Good Government Reforms

2212, 2015

Making Law or Sausage?

By |December 22nd, 2015|Good Government Reforms|0 Comments

There is an old joke in the Capitol that goes something like this: “There are two things that you never want to see being made – sausage and the law.” As one who worked for years as an apprentice butcher in my father’s meat market and now as a policy consultant with the California Legislature, […]

2112, 2015

Redistricting, Modern Art and Deliberative Democracy

By |December 21st, 2015|Good Government Reforms, Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

As the California Legislature reconvenes on August 20th and concludes its work for the year on September 14th, you might be a bit surprised by what will dominate legislators’ time and attention. Naturally, one would think that putting back together our Humpty Dumpty electricity system would be the first priority. Nope. The electricity crisis will […]

1912, 2015

The Rising Cost of Good Government

By |December 19th, 2015|Good Government Reforms, Local Government|0 Comments

Reading SB 331 (Mendoza), I was reminded of the proverb made famous by playwright Clare Booth Luce, “No good dead goes unpunished.”  SB 331 would significantly increase the costs of providing vital services to residents to punish any local government that had the temerity of enacting an ordinance that discloses to the public the provisions […]

1412, 2015

Bold Solutions for California

By |December 14th, 2015|Bold Solutions, Education, Good Government Reforms, Health Care, Public Safety, Transportation, Water|0 Comments

“It is not my intention to do away with government.  It is rather to make it work – work with us, not over us, and stand by our side, not ride our back.”
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1311, 2014

Policy, Politics and the Wild Kingdom

By |November 13th, 2014|Columns, Good Government Reforms|0 Comments

For my generation, the 1975 music video “I’m just a Bill,” by School House Rock was our first introduction to civics. Kids still watch this classic video. As the cartoon kids sing about how “knowledge is power” – channeling the 17th Century English statesman and scientist Francis Bacon – one gets the strong […]

1311, 2014

Auburn’s Capitol Battle

By |November 13th, 2014|Columns, Good Government Reforms|0 Comments

Looks can be deceiving. Almost two thousand years ago, as the gladiator entered the arena of the Roman Coliseum, it must have been quite a sight as 80,000 cheering Romans impatiently waited for the next bloody battle. The Emperor had promised bread and circuses. But the gladiator didn’t have much time to […]

1311, 2014

The Battle for the Common Good

By |November 13th, 2014|Columns, Good Government Reforms|0 Comments

In early 1776, as tensions between the British Empire and the American colonies heated up, the North Carolina Provincial Congress formally asked John Adams of Boston his advice on creating a new government and crafting a constitution. Adams responded by writing a book, Thoughts on Government. Adams wrote, “Government is instituted for the […]