All California’s Problems Lead to the San Joaquin Valley

From Water Shortages to High-Speed Rail, the State’s Most Overlooked Region Is at the Center of Its Most Important Debates

It’s not clear if Governor Jerry Brown and his challenger Neel Kashkari will debate each other this fall. But if they do, there should be no doubt about the proper location for any and all debates: the San Joaquin Valley.

In this very quiet California election year, it’s fitting that our state’s most overlooked region has emerged as the center of every single major debate about California’s future. As we fight over high-speed rail and water and prisons and fracking and unemployment, we are really debating the future of the San …

The Dirty Politics That Saved the Santa Monica Mountains

Grassroots Organizing, Race, Nepotism and, Yes, Environmentalism, Collided in a Colorful 1971 L.A. Election

At the time, it seemed just another political dirty trick—a phony newspaper mailed to residents of the San Fernando Valley. But that newspaper, called the Record, turned out to have …

Let’s Keep Politicians’ ‘Secret’ Questionnaires Secret

The Endorsement Dance Between Political Candidates and Advocacy Groups Offers Unexpected Benefits For Everyone

In their never-ending quest to take the politics out of politics, California’s political reformers have a new target: the questionnaires that advocacy groups ask candidates to answer when seeking endorsements. …

Recall? Recall What?

We Yanked Gray Davis a Decade Ago. California Would Be Better Off If We Didn’t Forget It.

Do you even recall the recall?

Ten years ago this week, it was big news. California’s voters approved the yanking of Governor Gray Davis by big majorities. We made history. No …

How A Candidate Can Survive Indecent Exposure

A Maryland Mayor’s Experience Shows the Virtues of What Weiner Doesn’t Have: A Record of Delivering For Citizens

The sexting scandal of New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner may seem new, if only because of the technology. But it reminded me of the old adage “What’s old is …