Category Archives: CA Politics

Presidential Campaigns, California Style

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As Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has ramped up his rhetoric on the topic of illegal immigration in the 2012 race for the White House, you can forgive California political watchers if they feel a sense of déjà vu. Not … Continue reading »


Brown Paddles Left, Right on Bills

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It is easily the most familiar (and perhaps overused) shorthand for Governor Jerry Brown’s philosophy of governance and politics. And yet Brown’s self-described “canoe theory” seems to have stood the test of time, with his paddling skills put to the … Continue reading »


Message or Messenger? California GOP Wrestles With Answer

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NOTE TO READERS: This will the last blogging until early October, as I take a break from the Capitol and political coverage. I also hope to bring back the weekly podcast at that time, which so many of you have … Continue reading »


Reporter's Notebook: Bill-o-Rama!

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California’s state legislators have gone home, leaving in their wake hundreds of bills either ratified or rejected. They have also, for the time being, shut down their interparty warfare operations… which gives us a moment to open up a raft … Continue reading »


Good Government or Political Power Play?

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After a debate on everything from fixing direct democracy to allegations of welshing on a deal, the Legislature approved legislation on its final day that strips June statewide ballots of initiative measures and — in an unrelated move — delays … Continue reading »


5 Questions I Wasn't Supposed to Think About on Vacation

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There’s a sort of unwritten, and yet often violated rule, when my family goes on vacation: don’t keep checking your smartphone. I didn’t break it too often while visiting my waterlogged family on the coast of North Carolina this past … Continue reading »


Poll: Longer Legislative Terms, Stronger Initiative System

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If a unique gathering of Californians for a weekend full of talks about government proved anything, it may be that the best chance for consensus lies in the what’s most absent in politics: substantive dialogue. On the last weekend in … Continue reading »


Refer Madness 2012

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Whether most voters realize it or not, the vast majority of measures that appear on the ballot in statewide elections ask them to authorize a brand new law. Rarely are voters asked to approve or reject a standing law. And … Continue reading »


Redistricting Maps Official. Soon, Officially Challenged.

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You’d be hard pressed to describe the mood of most members of California’s first-ever independent redistricting effort as anything other than relieved — relieved that a very long and complex process has come to its official end with certification of … Continue reading »


For Some, Redistricting is Splitsville

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Even with testimony from the public and formal guidelines written into law, California’s first-ever citizens redistricting effort has found no easy answers to the question, “What is a community?” And so, in the statewide maps being certified Monday morning, some … Continue reading »