Recently in While California Dreams Category

He was called "Moonbeam" and mocked, but he was right, and we were right, and the country needs to come to terms with this this so we can move on and finally DO right.

Jerry Brown was Governor of California from 1975 to 1983. He was a symbol of "the 60's" even though it was the 70's, because he came from the times, cared about the issues of the times, spoke the language of the times and governed for the people, from the times. He opposed the Vietnam war. He talked about protecting the environment and conserving energy and providing education and "Buddhist economics." He fought corporate power and sued large corporations, particularly in the area of campaign finance. He was right.

For taking these positions Jerry was called "Moonbeam" and mocked for advocating things that we now all understand were correct and necessary. It is 30 years later and the country needs to get past that mocking of the people who were right. But the mocking and obstruction by entrenched interests are still in the way of letting us move on and do the things we need to do for the economy, the country, and the planet.

Now Jerry is again running for Governor of California and I think this is important to our current national conversation at a time when we must come to terms with the reasons that we have waited 30 years to start doing something about major problems. Jerry's campaign will force a conversation that will clarify for the country that the "dirty hippies" were right, that we need to learn to ignore the mocking that is a primary weapon of the corporate right, that we need to take care of the planet, that we need to take care of each other, that we need to be in charge of the corporations, not the other way around.

In his speech to the California Democratic Convention he talked about how 30 years ago he changed California's energy policies, and how the result has been that California has barely increased its energy use since while the rest of the country has. He talk about a number of things like this, but what most resonated with me was when he talked about how we educate kids. The current emphasis on testing is stifling the creativity of kids. He says we need to bring back education that stimulates creativity. Wow -- how long since I have heard "60's" talk that's so right?! Talk that recognizes our humanity and says that we are not just cogs in a corporate machine. Who talks about these things today?

A few years ago, when Jerry was running for Attorney General, I wrote,

I've loved Jerry Brown since his 1992 campaign for President. During that campaign he proposed boosting the economy and helping the energy/pollution/Middle East problem with a national program to hire unemployed people to retrofit buildings to be energy efficient. Imagine if we had done that! So now 13 years later we have the Apollo Alliance but Jerry doesn't seem to get much credit for being so far ahead on this.

A few years before that I wrote,
In the 1992 campaign Jerry Brown made a suggestion that I haven't forgotten. He suggested putting the unemployed to work retrofitting buildings and homes to be energy efficient. It requires an up-front investment but it returns a more efficient economy (everyone paying less for energy) and national energy independence as a foreign policy bonus. Meanwhile all those unemployed people are getting and spending paychecks, boosting the economy. It helps everyone but the oil companies. Oh. I guess not, then.
I don't know right now if Brown can or should win and this is not an endorsement. But I think this is a conversation that we all need to have and learn from.

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Dear Speak Out California Readers,

Like most progressive, non-commercial organizations, we rely on the support of our friends and readers like you to provide the straightforward information you want and deserve. Although we've encouraged you to help out in the past, we've decided to come right out and ask for your help now. So as we enter the windy month of March, we're making it our fundraising campaign month.

We hope you've enjoyed reading our weekly updates over the past many months, used our Voter Guides to help sort through the complex and confusing ballot initiatives and campaigns we've had in California during the past three years, and been challenged and motivated by our stimulating and thought-provoking blog offerings since we began Speak Out California in 2005.

If you have, we hope you'll help us continue to provide the most comprehensive, knowledgeable and independent progressive California political news and commentary on the web. If we've become part of your Sunday or Monday back-to-work look at the State's political goings-on, we hope you'll realize the value Speak Out California has been providing to you.

We're anxious to keep going and keep alive the commitment to a progressive and successful future for our state. In order to do that, though, we need your help. We don't take contributions from any corporate sponsors, and operate almost exclusively on the contributions of our friends and readers. That's why we're asking you, today, to contribute to our work.

