Monthly Archives: February 2012

California's Political Purple Reign

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For years, we’ve talked about how the national color coded shorthand for California politics is overly simplistic. Yes, the state may be “blue” in total votes cast in some races — presidential, most notably — but the real color palette … Continue reading »


The Great Capitol Capital Gains Debate

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For years, we’ve all talked about how dependent California government is on the taxes paid by the state’s most wealthy. Those dollars, often coming from their investments, can fluctuate from changes in the economy or tax policy. But this year, … Continue reading »


California Republicans Try Balancing Act. Again.

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BURLINGAME– This weekend’s gathering of the California Republican Party provided another example of how hard it must be for a political party to dig itself out of a deep popularity hole, when every option comes with a downside. Throw the … Continue reading »


Podcast: Retirement, Realignment, Republicans

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No word seems to dominate the political lexicon these days more than “optics,” the acknowledgement that how something looks can sometimes be more important than what it really turns out to be. This week’s Capital Notes Podcast examines some of … Continue reading »


Simple Tax Initiatives, Not So Simple Impacts

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“We have a message that is pretty simple and pretty powerful,” Molly Munger told a group of political reporters after a recent appearance in Sacramento promoting her education tax initiative. Similar words have also been used by backers of another … Continue reading »


Podcast: The Political Lull

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It seems to feel lately as though we’re in between some big storms rumbling through the state political landscape in 2012 — hence, the title of this week’s Capital Notes Podcast. Our brief — and aurally challenged — chat features … Continue reading »


The Costs of Brown's Pension Plan... In Money and Politics

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For weeks, the conventional wisdom around the Capitol has been that Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to create a hybrid pension/401(k) system for future government employees faced long odds with legislative Democrats. Now, they’ve got something on which to base their … Continue reading »


Getting On Ballot Only Half the Battle

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As every smart politico knows, there are two distinct stages of direct democracy in California: getting your proposition on the ballot and then getting voters to actually ratify your proposition. And so in a few cases this season, the real … Continue reading »


Dems Day 2: Congressional "Erminators"

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SAN DIEGO — Think Hatfields and McCoys. Or Corleones and Tattaglias. Now, think worse… and you start to get a feel for the animosity on display Saturday night between Rep. Howard Berman and Rep. Brad Sherman. The two veteran Democratic … Continue reading »


Dems Day 2: Brown Passes on Tax Pitch

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SAN DIEGO — Well, so much for the notion that Governor Jerry Brown would use his big speech at the California Democratic Party convention to pitch his November tax increase initiative. In a speech running a little more than 11 … Continue reading »