California Prison Typify the Incarceration Society

prison-overcrowding

Sherwood Ross: If you want a glimpse into the soul of a nation, visit one of its prisons. California is no exception. It’s typical.

Power, Sex, and Money

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Carl Matthes: Imagine, the finest and best that God could call from His earthly flock to serve in His Holy Church did nothing wrong because when they were molesting young children, they were just “responding to social turmoil.”

Saving Public Redevelopment Agencies

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Alvaro Huerta: I don’t blame Gov. Brown for seeking creative ways to save California from financial bankruptcy. The state budget, however, should not be balanced on the backs of the less fortunate—those who directly benefit from public redevelopment agencies to revitalize their communities.

Dear Terminator, Lay Off Our Executioners

David Holtzman

David Holtzman: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can help. In what very little time he has left in office, he can give his legacy a considerable boost by commuting the state’s hundreds of pending death sentences to life in prison without possibility of release. As a Los Angeles resident on the world’s stage, he should be sensitive to his image at home and abroad.

What Activists Can Learn from Schwarzenegger and Obama

obama and arnold

Randy Shaw: Why did California progressives do so well in the midterm elections, in contrast to conservatives’ success nationally? A major reason is that the state’s activists pushed progressive policies without seeking approval from politicians.

Arnold Ignores Kennedy Legacy in Vetoing Farmworker Overtime

robert f kennedy

Randy Shaw: While it’s no longer news that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fraud (which helps explains poll numbers that are lower than George W. Bush and the pre-recall Gray Davis), his veto this week of an overtime bill for California farmworkers is particularly disgraceful.

California’s Class Warfare Heats Up

Joseph Palermo: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently submitted a “budget” to the legislature that eliminates CalWORKS, the state’s highly successful welfare-to-work program that is needed now more than ever. This move would make California the only state in the nation to dismantle its safety net.

Nurses Have Whitman on the Run

Rose Ann DeMoro & Meg Whitman

Randy Shaw: Two weeks into her general election campaign, Meg Whitman has already proved that she has not followed politics in recent years. How else to explain her already picking a fight with CNA and Rose Ann DeMoro that the candidate cannot win, and that makes her look worse with each passing day?

West L.A. Screening, Panel Session Benefits Clean Money’s “Yes on Prop 15″ Campaign

casino jack screening

On Thursday, May 20, leading Los Angeles activists groups are hosting a benefit screening of Casino Jack and the United States of Money in West Los Angeles to benefit the “Yes on Prop 15” campaign.

AB2727 – The Bradford/Bass Re-Entry Employment Opportunity Act: Addressing The Lifelong Challenges of Ex-Offenders (Not A Minute Too Soon)

Speaker Emeritus Karen Bass

Anthony Asadullah Samad: If California is serious at reducing its prison costs, ex-offenders will have to be re-trained and employers will have to be more tolerant of people trying to get their lives back on track. Is that even possible? One thing about American culture, as it relates to any offender, is that despite we profess to being a forgiving society, or want to redeem the best in those who have made mistakes, the truth of the matter is that it always lets the ex-offender know that they are just that, “ex-offenders.”

The Birthers Ruined Schwarzenegger’s White House Chance

Arnold Swartzenegger

Tina Dupuy: The Republicans siding with the Birthers and generally ramping up of the anti-immigration sentiment, are shooting themselves in the foot. And not just with Latino voters. Schwarzenegger is by far the most popular and (gasp) competent of any other candidates vying for the nomination in 2012.

Stop Wasting Money on the Death Penalty!

Death Penalty

Natasha Minsker: let’s consider something the governor can actually do right now to make a serious dent in the corrections budget: convert all 700 death sentences in California to permanent imprisonment saving the state $1 billion over the next five years.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Compassionless Conservatism

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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

Schwarzenegger and the Republicans Cost California $7 Billion

arnold

The California State Senate adjourned at midnight, unable to pass three stopgap bills that would have saved the state $7 billion. To appease Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Democratic leaders of the state legislature hastily drew up the three complicated bills to try to stave off fiscal collapse and the necessity to begin issuing IOUs. All [...]

Schwarzenegger’s Budget Battle II: Another Bad Sequel

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared that the test of our nation was “not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger might be married to a Kennedy but his governing philosophy is pure George W. Bush [...]

Judging Mister Mayor: Los Angeles Magazine’s Rip of Antonio Villaraigosa Put in Perspective

Anthonio Villaraigosa

Los Angeles magazine slapped the word “Failure” across a photo of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the cover of its June issue. This was not only a cheap shot, meant to grab attention and sell magazines, but also a misleading assessment of Villaraigosa’s track record after one term. The article expressed disappointment, even bitterness, that [...]

California Democrats: “Spreading the Pain” from Sacramento

Karen Bass, Darryl Steinberg

When his term mercifully expires next year, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be leaving the Golden State in the worst condition than at any time its history. If Schwarzenegger and his right-wing Republican co-conspirators get their way (as they always seem to do), they’ll gut every social program and educational institution in the state in [...]

California’s Death Throes: A View From Sacramento

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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 [...]

Poor, Elderly, and HIV/AIDS Citizens to Die in California

herndon-davis

In just under two weeks the state of California will go broke unless it makes deep cuts to its budget by eliminating spending on crucial programs to cover a $24 billion deficit. Among the programs hardest hit are social services which assist the elderly, blind, low-income families, single parents, the mentally challenged and those living [...]

What Blacks Can Learn From Gays

gay-protest

Before you open that bottle of champagne, can of beer, or bottle of Hennessy in celebration of last week’s decision by the California Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8 and the ban on gay marriage, did you ever stop to think maybe the joke’s on us? I mean, think about it. Last November, Blacks voted overwhelmingly [...]

Stop Wasting Money on Executions

ramona-ripston

Capital Punishment is Too Expensive California remains on track to spend over $1 billion on the death penalty in the next five years, in the midst of the worst financial crisis in nearly a century. Incredibly, even as state officials announce that they must fill a deficit of $21.3 billion this year, and contemplate drastic [...]

California Needs a New Constitution

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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 [...]

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