California Dystopia Update, March 2020 edition: How the stage was set for a coronavirus homeless disaster

By Chris Reed
The debate over homelessness in California seemed to shift last fall, when dozens of local governments supplied or co-signed amicus briefs in a case in which Boise, Idaho, officials urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that banned arrests of people sleeping in public if they had nowhere else to go....

TAGS: Chris Reed, coronavirus, Gavin Newsom, homelessness, LA County

Why Jerry Brown bears considerable blame for PG&E’s deadly incompetence

By Chris Reed
When Gov. Jerry Brown left office in January 2019, most of the reviews of his second eight-year stint as leader of the nation’s richest, most populous state were effusive. Citing his restoration of fiscal stability after the Capitol chaos seen in the last three years of the Schwarzenegger administration, Brown biographer Narda Zacchino declared he...

TAGS: "bullet train", California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Chris Reed, Jerry Brown, PG&E

Die Another Day: Bonds like Prop 13 are a burden for tomorrow

By Chris Reed
The conventional wisdom about Proposition 13 — the only ballot measure before California voters in the March 3 election — is that the $15 billion construction bond benefitting public schools, state universities and community colleges is of relatively little importance to the average voter. While there are concerns that local districts will have to raise...

TAGS: bonds, California State Teachers Retirement System, Chris Reed, Los Angeles Unified School District, school boards

California Dystopia Update, February 2020 edition: Going backwards on housing

By Chris Reed
A decade ago, when the U.S. Census Bureau began issuing a measure of poverty that included the cost of living, Californians found out something that had somehow eluded the thousands of journalists, authors and academics who chronicled life here. Because of the cost of housing, California — not West Virginia or Mississippi — had the...

TAGS: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris Reed, Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Times, SB 50, Scott Wiener

California officials knew all along bullet train wouldn’t attract investors

By Chris Reed
After being discussed for decades, a privately funded 170-mile high-speed rail link through the desert between Las Vegas and Victorville — 90 miles east-northeast of Los Angeles — could get final approval in coming weeks from the Federal Railroad Administration. After that happens, the California and Nevada state governments are expected to give final approval...

TAGS: "bullet train", Arnold Schwarzenegger, California High-Speed Rail Authority, Chris Reed, Federal Railroad Administration, Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown

California Dystopia Update: The January 2020 edition

By Chris Reed
On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom presented a 2020-21 state budget that includes more money for K-12 public schools than ever before. But even as metrics-driven education reforms over the past quarter-century have paid major dividends in both union states (Massachusetts, New Jersey) and non-union states (Florida, Texas), California lawmakers have never seriously considered trying to...

TAGS: Chris Reed, Gavin Newsom, homelessness, pensions, Sacramento, schools, state budget, Unions

Unions Fail to Retain San Diego Mayor's Office Despite Advantages

By Kevin Dayton
Republican City Councilman Kevin Faulconer handily defeated Democrat City Councilman David Alvarez with 54.4% of the vote in a February 11, 2014 special election runoff for Mayor of San Diego. The result went against usual expectations. Contrary to the common perception that campaign spending by “big business” often overwhelms humble community-based union-backed campaigns, more money...

TAGS: Chris Reed, City of San Diego