California Treasurer Chiang Calls Out Pay To Play In School Bond Elections

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

California State Treasurer John Chiang and a coalition of county treasurers and tax collectors today moved to stop questionable bankrolling of campaign activities in local bond election campaigns. “There are unscrupulous Wall Street firms offering to fund local bond campaigns in exchange for lucrative contracts,” said Chiang. “Not only are these pay-to-play arrangements unlawful, they […]

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Modernization of California’s landmark Political Reform Act announced  

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), in partnership with the University of California and California Forward, has announced a project to updateCalifornia’s venerable Political Reform Act (PRA). The Political Reform Act was passed in 1974 as a response to the Watergate scandal and was hailed as a landmark law that cemented California’s reputation as a national leader in regulating […]

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California Workforce Training Gets $200 Million Boost From Budget

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

The California Legislature passed a budget that includes an additional $200 million for a workforce training program that takes aim at the looming skills gap across the state’s regions. “This is a victory for both California employers and community college students. In our travels around California, we heard loud and clear about the need for […]

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More California Employers Urging Legislative Action on Workforce Funding

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

California employers are urging the Legislature to fully fund two promising programs this year with $250 million to bolster the state’s workforce. A letter to key legislators from the Regional Economic Association Leaders of California (REAL Coalition), which represents more than 15,000 employers, makes the case succinctly to approve $200 million for the Strong Workforce […]

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SB 1349 Cal-Access Bill Is Another Step Forward In California’s Political Reform Era

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

When key state leaders gathered Monday for a press conference to promote a bill (SB 1349) authorizing the Secretary of State to create a modern online campaign finance reporting and disclosure system, it represented another step forward in California’s era of reform. Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Senator Bob Hertzberg, Los Gatos software entrepreneur Jim Heerwagen, California Common Cause Executive […]

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California’s New Assembly Speaker Sees Benefit Of Recent Democracy Reforms

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

When Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) is sworn in as Assembly Speaker next Monday, he will become what some Californians are describing as the “reform speaker.” The Speaker’s chair has been a bit of revolving door in recent years thanks in large part to the term limits that allowed an Assembly member to only serve a […]

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California’s Prop 50—Another Step Toward Restoring Public Trust

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

When state Sen. Leland Yee was arrested in 2014 on charges he engaged in racketeering and gun-trafficking activities, Californians were outraged. A state senator who was campaigning for Secretary of State on a transparency platform was found to be a phony and ultimately a convicted criminal. Yee became the third sitting State Senator charged with […]

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Say Yes to Legislative Transparency

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

California Forward has been in existence for nearly a decade and during that time we’ve talked with people around the state about how to improve and reform our state government. There have been a number of good ideas that have been expressed, but few of them have more support than what is called the 72-hour […]

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California Economic Summit Sets Bold Goals

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

When California Forward and the California Stewardship Network conceived the California Economic Summit several years ago, it was hoped it could start a real conversation about job creation in California. Mission accomplished. The fourth annual meeting of the Summit concluded last week in Ontario, attracting 400 private, public and civic leaders from diverse regions across California. “Hundreds […]

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California Makes It Easier To Register To Vote—But Will More People Cast A Ballot?

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

Californians, including the estimated 6.6 million eligible Californians who aren’t registered, will soon have fewer excuses for not registering to vote. Governor Brown signed a landmark measure into law over the weekend that will allow eligible Californians to be automatically registered to vote when they go to the Department of Motor Vehicles office to obtain or renew […]

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