Once Around the Statehouse Lightly

Just Jerry Being Jerry | 11-17-2017

Anyone who has covered California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for any length of time – which I have – knows he takes a lot of pleasure at times in verbally jousting with the press...or anyone else in his path when the mood strikes him. Old timers...

Oh The Humanity | 11-17-2017

Anyone who has played the ribald question-answer card game “Cards Against Humanity” knows that pretty much nothing is out of bounds. And speaking of boundaries – see how I did that! – the game’s creators made news last week...

Man, No Man | 11-17-2017

Hey, you want to be become a member of the Brookline Massachusetts Board of Selectmen? Sorry, too late! That’s because, as the Boston Globe reports , the town has dropped the name in favor of calling its elected leaders the Select Board. Members...

Drunks, Fools and Rookies | 11-10-2017

When New Jersey police officer Timothy Richard pulled over a white Chevy Suburban a few weeks ago, he didn’t think much of it. Only on the job for three months, he was carrying out his assignment for the day: cracking down on drivers who talk on...

How’s That Again? | 11-10-2017

Stretching the facts to fit your narrative is nothing new to politics. One could even argue it is as normal as the sun rising in the east. But few can stretch further or with a straighter face than former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. These days Perry is the...

The Bird Is The Word | 11-10-2017

The truth shall set you free. But sometimes it can also free you from your job. Such was the case recently for Virginia resident Juli Briskman. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, her story will. As the Washington Post reports , Briskman is the woman...

Oh the Shame | 11-03-2017

It isn’t surprising that Massachusetts companies with large numbers of workers who get their health care coverage through the Bay State’s version of Medicaid might not want that info getting around. Be that as it may, they may be about to...

Sorry, Not Me | 11-03-2017

Until last week most Americans had never heard of George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign advisor who we’re told pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with the Russian government on the campaign’s behalf. Oops. Per...

Hard to Compete | 11-03-2017

You would think an attempted hijacker who spent years in a mental institution running for mayor of New York City would draw lots of attention. As the New York Post reports , that’s certainly what Aaron Commey – who in 2000 tried to hijack...

Truly Up In Smoke | 10-20-2017

The numerous fires burning in Northern California’s world famous grape growing regions justifiably have folks wondering how they will impact the state’s multi-billion dollar wine industry. That question is yet unanswered, but another big bucks...

Maybe They Should Have Kept Her | 10-20-2017

It’s not unusual for congressional candidates to have their heads a bit in the clouds, but Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera takes that one big step further. As the McClatchy D.C. bureau reports , Aguilera once claimed to have been abducted by aliens and...

Canoe Man | 10-20-2017

California Gov. Jerry Brown can be maddening even to those who love him. Usually that has more to do with his somewhat abrasive personality, but his penchant for splitting the baby, so to speak, can also drive lawmakers to distraction. Case in point comes...

Just What We Need | 10-20-2017

If you think 120 lawmakers sounds like a lot, how does 10 times that grab you? As the Modesto Bee reports , that’s exactly what California GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox is suggesting. Calling it his “Neighborhood Legislature”...

A Party Of One | 10-13-2017

It’s often said that showing up is half the battle. If you need proof, we present the case of Manhattan, Montana resident Glen Clements. As the Bozeman Chronicle reports , Clement is assured of becoming the town’s next mayor. How can they...

If You Bake It, They Will Come | 10-13-2017

If you live in Wisconsin and you’ve always thought your grandma’s cookies were so good she ought to sell them, take heart. As Wisconsin Public Radio reports , it’s now perfectly fine for home bakers to sell their scrumptious goodies...

Root, Root, Root for... | 10-13-2017

Anyone but the Dodgers. Yep, that’s generally the feeling here in Northern California from early April to late October. And while Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti deftly sidestepped a question about his gubernatorial ambitions during his luncheon...

Strange Bedfellows, Statehouse Style | 10-13-2017

On the surface Connecticut lawmakers Art Linares and Caroline Simmons don’t have a lot in common. He’s a Republican loved by the NRA who has done volunteer work for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; she’s a Democrat who worked on Barack Obama’s...

