In summary

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

Did Brown fix California’s budget mess? Nope

Jerry Brown has signed his 16th and final state budget, bragging that he fixed California’s financial mess. But that claim, and his claim of securing the state’s fiscal future, are overblown.

Genteel extortion cancels three ballot measures

Three initiatives that had qualified for the November ballot were dropped last week after their sponsors negotiated deals with the Legislature. Was it extortion? Not in the criminal sense, perhaps, but it was the adroit use of leverage.

Supreme Court decision could hit unions hard

The U.S. Supreme Court has declared that compelling non-members of public employee unions to pay dues is unconstitutional. California’s unions are now scrambling to avoid an erosion of their memberships, their revenues and their political clout.

GOP’s long slide into irrelevance in California

California once had a strong and successful Republican Party but over the last few decades, it has shrunken to a small minority of voters and if ti loses several congressional races this year, Democrats will have achieved total domination.

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Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 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...