Please click here to keep Speak Out California's unique, independent and insightful work coming to you and other Californians anxious to get the straight and honest take on what is going on in Sacramento. We are a non-partisan, progressive organization unlike any other on the web. We hope you'll see the benefits to the progressive political infrastructure we provide. Help us continue doing this important work

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A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento

For the week ending February 23, 2008

Key bills and issues we've been following during the

Past week and beyond


Bill deadlines, budget cuts, Assembly leadership struggles and ever-increasing bad news on the State's burgeoning deficit are the hallmarks of this week's update. Simply put: The news continues to be dreary.

The leadership vacuum in the Assembly has yet to be resolved, although the Dems have agreed that there will be no transfer of power until after the budget is finalized so that the four-time budget negotiator Fabian Nunez will be able to represent the lower house in the budget negotiations, rather than a newer and more untested replacement. With that deal made (and assuming it isn't broken), the rest of the battle continues. It's still pretty much inside baseball. Most of those who are watching Sacramento at all are interested in whether there will be significant cuts in programs in which they are personally or professionally involved. For those interested in this leadership power play, Dan Walters in the Sac Bee this week has a summary handicapping several of the key players. And while the game of palace intrigue continues, the legislature has started to address the real challenges of major budget decisions and legislative priorities for this, the second half of the legislative session.

On the Republican side, the new Senate Minority Leader has been chosen. Modesto Senator Dave Cogdill, a hard-liner who boasts of his anti-choice, anti-gay, "A" rating from the NRA, among other right-wing litmus tests, states his position on a balanced approach to dealing with the budget shortfall: "If we raise taxes, it's like throwing an anchor to a drowning man." This will certainly make for an interesting budget debate this year. For more on who will be representing the Republican point of view in the Senate this coming year please click here.

If you like the work we've been doing at Speak Out California, with our regular weekly updates which provide inside commentary and analysis on what is going on in our state capital, we hope you'll support our work by making a contribution to Speak Out California. To contribute, just click here for our website so we can keep providing this unique and important perspective on our state and its future.

At Speak Out California we provide the facts and the commentary that keeps you informed on what is really happening in our state. We don't accept any advertising or corporate sponsorships, so you know that we are not beholden to any group or special interest. Our commitment is simply to provide uncompromising reporting and analysis of what is happening in our state from the progressive perspective.

If you can pledge $10, $25, $50 a month, or send us a one-time contribution, we can continue to keep you in-the-know and keep the progressive voice alive and growing in California.

Just click here for our website to support our work in keeping California's progressive voice strong!


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A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento

For the week ending February 16, 2008

Key bills and issues we've been following during the

Past week and beyond


With the presidential primaries focused on other states and the Term-Limits initiative dead and gone, Sacramento has returned to "normal", with small matters like the budget and legislative leadership supplanting the posturing and promoting that naturally accompanies electoral politicking. However, with the huge vacuum in Sacramento leadership created by the failure of Prop. 93, politicking has, instead, gone into over-drive. Don Perata and Fabian Nunez are now officially lame-duck leaders. In the world of power and leadership, this situation befits the old adage, "The King is dead, long live the King", meaning those seeking the crowns of leadership haven't even waited for the bodies to get cold before scurrying to pick up the scepter.

The fallout from Prop 93's failure has been quite different in the Senate and Assembly. The Senate quickly filled the power void by announcing that Darrell Steinberg would replace current President Pro Tem Don Perata, most likely in August after the budget is completed. The transfer of power will be smooth and dignified. "Good guy" Darrell Steinberg's big job now is to persuade the political pundits that he's not quite so nice and thus capable of doing the heavy-lifting required of the position. After all the mud that has been slung at the current senate leadership, this is an enviable "problem" to be sure.

In the lower house, an entirely different story emerges. While Fabian Nunez has apparently secured his control until after the budget battle, the internal battle over who will succeed him has taken on an entirely different and new dynamic. With no clear successor and no timeline for that succession, the battle has taken on both a full-blown and public persona. Several assemblymembers have announced their candidacies and done so with press releases and even blogger interviews, along with traditional mainstream interviews and events.

