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?

The Republicans Win Big in California!

Arnold_Schwarzenegger

When Arnold Schwarzenegger calls an agreement “a really great, great accomplishment” you know average Californians are in for a fleecing.

California Democratic Party Engages Grassroots Under John Burton

John Burton

With the state legislature on the brink of caving to Republicans on the budget (even though only 36% of voters want a “cuts-only” solution), California politics has been unbelievably depressing. But a trip down to Burlingame this weekend gave me hope for the state’s future.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Compassionless Conservatism

arnold1

Schwarzenegger doesn’t get the human costs of his actions. He seems to enjoy the attention he’s getting as well as playing on right-wing “populist” anger. He’s satisfying his Tea Bagger constituency by beating up on Californians who happen to be poor or work in the public sector.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Tea Bagging California

arnold cuts budget

Just as many of the neo-cons seemingly cross their fingers hoping for a mass-casualty terrorist attack on U.S. soil because they see it as political gold for them, they’re also cheerleading for the economy to remain stagnant

Thousands Speak Out Against California’s Costly and Broken Death Penalty

lethal-injection

If the Governor converts all death sentences to permanent imprisonment, he could then use that $1 billion check to actually make California safer by keeping more police on the streets and more crime labs open.

Experts Wrong: Newsom Clear Beneficiary of Villaraigosa Non-Entry

gavin_newsom_thumbs_up

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matier & Ross, nearly all of the political experts they consulted felt that California Attorney General Jerry Brown would gain more than Gavin Newsom from the non-entry of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragosa in the 2010 Democratic race for Governor. Not to be too blunt, but this analysis is [...]

No Villaraigosa for Governor: LA Needs a Full-Time Mayor

Antonio Villaraigosa

It’s been a while since I’ve been on the same page at the same time with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. As one of the few black stakeholders who backed his losing bid in 2001, and returned to support him in 2005, only to have to bash him for engaging in token reciprocity with the [...]

California’s Death Throes: A View From Sacramento

arnold

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Republican colleagues are using the trauma of the economic collapse and the record state budget deficit to implement policies they’ve been advocating for years. “This budget ought to be solved in one chunk, at one time,” the governor says, “and let’s do it quickly.” As usual, the working poor [...]

Interpreting the Failure of Prop 1A

california-budget

Immediately after the election, the Governor announced that the “voters had spoken” and that the defeat of Prop 1A “clearly” meant that Californians stood adamantly against any new taxes or fees. He must have been reading the leaves in the bottom of his tea cup in order to come to a favored conclusion, however, because [...]

Why Do We Tolerate a Massive Prison System That Produces 70% Recidivism Rates?

day-in-court

In Part 1 of this two-part Q&A, UC Berkeley Law Professor Jonathan Simon talked about criminal sentencing and parole as practiced today in California. He concludes here by discussing the social and fiscal impacts of our approach to crime and punishment, the current opportunity for prison reform, and some ideas for meaningful change. Q. California’s [...]

Why Parole Does Not Work in California

woman-in-prison

California’s criminal justice system was thrust into the national spotlight recently after the shooting deaths of four Oakland police officers by a recently released state prisoner. In this two-part Q&A, the NewsCenter speaks with UC Berkeley Law Professor Jonathan Simon about a system he has studied since the 1980s. The associate dean of the campus’s [...]

California Needs a New Constitution

sonoma

In his most recent piece in the New York Times Paul Krugman asks: “Who would have thought that America’s largest state, a state whose economy is larger than that of all but a few nations, could so easily become a banana republic?” Here in Sacramento I’ve watched the disaster unfold before my eyes like a [...]

Budget Baloney

taxes

The shrill attacks on government spending — “it’s always wasteful! it *never* invests!” — have already begun. The anti-tax crowd has begun its triumphal victory dance, spinning the defeat of proposition 1A’s rather modest extension of taxes as an endorsement of their prejudices. But this is one voter who turned down the convoluted logic of [...]

Decrying California’s Double-Digit Student Fee Hikes

happy-students

The California Board of Trustees’ action last week shows an increasing dependency on annual, double-digit student fee hikes to cover for declining state support. It is a dependency that must be broken to maintain access and affordability for students. Student Fees Hiked More Than 100 Percent Student fees have climbed more than 100 percent in [...]

