Once Around the Statehouse Lightly

Not In My Posh Back Yard | 04-12-2019

It’s a safe bet that many of the folks living in the affluent Bay Area suburb of Hillsborough grew up on the 1960s-era Flintstones cartoon. But city officials have filed suit against a wealthy homeowner who has turned her entire property into a...

I Beg To Differ | 04-12-2019

Since the end of World War II, Swiss officials have required various food importers and retailers to stockpile a variety of products considered staples to mitigate the impact of another war. But one of those staples is about to come off the “must...

Surfing Diplomacy or Presidential Prelude? | 04-12-2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said last week that the Golden State’s lucrative surfing culture could serve as an example for building a thriving tourism industry in poverty- and violence-plagued El Salvador. Newsom made the remarks after a three...

From Sour to Sweet | 04-05-2019

Rest easy, Colorado, the great lemonade blockade is over. Yes, as the Denver Post reports , Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill last week that will allow young ‘uns who want to make a few bucks with a good old fashioned lemonade stand to do so without...

Tall Tales Indeed | 04-05-2019

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the tallest pol of them all? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, that would be New York City Councilman Robert Cornegy, Jr, who stands 6-foot-10. But wait! As the Associated Press reports , nobody checked...

Red Tie Tuesday | 04-05-2019

A governor’s daily schedule can be hectic, so every little thing that eases the pressure can be a help. Which is why, as the Associated Press reports , Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s schedule includes suggested attire for most of the events...

A Real Tipping Point | 04-05-2019

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt will not be cowed by your cow-tipping obsession. Yes, as the AP reports , Holt recently celebrated the removal of all T-shirts being sold at the city’s airport that referenced cow-tipping, where rural youths allegedly...

Exit, Stage Backwards Even | 03-22-2019

It wasn’t the kind of exit Kentucky First Lady Glenna Bevin was planning on. As the Louisville Courier-Journal reports , Bevin was one of the speakers at the annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast last week. When she was done, she sat down in...

You Can’t Say She’s Not Loyal | 03-22-2019

Like millions of other Americans, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is good and ready for the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – a.k.a. March Madness – to get started. As MLive.com reports , Whitmer has her bracket all filled out...

A Burger For Me, Kibble For My Date | 03-22-2019

Texas might be about to go to the dogs, and that’s not a bad thing. As the Wichita Falls Times Record News reports (say that three times fast!), the Lone Star State Senate passed a bill last week that would make it legal for eateries to allow dogs...

Trouble In Bloom | 03-22-2019

It’s been an uncharacteristically rainy winter in California. Not a bad thing, as we natives know we’re always just a bad year or two from a big drought. The rain also produces wildflower “super blooms” in various remote locales...

That's Just Gross | 03-15-2019

Word is that tattoos are becoming less of a thing for the younger set these days. That’s probably a good idea given that some folks apparently think it is a good idea to get a tattoo on their eyeball. Yes, on their eyeball! Thankfully, Cornhusker...

It’s Called Fair Play | 03-15-2019

Since men get to constantly tell women how to manage their own bodies, Georgia state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick thinks it’s time that women get to return the favor. In an email to colleagues she titled “Testicular ‘Bill of Rights’...

As Mayor, He May Not Be Baaaaad | 03-15-2019

All hail Lincoln, a Nubian goat now known as His Honor the Mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont. Yes, as the Associated Press reports , Lincoln outlasted over a dozen other critters seeking the office, most notably a dog named Sammie, to win the final tally 13...

Mississippi Magic Beans | 03-15-2019

Most people would not spend $18,000 to save $200. Alas, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is clearly not burdened with such fiscal sense. As the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports , the DPS has recently spent $17,727.50 fighting an open records...

Don’t Get Mad, Get the Money | 03-08-2019

California for the most part really doesn’t like Donald Trump. This is hardly news. Alas, it is news that the California Public Employee Retirement System – the largest pension fund in the nation - is one of the larger shareholders in American...

Mad Cow Eater Disease | 03-08-2019

You folks can eat all the veggie-based faux burger patties you want. You can even pretend you’re chomping on meat if that makes you happy, but once you cross over into Mississippi you had better not call it that. As the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports...

