A collaborative project of editorials and independent commentaries about the many problems tarnishing the Golden State.
The U-T San Diego Editorial Board, in partnership with the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, launches a project that we boldly hope will help change the direction of California before the Golden State becomes a failed state.
This series is unabashed commentary. But our assessment is informed by weeks of research along with lengthy interviews with key Democrats and Republicans: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Controller John Chiang, Senate President Darrell Steinberg, former Gov. Pete Wilson, Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, California Republican Party chairman and former legislator Jim Brulte, Sen. Mark Wyland, the dean of the San Diego County delegation in Sacramento, and others in and out of state government.
We have also recruited current and former officials more expert than ourselves — officials who have lived firsthand with the state’s problems — to write coming installments in this months-long series. This impressive lineup includes:
- San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Jeff Adachi, the elected public defender of San Francisco, on the unfunded pension liabilities that are destroying public services.
- Former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio on the proper size of government.
- Former Gov. Gray Davis on how the Democrats became beholden to the special interests of the Left, and former Gov. Pete Wilson on how the Republican Party lost its way in California.
- Former state Sen. Gloria Romero on how organized labor took control of California.
- Education reformer and former Washington, D.C., schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee on California schools and obstacles to reform.
- Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach on the financial troubles of California cities.
- Rancho Santa Fe businessman Gerald Parsky, a veteran of numerous bipartisan state commissions, on the California business climate.
- Noted economist Arthur Laffer on California’s tax structure.
- Chapman University professor Joel Kotkin on California’s environmental policy.
The series will conclude with our recommendations for the best path forward for California.