Letter to the editor: builders

Re:“Builders, contractors: Numbers tell the tale” (Capitol Weekly, Jan. 17),  it is unfortunate that Mr. Hunter of the Building and Construction Trades Council chooses to devalue the impact of the hard-working men and women comprising California’s construction industry, solely to boost his short-sided, self-preservationist agenda.


California awaits uncertain fate for national monuments

The Milky Way viewed through the trees in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.(Photo: David Hoffmann)

When it comes to national monuments, California is hoping it won’t suffer a fate similar to Utah’s. President Trump recently signed orders to reduce the size of two Utah national monuments. But will there be others?


Capitol Weekly podcast: Paul Mitchell

Photo illustration of voter registration.

Southern California voter registration outweighs signups in the north by big numbers, and some pundits are predicting that a surge of SoCal votes will boost Angelinos running for statewide office in 2018. That would leave Northern California candidates — such as gubernatorial contender Gavin Newsom — at a disadvantage. Not so fast, says Political Data whiz Paul Mitchell.


CalPERS seeks legislation to fix pension error

CalPERS headquarters, downtown Sacramento. (Photo: CalPERS)

CalPERS wants unions and local government groups to come up with legislation that would retroactively correct a mistake that could lead to more pension cuts, like the 63 percent reduction last July in pensions promised about 200 former employees of LA Works.


Stem cell agency eyes kidney transplant breakthrough

A pipette and recepticles used in stem cell research. (Photo: CI Photos)

The California stem cell agency has doubled down on its bet on a potentially breakthrough treatment for kidney transplants, raising to $25.4 million its support for a project that is entering its final stages. The hope is that the treatment will not only improve the success rate of kidney transplants but also lead to use in liver, heart and other solid organ transplants.


Unpacking the bottle cap bill

An array of juices with plastic bottle caps on store shelves. (Photo: Philip Pilosian, Shutterstock)

OPINION: It is fascinating, in a very frustrating sort of way, to watch certain special interests come up with excuses for why legislation should not be passed when the facts clearly are not on their side. I witnessed it first hand as the author of California’s first state-wide plastic bag legislation 10 years ago. Then and now, it often takes serious mental gymnastics to follow the rhetorical and “illogical” leaps of their arguments.  The current iteration is the beverage industry’s, massive and misleading lobbying campaign to defeat Assembly Bill 319.


Net neutrality repeal a political battleground

Ethernet cables tangled over a digital device. (Photo illustration: Ivan Marc)

The latest skirmish in California-vs.-the-Trump-Administration is developing around the repeal of “net neutrality,” in which purveyors of internet access treat all data equally. The Federal Communications Commission, chaired by former Verizon executive Ajit Pai, repealed net neutrality in a Dec. 14 ruling on a party-line 3-2 vote, with the Republican commissioners in the majority.


California vs. the feds over offshore drilling

A tanker passes by two oil exploration rigs off the coast of Huntington Beach. (Photo: Ana Phelps)

The rubber is hitting the road, the gloves are coming off and California leaders are suiting up for battle. At least, figuratively. When the Trump Administration announced that it would commence offshore oil drilling across all national waters — including six locations in California — federal agencies struck against decades of bipartisan environmental policy in California.


CA120: North versus South in 2018 primary

Balancing the political power between L.A. and the San Francisco Bay Area. (Illustration: Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly)

ANALYSIS: With five months to the 2018 gubernatorial primary election, there is a natural tendency to try and find the single major factor that will determine the outcome. Will it be Donald Trump, absentee voters, young people, the gas tax, racially polarized voting, the open primary, North versus South, the growing number of independent voters, the new registrants since President Trump was elected, or 25% of the electorate who registered to vote in 2016? The fact is, it will be all of these things.


Builders, contractors: Numbers tell the tale

Workers on a large construction project in Laguna Niguel. (Photo: Steve Bruckmann)

OPINION: Associated Builders and Contractors Northern California President Michele Daugherty’s misleading Jan. 3 op-ed article in the Capitol Weekly is drastically in need of an insertion of some true facts. Daugherty bitterly complained about a bill that expanded a successful, state-approved pre-apprenticeship program. She also stated in the article that she has “many reasons to be proud” of her organization’s 1,200 members, a number that gives her a market share of only 0.425 percent of the 282,063 licensed contractors in the state of California.

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