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Dan Morain

Senior Editor
Dan Morain, former editorial page editor and political affairs columnist at The Sacramento Bee, is bringing his decades of experience and institutional knowledge to CALmatters. Morain has been The Sacramento Bee’s editorial page editor since 2013 and a columnist and editorial writer at The Bee since 2010. Morain spent 27 years at the Los Angeles Times, covering the California Supreme Court when Rose Bird was chief justice, the Legislature when Willie Brown was speaker and the Governor’s Office during Gray Davis’ tenure. His final assignment for The Times was to be part of the team that covered the 2008 presidential campaign. After nine months working in public relations for Consumer Attorneys of California, he joined The Bee’s editorial board. Morain is a California native. He and his wife, Claudia Morain, have three grown children.

California's achievement gap needs universal preschool, Hollister Ranch and Martin's Beach brace for battle and de Leon eyes San Francisco's water supply.

California tightens ZEV carpool decals, de León criticizes Feinstein on Kavanaugh letter, gig economy lawsuits, achievement gap, homeless, women on boards.

Boalt Hall, lessons from the Global Climate Action Summit, Newsom and Cox on climate, Denti-Cal, Toni Atkins' UC regent confirmations, and CALmatters wins an Online News Association award.

California pledges to reduce transportation emissions, one in five elderly Californians lives in poverty and political pundits predict a blue wave in California.

FDA's crackdown on e-cigarettes, Global Climate Action Summit opens in SF, Cole Harris' website is hacked by an insider and don't hold your breath for a third party

Republican Cole Harris lost his bid for lieutenant governor in June, but a message on his web site says he owes $1.1 million to his campaign consultants. The Glendale investor…

Global Climate Action Summit opens in SF, Gov. Jerry Brown considers licenses for ex-felons, local governments make moves on rent control and school chief candidates split over school start times.

California sets carbon-free goal, youth football tackle ban back in play, UC campuses among the best colleges and transportation remains an obstacle for low-income Californians.

The spotlight is on climate change in San Francisco, California eyes Delta tunnels, did California get its money's worth on stem cell research and Pelosi remains a powerhouse

California fire costs burn up the budget, environmentalists criticize Jerry Brown on oil, female surfers got pay equity at Mavericks, plus beer and the quiz.

As Facebook and Twitter execs were called on the carpet in Washington, two California bills on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk echoed the calls to regulate Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook, Twitter, Google to Congress, Harris and Feinsten spar with Kavanaugh, Cadiz and PG&E stocks react, campaign money flows, lawsuits on homelessness.

The California Public Utilities Commission reports that since 2011, the state has paid or will pay $199.3 million to offset consumers’ cost of installing Tesla’s batteries.

The criminal justice pendulum continued its swing away from tough-on-crime attitudes as the Legislature sought to end cash bail, increase transparency on policing, and pass a major revision to the “felony murder”…

The Cadiz water project, Steve Ballmer's Inglewood arena, ZEVs, clean water and cannabis are on tap for California lawmakers. Also: climate change sticker shock, net neutrality, #metoo, In-N-Out, Labor Day…

Calfornia shelved a big police reform bill, the bail bonds industry announced plans to launch a referendum, SB 100 went to the goverrnor, and a lead paint deal failed.

The Assembly approved the nation's toughest clean energy legislation, committing California to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed landmark bail reform into law.

Clean needles, PG&E's wildfire future, climate change, #MeToo, housing, bail reform and more are on tap as California's Legislature wraps up.

Oil companies have become leading skeptics of a late-hour deal to help Pacific Gas & Electric Co. avert bankruptcy. PG&E has been blamed for last year's wine country fires.

Bird, created in 2017 with venture capital backing, hired a Sacramento lobbyist to push one bill, exempting adults who rent and ride motorized scooters from having to comply with the…

The world’s fifth-largest economy has spent billions of dollars to fight climate change. But is California booming because of the law that spawned those programs or in spite of it?

