Wishing Arnold Were Governor Right 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)

Watching former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger take on President Trump, I find myself wishing he were governor again. That’s not a feeling that most Californians have. Polls show they like him, but didn’t like the job he did in office. But could California have any better figure to lead the fight against Trump? Schwarzenegger, using social […]

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The 2020 Census Could Be Garbage

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)

President Trump’s next trick may be to make millions of Californians disappear, at least according to records. The Trump administration has begun an effort to sabotage the 2020 census, in ways that will result in an undercount in California, particularly in rural immigrant communities. The addition of a citizenship question – a controversy that has […]

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Nunes Attack on the Fresno Bee Shows His Weakness

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 last refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism, Samuel Johnson famously said. Another refuge is beating up on the local newspaper. Congressman Devin Nunes’. Attacks on the Fresno Bee – including TV ads – thus show both his character and his desperation. Nunes is distorting the Bee’s coverage of him and a winery with which […]

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California’s 3 Time Zones?

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 know what time it is, California? It’s time for new thinking about time, and time zones. By putting Proposition 7 on this November’s ballot, the state legislature has granted us this opportunity to rethink our whole relationship to time. The measure has been described in the media as ending daylight saving time, but […]

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Why the KDL Endorsement Was the Right Move for Democrats

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 reaction to the endorsement of Kevin de Leon’s U.S. Senate candidacy has received almost universal criticism in the mainstream media and from older, supposedly wiser political observers. The endorsement is seen as politically disloyal ()since De Leon is running against a Democratic incumbent Dianne Feinstein), unrealistic (since De Leon trails ) and, most of […]

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There’s a National Security Argument for National Popular 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)

The New York Times reports that Russians are less focused on targeting the mid-term elections than they were the presidential elections. The reason? In short, mid-term elections are better distributed. You elect an entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate across every corner of the country. Interference in such an election isn’t […]

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Welcome to the Megaregion

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)

Further north, welcome as well to Modesto, Sacramento, Placerville, and Yuba City. And, to the south, you’re invited, too, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and Salinas. And while you’re almost in another state, don’t worry, Tahoe City, because the Bay waters are warm. This expanded notion of the Bay Area’s reach isn’t a joke. It […]

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Mr. Putin, Come to Visalia

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)

Finally, President Trump does something I like, but he doesn’t go far enough. He has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to another summit in Washington D.C. And the invitation is for this fall, during the election season. But why should Putin bother with DC? The fall action for anyone interested in election interference will be […]

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California Needs Lonzo, Not LeBron

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)

Go home to Ohio, LeBron James. Yes, I’m happy to see the world’s greatest basketball player join my favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers. But as a Californian, I fear LeBron is the last thing our state needs. His arrival is a high-profile symptom of one of our state’s big problems: California favors older, proven, […]

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The Gas Tax Is a Strange Cross for Our Democracy to Die On

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)

Repeal the gas tax. Or keep it. Either way, I don’t care. Nor should Californians who have any sense of math. It’s bizarre to watch the gas tax emerge as the number one issue in a state with real challenges in housing, economy, education and health care. Because the gas tax is a small tax […]

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