Maldonado Might Bring ‘Good’ Loss for GOP

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

In good news for the California Republican Party, it looks like Abel Maldonado has decided to take one for the team. Not that anyone will ever admit that, of course. Maldonado, who lost a race for lieutenant governor in 2010 and a Central Coast congressional contest last November, said all the right things last week […]

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No Guts in Sacramento to End “Gut and Amend”

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

“Stop me before I cave again.” That seems to be the rationale of California legislators who have no intention of ending the sneaky, sordid practice of “gut and amend,” where a bill is introduced on one subject and then months later has its original language stripped out and magically becomes a bill on something else […]

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Brown and Legislature Have Different Allegiances

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

There’s a reason California has a governor and state Senate Democrats are getting ready to show just what that reason is. When state Senate leaders said this week that they agree with Gov. Jerry Brown’s “fundamental goals and concepts” when it comes to school financing, everyone waited for the inevitable “but…” It wasn’t long in […]

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The Governor Gets Some Welcome Home Gifts

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Gov. Jerry Brown is back in California after a week-long business jaunt to China and found a couple of very nice welcome home presents waiting for him. First, there was Thursday’s announcement that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has settled its suit with Central Valley farmers over the route of the rail system. The agreement, […]

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Bill Lockyer Shows the Problem of Term Limits

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

For those Californians who remain convinced that term limits represent the solution to all the state’s problems, may I present state Treasurer Bill Lockyer. That would be former Assemblyman Bill Lockyer. And former state Sen. Bill Lockyer. And former Attorney General Bill Lockyer. And, if all goes according to plan, after next November’s elections, state […]

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Top-Two Challenges Good for California Voters

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

In newspapers, there’s an old saying: “Vote the story.” For reporters, that means when there’s a political choice between good government and good stories, well, there’s really no choice. In that vein, even the folks who don’t particularly like California’s new top-two primary system have to admit that it’s going to make elections a lot […]

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Reform Must Reflect Political Reality

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

Some critics appear to think California needs a better class of voters and candidates if the state is ever going to run the way it should. Problem is, we’re pretty much stuck with the people and politicians we got, which means we’ve got to play the cards we’re dealt. My colleague Joe Mathews had a […]

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We Want the Government We Won’t Pay For

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

This just in: Californians like government projects and government services, but don’t want to pay for them. That’s the take from a look at the proposed state water bond and the high-speed rail plan in a new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California. When voters were asked if they backed the $11.1 billion […]

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If You Want Voters, Time to Try Mail-Only

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

What if you gave an election and no one showed up? I’m talking to you, Los Angeles. Last Tuesday, about 16 percent of the registered voters showed up to pick the mayor of the country’s second-largest city. But don’t worry, when all the ballots are tallied the final figure could rise as high as say, […]

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Suicide Bill Raises A Question of Need

John Wildermuth
Journalist and Political Commentator

In a world where terrible things happen every day, can we write a law to stop all of them? Should we even try. Take, for example, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s new bill, AB 755, that would require any California bridges built or rebuilt with state or federal money to plan for suicide barriers to deter jumpers. […]

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