Three Overlooked Propositions

Paul Hogarth: California voters are already filling out their absentee ballots. While they vote to pass Prop 19 and “no” on Prop 23, it’s important for them to also vote “yes” on Prop 24 and 25 – but most importantly, “no” on Prop 26. If we don’t get the word out, it could pass.

Rebooting California

Gray Davis

Diane Lefer: Why does it matter? This year, once again, California not only failed to pass a budget by the deadline but delayed it longer than at any other time in our history, causing chaos and hardship for vendors, employees, and municipalities while harming our credit with rating agencies and raising the interest we pay.

Remaking California: Reclaiming the Public Good

R. Jeffrey Lustig

Joseph Palermo: The Constitutional straight-jacket that keeps the state government in gridlock and voters in despair is the same institutional structure that brought the pathetically unqualified body builder into the governorship in the first place.

Niello Sponsors a Whine-Fest for Business, As Usual.

Assemblyman Roger Niello

Adam Eran: Niello’s hearing is yet another bit of evidence that, no matter what the facts, the Republican narrative remains constant: We must reduce taxes and regulation, even if lack of effective regulation produced the current less-than-optimum outcome. And although “deficits don’t matter,” no matter how low they are, taxes are too high, especially on the wealthy.

Lame Duck Terminator

Joseph Palermo: Schwarzenegger’s hackneyed “State of the State” address was pathetic and unconvincing. If it weren’t for his acting chops and his ability to emote on cue, he couldn’t get away with the simplistic platitudes that roll off his tongue. Then again, if he couldn’t act he wouldn’t be governor either.

The Living Wage, Affordable Housing, Subsidies, Public Works, and the Myth of Job Creation

villaraigosa

Ron Kaye: Antonio Villaraigosa once held the promise of being the leader who could bring us to this promised land. Maybe he still can but not as long as keeps on looking to enrich his friends and allies at the expense of others, not as long as keeps looking for his next job, not as long as travels the world rather than attending to his duties, not as long as he keeps thinking the people are fools who will fall for hollow promises.

McClintock = Mendacity

Adam Eran: As usual, McClintock ignores the actual biggest expansion in history. That occurred after the Clinton administration balanced the federal budget by raising the top rates a mere 3%. Neo-cons like McClintock, and Newt Gingrich gravely prophesied economic doom following these tax hikes, but again, as usual, history contradicts them.

What Should Really Matter in the Maldonado Confirmation

Abel Maldonado

Republican Senator Abel Maldonado is an Olympia Snowe character. He is a so-called “moderate” who is willing to cut a deal on the budget, while the rest of his party would rather see the state fall off a cliff than raise any taxes whatsoever. But the deals that Maldonado has extorted in past years for his one vote are enough to leave a sour taste in anyone’s mouth.

California: Killing the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs

Education-Reform

Governor Arnold Scwharzenegger and the Republicans in the Legislature who control California’s finances have apparently concluded that it is not even worth trying to compete with India and China anymore. California’s “leaders,” by abandoning the CSU, are throwing in the towel.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Iraq

arnold swarzennager

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised U.S. soldiers for helping Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki build and nurture Iraq’s public institutions, which are central to the American war effort. But at the same time Schwarzenegger is systematically (even gleefully) dismantling similar public institutions in California.

Is Jerry Brown Really the Only Democrat Left Standing?

Any trace of the Jerry Brown who sounded like Dennis Kucinich when he ran for President is gone. At this weekend’s California Democratic Party E-Board meeting, Brown got into an argument with Party Chair John Burton about single-payer health care. Brown insisted single payer “will not happen” – even though the state legislature passed it twice, only to have Arnold Schwarzenegger veto it. The only thing stopping single payer in California from happening is a Republican Governor – yet the only Democratic candidate left in the race has insisted that it will not happen.

Who Wants to Be Governor of the Failed State of California?

gavin_newsom

If the miserable status quo continues and the Republicans succeed in their long-term project of turning California into a failed state the time might not be far off when the labor unions of this state are going to have no choice but to call for some kind of General Strike.

Arnold: Aid for Rape Victims Costs Too Much

arnold-and-maria

Despite Shriver’s political agenda, and amid a raft of budget cuts affecting women and children – including $16 million from domestic violence programs and $50 million from Healthy Families – the rape kit veto underscored the message that women in California count for less in the Schwarzenegger regime.

