The 1958 Governor’s Race That Launched a Dynasty

An Internecine Fight Between Two Republicans Opened the Door to Ambitious San Francisco Democrat Pat Brown

As Jerry Brown nears the end of his record fourth term as California governor, his final months are swathed in nostalgia, superlatives, and retrospectives on a remarkable five decades in politics.

But few people look back far enough: to the pivotal election 60 years ago that unintentionally spawned his father’s governorship and the Brown family dynasty.

In 1958, two of California’s most powerful and popular Republicans tried to swap jobs—the governor ran for a U.S. Senate seat while the Senator tried to be elected governor. The epic failure of the “Big …

California’s Single Payer Health Care Bill Is Dead on Arrival

The Senate Democrats' Proposal Is Illegal, Unworkable, and Ignores Other Nations' Useful Models

I am a lifelong Democrat who has been working hard for more than a decade to improve the policies and build the coalitions necessary for the success of the Affordable …

How Medicare Both Salved and Scarred American Health Care

The 52-Year-Old Federal Program's Successes Reflect a Complex Legacy

Before Congress passed Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 millions of elderly Americans lacked health insurance. They could not afford to go to the hospital, nor could they cover the …

The Most Distinguished Representative

California's First Black Legislator Was Thomas Jefferson's Descendant

Of all the members of the California Legislature, Assemblyman Frederick Madison Roberts, who served from 1918 until 1934, could claim the finest pedigree.  He was a great grandson of Thomas …