Karen Bass for Speaker of the House

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 with the Republican Party turned Trumpian, I find myself having to root for the Democrats to win. Is this what it feels like to be a Mets fan? This brings me to Nancy Pelosi’s foolish effort to install herself again as speaker of the house. I don’t want to rehash […]

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Can We Turn Local Government Into a Game?

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)

When I served as co-president of the Glboal Forum on Modern Direct Democracy in Rome earlier this fall, I was impressed by ideas from all over the world. But none more so than Gianluca Sgueo, a thoughtful and interdisciplinary scholar at the New York University campus in Florence. In a paper for the Global Forum, […]

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California’s Democrats Have No Excuses Now

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)

There is no excuse for California Democrats not to remake our governing system now. They no longer can blame a cautious, fiscally conservative governor. He’s retiring, and he’s being replaced by a man who ran on “Courage, for a Change.” That governor takes office with more power than any governor in the history of the […]

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Jerry Brown Creates a New Industry

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)

Jerry Brown has a mixed record when it comes to business policy. But he has definitely created a new industry all by himself. It’s the Suck-Up-to-Jerry-Brown Retrospective. That’s right. America’s media – and indeed, the international outlets as well – have been producing, at a rate of each least one a day, a piece looking […]

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Are California and Orange County Too Rich?

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 has a peculiar peril: Our state is becoming too rich for its own good. For evidence, just look at Orange County. The dangers of too much wealth have not been much of a topic this fall as the county of 3.2 million—more than the population of 21 states—hosts a national political war over control […]

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Five Big Winners on California’s Election Night

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 always dangerous to pick winners and losers in California elections on election night, since so many ballots are still to be counted. But here’s a first blush reaction of the night’s winners, some obvious and some not so.

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California Is About to Get Hammered Nationally Because It Cherishes The Right to Vote

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)

Being for voting rights in a country so dedicated to voter suppression is hard. And it’s about to get harder. California may find that out sooner. Our state’s desire to register as many voters as possible and to get as many people to vote as possible may soon be a target of nationwide criticism and […]

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Why Media Ballot Measure Guides Are an #EpicFail

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 respect and admire California’s mainstream institutions. They do essential work with not enough resources. But I hate their ballot measure guides. And I would suggest you be careful before using any of them. What’s the problem with media ballot measure guides? Some are better than others, but most fail to provide the most basic […]

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California Should Count the Last Ballot Not the First Ballot

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 is counting the wrong ballots. Sometimes voters get two ballots in the mail. On occasion, they get three. And sometimes voters submit more than one. So what happens? Only one ballot counts of course. In California, the rule is: the first ballot that is submitted is the one that counts. Everything that comes in […]

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On Amnesty, Reagan’s Enduring Wisdom

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)

One afternoon in July 1985, President Ronald Reagan met with his domestic policy council in the White House cabinet room. The question: should he keep pushing legislation to offer amnesty to undocumented migrants? Some Reagan aides wanted him to drop his support for amnesty, the term for granting legal stautus to people in the country […]

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