Legislation to scrap California’s money bail system and give judges more say on whether to free defendants went to the governor and Gov. Jerry Brown all but promised to sign…

A state plan to shift some of the San Joaquin River water flow toward struggling fisheries (and away from farmers) brought ag region politicians to the Capitol, in campaign mode.

Soaring claims for fire damage are driving up premiums in the Sierra foothills and other fire-prone areas. Legislators seem likely to adjourn for the year without real relief for homeowners…

Resources Secretary John Laird is making a final attempt to negotiate a deal with major water users to reduce use before a separate state agency forces the issue by imposing…

Los Angeles’ police union made clear the depth of officers’ opposition to legislation that would toughen the standard for using deadly force.

Compromise seemed distant as legislators raced to complete a final report on the issue of wildfire liability by week’s end. Organized labor and trial lawyers clashed.

City officials and cops protest a proposed state rule that would permit deliveries of marijuana to any city in the state, including those that have sought to ban commercial cannabis…

Realtors are funding an initiative on the November ballot that would give homeowners 55 and older a property tax break. Oddly, they’re already proposing a repeat for 2020.

California's new budget includes $12 million for research into Jordan’s Syndrome—named after the daughter of a powerful lobbyist who persuaded lawmakers to spend state dollars seeking a cure for Jordan…

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to limit electric utilities’ liability costs for future fires faced tough questions at a committee hearing even as utility representatives said the change is needed to…

Legislation that would alter liability law for California utilities whose equipment sparks wildfires faces a show-down today before a special two-house legislative conference committee.

Actress Jane Fonda and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, appearing on a panel across in Sacramento from the Capitol, called for passage of legislation to limit forced workplace arbitration agreements.

Legislators convened Monday to focus on hundreds of bills left to approve or kill in the final four weeks of the session—and raise money from the interests that care deeply…

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein remains adamantly opposed to draining Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the source of water for 2.6 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area water. Sen. Kevin de…

A political action committee wants ferrets legalized as pets in California. Ferret PAC's Patrick Wright hopes Gavin Newsom notices his group's $125 donation.

Charter school advocates financed Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign for governor with more than $22 million.

The Trump administration proposed to revamp—and loosen—fuel mileage standards, challenging California’s authority to regulate air pollution within its borders, and enraging California officials.

Gavin Newsom ended June with $11.1 million in his campaign account, compared with John Cox’s $1.46 million, a total puffed up by $500,000 of Cox’s own wealth delivered on the…

Buffy Wicks was an early employee of Barack Obama’s first presidential run and an integral part of the White House effort to generate support for Obamacare.

Gov. Jerry Brown warned that the high cost of liability for wildfires could be the end of private utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin exhorted conservative donors at a Koch Network gathering earlier this week to donate to Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, and called Democrat Gavin Newsom a “dirtbag,” a “joke”…

Ten California Congress members sent a letter to the Trump administration warning that the escalating trade war is damaging farm exports. Some could pay a price if they can't persuade…

After touring the Carr fire devastation in Redding, Assembly Republican leader Brian Dahle added urgency to his call to thin forests to prevent fires. He has an ally in Assemblyman…

A suit can proceed challenging California schools over a failure to teach African-American and Latino kids to read. Eleven of the 26 lowest performing school districts in America are in…

PG&E says Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to ease liability for future fires is "insufficient." The question is how much are legislators willing to give.

Legislators begin to tackle the complex law surrounding fire liability, without knowledge of the cause of the most devastating fire in California history. One legislator questions whether they should act…

A statewide poll shows that voters prioritize water storage projects and addressing the drought above other environmental concerns.

A new statewide poll shows that voters are increasingly concerned about environmental policy, which could play out in the governor's race between Newsom and Cox.

Homeowners 55 and older could pay the lower property tax bills of their old homes when moving to more expensive homes with this November ballot measure.

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed Tuesday that the state ease the liability standards when electricity providers’ equipment sparks fires that destroy property. Utility stock rose. Insurance industry blasts the idea.