Coffee Conundrum | 10-06-2017

If you thought that steaming hot cup of delicious black goodness that gets us through the wretched, awful time of day we call morning would perhaps kill you, would you drink it anyway? California residents could soon face that question pending the outcome...

And We Thought It Was Jerry | 10-06-2017

Every fall California Gov. Jerry Brown has to hunker down and sift through hundreds of bills that arrive on his desk at the end of the legislative session. Most are of great gravity to a nation state that likes to tell anyone who will listen it is the...

To Czar Or Not To Czar | 10-06-2017

Utah legislators are pondering doing away with the Beehive State’s so-called “porn czar,” officially known as the “obscenity and pornography complaints ombudsman.” The state made big news in 2000 when it created the position...

An Ocean of Lawyers | 09-29-2017

If you live in Rhode Island and need a lawyer, you might consider dropping in on the statehouse. That’s because, as the Providence Journal reports , the Ocean State Legislature has so many attorneys on its payroll it could qualify as the state’s...

Hey, We’re Confused Too | 09-29-2017

Congressional Republicans – and millions of other Americans – aren’t the only ones confused by the often conflicting messages emanating from the White House these days. As the Washington Post reports , North Korea is also occasionally...

And Yet She Didn’t See This One Coming | 09-29-2017

Texas Rep. Dawnna Dukes is in some hot water, facing misdemeanor corruption charges for giving one of her aides a taxpayer-funded raise for shuttling Dukes’ daughter back and forth to school. But that is hardly the most interesting thing about her...

Fake News Association | 09-29-2017

If you went online to take a look at a new news publication called the Free Telegraph and thought, “gee, they sure think highly of Republican governors,” you aren’t imagining things. The Free Telegraph does love itself some Reep govs...

After Trump, Why Not? | 09-15-2017

If you thought politics couldn’t sink any lower...wait for it...guess again. That’s because, as Cleveland.com reports , TV talk show host Jerry Springer, a.k.a. “The King of Trash TV” is pondering a run at the Ohio governor’s...

After Trump, Why Not II? | 09-15-2017

Speaking of surrealistic, how about Sen. Kid Rock? And if self-proclaimed rocks are your thing, perhaps President Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? Or if sharks are more your style, how about Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank panelist Mark Cuban...

How Is This Not The Law Everywhere? | 09-15-2017

For many folks the initial training in the fine art of driving a car comes from a parent. In my case, said training came from my mother...and I still have the ringing in my right ear to prove it. Now Stateline reports that a growing number of states are...

Whiter Shade Of Pale Indeed | 09-08-2017

Charlotte, North Carolina mayoral candidate Kimberly Paige Barnette thinks she has all the skills, talents and abilities she needs to be the city’s next mayor. After all, she’s a former county magistrate, believes in traditional values and...

Big Fish, Big Pond | 09-08-2017

Sacramento is no Washington D.C. but it has its share of similarities, not the least of which is having a lot of people who love to hear how important they are. Which could explain why the entire Capitol community goes a thither each year waiting for...

You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Par-Tay! | 09-08-2017

Or so vows California state Sen. Scott Wiener. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports , Weiner was incensed last week when the Assembly Appropriations Committee gutted his Senate-endorsed measure to allow local communities to decide if they wanted to...

First, Stop Digging | 09-08-2017

If you haven’t noticed, Republicans are as relevant in California as a screen door on a submarine. But it hasn’t always been that way. Reeps were once the state’s preeminent political force. But that started to wane after then-Gov. Pete...

Fish, Fish Fishin’ | 09-01-2017

Take my salmon...please! Yes, it’s a bad play on an old Rodney Dangerfield line, but the overabundance of salmon in the waters around Washington’s San Juan Islands is no joke. As the Seattle Times reports , a broken pen at a private fish farming...

We’ll Always Have Sacramento | 09-01-2017

Republicans in California may be an emasculated bunch these days, but that doesn’t stop them from acting tough when the opportunity arises. Sadly, that often comes in the form of eating their own. Case in point comes in the form of Assembly Minority...