Arnold’s Legacy: Driving the State Towards Bankruptcy

arnold09

Governor Schwarzenegger’s May “budget revise” last week – which proposed more mass layoffs, more painful cuts and more reckless borrowing – had all the makings of the end of a Shakespearean tragedy, where the protagonist has run out of options due to troubles of his own making. One could also view it as the definition [...]

Sheila Kuehl: My Take on California’s Propositions

capitol

It seems pretty obvious that, whether the propositions pass or fail, they create a significant, but different, problem for the state. The total monies brought into the current budget by all the propositions together is about 6 billion dollars. However, over $5 billion of that revenue comes from the sale of the lottery. This makes [...]

The Republican Contract on California

arnold

We get to vote, again, on May 19. This time we have a bunch of ballot initiatives that the Republican Party demanded as a condition of reaching a budget “compromise” last winter. The commercial media tell us that most of these measures are failing in polling, but still have a chance at passage. Still have [...]

Marcy Winograd Campaign Kick-Off Speech

Congressional candidate Marcy Winograd

My name is Marcy Winograd and WE are running for Congress. Thank you, all, for joining me today for the historic kick-off of the Winograd for Congress 2010 campaign to unseat Jane Harman in the 36th congressional district. We stand here today just miles from the neighborhoods of West LA and Mar Vista, Playa Vista, [...]

The Consent of the Governed

one vote

“… to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men [and women], deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” — Declaration of Independence “Your people, Mr. Jefferson, are a great beast.” So said Alexander Hamilton, the leader of America’s first conservative party, to the author of the Declaration of Independence and the [...]

California’s Budget: How Abel Raised Cain

Finished: California's Senate leader, Darrell Steinberg (left), congratulates GOP Sen. Abel Maldonado for casting the vote that ended a three-month budget impasse (Photo credit:  Rich Pedroncelli/AP).

While the disciplined Assembly stood by in mid-February, waiting for the Senate to get its game on the field, the Senate speechified on the Floor and slept in the Big White Building. As in the familiar children’s game of musical chairs, the Governor and Senate President pro Temps Darrell Steinberg were simply looking for that [...]

Activists, Reformers Now Control State Democratic Party

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom

Before the California Democratic Convention ended yesterday, delegates bucked the Party leadership on the May 19th ballot measures – by securing a “no endorsement” on Propositions 1A, 1D and 1E. State legislators and Party operatives pushed “yes” on all six measures, but enough of the grassroots who stayed for the tail end of the session [...]

From the California State Democratic Convention in Sacramento

(Photo credit: Brian Baer | bbaer@sacbee.com)

From the celebratory atmosphere over the weekend at the California Democratic State Convention, titled: “California Democrats — A New Era,” held at the Sacramento Convention Center, one could get the impression that the Democratic Party’s base is strong and the leadership of the State Legislature has made all the right moves. There was a stunning [...]

The Magical Mystery Majority Budget

california-begging

On Thursday, December 18, frustrated with their inability to attract any Republican votes through long negotiations, both the State Assembly and the State Senate decided on an entirely different tack. They would pass a series of majority-vote bills to cut and change the current, 2008-09 budget. Though such a move would not get the state [...]

California Budget: What Happened Last Fall — The New Budget Immediately Starting Bleeding Red Ink

arnold2

The 2008-09 budget which was passed in September of last year ( two and a half months late) contained several overly optimistic (I would say wildly unsustainable) assumptions concerning revenue: First, it assumed the sale of over $3 billion in revenue bonds, but no one wanted to buy California bonds. Second, it “borrowed” from over [...]

Media Tries to Undermine Obama Agenda

chris_matthews

Barack Obama has been President for eight weeks, and much of the traditional media remains incapable of making sense of his agenda. In one corner we have hosts like Hardball’s Chris Matthews, who appears to be compensating for pro-Obama campaign comments by giving excessive voice to the president’s critics. Or we have CNN’s John King, [...]

Ensure Stimulus Funds Reach the CSU System

college student

The faculty in the California State University are deeply concerned about the rapid decline in the ability of our nation’s largest four-year university system to deliver higher education to all eligible students. Our public university system is staggering from deep cuts to state funding already made this year, last year, and earlier this decade. Now [...]

The Push to Do Away With State Boards

tires-people

Literally from the first moment I walked into the California Legislature, and, probably, for years before that, my colleagues “across the aisle” (that is, Republican colleagues) have unceasingly advocated for the elimination of any and all state oversight boards. Pressed to articulate their reasons, they cite the usual mantra of “waste”, and insist that it [...]

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