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Tom Elias

Obama risks alienating Latinos

For the past 20 years — ever since passage in 1994 of California’s abortive anti-illegal immigrant Proposition 187 — Democrats here and around America have increasingly depended on Latino votes. The 2.5 million California Hispanics who became citizens and registered to vote in the three years after the passage Prop. 187, with its bans on undocumented children […]

August 27, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Is government corruption rampant?

To some, it seems almost as if California has lately become New Jersey West. Incidents of possible corruption and conflict of interest are seemingly exposed at least once a month these days, with almost no consequences for anyone involved. Some examples: * Last month, the Los Angeles Times revealed that the president of the state’s stem […]

August 19, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

What we don’t know about the drought? Plenty

We know a fair amount about the drought that has now afflicted California for about three years: It has been the driest period since record-keeping began in the 19th century. If their wells are deep enough, farmers can still pretty much pump all the ground water they like, while homeowners can be fined up to […]

August 13, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Higher turnout and other fall election certainties

Make no mistake, the fall election season began on the evening of June 3, just as soon as the primary election polls closed. But no one has spent much on the election since then, nor has the vast majority of voters focused on any issues to be decided in November. This will change in a […]

August 10, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Tom Elias: The political guard is changing

For a state that has long been a symbol of youth, there’s been a lot of age among California’s pre-eminent politicians of the past decade. But that began to change in 2012, and the shift accelerated this summer as many of the old guard chose not to brave the “top two” primary system that threatened […]

August 08, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Tom Elias: Red-light camera fate now uncertain in state

There are few worse feelings for a driver than receiving a letter purporting to show that person in the act of running a red light. But not many legal items are less enforceable or reliable, despite what the California Supreme Court said in an early summer ruling that held that red-light camera photos and videos have […]

August 06, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Tom Elias: Will history repeat in child immigrant crisis?

For some people familiar with the history of the runup to World War II, there’s a sense of déjà vu in today’s humanitarian crisis along the Mexican border these days, as resistance rises against the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children attempting to enter and stay in the United States. Eyewitness reports in the New […]

August 03, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Tom Elias: Ranchers coming around on global warming

The chorus of global warming deniers has not shrunk. Outcries claiming the entire issue is fraudulent are not going away. But realism is also slowly setting in among some California groups that long tried to wish away the issue by claiming any warming that’s happening is strictly a cyclical natural phenomenon. California ranchers are now […]

July 29, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Is ‘personal belief’ rule linked to pertussis epidemic?

For almost seven months, California parents have been free to claim without offering any proof that their religion forbids getting their children vaccinated against once dreaded and disabling diseases like polio, mumps, pertussis and smallpox. This allows parents who believe false myths to exempt their children from the vaccinations usually required for public school enrollment, […]

July 23, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Movie credits: a tax break that actually works

Businesses are moving out of California — or at least building new plants in other states — in droves because this is such a high-tax state. That’s the frequent claim of Republican politicians who have tried to bludgeon Democrats for years with the issue. The idea has been repeated so often it is widely accepted as truth, […]

July 16, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Early prison releases are a political hazard, too

From early in his career, Gov. Jerry Brown has had a proclivity for dismissing problems with wisecracks or aphorisms. As early as 1975, in the first term of his first go-‘round as California’s top official, he mocked university professors’ pleas for pay raises by saying they didn’t need more money, but could make do with […]

July 15, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Will power companies start robbing the ‘hood?

For decades, Californians who use the most electricity have paid extra for that privilege, on the theory that high prices might provide an incentive for them to use less. This system is designed to allow all ratepayers enough power for basic needs at very low prices, with the extra energy needed to run things like […]

July 10, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Elias wins L.A. Press Club award

Thomas Elias and his “California Focus” syndicated column has won a first-place award for commentary in the 56th annual journalism awards competition sponsored by the Los Angeles Press Club. The prize marked the third consecutive year and sixth in the past seven that the Elias column has been honored with a top prize in the […]

July 08, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

New round of base closures looms

When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asked Congress the other day to authorize a new round of military base closures and consolidations in 2017, alarm bells should have gone off in many parts of California. For this state has been victimized more than any other in the last two such rounds, with profound economic effects in […]

July 08, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,
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