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.

Where to Go from Here on Voter-Owned Elections

elections

Wayne Williams: With Voter Owned, Auditable, Transparent and Verifiable Elections, voters will come out in larger numbers as they have more confidence in their government. More viable candidates of all races and genders will run for office, and most likely the cost of elections will go down because the public will be more educated, involved and aware.

Will Marcy Winograd Pull a Sestak?

Marcy Winograd and Jim Hightower

Linda Milazzo: In Kentucky, political neophyte, libertarian extremist, and Tea Party enthusiast, Rand Paul, clobbered the hand-picked candidate of Senator Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in Washington. Both election results send an earsplitting message to the leadership of America’s two dominant parties, warning that: ‘Your choices, endorsements and power don’t matter. We’re electing who WE want.’

Go Loco? or Go Local…

leftwing politics

Brad Parker: Sideways is the new direction for this bundle of believers, these frustrated yet sunny souls. Status quo has wrapped its stony fingers around the electoral apparatus of each ardent constituency. We are in a stall, a dead calm sea. And the natives are restless, very restless. But before we muster up the courage for a new direction, let us take a deeper look at the state of the State.

This Week in the LA Progressive: 2 May to 8 May 2010

With articles by Robert Reich, Joseph Palermo, Charley James, Randy Shaw, Nomiki Konst, Rev. Irene Monroe, Mario Solis-Marich, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Georgianne Nienaber, Andrea Nill, Tracy Emblem, Wayne Williams, Cathy Cockrell, Tina Dupuy, Ron Wolff, Tom Degan, Shamus Cooke, Michael Sigman, David A. Love, Sharon Kyle, Bob Letcher, Robert Illes, and Ivan Eland

Speaker Pelosi and the Revival of Progressive Politics in America

Randy Shaw: Yet Ronald Peters’ and Cindy Simon Rosenthal’s just-released book, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics , shows that Nancy Pelosi played a far greater role than is realized in reviving progressive politics after the disappointing 2004 defeats. Pelosi shaped the Democrats message, framed attacks on Bush and the Republican Party, maintained party unity and then delivered for progressives after becoming Speaker in 2006. Nancy Pelosi is not only the most powerful female politician in United States history, but she may also be the most effective progressive national elected official of her time.

Reclaiming Our Hope

Nelson Mandela

Paul Loeb: It’s been a frustrating time since November 2008, but our challenge is to spend less time bemoaning our disappointments and more energy engaging with ordinary citizens the way so many of us did a year and a half ago. If we give people enough ways to act on our present crises, we never know how history might turn.

Extremism in the Defense of Librium

Rep. Michelle Backman (Rep. Stillwater, Minnesota)

Tom Degan: On the one hand the latent threats of violence and intimidation that underlies the actions and speech of the Tea Party crowd is enough to make any clear-thinking person seriously alarmed about the direction the lunatic fringe of American politics seems to be headed. On the other hand, these people are just so damned funny! We’re talking Ambivalence City here! Part of me wishes them to go away and the other part would mourn their loss if they ever did. Let’s face it: These assholes are the best thing to happen to progressive politics in this country since Eleanor Roosevelt.

California Fair Elections Kickoff

Campaign cash

Wendy Block: It’s impossible to eliminate money from politics, and there’s no reason to. But release candidates from huge campaign contributors and the special favors that follow victory, and you’ll see miracles after every election.

End the Filibuster and Pass a Lot of Stuff

Joseph Palermo: The Democrats must pass a lot of legislation before the midterms or they’re going to be very sorry. Soon enough, given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, we’re going to see campaigns where our choice for U.S. Senator will be between the “Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips” candidate and the “Pepsi/Pizza Hut/KFC/Frito Lay/Taco Bell” candidate. Former President George W. Bush is raking in the bucks speaking at the National Grocers’ Association. First he defiled the presidency by getting John Yoo to turn the Justice Department into a law factory for monarchical presidential powers, now he shares the stage as an inspirational speaker with Terry Bradshaw. Our elections are about to become a satirical skit that Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report did a long time ago.

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