You want a really bleak picture of the politics of California today? Check out the recent comments of Dan Schnur, GOP political consultant and director of the Jesse Unrush Institute for Politics at the University of Southern California.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Schnur discussed the disconnect between image and reality in this state: "Cut $1 billion out of Medi-Cal and most voters won't notice," he said. "Take away some cell phones and make legislators sit on a picnic bench, and they pay attention."
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Former Mayor Willie Brown says that choosing a person of color for a leadership position should be a progressive value. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu says the new mayor, Ed Lee, is a progressive. Several supervisors and other political observers say the six-vote progressive majority on the board is gone.
And nobody really talks about what that word means.
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Art Agnos spent six terms in the California Assembly and four years as mayor; he doesn't need my political advice. But I gave it to him anyway the last time I saw him, when he expressed an interest in serving out the remainder of Gavin Newsom's term.Read more »
When the talk comes around to budget politics these days — and these days, nobody in politics can talk about much else — there's a pretty consistent line out there, from the mainstream left to the far right, and it goes like this:Read more »
In the grand scheme of things — the $400 million budget deficit, the pending selection of a new mayor, that sort of thing — the eviction of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center doesn't sound like an earthshaking issue. The San Francisco Chronicle's C.W. Nevius (who is pretty much on the wrong side of everything these days) proclaimed last week that it was just a little neighborhood tiff, nothing to do with the soul of the city.Read more »
The New York Times, the old established voice of the liberal media elite, ran a piece on Sunday looking for answers to the nation's persistent economic crisis. Reporter David Segal interviewed prominent economists on the left and right — the likes of John H. Cochrane at the University of Chicago, James K. Galbraith at the University of Texas, even Gar Alperowitz at the University of Maryland, who's kind of (God help us) a socialist.Read more »
The pollsters like to call it the Santa Claus effect, and we've seen it over and over in surveys of California voters in the past few months. I think of it more as some sort of deep political pathology, a schizophrenia combined with delusions that underlies the state's inability to get anything done.
Imagine if the next mayor of San Francisco was chosen in public. I don't mean the supervisors voting in public — they'll have to do that at some point anyway. I mean the various possible candidates going through a process that allows the public to see who's on the short list — and where those candidates are on the issues.Read more »