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Tom Elias

Tom Elias: Email hints at possible Brown corruption role

There is no doubt Gov. Jerry Brown has tolerated corruption in his administration. But now there are hints that he might be personally involved in some of it. For corruption Brown has known about, but not curbed, start with the Public Utilities Commission, proven to have decided multibillion-dollar rate cases after lengthy private contacts and […]

Insurance arrangement shows PUC hasn’t changed

State commissions, like people and corporations, rarely change unless they’re given strong motivation; sometimes change has to be forced on them. The latest evidence now demonstrates that the California Public Utilities Commission is no different. Gov. Jerry Brown, who appointed all five current members of this scandal-plagued agency, just over a month ago refused to […]

Get set for wild campaign for governor

In less than a year, Californians will be focused on helping elect the next president and picking their next U.S. senator. That so-far-sedate race looks like it will boil down to either Democrat state Attorney General Kamala Harris or Democratic Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez against a Republican, take your pick among state Assemblyman Rocky […]

Exit exam demise cheapens high school graduation

The single easiest bill for California legislators to pass this year probably was Senate Bill 725, giving about 5,000 high school students the ability to graduate without taking the state’s high school exit exam, which suddenly became unavailable when they tried to take it in July. But then the lawmakers went much further and, with […]

Brown makes it easier to seek death than a longer life

  Gov. Jerry Brown may not have been aware of what he was doing, but a combination of his signatures and vetoes on bills passed by the Legislature will make it easier for desperately ill persons to seek death in California than to attempt to live longer. With one of his moves, Brown provided a […]

Just whom does our UC serve?

The question of whom the University of California will be serving when it reaches the third decade of this 21st century remains one the elite system’s administrators year after year refuse to confront. Will UC and its 10 campuses belong primarily to the California students they were built to serve? Or will they become the […]

October 27, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

It’s official: Solar thermal causes energy poverty

When ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made their way onto a hot, dry alkali flat just west of the Interstate 15 freeway between Barstow and Las Vegas in late 2010, all anyone knew for sure was that they were opening an era of giantism in solar electricity in California. What no […]

October 16, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

California will be irrelevant again come election time

There has been a lot of loud talk and hyperbole during the preliminaries to next year’s presidential election. But with the political season now on in earnest, it’s fast becoming clear that for the 11th consecutive presidential election, the tail will be wagging the dog. It is partly because of laziness and selfishness by California […]

October 13, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

‘Anchor babies’ are unjustly reviled

It was bound to happen in a presidential campaign that’s provided more fodder for satirists than any in modern memory: One of the candidates reviling “anchor babies” and demanding an end to the birthright U.S. citizenship guaranteed by the Constitution would have to deny that he is one. That’s what happened the other day to […]

October 09, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

PG&E dodges the worst after fatal explosion

Some were mystified when, moments after the California Public Utilities Commission assessed the state’s largest utility company a record $1.6 billion fine for violating state and federal natural gas pipeline standards before the 2010 San Bruno natural gas pipeline explosion, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced it would not appeal the decision. Even now, about […]

October 07, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Arnold helped pave the way for Donald

Parallels between current presidential candidate Donald Trump and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are myriad and obvious to anyone who cares to look. Both are celebrities with no need to spend money on getting-to-know-you TV commercials like ordinary candidates for high office. Both went after political offices after pursuing lucrative careers not even slightly related to […]

October 01, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Union dues foes still may win, despite three ballot losses

The common assumption in California politics is that labor unions will always be a major force because they have been for the past 30-plus years. But change may be coming, even though organized labor since 1996 has beaten back three ballot initiatives aiming to end its influence. The issue here is union dues paid by […]

September 27, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Manson follower tests Brown on parole again

If this seems like déjà vu, that’s because it is. For the 29th time since he was convicted in two of the nine gruesome killings conducted by the cult-like Charles Manson “Family” in the late 1960s, 72-year-old Bruce Davis is up for parole. Gov. Jerry Brown has until the end of December to veto a […]

September 23, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Anti-vaxxers threaten freedoms of others

Imagine a California where polio becomes a threat to children’s health as it was before the 1950s, when first the Salk vaccine and later the even more effective Sabin formula threw this dreaded and crippling disease and all its iron lungs into dormancy. Or a California where dozens of kids die every year from pertussis, […]

September 20, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,
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