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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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Favor It Or Not, Death Penalty Changes Needed

Posted Mar. 23, 2014, 8:50 am

Few topics divide California as consistently or as evenly as the death penalty. The last time voters had their say on it, they opted by a vote of just over 51-49 percent to keep it around.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Demo Convention Shows Restraint Governor Jerry Brown Provides

Posted Mar. 22, 2014, 6:00 am

One well-worn thought that has not been heard since Jerry Brown in 2010 won his third term as governor is the notion that California’s state Capitol needs some adult supervision.

State Senator Ted W. Lieu.

News, Santa Monica, Government

Lieu Calls For Urgent Investigation Into LAX Safety Procedures

Posted Mar. 15, 2014, 8:57 am

In the wake of the recent death of a 51-year-old baggage employee of contractor Menzies Aviation, State Senator Ted Lieu (Dem-28th District) has called for a state investigation into possibly unsafe working conditions at Los Angeles International Airport.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Unprecedented Conservative Backing For Minimum Wage Increase

Posted Mar. 15, 2014, 8:49 am

From the moment Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed America’s first minimum wage law in 1938 (25 cents per hour, or $11 a week), conservatives have fought increases every time and everywhere they’ve been proposed.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

PG&E Gas Rate Request: New Standard For Chutzpah

Posted Mar. 9, 2014, 6:00 am

At the very moment that California’s largest utility company was being assessed a $14 million fine for failing to report discovery of flawed records on its gas pipelines in the San Francisco Peninsula town of San Carlos, the same company was asking for well over $1 billion in rate increases to pay for repairs to that very same pipeline system.

News, Election, Santa Monica, Government

LA County Supervisor Third District Debate To Take Place Thursday, March 20

Posted Mar. 8, 2014, 8:32 am

LA County Supervisor Third District candidates John Duran, Sheila Kuehl, Bobby Shriver, and Pamela Conley Ulich will take part in a debate on Thursday, March 20.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

California Governor Jerry Brown Called Lazy,Vulnerable

Posted Mar. 8, 2014, 8:01 am

Jerry Brown has been called a lot of things in his 45-year political career, from “Gov. Moonbeam” to “the old man,” but no one ever accused him of being a do-nothing dud of a politician. Until now.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Appeal Court Comments Encourage Birthers

Posted Mar. 2, 2014, 7:58 am

For years, those who claim President Barack Obama was born in Kenya or someplace other than the Hawaii hospital indicated on the birth certificate issued by that state’s officials have claimed their effort is neither political nor racist, but merely purist.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

New Vaccination Form Eases Way For False Myths

Posted Feb. 23, 2014, 8:48 am

For almost two months, parents of California public school pupils have been able to claim with no proof that their religion precludes getting their children vaccinated against once dreaded and disabling diseases like polio, rubella, mumps, pertussis and smallpox.

Bobby Shriver.

Opinion, Santa Monica, Government, Politics

The Race For LA County Supervisor (Third District) – Bobby Shriver

Posted Feb. 22, 2014, 7:07 am

Bobby Shriver discusses his candidacy for LA County Supervisor to represent the third supervisorial district with Mirror Columnist Susan Cloke

Sheila Kuehl.

Opinion, Election, Santa Monica, Government, Politics

The Race For LA County Supervisor (Third District) – Sheila Kuehl

Posted Feb. 22, 2014, 7:00 am

Sheila Kuehl discusses her candidacy for LA County Supervisor to represent the third supervisorial district with Mirror Columnist Susan Cloke.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Costa Azul Shows California Avoided White Elephants

Posted Feb. 16, 2014, 8:43 am

Remember the enthusiasm of Sempra Energy back in 2009, when it had just about finished its $975 million liquefied natural gas importing plant at Costa Azul, on the coast just north of Ensenada, in Baja California?

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