Sheile Kuehl on Prop 31

prop 31

Sheila Kuehl:Prop 31 was designed to find ways to make government more efficient and responsive. Several critics have opined that Prop 31 doesn’t really accomplish the goal, but simply recycles a number of ideas that have been floated through the years without a good deal of empirical evidence on whether or not they accomplish their stated goals.

The Future of Local Government

Steve Hochstadt: When Romney and the Republicans talk about cutting back on government, they mean much larger cuts in local government spending than what has happened so far.

Census Bureau Prison Miscounts Burden Local Governments

California-State-Prison

Leah Sakala: Rather than forcing counties and municipalities that house prisons to grapple individually with the distortions caused by flawed population data, it is far more logical for the Census Bureau to count incarcerated people at home in the first place.

Occupy to Save a 79-Year-Old Retired School Teacher’s Home

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OCCUPY TO SAVE A 79-Year-Old Retired School Teacher’s HOME As Senator and Council Ask for Responsible Banks, Occupy LA Focuses on Foreclosures* Los Angeles – Wednesday, members of Occupy LA will be occupying the foreclosed South Central home of Mrs. Faith Parker, a 79-year-old retired school teacher, who fights eviction as a result of Bank [...]

Occupy Movement at the Crossroads

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Randy Shaw: Successful movements must be flexible enough to change tactics in the face of roadblocks, and activists’ camping in public spaces is not strategically necessary for the Occupy movement’s success.

In California, Labor and Business Standing Together

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Caitlin Vega: While the Chamber of Commerce may call any bill that helps workers a “job killer,” the employer community is not monolithic. Small businesses care about our local communities and are often ignored by their own trade associations.

Then Just What Is Freedom?

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Steve Hochstadt: Isn’t freedom more than having a low tax rate? Doesn’t freedom mean the ability to direct our own lives, to influence the big decisions that affect our families, our workplaces, and our communities?

Sacramento County’s General Plan, Part Deux

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Mark Dempsey: Besides the history of local development, recent lapses by our politicians, who regularly bow to speculation and greed, don’t exactly inspire confidence. Wall Street speculators absconded with 40% of the world’s wealth, and only Bernie Madoff is in jail.

Why Won’t Cities Fight Real State Budget Cuts?

Jerry Brown

Paul Hogarth: While some may see Jerry Brown’s proposal as a “power grab” by the state that tells local governments how to spend their money, the truth is that it can prevent some devastating budget cuts that have been afflicting localities for years.

Jerry Brown’s Budget

Ron Wolff: California’s “new” (but experienced) governor is bringing some urgently needed honesty and fresh thinking to the budgeting process in a state weary of smoke, mirrors, a two-thirds requirement in the legislature for tax increases, and the ravages of a recession imposed largely by external forces.

How Redevelopment Agencies Subvert Democracy

Randy Shaw: As mayors, developers and Agency staff try to fend off Governor Brown’s proposed transfer of redevelopment funds to local governments – earning far more media coverage than cuts to programs serving more vulnerable Californians – little has been said about the fundamentally undemocratic nature of redevelopment agencies.

Labor’s Last Stand in 2011?

Shamus Cooke: The stage is set, and the main actors in Congress and in the corporate establishment are ready to perform, having rehearsed behind closed doors for the coming assault on organized labor’s most powerful sector, public workers.

Free Speech about Saggy Pants

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Steve Hochstadt: The most unfortunate recent development in American politics is that Constitutional questions cannot be discussed calmly. Too many people care less about defending our Constitution than using it as a club to smash political opponents.

The California Budget Mess Backstory

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Adam Eran: So the origin of California’s tax reductions, and even its current budget deficit, is arguably oil price inflation. If we want a stable economy, and government without deficits, we need to stop kidding ourselves that spending is a the root our budget problems, and attend to our energy addiction.

Americans Need a Job

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Tracy Emblem: Workers are the backbone of America but the backbone has been aching for some time and needs immediate and serious attention – through job creation policies.

Prop 25 Most Essential Part of November Ballot

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Paul Hogarth: Proposition 25 was put on by labor unions and the Democratic Party, and political consultant Roger Salazar has been retained. Liberal bloggers and other progressives are skeptical, with some going so far as to claim it doesn’t make sense to get a majority for the budget – if raising taxes we need would still require a two-thirds vote.

Bush Recession Comes Home to Roost

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Adam Eran: Tax cuts caused the current budget deficit, not crazy spending. Local government revenues fell 57% after Proposition 13. Even more egregious, the consume-atives™ (they do not conserve), now complain that State funding for local governments to fill that revenue hole meddles too much in local affairs.

Economy Recovery Depends Upon Your Vantage Point

Carl Bloice: Like the knee bone and the thigh bone, the foreclosure crisis is closely related to the jobs crisis. Last week the Obama administration cautioned the public not to expect any dramatic improvement in the jobless rate, largely because thousands of formerly “discouraged” jobless workers sense the situation is improving and have started back looking for work. As a result, some economists have suggested, the jobless rate may well go beyond the 9.7 percent where it stands now.

Bail Out Our Schools

No Child Left Behind

Robert Reich: Any day now, the Obama administration will announce $4.35 billion in extra federal funds for under-performing public schools. That’s fine, but relative to the financial squeeze all the nation’s public schools now face it’s a cruel joke.

Politics Gets in the Way of Obama’s Perceptiveness

Yemen Somalia Duel

Ivan Eland: The governments of Yemen and Somalia are no stronger, less corrupt, more competent, or in control of more of their own territory than the Afghan government. Yet more U.S. troops are seen as beneficial in Afghanistan but as counterproductive in Yemen and Somalia.

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