McCarthy: Hard right takes its toll

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, foreground, with House Speaker John Boehner. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

He had texted them birthday greetings; he had gone into their districts to campaign for them and raise money; he probably would have washed the dishes. But in the end, it wasn’t enough as the affable and handsome Kevin McCarthy ended his once seemingly inevitable march toward becoming speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

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Pension initiative tracks Utah law

Protesters picketed the recent appearance of pension-change advocates Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio at the Reason summit. (Photo: Ed Mendel, Calpensions) demonstrate against public pension changesx

Calpensions: One of the two initiatives filed by a pension reform group last week would cap state and local government spending on retirement benefits for most new hires at 11 percent of pay, much like a Utah pension reform five years ago.


Kevin McCarthy bows out of speakership fight

Kevin McCarthy, minutes after announcing he was withdrawing his bid to be House speaker. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Kevin McCarthy, whose meteoric rise in the California Assembly’s GOP ranks was matched only by his rise in Congress, halted his upward trajectory by abruptly withdrawing from the race for House speaker — a stunning move that threw his GOP colleagues into disarray.


Field Poll: Hillary down, Bernie up

The latest statewide Field Poll finds that fewer than half of likely voters in California’s June 2016 Democratic presidential primary (47%) are now intending to support former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady Hillary Clinton for President, a decline of nineteen points since May. Over this same period Democratic voter support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has increased nearly four-fold from 9% to 35%.


Governor signs end-of-life bill

Debbie Ziegler, mother of Brittany Maynard, speaks to the media in Sacramento after the passage in September of legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives. Gov. Brown signed the bill Monday.(Photo: AP/Carl Costas)

Gov. Jerry Brown, in one of the most emotional moments of his long political career, signed into law a bill allowing people near death to end their lives with lethal drugs supplied by a physician. “The crux of the matter is whether the state of California should continue to make it a crime for a dying person to end his life, no matter how great his pain or suffering,” Brown wrote in his official signing message.


Brown shoots down drone legislation

A professionally operated drone heads into the sunset. (Photo: Concept W, Shutterstock)

A squadron of drone bills that emerged from the Legislature wound up crashing on the governor’s desk. Gov. Brown vetoed three measures over the weekend that sought to block drones from flying over schools or prisons, and which would have allowed emergency personnel to shoot down a drone if it came into a fire zone.


Obit: Allan Hoffenblum, premier California political analyst

Allen Hoffenblum, pubolisher and co-editor of the California Target Book.

Top political analyst Allan Hoffenblum, who co-founded the California Target Book more than 20 years ago, died in his sleep, his colleagues said. Hoffenblum was 75. The Target Book, often described as the bible of political campaign professionals, analyzed the history, demographics and players — district by district — in the state’s legislative and congressional seats.


Green energy, economic growth go together

Capturing energy from the air in the Tehachapi Pass, California. (Photo: Patrick Poendl)

We are cutting per-capita carbon pollution dramatically while growing our state’s economy. Now, for every dollar of goods and services we produce, we emit less carbon pollution than any other major economy except for nuclear-powered France. Contrary to fear-mongering by some politicians, California has cut emissions by 25 percent while growing our economy by 37 percent over two decades.


Time machine: Kevin McCarthy, Rookie of the Year

Former state Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy, from the August 2004 California Journal. (Illustration: Tim Foster)

The most difficult job in the Legislature is that of an Assembly rookie. Mastering Sacramento is learning curve is akin to scaling Mount Everest, where the summit is shrouded in a fog of policy and politics and the climb must begin even before one is sworn into office. It must be made with a minimum of missteps, and there are few veterans to help show the way.

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