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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Criminal Investigation For California Utility Regulators?

Posted Jan. 25, 2015, 9:28 am

Memo to United States Attorneys in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego: It’s high time you investigate the former president and some current members and officials of the California Public Utilities Commission for things like conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

News, California, Columnist, Police Department, Government

Why Latinos Are Key As Democrats Plot 2016 Strategies

Posted Jan. 24, 2015, 9:34 am

For the last 20 years – ever since passage in 1994 of California’s abortive anti-illegal immigrant Proposition 187 – Democrats here and around the nation have increasingly depended on Latino votes.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

News, California, Government, Obama

Democratic Lawmakers React To President Obama's State Of The Union

Posted Jan. 21, 2015, 9:08 am

Democratic lawmakers representing California praised what President Obama said about the economy in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, though some disagree with a variety of foreign policy issues.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

California Red Light Camera Plague Abating A Bit

Posted Jan. 18, 2015, 9:18 am

For many California drivers, there have been few worse plagues than the red light cameras that once operated in more than 70 cities across the state.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Columnist, Government

Tail Wags Dog Again In Presidential Race

Posted Jan. 17, 2015, 9:04 am

Almost exactly one year from today – Jan. 26, 2016 – voters in New Hampshire will don parkas and trek through snowdrifts to tell the rest of America who should be running for president and who should not.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Government

Big Utilities' Nightmare Begins To Play Out In California

Posted Jan. 11, 2015, 8:47 am

The biggest nightmare of California’s largest utility companies may be about to begin playing out, thanks to a small irrigation district in San Joaquin County and a bunch of disgruntled customers of Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Los Angeles, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government, Politics

Analysis: Democrats Line Up To Seek U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer's Job

Posted Jan. 8, 2015, 10:01 am

With U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s announcement Thursday that she will retire when her current fourth term ends in early 2017, fellow Democrats are lining up to seek her job.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica, Government

Go Slow On New Electronic Voting Efforts

Posted Dec. 28, 2014, 9:33 am

The reports came in from all across America during last fall’s election: electronic voting machines were flipping some votes from Republican to Democrat in some states. From Democrat to Republican in others. In one state with several close races, Wisconsin, electronic vote-counting machines registered just 16 votes in a city where about 5,350 persons were known to have cast ballots.

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

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.

News, Los Angeles, Government

Audit Of LADWP Trust Set To Begin Today

Posted Dec. 8, 2014, 9:07 am

Auditors hired by Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin will begin reviewing financial records of two Department of Water and Power employee training and safety trusts today in an effort to determine if more than $40 million given to the trusts over the past dozen years was properly spent.

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.

Ben Allen with his parents Elena and Michael Allen at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Monday after his swearing-in ceremony to the state Senate.

News, Election, Santa Monica, Government

Ben Allen One Of 10 New State Senators Sworn Into Office

Posted Dec. 5, 2014, 8:59 am

Santa Monica native Ben Allen was sworn into office at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Monday as part of the first day of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session.

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, 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, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Government

Immigration Activists Gather In Los Angeles In Response To Obama's Executive Order

Posted Nov. 21, 2014, 9:17 am

Immigration activists will gather in downtown Los Angeles today in response to President Barack Obama's executive order aimed at protecting millions of people living in the country illegally from deportation.

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.

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.

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.

News, Los Angeles, Government

Eric Garcetti To Speak At "Champions Of Change" In Washington, D.C. Today

Posted Oct. 22, 2014, 9:09 am

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is scheduled to speak at a "Champions of Change'' ceremony in Washington, D.C., today honoring people who have helped immigrants navigate the naturalization process.

News, California, Santa Monica, Government

Signature Gathering Approved For Attempt To Overturn Plastic Bag Ban

Posted Oct. 11, 2014, 9:15 am

Opponents of a recently signed law banning the use of single-use plastic bags received permission today from Secretary of State Debra Bowen to begin gathering signatures for a referendum to overturn it.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

If Not Six Californias, How About One, Sovereign CA?

Posted Sep. 6, 2014, 8:59 am

Two years from now, Californians will not only be thinking about electing a U.S. senator, 53 members of Congress and a President, but most likely also about the possibility of carving up their state into six new ones.

Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.

News, Santa Monica, Government

Richard Bloom’s Paparazzi Stalking Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk

Posted Sep. 5, 2014, 9:21 am

A bill proposed by State Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, to expand the definition of stalking in order to limit the amount of time paparazzi could stake out in front of someone’s home or workplace gained the support of his colleagues in both legislative houses and is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.

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