Critics of California split see dystopian visions

By   /  May 5, 2014  /  Commentary  /  No Comments

A NEW CALIFORNIA: California is the most populous state and the third-largest state, geographically. One of its 58 counties is larger geographically than the nine smallest U.S. states – and larger than the four smallest ones combined.

By Steven Greenhut
SACRAMENTO — Most critics of wealthy political activist Tim Draper’s initiative to slice up California into six states have depicted this as an interesting “thought experiment” designed mainly to spark some discussion about our arguably “ungovernable” current state. Some critics, however, have been apoplectic about the idea.
An article in Huffington Post argues that “6 California’s” would [...]

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More laws won’t clean up California government

By   /  March 14, 2014  /  California, Commentary  /  No Comments

Poster Child: California state Sen. Ron Calderon, one of many state pols facing ethics charges. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

SACRAMENTO – When it comes to ethics, I always figured there are three kinds of people. There are those who, upon seeing a storehouse filled with treasure, would try to steal as much of it as they could grab. Then there are those would take the treasure, but only if the doors were unlocked and [...]

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For once, Calif. GOP out-hustles unions

By   /  February 16, 2014  /  California, Commentary  /  No Comments

By Steven Greenhut
Some political analysts have warned California Republicans not to read too much into last Tuesday’s decisive victory in the San Diego mayoral race by GOP councilman Kevin Faulconer over Democratic councilman David Alvarez. In California, the troubled GOP should never make too much of rare good news. Yet the party can learn some [...]

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California thinks it leads the nation

By   /  February 3, 2014  /  California, Commentary  /  No Comments

By Steven Greenhut
SACRAMENTO — Everything is rosy in California, according to Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators. In fact, California’s comeback is so seemingly spectacular that some observers are half-seriously arguing that the 75-year-old Brown should gear up a presidential run in 2016. California, say some of the nation’s elite media, is the model for [...]

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Debt spree betrays out-of-touch university system

By   /  November 6, 2013  /  Commentary  /  No Comments

CHARGE IT: The UC Regents announced in late September, a week before Janet Napolitano took the helm, that it is floating $2.6 billion in tax-free bonds, its biggest borrowing spree in seven years.

By Steven Greenhut
SACRAMENTO — Instead of reforming California’s spendthrift bureaucracies, the state’s policy makers have been hiking taxes, seeking cash from the feds, and mulling bonds to fund projects ranging from high-speed rail to tunnels underneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
With “tax, borrow and spend” the state’s ongoing motto, why wouldn’t California’s lesser-known government — the $24 billion-a-year University [...]

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The Golden State’s green DNA

By   /  October 29, 2013  /  Commentary  /  No Comments

IT'S BEAUTIFUL: California's beauty is what keeps people coming to the state, despite its myriad problems.

By Steven Greenhut
Despite an ongoing financial crisis, unsustainable pension debt, decrepit public services, exodus of business owners, and other problems that have led San Fernando Valley author Joel Kotkin to call California a “failed state,” California’s leaders see themselves as successful trend-setters. National publications — including The New Republic — are echoing their view that California’s supposed “renaissance” [...]

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