Tom Elias

Key pension question unanswered

Politicians and public employees drawing pensions had high hopes they would get clarity on a key question from the federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the city of Stockton’s ongoing attempt to regain its financial health. But it now appears that unique inland port city will emerge from more than two years of bankruptcy without any […]

December 11, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Will UC at last face up to out-of-state student dilemma?

It’s a dilemma that University of California officials have long refused to confront, but one they soon may have to face: How many foreign and out-of-state students can UC absorb and still fulfill its mission of providing an elite education for the very best California high school graduates? The issue has become central at many […]

December 07, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Court appointee needs to become a Californian

There is no doubt about the intelligence and diligence of Leondra Kruger, 38, Gov. Jerry Brown’s new appointee to the California Supreme Court. But this graduate of the elite, private Polytechnic School adjacent to the Caltech campus in Pasadena has not spent substantial time in California since 2000, and very little in the six years […]

December 02, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Tom Elias: Utilities look to soak small users

A strong spotlight shines these days on the state Public Utilities Commission as it gets set to rule on how much the state’s biggest utilities will have to pay for their sometimes-fatal blunders and how much consumers will be soaked for the negligence of utility executives. As much as $8 billion over the next decade […]

November 28, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Tom Elias: Who needs a political party?

Neither devoted Republicans nor dedicated Democrats are happy about one obvious message of this month’s election: At least in California, there’s no need at all to choose or join a political party. This message came across in several ways. For one thing, the two Republican candidates for statewide office who refused to endorse their party’s […]

November 25, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Arnold’s awful real estate deal haunts state

When producers named a post-apocalyptic television series “The Walking Dead,” they probably had no idea that title also would come to describe one of the worst moves Arnold Schwarzenegger made in his seven years as California’s most amateurish governor ever. That was his deal to sell 11 choice state office buildings to private investors for […]

November 19, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Brown: more than a caretaker?

During his first eight years as governor, Jerry Brown was so imaginative about what state government could do that he won the nickname “Gov. Moonbeam.” It took Brown, then in his 30s, to theorize that a state could launch its own communication satellite. And that a governor should deal person to person with presidents and […]

November 13, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Big bucks too much for populist measures

So much for populism. At least when it comes to fighting the interests of big-money corporations. In every vote last week where the interests of ordinary Californians were pitted against those of large companies, the corporate interests won big. Big bucks essentially convinced millions to vote against their own best interests. It was an unfettered triumph […]

November 11, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Replacing Boxer could be first race of new era

This year’s election is over, and the main Tuesday result in California was not the least bit surprising: Four more years of Gov. Jerry Brown working with a Democratic-dominated Legislature. But the next election season began the moment this year’s ended, and every indication is that the long logjam that has frustrated ambitious Democrats for […]

November 06, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Two obvious ‘yes’ votes: 45, 48

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Proposition 1 water bond on Tuesday’s ballot will pass easily: Every poll shows it with almost a 2-1 lead heading into the vote, and the opposition has virtually no money for television commercials. But two other propositions are almost equally deserving of yes votes, Propositions 45 and 48. […]

November 02, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Kashkari’s fire may give him a future

No candidate likes to admit in October that he has virtually no chance to win the office he’s running for. So it is today with Neel Kashkari, the Republican nominee — read: sacrificial lamb — who is Gov. Jerry Brown’s re-election opponent. But occasionally a seemingly sure loser shows enough fire and grit to establish himself or […]

October 16, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Why Dems will have a lock on California

It was lawbreaking, both proven and alleged, that ended the Democrats’ supermajority in the state Senate. Republicans and their efforts had nothing to do with it. Until state Sens. Roderick Wright of Los Angeles, Ron Calderon of Montebello and Leland Yee of San Francisco encountered serious legal problems, Democrats had more than two-thirds of the seats […]

October 14, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

We need this water bond

The outcome is rarely certain when state government asks voter permission to spend $7.5 billion of the taxpayers’ money, but it’s also unusual for a ballot proposition to win as wide a range of support as Prop. 1 already had more than a month before the Nov. 4 Election Day. Every poll shows the measure […]

October 08, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Tom Elias: Signs indicate California recovery will last

There are still skeptics who maintain the California economy remains in recession, that talk of economic recovery amounts to whistling past the proverbial graveyard when unemployment remains above 7 percent. Gov. Jerry Brown labeled these folks “declinists” two years ago, when unemployment was much higher and the signs of recovery were not nearly as strong […]

September 26, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

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