In the past, the battle for internal control over leadership has taken place in relative private, with self-selected candidates going member to member to shore up support. This has traditionally been about relationships and a determination as to which emerging candidate can best fill the primary functions of a speaker which are to raise money and protect his/her majority in upcoming elections. With pretty much all of tradition and history thrown out with term-limits, the face of this process has changed dramatically, and the battle has become both public and highly politicized. While all this makes for great copy, just how this improves the process has yet to be seen. Currently there are at least six to nine announced candidates for the position, with no one having a straight shot to the title at this moment. This will be interesting to watch as the rest of the "conventional wisdom" about who, why and how the speaker is chosen will be up-for-grabs as well. While arguably historic in its unique selection process, it may also signal the selection of the first woman speaker in our state's history. More on this as it evolves.


If you like the work we've been doing at Speak Out California, with our regular weekly updates which provide inside commentary and analysis on what is going on in our state capital, we hope you'll support our work by making a contribution to Speak Out California. To contribute, just click here for our website so we can keep providing this unique and important perspective on our state and its future.

At Speak Out California we provide the facts and the commentary that keeps you informed on what is really happening in our state. We don't accept any advertising or corporate sponsorships, so you know that we are not beholden to any group or special interest. Our commitment is simply to provide uncompromising reporting and analysis of what is happening in our state from the progressive perspective.

If you can pledge $10, $25, $50 a month, or send us a one-time contribution, we can continue to keep you in-the-know and keep the progressive voice alive and growing in California.

Just click here for our website to support our work in keeping California's progressive voice strong!


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A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento

For the week ending February 9, 2008

Key bills and issues we've been following during the

Past week and beyond


With Super Tuesday all but a dim memory in the fast-paced world of Presidential campaign politics, Speak Out California will try to provide a summary of what happened, why and what it means for the near future of our state and nation. While such prognostications are often supplanted within days as the "conventional wisdom" shifts with each passing event and hour, we think there are enough interesting tidbits to provide at least some kind of guideline for the historic election we have just witnessed in our state.

If you like the work we've been doing at Speak Out California, with our regular weekly updates which provide inside commentary and analysis on what is going on in our state capital, we hope you'll support our work by making a contribution to Speak Out California. To contribute, just click here for our website so we can keep providing this unique and important perspective on our state and its future.

At Speak Out California we provide the facts and the commentary that keeps you informed on what is really happening in our state. We don't accept any advertising or corporate sponsorships, so you know that we are not beholden to any group or special interest. Our commitment is simply to provide uncompromising reporting and analysis of what is happening in our state from the progressive perspective.

If you can pledge $10, $25, $50 a month, or send us a one-time contribution, we can continue to keep you in-the-know and keep the progressive voice alive and growing in California.

Just click here for our website to support our work in keeping California's progressive voice strong!


So just what did the California electorate have to say this past week?

Remembering that we moved our primary election up to be "relevant" in the presidential selection process, it is somewhat ironic that the results of "Super Tuesday" have not clarified the race much at all. With Hillary Clinton taking the grand prize of California by an impressive 10% margin, having received 52% of the votes cast to Barack Obama's 42.4%, the candidates are still neck-and-neck in the all-important delegate count heading into the August convention, where the final candidate selection will take place.

What was striking to many of us watching the polls up to election day was the size of Clinton's win. With Obama clearly gaining momentum and reducing what had once been a 35% margin for Clinton, the press would have had us believe that Obama might even score a huge upset victory in California and all but sew up the election battle. As major endorsements came in from the famous and glamorous, racking up big media coverage for Barack, he seemed almost unstoppable. Oprah, Maria Shriver, Ted and Caroline Kennedy came to UCLA for a boisterous rally which was well-covered throughout the national press. University students came out en masse. Clearly, Obama was gaining traction in the Bay area, in coastal districts and with our young voters. So just exactly how did this all turnout at the end? We may not know for awhile actually, since there are estimates that over one million ballots that have yet to be processed. It is unclear how many will actually be counted and the outcome will not be affected, since some are provisional ballots of questionable validity.

