Category Archives: politics

Another cruel financial truth for rural counties

  In California, water flows toward money. Money also flows toward money, with the understanding that most of the money and power is concentrated in certain urban regions, especially Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Here’s one way that plays out: When the state government takes actions that can reduce revenues to local governments, state […]

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Tussle over Calaveras Community Plans

People up here like democracy. When Calaveras County leaders seven years ago invited the various towns, hamlets and sprawling rural communities to come up with their own plans for future growth and development, lots of them acted on the offer. Hundreds of people came to meetings. And they drafted plans. Now all that democracy is […]

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Is Red Cross a Christian organization?

During a discussion at Tuesday’s Calaveras County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Darren Spellman said that Red Cross is a Christian organization. His comment came during discussion on whether the Board of Supervisors should honor Door of Hope, a Christian anti-abortion group based in San Andreas. Spellman was responding to criticism from fellow Supervisor Merita […]

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Calaveras Planning Coalition meeting comment

Ward La Valley of San Andreas emailed me some comments on Monday’s meeting at which the Calaveras Planning Coalition explained its origins, goals and methods to a standing-room-only crowd at the Calaveras County Public Library main branch in San Andreas. Here’s a link to my story on the meeting:   Here’s what Ward wrote: It […]

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Forests initiative

A Ukiah resident named James D. Smith on Friday cleared the necessary hurdles to begin circulating a ballot initiative that would heavily tax timber harvests and use the resulting funds to create a massive new state government agency to manage forests. The California Secretary of State announced Friday that Smith and his allies will have to gather  504,760 signatures to […]

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AB 1319

Assemblywoman Susan Eggman’s spot bill — AB 1319 — is no longer a spot bill. And it does have a direct relationship to the text originally included. The bill deals with diseased livestock. It removes the requirement that the state compensate the owner of brucellosis-infected cattle when those cattle are ordered slaughtered by state officials […]

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Fishing license, diseased animal bills move to committee

State Senator Tom Berryhill’s AB 583, which would make California fishing licenses good for a year from the date of puchase (versus the present calendar-year-only licenses) has been referred to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and will have a hearing April 23. Also moving to committee is a spot bill by Assemblywoman Susan […]

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Checking on your state legislator

To see the bills introduced this year by your elected representative, go to, click on “bill information,” and do a search using your legislator’s name. Once you find a particular bill that you want to track, you can also subscribe for automatic email notifications every time the bill is modified or acted on.

Also posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5th Senate gets closer

After another update of the count from San Joaquin County, Republican Bill Berryhill now leads Democrat Cathleen Galgiani by only 1,465 votes out of more than 263,000 ballots counted so far. Thousands of provisional ballots still remain to be counted, making it possible that Galgiani could overtake Berryhill before the count finishes sometime after Thanksgiving.

Also posted in San Joaquin County | Leave a comment

Oller and the PACs

Recently, I wrote about how the Mother Lode Taxpayers Association’s political action committee was spending money to help 5th Assembly District candidate Frank Bigelow and hurt rival Rico Oller. Now, Oller has a PAC independently spending money on his behalf: the California Tribal Business Alliance PAC, which is funded mostly by casino-owning American Indian tribes. […]

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