Southern California Focus

By Thomas Elias

Another Bush who needs a California education

California was like a foreign country to the first president George Bush. His decisions on domestic policy often ignored or insulted this state and it eventually cost him the presidency.

Why Manson and his killers should never go free

Anyone who attended any part of the early-'70s trial of Charles Manson and his murderous followers can't help remembering the pure viciousness of this gang, which killed seven innocents in a misguided bid to start a race war. Helter-Skelter, Manson called it.

Cyanide theft shows why tighter border is vital

The most potentially portentous news story of the last few weeks never made it beyond the briefs column or the back pages of most newspapers.

The new flight to Canada: medipot refugees

As federal officials and some California prosecutors repeatedly flout or ignore the state's 1996 law legalizing medical use of marijuana, dozens and perhaps hundreds of patients who claim they depend on the weed for pain relief and even survival are taking flight. Like Vietnam-era draft dodgers, their usual destination is Canada.

High court undermines Bush Latino push

No major Republican politician in modern times has made so determined and successful a bid to win Latino votes for his party as President Bush.

Teacher demands give Davis a fat softball to slug

No modern governor of California has taken more political donations from public employee unions than Gray Davis. And even though a springtime $250,000 check to Davis gave the prison guards' union a lot of publicity, over the years no union has given this governor more cash for beating back opponents than the California Teachers Association, the state's largest teacher group.

Campus hate, fear raise questions about anti-Semitic foreign students

Scenario: Midday on the campus of San Francisco State University. Four hundred peaceful African-American demonstrators carry signs and speechify (with a permit) about their love for America, their support for African countries from which their ancestors were abducted and their desire for peace and an end of oppression and border wars there.

A larger turnout if Tuesday were primary day?

Tuesday is Primary Election Day in California -- or it would have been in any even-numbered year before 1996. And, the miserable voter turnout in this year's primary on March 5 now has some lawmakers and activists plumping for California primaries to return to the traditional first Tuesday in June, while others are looking to split primary dates between March and August, with a presidential-only vote on the earlier date.

Davis, Simon will test voters' memory

Back in 1979, one of then-Gov. Jerry Brown's top advisors observed that his boss could pretty much do whatever he liked until just before the time came to run either for reelection or the U.S. Senate three years later.

Drivers licenses for the undocumented getting closer

In New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia, fast-track moves to allow drivers licenses for illegal immigrants imploded the moment three airliners crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

New abortion bill timing suits Davis

It may or may not be coincidence, but Democratic Gov. Gray Davis will apparently get the chance to sign landmark abortion legislation just as his re-election campaign against Republican Bill Simon begins to heat up in

Cable sale threatens best information public gets

Headlines on the financial pages of most newspapers never mention the real public danger as they bemoan the fiscal troubles of Adelphia Communications Corp., America's sixth largest cable television company and California's second biggest.

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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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