Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: 51-100

51 Jack Kavanagh Jack Kavanagh doesn’t write news stories or cover events for television – although he used to do both. But he puts together a website called Rough & Tumble that has become a sort of daily clearinghouse for California political news. He did that in 1997 to educate his TV station’s staff


How bad is water management in California?

Oroville Lake. (Photo by Pauk, via Wikipedia)

California’s combination of climate, native ecosystems, and human uses makes water management inherently hard, unsatisfactory, and evolving. California is doomed to have difficult and controversial water problems. No matter how successful we are.


PolitiFact: ‘Pants On Fire’ for report of Sanders’ CA win

A rally for Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders in Irvine, May 22. (Photo: mikeledray, via Shutterstock)

Polls showed Californians ‘Feeling the Bern,’ shortly before the state’s June 7 primary. Bernie Sanders had pulled even or surged slightly ahead of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race after barnstorming from Chico to Chula Vista. But early results on Election Day showed Clinton crushing Sanders by more than 20 percentage points, a margin that later narrowed to 12.6 points.


CA120: Nonpartisans in a pickle

A portion of California's June 7 ballot. (Photo: Tim Foster/Capitol Weekly)

When nonpartisan voters were asked how, exactly, they were going to get a Democratic ballot, we saw evidence of widespread confusion. Nearly 60% of those surveyed either incorrectly thought that the Democratic candidates would be on their ballot — as happens in other open primary contests — or they weren’t sure how to vote in the Democratic presidential race.


Telling the truth about Medi-Cal

California doctor, a photo illustration. (Niyazz, via Shutterstock)

Medi-Cal is a deeply misunderstood program. It spends a lot of money, but it’s most certainly not out of control, and it is not a welfare program. The truth is that Medi-Cal is one of the state’s most cost-effective programs, serving more than one-third of Californians and half of all California children.


CA120: The mystery of the unknowns

Image by Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly

California’s 2014 primary election had its fair share of surprises, but none was greater than David Evans, a virtually unknown candidate for state controller who was just seven-tenths of 1 percent away from beating both Betty Yee and John Perez to capture the coveted second spot and move on to the general election. This was a shock to political insiders, most of whom had never heard of him.


Reporter’s Notebook: A Clinton rally, close up

Presidential contender Hillary Clinton campaigning in Oakland. (Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

After Hillary Clinton’s Oakland rally, Kayla, 15, had tears running down her cheeks. She was upset. Kayla, a student at Oakland’s MetWest High School, had walked to the rally site Friday with some classmates and at least one teacher. It wasn’t far: The event was held nearby at the La Escuelita Elementary School gymnasium.


CA120: The Race for Second Place

U.S. Senate contenders: Democrat Loretta Sanchez and Republican Ron Unz. (Photo Illustration by Tim Foster/Capitol Weekly)

Our recent Republican and Democratic primary polls suggest that Democrat Loretta Sanchez and Republican Ron Unz are in a tight race to place a very distant second to Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris in California’s U.S. Senate primary on June 7. It’s important: A second-place finish guarantees a spot on the November general election ballot.


Poll: Bernie up with independents, but Hillary still holds sway

California supporters of Bernie Sanders attend a rally. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

CA120: Sanders has been stronger in states like California with “open” primaries — those that allow non-Democrats voters to cast a ballot. California Democrats allow voters not registered with any other political party to vote in their primary. But the question is this: In what numbers will these non-partisans vote? Can Sanders surf this wave of support to a victory in California? The answer, according to our data, is probably not.


LAO in retrospect: A conversation with Elizabeth Hill

Former Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill at one of her last official budget briefings. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

Elizabeth Hill became the first woman to head the California Legislative Analyst’s Office in 1986 when she was eight months’ pregnant with her second child. For 22 years, she held one of the most important positions in state government — advising the 120-member Legislature during fractious times and sometimes clashing over policy recommendations in an increasingly partisan environment beset by the passage of term limits, deep budget cuts, and recession.

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