California

The Cheapest Lobbyists in Town | 07-19-2019

A bill working its way through the California Capitol that would make most gig workers into employees has got the major rideshare companies all a tither. So much they’ve been pushing their drivers to publicly oppose the bill. That effort took an...

STRESSED OUT, STRESS FREE | 07-19-2019

If you live in Detroit, Cleveland or Newark, odds are good the stress level in your world is pretty high. Conversely, if you reside in Fremont, California or Bismarck, North Dakota, life is likely a much smoother ride. Those conclusions are according...

The New Gov. Moonbeam? | 07-08-2019

Back in the 70s’s, Chicago news icon Mike Royko famously dubbed then-California Gov. Jerry Brown “Governor Moonbeam” for the brash young governor’s appeal to young progressive voters, or what Royko called “the moonbeam vote...

United States of Acrimony | 07-08-2019

If feelings of being disrespected were currency, America wouldn’t need a single other consumer product to remain the richest country on the face of the earth. Case in point comes from the town of Needles, a tiny town in the Mojave Desert area of...

Where the Buffalo Roam | 07-08-2019

With the legislative session in its usual summer lull, California Sen. Scott “Salmon Salad” Wilk and Asm. Tom “Turkey Burger” Lackey have taken on a new goal: losing weight. As Wilk announced on his Facebook page, he and Lackey...

Semantics 101 | 06-28-2019

When a company belonging to Tesla founder and general oddball Elon Musk released a recreational flamethrower for public sale last year – no, really – the entire 20,000-unit supply sold out in days. Gobsmacked California lawmakers instantly...

Now That Was a Bad Look | 06-28-2019

Get a mohawk, they said. Put a photo of your mohawk on a stock photography site, they said. You’ll look so cool, they said. Yeah, maybe not. Sacramento County officials recently undertook a public information campaign to clue people in on the dangers...

Let There Be Sunlight | 06-14-2019

After a nasty intra-party battle, California Republican Brian Dahle is now able to claim victory in the race against fellow Reep Kevin Kiley to fill a vacant Senate seat. But the sweet taste of victory after one of the most venomous races in recent memory...

We’re So Surprised, Said Nobody Ever | 06-14-2019

Get ready for a shocker – no state is more fun than California! According to a new Wallet Hub survey , based on 26 different metrics the Golden State tops the other 49 when it comes to having fun, be it indoors or out. Some of those include weather...

I Told You So! | 06-07-2019

After much tussling back and forth, California regulators have decided once and for all that coffee does not pose a major risk of causing cancer. This is very good news to coffee giants like Starbucks, which contended that the benefits of drinking a cup...

A Grizzly of a Problem | 06-07-2019

Uber-patriotic national holidays are a golden opportunity for minor league baseball teams in deep red locales to fill the stadium. Such was the case in May when the Pacific Coast League’s Fresno Grizzlies marked the Memorial Day holiday with a video...

Just Kicking It with Arnold | 05-31-2019

Being in politics means learning to roll with the punches, but former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently had to take that lesson a step further. As the Washington Post reports , Schwarzenegger was signing autographs at his annual Arnold Classic...

Awful Is as Awful Does | 05-31-2019

And right now, there might not be anybody being more awful than California Assembly members Brian Dahle and Kevin Kiley, who are facing off in a nasty race to fill a vacant seat in the state Senate. The two men – both Republicans - have gone after...

Roadkill It and Grill It | 05-17-2019

You want to drop $700 on food at a Michelin-rated eatery where it took months to get a reservation? Go for it. The rest of us will just scoop up some venison off the road and have us a time. As CalMatters reports , a bill ( SB 395 ) is working its way...

No Fury Like a Fellow Reep Scorned | 05-03-2019

Geez, don’t make California Assemblymember Melissa Melendez angry. Or at least make sure the sharp objects are out of her reach. As CalMatters reports , fellow Republican Chad Mayes once gave Melendez a basketball signed by members of her favorite...

The Price of Protest | 04-19-2019

California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley has big ambitions, beginning with beating out fellow Republican Brian Dahle for a currently-vacant Senate seat. That race is TBD, but Kiley has a little extra motivation to move on – he’s been relocated to...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Voter-Slapped Instead | 11-30-2018

California state Sen. Joel Anderson has always been a little ornery. But as the Sacramento Bee reports , that crankiness – and a little too much booze - got the better of him last summer when he responded to a disagreement at an after-hours party...

