Brown Finally Surrenders on Prison Overcrowding

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

The endgame is here for Gov. Jerry Brown’s long-running battle with the courts over prison overcrowding. On Monday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District court gave Brown the two-year extension he was looking for, but he had to pay the price. And it was a steep one. The governor agreed to accept the court’s […]

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Politics Trumps Reality in State Water Wars

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Well, the water bill by Hanford GOP Rep. David Valadao that just passed the House may not ease the drought, but it did wonders to warm up the state’s political climate. “Congressman Garamendi Opposes California Water Theft Legislation,” screamed the press release by, well, Congressman Garamendi. Sen. Barbara Boxer called it “another divisive and discredited […]

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For Brown, It Won’t Be Easy to Just Say No

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Gov. Jerry Brown knows he’s in trouble when even President Obama seems to be ganging up against him. One of the high points of the president’s State of the Union address the other night was a clarion call for universal pre-school education, paid on the public dime. You know, almost exactly like the proposal by […]

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Kashkari Sings an Old GOP Tune in Governor’s Race

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Once again, a new Cincinnatus of the GOP has surveyed the political landscape, put down his, ah, spreadsheet and marched off toward Sacramento to restore fiscal order to the state. “I owe it to the people of California to share my wisdom with them,” he tells the waiting scribes. “But only if I can be […]

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Long-Term Paycheck Trumps Sacramento Power

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

In politics, as in much of life, when it comes to a choice between power and a paycheck, cash usually wins. Just ask Democratic State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, who had to make just that choice last week. The 61-year-old DeSaulnier was one of the frontrunners to take over the state Senate’s top job when state […]

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Voters’ Fiscal Worries Are Good News for Brown

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

California’s economy is on the mend, but most voters still don’t believe it. That’s happy news for Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown released his 2014-15 budget Thursday and he was his usual downbeat self. Things may look good, he said at his Sacramento news conference, but they really aren’t all that rosy. The budget “represents prudence […]

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Chuck Reed Takes Pension Reform to Public

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

In politics, if you’re not making someone mad, you’re not doing your job. When a person is elected, we expect him or her to decide what the important problems are and then work to fix them, regardless of whose toes get stepped on. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s plan for a 2014 initiative to reform […]

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Perez Gets Ready for the State Budget Battle

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Assembly Speaker John Perez fired the first shot of the 2014-15 budget wars this week when he released his “Blueprint for a Responsible Budget,” a document that sets the Assembly’s priorities for dealing with the unusual situation that finds the state looking at black ink instead of red. “By following this Budget Blueprint, we can […]

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Preparing Young People for Their Future

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

The young people of today are going to be the leaders of tomorrow and that should raise a collective “Uh oh” across the nation, a Stanford professor believes. In a recent report on civic education – think high school civics classes and the like – William Damon and his associates are convinced that young people […]

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Fiscal Good Times Make Brown’s Job Harder

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

It isn’t that Gov. Jerry Brown isn’t happy to hear Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor say such nice things about California’s financial future, but he would like it better if the state’s top bean counter wasn’t so darned enthusiastic about the good news. A remarkably upbeat report issued Wednesday projected a state awash in black ink, […]

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