In the 26th Senate district, seven Democrats and one non-partisan candid...

Lawsuit threatens teachers unions’ power

Friday, December 20th, 2013

“Money is the mother’s milk of politics”           -- Former Assembly Speaker Jesse ‘Big Daddy’ Unruh The California Teachers Association has poured more than $150 million into state politics in the past decade – most of it going to Democratic candidates and liberal ballot measure...

Diversity PAC: Ron Calderon’s slush fund for luxury

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
Bandon Dunes

  A shadowy political action committee cited in the FBI’s case against state Senator Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on private jets, five-star hotels, elite golf courses and extravagant meals at the country’s finest restaurants, a CalWatchdog.com analy...

Audit: Secretary of State wastes $22 million on voting machines

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013
Voting, Cagle, Sept. 3, 2013

When Debra Bowen was a candidate for California secretary of state in 2006, two of her top three priorities, according to SmartVoter.org, were to: Ensure that the state’s voting systems are accurate and secure by introducing strict auditing requirements so that every vote is counted as it was ...

Campaign committees fund life of luxury

Monday, August 19th, 2013
Arthur movie poster

The political chicken dinner has gone upscale. In the first half of the year, legislative leaders, political parties and political action committees lured campaign contributors with limousine rides, gourmet meals and swag bags loaded with booze and iPad Minis, a CalWatchdog.com analysis of campai...