Southern California Focus

By Thomas Elias

Confusion sets in over groundwater law

It’s beginning to look like the hosannas that greeted California’s first-ever groundwater regulation law were premature when it passed late last summer.

Bleeding stops on one Schwarzenegger blunder

California has bled many millions of dollars because of the myriad blunders by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who probably should have remained a muscleman actor and never ventured into politics.

Convicts who don't deserve parole hearings

Consider the criminal history of Bobby Beausoleil, 67, the latest follower of Charles Manson to come up for an automatic parole hearing.

Time to examine conspiracy in Peevey-PUC scandal

California attorney general's agents wasted no time after this column called for a criminal investigation of the former state Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey in late January. Less than five days later, investigators executed a search warrant at Peevey’s primary home in La Canada Flintridge.

Doubling H1-B visas via an end run

Green cards for spouses — that’s the latest quiet Obama administration move to please and appease the high-tech companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere who constantly clamor for more H1-B visas to bring in cheap, skilled foreign labor.

A single vote really does count

Barely 21 percent of eligible California voters cast ballots in last fall’s election, which means about 80 percent of the eligible populace should have no complaints, even if they don’t like the performances of those who were elected for the next two or four years.

Initiative carnival coming next year

If voters get annoyed and sick of seeing paid petition circulators outside their favorite big box stores during the next 15 months, they will have only themselves to blame.

State tax overhaul plan has potential

Rarely does a freshman state senator propose anything substantial during his or her first few days in office. But Robert Herzberg, elected last fall from a safe Democratic district in the San Fernando Valley, is hardly a typical newbie.

Tail wags dog again in presidential race

About a year from today — Jan. 26, 2016 — voters in New Hampshire will don parkas and trek through snowdrifts to tell the rest of America who should be running for president and who should not.

Brown could — but won’t — dominate Senate race

If the current large corps of potential candidates for retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s job look to some like a gaggle of political pygmies, it might have something to do with the proverbial 800-pound gorilla lurking in their living room. That would be Gov. Jerry Brown, who could most likely have the job for the asking.

Why Latinos are key to Democrats’ 2016 strategies

For the past 20 years — ever since passage in 1994 of California’s abortive anti-illegal immigrant Proposition 187 — Democrats here and around the nation have increasingly depended on Latino votes.

Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

The biggest nightmare of California’s largest utility companies may be about to begin playing out, thanks to a small irrigation district in San Joaquin County and a bunch of disgruntled customers of Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

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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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