Posts Tagged: consultants

Opinion

Drawing CA’s political lines: One person’s foray into redistricting

Illustration of California by ymgerman, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Ten years ago, I sat in my office cubicle. I squinted to make out the grainy online image of Elaine Howle, the California State Auditor, pulling out a series of bingo balls. My desktop speaker crackled, and it was hard to read the numbers on the balls. I kept the volume low so my coworkers couldn’t eavesdrop.

Analysis

CA120: Political intrigue: BOE’s redistricting and the gas tax

Board of Equalization Chair Jerome Horton chats with colleague Diane Harkey in the Capitol. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

Whether you liked it or not, the state Board of Equalization successfully blocked a gas tax increase.  This saved Californians 4-cents-a-gallon at the pump, but handed Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers a $617 million hole in the state budget. What caused this rather dramatic policy move?  I keep being drawn to the extraordinary events surrounding the 2011 redistricting of the BOE, which has four directly elected members.

Analysis

CA120: The mystery of the unknowns

Image by Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly

California’s 2014 primary election had its fair share of surprises, but none was greater than David Evans, a virtually unknown candidate for state controller who was just seven-tenths of 1 percent away from beating both Betty Yee and John Perez to capture the coveted second spot and move on to the general election. This was a shock to political insiders, most of whom had never heard of him.

Opinion

The reality of Spanish-language political ads

Demonstrators in Los Angeles advocating for less restrictive immigration laws. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

OPINION: A lot of well-meaning, smart and politically savvy professionals cringe at the idea of putting together Spanish language advertisements. In seminars and forums they twist in circles trying to convince the audience and themselves that Hispanics can be easily reached in English. While the reasons may vary, in reality these are just excuses to mask an underlying concern: the fear of screwing up.

News

Politically, 2015 is a wrap — almost

California presented in the colors of the state's official flag. (Photo: Savelyev, Shutterstock)

It was, as always, a mixture of hope and disappointment, deals made and unmade, the bizarre and the mundane. For the Capitol community, 2015 was also a year of anticipation. Initiative creators were busy in 2015. The latest available figures tell us that 63 initiatives and referenda have been cleared for circulation by the Secretary of State’s office. Not all of them will make it to the Nov. 8 ballot, but four have already, including a proposal to overturn the state’s ban on plastic bags.

News

Counties, state clash over ‘PILT’

Pfeiffer Beach at the mouth of the Big Sur River in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. View looking upriver from the beach, with Cupressus macrocarpa trees. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Decades ago, California began taking over the management of thousands of acres of rural wildlands in dozens of counties across the state. But over the years a problem arose: With the state in control, some counties were cut out of the money that they otherwise would have collected from property taxes. The state had promised to compensate the counties for the lost revenue by making payments in lieu of taxes.

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