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Introduction
Introduction

California’s 2018 Election: Tax Repeal—Maybe; Political Reform—Not This Year?

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Spoiler alert: there’s not much drama at the top of the California ballot this year.

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The Argument Against Proposition 6: Don’t Jettison Road And Bridge Safety Projects

by Loren Kayevia Eureka
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

California practically invented the modern transportation system. Without our historic highway and road network, connecting farm and city, factories and ports, California would be Albania—a pretty coastline with an underperforming economy.

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The Argument For Proposition 6: Ease Families’ Tax Burden, Start A Political Earthquake

by Carl DeMaiovia Eureka
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

California’s Proposition 6, if approved by voters, will repeal the recently imposed gas and car tax hikes.

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When A Venture Capitalist Enters California’s Political Matrix: Innovation Meets The Status Quo

by Tim Drapervia Eureka
Monday, October 22, 2018

I wonder if we still have a democracy in California.

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Political Reform In California Begins With Convincing The Next Generation Of California Leaders To Vote

by Dan Schnur via Eureka
Friday, October 26, 2018

This November’s election will almost certainly continue a longtime trend in which young people vote in significantly smaller numbers than their parents and grandparents. The millennials and post-millennials did not originate this trend but they have intensified it, as the rate with which they are withdrawing from most forms of traditional political participation are accelerating.

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Featured Commentary

Proposition 55: A Lesson In Not-So-Temporary Temporary Taxes

by Joel Foxvia Eureka
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Coming out of the Great Recession that ravaged the state budget, Governor Jerry Brown and the state's teachers’ unions joined forces to successfully push Proposition 30, a 2012 ballot initiative labeled, "Temporary Taxes to Fund Education.”

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The Desensitization Of Debt – An Accountant’s Analysis Of Propositions 51 & 53

by John Moorlachvia Eureka
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In the 2016 June Primary, 81 percent of local tax and bond measures were passed by the California electorate. That, of course, would seem to make a pretty significant statement about the mood of these voters have in regards to incurring future debt and establishing additional local taxes. This November, they will have two chances to reassert fiscal prudence and make a significant statement about long-term debt. 

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Is It Time To Reconsider California’s Initiative System?

by Carson Brunovia Eureka
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On November 8, 2016 Californians will once again have the opportunity to not only elect (or re-elect) local, state, and federal representatives, but also to directly participate in generating public policy.  While California’s initiative system is often romanticized, its inflexibility often leads California down a path ripe with unintended consequences and few options for fixing past mistakes. 

Introduction

California’s Crowded November Initiative Slate: The 1990s Called – They Want Their Ideas Back

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Not that he ever made it to the West Coast, but Thomas Jefferson was California dreaming when he remarked, “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without … a rebellion.” Jefferson was referring to Shays’ Rebellion – a series of anti-tax protests by farmers in 1786 and 1787. 

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Now’s the Time to Leverage Technology and Transform California’s Campaign Disclosure Laws

by Jim Heerwagen via Eureka
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This year’s national election may be unlike any we’ve seen before, especially at the top of the ticket.  But a disconcerting constant remains up and down the ballot: the influence of large sums of undisclosed money.

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Top-Two Primary Limits Voters’ Choices

by Steven Greenhutvia Eureka
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

If a California-style Top Two primary were in place for presidential races, in 2008 the nation’s voters would have had to choose between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the general election. There would have been no “third party” candidates on the ballot – and no chance for voters to show their disgust by writing in “Mickey Mouse.”

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From the Ivory Tower to the Mean Streets of Santa Monica

by Pete Petersonvia Eureka
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

With two elections under the belts of California voters using the “Top Two” primary system, the verdict is in: the new primary is accomplishing the goals stated by supporters when Proposition 14 was passed in 2010. Well…sort of.

Introduction

California’s Open-Primary Reform Leaves Open Questions As To Its Effect On Golden State Politics

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A funny thing happened to California on the way to its moment of glory as the decider of the fate of the next Republican presidential nominee. Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich abruptly quit the race in early May, a month before California’s June 7 vote, leaving the California landscape wide open to Donald Trump.

Golden State Poll Analysis

California’s June Primary: Laying The Foundation For What Is To Come

by Carson Brunovia Eureka
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Since 2000, on average, 44% of registered voters have cast a ballot in the California Presidential primary – a whopping 31 points below the average Presidential general election turnout. There has been much debate about the causes and consequences of low primary turnout, but at the end of the day, it is apparent that while the June primary lays the foundation for the November general election, Californians don’t have much urgency to be a part of that masonry.

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Ending The California Coastal Commission Lolly Scramble

by Terry Andersonvia Eureka
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Coming from the “big sky country” of Montana where beautiful views are common around every bend in the road, I am still impressed by the green hills overlooking Point Reyes, the coastal cliffs plunging into the Pacific at Big Sur, and the vistas at San Simeon once enjoyed by Randolph Hearst.

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California On Your Mind

Eureka was created to serve as an occasional discussion of the policy, political and economic issues confronting California. Like the Golden State motto from which this forum’s title was borrowed, the goal here is one of discovery – identifying underlying problems and offering reasonable and common-sense reforms for America’s great nation-state.

Ever since Archimedes supposedly first uttered the word, eureka has meant joy, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Drawing on the combined wisdom of Hoover’s policy experts and leading California thinkers, we hope that you’ll find enlightenment in these pages. Hoover research fellow Bill Whalen, who has nearly two decades of experience in California politics and public policy, serves as this forum’s editor.