Tag archive for Democrats

New progressives attack old progressive institutions

California’s modern-day politics have, to a large degree, been shaped by the Progressive Era reforms advanced by Gov. Hiram Johnson, who pioneered California’s direct democracy¬†as a means to empower the average voter to take on the robber barons and other vested interests. These days, however, …

California’s ‘wall of debt’ much higher than stated

A new report from the California Public Policy Center concluded that “The total outstanding government debt confronting California’s taxpayers is bigger than is generally known.” The total outstanding debts soar above $800 billion when all forms of debt are accounted for. The study also shows that …

Even Democrats get it about some regulations

The only time important reform ideas get debated in California is when a couple Democratic interest groups are at loggerheads. As my recent City Journal California article explains, California Democrats led by Gov. Jerry Brown are pushing reforms to the state’s 1970-era relic known as …

House of Cards: teachers unions wield more influence over K-12 than Republicans

According to House of Cards, Netflix’ dynamite new political drama, teachers unions exercise more influence over K-12 policy than Republicans. Democrats own the issue, and the direction of K-12 in America depends on a struggle between pro and anti union elements within the Democratic party.

Public sector unions and the fiscal cliff

The National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have underwritten a spate of ads pressuring pivotal Democratic Senators–Mark Warner (VA) and Claire McCaskill (MO)–regarding the fiscal cliff. The objective of these …

Is Illinois’ pension system fraudulent?

A group of business leaders in Chicago argue that the Prairie State’s pension system is beyond repair and that putting more money into it amounts to fraud. According to them, the state’s $83 billion unfunded pension liability and other debts that have exploded to an …

What explains California’s wimpy business leaders?

I always chuckle when unionistas argue that business donations cancel out union donations to politicians and voter initiatives. The business community here in California in particular typically spreads out its money and often gives more to buy access to the dominant Democrats. In the current election cycle, established businesses and business groups have been AWOL or have aided and abetted the enemy, as I explain in my recent Bloomberg column.

The GOP and the cities

Yesterday’s New York Times featured a 2500-word argument for a Republican party that is more politically-competitive in American cities. The author, Kevin Baker, claims that this would be a win-win for the GOP and the cities. Cities would stop being taken for granted by Democrats …

Union hack defeated in Democratic primary re-vote

An employee of AFT Connecticut lost a Democratic primary re-vote Tuesday after an affiliate of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst spent $38,000 to support his opponent.

Leo Canty, a local party chairman and longtime party activist, lost 1,095 to 942. Political newcomer Brandon McGee won the Democratic nomination and is almost certain to become the district’s next state representative.

The path to the re-vote was long, including missing ballots and absentee voters thought to be dead who were found alive

Jerry Brown ready to sign cynical pension reform

Beyond having a modest pension reform measure on his campaign Web site, California Gov. Jerry Brown has done precious little to push for actual pension reform. Then, all of a sudden at the end of the legislative session, Brown announced major pension reform with Democratic legislators. The reform was even weaker than the Brown plan, in that it skipped the hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution Brown called for. The reason for the sudden embrace of reform — polling showed that the governor’s Prop. 30 tax increase on the November ballot was in troubled. He needed to show voters that he was serious about governmentmental reform and this was what the Democrats came up with — just enough to show progress, but not enough to really anger the unions. They were angry any way, but that just added to the show