CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2013 |
The new leadership in Bell deserves credit for ejecting corrupt city leaders, but if additional problems aren't fixed, the potential for mismanagement and fiscal crisis remains high, state Controller John Chiang said. Chiang issued his final audit on Bell on Wednesday morning, nearly three years after a corruption scandal uncovered overpaid city leaders, overtaxed residents and other financial mismanagement. “Bell's new leadership deserves credit for changing the culture of city hall by emphasizing transparency and inviting more citizen participation in its decision-making,” said Chiang.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown is stepping back onto the world stage. After two years largely spent cloistered in California tending to the fiscal crisis, he starts a weeklong visit to China on Tuesday in a bid to reclaim the state's reputation as a global economic powerhouse and innovator. The visit will lack the glitz of Brown's travels as governor decades ago, with rock star companions and international paparazzi replaced by dozens of state bureaucrats and business officials.
March 10, 2013
In the weeks leading up to last Tuesday's election, voters in Los Angeles heard conflicting messages from city officials and candidates about Proposition A, a proposed half-cent increase in the sales tax. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council President Herb Wesson and Police Chief Charlie Beck all argued that the city desperately needed the tax hike to avoid damaging cuts in public safety and other services. The candidates vying to take Villaraigosa's place in City Hall, however, insisted that the increase was the wrong way to solve the city's fiscal problems.
March 6, 2013 |
Here's what is most maddening about the "Perils of Pauline" fiscal crises that President Obama and Congress have led us into during the last year: Both sides have known from the beginning what the final deals would look like, but neither side has been willing to budge before it had to. Take the current dust-up over sequestration. If you listen closely to Obama and leading members of both parties in the Senate, you'll find that they've already reached a rough consensus about how to shrink the federal deficit in a smarter way. They'll cut the same amount, but they'll spread it around differently and perhaps delay some of the cuts.
March 6, 2013 |
In my Wednesday column , I wrote that President Obama and most leading members of Congress know what a solution to the fiscal crisis looks like; they just can't get there from here because they don't trust one another much. Obama is trying to change that by taking a dozen Republican senators to dinner Wednesday night at the neutral ground of Washington's elegant Jefferson Hotel, and by going to lunch in the Capitol with GOP Senate and House members beginning next week. The hope is that a little schmoozing will do the trick -- or at least end the silly notion that we wouldn't have political gridlock if Obama spent more time with Republicans on the golf course.
January 31, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Listening to the political shouting match and seeing Washington lurch from one fiscal crisis to another, one might think the federal budget deficit is the economic equivalent of a giant meteor hurtling toward America, about to hit any day. The reality is quite different. In fact, the debt is probably not even the country's biggest economic challenge, most experts say, and certainly not the most urgent. The evidence shows that the country is on a course of spending and debt accumulation that could lead to serious trouble not today or tomorrow but probably 10 to 20 years down the road.