Analysis

Reflections on Cadillac Desert

William Mulholland, pointing. Mulholland, who pushed water development in L.A., was the superintendent of the Los Angeles Water Department. (Image source: Los Angeles Times, via California WaterBlog)

In 1987, when Mark Reisner published his book Cadillac Desert, I had just begun professing on water management. The book went “viral,” before the word viral had its present-day internet-intoxicated meaning. The book offered a compelling revisionist history and understanding of water development in the American West, based on economic self-interest, ideology, and Floyd Dominy’s personal drives.

Analysis

CA120: The redistricting commission, lines and political pressure

The House of Representatives, which may wind up with new members following the 2020 redistricting. (Photo: House of Representatives)

ANALYSIS: California’s independent Citizens Redistricting Commission was established by two ballot measures in 2008 and 2010, following several unsuccessful pushes by Republicans who saw themselves as perpetually sidelined when it came to drawing the state’s political boundaries. Success came when they were joined by a coalition of non-partisan groups and deep-pocket Silicon Valley funders, who saw the commission as a part of overall reforms, like the creation of an open primary.

Analysis

‘Final form’ and the 72-hour rule

A roll call begins on a bill in the Assembly. (Photo: Anna Frazier)

Friday, June 2 represented the Legislature’s house-of-origin deadline. To stay alive, Assembly bills were required to have passed out of the Assembly and Senate bills had to have been passed out of the Senate. During Assembly floor debate, the issue was repeatedly raised whether the Assembly had properly complied with the provisions of Proposition 54, which California voters approved in November as a transparency measure.

Analysis

In the Capitol, myth vs. reality

The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Feoktistoff, via Shutterstock)

Over the years, there have been myriad misconceptions about different aspects of state law making. So let’s hold our breath, take a deep dive into the Capitol and separate the myths from the reality. Later, we’ll look at committees, the governor, special sessions, floor actions and the like.

Analysis

‘Alternative facts’ — a tale of falsity

(Photo: Cbies, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Writing in The New York Times, John McWhorter, an assistant professor of English at Columbia, tells a tale about the Kuma tribe in Panama. The Kuna chief gives a speech in elevated language, and then an assistant tells the crowd what the chief has just said. We may like to think of ourselves as an advanced civilization compared to a trtibe in Panama, but today’s spokespeople for politicians are doing the same thing. And one of them has just invented “alternative facts.”

Analysis

Reconsideration: A second bite at the apple

The state Assembly in session. (Photo: Capitol Public Radio)

When a bill in the California Legislature fails passage either in committee or on the floor of the Assembly or Senate, it can be granted “reconsideration.” That can mean a bill gets a new lease on life — or not.

Analysis

Podcast: UC Davis College Republicans

Andrew Mendoza, left, and Nicholas Francois. (Photo: Tim Foster)

UC Davis College Republicans pulled the plug on a Jan. 13 speaking event featuring far-right firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos and pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli after protests against the duo’s appearance overwhelmed campus security.

Analysis

Capitol Weekly podcast: Jason Kinney

Jason Kinney. (Photo Scott Duncan, Capitol Weekly)

Midway into the inauguration week of president-elect Donald Trump, Capitol Weekly sits down with Democratic communications guru Jason Kinney of California Strategies. Kinney weighs in what he sees as California’s role as the anti-Trump, “Beacon of Opportunity,” takes note of Calexit, and even drops a reference to “Cool Hand Luke.”

Analysis

2017: What’s in, what’s out in CA

The state Assembly in session. (Photo: Capitol Public Radio)

Okay, 2016 is now history, and many of us are saying “Good Riddance!” But 2017 has arrived, with its attendant challenges and changes, right? And to succeed, the smart Capitol denizen must become acquainted with 2017’s ins and outs — the land mines, the pitfalls and the Ways To Take Advantage.

Analysis

Capitol action, by the numbers

The State Capitol in Sacramento, looking toward the West Steps on N Street. (Photo: Timothy Boomer)

As the California Legislature commences its 2017 Session, the following is a quick look back at historical numbers for bill introductions and gubernatorial bill actions. Over the last half a dozen years, as a general rule, the Legislature has introduced about 2,100 bills per year, about 1,000 of those measures get to the Governor’s Desk, and he signs roughly 850 of those bills.

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