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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

'Disclose Act' Still A Must, Has A Change In 2015

Posted Dec. 21, 2014, 9:49 am

If there’s one main reason for the distrust many Californians feel for government and elected officials at all levels, it may be the way special interests regularly pour millions of dollars into election campaigns while managing to mask or obscure their identities.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

T.A. Union Vote Exposes Extent Of Campus Anti-Semitism

Posted Dec. 20, 2014, 9:18 am

Few disputes fought out by student governments have ever been as acrimonious as the battles raging intermittently across this state on whether to push University of California regents and trustees of other universities to join an international campaign against Israel. This movement seeks to boycott Israeli companies and academics, demands divestment from companies doing business there and demands trade sanctions.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Transportation, Santa Monica, Columnist

Still Not Too Late For The I-5 Bullet Train Solution

Posted Dec. 14, 2014, 9:26 am

Neel Kashkari tried last fall to make high speed rail one centerpiece of a serious challenge to the reelection of Gov. Jerry Brown. Even though he staged events where he literally paid voters to smash model trains, his depiction of a “crazy train” never caught on as a significant issue.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Technology, Government

Finally, Right-Sized Solar Getting A Push

Posted Dec. 13, 2014, 9:02 am

When ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made their way onto a hot and sunny alkali flat just west of the Interstate 15 freeway between Barstow and Las Vegas in late 2010, they were opening an era of giantism in solar electricity.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Governor Jerry Brown Reverts To His Youth With Supreme Court Appointee

Posted Dec. 6, 2014, 8:57 am

There is no doubt about the intelligence and diligence of Leondra Kruger, 38, Gov. Jerry Brown’s new appointee to the California Supreme Court.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Government

Reversal Coming For Unjust California Public Utilities Commission Ruling?

Posted Nov. 30, 2014, 8:56 am

Both the current president of the California Public Utilities Commission and one of its member commissioners admit to improper, unethical contacts with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. over items including which judges should rule on the utility's cases.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Next Up: A Semi-Sovereign California Movement?

Posted Nov. 29, 2014, 8:02 am

The proposed Six Californias initiative died last fall, a victim of the weaknesses in its own concept and so much skepticism that even a $5 million petition circulating campaign wasn’t enough to get it onto the 2016 ballot.

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Education

Will UC At Last Face Up To Out-Of-State Student Dilemma?

Posted Nov. 23, 2014, 9:01 am

It’s a dilemma that University of California officials have long refused to confront, but one they may soon have to face: How many foreign and out-of-state students can UC absorb and still fulfill its mission of providing an elite education for the very best California high school graduates?

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Key Pension Question Unanswered In Stockton Ruling

Posted Nov. 23, 2014, 9:00 am

Politicians and public employees drawing pensions had high hopes they would get clarity on a key question from the federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the city of Stockton’s ongoing attempt to regain its financial health.

News, California, Ucla, Education

Tuition To Increase At UCLA, UC Campuses Following Board Of Regents Vote

Posted Nov. 20, 2014, 11:17 am

The University of California Board of Regents approved tuition hikes today that will increase students’ costs by as much as 5 percent a year over the next five years at UCLA and other campuses across the state.

News, California, Ucla, Santa Monica, Education

UC Board Of Regents To Begin Consideration Of 5 Percent Tuition Hike

Posted Nov. 19, 2014, 9:13 am

Students at UCLA and other UC campuses across the state will have their eyes on San Francisco today, where the university system's Board of Regents is scheduled to begin considering a proposal to hike tuition by 5 percent a year over the next five years.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Power Rate Shift: Utilities Seek To Soak Small Users

Posted Nov. 16, 2014, 9:08 am

A strong spotlight shines these days on the state Public Utilities Commission as it gets set to rule on how much the state’s biggest utilities will have to pay for their sometimes fatal blunders and how much consumers will be soaked for the negligence of utility executives.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Who Needs A Political Party?

