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For the first time since California became a state in 1850, public anger and political opportunity have converged at a special apex: 1992 is the year that voters can virtually wipe clean the legislative slate, if indeed they believe that a ballot-box revolution will make their lives any better. The Golden State's budget is hemorrhaging red ink. Californians are worried about keeping their jobs and angry about the higher state and federal taxes they pay when they have jobs.
October 30, 2013 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Arnold Schwarzenegger made an appearance on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, and the Hollywood actor and former California governor was uncharacteristically disciplined. Reporters tried to get Schwarzenegger to go off script, to tear into the rigid partisanship on Capitol Hill, but he wouldn't take the bait. Standing alongside two of the Senate's most liberal Democrats - Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Boxer of California - Schwarzenegger demurred when asked his thoughts about Republican lawmakers who have sought to hinder action on climate change, one of his signature issues.
January 28, 1998 | BILL BOYARSKY
Nobody knows what's happening behind the closed doors, where some of the big guns of California business and politics are trying to persuade Mayor Richard Riordan to run for governor. But if history is any guide, it's a selling job of car-dealer proportions on a man who has said he doesn't want the burden of running in this huge state, with its grueling, dirty and expensive political campaigns.
October 24, 2013 | By Jon Healey
This post has been updated and corrected, as shown below. As if it wasn't bad enough to lose twice on election day, two secretive nonprofits that supported 2012's Proposition 32 and opposed Proposition 30 each agreed Thursday to pay $500,000 in civil penalties for violating state campaign finance law. And the two California campaign committees that received the nonprofits' help were ordered to pay an amount equal to their donations --...
If 1992 was the Year of the Woman, 1994 might be the Year of Anger in California politics. Anger over crime and illegal immigration. Anger at incumbent politicians. Anger at the system itself. Something's going on out there. The pollsters and other experts aren't sure exactly what it is, or how it will manifest itself at the polls on Election Day, Nov. 8. But voter frustration is boiling over.
November 7, 1993 | PETER H. KING
Election Night television brought shots from a Nob Hill ballroom. School voucher opponents were gathered for a victory party. A union official crowed into the microphone about California's decisive 70%-30% rejection of Proposition 174. Then the camera panned along a lavish buffet and picked out celebrities. The correspondent concluded with a breezy note that the bill for this celebration was $80,000. It seemed so breathtakingly premature. Know your enemy, the general said.
August 10, 2000 | GEORGE SKELTON
It's the center, stupid. In 1992, the Clinton campaign mantra was, "It's the economy, stupid." This was posted in the campaign war room as a constant reminder to Clinton aides. But in 2000, especially in California, it's all about capturing the center. And that's why the selection of Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as Al Gore's running mate makes so much sense in this state. Californians have gotten into the habit of electing centrists at the top of the ticket: Gov. Gray Davis. Sen.
November 30, 1990 | BILL BOYARSKY
An enduring California myth has held that politics are cleaner here than in other states. It's really more complicated than that. For example, look what's happened to two well-known elected officials, Mayor Tom Bradley and Sen. Alan Cranston. Bradley's personal and political finances are under investigation by local, state and federal officials.
March 6, 2000 | GEORGE SKELTON
Call it the political big bang phenomenon. California is about to feel its impact for the first time. We'll learn Tuesday what happens when an open primary and an early primary and a hot presidential race all collide. Never before have Californians been able to cross over into another party and vote for any presidential candidate they choose, even if it is only a "beauty contest" that allocates no delegates.
By resigning Wednesday amid an ever-deepening probe of his actions, Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush joined a long line of California politicians besmirched by scandal. It's not an easy place to be, and those who have traveled in his shoes, or know a fallen politician who has, predict tough times for Quackenbush. "He's going to have to move ahead," said GOP consultant Ken Khachigian, an ally of President Richard Nixon.
October 9, 2013 | By Mark Z. Barabak
SACRAMENTO -- Nearly 20 years ago, when California was reeling from recession and aboil over immigration, voters passed Proposition 187, a punitive measure that sought to deny public services such as education and healthcare to those living in the state illegally. It was the electoral equivalent of a shout from the rooftops: nearly 8 in 10 of those who voted in favor said they wanted to send a protest message and half said they wanted to force Washington to respond to the problem of illegal immigration and its burden on the state.
