Climate Change, Forest Management and Wildfires

Gov. Gavin Newsom likes to beat Californians over the head that every ill under his administration is due to climate change, including wildfires. But what you will not find him saying is that, while he is spending billions of dollars to have California singlehandedly eliminate global greenhouse gases, he and fellow Democrats have spent relative […]

Misdiagnosing the OC?

LA Times reporter Christopher Goffard and I go back to his days at the Daily Pilot in 1996. He’s enjoyed a great journalistic career since those early days. We spoke for a half-hour last Wednesday, during the noon hour, a day before the Governor’s awkward press conference ordering the closing of Orange County’s beaches. We […]

Underground Economy Will Stifle Recovery

One area I’ve been trying to get my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to focus on is the underground economy. Let me explain. Let’s say you are a nonessential service provider. You have employees, for which you pay them competitive wages and salaries, because you want to retain them. And you withhold […]

One More to Veto

As Governor Newsom considers signing or vetoing hundreds of pieces of legislation before the Oct. 13 deadline, allow me to suggest another veto-worthy bill.  As it relates to adding debt, SB 268 (Wiener) will once again limit government transparency and prevent the public from knowing the true costs of bond measures when they appear on […]

CA’s finances now $213 billion in the red – NJ, IL worse

Drum roll, please. It is time for my Second Annual Update on State Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs). The main data are in the first two charts below. The big takeaways:  California is still in the bottom 10 of the 50 states. Nevertheless, the Golden State moved up one position to 41st place from 42nd […]

Looking Forward on Affordable Housing

With the state budget mostly concluded, now is a good time to look at future reforms to bring Californians more housing, affordable or otherwise. It’s called a housing crisis, yet you can buy a 282-square-foot kit home on for $18,800, instructions included. If you need something bigger, there’s a 1,336 square foot kit home […]

Union should face UC’s fiscal realities, work for sensible reforms

California high-school seniors soon will receive their diplomas full of hope and eager to learn more in college. Which is why the last thing they need is a tuition increase. Yet that’s just what could happen for those about to attend the University of California if the school meets the demands of unions threating to […]

Teacher Strike Could Crash Oakland Unified Finances

When school finances go bad, it’s the kids who get hurt most. That’s what’s happening in the Oakland Unified School District as its teachers prepare for a potentially “indefinite strike” beginning Thursday, as threatened by Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Teachers Association. The teachers are seeking a 12 percent pay hike. The district offered […]

Just one Santa Clara County School District Outputs a Positive Balance Sheet

Silicon Valley might have to change its name to Red Ink Valley. Officially named Santa Clara County, just one of its 31 public school districts, Orchard Elementary, enjoys a positive balance sheet, according to my tally of all 944 districts in California. Not just its teachers, but Orchard’s administrators deserve apples.

Fact-Checking Snopes and PolitiFact on California Wildfires and SB 1463

The fact-checking sites Snopes and PolitiFact have called into question my Senate Bill 1463 from 2016. I am going to fact-check their fact-checking. Snopes wrote: “Claim: Jerry Brown vetoed a wildfire management bill in 2016, contributing to the prevalence and risk of wildfires in the ensuing two years.” So, Snopes itself is claiming two “claims” […]