Democrats divided: The race for state schools superintendent

Tom Torlakson, left, and Marshall Tuck, candidates for state schools superintendent, debate the issues. (Photo: Frame capture, calchannel.granicus)

For an obscure elective office that is often ignored, unknown or regarded as superfluous in California’s convoluted education bureaucracy, the November election for state Superintendent of Public Instruction is shaping up as one of the most contentious — and costly — races among statewide candidates. It has become a lightning rod for widespread dissatisfaction with schools in California, which have consistently been ranked among the lowest-performing and poorly funded in the nation.

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Opinions

Voter Registration Day: A reminder to participate in Democracy

OPINION: Today is National Voter Registration Day and it falls between two historic legislative anniversaries this year and next year that remind us how so many people struggled for the voting rights that too many fail to use now. You can either cast a ballot, or cast a shadow over our democracy by not voting at all this November.

News

CalPERS’ investment earnings climbing steadily

CalPERS headquarters, Sacramento. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Calpensions: Three years ago CalPERS investment earnings hit bottom in a Wilshire consultants report that ranks the performance of big pension funds — dead last among its peers over the previous five years. Last week a new Wilshire report showed CalPERS investment earnings steadily climbing up the ranks, finishing in the top quarter of big pension funds during the last three years.

News

Former employee sues Assemblyman Steve Fox

A former legislative director for Assemblyman Steve Fox has sued the lawmaker in Superior Court, contending that he forced her to work on cases from his private law practice and, on one occasion, exposed himself to her.

News

Deal struck over Coastal Commission vacancy

The coast at La Jolla. Photo: Dancestrokes)

Under an unusual agreement reached between Senate leaders and a number of environmental groups just before the end of the legislative session, the period of time to consider the submitted list of candidates has been extended indefinitely. Such an extension is extremely rare, if not unprecedented.

Opinions

Medi-Cal: A dire situation for renewals

OPINION: The latest Medi-Cal renewal process jeopardizes health coverage for tens of thousands of California’s most vulnerable families. The renewal forms are long, confusing and complex. Some forms were mailed out in English, regardless if the Medi-Cal enrollee indicated that English was not their primary language.

News

Pensions key to Stockton bankruptcy

Waterfront, Stockton, Calif., at Weber Point. (Photo: Terrance Emerson)

Calpensions: During a hearing Oct. 1 on Stockton’s “plan of adjustment” to cut debt and emerge from bankruptcy, there may be a landmark ruling on whether CalPERS pension debt can be cut in bankruptcy.

News

Rod Wright resigns Senate seat

Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, at a sentencing hearing last week in Los Angeles. (Photo: Associated Press)

State Sen. Rod Wright, who began his state political career nearly two decades ago and rose to chair the powerful Senate committee that targets alcohol and gambling, resigned from the Senate Monday effective Sept. 22, just days after he was sentenced for voter fraud and perjury.

News

Hospitals see ‘chilling effect’ in A.G.’s power over mergers

LInda Vista Community Hospital in Los Angeles, formerly Santa Fe Coast Lines Hospital. (Photo: Downtowngal, Wikimedia)

State Attorney General Kamala Harris wants unprecedented authority over contracts dealing with nonprofit hospitals, after a deal in Southern California caused abortion-rights activists to cry foul. On the governor’s desk is a bill that would give the attorney general’s office more time, from 60 to 90 days, to review such deals.

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