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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Time To Examine Conspiracy In Peevey-PUC Scandal

Posted Mar. 1, 2015, 7:54 am

California attorney general's agents wasted no time after this column in late January called for a criminal investigation of the former state Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey. Less than five days later, investigators executed a search warrant at Peevey’s primary home in La Canada Flintridge.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Go Slow On Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact

Posted Feb. 22, 2015, 8:53 am

References to trade agreements were some of the very few passages during President Obama’s State of the Union speech late last month that moved Republicans to stand and applaud along with Obama’s Democratic Party allies.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government, Politics

A Single Vote Really Does Count

Posted Feb. 21, 2015, 8:43 am

Barely 21 percent of eligible California voters cast ballots in last fall’s election, which means about 80 percent of the eligible populace should have no complaints even if they don’t like the performances of those who were elected for the next two or four years.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election

Initiative Carnival Coming Next Year

Posted Feb. 15, 2015, 9:39 am

If voters get annoyed and sick of seeing paid petition circulators outside their favorite big box stores during the next 15 months, they will have only themselves to blame.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

California Tax Overhaul Plan Has Potential

Posted Feb. 14, 2015, 9:10 am

Rarely does a freshman state senator propose anything substantial during his or her first few days in office. But Robert Herzberg, elected last fall from a safe Democratic district in the San Fernando Valley portion of Los Angeles, is hardly a typical newbie.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Technology, Government, Obama

Doubling H1-B Visas Via An End Run

Posted Feb. 8, 2015, 8:22 am

Green cards for spouses – that’s the latest quiet Obama Administration move to please and appease the high-tech companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere who constantly clamor for more H1-B visas to bring in cheap, skilled foreign labor.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Prospects Improve For Condoms-In-Porn Initiative

Posted Feb. 1, 2015, 8:58 am

For years, the loudest arguments against expanding a landmark Los Angeles law requiring condom use by adult film actors in sex scenes to the rest of California were financial and geographic:

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica, Government, Politics

Governor Jerry Brown Could – But Won’t – Dominate Race To Replace Boxer In Senate

Posted Jan. 31, 2015, 8:40 am

If the current large corps of potential candidates for retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s job look to some like a gaggle of political pygmies, it might have something to do with the proverbial 800-pound gorilla lurking in their living room. That would be Gov. Jerry Brown, who could most likely have the job for the asking.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Criminal Investigation For California Utility Regulators?

Posted Jan. 25, 2015, 9:28 am

Memo to United States Attorneys in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego: It’s high time you investigate the former president and some current members and officials of the California Public Utilities Commission for things like conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

News, California, Columnist, Police Department, Government

Why Latinos Are Key As Democrats Plot 2016 Strategies

Posted Jan. 24, 2015, 9:34 am

For the last 20 years – ever since passage in 1994 of California’s abortive anti-illegal immigrant Proposition 187 – Democrats here and around the nation have increasingly depended on Latino votes.

State Senator Ben Allen participated in a community swearing-in ceremony at Santa Monica High School on Saturday. The Honorable Holly E. Kendig, Superior Court Judge, administered the Oath of Office.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

State Senator Ben Allen Sworn In At Alma Mater Samohi

Posted Jan. 23, 2015, 6:00 am

Newly elected California State Senator Ben Allen (Dem-26th District) chose his old campus of Santa Monica High School for his community swearing-in ceremony Saturday, hosting lawmakers and officials from across the region alongside students and grassroots campaigners for a night of community celebration.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

News, California, Government, Obama

Democratic Lawmakers React To President Obama's State Of The Union

Posted Jan. 21, 2015, 9:08 am

Democratic lawmakers representing California praised what President Obama said about the economy in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, though some disagree with a variety of foreign policy issues.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

California Red Light Camera Plague Abating A Bit

Posted Jan. 18, 2015, 9:18 am

For many California drivers, there have been few worse plagues than the red light cameras that once operated in more than 70 cities across the state.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Dining, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Foie Gras,With A Side Order Of Guilt

