Letter from London: Mirroring US Politics and a Plug for the Golden State

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

We came to London for a respite from the lunacy of American politics, only to have underscored how like the U.S. model British politics have become. And I’m not talking parliamentary sex scandals here! Observing media coverage of the annual Labour Party Conference revealed a party torn by ideology and a campaign process that relies […]

Read more

Carmen Warschaw Remembered as California Political “Powerhouse”

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

Crossposted on Prop Zero Editor’s Note: In the 1990s, I served with Carmen Warschaw on the Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Budget Task Force working to improve the County’s financial condition. Despite political differences, we worked well together toward that goal. Long before “feminism” became a potent political movement in the U.S., Carmen Warschaw cracked […]

Read more

Villaraigosa’s Ready for His Close Up

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

Crossposted on Prop Zero During the GOP national convention, actor Jon Voight was spotted meandering, virtually undisturbed, through the Media Center. Then L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, soon to preside over the Democratic National Convention, sidled in and was instantly surrounded by a swarm of reporters. In his role as a major Obama campaign surrogate and […]

Read more

Luck, Timing and Prop. 13

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

Crossposted on Prop Zero If politics is a matter of luck and timing, a look back at Proposition 13 (also on his watch) might be instructive as Gov. Jerry Brown tries to save his proposed tax initiative. In terms of luck, Brown appears to have had a run of the bad kind lately, just as […]

Read more

Gov. Brown’s Taxing Problem

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

Cross-posted at Prop Zero Prospects for resolving California’s budget mess rest squarely on Governor Jerry Brown’s relationship with the state’s voters. He’s got to personally convince a public skeptical of government and loath to trust politicians to approve new taxes to help fill a cavernous budget hole. Californians have got to feel comfortable with his […]

Read more

From Master Plan to No Plan: California’s Education Failure

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

Crossposted at Prop Zero California has gone from having a Master Plan for Higher Education to having no plan for higher education. In 1959, the Legislature mandated the preparation of “a Master Plan for the development, expansion, and integration of the facilities, curriculum, and standards of higher education, in junior colleges [now Community Colleges], state […]

Read more

Ten Things Californians Should Watch For in 2012

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

Crossposted on Prop Zero Ah, New Year’s! Cue the flood of media retrospectives on the year that was. This isn’t one of them. Californians know where we’ve been. Let’s focus, instead, on the Future. Specifically, here are ten things Californians should watch for in 2012: 1. A raft of “tax reform” initiatives on November’s ballot: […]

Read more

Farewell to a Giant of Civility

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

(Editor’s Note: Tim Hodson was a contributor to Fox and Hounds Daily. We endorse everything in Sherry’s column about Tim and also wish to pass on our heart felt condolences) Crossposted at Prop Zero As if we needed another reminder that the era of deliberation and civility in California politics and government is over, on […]

Read more

From ‘big tent’ to ‘pup tent’ GOP

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

Co-authored by Douglas Jeffe. Originally published at Politico.

When
you analyze the dysfunctional politics in Washington and Sacramento you can
clearly see that a real problem is that there just aren’t enough Republicans –
moderate Republicans. As with most trends – good and bad – you can point to
California as the place where the demise of moderate GOP lawmakers took root.

What
difference does it make? Plenty.

Today’s
dominant strain of Republicanism views government as the enemy, something to be
shrunk and defeated, not to be fixed. Democrats, with their dependence on the
political largesse of public-employee unions, are constrained by the status quo
and lack the bipartisan partners necessary to pursue constructive improvements
in the way services are delivered and to tackle the economic realities.

Business
has no place to go to push for a positive agenda. In Washington, as well as in
Sacramento and other state capitals across the country, hyper partisanship reigns
and gridlock persists.

Read more

Biting the Feds Hand Won’t Bring Money to California

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California

Somebody should take California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger aside and remind him that you never bite the hand that
feeds you – even if you’re still hungry after being fed.

Faced with a $20 billion-plus budget deficit, a
record-low approval rating and no prospect of garnering the two-thirds
legislative vote required to raise taxes, he released a draconian state budget earlier
this month and blamed everyone but himself for the fiscal mess that made it
necessary.

To help close the fiscal gap, Schwarzenegger is in
D.C. this week, along with state legislative leaders, with hat in hand to lobby
the California delegation for billions of dollars. But the welcome sign
probably won’t be hanging on the doors of the Washington lawmakers. This month
has been marked by rancor between the governor and the Democrat-dominated
delegation over what he claims Washington owes California.

Read more