Voters beware of our populist threat. It comes from the right and left

We stand at the precipice of a significant tectonic shift in our political system.  Similar to the profound disruptions the newspaper, music and transportation industries underwent some years ago, our democratic system, which is designed to be a lagging social indicator, is struggling to find a working model for a more complex age. The speedy […]

Report Today on Latino Economic Well-Being in California

The California Latino Economic Institute (CLEI), the leading organization serving as a catalyst to grow the Latino middle class in California, today released The State of Latino Economic Well-Being in California. Latinos are the largest racial or ethnic group in California. However, on almost every measure examined in the study, Latino outcomes are below those […]

Ineffective Rebate Rule Would Burden Taxpayers With An Extra $200 Billion

The cost of health care in this country is rising at unsustainable rates thanks in no small part to the sky-rocketing costs of prescription drugs. Today, one-in-four Americans can’t afford their medications, causing many to ration their medications – sometimes with deadly consequences. Others are forced to choose between paying for their medications or paying […]

SB 443—Tightening the Law on Civil Asset Seizures

Few nightmares can be more frightening to conservatives than the image of government agents running amok and seizing citizens’ property without due process. We like to think it can’t happen here. But it can happen. And it is happening – on a regular basis. Civil asset seizure without due process is taking place today across […]

The Death of Political Parties in California?

Are both political parties collapsing in California? Over the past few years the release of Secretary of State data showing a drop in Republican registration has become a routine news story in California. The trend line for the Grand Ol’ Party certainly isn’t a good one, but it’s not as singularly bad as overly simplistic […]

Will Ethnicity Trump the Gender Advantage in the Upcoming US Senate Race?

Some of the most fascinating focus groups I’ve ever conducted were of Democratic women in the 2008 Presidential primary. For the first time we were able to gauge women voters sentiment simultaneously on race and gender with both the first female and African-American candidate for President on the ballot. White women overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton […]

The Kamala Harris Advantage

Kamala Harris enters the US Senate race with two considerable advantages. First, she’s a woman. That might not fit into the conventional narrative but for a Democrat, being a woman brings with it a 10 point structural advantage. According to Political Data, 55% of registered Democrats are women. That’s an enormous advantage in a party […]

Memo to the Governor: “All politics are still local”

Governor Brown stepped into one heckuva political firestorm with his proposal to eliminate redevelopment in California. Days before being sworn in, the Governor’s office floated a trial balloon to check the temperature of local city council members and mayors on taking their communities job creating money to solve the states ongoing financial mess.

He found their temperature boiling.


The Governors office made a tactical error on two fronts: first he pushed cities to obligate redevelopment monies immediately – which effectively took them off the table for the state to grab and balance his budget, but second and even more importantly he may have alienated the most important constituency he needs to get the state back on track as well as the cornerstone of his budget fix done – mayors and council members.

Stopping State Raids of Local Government Funds Essential to Reforming California

Everyone agrees California’s system of governance is broken. To reform it, we need to take power away from our ineffective state government and move it to the local level where there’s more accountability for local voters and taxpayers. A key first step in this process is stopping the ongoing State raids of local taxpayer funds.

Toward that end, a broad coalition of local elected leaders, business leaders, public safety officials, taxpayer advocates and others just began collecting signatures to qualify the “Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act of 2010” for the November 2010 ballot. This measure will prevent the State from borrowing, raiding or otherwise redirecting local government funds. It also protects existing gas taxes we pay at the pump which go to transportation improvements.