A moving story: How consumers get victimized

Illustration by Quentin Leuninghoener, FairWarning

FairWarning: Gwen Caplan’s nightmare began with a Yelp search. It was the summer of 2012 and the middle-aged mother of two was looking for someone to move her and her kids from San Rafael, Calif., to Glendale, Ariz. Money was tight, so Caplan scoured the web for an affordable but reputable moving compa

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Opinion

Center stage: California’s economic complexity

Illustration: David Carilett, via Shutterstock.

California will soon have a population of 40 million. It is a huge, diverse, complex state — really more of a nation-state made of distinct regions. And California’s economy is equally complex. In fact, it’s not a state economy at all, but a series of regional economies. Californians know that the time to fix our state’s economy is now. People from every region are standing up and demanding change.

News

Stem cell agency okays $15 million for new research

A research scientist on the job in a laboratory. (Photo: Anyaivanova, via Shutterstock

After a hiccup last month, the California stem cell agency this week coughed up $15 million for a quartet of researchers looking into Alzheimer’s disease, cartilage repair, arthritis and sickle cell disease, but not before lopping off a big chunk of one proposal.

Analysis

CA120: Nov. 8, through the looking glass

(Illustration: Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly)

From neighbors to family members to local coffee shop baristas, the number one question I’ve received since Nov. 8 is “How did that happen?” Donald Trump’s come-from-behind win shocked about everyone in the political world. Even his own political team. Even Hillary Clinton’s own political team.

Analysis

Media and the state Capitol: A lawyer’s view

The state Capitol in Sacramento, viewed from 10th Street toward the West Steps.(Photo: Timothy Boomer)

Love ’em or hate ’em, reporters play an important role in the legislative process — as well as with legislative strategy and ethics — in California. Because of this influence, the media in many ways are commonly viewed as a fourth branch of government (or “fourth estate,” as the cliché goes). They don’t approve or reject legislation, but their coverage affects those who do and they often influence the fate of bills.

News

Xavier Becerra tapped for state A.G.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, Gov. Brown's pick for state attorney general. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP)

Congressman Xavier Becerra, the Democrats’ highest-ranking Latino in the House and a 24-year veteran of Congress, was appointed Thursday by Gov. Brown to replace state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U.S. Senate on Nov. 8. Becerra, 58, who will be the first Latino to serve as California’s top law enforcement officer, will formally take over the attorney general’s office next month, when Harris leaves for Washington, D.C.

News

State Supreme Court to consider public pension cuts

The California Supreme Court, left to right, standing: Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Carol Corrigan, Goodwin Liu, and Leondra Kruger. Seated: Kathryn Werdegar, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, and Ming Chin.

Calpensions: The state Supreme Court last week agreed to hear an appeal of a groundbreaking ruling that allows cuts in the pensions earned by current state and local government workers, including judges. When judges have an obvious conflict of interest and excuse themselves from ruling on a case, the legal term is “recuse.” But the seven Supreme Court justices seem unlikely to recuse themselves from a possible landmark ruling on this Marin County pension case.

Analysis

PolitiFact: Trump wrong on CA voter fraud

Trump offered no evidence about California voter fraud in his series of tweets. Trump spokesman Jason Miller cited a national study done by the Pew Research Center showing that approximately 24 million voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or inaccurate. However, no one from Trump’s office has shown evidence of “serious voter fraud” in California.

News

Death penalty: Ron Briggs’ odyssey

The execution chamber at San Quentin Prison

Ron Briggs was always an ardent supporter of the death penalty. His father John Briggs, former state assemblyman and senator, was a driving force behind a 1978 initiative that expanded the list of special circumstances required for a death sentence. But today, Ron Briggs is one the biggest opponents of capital punishment. He campaigned for Proposition 62, which would have ended the state’s death penalty and was rejected by voters this month.

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