For a full count of results, the best place to look is the Secretary of State's website here. Included are all the results from both parties- Clinton for the Dems and McCain for the Reps. One of the more interesting statistics is just the sheer numbers of votes cast in the Democratic primary (over 4.3 million to the Reps 2.5 million ballots). Keeping in mind that independent voters were allowed to vote in the Democratic primary, but the Reps would not allow them to vote in their "closed" primary, there were still over 1.7 million more votes cast in the Democratic race. We don't know if this portends anything in November's general election, but it's a pretty good bet that many of those voters will stick with the candidate they voted for in the primary -- a sort of loyalty element that can become a factor in an election. If that theory does hold, it's a pretty sure bet that California will continue its "blue" ways and put 55 big electoral votes on the Democratic side. Of course, politics is nothing if not fluid, so don't go to the bank on that one yet...

Some of the more interesting, albeit wonky discussion on the outcome of the California primary revolves around the various voting blocks -- Hillary handily took the female vote (according to CNN's exit polls) with 59% of women voting for her and 34% voting for Obama. She also took the large Latino vote (which represented 30% of the Democratic voters) by 2-1. Barack cleaned up with the white 18-29 year old vote at just about 2-1 and the African-American vote by an even larger percentage.

An interesting and slightly different take on the results has been opined by Joe Mathews of the LA Times. While many of us have scoured the obvious demographics such as gender, age, ethnicity, etc., Joe examined the presidential primary results from the geographic perspective. His theory is that Barack may have carried the wealthy coastal areas, but Hillary scored big in California's "heartland". Click here for his interesting analysis in this LA Times article.

The real winner in all this, though, is the enormous increase in voter registration and voter participation this year. Whether it's the excitement of a new generational leader emerging or the chance of electing the first woman, there is no doubt that more people, particularly first-time voters, are paying attention and participating in the electoral process. This is great news, no matter what the outcome. And for Dems, it's particularly interesting to note that new voter registration far outweighed those signing up on the Rep side. For those of us desperate to see new leadership and new ideas in Washington, this kind of groundswell can only be a good thing.

So, after all the hoopla, where does the Presidential election stand? We know for the Reps that John McCain has emerged from what appeared to be certain extinction to be the all-but-selected Republican nominee. The story on the Dem side is far from clear, however. For a current scorecard on the all-important delegate count, click here for CNN's report.

How the ballot measures fared?

There were really no surprises here, as the polling and pundits called this portion of the election pretty accurately, although the numbers weren't quite as some of the later polls had predicted.

Props 91 and 92: While having little in common in terms of subject matter, both went down to clear defeat with 41 and 42% of the vote respectively. Prop 91, dealing with transportation funding had lost the support of its sponsors. In spite of having no organized support, it still managed to get 41% of the vote. While Prop 92, which would have clarified Community College funding, had a campaign and some support, it was able to generate only 1% point more than the transportation measure without support. The poor showing of the measure might create some ominous consequences in the coming budget fight. With such poor public support, the failure of Prop 92 could be interpreted to mean that the community colleges don't have much political juice when it comes to protection in these very difficult budget negotiations.

Prop 93: The interesting aspect for political wonks was the closeness of Prop 93's defeat. Although it lost convincingly, at 53% in opposition to 47% in support of the proposed term-limits revision, the Field Poll released just days before the election found it at only 33% popularity. A loss is a loss, of course, and as a result both Fabian Nunez and Don Perata will be out of the Legislature in January 2009. But the question is: how did such a respected pollster come up so off in his prediction on that measure? We really haven't gotten much in the way of explanation, so it's purely conjecture at this point. The reality is, though, that Sacramento has already been in overdrive to replace the fallen leadership. In keeping with the old adage, "The King is dead, long live the King!" the Senate has already announced the selection of well-respected nice-guy Darrell Steinberg as Perata's replacement at the end of the legislative year. On the Assembly side, the positioning is well underway to replace Nunez, who has taken responsibility for Prop 93's loss. A vote of the Assembly membership is already set for March 11th if one candidate emerges with enough support to take the crown as Speaker.

