“Top Two” Takes California

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

Despite the grumbling of pundits and partisans, California’s top-two primary is almost certainly here to stay.  The voters like it and the system fits the realities of this state’s politics. California no longer has a functioning two-party system and that is not going to change anytime soon.  The presidency of Donald Trump has served to […]

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Post-Primary Ponderings

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

After all the hand-wringing by Inside the Beltway pundits and politicos, the so-called “Jungle Primary” nightmare scenario failed to materialize, when none of the highly contested California Congressional races produced a GOP vs GOP runoff that would have shut out Democrats from contesting a potentially winnable district in November.  If, and it is a big […]

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RFK

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

Fifty years ago, this week, while celebrating his victory in the hard-fought 1968 California Democratic Presidential primary, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.  That tragedy was a seminal event in a tumultuous year; it was a year in which the political landscape was upended. Politics in California and […]

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Polling, the Astrology of Politics

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

The most recent polls on the California gubernatorial race are out and anyone who thinks he or she can predict what is going to happen on June 5th is probably smoking too much of the state’s newly legalized cannabis. With the state in pretty good economic and fiscal shape, voters simply aren’t engaged in a race […]

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George Deukmejian: The Anti-Trump

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

The passing of former Governor George Deukmejian is a reminder of how much has changed in our political environment, particularly on the GOP side of the aisle. In virtually every way, Governor Deukmejian was the opposite of Donald Trump. A thoroughly decent man, Deukmejian displayed less ego than almost any politician you can think of.  The Trumpian “politics of […]

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Trump v California—the OC Battleground

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

Donald Trump’s war with California is raging on all fronts—health care, climate change, environmental regulation, taxes, land use and, of course, immigration.  Nowhere are the battles fiercer or the stakes higher than in Orange County, the one-time bastion of conservative Republican politics that has morphed from solid red to purple.  Hillary Clinton carried Orange County […]

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Take Me Out To The “Bull” Game

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

With spring training done, the major league baseball season is finally underway. But don’t expect most Californians to dive into the state’s June 5 Primary election quite so fast or furiously. President Donald Trump and our national political melodrama are sucking all the oxygen from our civic environment.  With no crisis at hand, state politics are very much […]

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Trump Makes California Grate Again

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

President Donald Trump finally came to the Golden State and Californians responded with the ultimate dis—they pretty much ignored him. Everyone, including the President, seemed to be going through the motions. There wasn’t enough electricity in the atmosphere to power an iPhone for more than an hour. Clearly, Trump wasn’t interested in much interaction with […]

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Jerry Brown—the Man Who Wasn’t There

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

When California Democrats held their convention in San Diego, there was a conspicuous absentee—Governor Jerry Brown.  Not only wasn’t he physically present, he was barely mentioned from the speaker’s podium.  The party’s activists and aspiring politicians were clearly ready to move on. Despite going into the home stretch of a highly successful run as Governor, […]

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First Thoughts on the California Democratic Party Convention

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

When Democrats met last weekend in San Diego for their state convention there was a buzz that hasn’t been present at recent State GOP conclaves or many past Democratic gatherings. The intensity dividend that has worked for Democrats in special elections and state contests in Virginia, New Jersey and even Alabama, appears to be building […]

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