For California’s New Governor, Big Mistakes Will Lead to Greatness

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’ll be watching from the ranch… but I’m only an hour from Sacramento, so Gavin, do not screw up.” — Gov. Jerry Brown, November 5, 2018 Gavin, screw up. Please. Make mistakes. Big ones. Because the state you’re about to start running needs more screw-ups. The transition now taking place in the California governor’s office […]

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UTLA Is Striking Against Itself

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)

United Teachers Los Angeles is a strange teachers’ union. But it has never done anything stranger than its new strike, which is less an action against the Los Angeles Unified School District and more an attack on itself. UTLA is strange because of its structure; it’s a rare teachers’ union that has long been affiliated […]

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Gavin Goes Long and Strong on the Budget

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 double checked. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget press conference has now finally ended. OK, it took less than two hours, which isn’t that long when you consider the size of California and the complexity of state government. But Newsom’s extremely detailed presentation of his budget was a departure from the short and elliptical budget sessions […]

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If Kamala Runs, She Should Resign

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 United States, bitter and angry, needs more of the California spirit. It’d be terrific if that included electing a California president. But California also needs a full-time U.S. Senator. Which is why Kamala Harris should resign her seat as soon as she launches her run for president.

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Kid Saves Speech

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)

Gavin Newsom is a smart politician and a compelling performer, but he needs work on speeches. His inaugural was a dud. The main problem: the speech had little shape. It didn’t have a compelling or surprising point that was carried through. Instead, it moved around from topic to topic.

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New Sacramento Battle Is Same as the Old: Education Vs. Health

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)

You can safely ignore most of the personality-based analyses you’ll soon read of Gavin Newsom’s first budget and state of the state speech. Because the more Sacramento changes, the more it stays the same. And in Sacramento, there is one fight that is greater than all the others. Education vs. Health.

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Grading Jerry Brown, Part 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)

(Editor’s Note: In yesterday’s Fox and Hounds, Joe Mathews graded Gov. Brown on the issues of infrastructure, public safety, education and direct democracy; today he looks at the issues of health care, water and housing.)   Grading the Brown Record on Health Care Grade: B- Gov. Brown’s sharpest aides came out of health care. And […]

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Grading Jerry 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)

(Editor’s Note: Frequent contributor and journalist Joe Mathews turns professor to grade Jerry Brown on his leadership dealing with different issues he faced as governor. Today, the issues of infrastructure, public safety, education and direct democracy are covered; tomorrow health care, water and housing.) Grading the Brown Record: Infrastructure Grade: C Brown offered a number […]

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A Small Victory, By Omission, in November’s Election Results

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)

Amid all the reports about winners in the November 2018 elections, one small but important victor has been omitted: the constitution of the state of California. The nature of the victory? The constitution didn’t get any worse. And that’s a victory because, in most elections for the past 40 years, the state constitution got worse, […]

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The Annual F&H California Office Pool

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)

Double digits! This year, the California Office Pool has its 10th version. It was inspired by the late, great New York Times columnist William Safire, who made a habit of writing an annual column he called Office Pool. In it, Safire offered, multiple-choice style, a series of possible news events that could take place in […]

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