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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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Technology, Government

Finally, Right-Sized Solar Getting A Push

Posted Dec. 13, 2014, 9:02 am

When ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made their way onto a hot and sunny alkali flat just west of the Interstate 15 freeway between Barstow and Las Vegas in late 2010, they were opening an era of giantism in solar electricity.

News, Los Angeles, Government

Audit Of LADWP Trust Set To Begin Today

Posted Dec. 8, 2014, 9:07 am

Auditors hired by Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin will begin reviewing financial records of two Department of Water and Power employee training and safety trusts today in an effort to determine if more than $40 million given to the trusts over the past dozen years was properly spent.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Governor Jerry Brown Reverts To His Youth With Supreme Court Appointee

Posted Dec. 6, 2014, 8:57 am

There is no doubt about the intelligence and diligence of Leondra Kruger, 38, Gov. Jerry Brown’s new appointee to the California Supreme Court.

Ben Allen with his parents Elena and Michael Allen at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Monday after his swearing-in ceremony to the state Senate.

News, Election, Santa Monica, Government

Ben Allen One Of 10 New State Senators Sworn Into Office

Posted Dec. 5, 2014, 8:59 am

Santa Monica native Ben Allen was sworn into office at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Monday as part of the first day of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Government

Reversal Coming For Unjust California Public Utilities Commission Ruling?

Posted Nov. 30, 2014, 8:56 am

Both the current president of the California Public Utilities Commission and one of its member commissioners admit to improper, unethical contacts with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. over items including which judges should rule on the utility's cases.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Next Up: A Semi-Sovereign California Movement?

Posted Nov. 29, 2014, 8:02 am

The proposed Six Californias initiative died last fall, a victim of the weaknesses in its own concept and so much skepticism that even a $5 million petition circulating campaign wasn’t enough to get it onto the 2016 ballot.

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Key Pension Question Unanswered In Stockton Ruling

Posted Nov. 23, 2014, 9:00 am

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.

News, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Government

Immigration Activists Gather In Los Angeles In Response To Obama's Executive Order

Posted Nov. 21, 2014, 9:17 am

Immigration activists will gather in downtown Los Angeles today in response to President Barack Obama's executive order aimed at protecting millions of people living in the country illegally from deportation.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Power Rate Shift: Utilities Seek To Soak Small Users

Posted Nov. 16, 2014, 9:08 am

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.

News, Health, California, Santa Monica, Government

Election 2014: Voters Reject Proposition 46 Regarding Medical Practices

Posted Nov. 5, 2014, 9:19 am

Proposition 46, a wide-ranging initiative that included raising the 1975 limit on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, was defeated today.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica, Government

Election 2014: Jerry Brown Outlines Plans For Fourth Term As Governor

Posted Nov. 5, 2014, 9:09 am

Gov. Jerry Brown will be sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term in January, with optimism over the next four years, thanks in part to the passage of two ballot measures he championed.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government, Opinoi

Lame Duck Jerry Brown: More Than A Caretaker?

Posted Nov. 1, 2014, 9:12 am

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 prime ministers of foreign countries. Common sense ideas today, but visionary in the 1970s.

News, Los Angeles, Government

Eric Garcetti To Speak At "Champions Of Change" In Washington, D.C. Today

Posted Oct. 22, 2014, 9:09 am

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is scheduled to speak at a "Champions of Change'' ceremony in Washington, D.C., today honoring people who have helped immigrants navigate the naturalization process.

News, California, Santa Monica, Government

Signature Gathering Approved For Attempt To Overturn Plastic Bag Ban

Posted Oct. 11, 2014, 9:15 am

Opponents of a recently signed law banning the use of single-use plastic bags received permission today from Secretary of State Debra Bowen to begin gathering signatures for a referendum to overturn it.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

If Not Six Californias, How About One, Sovereign CA?

Posted Sep. 6, 2014, 8:59 am

Two years from now, Californians will not only be thinking about electing a U.S. senator, 53 members of Congress and a President, but most likely also about the possibility of carving up their state into six new ones.

Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.

News, Santa Monica, Government

Richard Bloom’s Paparazzi Stalking Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk

Posted Sep. 5, 2014, 9:21 am

A bill proposed by State Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, to expand the definition of stalking in order to limit the amount of time paparazzi could stake out in front of someone’s home or workplace gained the support of his colleagues in both legislative houses and is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Signs Indicate California Recovery Will Last

Posted Aug. 30, 2014, 8:55 am

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 per cent.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Government

Tesla Has California Walking A Tightrope

Posted Aug. 24, 2014, 8:55 am

And so California government now walks a tightrope, put in that position by one of the latest in the large corps of successful high-tech startups this state has spawned over the last few decades.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Changing Local Election Dates: Democrats Seek More Domination

Posted Aug. 17, 2014, 8:51 am

No one knows better than Democratic Party politicians that voters who tend to support them are at high tide in November general elections during even-numbered years when offices like President and governor and U.S. senator are at stake.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

President Obama Risks Alienating Latinos From Democrats

Posted Aug. 16, 2014, 6:00 am

For the last 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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

No Getting Away From Corruption In State Government?

Posted Aug. 10, 2014, 8:36 am

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.

News, California, Santa Monica, Government

Carving California Into Six States: Initiative Supporters To Gather Signatures

Posted Jun. 21, 2014, 7:10 am

Backers of an initiative that would divide California into six states will gather signatures at 143 locations throughout the state today and Sunday in an attempt to put the measure on the November 2016 ballot.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

California State Senators Clearly Prefer Money Over Trust

Posted Jun. 21, 2014, 6:54 am

There was a clear message when the state Senate in mid-June first rejected a ban on legislators taking campaign contributions during the last 100 days of each lawmaking session, and then partially reversed itself to finally pass a watered-down version covering a much shorter time period.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

PUC Kabuki Dance Extends To San Onofre, San Bruno

Posted May. 11, 2014, 8:59 am

For many decades, the California Public Utilities Commission and the big companies it regulates – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric have engaged in an elaborate Kabuki dance every time any company wants to raise rates.

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