63. George Skelton
Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton has been helping readers understand politics and the sausage-making of state law since 1974. Before that, he was a top California staffer for United Press International. (He and the late Bill Stall of The Associated Press were fierce competitors, but became close friends in later years when Stall worked at the Times, too.) The tart-tongued Skelton is not a devotee of the “but-on-the-other-hand” school of column writing. For example, after an analysis bristling with facts and figures, the grouchy Skelton recently urged backers of single-payer health care in California to “take a cold shower and return to the real world.” Angered that California’s recycling program faced problems, Skelton spanked Jerry Brown: “Jerry Brown traipses all over the world trying to save the planet from global warming. But he needs to salvage one basic environmental program here at home.” Anyone who wants to keep on top of California politics is well advised to read Skelton, not only because of his knowledge but because he’s always a fun read and never doctrinaire.
Updated Aug. 29, 2017