Posts Tagged ‘California’

On KGO-AM 810 this morning…

October 10, 2011

Talking about the Governor signing vetos on hundreds of 2011 bills. Catch the podcast here


Are we near the crisis point with the CA budget?

March 21, 2011

Find out my answer on KGO-AM 810 at 6:15 this morning as their Nonparitsan Political Analyst by clicking here.

What Jerry Needs to Get It Done

January 25, 2011

So the cat is now fully out of the bag, and it is clear to all what California’s new governor has planned to back the state away from a $25B (or more) fiscal cliff — about half big, genuine cuts and half new or extended taxes.  Here are my “3 Big Keys” Jerry must have to get this done:

Sign-off by his union base — If the major public employee unions throughout the state do not sign-off on the cuts and strongly get behind the June special election tax measures (with real monetary and volunteer muscle), it spells immediate trouble.

Neutralizing significant opposition — This means getting business interests and taxpayer organizations to at least take a muted approach to the tax plans.  If they go ballistic, and stay that way, it could sink the budget ship before it leaves the dock.

A highly effective public outreach campaign — Recent history at the ballot box is stacked against the planned June 2011 proposals.  Groundwork has been laid well making the fiscal case by Brown and his folks.  This will have to be followed up by a truly credible, mother-of-all outreach campaign to secure a majority of votes in support from a politically very grumpy electorate.

Catch Jerry’s State of the State address Monday, January 31st at 5pm.

The Countdown Begins…

October 29, 2010

It’s not quite “all over but the voting”…but it’s close. Campaigns are making their final big surge, pushing their “closing argument” as they say in the political business, gearing up get out the vote machines, and hoping that all the massive effort brings victory. Having worked on campaigns from legislative to presidential, and covered them for years as a broadcast political analyst, I well know the adrenaline rush this time of election season brings. Candidates begin so show their nervousness a bit more, campaign managers get a little more testy, dedicated volunteers start looking just a touch more tired. And inside the campaign, it’s hard not to begin thinking about the “what ifs.” What if we win? If it really happens…what comes next…as early as the day after for potential staff hires, etc. What if we lose…then what? Will this have all been a waste? What will all these people who’ve poured themselves into this campaign do? What will the candidate do? And do I ever want to go through this ever again…this insanity…and the toughest job with the longest hours (15 hour days 7 days a week is not uncommon in big races…) I’ve ever had?

These last few days before election day…the soul searching just begins to creep in. You try to ignore it, get it out of your mind, tell yourself to keep your head down and stay supremely focused…or else. Or else you may be sitting alone at 4 a.m. staring at 4 blank walls, once filled with campaign memos and volunteer lists, in an empty campaign office that once hummed with energy found in few other places. Or else you may have no idea what you’re going to give yourself to now that it’s over…and you’ve lost. So ignoring the drift towards soul searching becomes essential…a simple matter of survival. They’ll be plenty of time for that later you repeat to self whenever the notion creeps up. This is it…this is the big show…you remind yourself. Because next week…on November 3…there will be winners and losers. And our communities, states, and nation will take a collective sigh of relief that it’s all over for this round…and citizens will wonder themselves what it will all mean going forward. For those actually involved in candidate and ballot measure campaigns…that sigh takes on even greater significance…and is breathed so deeply one can almost hear it echo through capitols all across the land. For them…this is “all in” time.

Citizen Voice Nonpartisan Election Project 2010 Already a Huge Success

October 26, 2010

This has been a wild last couple of weeks, my friends.  Having wrapped up a whirlwind two week statewide media tour throughout California, I can report to you that I’ve rarely seen political fever at this high a pitch, certainly in a mid-term election.  Citizens, and the media, are engaged…big time.  Want some evidence?  How about the fact that we were not only well received in every CA media market in which we did interviews about the CV Nonpartisan Election Project 2010, but actually broke some significant ground, landing high-profile interviews at important media outlets in markets big (e.g. LA) and small (e.g. Santa Maria) that we haven’t been on before.  And get this…yesterday the CV website reached the 1 million hit mark since the Nov. 2010 election project launched on Oct. 1.  Not only have we now received over a MILLION hits in just over 3 weeks, this amazing milestone was reached by the CV site even faster than during the super high-octane presidential year in 2008!  Amazing stuff…and proof positive both that people are tuned into this election cycle in huge numbers, and that with all the negative campaign stuff thrown at them, they are hungry perhaps as never before for credible, honest, nonpartisan info to help them make solid voting choices.

A Strange Summer—State Budget, State Parks, State of Frustration

July 21, 2009

You’d like, as a native Californian, to simply be able to take the summer off.  After all, ’09 hasn’t been the easiest of years…for anybody…not only in the Golden State but globally.  Yet in California, the angst so many have felt around the world seems to have taken on an added urgency, sense of frustration and even anger in this place of eternal Gold Rush optimism.  Can’t a guy or gal just enjoy the sunshine and forget about it all…just for those few blissful weeks when most school kids are absent their books and the dogs make a special point of just lying around in the sun a few extra minutes each summer’s day? For some, yes…for many, not so easily.

We vacationed at Yosemite early in the summer, then at Lake Tahoe recently, two favorite camping spots. The Eagle Scout in me simply won’t rest easily in any year unless the return to and connection with the creation has been established.  Being in the unspoiled outdoors is about as close to heaven as I’ve gotten here on terra firma.  And despite the fact that, yes, I still did several media interviews from the campgrounds, I still was able to let down, let it all go, let myself feel the permanence and transcendent hope that comes with time in settings we didn’t create but have the privilege of being replenished in.

Yet it was here that I came to fully understand the depth of this summer’s cultural anxiety, and in particular, California’s deep chasm of public disenchantment with the political arena.  There, tacked on a post at a family’s campsite, was a paper plate with the words “SAVE CA STATE PARKS” scrawled on a surface in normal years reserved for hot dogs and watermelon.  In decades of camping, a first for me…politics invading the sacred family time of “getting away from it all.” Not enough time here to get into the policy wonk details of the budget issues related to state parks currently, but suffice it to say, Californians, and Americans in general, are feeling the effects of budgetary politics at the most personal of levels, in ways most have never experienced.

My inside contacts under the Capitol dome in Sacramento let me know over the weekend that a state budget deal, attempting to close what is at least a $26B deficit, may have finally been cut.  The Gov and the Legislature may finally get the thing done this week.  But the real impacts, and political residue, are just beginning to be felt.  If this summer is any indication of the feelings of the average citizen, 2010 may be a year of political upheaval rarely seen, as voters unleash their angst at the ballot box and elsewhere with ferocious frustration.   It is a summer, sadly, of significant discontent.

Judgement Day Approaches for CA State Budget

June 29, 2009

OK guys…this week is when the stuff really hits the fan at the state Capitol. Wednesday is Judgment Day, as with no budget July 1, Controller says IOUs are coming starting Thursday. So if the state owes friends or loved ones any cash…and you’re expecting some of it…you better get it quick. At this point…I see almost no chance of a balanced budget in place by then. What’s next? Almost certainly the state will hit the cash flow wall soon as well. Simply no way to pay bills unless they can borrow money… which ‘aint gonna be easy with no spending/revenue plan in place that lenders can believe in. Lots of bean counting tricks being floated under The Dome, but none solve the problem…and most now believe next fiscal year will be even worse.