PoliticsA lobbying rule to catch up with the times
Lobbyists in Sacramento talk about the “inside game” and the “outside game.” The inside game is the one they play under the Capitol dome: testifying in committee hearings, meeting with legislative staff, nabbing lawmakers in the hallway on the way to a crucial vote. “Other” lobbying is huge – and hard to track An excerpt […]
PoliticsCan a Sacramento insider build bridges for Uber?
A culture clash separates California’s Capitol from the Silicon Valley companies that are transforming the state’s economy. Technology entrepreneurs move fast, and see rewards for disrupting the status quo. In Sacramento, however, decisions unfurl slowly, with lots of pressure to keep things the way they are. The divide is significant because the stakes are high: […]
PoliticsWhat happens when a legislator quits?
Shortly after the new year begins, Gov. Jerry Brown will declare a special election to fill a vacant spot in the Legislature. The election will cost Fresno County, one of the poorest areas of the state, more than $500,000. A small fraction of voters will likely participate, creating the potential that the seat flips parties […]
PoliticsDeparture of powerful staffer comes amid changes in Capitol
Hours after Greg Campbell awoke from surgery in 2013, the phone rang in his Sacramento hospital room. It was Gov. Jerry Brown, calling to wish him a speedy recovery from the operation that removed a large tumor from his brain. Campbell – a powerful, behind-the-scenes staffer in the Capitol – thanked Brown for the call. […]
PoliticsGun control in a blue state: It’s more complicated than you’d think
This week’s shooting in San Bernardino comes as a debate over gun control that has divided Democrats in the state Capitol could head to the voters of California next year. Nearly three years ago, after a man killed 26 women and children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Democrats in the state Legislature […]
PoliticsMoney and clout on the line for teachers union in 2016
The California Teachers Association, one of Sacramento’s most powerful interests, is heading into an extraordinary year with decisions on the ballot, in the Capitol and in the courts holding the potential to impact its clout for many years to come. Billions of dollars for schools will likely be at stake on the 2016 ballot as […]
PoliticsMore than friends?
Compared with the partisan gridlock that gripped Sacramento just a few years ago, dynamics in the statehouse can seem almost cuddly these days. There are friendly handshakes after lawmakers cross party lines to vote for each others’ bills. Bipartisan banter is visible on social media, where legislators trade funny stories and post selfies with friends […]
PoliticsMoney talks, candidates listen
In a hotel ballroom blocks from the state Capitol, nearly three dozen wanna-be legislators gathered recently to learn the ways of Sacramento. They were members of city councils and school boards up and down California, ranchers and attorneys, Republicans and Democrats, moms and dads – all candidates for the Legislature who’d signed up for this […]
PoliticsAn outsider in an insider game
Politics is a team sport in Sacramento. After new folks are elected to the Legislature, their Democratic or Republican “teams” typically do everything possible to keep them in the game. The camaraderie is strongest when legislators face tough re-elections – their colleagues walk precincts and their political parties spend big money to buoy the campaigns. […]
PoliticsGripping power for the long term?
Maywood, CA. — A politician who will soon hold one of the most powerful positions in California was walking along the industrial banks of the Los Angeles River last week when an artist smoking a cigarette stopped him to lodge a few complaints. The area has graffiti but no murals, Robert Cortes said. Too few […]