With term limits reform now off the table, the scuttlebutt is that it will only reemerge if it is coupled with redistricting reform. Ever-ready for reform, Governor Schwarzenegger has announced he will support a redistricting reform initiative if it qualifies for the ballot. Although it's now too late for the 42 members of the Legislature who will term-out in November, California needs an honest and rational discussion of the entire term limits concept without fancy bells and whistles and self-interest that have distracted us from having this most important discussion.

Props 94-97: As predicted, the Indian gaming measures overwhelmed the rest of the ballot in terms of money spent. The compacts were approved by large margins, with the tribes standing to benefit spending approximately $22 for each yes vote. A staggering $80 million went into the winning side on this, but the expected return for each winning tribe is expected to make the investment more than worthwhile. What the state will benefit from these compacts is yet to be determined, but clearly the promise of assistance in these difficult budget times was a forceful and compelling draw for many who voted "yes" to confirm the deals approved by the Legislature and Governor last year.

Local money measures

One of the more interesting results of the February 5th election is the number of new tax measures that passed throughout the state. While many went down to defeat, with the often insurmountable 2/3 requirement, a surprising number of measures found success this year. With new and younger voters adding to the rolls, this may be the time that other such measures emerge for voter consideration in November. For more on this story, click here for the LA Times piece.


The Rest of the Story

Our blogging offerings for the week:

Primary Election Day--

Still Counting

To read and comment on these entries just go to: www.speakoutca.org/weblog/


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As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions and hope you send this newsletter to your friends and other like-minded progressives. Urge them to sign up to Speak Out California, and keep the progressive voice alive and growing.

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Until next week,

Hannah-Beth Jackson and the Speak Out California Team


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A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento

For the week ending February 2, 2008

Key bills and issues we've been following during the

Past week and beyond


Like most of you, we here at Speak Out California have been following the Presidential election campaign very closely. We hope you've looked at our Voter Guide for guidance on the ballot measures that are also on the ballot this Tuesday. (Click here for that information).

If you like the work we've been doing at Speak Out California, with our regular weekly updates which provide inside commentary and analysis on what is going on in our state capital, we hope you'll support our work by making a contribution to Speak Out California. To contribute, just click here for our website so we can keep providing this unique and important perspective on our state and its future.

At Speak Out California we provide the facts and the commentary that keeps you informed on what is really happening in our state. We don't accept any advertising or corporate sponsorships, so you know that we are not beholden to any group or special interest. Our commitment is simply to provide uncompromising reporting and analysis of what is happening in our state from the progressive perspective.

If you can pledge $10, $25, $50 a month, or send us a one-time contribution, we can continue to keep you in-the-know and keep the progressive voice alive and growing in California.

Just click here for our website to support our work in keeping California's progressive voice strong!

In keeping with the importance of the coming election, this update is not our typical analysis of what has been going on in Sacramento. Until now, we haven't gotten directly involved in the exciting and exhilarating Presidential campaign that will garner large numbers of important delegate votes that the remaining candidates will need going into what might very well be a brokered national convention later this summer in Denver, Colorado.

Since the Republicans can't even pretend to have a progressive candidate on their slate, with each of their top-tier candidates emphasizing their so-called "pro-life" pro-war records, we won't be referring to their beauty contest in our comments at all. They can't seem to be running right hard enough to please themselves. This is not the America we want or need. It is devoid of the values and elements that have made our country great--vision, hope and opportunity. We will, however, remember their platforms and promises in the general election, lest we start forgetting who they really are and claim to be.