Posted Nov. 15, 2014, 9:18 am

Neither devoted Republicans nor dedicated Democrats are happy about one obvious message of this month’s election: At least in California, there’s no need at all to choose or join a political party.

Opinion, California, Election

Logjam Ends, Replacing Barbara Boxer Could Be First Race Of New Era

Posted Nov. 5, 2014, 10:10 am

This year’s election is over, and the main Tuesday result in California was not the least bit surprising: Four more years of Gov. Jerry Brown working with a Democratic-dominated Legislature.

Opinion, California, Election

Big Bucks Too Much For Populist California Statewide Measures

Posted Nov. 5, 2014, 10:04 am

So much for populism. At least when it comes to fighting the interests of big-money corporations.

News, Health, California, Santa Monica, Government

Election 2014: Voters Reject Proposition 46 Regarding Medical Practices

Posted Nov. 5, 2014, 9:19 am

Proposition 46, a wide-ranging initiative that included raising the 1975 limit on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, was defeated today.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica, Government

Election 2014: Jerry Brown Outlines Plans For Fourth Term As Governor

Posted Nov. 5, 2014, 9:09 am

Gov. Jerry Brown will be sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term in January, with optimism over the next four years, thanks in part to the passage of two ballot measures he championed.

News, California, Santa Monica

Election 2014: Props 1, 2 Win Voters' Approval

Posted Nov. 5, 2014, 2:26 am

A pair of ballot propositions heavily touted by Gov. Jerry Brown as essential to preparing the state for future droughts and ensuring California has a healthy "rainy day'' fund were handily passed by voters.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

Election 2014: Voters To Decide Props 1 & 2 - "Rainy Day" Fund

Posted Nov. 4, 2014, 9:31 am

Voters in Los Angeles will get the chance today to weigh in on a pair of ballot propositions heavily touted by Gov. Jerry Brown, who said their passage is essential to preparing the state for future droughts and ensuring California has a healthy "rainy day'' fund during slow economic times.

News, Health, California, Santa Monica

Election 2014: Voters To Decide On Prop 46 - Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Posted Nov. 4, 2014, 9:21 am

Proposition 46 on today's ballot would raise the limit on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, require random drug and alcohol testing of doctors, and mandate health care practitioners consult the state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances.

News, California, Santa Monica

Election 2014: Voters To Decide On Prop 47 Regarding Misdemeanor Sentences

Posted Nov. 4, 2014, 9:18 am

Proposition 47 on today's ballot would require misdemeanor sentences for certain theft and drug possession crimes, generating savings that would be applied to mental health and drug treatment programs, K-12 education and services for crime victims.

News, California, Santa Monica

Election 2014: Republican Neel Kashkari Challenges Governor Jerry Brown Today

Posted Nov. 4, 2014, 9:11 am

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown will seek an unprecedented fourth term in today's election, facing Republican Neel Kashkari, who has focused his campaign on creating jobs and improving education.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Real Estate Deal Haunts California

Posted Nov. 2, 2014, 9:09 am

When producers named a post-apocalyptic television series “The Walking Dead,” they probably had no idea that title also would come to describe one of the worst moves Arnold Schwarzenegger made in his seven years as California’s most amateurish governor ever.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

Jerry Brown Vs Neel Kashkari: A Look Ahead To Tuesday's Race For Governor

Posted Nov. 2, 2014, 9:00 am

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown will seek an unprecedented fourth term in Tuesday's election, facing Republican Neel Kashkari, who has focused his campaign on creating jobs and improving education.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government, Opinoi

Lame Duck Jerry Brown: More Than A Caretaker?

Posted Nov. 1, 2014, 9:12 am

During his first eight years as governor, Jerry Brown was so imaginative about what state government could do that he won the nickname “Gov. Moonbeam.” It took Brown, then in his 30s, to theorize that a state could launch its own communication satellite. And that a governor should deal person to person with presidents and prime ministers of foreign countries. Common sense ideas today, but visionary in the 1970s.

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