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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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica, Politics

John Chiang Record Unique As Top Democrats Ready To Move Up

Posted Jan. 4, 2015, 6:00 am

Weeks, perhaps months, before taking their oaths of office for statewide posts like lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general and insurance commissioner, the five Democrats in those jobs plainly were thinking of their impending runs for higher office.

Latest California DMV news.

News, Los Angeles, California

Undocumented Immigrants Across Los Angeles Embrace New Licensing Program

Posted Jan. 3, 2015, 6:00 am

Undocumented immigrants got in line early Friday at state Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Los Angeles, the first day that those who cannot establish legal U.S. residency can apply for drivers licenses.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist

California PUC Chief Departs, But Bad Decisions Live On

Posted Jan. 3, 2015, 6:00 am

After 12 years of favoring big utility companies over individual consumers, Michael Peevey has at last left the California Public Utilities Commission. But many of his ill-considered, some say corrupt, decisions will linger on.

Opponents of a law banning the use of single-use plastic bags announced today they have submitted enough signatures to qualify the referendum for the November 2016 ballot.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

California Plastic Bag Ban Referendum May End Up On November 2016 Ballot

Posted Dec. 30, 2015, 9:13 am

Opponents of a law banning the use of single-use plastic bags announced today they have submitted enough signatures to qualify the referendum for the November 2016 ballot.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica, Government

Go Slow On New Electronic Voting Efforts

Posted Dec. 28, 2014, 9:33 am

The reports came in from all across America during last fall’s election: electronic voting machines were flipping some votes from Republican to Democrat in some states. From Democrat to Republican in others. In one state with several close races, Wisconsin, electronic vote-counting machines registered just 16 votes in a city where about 5,350 persons were known to have cast ballots.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

News, Opinion, California, Columnist

California Voters Succeed, Create De Facto Third Party

Posted Dec. 27, 2014, 6:54 am

The two major parties will be arrayed as usual when Gov. Jerry Brown looks out from the podium of the state Assembly chamber as he delivers his combination inaugural and state of the state speech, Democrats on one side and Republicans on the other.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

'Disclose Act' Still A Must, Has A Change In 2015

Posted Dec. 21, 2014, 9:49 am

If there’s one main reason for the distrust many Californians feel for government and elected officials at all levels, it may be the way special interests regularly pour millions of dollars into election campaigns while managing to mask or obscure their identities.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

T.A. Union Vote Exposes Extent Of Campus Anti-Semitism

Posted Dec. 20, 2014, 9:18 am

Few disputes fought out by student governments have ever been as acrimonious as the battles raging intermittently across this state on whether to push University of California regents and trustees of other universities to join an international campaign against Israel. This movement seeks to boycott Israeli companies and academics, demands divestment from companies doing business there and demands trade sanctions.

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