Boycott Real ID

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)

Do you love your freedoms? Then defy your state and national governments—and refuse to get a “Real ID.” “Real ID” is an idea so bad it should be boycotted by patriots of all stripes.  “Real ID” refers to state driver’s licenses that meet newly enforced federal guidelines. As of October 1, 2020, you will not […]

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March 3 Is California’s Chinatown Election

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 Americans are not going to give us credit for taking our time. The deluge of anger against Iowa’s Democrats, for taking a full day to report the caucus results there, fills me with dread as a Californian. Because our primary results are going to take an awful long time—weeks literally–to be finalized. And that means Democrats […]

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Iowa Fiasco Fills This Californian With Dread

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 Americans are not going to give us credit for taking our time. The deluge of anger against Iowa’s Democrats, for taking a full day to report the caucus results there, fills me with dread as a Californian. Because our primary results are going to take an awful long time—weeks literally–to be finalized. And that means Democrats […]

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We Will Never Elect a Joe

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)

As California’s presidential primaries approach, I ask myself: Will this country really accept a president who makes history, breaks barriers, and challenges our deepest biases about leadership? In other words, are we ready for a president named Joe? Former Vice President Joe Biden is often described in campaign coverage as a safe, traditional choice. That’s […]

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The Bloomberg Boom

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)

Michael Bloomberg has one strong California constituency: our politicians.  As governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger very much enjoyed the wisdom and company of “Bloomie.”  Now, with Bloomberg running for president, he is gaining praise from some of our most progressive politicians, with a real love fest from mayors. L.A.’s Eric Garcetti and Stockton’s Michael Tubbs have been […]

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Shocked, Shocked to Find Top Two Being Gamed

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 not a scandal when California’s top two system gets gamed. It’s a system that was designed to be gamed. Since its passage by voters a decade ago, defenders of the top two—I don’t call it a primary because it’s the absence of the primary—have described it as a way to give independent and moderate […]

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Without the Tax Break, Would That Tarantino Film Be So Darn Long?

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)

Is the state’s tax credit for Hollywood production giving us too much? I’ve been wondering that as I work through my endless watchlists on various streaming services, with an eye towards seeing films and others productions that benefited from the $300 million-a-year tax credit program. I do this critically—I’ve never thought the program was justified. […]

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Catching Fresno’s Brown Wave

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)

Looking for California’s biggest wave? Try Fresno.  As Fresno emerges as the Golden State’s next great city, it’s also experiencing an opening up of its small-town political culture. At this transformation’s heart is the so-called “Brown Wave”—the emergence of local elected officials, who, like half of Fresno’s residents, are Latino. 

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The Older the Pol, the More Californians Like Them

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)

Californians may worship youth and beauty in some things, but not when it comes to choosing political executives.  Indeed, the older the politician, the more we are inclined to support him or her.  We keep electing Dianne Feinstein, now the oldest member of the U.S. Senate, even though, polls suggest, we don’t particularly agree with […]

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Why Did We Want an Early Primary Again?

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 finally worked. California moved up its presidential primary, again, for 2020, and it is getting more attention from candidates and the media.  The question is whether such attention is a good thing.  California is in the process of living up to the old saw that when God wants to punish us, He gives us […]

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