Community Compromise Sown By Revenge

ridley-thomas-parks

So when the community went with Ridley-Thomas, Parks went to the feds and the newspapers. The L.A. Times, always willing to get in the middle of a good community fight, took it and ran with it.

As Ye Judge, So Shall Ye Be Judged

California State Senator Chuck Poochigian

I knew from experience that Sen. Poochiaign’s votes had consistantly indicated animosity to civil rights statutes regarding gender, disability and sexual orientation.

Meg Whitman’s “Vision Thing”

Meg Whitman

Next year, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s circus will leave Sacramento. The cigar tents will be packed up and his menagerie of lobbyists and hangers-on will follow him out of town. And like a departing circus it will leave in its wake a barren field strewn with garbage and elephant shit. Whoever is the next Republican nominee for governor will have to at least promise to clean up some of this mess. The last thing the state needs is a Margaret Thatcher wannabe.

University California System Funding: Less Can’t Masquerade as More

Education

UC’s future cannot be left to administrators who don’t understand that disinvesting in post-secondary education is disinvesting in California’s future. If we work together, there may yet be a chance to save the crown jewel of California from the pawnshop.

California’s Prison Agency Takes Step Towards Reform While Assembly Runs Scared

prison hands

The Assembly cannot agree on what seems like common sense to the rest of us: people who commit low-level crimes like petty theft and simple drug possession should be punished on the local level, not in prison cells at a cost of nearly $50,000 per person per year.

In California State University System, Students Pay More for Less

student-loans

Students are paying more than ever for a CSU education even though they’ll be spending less time with professors, have fewer course offerings, and be crammed into overcrowded classrooms.

Stealing From California’s Young People

budget

The professors will endure. But the students and their families are the true victims here. They’re getting ripped off. The quality of their education is suffering even while they go into debt.

Taking the Measure of the UC System: Equal Campuses or Three Tiers?

cal-bears

My account of these alternative criteria does, as readers will see, lend support to a vision of the UC system as characterized by a widespread distribution of excellence, at least where the eight established campuses are concerned

The People’s Budget Fix

death-row

The “Prison Population and Budget Reduction Package” proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is like a drunk person walking home from a bar – it knows where it wants to go but oftentimes you find it stumbling off the sidewalk or turning down the wrong street.

Private Postsecondary Institutions Need Oversight Now

students

Absent constructive and reasonable suggestions, this heels-dug-in approach to government gives the appearance that these groups would prefer the “wild west” environment currently in place to the structure provided by AB 48.

Gavin Newsom’s Impressive Town Hall in Sacramento

gavin

Mayor Newsom is the most exciting thing to happen to California politics in years. He has started his campaign early, enlisted the help of an army of energetic young people who represent the future of the state, and promises to lift California out of the morass the deadening hands of the Republicans have submerged us in.

McClintock’s Neocon “Morality” Tortures the Truth

Congressman Tom McClintock

Oddly, McClintock yearns for the golden era when California was a more highly taxed state and could afford “the finest highway system in the world and the finest public school system in the country. California offered … FREE university education.”

Could a Constitutional Convention Break California’s Impasse?

California State Senator Loni Hancock

The state is ungovernable for many reasons. Republicans know that California is getting younger and browner (and therefore more liberal), so they bitterly cling to the two-thirds budget rule – starving the state into oblivion.

Wanted: Persistent Progressive Propositions

Howard Jarvis, Prop 13 architect.

Right-wingers at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association understand that elections are transitory – and a long-term approach requires going back to the voters over and over again.

For a Man May Smile and Smile and Still Be a Villain

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, front left, smiles at Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, second from right and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

“Why do they keep sending me budgets I won’t sign?”, the Governor asked, after saying no, once again, to any proposal but his own, cuts-only solution. And, since he had all the guns, no one in the Legislature asked in return, “Why does he keep refusing our budgets?”

A Political Strategy to Get Rid of California’s Two-Thirds Rule

petitioning

the campaign to repeal two-thirds has to be about the status quo, and whether California can afford to continue its budgets the way it’s been done. Talk about public health clinics shutting down, more teachers getting laid off, and more unemployed people.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Knife Play

Schwarzenegger

Now we have a Republican governor in California who sees the state’s current budget catastrophe as nothing but a big joke. Why else would Arnold Schwarzenegger post a tasteless Twitter video where he wields a two-foot-long folding knife boasting about his budget-cutting prowess?

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