Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Lines They Are a-Changin’

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission officially approved the new maps for Assembly districts, State Senate districts, Congressional districts and Board of Equalization districts on August 15.  District lines were formerly drawn by the California Legislature, but thanks to the passage of Proposition 11 in 2008 and Proposition 20 in 2010, they are now drawn by the citizen commission.  These new districts will be used for elections over the next decade starting with the June 2012 primary election.

There are certainly some clear repercussions for California politics (incumbent vs. incumbent matchups, more competitive elections and early retirements) and many unknown consequences that will play out over the next decade as this reform is combined with the new open primary system.  These new lines could also impact tobacco control.  Here are the major effects of these new district lines on California’s tobacco control efforts: Read More »

You’re doing a great job and you’re fired

As discussed in the opening blog post to this series, term limits have a big impact on our efforts to educate California legislators through I&E Days and District Days.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like them, and I don’t, here’s why:

Reason #1 – I see no reason why someone who is good at their job has to give it up after a certain amount of time.  How many of you have been in your job for more than six years?  If you were an Assembly Member you would now have to look for a new job.  This is what elections are for; if your elected official is not doing a good job, stop voting for them. Read More »

Send ‘em Home

I believe that being a representative of the people requires remaining one of the people, which is impossible as an isolated member of a permanent political class. I believe in a legislature where new people bring in new ideas, and where legislators leave before coming to believe they are entitled to their positions. I believe that power corrupts.

And because of that, I’m in favor of term limits. Read More »

Rumble in the Office: Justin vs. Vanessa

I was sitting at my desk last week when a fight broke out between Justin and Vanessa. There was yelling and  throwing of office supplies, doors were slammed and alliances were formed.  I sat by as the paper clips whizzed by my head and thought, “how did this happen?” And then I opened my email. Read More »

What Are You Doing Next June?

Governor Jerry Brown made it official. The California Cancer Research Act (CCRA) will appear on the ballot on June 5, 2012, along with the presidential, congressional and legislative primaries.

CCRA is a ballot initiative that would increase the tobacco tax in California by $1 per pack, raising more than $450 million per year to help California’s research community make advances in the detection, treatment, prevention and cure of cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other smoking-related illnesses.  If passed, the measure would also provide more than $150 million annually for tobacco prevention and cessation. Read More »