Somehow This Seems Appropriate | 09-01-2017

It’s no secret that known hate groups like the KKK and others have been vocal in their support of President Donald Trump, or that they have been emboldened by his seeming support in return. The results have been, in a word, lethal . With similar...

You Can’t Make This Up | 09-01-2017

Speaking of unpopular presidents, let’s take a moment to digest this infonugget: French President Emmanuel Macron apparently has spent $30,000 in just three months in office on makeup! As the Washington Post (via the French magazine Le Point) reports...

On the Gubernatorial Fast Track | 08-18-2017

When Vermont Gov. Phil Scott talks about getting up on the wheel and getting ‘er done, it’s not always just an analogy for some legislative victory. You see, when not trading paint in the political arena Scott is one of the Green Mountain...

On An Even Faster Gubernatorial Fast Track | 08-18-2017

One might think that being old enough to vote would be a minimum prerequisite to serve as governor, but that’s not actually true in every state. Case in point comes this week in Kansas, where 16-year-old high school junior Jack Bergerson has launched...

Not Funny, Man | 08-11-2017

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo might want to stick to governing and leave the jokes to the professionals. As the Associated Press reports , Cuomo was in Hudson a few weeks ago to announce the city had been awarded $10 million in a state-sponsored downtown...

A Bipartisan Celebration | 08-11-2017

The odds are good that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and former president Barack Obama don’t have a lot in common politically. But that didn’t prevent Rauner from recently signing legislation making Obama’s birthday (Aug 4) a commemorative...

What If They Held An Election And Nobody Came | 08-11-2017

Which is exactly what happened recently in the tiny burg of McIntire, Iowa. As the AP reports , not a single one of the town’s 70 registered voters bothered to vote in the election which was to determine whether terms for the mayor and city council...

The Road Less Traveled | 08-11-2017

A decision in 2011 to take away California lawmakers’ state-sponsored cars drew howls of protest from the Legislature and claims it would raise the already-high cost of their transportation even higher. Alas, that was total hooey. As the Sacramento...

Stop Bugging Me | 08-04-2017

In most places bug spray is as much a part of summer as barbecues and swimming pools. Alas, not so in upstate New York, where kids attending woodland summer camps need a doctor’s note to be able to spray themselves with something to keep the skeeters...

The More Things Change | 08-04-2017

In case you doubt that California is the most diverse state in America, as many as 100 Capitol staffers recently came together to create what is believed to be the nation’s first LGBT staff caucus. As Capitol Weekly reports , the group got together...

Coffee Conundrum | 08-04-2017

Washington drivers can breathe easy – nobody is trying to take away their coffee. As the Seattle Times reports , Evergreen State motorists have been up in arms of late over a new distracted driving law that some have interpreted as banning their...

Okay Now It’s Just Getting Weird | 08-04-2017

The ongoing saga of Chris Christie vs. The World completed another chapter last week. It all started when the New Jersey governor was making his way through the stands at a Milwaukee Brewers game (Christie’s son works for the Brew Crew) and fans...

The Ultimate Mic Drop | 07-21-2017

The National Governors Association recently welcomed Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval as its new president. As with all incoming NGA leaders, Sandoval has his own pet initiative: convincing his fellow govs – some of who appear to be technophobic at best...

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow | 07-21-2017

Nothing is forever in politics. But knowing that doesn’t always make it easier it manage when the end comes. Case in point this week comes from Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who bid farewell to chief of staff Steve Kadish, who stepped down in...

The Furry Anniversary | 07-21-2017

Patience – and lots of it - is a necessary trait for anyone married to a politico. Late nights, working weekends, a thousand rubber chicken fundraising dinners and birthdays and anniversaries lost to policy demands are all part of the game. As Maine...

On the Move? | 07-21-2017

If you have always wanted to live in the governor’s mansion, here’s your chance. Just one caveat: you don’t actually get to be the governor. Actually, there are more caveats than that. As the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports , North...

Gov. Shock Jock | 07-14-2017

No, we’re not done with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just yet. How could we be, given Christie has obviously decided he might as well embrace being his own worst enemy. Another case in point came last week when Christie sat in for notorious sports...