From Voting to Tech Innovation, California Ranks First at Second Best

Whether in Sacramento, Silicon Valley, or El Segundo, Golden Staters Now Prefer to Follow the Leader

The world over, people long to finish first. But in California, it’s better to be second best.

This is the larger truth at the center of the Golden State’s June 5 first-round elections for governor, a U.S. senator, and other statewide and legislative offices. Under our peculiar system, the top two finishers in each race both advance to the November runoff election.

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In practice, this rule means that virtually all campaigning is about who finishes second. At the moment, the California airwaves are full …

Even Kafka Couldn’t Dream up California’s Surreal Housing Crisis

The Late Prague Novelist Visits the Golden State, Which Is Metamorphosing Into a Nightmare

I keep hearing you Californians calling your state’s housing crisis Kafkaesque.

You are far too kind: I never imagined a bureaucratic nightmare this cruel, absurd, and surreal.

You may …

You, Too, Can Be Austin Beutner (No Prior Experience Necessary)

The Ex-Financier Has Run the L.A. Times, the L.A. Department of Water and Power, and Now L.A. Schools. All He Lacks Is Know-How.

No Californian inspires me more than Austin Beutner.

Haven’t heard of this Los Angeles investment banker? Your loss. Because following his example could change your life.

Beutner’s recent career exposes the lies …

Forget North and South Korea. California and Texas Really Need a Peace Summit.

To Keep the American Republic Together, Its Two Biggest States Must Learn How to Agree to Disagree

To: Governor Jerry Brown of California and Governor Greg Abbott of Texas

From: Joe Mathews

Re: Summit

If North and South Korea can have a peace summit, why can’t California and Texas do …

Here’s Your California Democracy. Would You Like Fries With That?

My Trip to a Wendy's in Colton Shows Why the Golden State Treats Law-Making Like Fast Food

One recent Sunday night, I stopped by a Wendy’s in Colton, a gritty San Bernardino County logistics crossroads (pop. 52,000) best known as home to one of America’s oldest and …

O Ye of Little Faith in Los Angeles! Eric Garcetti Has a Message For You.

If the Mayor of the City of Angels Wants to Be President, His Campaign Should Be a Moral Crusade

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is being coy about whether he’s running for president. But he doesn’t fool me. I’ve already written the speech, or perhaps I should say sermon, …