Will Adoption of the Open Primary Increase Voter Clout?

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

When Proposition 14 was adopted by California voters in June 2010—the so-called blanket or open primary— it signaled an interest in moving away from strict partisanship —sort of. Under this law, statewide and congressional candidates run against each other on the same ballot regardless of party affiliation. The top two vote-getters move on to the […]

Read more

The Decline And Future Of Healthcare Legislation

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

The Trump Administration has run into its first major policy buzz-saw—and it is the Republican Party. To quote the old Walter Kelly “Pogo” cartoon, “We have met the enemy and he is us! The GOP repeal and replace health plan has been rejected by its own members and could be delayed indefinitely. This was a […]

Read more

The Health Care Fiasco

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

With thousands showing up at California town halls to discuss the unravelling of the Affordable Health Care Act and other issues it’s a sign all is not so well in Trump Land. Nothing trumps (pun intended) the agenda—not even Russian meddling and intelligence compromises — so much as the future of our healthcare and what […]

Read more

Is The “I” Word To Be Taken Seriously?

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

Some decry the fact that presidential campaigns take too long. The most recent one with all its ugliness could not have ended soon enough. Maybe four year stints for those elected are also too long. We might need a probationary period to see how things work out. The Constitution’s authors—all very wise men—did not foresee […]

Read more

Trump’s Super Bowl Dilemma

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

Just when we thought there were no more significant snubs forthcoming after Mexico’s president turned down the invitation to visit the White House over the unresolved issue of who will pay for The Wall, we hear that some of the Super Bowl Champion, New England Patriots, may also be taking a pass. One tantalizing question […]

Read more

A Presidency Getting Built On Lies?

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

Some readers of this column may not like what follows—-and for those who favored Donald Trump enough to vote for him, my conclusions will be disagreeable or worse. I say this in advance not because more justification is needed—the “facts” speak for themselves. However, we are in an over-heated atmosphere of clashing values and viewpoints […]

Read more

Concerns Over Trump and the Chance to Prove his Detractors Wrong

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

Presidential Inaugurals are supposed to be celebrations of a new start, fresh beginnings—-sometimes even historic moments. That was the case in 2008 when the nation chose its first black President. Another historic moment is upon us when the 45th president, Donald T. Trump, will be sworn in amidst controversy over his election that outweighs the event […]

Read more

Jerry Brown, Donald Trump And Climate Change

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

Even well before the 45th U.S. president is sworn in on January 20th and the glittery Inaugural Balls have played host to a the gathering swarm of Trump celebrants and big-spenders, the New Yorker’s ascendancy as the free world’s leader is setting off alarm bells across the globe. There is no lack of doomsday scenarios as we […]

Read more

Ben Franklin’s Crystal Ball

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

While the news coming out of Washington these days has yet to have a particularly soothing effect in the aftermath of a tumultuous election, a trip to one of America’s most fabled cities can be reinvigorating. That would be Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the cradle of democracy at the nation’s birth and its […]

Read more

Trump Proved He Could Win. Now He Must Show He Can Govern

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

Shock and Revulsion. Joy and jubilation. Two clashing views of a nation irreconcilably divided, one segment of the population mourning for itself, the other experiencing the realization of a moment that could not have been predicted just months ago. This was the picture voters woke up to last week—a wholesale political makeover that could just as […]

Read more