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1.11.2013

Seeking Equity in Public School Funding From the Ancients

No press conference by Gov. Jerry Brown seems to be compelte without some reference to ancient Greek or Roman philosophy and literature – often declaimed in the original Latin. The Democratic governor’s unveiling of his proposed $139 billion spending blueprint for the fiscal year rbeginning July 1 was no execption. Generating the most media attention is Brown’s desire to change the distribution of state money to public schools. His aim is to ensure that pupils with more challenges to success – being part of a lower income family, learning English – receive more money to get the help they need.  […]

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1.11.2013

Reaction to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Budget

A scrupulously arbitrary review of 16 statements by lawmakers and statewide elected officials finds Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget plan to be generally praiseworthy. “It’s not time to roll out a ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner yet, but today’s news gives Californians a reason to hold our heads high and put dunce caps on our state’s critics,” says Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, a Van Nuys Democrat who chairs the lower house’s budget committee. “We are emerging from the grip of financial crisis and keeping the California Dream alive.” There are some divergent views, however. Like California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. Cantil-Sakauye, ever […]

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1.08.2013

Memo From the Grammar Police to California Department of Justice Lawyers

On January 7, 2013 the Brown administration filed a document with a panel of three federal judges asking them to release the state from it’s obligation to lower the population at the Golden State’s 33 prisons to 110,000 inmates – 137.5 percent of design capacity. (There’s a little under 120,000 inmates at the moment, which is down 43,000 from the peak of overcrowding several years ago.) This important document and its submission to the panel of judges was the subject of a press conference by the Democratic governor. Excerpts from it appeared in numerous media outlets. Among the most popular […]

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1.07.2013

As an Alternative, Eliminate the Archaic 30-Days-In-Print Rule

On January 7, 2013, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat, violated one of the chief rules of public relations by trying to blunt potential criticism of the upper house by drawing attentiont o the opportunity for leveling it.  As the Senate’s first floor session of 2013 drew to a close, Steinberg allowed that the public and might  be critical of the lack of legislative business conducted during the first months of the legislative session. He blamed legislative inaction on the 30-days-in-print waiting period that must transpire between a bill’s introduction and when it is heard and voted […]

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11.20.2012

From the Stray-Stuff-Buried-On-Cluttered-Desk File

During the Del Mar racing season, one of the entries in at least one of the races was “Willie Brown.” No confirmation — or denial — as to whether the horse was named after the former Assembly Speaker and mayor of San Francisco.  Willie Brown, the horse, faced six other entrants in one particular race. Starting at 12 to 1 odds, the horse seemed a shrewd across-the-board bet.  Prior to the starting bell, the odds went to 13 to 1 then jumped to 19 to 1.  “Willie Brown”  finished dead last. A more prudent investment strategy might have been embraced […]

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10.16.2012

This From a Subscriber Who Recently Voted…

Virtually every initiative that I tried — and tired — to read reminded me that these are all issues that should have been dealt with in the Legislature.   (Editor’s Note: Totally. The subscriber’s reactions to specific ballot measures follow:)  Prop. 30:  Tax myself?  Go figure.  No Prop 31:  Two-year budget?  What would they do in the off-year?  No Prop. 32:  It’s not my money!  Why should I have a vote?  No. Prop. 33:  Despite Harvey (Rosenfield), No. Prop. 34:  It’s time to fire up Sparky!  No. Prop. 35:  If he didn’t diddle her, how can he be a sex offender?  No. […]

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8.01.2012

BIll Lockyer for CSU Chancellor

California’s Capitol left this comment at the bottom of  a column by the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Morain about State Treasurer Bill Lockyer and his qualifications to be California State University Chancellor: The 427,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff of the California State University system would be terrifically lucky to have State Treasurer Bill Lockyer as their next chancellor. Lockyer has 40 years of experience resolving a ridiculously large number of vexing issues with creativity, compromise and cajoling. His intellectual curiosity and love of mastering a rubric-like challenge is unmatched in the state Capitol. He’s a principled pragmatist skilled in […]

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7.17.2012

Cleaning the Augean Stables*

Jerry Brown holds a 1961 Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics from the University of California at Berkeley. He’s the only California governor of the last 112 years whose collegiate focus was the study of languages, literature and philosophy from cultures that rose and fell a millennium or two ago. His speeches and statements are peppered with references to ancient Greece and Rome with a smattering of Latin quotes, usually correctly declaimed, thrown in for sport. It’s clear that for better or worse, Brown therefore looks at politics much differently than those lacking his unique background. Sadly, none of the […]

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6.15.2012

Kudos to Assemblyman Jim Nielsen

In an interview aired June 14 on KCRA-TV, the Biggs Republican, vice chair of the Assembly Budget Committee,  displayed his mastery of the Lexicon of Common Budget Words and Phrases by describing the budget as not only “kicking the can down the road” and “business as usual” but adding that the process lacked sufficient “transperancy.” Just one more and it would have been a homerun. -30-

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6.04.2012

From Time Magazine: The Truth About Men, Women and Work

By Rana Foroohar  First there was the mancession. Then there was the economic war on women. Over the past four years, the monthly jobs figures have been spun like a roulette wheel to declare which sex is gaining–or losing–from recession and recovery. April’s numbers show that women gained 73% of the 115,000 new jobs added to the U.S. economy. Looks like we have a winner. Or do we? The figures would seem to be welcome news for the Obama Administration, which has been battling accusations by Republican challenger Mitt Romney that the President’s economic policies have hurt women. Yet since […]

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