Built for Speed | 03-08-2019

Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage and current Gov. Janet Mills have almost nothing in common, except for an apparent need for speed and an unwillingness to learn a lesson. As the Bangor Daily News reports , Mills has had 10 speeding tickets since 1975, and...

High Speed Foot in His Mouth | 02-22-2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has a way with words. He also loves the sound of his own voice so much that he often keeps talking when he ought to shut up. Or at least talk out of only one side of his mouth. Such was definitely the case during his recent...

But Then We Wouldn’t Need a Train | 02-22-2019

Speaking of fast times in California’s sprawling Central Valley, how’s a Golden State Autobahn grab you? As the Los Angeles Times reports , state Sen. John Moorlach has introduced a bill that would authorize building new lanes with no speed...

Joe Who? | 02-22-2019

If a game show host and failed developer can become president, why not an alleged comedian? That seems to be the thought in New Jersey, where Fox News reports that former Saturday Night Live cast member and current radio talk blatherer Joe Piscopo is...

Well, If Treason Upsets You | 02-22-2019

One of the first items on New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s agenda was removing the state’s National Guard troops from the border with Mexico. That caused so much posterior pain for state Rep. Zach Cook that he started an online petition...

No Dutch Treat | 02-15-2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave an expansive State of the State speech last Tuesday. It covered a little of everything, from the oft-troubled high speed rail system to the endlessly-troubled plan to send Northern California water to Southern California...

A Little Hazy In Here | 02-15-2019

Some traditions never die...no matter how much they probably should. Case in point comes from Idaho, where last month a trio of freshman lawmakers introduced their first-ever bills to the full House of Representatives. As the Idaho State Journal reports...

Out With the Old | 02-15-2019

We’re pretty sure that once upon a time former Arkansas Gov. James P. Clarke and attorney Uriah Rose were big deals in the Razorback State. They must have been because, after all, their accomplishments were recognized with statues at the state Capitol...

A State of Dysfunction | 02-15-2019

Speaking of dysfunction - Wisconsin! We could stop there, but let’s wade a tad further into the shallow end of the pool. From the moment voters gave sleepy-eyed Gov. Scott Walker his walking papers last November, Republicans have done everything...

You’re All Worthless and Weak! | 02-08-2019

Attention, all you pathetic cringing little milksops – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has had enough of your wimpy whining! As the Washington Post reports , Bevin went on a radio show last week where he proceeded to lament the closing of some Bluegrass...

Now for Something That Really Matters | 02-08-2019

A gubernatorial State of the State address is a governor’s spotlight moment, the time where they get the stage all to themselves to showcase everything they believe to be important. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott understands this as well as anyone, which...

Don’t Try This at Home | 02-08-2019

It was big news recently when a Colorado trail runner was attacked by a mountain lion, which the runner ultimately killed by choking it to death. As someone who has spent half his life in the great outdoors and run across more large critters than I can...

Uh, Yeah, This Is Ours Now | 02-08-2019

The historically long federal government shutdown had lots of repercussions across America, most of them bad. But for a large colony of elephant seals, the shutdown was as good as hanging out a welcome sign. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports , the...

Gone to the Goats | 01-25-2019

With wildfires having wreaked so much devastation in the last few years, more rural California towns are looking at warding off such blazes by clearing the brush and other fuels that feed them. One option gaining popularity is as old as time, and purely...

A Family Affair | 01-25-2019

The Maine House of Representatives will have a family feel this year, at least in one row of the chamber. That’s where, as the Bangor Daily News reports , Rep. Amy Arata will sit next to Rep. Richard Bradstreet, also known as her dad. Thankfully...

Shooting for the Stars | 01-25-2019

Political folks are often accused of having their heads stuffed way up there...in the clouds. Fair enough. But Rhode Island Rep. Joseph M. McNamara is ready to take it a little further. As the Providence Journal reports , McNamara has introduced legislation...

Don’t Hold Your Breath | 01-25-2019

The ongoing partial government shutdown is wreaking havoc on many Americans. It has also sadly led to some pretty abysmal behavior in our national parks, where the usual contingent of rangers and maintenance personnel remain furloughed. But some folks...