October 4, 2013 | By Mark Z. Barabak
When Californians aren't soaking in their hot tubs, spreading free love or engaging in other sybaritic activities, they're harvesting their macrobiotic sprouts and medical marijuana and getting their auras adjusted. As for politics, the state is blue as the Pacific and so far left it would fall off the edge of the continent if the ocean wasn't there to buoy it up. Or so, at least, much of the rest of the country perceives the Golden State and its kooky, sun-baked citizenry. Like many caricatures, there is, at root, some truth to the cartoonish depiction.
June 26, 2013 | James Rainey and Mark Z. Barabak
The vibe had to feel familiar to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Crowds flocked to his nationwide tour. A head of state staged a joint photo op, then sat for a little policy chitchat over breakfast. "Buff, bronzed and presidential" one news site declared of California's erstwhile governator, adding that he "has his sights set on the Oval Office. " There's no chance of that right now, owing to the constitutional ban on immigrants becoming president. Still, Schwarzenegger's recent environmental tour reanimated, in a small way, the elation of 2003, when he swept into the governor's office in an unprecedented recall election.
November 2, 2012 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — The Arizona nonprofit at the center of a controversy over secret campaign donors Thursday appealed a judge's order to turn over records to California's campaign finance watchdog. The Fair Political Practices Commission is seeking the records to determine whether the nonprofit is improperly shielding the identities of its contributors. The nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Leadership, gave $11 million to fight Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hike plan and support a separate measure to curb unions' political influence.
November 1, 2012 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - A state judge Wednesday ordered an Arizona nonprofit to hand over a wide range of records involving its $11-million donation to California political campaigns, a victory for the state's campaign finance watchdog. California's Fair Political Practices Commission is trying to unmask the donors behind the Arizona group. The case is being watched as a test of state regulations intended to prevent campaign contributors from anonymously routing money through nonprofits. "This is a moment of truth for our campaign disclosure laws," said Derek Cressman of Common Cause, an activist group that filed a complaint against the Arizona organization.
October 25, 2012 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Let's see. Maybe: "Money Launderers for Campaign Finance Reform. " No, that probably wouldn't sell. Could try: "Tax Exempt Fat Cats Against Higher Taxes for School Kids. " Nope. That one doesn't have the right ring, either. There's always: "California Reformers Against Special Interests and Higher Taxes. " That's more traditional and has much better voter appeal. INTERACTIVE: California propositions guide This is all facetious, of course, sort of. The real name is the Small Business Action Committee PAC, No on 30/Yes on 32. Citizens for Reforming Sacramento.
Undaunted after an 0-for-4 drubbing on Election Day, Gov. Pete Wilson on Wednesday blamed the worst economy since the Great Depression for a Democratic "tidal wave" and hinted that he now may be more conciliatory toward his legislative adversaries. "Although there are differences in philosophies, people can work together for the perceived common good of the state," said the man many consider to be one of the most combative California governors of modern times.
September 7, 1993
If Gov. Pete Wilson would really like to see how high his political cohorts could jump to kiss his rear (Aug. 19), he should first remember the basic rule of California politics--he will have to attach a thousand dollar bill to his coattails. RAY LaBAY Sacramento
October 24, 2012 | By Mickey Edwards
Two and a quarter centuries after America's founders devised what was then a unique approach to government - a nation in which people would be citizens, not subjects - the country is in the midst of a struggle to determine whether that system can survive. And California, as is so often the case, is in the vanguard. If other states ignore California's rebellion against party-centric politics, the dysfunction that plagues Washington will continue and the United States will become increasingly unable to deal with pressing national problems.
October 8, 2012 | Jean Merl
Mervyn M. Dymally, the Trinidad-born former teacher whose ground-breaking if sometimes controversial political career spanned more than four decades and included a stint as California's only black lieutenant governor, has died. He was 86. Dymally, who became a leader in the Los Angeles area's ascendant African American political establishment in the early 1960s and served in both houses of the Legislature and in Congress, died Sunday in Los Angeles, after a period of declining health, his family said.
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