The NFL’s Return to Los Angeles Is a Terrible Idea

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Mayor Eric Garcetti is wrong when he says Los Angeles shouldn’t give taxpayer dollars to the National Football League. To the contrary, L.A. would be wise to pay the NFL to stay away from Southern California. Permanently. Unfortunately, 20 years after the Raiders and Rams left town, the very bad idea of luring the NFL […]

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Will Hollywood Tax Credits Pay for Criminal Defense?

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

I’ve previously written here about the new $1.5 billion-plus tax incentive giveaway to Hollywood, and how such tax credits don’t pay for themselves. But there’s another potential problem with such programs: corruption. I recently spent three days in Louisiana, which has had perhaps the country’s most generous incentive programs for Hollywood. The state has become, […]

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Why Can’t Older Californians Act Like Grown-Ups?

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

At a moment like this, younger Californians should read Mona Simpson. The novelist, who is also a UCLA English professor, may be best known these days as Steve Jobs’ biological sister; it was Simpson who told the world that the Apple chief’s final words were, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow,” before he departed for […]

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UC Exposes the Governor and the Legislature

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Janet Napolitano finally has the UC in the right position: on offense. For years, the University of California has been on defense when it comes to the budget discussion. The state’s university systems don’t have the kind of special initiative and constitutional protections, so politicians cut their budgets fairly easily. And when UC tries to […]

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A New Direct Democracy Right We Need Now in California

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

The experience of Props 1 and 2 was frustrating to watch. On two significant proposals – a water bond and a budget-debt-reserve formula – voters only got one side of the story (the no campaigns for both were practically nonexistent). Both measures easily passed, without much debate (beyond the Prop 2 debate I tried to […]

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Goodbye, Supermajorities

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

I’m not a Democrat, but I once had high hopes for the legislative Democratic supermajorities. California’s governance system is so supermajority mad – we added a new one by Prop 47 in this election – that legislative supermajorities offered the promise of action on taxes, spending and constitutional revision that the state has needed for […]

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Covering California’s Least Amazing Race

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

In the end, Neel Kashkari lacked the courage to do the one thing that might have made him a household name, and thus competitive in the race for California governor: Get infected with Ebola. Media coverage of elections matters in California, in part because we ask our voters to make dozens of decisions in candidate […]

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Take the Quiz: Prop 2? Or Prop 58?

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

If you have a feeling of déjà vu as you try to make sense of Prop 2, the complex formula for a rainy day fund, it’s not just you. Ten years ago, Californians were presented with a very similar measure, Prop 58, which they approved. How similar? Take a look below at pairs of arguments […]

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If Kashkari Really Cares About Kids, He Should Flip on Prop 2

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Let’s do a little negative campaigning here – Neel Kashkari has endorsed Prop 2, the formula on reserve and debt payback, so Gov. Brown’s supporters should know the measure is clearly a payoff to creditors and Neel’s buddies on Wall Street! Oh wait, Gov. Brown is running in support of measure too. The politics (though […]

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What Out of Control Spending Are You Talking About, Gov. Brown?

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

What on earth are you talking about, Governor Brown? In your ad for Jose Solorio, who is running for a state senate seat crucial to hopes of a Democratic supermajority, you say that Solorio “was one of my closest allies in stopping the out-of-control spending” (italics mine). What out-of-control spending is that? The claim is […]

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