Southern California Focus

By Thomas Elias

Finding polls hard to believe? You're probably right

Political polls are supposed to show candidates and the public a snapshot of where things stand at any particular moment. But they've been harder and harder to believe as this year's strange race for governor of California grows ever more weird.

What if California had instant runoffs?

"If only," a lot of California voters are saying this fall. If only we didn't have to choose between Democrat Gray Davis and Republican Bill Simon for governor. If only there were a viable third choice. If only a vote for Green candidate Peter Camejo didn't amount to a vote for Simon. If only a Libertarian vote weren't a gift to Davis.

Riordan write-in would likely splinter GOP vote

Dick Riordan, meet Ron Packard.

How many patients will make the medipot exodus?

It's not exactly an underground railroad even if it ends in Canada, also the northern terminus of the pre-Civil War Underground Railroad that assisted runaway slaves.

Simon becomes a Bush guinea pig

Furrows on the brows of Karl Rove and other key political advisers to President Bush grew ever deeper this summer as the business ethics morass thickened and bankruptcies piled up.

Stocks down, but Silicon Valley clout holds up

Their stock values are down to a fraction of what they were just two years ago. They have laid off thousands of workers in an industry that once took pride in continual, explosive expansion. But there apparently has been no diminution in the political clout of Silicon Valley electronics and telecommunications companies from Yahoo and Oracle to Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard.

Simon facing a 'pay-to-play' test of his own

Not a day has passed since early May without the words "pay-to-play" passing the lips of Bill Simon, the Republican candidate for governor.

Utility rate raise attempt shows unmitigated gall

Let's say you haggle a bit with your car dealer. He offers you a hybrid gas-electric model that costs less money and also burns less gasoline than the humongous sport utility vehicle you crave. You insist on the SUV, saying gasoline prices, at $1.50 per gallon, are no problem, and drive off in your big new gas hog.

California becomes the first 'sandwich state'

The "sandwich generation" has become a women's magazine clich?, with story after story detailing the sagas of baby boomers who care simultaneously for small children and aging, ailing parents.

Ineptitude, not ideology, mars Simon campaign

From the moment Bill Simon won the Republican nomination to run for governor against Democrat Gray Davis, most analysts predicted his main problem would be his conservative ideology.

Fall election stakes far higher for GOP

There's plenty at stake for Gov. Gray Davis in the election campaign that gets off to an official start on Labor Day.

Does Mexico deserve an immigration agreement?"

Mexico says a new immigration agreement easing the path of undocumented immigrants is "key" for a continued positive relationship with this country.

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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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