Like so many of you, we've been impressed by both Democratic candidates that are left standing as we head into "Super Tuesday". There are only two now, after at least eight interesting and well-qualified candidates first threw their proverbial hats in the ring. For many, there is disappointment that their candidate did not catch fire and withdrew from the debate. For John Edwards supporters, in particular, it was a stinging disappointment when he dropped out this past week, leaving only two U.S. Senators to finish the race. But the country is stronger for their various positions and qualities. There is hope that we can turn our country around and proof that there are still fine leaders willing to step forward and offer their vision of the future to the American People.

While Speak Out California has watched each of the candidates articulate his/her vision for the future, we know that the party is quite divided between the two remaining candidates. Hillary Clinton represents an array of experience and knowledge about how the system truly operates. She has articulated with clear and impressive understanding, what needs to be done to return America to its greatness, a position that has been both squandered and recklessly destroyed by the current Bush administration. She perhaps sums up her candidacy best by her remark at the recent debate, "It took a Clinton to clean up the first Bush mess and it will take a Clinton to clean up the second Bush mess."

Barack Obama represents the next generation of political leaders. While articulate and motivational, he sounds similar themes to those of his colleague and opponent. At the same time he has captured the imagination of a generation and roused them to political interest and action unseen in many years. In his stirring Convention speech of 2004 he defined his vision with the statement, " We are not Blue States or Red States, we are the United States."

It is unclear who will be the winner on Tuesday. Most pundits believe there will be no clear winner--that both will amass a large number of delegates for the final battle for the nomination at the Democratic Convention in late August. The talk on Tuesday and beyond will no longer be about who won which state, but how many delegates he or she will take from each.

Regardless of which candidate ultimately emerges, the victor will be making history as the first of either his race or her gender to be the nominee for President of the United States. It is truly a groundbreaking moment in which all can be proud. So, who will it be? Who is the best candidate? Which one can win in November and take our country back for the working people and the future?

Many of you have asked us who we endorse. From a progressive's perspective, both candidates have positives and negatives and either one would be an enormous improvement over where we are today as a nation. We suspect you've seen lots of opinion letters by all sorts of people including endorsements for each of the candidates from the familiar pundits and politicians as well as spin and analysis from the major papers and supporters. What Speak Out California has done, instead, is provide you with the thinking of two women who have been long-time California activists committed to advancing progressive causes and candidates. They have agreed to share their reasons for supporting their respective choices for President. We present them to you (in alphabetical order of candidate's last name). Please note that we also welcome any comments or opinions you may have as well…..and would appreciate your posting them on our weblog so they can be shared with our readers .


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A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento


For the week ending January 12, 2008


Key bills and issues we've been following during the


Past week and beyond


With the Presidential Primary and an assortment of ballot measures coming to the fore between now and Election Day, February 5, 2008, Speak Out California is pleased to announce its highly acclaimed one-stop voter guide will be posted on our site within the next few days. We'll be sending it out to our regular subscribers so watch for it in your email!

With seven ballot measures to evaluate and decide, the electioneering is well under-way. Let Speak Out California help you sift through all the hype and conflicting claims of what they do and don't do. We'll provide the progressive perspective on the propositions and give you the key links to all the information you'll need to decide for yourselves, regardless of the millions of dollars being spent by those selling their positions on each of the measures. It's democracy without the dollars, just as it should be. So watch for the Voter Guide coming to you this week!

So what's happening in Sacramento?

As predicted, the proverbial fiscal mess has hit-the-fan in Sacramento. With the convergence of a dysfunctional tax and budget process coupled with the collapse of a greed-driven sub-prime mortgage lending scheme, the uncontrolled and unconscionable profiteering by the oil industry and other greed-driven policies, condoned and supported by the Bush administration and its multi-national corporate owners, the State of California is now among the first states to experience the full impact of this federal administration's failed approach to governance. Although the budget mess has many sources, the state has an enormous task ahead to fix the latest in a series of budget messes fed by economic failures in combination with unworkable structural constraints.

