Animal rights activist Eric Mills of Oakland. (Photo: Screen capture, actionforanimals-oakland.com)
California has seen ideological clashes throughout its 170-year history as a state, and they are not all confined to Democrats vs. Republicans, north vs. south, coast vs. inland, or rural vs. urban. One of today’s sharpest battles is between rodeo boosters and those who find rodeos cruel and silly. Foremost among the latter is Eric Mills of Oakland, who calls rodeos “just a bunch of macho crap.”
The state Capitol in Sacramento, viewed from 10th Street toward the West Steps.(Photo: Timothy Boomer)
Love ’em or hate ’em, reporters play an important role in the legislative process — as well as with legislative strategy and ethics — in California. Because of this influence, the media in many ways are commonly viewed as a fourth branch of government (or “fourth estate,” as the cliché goes). They don’t approve or reject legislation, but their coverage affects those who do and they often influence the fate of bills.