In summary

A collection of commentaries by Dan Walters over the past week.

Democrats try to flip California’s second largest county

San Diego County, California’s second largest county, has become a microcosm of the state’s political profile and its five-member Board of Supervisors has become a battleground in the struggle for partisan control.

Budget trailer bills have become Christmas trees

“Trailer bills” to the state budget are meant to enact the budget’s financial decisions, but they have become convenient vehicles for enacting non-budgetary laws that have nothing to do with the budget.

The Capitol weighs another big, dicey power play

Twenty-two years after the Legislature and then-Gov. Pete Wilson made a horrendous error in reconfiguring California’s electric power system, lawmakers are weighing another big change, this time integrating California’s grid with those of other Western states. Politicians should be very cautious of the new scheme.

Two victims of a blood sport: politics

The duplicitous campaigns against Democratic state Sen. Josh Newman and Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chavez are harsh reminders that California politics is not a game of tiddlywinks.

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Dan Walters has been a journalist for more than 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times...