Going Local | 01-18-2019

For years, being put on hold when calling a state agency office in Alaska meant a healthy dose of Muzak, better known to most of us as elevator music. But thanks to the efforts of one intrepid Last Frontier lawmaker, callers will now be spared a fate...

Mad Props to the Prop Man | 01-18-2019

California Assemblymember Phil Ting introduced a measure last week that would bar Golden State retailers from issuing a printed paper receipt to customers unless they ask for one. His argument is that those receipts can’t be recycled and are contaminated...

Dance to the Music | 01-18-2019

Which is exactly what new Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont did during his inaugural party. As reported in The Hill , Lamont seriously cut loose on the dance floor. And we do mean “loose.” Lamont legislative affairs director Chris Soto lauded his...

Maybe We Should Switch to Kilometers | 01-18-2019

Stealing road signs that bear numbers like “420” and “69” is definitely a thing. So much so that Washington state transportation folks have been forced to come up with clever ways to defeat said sign thieves. As the Seattle Times...

Let’s Make Sausage! | 01-11-2019

We’re all familiar with the analogy of the legislative process being akin to sausage making. But a bipartisan group of Montana lawmakers recently took it from the grammar books to the kitchen by getting together at the home of Chief Deputy Attorney...

The Way to a Lawmaker’s Heart | 01-11-2019

It’s said there is no such thing as a free lunch. That’s rarely true in politics, where lobbyists are more than happy to ply lawmakers with lavish meals at the drop of a hat. But the free gourmet chow is now off the table in Missouri, where...

Reflections on Jerry Being Jerry | 01-11-2019

California marked the end of an era last week, as Gov. Jerry Brown handed off the gavel to new Gov. Gavin Newsom. Brown exited office as the state’s longest-serving governor (16 years) and perhaps its greatest political comeback story. Once the...

Gubernatorial Kid Stuff | 01-11-2019

The aforementioned Jerry Brown brought a lot to the governor’s office during his historic tenure. But one thing he didn’t bring was children. Not so for new Gov. Gavin Newsom and First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who have four kids under...

Devil in the Details | 12-14-2018

Visitors to the Illinois statehouse this month will be greeted by all the usual pageantry of the holiday season: Christmas decorations, a nativity scene, a Menorah and a display from the Chicago chapter of the Satanic Temple. Wait, what? Old Ned himself...

Oh Brother Where Art Thou? | 12-14-2018

For the better part of a century the small town of Severance, Colorado has banned the throwing of snowballs. The prohibition was part of a larger ban that made it verboten to throw or shoot rocks or any other projectiles at people, animals, buildings...

We Need an Emoji for This | 12-14-2018

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once famously complained that in the Golden State folks are even taxed for flushing the toilet. While that’s not actually true, state regulators are apparently considering a tax on something almost as...

Reply All Apocalypse | 12-14-2018

It is the bane of office workers everywhere – the people who hit “reply all” to emails, resulting in a seemingly never-ending chain of replies and pleas to be removed from the list before violence ensues. Just such an event recently...

Truly the Greatest Generation | 12-07-2018

Funerals for heads of state are always solemn affairs, as they should be. On occasion, they also lend themselves to moments that elevate all of us to a higher place. Such was the case last Monday in Washington D.C., where many came to pay their respects...

Born In the USA | 12-07-2018

Americans are notoriously inept at geography, but one might think we’d at least be up to speed on our own country. Uh, not so much. As the Las Cruces Sun News reports , former New Mexico Secretary of State candidate Gavin Clarkson was recently turned...

You Gotta Have A Dream | 12-07-2018

And for California Assembly member Phil Ting, that dream is a whole state of cars that run on something other than gasoline. Yep, Ting so wants to see the nation’s number one vehicle market move entirely to cars that don’t run on fossil fuels...

Better Late Than | 11-30-2018

For decades, every California governor followed up their January budget release with an appearance at a Sacramento Press Club luncheon. It was always the most heavily attended event of the year, and thus also the best moneymaker for the SPC’s journalism...