California Primary Election: Most Boring Ever

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Randy Shaw: Expect a record percentage of absentee votes next week, which might lead to calls to make June contests vote by mail only.

California Legislature Passes Bill to Study State-Owned Bank

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Ellen Brown: California, like North Dakota, is resource-rich. A state-owned bank will allow it to capitalize on its resources to full advantage, by providing the credit needed to realize its potential.

California’s Silence of the Scams

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Craig Williams: The best cure for California’s budget problems might be a big statewide tax reform campaign based on the commercial property tax legislation proposed by the progressive organization Cal Tax Reform (CTR) and sponsored by Assembly member Tom Aminao.

A “Conservative” Response Puts Eran in His Place

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Adam Eran: My best wishes to Ms. Cronan, and anyone else commited to willful blindness about facts, with an added plea: Please, be careful not to bump into the furniture. Meanwhile, I will refrain from calling Ms. Cronan “the barbarian.”

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.

Lame Duck Governor Fabricates Hoped-For Legacy

Sheila Kuehl: From the beginning, Arnold Schwarzenegger has exhibited a woeful ignorance about the role of a Governor and the role of governance.

Could Consume-atives Be Deficient?

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Adam Eran: Consume-atives proclaim we should cut something but seldom propose anything specific. The plan is for bankruptcy court to sort that out, rather than making consume-atives a target for blame. “Take 10% off the top” is another, meaningless Republican proposal in recent budget negotiations. What does that mean, though? Let 10% of the prisoners out? Only treat 90% of the sewage?

The California Democracy Act Tragedy

UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff (BAP photos)

Craig Williams: In a sense the Golden State is now a near corporate dictatorship, between an executive office that can be bought and usually is, minority rule in the legislature and underfunded local party organizations masquerading as party organizations, party organizations that don’t responsibly communicate and mobilize their members. Most registered Democrats are for all practical purposes ex-communicated from the party, except at election time.

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.

Despise the Initiative Process? New York City Shows Why Progressives Need It

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New York City provides a case study of a large, ethnically diverse, California-like entity where citizen ballot measures are not an option. The result? A profoundly undemocratic city where large real estate developers call the shots.

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.

The Magical Mystery Majority Budget

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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 […]

Where Is California’s Barack Obama?

Fresh off a thrilling presidential campaign, California Democrats face a Governor’s race without a candidate that can rally a multi-racial, class-crossing grassroots base. The three most talked about candidates — Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom — neither offer a sharply new direction nor provide the transformational message that was at the heart of […]