| Jul 14, 2009
These are desperate days in the California statehouse.
Lawmakers are floundering as they attempt to halt a financial meltdown. Their popularity has plunged even lower than usual.
Now the 120 women and men of the California Legislature face another...
| Jul 16, 2009
Efforts by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders to reach agreement on a package to wipe out the state's $26.3-billion deficit stalled Wednesday night.
Despite earlier consensus on how to close most of the gap, some nagging final issues...
| Jul 16, 2009
They whiffed a fat batting practice pitch. Blew a gimme putt. Inexplicably clanked a slam-dunk.
Pardon the sports jargon, but it's a civil way to characterize incompetence and failure in Sacramento. It avoids invective language already too prevalent in...
| Jul 7, 2009
Prospects for a resolution of the state's financial crisis darkened further Monday, with a top lawmaker saying negotiations were "getting worse," as the state's credit rating dropped to its lowest level in years.
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los...
| Sep 3, 2009
The Legislature is on the verge of two major achievements -- on prisons and water -- if lawmakers can be calm and rational during the final week of this year's regular session.
That means cooling the heated rhetoric -- particularly the staff-produced...
| Feb 14, 2010
In Los Angeles, history often seems to careen on with hardly a backward glance. Last week, as Diane Watson announced that she would retire this year from Congress, history suffused the room and there were backward glances aplenty.
In the conference...
| Jul 23, 2009
Sacramento's latest budget product may be the worst ever -- and the very best possible given the reality of California politics.
Liberal interests are crying about painful spending cuts and no new taxes, not even on big oil or smelly tobacco....
| Jul 23, 2009
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders on Wednesday held together their plan to close California's $26.3-billion deficit by delaying until next month a vote on a controversial provision to reduce the amount of time that thousands of inmates...
| Aug 5, 2009
Maybe it's the summer heat. Or maybe, like a lot of people, I've given up all hope of any bold leadership in California when it comes to the budget.
Whatever the reason, I'm getting more comfortable with the idea of a beer company sponsoring a state...
| Oct 1, 2009
Sure, you can't please everyone. That's a given on anything controversial. But come on! Maybe at least a few people?
Maybe that's impossible in the current climate of public pique and partisan politics.
Only Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his finance...
| Sep 13, 2009
As metaphors go, last week served up a doozy. A married member of the Legislature resigned his office after blurting out over an open microphone salacious details about relationships with two women, at least one of them said to be a lobbyist.