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The Name Game

Want a bridge or freeway named after you? Here’s the skinny. By Greg Lucas, Sacramento News & Review, February 20, 2014 

Bummer for James “Sunny Jim” Rolph. The charismatic mayor of San Francisco from 1912 to 1931, who died in office broke as California’s 27th governor, got his bridge taken away again.    Read more »



The Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change

By Gov. Jerry Brown

In past decades, baby boomers have posed multiple challenges to the state beginning with building classrooms and training enough teachers, to developing a higher education system that would accommodate the infusion of young adults, to growing the economy fast enough so they could find employment. Even now, baby boomers continue to reshape society as they begin to leave the labor force.    Read more »



A Great Day for Nothing

Very Little is Happening at the Capitol — A Perfect Time for Big-Picture Thinking 

By Greg Lucas, Sacramento News & Review, November 14, 2013 — Compared to the root-hog, bloodlust craziness of the death throes of the legislative session, the White Sepulcher is currently living up to its name. It’s quiet.    Read more »



Congress and the Feds Can Learn a Lot from California’s Debt Management

On debt, California’s responsibility—and The Skipper’s sage advice   By Greg Lucas

Sacramento News & Review, October 17 — A growing body of 21st-century philsophical thought recognizes that the 98 episodes of Gilligan’s Island ask and answer all the Big Questions.

So, amid this recent flurry of mouth-frothing and hand-wringing over debt, it should be no surprise The Skipper and Mary Ann slice straight to the bottom line.    Read more »



Never Judge the Chickenshitedness of a Bill by Its Advisory Committee

 By Greg Lucas

Sacramento News-Review, September 5, 2013 — With few exceptions, things in the Legislature are at least as chickenshit as they appear. Usually more.

No matter how petty the motivation for some legislative act seems, the real cause is pettier. A “no” vote is less likely to be sparked by some lofty ideological schism than the author of the bill neglecting to compliment the other legislator on their latest dye job.    Read more »



You’re Not Funny


On Capitol Hazing Rituals and Legislative Grab-Ass

By Greg Lucas

(Editor’s Note: Steve Maviglio, press secretary to Assembly Speaker John Perez offered the following comment when this column initially ran: ” You should stop by the Assembly chambers sometime. Media hasn’t been banned and never was. We simply asked that interviews be conducted in a corner instead of just anywhere.    Read more »



The Political Arena Is No Place for Heroes

Politicians may be skilled at consensus building and the art of compromise, but don’t expect them to grow taller than the hedge

By Greg Lucas

San Francisco Chronicle August 1, 1999

Sacramento — Where have all the heroes gone? (Long time passing) Where have all the heroes gone? (Long time ago) 

A hero is defined as:

1.    Read more »



On the FBI at the Capitol and Legislators Fundraising

The FBI’s rubber-gloving of the Capitol prompts a look at campaign contributions 

By Greg Lucas

Sacramento News & Review, June 27, 2013 — The line between felony and fundraising is explicit.

Yet California legislative history over the past quarter century shows 14 Democratic and Republican legislators, lobbyists and others convicted in a federal-corruption investigation that came to light in 1988 for soliciting campaign contributions outside the lines.    Read more »



Act Now to Revitalize School Funding

By Linda Galliher and Ted Lempert 

California’s students deserve a public school system that will provide them the tools they need to develop a solid foundation of academic achievement. The Legislature can start us on a path toward this goal by passing Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula. 

Under the formula, the existing complex and outdated bureaucratic structure would be replaced with a new local system that gives schools the flexibility to direct education dollars to school districts and students that need it most.    Read more »



Chaotic, Last-Minute Bill Passing Bad for Californians

Why lawmakers are afraid to go where no lawmaker has gone before

By Greg Lucas

Sacramento News & Review, May 30, 2013 — Don’t disturb lawmakers right now, they’re deep in the plak-tau.

Plak-tau is the Vulcan “blood fever” manifested during the final stages of pon farr, the once-every-seven-years Vulcan mating obsession, which is pretty crazed by itself.    Read more »