Democratic Assemblyman Ed Chau became so verbally abusive toward workers for the Secretary of State this spring that one of them pressed a “panic button.” Security officers who escorted Chau…

Democratic Assemblyman Ed Chau became so verbally abusive toward Secretary of State workers this spring that one of them pressed a “panic button,” drawing security officers who had to escort…

California schools may need to use more than half of all new tax revenue to cover growing pension obligations, leaving little extra for classrooms. The unfunded pension liability is $107 billion.

Jerry Brown asked the California Supreme Court to act on an important pension case before he leaves office. The Supreme Court is short-handed because Brown has left a vacancy unfilled…

California Supreme Court kicked Timothy Draper's CalExit initiative off the November ballot. Justices agreed to hear Draper's arguments, leaving open the possibility the initiative could appear on a future ballot.

In his race against U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, state Sen. Kevin de León failed to submit his latest campaign finance statements online, limiting the ability of Californians to see those reports for...

Candidates for superintendent of public instruction tangled over prison officers' pay. Marshall Tuck said Tony Thurmond should not have voted to raise correctional officers' pay by 5 percent, at a…

Gov. Jerry Brown, who began his career nearly 50 years ago by winning a Los Angeles community college seat, visited the Community College Board of Trustees Monday to describe his…

A 152-mile long canal that irrigates pistachios and other crops in the eastern San Joaquin Valley is sinking by an inch a month, the result of groundwater over-pumping by farmers. The Sacramento...

California voters will have a chance to vote on an $8.9 billion water bond that would pay for environmental restoration, clean drinking water and help rebuild the Friant-Kern Canal, damaged…

California legislators confront the question of how to pay for fire damage. Should PG&E be relieved of costs related to devastating 2017 wildfires, and should the law be changed for…

The Air Resources Board announced greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2016, even as fuel consumption increased. The main reasons: Greater use of solar, wind and hydropower.

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, not yet 28, urges 'bold and tangible' solutions to help get people to turn out to vote, including $500 universal basic income payments to working poor.

New research shows California's high income tax rate has not driven wealthy people to move to low-tax states, despite low-tax advocates' claim to the contrary.

California Water Resources Control board is on the verge of ordering significant reductions in water use to save fish in what chairwoman Felicia Marcus calls a crisis.

A federal judge upheld California's sanctuary state law, saying the 10th Amendment doesn't permit the federal government to force states to help enforce federal law.

Why California's new privacy legislation will allow consumers to sue over data breaches by business, but not by government.

Thanks to legislation, the soda industry averted new local taxes, but it could face an initiative that would impose a new statewide tax.

California officials played an integral role in Japanese internment during World War II, as told in a new online exhibit. The gas tax initiative fight revs up.

California legislators averted costly initiative wars on privacy, lead paint and soda taxes. But voters will decide daylight savings time and gas tax repeal in November. San Francisco Mayor-elect London…

California labor worries about the impact of Janus v. AFSCME, but vows to battle on. Privacy initiative funder Alastair Mactaggart agrees to drop his initiative in exchange for broad privacy…

Nowhere is California's homelessness crisis more evident than here, where some 2,000 people hunker down for the night on sleeping pads, cardboard, or nothing.

California Senate Democrats watered down legislation to expand treatment for mentally ill homeless people. U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California abortion rights bill in NIFLA v Becerra. The ruling…

Humboldt martens are nearing extinction, in part because of impact of illegal cannabis farms in the redwood forests of the North Coast. Why vets can't discuss animal cannabis use with…

California Senate Democrats blocked legislation intended to help low-income people avoid losing their cars because of high-interest pink slip loans. Legislators push a bill to declare conversion therapy fraudulent. Critics…

Updated June 6 Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who gained national prominence with his early embrace of same-sex marriage and his unabashed support for marijuana legalization, easily won the top...

California Assembly seeks to limit University of California from giving workers 401(k)-style retirement plans.

