Democrats hurt by gerrymandered congressional districts, but not in California

Dan Walters
Columnist, CALmatters

Belatedly – and only after they had lost control of Congress to Republicans – the national Democratic Party grasped the impact of how state legislatures redraw congressional districts after each decennial census. A consortium of Republican and conservative interest groups had methodically set out to capture state legislatures and governorships in anticipation of redistricting after […]

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Despite Proposition 13, California property tax revenue has soared

Dan Walters
Columnist, CALmatters

Much has been said and written – mostly negatively – about the effects of Proposition 13, California’s iconic law limiting property taxes. Its critics say that Proposition 13, which restricts taxes to 1 percent of property values and caps increases in those values at 2 percent a year, has starved schools and local governments of vital […]

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Officials gamble with the public’s money, and sometimes lose big

Dan Walters
Columnist, CALmatters

Voice of San Diego, a journalistic website that covers local politics, published a remarkable article late last month about financial shenanigans in the San Diego Association of Governments, a regional planning and transportation agency. Twelve years ago, the article said, SANDAG, as it’s known, decided to invest – or wager – millions of dollars from […]

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As California Legislature divides on universal health care, Rendon does the right thing

Dan Walters
Columnist, CALmatters

Except for one year, two-plus decades ago, Democrats have controlled both houses of the California Legislature for nearly a half-century. Moreover, most members of the Senate are former members of the Assembly, so one might assume that the two houses are in synch and so duplicative that it might as well be a one-house Legislature. […]

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Democrats gripe about secrecy in Washington but practice it in Sacramento

Dan Walters
Columnist, CALmatters

Knowledge, it’s been said, is power. And that explains, in a nutshell, why those in public office fundamentally dislike, and often resist, revealing information to the voting and taxpaying public. That’s especially evident in Washington, where information is a commodity to be acquired, hoarded and traded – and only reluctantly shared with the larger public. […]

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State’s ‘balanced and progressive’ budget carries big risks for taxpayers

Dan Walters
Columnist, CALmatters

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders are patting themselves on the back for what Brown describes as a “balanced and progressive budget” for the 2017-18 fiscal year that begins July 1. The “progressive” description of the $185 billion budget alludes to expanding benefits for the very large number of impoverished Californians – at least a quarter, […]

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Migration and Blue State California

Dan Walters
Columnist, CALmatters

Editor’s Note: Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters responded to Joel Fox’s piece yesterday on migration affecting the political orientation of California. Theory is correct but it happened in 90s, not in last decade. As I pointed out in chapter of “The New Political Geography of California,” big exodus from LA County occurred after collapse of […]

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