A Review: “Chessman” — Pat Brown, Jerry Brown and California’s Crime of the Century

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

(Editor’s Note: A reading of Joe Rodota’s play Chessman, a work in progress, was performed at the B Street Theatre in Sacramento this weekend.) Crime never ceases to intrigue, especially its punishment.  Half a century ago California executed convicted felons on a regular basis at San Quentin’s gas chamber.  That placed capital punishment at the […]

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Jerry Brown – Is The Fourth Time The Charm?

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

National Republicans have had a dreadful two months, culminating in their humiliating surrender to President Obama on funding the Department of Homeland Security.  But now it is the turn of national Democrats to squirm, and that is over the strange affair of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. Democrats are hoping for a smooth 2016 transition from President […]

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Supreme Court Opens The Door To A Democratic Gerrymander

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

Has the United States Supreme Court just given California Democrats the right to gerrymander California’s congressional districts to their hearts’ delight?  That’s the most likely conclusion from the oral arguments in a case involving the Arizona independent redistricting commission.  If the Court rules for the Arizona legislature, as the oral arguments strongly imply, the Court […]

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The Impossibility of a Republican US Senator

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris is becoming more and more the inevitable successor to Sen. Barbara Boxer, but one thing will assure Harris’s election, and that is if a Republican ends up in the top two runoff against her.  It is impossible for any Republican to be elected United States Senator from California. That is […]

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Remembering Don Clausen

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

Former Congressman Don Clausen of Santa Rosa died last week at the age of 91.  Not many people would remember it, but his entering politics, and his leaving it, tells us much about what has transpired in California and American politics over the past half century. Don Clausen ran for Congress as a Republican in […]

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An Open Senate Race and New Rules

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

The 2016 US Senate race will be the first serious statewide contest under the new rules of the open primary-top two runoff.  If politicians have not figured out how much it has changed California politics, they will soon. In a one-party state like California, the dominant pols generally don’t like elections, and the retirement of […]

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A Racial Battle for the US Senate

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

The fight over who succeeds Sen. Barbara Boxer will not be partisan; it will be racial.  For a quarter century, California’s two US Senate seats have been held by white Jewish women. Now the race to succeed her is shaping up to feature the Democratic establishment’s candidate, an African American South Asian woman; a candidate […]

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Boehner and McCarthy Take Charge

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

The vote to pass the “cromnibus” spending bill in Congress confirms the one of the biggest political stories of 2014: Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are fully in charge in the House and will no longer allow Tea Party types to push them around. Anti-Boehner Republicans tried to stop the bill because […]

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Jerry Brown As The Nation’s Leading Democrat

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

The big story of 2015 may be the emergence of Gov. Jerry Brown as the new national leader of the Democratic Party.  That’s not due to anything Brown has done, but rather the thrashing the Democrats suffered in 2014 that has left them a leaderless party with both a weakened President and an uncertain President-in-Waiting. […]

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How To Blow Nine Congressional Districts

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

It was quite a feat.  Congressional Republicans had a chance to win nine Democratic-held House seats in California and blew every one of them – actually ending up down one seat in an election when nationally the House GOP has its largest class since the Hoover Administration.  How they blew these seats is a story […]

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