In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

Eternal optimist: John Cox, distruster of politicians, keeps bidding to become one

By Ben Christopher

In nearly half a dozen political campaigns, John Cox has embraced the persona of the anti-politician assailing a corrupt establishment. He’s never come close to winning. But in 2018, the Republican iconoclast has finally become a contender.

As California struggles to house the homeless, some neighbors say ‘welcome’

By David Gorn

Including local residents in planning and construction isn’t just nice, organizers say; it works.

Are California’s low test scores a cry for the state to take more responsibility?

By Karin Klein

California’s test scores raise questions about whether Gov. Jerry Brown’s two signature education initiatives—the revamped education funding formula that provides far more money for each disadvantaged student, and his doctrine of subsidiarity, or local control—can survive when he’s gone.

Video: Newsom and Cox reveal how they would run California differently than Gov. Brown

By Byrhonda Lyons

See Gavin Newsom and John Cox explain how they would run California differently than Gov. Brown—and make decisions on climate change policies, housing, schools and crime. Plus: book recommendations and hardest thing they’ve done.

As complaints mount about fire clean-up, disaster contractor gives big money to California Dems

By Laurel Rosenhall

A Florida-based company accused of botching the clean-up after last year’s devastating fires in Santa Rosa has jumped into California politics, writing big checks to Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign and the California Democratic Party.

Gimme Props: Undecided on the ballot measures? Play our quick game

By John Osborn D’Agostino

An interactive game to figure out how you may want to vote on all 11 of California’s November ballot measures.

Meet Ken Alex, Gov. Jerry Brown’s climate concierge

By Julie Cart

Insiders say Alex may be the most consequential environmental authority California has known.

Political insiders: Don’t expect a major “Kavanaugh effect” in California midterms

By Ben Christopher

What will be the California repercussions from the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh? We asked the insiders.

Proposition 6: What to know about the gas tax repeal, in under a minute

By Byrhonda Lyons

What is Proposition 6? Here’s a quick look at a measure on the November ballot that would repeal a recent hike to the California gas tax.

John Cox and Gavin Newsom meet for only scheduled debate, disagree about…pretty much everything

By Ben Christopher

Candidates for California governor Gavin Newsom and John Cox squared off in their only scheduled debate. An hour. On the radio. At 10 a.m. On a federal holiday. Here’s what you might have missed.

Majority Report: “Do you think your father met with a terrorist sympathizer?” edition

By Ben Christopher

In California congressional campaign news this week: Campa-Najjar spars with Trump Jr., Nunes gets some Freedom medal buzz, and a debate highlighted big differences between McClintock versus Morse.

Trump’s choice falters in San Diego congressional race

By Dan Morain

In August, President Donald Trump tweeted an endorsement of Diane Harkey to replace Republican Congressman Darrell Issa: “Diane is strong on crime, loves our Military & Vets-has my total Endorsement!” Evidently, that’s not playing well in the changing district that includes north San Diego County and part of Orange County.

Proposition 1: What to know about a $4 billion bond for housing, in under a minute

By Byrhonda Lyons

California’s sky-high housing costs have made it onto this year’s ballot: The state is asking voters to consider a bond that would allow $4 billion to be used on affordable housing.

CALQuiz: Registration errors, women’s suffrage and learning the props

By Trevor Eischen

On this week’s installment of the CALQuiz: The DMV messes up on voter registration, California celebrates its voting rights history, and an environmental group goes after a vulnerable Republican candidate for Congress.

California Dream Mayors’ Forum on Homelessness and Housing

By CALmatters

Join us on Friday, November 18 for a wide-ranging conversation with the mayors of four of California’s largest cities about our crisis in homelessness and housing.

Donna Lucas, Christy Chin join CALmatters advisory board

By David Lesher

CALmatters welcomes Donna Lucas, President and CEO of Lucas Public Affairs, and Christy Remey Chin, a Venture Partner at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, on to the CALmatters Advisory Board.

Aguilera recognized as one of the most influential Latina journalists of the year

By CALmatters

CALmatters’ health and welfare reporter Elizabeth Aguilera has been selected by the California Latino Journalists News Media Association as one of the 15 Most Influential Latina Journalists of the Year.


My turn: How the next governor can help aging Californians

Guest Commentary

When we discuss long-term care for seniors, we are not discussing placing people in nursing homes when they need help taking care of themselves. Long-term care is so much more than that. A larger portion of the long-term care discussion involves in-home care services that enable seniors to age in place with dignity and independence.

Two arcane ballot measures show need for reform

By Dan Walters

Two ballot propositions dealing with union-management conflicts in medical services indicate that it’s two easy to place measures before voters. Raising the signature threshold could discourage misuse.

My turn: We must end utilities’ monopoly and help consumers

Guest Commentary

Communities across California have given ratepayers not-for-profit alternatives to corporate utility companies, allowing them to choose cleaner power that directly benefits their cities and towns. However, the California Public Utilities Commission could derail the expansion of local clean energy programs with a proposal that would limit choices and lead to higher prices for ratepayers.

What’s the political fallout from Kavanaugh battle?

By Dan Walters

The sensational confirmation battle over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will have political fallout this year, but what is still unknown.

Proposition 12: Californians will vote again on farm animals

Guest Commentary

Proposition 12: Pro-Proposition 12 would strengthen California law and ensure that meat and eggs produced and sold here come from cage-free conditions. Con-Proposition 12 is a poorly written initiative that will result in supply disruptions, price spikes and a shortage of eggs, and turn food inspectors into meat police.

My turn: All electricity customers need a fair playing field

Guest Commentary

As a California Public Utilities Commissioner, I am obligated to ensure that the choices made by one group of electric customers don’t have adverse financial impacts on other customers who lack similar available opportunities. In the competitive, complex and technical world of electricity generation that’s not a simple task. But that’s what the CPUC will vote on this Thursday.

How California shifted from pro-GOP purple to deep blue

By Dan Walters

Changing attitudes of white voters shifted California from a Republican-leaning purple state into a deeply blue bastion of resistance to Donald Trump.

My turn: Tectonic shifts in Orange County

Guest Commentary

Voter turnout will be the political wildcard in Orange County. Since 2000, Orange County’s voter turnout in midterms has been on average 21 points lower than in presidential elections. A low turnout this year would be a throwback to the “old” Orange County electorate—more Republicans and whites. A high turnout would reflect the “new” Orange County—more Democrats, independents, and nonwhites.

California’s school ‘achievement gap’ proves persistent

By Dan Walters

California’s latest academic test results show that the “achievement gap” in public education is stubborn despite large increases in school spending.

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