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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Government

Porter Ranch: Could This Be A New San Bruno?

Posted Jan. 3, 2015, 7:47 am

A flood of lawsuits began within weeks after a huge, still-ongoing leak of natural gas arose in late October from a Southern California Gas Co. storage facility 1,200 feet above the Porter Ranch area in the northern reaches of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

New California Motor Voter Law: Don't Expect Mass Election Fraud

Posted Jan. 2, 2015, 9:01 am

California’s new “motor voter” law has now taken effect, even if it’s not yet in massive use, and so far the sky has not fallen.

News, California, Government

Handful Of New Laws Take Effect Today Across California

Posted Jan. 1, 2015, 12:44 pm

While everyone is out celebrating New Year’s Day, Californians should take note of new laws that will take effect as of today, January 1, 2016.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Syria Refugee Vote A Roadmap To 2016 Election

Posted Dec. 7, 2015, 8:57 am

Anyone looking for a roadmap showing which of California’s 53 congressional district elections will be tight next year need look no farther than how the state’s House Democrats voted last month on a bill that would essentially halt a federal plan to take in tens of thousands of refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Government

San Mateo Shows Likely Future Of California Voting

Posted Nov. 22, 2015, 9:29 am

At about 8:05 p.m. Nov. 3, anyone in San Mateo County who cared knew that its (almost) all-mail election was a resounding success.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Insurance Arrangement Shows PUC Hasn’t Change

Posted Nov. 7, 2015, 7:46 am

State commissions, like people and corporations, rarely change unless they’re given strong motivation; sometimes change has to be forced on them.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

California, Get Set For Wild Run For Governor

Posted Nov. 1, 2015, 7:21 am

Just over one year from today, Californians will be focused on helping elect the next president and picking their next U.S. senator.

News, Government, Politics

Sherman Oaks Rep. Brad Sherman Comes Out Against Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted Aug. 9, 2015, 9:41 am

Sherman Oaks Rep. Brad Sherman is the latest congressional Democrat to come out against President Barack Obama’s recently negotiated nuclear deal with Iran.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Latino Fears On Loss Of Clout May Be Correct

Posted Aug. 8, 2015, 9:09 am

Fear and anxiety have been in the air around California’s Latino political leaders in the weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear arguments next fall in a Texas case challenging the 51-year-old legal and political doctrine of one-person, one-vote.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Electric Agency Nod A Reward For Going Along With Corruption?

Posted Aug. 2, 2015, 9:03 am

California consumers can be excused if they’re beginning to wonder whether Gov. Jerry Brown cares a whit about blatantly corrupt conduct by some of his appointees to very high state offices.

Do you have a Letter to the Editor? Email editor@smmirror.com.

Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, Government

Letter To The Editor: Why I Applaud Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted Jul. 19, 2015, 9:43 am

Dear Editor: I am pleased to learn that both California Senators Feinstein and Boxer are supporting President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement, and encourage our fine Congressman Ted Lieu—reportedly still on the fence – to also choose peace. To those who oppose the Iran agreement, I ask, “What is the alternative?” War on 75-million people? Destabilization of the entire middle east? Unimaginable bloodshed?

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Will Prop. 47 Turn Out To Be A Fire Hazard?

Posted Jul. 19, 2015, 9:32 am

Bobby Burns couldn’t have known it, but as California approaches what many experts forecast to be the worst wildfire season on record, his description of how good intentions can go awry, not always turning out as planned, might come into play here soon.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Public Says It Likes Split Roll, May Get No Vote On It

Posted Jul. 5, 2015, 7:00 am

Firm Republican opposition to tinkering of any kind with the 1978 Proposition 13 is one reason voters may get no chance next year to decide whether or not to tax commercial and industrial land and buildings more than residential property.

Executive Editor Brenton Garen interviews 50th District Assemblyman Richard Bloom.

California, Video, Santa Monica, Film, Government

VIDEO PART 1/2: Assemblyman Richard Bloom Discuss Film Tax Legislation

Posted Apr. 2, 2015, 10:22 am

In part one of this “In the Chair” episode, editor Brenton Garen sits down with Assemblymember Richard Bloom as he discusses the film tax legislation to keep Hollywood business in California.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Bleeding Stops On One Arnold Schwarzenegger Blunder

Posted Mar. 8, 2015, 6:00 am

California has bled many millions of dollars because of the myriad blunders by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who probably should have remained a muscleman actor and never ventured into politics.

Kevin McKeown.

News, Santa Monica, Government

Mayor Kevin McKeown: Santa Monica Part Of Supreme Court Amicus Brief

Posted Mar. 8, 2015, 6:00 am

Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown on Thursday joined 225 other Mayors in signing onto a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to end marriage discrimination nationwide.

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, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government, Politics

Condoleezza Rice's Poll Standing: Star Power Still A Political Factor

Posted Feb. 28, 2015, 8:27 am

Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration and now a Stanford University professor, has stated very clearly she would rather attend college basketball games and help choose the college football playoff teams than be a U.S. senator.

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, 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

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.

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.

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