The Frenzy Over ProPublica's Redistricting Report

December 21, 2011 · Filed Under CA Politics · 13 Comments 

Did Democrats unduly influence the drawing of California's new 9th congressional district? (Photo: CRC Map)

It should come as little surprise that California's political class is all abuzz over a new and lengthy report on the state's first ever independent redistricting process, one that describes in great detail private machinations apparently employed to help influence the final placement of district lines.

But the reaction has been so predictably partisan -- Republicans calling for a formal investigation, Democrats attacking the report as overblown hype -- that it's hard to discern the substantive jabs from the superficial spin.
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Room for Two Tax Initiatives? Burton Thinks So

December 14, 2011 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, Education, Taxes · 7 Comments 

NOTE: This posting has been modified to reflect that the proposed initiative only guarantees one-third of the oil tax revenue for higher education. The bulk of the revenues would be deposited back into the state's general fund.

Getty/David Paul Morris

One thing that's safe to say about John Burton, the veteran legislator who now chairs the California Democratic Party: he doesn't ask for permission before he acts.

And so on Tuesday, while Governor Jerry Brown was telling reporters that he hopes to clear the field of other tax initiatives aiming for the November ballot, Burton was filing a tax initiative of his own -- an oil severance tax to help fund higher education.
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9 Stories To Watch In '10

January 2, 2010 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Government, CA Politics, Elections · 2 Comments 

Rather than the standard year in review, it's hopefully more worthwhile to make note of a few of the sagas from the world of California government and politics in 2009 that are likely to keep playing out long past the switching of calendars... in a sense, gifts that keep on giving.

So while you rest up from the merrymaking, consider these nine stories to watch in 2010.
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