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.


LAO: A summary of the governor’s 2018-19 budget

Gov. Jerry Brown presents his 2018-19 budget draft to the Legislature. (Photo: Corben Wilson, Capitol Weekly)

On Jan. 10, the governor presented his initial 2018‑19 budget plan to the Legislature. In this report, the Legislative Analyst provides a brief summary of the governor’s proposed budget. (In the coming weeks, the LAO will analyze the plan more thoroughly and release several additional budget analysis publications.)


Reagan, Schwarzenegger … Winfrey?

Oprah Winfrey at a campaign rally for Barack Obama. (Photo: Krista Kennell)

Will she?  Will she really? “She,” of course, is Oprah Winfrey.  And after her thunderous speech at the Golden Globes last week, she’s become the latest California-based celebrity to be touted for high political office.


Amid rains and mudslides, drought concern remains

A young girl plays in the rain. (Photo: Falon Koontz)

Despite the fierce rains and deadly mudslides that have struck California, water officials are concerned about the possibility of a renewed drought. But they caution that is too early to tell.


New state water director appointed

Karla Nemeth, newly named director of the state Department of Water Resources. (Photo: Video screen capture)

Karla Nemeth, a veteran water official and a ranking member of the Brown administration, was named the new director of the state Department of Water Resources, part of a major shakeup at the agency,  officials said Tuesday.


Capitol Weekly podcast: Bill Magavern

Bill Magavern of the Coalition for Clean Air. (Photo: Tim Foster)

Welcome to 2018, which the Coalition for Clean Air’s Bill Magavern has dubbed “The Year of the Truck.” Magavern, a veteran environmental advocate, joins us for our first Capitol Weekly Podcast of 2018. There’s new legislation out there (SB 210 from state Sen. Connie Leyva) introducing clean air rules for big trucks, which — surprise! —  do not have to undergo the same types of smog checks that have been required for passenger vehicles for many years.


The toxic chemical ‘whack-a-mole’ game

Illustration by Quentin Lueninghoener,

When her black cat rapidly dropped from a healthy 14 pounds to a skeletal five pounds, it was natural for Arlene Blum to investigate whether a toxic chemical in her home might be to blame. The veterinarian’s diagnosis raised that possibility, and Blum had expertise in the harm that chemicals can cause. Her research as a chemist in the 1970s helped reveal the possible health hazards posed by flame retardants used in children’s sleepwear.


California eyes federal ‘Super PACs’

Money in the halls of power. (Illustration: Kentoh)

FollowTheMoney: California established a separate classification for federal Super PACs to better facilitate disclosure of activities in state elections. Once a Super PAC raises $2,000 or more to influence a race for state office, it must file reports with the state that clearly identify both the funding behind the activity as well as detailed information about the specific political activity.

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