While the Governor is chanting the Right-wing mantra of no new taxes, no matter what, the Dems are calling for all options to be on the table. The Governor has unveiled his promised 10% across the board cuts which have both sides howling about the dangers and inequities of such serious action. Of course, that's the point.

With the two major Democratic presidential candidates starting to create at least a partial California presence as they head into Super Tuesday, Hillary and Barack have each carved out a role in two of the key issues so important to progressives.

As mentioned, the television and media campaigns have started to heat up with the Proposition proponents and opponents starting to burn the TV markets with their 30 second sound bites on what's good and bad about the measures they'll be voting on between now and Super Tuesday. And again, Californians won't be disappointed at the hype and confusion each claim seems to generate.


We here at Speak Out California hope to be able to keep you up-to-date on all of this in the weeks and months ahead, so

If you like the work we've been doing at Speak Out California, with our regular weekly updates which provide inside commentary and analysis on what is going on in our state capital, we hope you'll support our work by making a contribution to Speak Out California. To contribute, just click here for our website so we can keep providing this unique and important perspective on our state and its future.

At Speak Out California we provide the facts and the commentary that keeps you informed on what is really happening in our state. We don't accept any advertising or corporate sponsorships, so you know that we are not beholden to any group or special interest. Our commitment is simply to provide uncompromising reporting and analysis of what is happening in our state from the progressive perspective.

If you can pledge $10, $25, $50 a month, or send us a one-time contribution, we can continue to keep you in-the-know and keep the progressive voice alive and growing in California.

Just click here for our website to support our work in keeping California's progressive voice strong!


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A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento

For the week ending January 5, 2008


Key bills and issues we've been following during the

Past week and beyond


Happy New Year! And welcome to Speak Out California's second year of weekly updates we've entitled, While California Dreams. We hope you have enjoyed our regular analysis of the highlights and lowlights of our state's political goings-on and look forward to providing you with our summaries and analysis in the coming year. But we can't do it without your help.

It takes your support and interest to keep us going. We hope you will contribute to our efforts and help us expand our readership. There are two simple things you can do. The first is to click here and contribute to Speak Out California. The second is to send our link on to other like-minded progressives by clicking here.

With the election season fast approaching, we need your help to keep our progressive message and analysis front-and-center in the political debate. Our goal is to keep California's voters informed as to what is happening. We need your help! Thank you and let's keep working for a productive and progressive year ahead.


If you like the work we've been doing at Speak Out California, with our regular weekly updates which provide inside commentary and analysis on what is going on in our state capital, we hope you'll support our work by making a contribution to Speak Out California. To contribute, just click here for our website so we can keep providing this unique and important perspective on our state and its future.

At Speak Out California we provide the facts and the commentary that keeps you informed on what is really happening in our state. We don't accept any advertising or corporate sponsorships, so you know that we are not beholden to any group or special interest. Our commitment is simply to provide uncompromising reporting and analysis of what is happening in our state from the progressive perspective.

If you can pledge $10, $25, $50 a month, or send us a one-time contribution, we can continue to keep you in-the-know and keep the progressive voice alive and growing in California.

Just click here for our website to support our work in keeping California's progressive voice strong!

So now for the news...


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A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento

For the week ending December 15, 2007


Key bills and issues we've been following during the

Past week and beyond


While historically a pretty sleepy time of year, this past week was full of bells, whistles and continuing alarms ringing over the state of California's finances. With the governor deciding to declare a budget emergency for January and the expectation now that the shortfall could go as high as $14 billion, the politicos are gearing up for a battle royal over how we're going to reconcile our needs and our spending in the coming year.

It was also a week of other surprises, as the Speaker's health care bill that seemed as dead as a doornail last week has come back to life and is scheduled for a vote as early as tomorrow. Unfortunately, the vote will come without most of the members knowing all that is in it because it's still being finalized. And predictably there is a lot of controversy surrounding its process and provisions, but that shouldn't be much of a surprise, given the way we do business here in California.

