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Bernie Took California, But All’s Not Golden In The Biggest Of Super Tuesday Prizes

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Friday, March 6, 2020

With distance comes perspective. And though it hasn’t been all that long since Californians went to the polls, here are some thoughts with regard to this week’s primary in the Golden State, one of 14 states to participate in this year’s “Super Tuesday” of voting, coast to coast.


What A Lucky “13” On The Primary Ballot Says About California Elections

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Of all the characters involved in next Tuesday’s California primary—the two billionaires whose impossible-to-miss advertising budgets are making it a banner year for local television; the “democratic socialist” who may make the Golden State his biggest delegate haul on “Super Tuesday”—my eye is on Charles Lightfoot III.


Failures Of Governance Is The Reason Why The “State Of California” Is Bad And Getting Worse

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Last week, California governor Gavin Newsom gave an upbeat State of the State speech. There are two major problems with Newsom’s assessment that belie California’s significant economic weaknesses.


Steyer’s Embrace Of Term Limits Suggests A Limited Knowledge Of Sacramento’s Failings

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Some of the Democratic presidential candidates have a natural following in California.


California’s Presidential Primary: A Democratic Kingmaker, Or The Making Of A Royal Headache?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, February 13, 2020

Stormy weather brought high winds and mountain snow to parts of California last weekend. At the risk of getting out over our skis, it’s time to consider the growing probability of the otherwise improbable every four years: California as an important player in the presidential selection process.


Republican Lawmakers Work To Reverse California’s Anti–Independent Contractor Law

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

As more Californians lose work because of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), the new ban on some independent contractor relationships, the California Senate Republican Caucus and Republicans in the California State Assembly are introducing bills to stop this new law from doing more damage. 


Advice for the Governor: Don’t Overplay Your Trump Card

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dear Governor Newsom: First, I’d like to wish you a productive and prosperous 2020. It’s your second year in office; you have an ambitious agenda and, thanks to a strong economy and a generous revenue stream, the resources to make some of that vision a reality. Good luck making that so.


Advice For The Governor: Build Up The Affection Between Californians And Their Regions

by Joe Matthewsvia Eureka
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dear Governor Newsom, Back in December, the high school football team in El Monte, a working-class immigrant suburb in the San Gabriel Valley, rode buses 13 hours and 750 miles to Crescent City, a poor town in California’s northwestern corner. Until the last minute, there had been doubt whether the team could make the trip. 


A Suggestion For The Governor: The Best Way To Raise Revenue Is To Allow Businesses To Create New Jobs, Not To Support The Largest Tax Increase In State History

by Rob Lapsleyvia Eureka
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dear Governor Newsom, In early January, you released your proposed state budget for the next fiscal year. Thanks to a sustained economic recovery within the business community, the state has near-full employment and $78 billion more in total budget tax revenue since 2010–11.


Advice For The Governor: Clean Up A Made-In-California Mess

by John Kabateckvia Eureka
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dear Governor Newsom, Some escaped while others were left behind. As a result, workers in nearly forty independent contractor classifications can continue to enjoy the freedom of being their own boss while those formerly free independent contractors in nearly fifty classifications will either be forced to be an employee of someone else or, much more likely, simply lose work altogether.


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California on Your Mind is a twice weekly journal about California politics and economic policies, and how they affect California’s economy. At one time, California policies helped create the “California Dream” by fostering affordable housing, creating high quality schools, and facilitating substantial infrastructure investments. These policies helped make California the 20th century destination for thousands of businesses, and for tens of millions of Americans who moved to California from other parts of the country. Today, a very different set of state and local policies is contributing to rapidly increasing housing prices, growing homelessness, lower quality schools, and insufficient public investments.

This journal discusses California political and policy developments in real time, describes how they will affect the California economy, and analyzes how reasonable policy reforms can reduce California’s cost of living, improve California schools, increase public investment, and help restore the “California Dream”.


About the Authors

Lee Ohanian

Lee E. Ohanian is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Economics at UCLA. He is an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and previously has advised other Federal Reserve Banks, Foreign Central Banks, and the National Science Foundation. He has been an economic adviser to state and national political campaigns and has testified to the U.S. Senate and the California State Legislative Assembly on economic policy issues. His research, which recently has been discussed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other media sources, focuses on economic policies and economic growth, and as been published widely in a number of peer-reviewed journals. He is a frequent columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rochester.


Bill Whalen, a Hoover Institution research fellow since 1999, writes and comments on California and America’s political landscapes. Whalen is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee and and also writes frequently for Real Clear Politics, The Hill and the Washington Times. He is also the host of Hoover’s Area 45 podcast that explores policymaking and politics as they pertain to the Trump presidency. Prior to joining the Hoover Institution, Whalen served as chief speechwriter and director of public affairs for former California governor Pete Wilson. He’s also served as a strategist for numerous California political hopefuls, including former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. A native of Washington, D.C., Whalen received a B.A. in journalism from Washington & Lee University. ​