Posts Tagged: Bakersfield
The California state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Steven Frame)
OPINION: Nearly two months into the new fiscal year. Four budget bills and approximately 50 budget-related policy bills later, Californians continue to wait for solutions to our state’s most pressing crisis — drought, water storage, and wildfire mitigation. Meaningful reforms to fix state agencies like EDD, or the replenishment of the $7.8 billion borrowed from the state’s Rainy Day Fund last year have not yet been addressed.
Hey, Big Daddy: I just started working in the state Capitol and am ready to dazzle the world with my policy analyses, but I’ve been dispatched to a campaign for the final weeks. Any tips for handling a farmer’s tan? —Bronzed in Bakersfield
Former Congressman Bill Thomas at a political event in Bakersfield. <(Photo: Screen capture, YouTube.)
Former Republican Congressman Bill Thomas, who capped a 28-year House career as chair of the Ways and Means Committee, has been out of Congress for more than a decade. His name is no longer familiar outside of his Bakersfield base. But two of his protégés are very well known – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who served as Thomas’ district director, and Oversight Committee Chair Devin Nunes, who Thomas encouraged to run for Congress and who nurtured his career after he got there.
Artist's conception of the bullet train crossing an overpass in Anaheim. (Illustration: California High Speed Rail Authority)
It’s a tale of two stations. Bakersfield, California’s ninth-largest city in terms of population with more than 380,000 residents, is trying to decide where to put a bullet-train station. This battle has lasted for years.
Hollywood Boulevard at dusk. (Photo: Sean Pavone, via Shutterstock)
Hollywood and Sacramento are not cities that normally leap into our thoughts at the same time. Sacramento is leafy streets and politics and scorching heat. Hollywood is, well, Hollywood.
Former state Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy, from the August 2004 California Journal. (Illustration: Tim Foster)
The most difficult job in the Legislature is that of an Assembly rookie. Mastering Sacramento is learning curve is akin to scaling Mount Everest, where the summit is shrouded in a fog of policy and politics and the climb must begin even before one is sworn into office. It must be made with a minimum of missteps, and there are few veterans to help show the way.
An artist's rendering of the California bullet train. (Photo: HSR)
Dan Richard, the chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority, is a man in the middle. The middle of court fights, the middle of political fights, the middle of a fight over California’s future. “The rest of the developed world has moved energetically to adopt high-speed rail. We will too,” Richard says. He may be right.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, shortly after being named House Majority Leader. (Photo: Associated Press)
Kevin McCarthy, the newly minted House Majority Leader, rose speedily through the GOP ranks during his time as a California legislator – and used political instincts he honed in Sacramento to achieve power in Congress. During his time in the state Assembly, McCarthy was known as a deal-maker. He became Assembly minority leader only two months after Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office in 2003, and worked closely with him to unite the party by engineering difficult votes on controversial issues.
OPINION: The six-states plan would newly create two of the poorest states in the country, “Jefferson” at our state’s northern border and “Central California” encompassing a huge swath of out Central Valley including the cities of Stockton, Fresno, and Bakersfield. In both states, one of every five people would be living below the poverty line.
California bullet train. (Illustration: High Speed Rail Authority)
The latest actions are far from conclusive but they may force delays in the project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2028 to link San Francisco and Los Angeles through the Central Valley. High-speed rail has long been popular in Europe and Asia, but earlier efforts in the U.S. to develop high-speed rail have failed in Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. (Photo: High Speed Rail Authority).