May 28, 1989
It's time to go back to the drawing board for West Hollywood. Justly, there are five members on the City Council, seven on the Planning Commission and five on the Business License Commission--each unit requiring a majority vote. Why, then, is one man, Community Development Director Mark Winogrond, given sole authority, against incredible opposition, to grant an overabundance of liquor licenses? In this respect, we are now worse off than when we were under the county. I have never seen a city structure where one man aggregates so much power to himself!
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2000
Re "Troubled Complex Won't Get Officer," May 18. The Thousand Oaks City Council voted against having a full-time police officer at the Conejo Creek complex where a young man was killed on April 28. According to news reports, an earlier experiment of assigning an officer to the area was successful in reducing crime. If this is correct, it is difficult to comprehend how the majority of the council decided this was too costly. Yet this same City Council voted to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to plant trees and shrubs on a postage-stamp-size lot on Thousand Oaks Boulevard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2013 |
When a deal was reached on the state budget, Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez gathered in the Capitol to declare victory. Missing from the press conference, says George Skelton in his Thursday column , was a fourth group that made a balanced budget possible. "Let's not forget where most of the credit belongs for a punctual, sensible budget," he writes. "It's with another, oft-maligned group: the California voters. " Two votes played a crucial role in this year's largely smooth budget process.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2010 |
California badly needs someone, some party, to just make a decision about a state budget and be held accountable for the consequences. The state has needed that for years. But it's impossible while a two-thirds majority vote is required for legislative passage of a budget and a one-third minority can stand in the way. Can't the governor and the two parties just get together and compromise? Figure out a solution that's acceptable to all three? One — and this is the key — that honestly balances the budget, closing a deficit projected at $19 billion?
November 4, 2004 |
Hungary will withdraw its 300 troops from Iraq by the end of March, government officials said Wednesday. Hungary is the first of the new European Union states that had joined the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq to announce a formal withdrawal date, although the mandate of the troops, who form a transport battalion, had been due to expire at year's end. The new withdrawal date will require a two-thirds majority vote in parliament.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — This is nonsense, I'm thinking: A legislative candidate wins a majority of votes in the June primary but still must run in November against the same guy he already beat. That seems a waste of tax dollars for an unnecessary election redux. You'd think if a candidate collected a majority of the vote — not a plurality, but a clear majority — that would be it. Game over. That's how it works in mayoral and other local elections — also for state superintendent of public instruction and special elections to fill legislative and congressional vacancies.
September 30, 2010
In 2008, the state budget was approved almost three months after its due date. Last year, a failure by lawmakers to reach a budget deal until it was two months overdue prompted ratings agencies to lower California's credit rating nearly to junk status, and the delay not only held up state payments but cost billions of dollars in interest on government IOUs. This year, Sacramento has set a dubious record for the latest budget ever. If you think this system is working, Proposition 25 is not for you. But you'll love Proposition 26, because it would make the situation worse.
March 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Former New York state attorney Caitlin Halligan, President Obama's choice for the U.S. Court of Appeals here, withdrew her name Friday, defeated by the Republican minority in the Senate. Halligan's withdrawal is the latest example of how the GOP has employed the filibuster rule not only to block major legislation, but routine presidential appointments as well. The D.C. Circuit decides significant challenges to federal regulations, including those on environmental protection and worker's rights.
August 4, 2011
If nothing else, the extended debate over raising the federal debt ceiling, which brought the country to the brink of economic catastrophe, demonstrated that this Congress was unusually willing to risk doing extreme harm to the nation in order to score political points. Ultimately, lawmakers stepped back from the edge on that issue — but when it came to funding the Federal Aviation Administration, they jumped off a cliff. Because Congress failed to approve a temporary spending measure for the FAA before leaving town for the rest of August, 4,000 FAA employees have been furloughed, airport construction projects have been halted, 70,000 construction workers have been idled, and the federal government stands to lose roughly $1 billion in uncollected airline ticket taxes.
August 18, 2008
Thanks to the electoral college, the United States holds elections in which the candidate who wins the most votes doesn't always win the presidency. Voters in some states matter much more than others, so candidates are encouraged to ignore the concerns of the less important ones and focus on those who really make a difference. That, in turn, tends to lower turnout because many voters believe their input doesn't matter. Is this any way to run a democracy? The answer might seem obvious to most Americans -- in fact, polls have shown that large majorities in both parties favor reforming the presidential election system.