In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

What’s behind all those DMV voter-registration snafus? ‘Motor voter’ may have launched with makeshift computer system

By Laurel Rosenhall

The DMV launched California’s new “motor voter” system in April without the proper computer program in place, likely contributing to recent snafus and errors on more than 100,000 voter registrations.

Why do California babies have syphilis in numbers rivaling those of poor nations?

By David Gorn

California has the nation’s third-highest rate of congenital syphilis. That’s “a failure of the public health system,” experts say.

Democrats get big bucks from small-dollar donors

By Dan Morain

Democratic congressional candidates in California’s most competitive races are significantly outraising Republicans in small-dollar donations. It’s a display of voter enthusiasm that can offer politicians long-term dividends.

Feinstein and de León debate in lopsided forum

By Ben Christopher

The “conversation” at PPIC between U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and state Sen. Kevin de León was more or less the sound of one man debating.

Poizner’s independent run has a red tint

By Dan Morain

Insurance commissioner candidate Steve Poizner is shunning partisanship in his bid to become the first no-party-preference candidate to win statewide office in California. But he is raising much of his campaign money from donors who gave to him when he ran for governor as a Republican.

Why an AIDS foundation is all in for rent control initiative

By Dan Morain

The main funder of the Yes on Proposition 10 rent control campaign is the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a Los Angeles nonprofit whose stated mission is to rid the world of AIDS.

Tracking California’s deadly wildfires

By Julie Cart

We track key data on California wildfires: land consumed, lives lost, growing firefighting costs.

Majority Report: Two debates are better than one edition

By Ben Christopher

A recap of California congressional races this week: Democrats are raking it in, Rohrabacher and Rouda debate (twice!) and Duncan Hunter Jr. quadruples down.

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

By Byrhonda Lyons

Gavin Newsom and John Cox explain how their decisions on climate change policies, housing, schools and crime would compare to the current administration’s. Plus: book recommendations and hardest thing they’ve done.

VIDEO: Tony Thurmond, Marshall Tuck on California’s public school system

By Byrhonda Lyons

Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck share their thoughts on charter schools, teacher tenure, their job qualifications, California’s educational issues and more.

Midterms missionaries: Voices inside one of California’s hottest Congressional battlegrounds

By Ben Christopher

The fight for the congressional seat in and around Fullerton is among the fiercest. As two small armies of campaign consultants, pollsters, fund-raisers, organizers and volunteer door-knockers descend upon this unlikely battleground, we talk to the boots on the ground.

A Californian on the 2020 presidential ticket? Here’s what state insiders say

By Elizabeth Castillo

The latest conventional wisdom among among state political insiders? There’s a good chance a Californian will be on the presidential ticket in 2020. And that Californian is likely to be Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.

Wish choosing candidates were as easy as shopping for cars? It is, with our side-by-side comparison tool 

By CALmatters

Consumer Reports lets buyers contrast the features of Honda versus Toyota. Now comes our CALmatters election tool, allowing voters to compare California candidates on the issues.

CALQuiz: Trump talks wildfires, the Senate candidates meet and the power goes out

By Trevor Eischen

In this week’s edition of the CALQuiz, Trump bashes California leaders for their handling of the state’s wildfires, Kevin de León and Dianne Feinstein interact for the first and only time this election season, and PG&E makes an unprecedented move.


My turn: Why CA needs charter schools and how to improve them

By Marshall Tuck

Too many of our high poverty children-of-color have been stuck in failing public schools. The middle class and upper class have good options and opportunities. But public charter schools can most help our children with the greatest need.

Feinstein-de León Senate debate changed nothing

By Dan Walters

Kevin de León needed to get aggressive in his only joint appearance with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whom he wants to defeat on Nov. 6. But de León was very subdued and didn’t change the campaign’s dynamics.

My turn: How the next governor can address our water crises

By Jay Lund

California’s two recent governors, Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger, have been unusually skilled at water policy. Both responded effectively to urgent floods and droughts in ways that also brought long-term improvements. The next governor will face similar water problems. And he will see opportunities, expectations, and pitfalls along the way.

Locals seek new levies despite $4B property tax surge

By Dan Walters

Despite very strong growth in property taxes, hundreds of local governments are asking voters to approve additional taxes. They are reluctant, however, to tell voters that rising pension costs are the major reason.

My turn: California must fight Trump on auto emission

By Dan Becker and James Gerstenzang

California plays a central role setting auto rules and has a responsibility to lead the world’s fight against auto pollution. President Trump wants to revoke that unique authority. California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols must defend it.

My turn: UC is Ground Zero for income inequality debate

By Kathryn Lybarger

Housing, food, healthcare, and other costs are soaring. Real wages are stagnant. And for UC’s lowest paid employees, most of whom are people of color, a raise means nothing if your job gets outsourced the next day to a private contractor that pays much less.

Brown’s legacy will include a DMV debacle

By Dan Walters

Jerry Brown has never been interested in management of the state bureaucracy and as he prepares to retire from the governorship he probably will leave behind a managerial debacle in the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

My turn: #BlueCollarRevolution’s basic question

By Robbie Hunter

What is the hardest, dirtiest job you’ve ever had? This is a question that we need to be asking all of our elected and prospective elected leaders, as it is an important lens for how they experience blue-collar Californians.

Four measures would do little about housing crisis

By Dan Walters

Four measures on the November ballot purport to address California’s housing crisis, but they are minimalist at best, and one would make it worse.

My turn: California should not reverse recycling gains

By Robert Peoples and Ron Greitzer

California’s recycling rate has dropped from 50 percent to 44 percent. The carpet recycling rate is one bright spot. The 2017 carpet recycling output rate increased by 27 percent over 2016 and is up 100 percent since the third quarter of 2015. Those increases show the program is working. CalRecycle should let the program continue to expand.

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