A Happy New Year to all of you! For some (mild) fun, check out the New Year's Eve Twitter feed of my picks for the Top 10 California politics stories of the decade. Leave your own thoughts below if you'd like.
And check back this weekend for stories to keep an eye on in 2010.
UPDATE: Okay... our web guru suggests I post my unscientific Top 10 political stories of the 00's here. So...
And now, a new twist in the still unfolding story over a new citizens commission for drawing political maps in California: an initiative has been filed to scrap the new operation altogether.
On Monday, UCLA professor and former chairman of the Fair Political Practices Commission Daniel Lowenstein filed an initiative to abolish the redistricting commission approved by voters under Proposition 11 in 2008.
It's hard to look back at 2009 in California politics and Capitol goings-on without acknowledging that almost all stories came back, one way or another, to the state's big budget mess.
On this special Capital Notes Podcast, we recap the year that's coming to a close... from numerous budget fights to winners (maybe only one) and losers (just about everyone else).
We also talk the year in gubernatorial politics and make a very few predictions of what will happen in 2010. Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I are joined this week by Juliet Williams, Capitol reporter for the Associated Press.
So it's Christmas Eve. And let's face it, the Capitol is all quiet. Which means there's time for something light... as in a trip back with the chief executive to his former career, and a scene that makes budget fights look tame.
Up. Down. Left. Right.
This week's Capital Notes Podcast is all about the numbers. First, this week's new statewide poll looking at the race for governor offers up some interesting scenarios, even though it's still a long ways to November 2.
Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I also discuss his newspaper's new ranking of legislators on the liberal-conservative spectrum, and why... shockingly... it may be another example of how few politicians in Sacramento actually find themselves in the middle.
There are 321 days left until California voters go to the polls and choose their next governor. That's a long time, but not so long that political junkies won't read tonight's new poll and wonder this: might the all-but-official Democratic heavyweight candidate end up losing?
BURBANK -- It's pretty accepted as fact that the once-a-decade process of drawing political maps, known as redistricting, is arcane. Dry. Dull? Well, maybe not.
That last assessment comes after judging the decent sized crowd that out in Burbank today to learn how California's new redistricting process will work, and how they may want to apply to be one of the 14 citizens who will be chosen by the end of 2010 to slice and dice the state into 120 legislative districts and four Board of Equalization districts.
Governor Schwarzenegger's big day in Copenhagen talking about climate change gave him a chance to not only push his idea of action in places other than national legislatures, while also giving him a chance to smack some climate change critics in the process.
That's a fair question to ask for those involved in two of our topics on this week's edition of the Capital Notes Podcast.
For John Perez, the soon-to-be Speaker, it's the only real question after several weeks of palace intrigue about the battle for the top job. And for the still non-existent citizens redistricting commission, it's also a valid question... after revelation that the process is already projected to run short on cash.
Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I also check in on the saga over the next lieutenant governor, a saga that took a new twist just hours after we recorded this podcast on Thursday.
Note: An apology to listeners who download the podcast from iTunes and NPR... a tech error prevented last week's podcast from being picked up by those outlets. We've been properly chastised! --JM
That was the sentiment of John Perez of Los Angeles after Assembly Democrats unanimously chose him today to be the fifth Speaker of the Assembly in just the last nine years.