Analysis

Determining intent: update of Assembly and Senate letters

One method to help ascertain the legislative intent behind a specified measure is a letter that is published in the Assembly Daily Journal or the Senate Daily Journal by the bill’s author. These letters, for which there are many each year, may be used by the bill’s author to explain an ambiguity in the bill or explain the purpose of particular changes in the law as done by the bill.

Analysis

Here’s how we can improve the way laws are made in California

The California state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Karin Hildebrand Lau, via Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: Are there ways to improve the lawmaking process in the California Legislature? I believe there are. I believe the fundamental problem is that there are too many bills each year. There just is not enough bandwidth for all persons involved in the legislative process to sufficiently review and analyze the volume of bills.

Analysis

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the race for the top prize

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a visit last fall to San Francisco. (Photo: Jana Asenbrennerova, via Shutterstock)

Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared flatly that he is not interested in running for president. “I have sub-zero interest,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board recently. “It’s not even on my radar.” Right.

Analysis

Bitterness over speakership fray permeates the Assembly

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. (Photo: Rendon's Twitter feed.)

Timing is crucial in politics, and the battle over the Assembly speakership is no exception. The clock is ticking. If Rendon continues through the end of the current two-year session, then any change in the speakership will be decided in the next session, following the November elections, when all 80 Assembly seats are up for election.

Analysis

CA120: Reading the tea leaves as early votes come in

A voter casts his ballot in the vote center at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo: Ringo Chiu, Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: Ballots have been mailed to all 22 million California voters and many have already been returned. As has been the pattern for the last several election cycles, this begins a month-long stretch where most voters will cast their ballots by mail or at in-person voting centers. Some will wait until Election Day and vote at the polls, but that is a declining portion of the electorate.

Analysis

Redistricting, elections: Surprises await, and no perfect roadmap

Image of the California state flag, showing the cracks and fissures representing political differences. (Illustration: helloRuby, via Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: For the past two years, redistricting experts and politicos, myself included, have been building toward the 2022 election cycle. A big part of this included building tools for analyzing potential new districts for their partisan breakdown and likely voting behavior. Getting these kinds of metrics was critical to the drawing of lines by legislatures that still have the control, and performing advocacy before commissions in states, like California, that have transitioned to a public and open redistricting process.

Analysis

So you want to run for re-election? Here’s a short primer

The California state Capitol at dusk. (Photo: Karin Hildebrand Lau, via Shutterstock)

You are an incumbent officeholder. You’d like to keep on being an incumbent officeholder. That means a re-election campaign – you know, where you kowtow to special interests, rail against fraud and waste and, above all, avoid being called “one of those Sacramento politicians” — even if you are one of those Sacramento politicians.

Analysis

Recall: Democrats outperforming their voter registration

An illustration of California's Sept. 14 recall election. (Felipe Sanchez, via Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: For weeks, liberals gnashed their teeth over poll results showing Republicans almost universally highly “motivated” to vote in the recall. But then the first reports of ballots showed Democrats outperforming their levels of voter registration – currently they are 55% of returned ballots while comprising 48% of registered voters

Analysis

California’s homicide numbers can be misleading

An officer exits his vehicle prior to conducting a search in Ventura. (Photo: Glenn Highcove, via Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: In late July, the Office of the Attorney General released Homicide in California 2020, its annual report on the state’s murders. Media outlets in California and elsewhere quickly covered the report. The story, targeting a “31 percent increase in murders, the most in 13 years,” was reported by a variety of news organizations.

Analysis

CA120: For Recall Redux, big changes since last time around

Gov. Gavin Newsom at an environmental cleanup even in Long Beach on Aug. 5.(Photo: Howard Freshman)

ANALYSIS: We’re headed for another recall election, the first in nearly 20 years. A lot of things have changed, including the number of voters who will be casting their ballots by mail. Looking back at 2003, there were only 3 million voters who received their ballots in the mail.  This cycle, all 22 million voters are getting their ballots in the mail, and we’re likely to see the vast majority of those cast by mail prior to Election Day.

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