Not only was the legislature busy, but the courts were busy as well with California scoring a major victory against the automakers in dealing with global warming and the Governor being sued by mental health advocates. The FPPC is also cracking down on spending practices and the Governor has finally coughed up information showing he's received about 1.7 million in special fund money to maintain his Hollywood lifestyle while working as a servant of the people. A busy week, indeed.

We here at Speak Out California hope to be able to keep you up-to-date on all of this in the weeks and months ahead, so

If you like the work we've been doing at Speak Out California, with our regular weekly updates which provide inside commentary and analysis on what is going on in our state capital, we hope you'll support our work by making a contribution to Speak Out California. To contribute, just click here for our website so we can keep providing this unique and important perspective on our state and its future.

At Speak Out California we provide the facts and the commentary that keeps you informed on what is really happening in our state. We don't accept any advertising or corporate sponsorships, so you know that we are not beholden to any group or special interest. Our commitment is simply to provide uncompromising reporting and analysis of what is happening in our state from the progressive perspective.

If you can pledge $10, $25, $50 a month, or send us a one-time contribution, we can continue to keep you in-the-know and keep the progressive voice alive and growing in California.

Just click here for our website to support our work in keeping California's progressive voice strong!


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A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento

For the week ending December 8, 2007


Key bills and issues we've been following during the

Past week and beyond


With little of note happening on the water and healthcare negotiations, there has been a little levity and a lot of revving up for the ballot initiative season that starts in February with the Presidential primaries taking top billing. Although of great interest to the state, the ballot measures coming down the pike are also quite momentous for the future of the state itself.

As we've promised, with the electoral season fast approaching, we?ll start taking a closer look at what we'll be voting on in February, along with a look at what the rest of the election year bodes in the way of "direct democracy." Of course, whether this is really what was intended by the founders of our direct democracy system, led by the late Hiram Johnson, or a cynical co-opting of the process by out-of-state billionaires with designs on mucking up our state, we'll leave for another time. (Or just head over to our December 6th blog entry here for a few observations on the problem.)

Before getting into the details, as a basic primer, let's recount where all the money and frantic signature gathering has gotten us for the first of our three elections this year- February 6th. According to the Secretary of State's website, seven measures have qualified and will be on the February ballot. None have qualified for the June ballot and one has qualified thus far for November, 2008. There are 41 in circulation and 26 pending at the Attorney General's office for further action. For those who need more, go to the Secretary of State's website here.

With the holidays spirit in full swing, we're including something a little on the light side. Not trying to compete with People or other intellectual magazines, we just thought our readers would be interested to know who has been chosen and now inducted into the California Hall of Fame for 2007. We'll get to that and have a little more information for you (recently disclosed by the Schwarzenegger team) as to who those wealthy billionaires are who have paid to send him on extravagant international travel during his tenure as governor. Certainly, our Governor should be able to travel lavishly while selling our great state to foreign countries, especially since we don't have an official residence for him to hang his hat and spurs when he returns from outside the state.

We here at Speak Out California hope to be able to keep you up-to-date on all of this in the weeks and months ahead, so

If you like the work we've been doing at Speak Out California, with our regular weekly updates which provide inside commentary and analysis on what is going on in our state capital, we hope you'll support our work by making a contribution to Speak Out California. To contribute, just click here for our website so we can keep providing this unique and important perspective on our state and its future.

At Speak Out California we provide the facts and the commentary that keeps you informed on what is really happening in our state. We don't accept any advertising or corporate sponsorships, so you know that we are not beholden to any group or special interest. Our commitment is simply to provide uncompromising reporting and analysis of what is happening in our state from the progressive perspective.

If you can pledge $10, $25, $50 a month, or send us a one-time contribution, we can continue to keep you in-the-know and keep the progressive voice alive and growing in California.

Just click here for our website to support our work in keeping California's progressive voice strong!


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This page is an archive of recent entries in the While California Dreams category.

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