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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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Film, Government

California Movie Credits: A Tax Break That Actually Works

Posted May. 3, 2014, 7:33 am

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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

San Diego Shows Some Things Don’t Change In Politics

Posted Apr. 27, 2014, 8:45 am

It’s all the rage these days to say that politics has been changed enormously by the combination of the “top two” primary election system and voters’ increasing reluctance to declare allegiance to either major political party.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Fracking: Find An Indisputably Clean Method

Posted Apr. 26, 2014, 8:56 am

When a city like Carson, home to one large oil refinery and next-door neighbor to another, hard by the junction of two major freeways and site of both a Cal State campus and a Major League Soccer stadium, slaps a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing because of environmental questions, you know fracking of California’s vast oil and gas reserves is no sure thing.

News, Santa Monica, Government

Santa Monica Democratic Club To Vote On June 3 Primary Endorsements

Posted Apr. 20, 2014, 8:57 am

Members of the Santa Monica Democratic Club will vote to endorse candidates for the June 3 Primary Election at its meeting this Wednesday, April 23.

Wendy Greuel is a democratic candidate for the 33rd Congressional District.

Opinion, Columnist, Government

What Say You? Wendy Greuel – U.S. Congress Candidate

Posted Apr. 19, 2014, 8:56 am

“Henry Waxman served the people of the 33rd Congressional District for 40 years. He changed the lives of individual people for the better and he changed the future of our country with his legislative work: the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Affordable Care Act,” stated Wendy Greuel.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Ground Water Becoming Another Big California Fight

Posted Apr. 14, 2014, 9:16 am

The next front in California’s long-running water wars has already opened, and the reasons for it will sometimes be hard to see – but not always.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Courts, Government

Time To Fix A Law The Courts Have Mucked Up

Posted Apr. 6, 2014, 9:03 am

Talk to corporate executives and they’ll often say California is a difficult place to do business, in part because consumers can file class action lawsuits willy-nilly, even when their companies haven’t screwed up.

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