Domino Effect: Pension Cutters Gamble on a California Ballot Measure

By: Thursday July 24, 2014 7:17 pm

Jon Coupal is nothing if not blunt when he describes one motive behind a Ventura County ballot measure that would replace the “defined benefit” pensions currently enjoyed by county employees and replace them with 401(k)-type plans for all future hires.

“This is meant to be a template for other counties,” Coupal tells Capital & Main. By that, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s president means the measure’s conservative and libertarian backers see the “Sustainable Retirement System Initiative” as the newest and most promising weapon in their assault on California’s public employee retirement plans.

 

Thoughts on Education After Vergara vs. California

By: Thursday June 12, 2014 7:10 pm

I can’t say what you were all thinking when you read about this ruling, and the commentary that followed from the White House — my own immediate reaction was that they’re now getting what they want directly, rather than having to fuss over “school reform!” Want to mess with the teachers’ unions? Have the courts do it! Perhaps in the future we can now expect a new era of honesty, in which open-ended class warfare upon teachers and students is no longer seen as requiring justification through the ever-expanding rationalizations of “school reform.”

It’s the Guns, but It isn’t Just the Guns

By: Wednesday May 28, 2014 3:04 pm

The killings in Isla Vista by one misogynist thug represent a terrible loss of life, most killed with a gun. Of course people can die so many ways, and the Isla Vista murderer managed to stab three people to death and run one down with his car. Still, the focus is and should be on the quickest, easiest way and thus most dangerous way to kill a lot of people: guns.

Backroom Fix: How Eight Democrats Denied Health Plans to Hundreds of Thousands of Californians

By: Wednesday May 14, 2014 6:30 pm

Jim Araby was dead asleep when his cell phone rang at 6 a.m. last June. Until then the labor activist had been enjoying an idyllic family vacation in Guerneville, on Sonoma County’s Russian River. But the number appearing on his phone told him the call was from Sacramento, suggesting bad news. The voice he now heard confirmed it.

“Can you get here?” a union colleague asked. “We need you.”

In Plain Sight: The Rise of Corporate Democrats in California

By: Tuesday April 15, 2014 7:17 pm

Marin County is one of California’s most liberal regions and, with its iconic redwoods and stunning coastline, it is also a power center for environmental activism. And so, when a bill to give the state Coastal Commission authority to levy fines against shoreline despoilers came for a vote in the state Assembly in 2013, it was taken for granted that Marin’s new Assemblyman, Marc Levine, would vote for passage. That didn’t happen.

California Democrats Add Marijuana Legalization to Their Platform

By: Monday March 10, 2014 12:08 pm

Over the weekend the California Democratic Party decided to make support for marijuana legalization part of their official platform.

Gov. Jerry Brown Shows his Age With Absurd Marijuana Answer

By: Monday March 3, 2014 9:21 am

California Governor Jerry Brown (D) really showed his age this weekend when he decided to responded to a serious question about marijuana legalization with absurd concerns about potheads making the country weak. From Meet the Press: DAVID GREGORY: Forty years ago, we weren’t talking about legalizing marijuana in states either. Is that a good idea [...]

Why the California Legislature Shouldn’t Punt on Pot Legalization

By: Thursday February 20, 2014 10:26 am

The big marijuana news this week is that it is unlikely a legalization initiative will get on the 2014 ballot in California. This is not a failure, only a temporary delay because the well-financed coalition decided to wait until 2016 when a Presidential election would produce a better turnout. In light of this decision it would be best if the California legislature would use this window of opportunity to approve their own legalization law.

What should be clear to everyone is that legalization in California is now inevitable.

Solitary Confinement in California Prisons: What Pelican Bay Prisoners Weren’t Allowed to Say to Legislators

By: Friday February 14, 2014 2:32 pm

California permits long-term solitary confinement of prisoners. It is one of at least eight states with prison systems where a practice that is known to cause significant psychological and physical effects is acceptable.

There has been an ongoing push to end solitary confinement in the state.

Careless: How Governor Brown Is Harming California’s Seniors and Disabled — and the People Who Care for Them

By: Wednesday January 22, 2014 7:10 pm

Andrea Vidales makes $9 an hour taking care of a blind Korean War veteran and an elderly couple in their Merced County homes. Under California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, she spends about 60 hours every week bathing her clients, preparing their meals, cleaning house, paying their bills, driving them to doctors and dealing with other aspects of their medical care. She was delighted, then, when the Obama administration, through the U.S. Department of Labor, announced new regulations last September requiring in-home caregivers to be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours a week.

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