Tuck Returns, Not Torlakson

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Mr. Tuck

Anyone guessing which of 2018’s campaigns for statewide office will be the hardest-fought would be wise to bet on state Superintendent of Public Instruction. That’s the lesson from the springtime runoff elections for two local school board seats little noted outside Los Angeles. But inside Los Angeles, these contests between candidates backed by LAUSD’s main teachers union and those funded … Read More

Going Soft on Crime?

Thomas D. EliasNewsLeave a Comment

Gov. Brown favored giving prisoners a break

Words matter, we often hear in these days of a President notorious for loose verbiage. They also matter in the California Penal Code, where the label “violent” is not applied to many crimes most people with common sense would unquestionably define as violent. Some examples: assault with a deadly weapon, soliciting murder, elder and child abuse, arson, human trafficking, plus … Read More

Bauman Victory Is Not Complicated

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Eric Bauman, right, was endorsed by Equality California for state Democratic party chair

In case anyone wonders what the real issue was in the very close race between Eric Bauman and Kimberly Ellis over who would become the next chairperson of the California Democratic Party, it was money. Not salary or other personal emoluments, although Mr. Bauman – the party’s longtime Los Angeles County leader – has received his share of payments from … Read More

Sadly, This Was Inevitable

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

The bleats have been long and loud in California since President Trump’s administration released its first proposed budget, one that won’t be finalized for several months. This budget can be read many ways, including As an initial negotiating position from the author of “The Art of the Deal.” As revenge for California depriving the president of the popular vote victory … Read More

Will Woman-Chasing Chase Villaraigosa?

Thomas D. EliasBreaking NewsLeave a Comment

Mr. Villaraigosa

[Editor’s Note: One in an occasional series of columns based on interviews with major candidates for governor.] At 64 years old, the passion still comes through when Antonio Villaraigosa talks about California. “I haven’t stopped wanting to change the world,” he declares while explaining why he’s running for governor. “I want to restore the state’s luster.” Speaker of the state … Read More

Anything Could Happen

Thomas D. EliasNewsLeave a Comment

Mr. Elias

Bigger, California has learned through long experience, is not always better. It can be downright destructive, as when a city outgrows its water or freeway system. Whether bigger can be better, more responsive and cost-effective, arises again this spring, in two proposals that could fundamentally change politics both statewide and in California’s largest county. One, purveyed in a proposed 2018 … Read More

Joshua Trees, Beware

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Joshua trees

Only four units of the entire 417-part system of national parks, monuments, seashores and historical sites carry the names of remarkable plants and trees. California hosts three of these – Redwood, Sequoia and Joshua Tree national parks. By the end of this century, there could be little reason for the Joshua Tree National Park just east of Palm Springs and … Read More

Can Democrats Capitalize?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Mr. Elias

For the last seven years, most of the 14 Republicans representing parts of California in Congress railed against Obamacare, high corporate taxes and illegal immigration. But that was mere chatter. So long as a Democrat was president, nothing new was going to happen. Even though Obamacare policy holders, illegal immigrants and poor people abound in many of their districts, their … Read More

Feinstein Running at 85?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Ms. Feinstein

Few California senators of the last 50 years have been more active than the Dianne Feinstein of early 2017. That’s important mostly because of Ms. Feinstein’s age – despite her dark hair, she will be 85 next November, when she may seek a fifth full term and sixth term overall. For sure, vultures are waiting in the wings for Ms. … Read More

What Is Brown Hiding?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

More than one month after the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that text messages and emails sent by public officials on their personal devices are matters of public record if they deal with public business, Gov. Brown has still not moved on his own email issues. During that time, Mr. Brown flouted his own boasts of transparency by using a … Read More