Under the Capitol Dome

3112, 2015

Deliberative Democracy Held Hostage

By |December 31st, 2015|Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

Last Wednesday, it was about 8:50 in the morning when I started to walk across the street from my office to the State Capitol. The Assembly Insurance Committee was scheduled to meet at 9 o’clock that morning to deliberate and take action on five bills related to workers’ compensation, disability benefits and annuities. My job […]

3112, 2015

The State Knows Best

By |December 31st, 2015|Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

 When I was a kid, we used to walk through groves of giant eucalyptus trees on the way to Stanford football stadium. When we got to the stadium, we picked up a football program, which was full of pictures of the star players and statistics about the opposing teams. On the front cover of the […]

2912, 2015

Shadow Chairman and the Committee Juice Machine

By |December 29th, 2015|Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

In the late 1970s, a few years after the post-Watergate “reformers” in the U.S. Congress broke the hold of a few curmudgeons who had served as autocratic committee chairman since time began and widely dispersed power by creating 172 new subcommittees and subcommittee chairmanships, veteran Congressman Morris Udall (D-Arizona) joked with a reporter that whenever […]

2912, 2015

Give Me Your Red Light Runners Yearning to Speed

By |December 29th, 2015|Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

I’ve been a little worried lately. My anxiety has been growing ever since the Legislature reconvened in January. Oh sure, one could certainly toss and turn at night about a state budget deficit of $17.5 billion that hangs, like Damocles Sword, over heads of every man, woman and child in California. But when one steps […]

2412, 2015

Legislative Limbo and Other Shenanigans

By |December 24th, 2015|Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

When I was growing up I learned about a place called Limbo. Theologians tell us that Limbo is a temporary place where souls, although purified from sin, are excluded from the beatific vision of Christ on account of original sin alone. That’s some pretty heavy theology for a kid in third grade. Now that I […]

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

A Lesson in Legislative Lingo

By |December 19th, 2015|Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

A few weeks ago, I was sitting around the pool at a home in a Silicon Valley burg with a friend of my brother-in-law as he was telling me what he did for a living. I figured early on that he working in the computer filed, but as he explained the intricacies of what goes […]

1912, 2015

Capitol Humor

By |December 19th, 2015|Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

I’m not the first one to say that the State Capitol is a funny place. We make jokes about politicians. They make fun of each other and, behind closed doors, about us. As the old saying goes, there is nothing wrong with a political joke as long as he doesn’t get elected.

Few remember what specific […]