A Foundational Issue | 11-09-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown has always had his quirks, many deeply rooted in the time he spent as a youth in a Jesuit seminary. Case in point comes in the form of the space in his outer office where he often addresses reporters. More specifically, the...

What’d They Say? | 11-02-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Air Resources Board chief Mary Nichols held a presser in Sacramento last week to announce further legal wrangling with the Trump administration. They had plenty to say that was interesting...

Kinda Situation Normal | 10-12-2018

If you’re looking at the California voter guide for this November’s election, you might notice a glaring omission. Yes, as the Los Angeles Times reports , while the guide contains the usual candidate statement from GOP gubernatorial candidate...

Snap What? | 10-12-2018

Anyone who has spent any time walking in San Francisco can tell you the City by the Bay has a lot of homeless people living on the streets. A lot . And one of the myriad problems with that is that folks inevitably end up relieving themselves on those...

Ins and Outs of a Boycott | 09-07-2018

Boycotts are all the rage these days. Undies in a knot over Nike featuring former football player Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign? Set your running shoes on fire and declare a boycott! Bent out of shape at In-and-Out Burger for sending the Cali GOP...

Now We Can All Sleep at Night | 08-31-2018

With wildfires burning the state down amidst the usual end-of-session jamming through bills that really ought to have had a lot more deliberation, California lawmakers can point to at least one epic accomplishment: surfing is now the official state sport...

Let There Be Soft Afternoon Light | 08-10-2018

There can be any number of reasons to object to a new high-rise apartment building going up in your community. Berkeley, California residents, for instance, are not thrilled about a developer’s proposal to build a five-story building that would...

Something Here is All Wet | 08-10-2018

California’s raging fire season is totally because we don’t have enough water out here to fight fires because we wasted it by sending it out to the Pacific Ocean. At least that’s what a certain tweet-mad president opined on the social...

A Change Will Do You Good | 08-03-2018

For years Claire Conlon was one of the most affable, competent and respected Capitol staffers in Sacramento. But as anyone who works in a statehouse can tell you, the job can and often will grind you to dust. So a year ago Claire pulled up stakes and...

Noodle Needle | 07-20-2018

Things have sure gone downhill for the relationship between former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Donald Trump. Once at least willing to be nice to one another in public, these days it would be better to not invite them to the...

True Lies | 07-13-2018

To hear certain folks talk (cough, cough, everyone on Fox News), high earners can’t get out of California fast enough. They’re packing up and sprinting for the border – any border – as fast as their private fitness instructor-toned...

Or Maybe You Could Just Move | 06-15-2018

People not fortunate enough to live here in California often think we’re a freak show. Or an economic disaster. Or trying to steal their water. As a lifer born and bred, I can honestly say the freak show thing can be true, the economic shade is...

Come On Elon Light My Fire | 06-08-2018

Because we live in the strangest of times, personal flame throwers really are now a thing. That’s because, as CalMatters reports , Golden State lawmakers quietly snuffed out a bill that would have prevented Elon Musk – he of Tesla and SpaceX...

He Knows the Score | 06-01-2018

For decades, the Land Park Golf Course in Sacramento has been a place where many a politico has been able to escape to on a warm afternoon for a quick nine holes. Count current Sacramento Mayor and former California Senate pro Tem Darrell Steinberg among...

A Bit of History | 06-01-2018

There’s an oh-so-very chic urban salvage yard in Oakland that the wife and I are fond of browsing through on occasion. One recent trip turned up something I had never seen before: a cabinet with hundreds of slots labeled with the name of every imaginable...

READ THIS ANY WAY YOU WANT | 05-11-2018

It’s now the thick of primary season, aka prime endorsement gathering time. Which is kind of like mating season in the animal world, just with even crazier behavior. Case in point this week comes from the California Lieutenant Governor’s race...

The Iron Duke | 05-11-2018

The California Capitol community lost a classic old school Republican last week, as former Gov. George Deukmejian passed away at age 89. Most rightly recall him as being representative of what Claremont McKenna College professor Jack Pitney called “the...

Always Time to Brush | 05-11-2018

California lost another old school GOP stalwart last week, as longtime Assemblymember and Senator Sam Aanestad died at 71 after a lengthy illness. An oral surgeon by trade, much of his time in office was focused on health care issues. This was on prominent...