In a rather quiet year, some of the more significant races in California are coming into greater focus.
Taking a job at a multi-level marketing firm would be a tacky signpost of any first-tier politician's professional trajectory. It's especially unsightly when that politician is Antonio Villaraigosa.
Antonio Villaraigosa wasn't just a charismatic and effective mayor of Los Angeles. He established himself as a national leader -- one whose personal story and effective advocacy on critical issues such as education, immigration, and civil rights have had a positive impact on our community and our nation.
California, known for its seemingly endless beautiful coastline, is also a source of endless ingenuity and passion for protecting our natural resources from plastic waste. Way to go, Californians!
It's not all that hard to incite a Republican race to the hard right on immigration. Once undertaken, that race ends up in the same place: one of fences, exclusion and super-heated rhetoric that utterly turns off most people of color and younger voters.
Many Americans know that Barack Obama spent three years as a community organizer in Chicago, but hardly any Americans know about Fred Ross Sr., perhaps the most influential community organizer in American history.
Around the country, Americans are not only lobbying their Congressmembers to support legislation to reduce gun violence, they are also voting with their dollars -- through pension funds, government purchasing policies, and university endowments.
The nation's second-largest school district is at the center of a broader battle over the future over education reform. Since 2010, Superintendent John Deasy has run the district, implementing policies consistent with the national "education reform" movement, which pushes things such as test-based teacher evaluations and charter schools. But if the composition of the school board changes significantly, Deasy could be fired.
Reform Fatigue In L.A.? "Antonio Villaraigosa Led The Way On Education Reform, But His Potential Successors Are Reluctant To Pick Up The Torch," reads the headline of an L.A. Weekly blog post.. The two top mayoral contenders to replace Villaraigosa at the helm of the nation's second largest school district aren't campaigning Villaraigosa-style reforms. The West Coast city's dynamic seems to echo New York's -- mayoral candidates have eschewed, for the most part, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's big, controversial reform agenda.
We cannot tax cut our way to prosperity any more than we can tax and spend our way into fiscal nirvana. It requires a balanced approach of sensible spending cuts, substantive entitlement reforms and negotiated tax increases.
A reasonable person might ask why any group which claims to be concerned about deficit spending would try to lower tax rates for the most privileged among us, since that would make those deficits much worse. Good question: It doesn't make sense.