September 26, 2012
One of the trickier aspects of building an effective criminal justice system is making sure that the punishment fits the crime; that's important because penalties considered arbitrary and unfair breed disillusionment and anger that can worsen lawlessness rather than reducing it. How's this for arbitrary and unfair: Under California's three-strikes law, Scott Andrew Hove was sentenced to 25 years to life after shoplifting $20 worth of merchandise from...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 1, 1988
Nonpartisan political analysts estimate the price of Proposition 102 would cost California taxpayers up to $1.7 billion to implement in its first year alone. In addition are court challenges to possibly many of its unconstitutional provisions and the public health costs of many persons with AIDS whose private insurance would be cancelled. Your taxes increased? You bet! Money could be taken from vital research for a preventive vaccine or cure. AIDS education would suffer and this would affect many of our young people who need it most.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 1988
The proponents of Proposition 92 do not go far enough in their proposal in changing the Commission on Judicial Performance. If you're going to amend the Constitution then do it right the first time. Too many ignorant and incompetent lawyers are appointed as judges, who too often become arrogant in their security of immunity. The record of the Commission on Judicial Performance given by the proponents, i.e., only 25 out of 7,185 complaints resulted in public punishment in 27 years, speaks for itself--wimpy--merely a wrist-slapping public entity that is neither useful nor cost effective in its present state.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2010 |
If your dream — most likely fantasy — is to install public financing of California state political races, then Proposition 15 is worth voting for. Barely. It would create public financing — sort of — for only one office, the low-profile secretary of state. But it could pave the way for a much broader system later. I'm one of those who shares the pipe dream but doubts it ever will become a reality. I've always felt that if the public doesn't buy the politicians, the special interests will.
April 22, 2010
How much does it cost to buy an election in California? Northern California utility Pacific Gas & Electric aims to test that question with Proposition 16, the most odious piece of special-interest electioneering to come around in, oh, a year or so. PG&E is expected to pour $35 million into its campaign for the measure, which features commercials and glossy mailers so misleading that they could have been written by the Iranian information ministry....
October 2, 2012
The day Gov. Jerry Brown took office in 2011, the state budget was more than $25 billion in the red - the latest installment in a long-running drama of boom-and-bust budgeting. Since then, lawmakers have slashed billions of dollars from education, health, public safety and community development programs, reducing the general fund to the smallest share of the economy in 40 years. Barring a miraculously speedy turnaround in the economy, however, the budget will remain far out of balance for the next several years unless Sacramento raises revenue or cuts spending by a draconian $6 billion annually.
November 7, 2012
SACRAMENTO -- The consumer activists that defeated the Proposition 33 auto insurance initiative, despite their small budget, are crowing over their victory and spoiling for a new fight. This tiime, it's with the health insurance industry. Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica is winding up its own initiative on the 2014 ballot to regulate health insurance rates in much the same way the state oversees auto insurance premiums under California's landmark Proposition 103 law of 1988.