Donald Trump's endorsement of Republican John Cox will help in the June primary but not in the fall general election campaign. Don't count Antonio Villaraigosa out quite yet.

Good Friday morning, California. “We have been in a very long drought. It is my hope that it starts to rain soon,” Sen. Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, told me, praying money will rain on his...

Good morning, California. “Pesticides classified as human carcinogens or likely human carcinogens were applied to nearly 9.2 million acres statewide in 2016. That’s more acreage than the entire land...

Good morning, California. “Has he endorsed her? No. No one on our team knew these were going out,” Dana Williamson, consultant to Gov. Jerry Brown, said of Assemblywoman Cristina...

Good morning, California. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Arizona and San Diego Monday announced a new border enforcement policy in which parents who cross illegally could be separated from...

Good Monday morning, California. “He then slowly inhaled the Pineapple Thai. It was the first time he’d had cannabis, he said, since 1979. ‘Somebody said I’m overdue,’ he laughed.” — Leafly,...

Happy Friday, California. Well-educated, high-earners are still moving to California. But with housing prices at an all-time high, there’s an exodus of low-wage workers, reports Next10, a...

Good morning, California. House Speaker Paul Ryan may not care about California potholes and doesn’t have to pay the new gas tax for road repairs. But the Wisconsin Republican has given $50,000 to a...

Good morning, California. In 2016, Sen. Dianne Feinstein signed the ballot argument against Proposition 64, the initiative that legalized commercial sales of marijuana. She warned the measure would...

Good morning, California. “Employers will ignore  it at their peril,” Teamster lobbyist Barry Broad said of Monday’s unanimous California Supreme Court decision in Dynamex Operations West. The...

Good Monday morning, California. Santa Barbara County has nearly 300 wineries, and has granted 730 cannabis cultivation permits, more than anywhere in the state. “The cannabis situation in Lompoc...

Good morning, California. Local governments have set sights on taxing soda. Enter Californians for Accountability and Transparency in Government Spending, a campaign committee set up to promote a...

The candidate for California governor sees a path through the Central Valley to the November ballot.

Good morning, California. Charter school advocates already are spending $9.5 million to elect former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as  governor. On Wednesday, they disclosed they’re...

Good morning, California. “If you care about this state, it’s time to sound the alarm about the crisis in media and what it means for the health of democracy in the world’s sixth largest...

Good morning, California. Sen. Kamala Harris, contemplating a presidential run, told a New York radio station she won’t take corporate political action committee money. Harris had taken $260,000 in...

Good Monday morning, California. Death penalty: What would candidates do A life-or-death decision: California’s next governor could quickly face a stark choice: allow an execution to take place or...

Good morning, California. Happy 4/20, for those who care, including the Sacramento lobbyists who are making bank on their many cannabis clients. California to Trump: Take ‘yes’ for an answer Working...

Good morning, California. Gov. Jerry Brown  announced he’s sending National Guard troops to the border, to fight crime. That’s Brown’s use of jiu jitsu to end a fight with President...

Good morning, California. How about The Santa Rosa Press Democrat! What’s your privacy worth? California, which regulates many things, is considering going far beyond its borders to regulate...

Game changer in Gov race

Good morning, California. How about those Warriors and the Sharks? Happy Tax Day. Pleased to meet you: I’m Dan Morain. I came to CALmatters because I want to help build a great and lasting...

Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa apparently believes his path to the governor's office runs through the San Joaquin Valley.

Antonio Villaraigosa raises big money in race for governor. Is it enough?

Organized labor, consumer advocates and several Democratic lawmakers offered a new prescription for California's ailing health care system in the form a package of bills intended to rein in health…

Welcome to the wild ways of campaign money, circa 2018.

There's something for politicians on either side of the aisle in the federal lawsuit against California.

Joe Sanberg says he's not running for anything in 2018, but the Gen-X investor says he has an immediate political goal: organizing and campaigning to end poverty in California.

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