February 11, 2010
The Times has said it repeatedly: The job of lieutenant governor is not vital to the well-being of Californians. But for now there is such a post, it is vacant, and the governor has appointed the capable and moderate Republican Sen. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria to fill it. Now Assembly Democrats are trying to block him for reasons that are transparently partisan and self-serving. They should put the interests of the state ahead of their own Machiavellian strategizing and confirm Maldonado.
January 6, 2010
The state of the state is still dire, as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will no doubt remind Californians this morning in his final required address on the topic. A breathtaking 12.3% of residents who want to work are unemployed. Businesses are hurting, and too little revenue is flowing to public coffers to pay for the safety-net services that are needed more now than they have been in decades. Nor is there enough money for K-12 schools, higher education, the court-ordered relief of prison overcrowding and substandard inmate medical care, road and bridge maintenance, and everything else the state does.