I’ll Debate Kamala

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 top-two system was supposed to produce new political competition. Its first big test in a statewide race – the U.S. Senate runoff between Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez – has raised questions about that argument. There’s been little competition. Sanchez, in particular, has been scarce, most recently making news for declining to talk to […]

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The Next Big Shift in California’s Climate Change Movement

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)

She calls him Eduardo. He calls her Mrs. Pavley. And together they epitomize big changes within the world-renowned California movement to fight climate change. She is Fran Pavley, 67, a state senator from the San Fernando Valley who is in the final months of a distinguished legislative career that established her as the mother of […]

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Housing Crisis Reaches North Coast Mobile Homes

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 pulled into Arcata one August evening, after a long drive from Fort Bragg, and was greeted by a front page banner headline in the Times Standard: “Mobile Home Rent Control Goes to Ballot” This just might be the signature ballot measure of this year. Right now there are no boundaries—not geographical, not economic – […]

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The Word of the Summer is “Victoriotic”

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)

It’s the word of the summer: Victoriotic. You won’t find it in the Oxford English Dictionary, or Merriam-Webster’s, at least not yet. It began its life as an epithet, hurled by my oldest son, age 7, at me. “Don’t be victoriotic!” I was guilty as charged. I had a long losing streak against him in the […]

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Meg Does California Republicans A Favor

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 California Republican Party has now lost something else: its ability to thank people acting in its best interests. Meg Whitman, the Republican nominee for governor in 2010 was criticized by current and former state party officials for her public repudiation of Donald Trump and endorsement of Hillary Clinton. They shoud have praised Whitman. She […]

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De León as EPA Administrator?

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 high likelihood of another Clinton presidency could scramble California politics. A new administration will need to be looking for new talent—Obama folks are tired, and many old Clinton hands are too old or retired for service. That ought to bring attention to many figures in California, where two generations of politicians – one group […]

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The Walls Are Too High in the Kingdom of Ventura

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)

Ventura County is the most glorious and verdant of California kingdoms. Just ask its princes and princesses—those fortunate enough to be able to afford to live and vote there. The nearly 900,000 residents can pretend that they live in the country, with parks or farmland always nearby. The Kingdom of Ventura’s cities remains a series […]

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Do Hollywood Tax Breaks Undermine the Case for Ballot Tax Hikes?

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)

So the state of California has enough tax money to give $18 million to a Disney production of “A Wrinkle in Time.” Great book, hopefully a great movie, and I’m looking forward to seeing it. But it begs a question: if California has enough money to throw millions at a company like Disney, why exactly […]

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California’s Stressed-Out Stoners

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)

California tokers, why are you trippin’ so hard? You keep saying that marijuana helps manage anxiety. But those of you who work in or partake of the cannabis industry sound like the most stressed-out people in California. And that leaves me wondering what’s in your bongs, especially since 2016 is supposed to be a year […]

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Xenophobia, Trump and Trumka           

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)

Donald Trump’s xenophobia is undeniable. He’s built a campaign on blaming foreigners, be they immigrants in the U.S., global refugees, or just anybody overseas. And they are blamed for everything — for trade deficits, lost jobs, terrorism and just about anything that comes to his bigoted mind. The Democrats and Democratic interest groups are rightly […]

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