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Introduction
Introduction

A “Wartime” California As It Was Eighty Years Ago? Yes And No

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

California’s been through its fair share of challenges in recent times, but nothing quite like the present pandemic crisis, the containment of which entered a critical stage in mid- to late-July as state and local officials turned to new restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus across the Golden State.

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California’s Choice: New And Enriched Public Programs Or Freer Private Enterprise?

by Joel Foxvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Change is coming to California following the double whammy of a pandemic eruption and police reform protests. Responses to the extraordinary dual events will initially flow into California’s current cultural and political liberal tide—a move toward more government involvement in our lives and more spending.

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California’s Search For Equitable, Sustainable, And Safe Transportation Choices

by Karen Philbrickvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

COVID-19 has changed everything—when, where, and how we work, spend our leisure time, and live our lives.

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Time To Turn To California’s Community Colleges For Common-Sense Solutions?

by John Pimentelvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Do you believe that our capitalist democracy and open markets perfectly enable equality of opportunity and self-agency?

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What Will Happen To The “California Rule?

by Shirley Svornyvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

The year 2020 will be recorded in California history books as the year a pandemic arrived in America’s most populous state, but the impact of a California Supreme Court ruling likely will have a more lasting impact on state and local budgets and the economy.

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Will There Be A “Reopening” Of The Governor’s First Term?

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, July 23, 2020

What the future might hold for California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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Featured Commentary

What A Non-Exciting Election In California Says: As Maine Goes, So Too Should The Golden State?

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It’s a presidential election little different from others in the California of the past quarter of a century. We don’t know the exact numbers for where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will end up, but here’s an educated guess: Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, will wind up near or north of 60% of the nation-state’s vote. It’s where Obama twice finished in his two presidential runs – against stronger Republican opposition.

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Proposition 54 Will Shine a Light on Legislative Secrecy

by Kristin Olsenvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Do you remember when Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said about the Affordable Care Act, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it…”? She was mocked for that statement, and rightly so. Unfortunately, that type of legislating in the dark has too often been the norm in California.

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Altering Californian Behavior by the Ballot

by Carson Brunovia Eureka
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Public policy at its very core is functionally using government action (or inaction) to alter how people behave, in some form or another.  This doesn’t necessarily means brute government force, i.e. bans, mandates, or government’s monopoly over violence, as using market mechanisms also strive to alter behavior.  Behavioral changes can be as simple as stopping at red lights to ensure orderly vehicle movement or as complex as altering the incentives to alleviate the symptoms or causes for poverty.

Introduction

A November Ballot That, If You Can Wade Through It, Will Tell Us Much About Which Way California Leans

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Election Night in California looks something like this: the polls close at 8 p.m., the presidential race is called as soon as the local news personalities dispense with the pleasantries, Democrats party into the night while Republicans turn in early.

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California, Criminal Justice, And Initiatives: Maintenance Is Harder To Sell Than A Crusade

by Kent Scheideggervia Eureka
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Democracy, Winston Churchill once said, is the worst form of government except for all the other forms that have ever been tried.  In California, we carry that a step further: direct democracy is the worst form of democracy, except for the other kind. This has been particularly true in the area of criminal justice. 

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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.”

Featured Commentary

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. 

Featured Commentary

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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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.