Commentary

Southern California Focus

By Thomas Elias

Time for sanity in sanctuary city policies

There is no need — at least not yet — for total abandonment of the humane aspects of the immigration “sanctuary” laws now on the books in 276 American cities, counties and states.

Will prisoner release turn out to be a fire hazard?

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley."

Rate ruling shows PUC unchanged by scandal

It's time once more to roll out the lyrics of the Who’s classic 1971 song, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” when examining the California Public Utilities Commission, which nominally exists to make sure monopoly utility companies don’t overcharge their captive-audience customers.

Vaccination vacillation shows Brown's pragmatism

“A foolish consistency,” the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once noted, “is the hobgoblin of little minds,” and no one has ever accused Gov. Jerry Brown of being small minded. So why be surprised when he completely reverses himself as he did the other day on vaccinations?

PUC reform bills too little, too late

It’s the same with the state Public Utilities Commission these days as with almost everything else: By the time state legislators notice something is a problem, things are so bad, so extreme that other people and agencies have already acted.

Despite public approval, ‘split roll’ vote unlikely

Firm Republican opposition to tinkering of any kind with 1978’s Proposition 13 is one reason voters may get no chance next year to decide whether or not to tax commercial and industrial land and buildings more than residential property.

State GOP unlikely to make gains soon in Congress

Few things gall California Republicans more than realizing they hold just 14 of this state’s 53 seats in Congress. That’s only 26 percent of California’s representatives, while the opposition Democrats, with a mere 14 percent more registered voters, hold 39 seats, or about 74 percent.

Vergara time bomb still hangs over public schools

Like a time bomb, the court decision in Vergara v. California has been mostly dormant since the last election season ended in November 2014. But its explosive potential remains as large as ever.

Housing is now a huge, unheralded state crisis

In the Los Angeles area, fewer than one in four households headed by persons in their 20s or early 30s — known demographically as millennials — can afford to buy the median-priced home, which now goes for just over $500,000.

Bit by bit, Disclose Act becomes more real

If there’s one main reason for the distrust many Californians feel for government and elected officials at all levels, it may be the way special interests — from corporations to labor unions to individual billionaires — pour millions of dollars into election campaigns while hiding their identities.

Gasoline price gouging evidence grows

Just about two years ago, when gasoline prices in most of California last moved well above the $4-per-gallon level, crude oil cost $147 a barrel. Oil companies said the high price of crude was a major factor in that price spike.

Beam us up, Scotty; drought spurs new ideas

Ideas come fast every time California endures a drought of several years. Each time, some of them are accepted and put into use, thus making the next drought a bit easier to handle.

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Thomas Elias

Columnist and author Thomas Elias writes a syndicated politcal column appearing twice weekly in 70 newspapers around California, with a circulation of over 1.89 million. He has won numerous awards from ...

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