The Latest Prop. 30 Poll and the Lessons of History

Ethan Rarick
California Fellow at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC-Berkeley, and the author of California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown.

What to make of the new Field Poll on Prop. 30? Looking back at the state’s political history, most propositions in roughly similar situations pass, but tax-increase measures fare especially poorly in the final week, with undecided voters breaking sharply toward opposition, and sometimes even with former supporters migrating to the no column. Here are […]

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Arnold’s Book: The Questions the Governator did not Answer

Ethan Rarick
California Fellow at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC-Berkeley, and the author of California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown.

Here are five (admittedly wonky) questions that I wish Arnold Schwarzenegger had answered in his new book – and how he missed the boat on each. 1.    What are the inside details of the process that led to the passage of AB 32, the state’s limit on greenhouse gas emissions? This would have been interesting […]

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Prop. 30 Ads – Wrong (Thank Goodness)

Ethan Rarick
California Fellow at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC-Berkeley, and the author of California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown.

The new ads touting the governor’s tax increase emphasize that the money will be locked away for public education. It’s a phony claim, but ironically that’s a good thing. It would be the worse for being true. The fact is that the state’s budget process is too constricted rather than not constricted enough. The fiscal […]

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Will Prop. 30 Pass? Here’s Some Historical Perspective

Ethan Rarick
California Fellow at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC-Berkeley, and the author of California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown.

What’s the likely outcome for Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax increase? That’s the million-dollar question – well, OK, the $6-billion question – for the California political community at the moment. Prop. 30 is ahead in the most recent IGS/Field Poll, 51-36 with 13 percent undecided. A nearly simultaneous PPIC Poll has remarkably similar […]

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Why Republicans Need Sunscreen and Flip-Flops

Ethan Rarick
California Fellow at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC-Berkeley, and the author of California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown.

The new voter registration statistics are bad news for Republicans, and the closer you look, the worse it becomes for the GOP. When the Secretary of State released the new report the other day, plenty of people noted that statewide Republican registration is now at an all-time low of 30.4. But even more striking is […]

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What the Voters Want: More Corporate Taxes

Ethan Rarick
California Fellow at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC-Berkeley, and the author of California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown.

Here’s the most interesting thing about the new PPIC poll: One of the most popular ideas with voters is something that almost nobody talks about. The pollsters ticked off a series of potential tax increases and asked if people favored or opposed each: higher income taxes for the wealthy, a split roll for property taxes, […]

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California’s Central Valley Project? The Feds Bailed Us Out

Ethan Rarick
California Fellow at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC-Berkeley, and the author of California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown.

In making his case during the State of the State speech for the proposed high-speed rail system and the pending water bond, Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledged that big-bucks projects are often met with derision. He noted that the Central Valley Project was begun during the 1930s, when critics called it a “fantastic dream” that “will […]

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Bake sales aside, SB 185 won’t make much of a difference

Ethan Rarick
California Fellow at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC-Berkeley, and the author of California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown.

The “diversity bake sale” by the Berkeley College Republicans and the resulting whirlwind of counter-protests prove yet again that Berkeley suffers no shortage of self-righteous ire, left or right. The irony is that the pending legislation lying at the center of the whole flap is essentially meaningless. The Republicans staged their bake sale as a […]

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UC Berkeley Conference: Why Would Anyone Want to be Governor?

Ethan Rarick
California Fellow at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC-Berkeley, and the author of California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown.

Why
would anybody want to be governor of California? With huge budget
deficits, a dysfunctional system of governance, and a grumpy
electorate, can any governor actually accomplish very much?

Five experts on California politics will gather Monday, Sept. 20 on the
Cal campus in Berkeley to talk about what the next governor should do
– no matter who ends up taking the oath of office.

The panelists include writer Mark Paul, author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It; Debra Saunders, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle; Yvonne
Walker, president of SEIU Local 1000, California’s largest state
employees union; and Bill Whalen of the Hoover Institution. Ted
Lempert, former member of the Assembly and current president of
Children Now, will moderate.

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