Posted Jan. 17, 2015, 9:06 am

Full Disclosure: At some point I may have eaten some foie gras; fattened goose liver thought by folks who like that sort of thing to be a delicacy. I know I’ve been in rooms where such items were presented, but I can’t testify as to whether I liked foie gras or not. I know as a kid I used to love a liverwurst sandwich with lettuce on rye bread, although we specifically ate the version known as Braunschweiger. I know, I know: This stuff right here is fascinating, but hang on.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Columnist, Government

Tail Wags Dog Again In Presidential Race

Posted Jan. 17, 2015, 9:04 am

Almost exactly one year from today – Jan. 26, 2016 – voters in New Hampshire will don parkas and trek through snowdrifts to tell the rest of America who should be running for president and who should not.

Jeb Bush.

News, California, Politics

Jeb Bush Heads To Southern California Fundraisers

Posted Jan. 14, 2015, 9:12 am

Potential Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush will be in Southern California this week to raise funds.

Los Angeles-based Mercury Insurance has been ordered bythe California Department of Insurance to pay a fine of more than $27.5 million for charging customers unapproved broker fees.

News, Los Angeles, Business, California, Santa Monica

Mercury Insurance To Pay $27.5M Fine For Charging Unapproved "Broker Fees"

Posted Jan. 13, 2015, 9:47 am

Los Angeles-based Mercury Insurance was ordered by the California Department of Insurance to pay a fine of more than $27.5 million for charging customers unapproved "broker fees," state officials said Monday.

Attorney General Kamala Harris announced today she is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica, Politics

Kamala Harris To Run For U.S. Senate Seat Being Vacated By Barbara Boxer

Posted Jan. 13, 2015, 9:03 am

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced in low-key fashion today that she is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer.

Kevin McKeown.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

Kevin McKeown Elected To California Democratic Party Central Committee

Posted Jan. 12, 2015, 9:50 am

Five Santa Monica residents, including Mayor Kevin McKeown, were elected Sunday as delegates to the California Democratic Party Central Committee, which oversees the statewide party platform and Democratic endorsements.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Government

Big Utilities' Nightmare Begins To Play Out In California

Posted Jan. 11, 2015, 8:47 am

The biggest nightmare of California’s largest utility companies may be about to begin playing out, thanks to a small irrigation district in San Joaquin County and a bunch of disgruntled customers of Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Los Angeles, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government, Politics

Analysis: Democrats Line Up To Seek U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer's Job

Posted Jan. 8, 2015, 10:01 am

With U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s announcement Thursday that she will retire when her current fourth term ends in early 2017, fellow Democrats are lining up to seek her job.

Senator Barbara Boxer announced her retirement on Thursday in a video on Youtube co-starring her grandson Zach Rodham, who played the role of reporter.

News, California, Politics

Barbara Boxer Will Not Seek Re-Election To U.S. Senate In 2016

Posted Jan. 8, 2015, 8:40 am

Barbara Boxer (Dem-California) announced Thursday she would not run for re-election to the United States Senate in 2016.

Disneyland is offering special tickets to Southern California residents.

California, Travel, Santa Monica

Discounted Disneyland Tickets Go On Sale For Southern California Residents

Posted Jan. 8, 2015, 8:18 am

In what has become an annual tradition at Disneyland, Southern California residents today got a chance to buy special tickets allowing access to the Anaheim theme park as well as Disneyland California Adventure park, where its attractions based on the movie "Frozen" kicked off.

A federal court ruling has overturned California's ban on the delicacy known as foie gras.

News, Dining, Restaurant, California, Courts

California Ban On Foie Gras Overturned; Chefs Rejoice While Activists Are Livid

Posted Jan. 8, 2015, 7:58 am

Chefs at French restaurants in the Southland and around the state today celebrated a federal court ruling that overturned California's ban on the delicacy known as foie gras, but animal rights activists were livid.

News, California, Transportation

Los Angeles-San Francisco Bullet Train Project To Get Underway Tuesday

Posted Jan. 5, 2015, 9:11 am

At last, construction will officially get underway Tuesday on the first 29-mile segment of the $68-billion Los Angeles-San Francisco bullet train project.

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