Pulpit Bulls

Policy, Politics, and What's In Between

Archive for the ‘California’ Category

California’s Obama Eight

Posted by Eric on June 10, 2009

My friend Chris has been doing an excellent series of posts over at his blog Packherd detailing the eight congressional districts in California that Obama carried, despite being represented by Republicans in congress. Chris runs some numbers, makes some maps, and has a great run-down on the Democrats’ future chances in each of these districts. If I worked for the DCCC or the California Democratic Party, I’d snatch Chris up quickly.

If you are a California native like me or just a political junkie who wants to know the going-ons in every race anywhere (also like me) you will want to check out this recent post about California’s 25th congressional district.

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Posted in California, Politics | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Taxin’ and Relaxin’ in the Golden State

Posted by Eric on May 28, 2009

Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times argues that the impetus of California’s cataclysmic budget woes aren’t my home state’s uptick in spending over recent years. Kevin Drum disagrees, before concluding:

California has multiple problems.  Prop 13 reduced our tax base permanently and made it all but impossible to adjust other taxes to make up for it. Citizens have approved bond measure after bond measure in the seeming belief that because they don’t raise taxes, they also don’t cost any money.  The governor and the legislature have relied on way too much smoke and mirrors.  But spending has also gone up.  There’s just no way to understand the whole picture without acknowledging that.

While spending isn’t the sole problem that many Californian conservatives would like to blame for the state’s fiscal woes, it’s also not as blameless as Hiltzik implies. Also worth mentioning is California’s outlay to tax ratio. Californians only get back 78 cents for each dollar of federal taxes, ranking it 43rd of 50 for money tossed back into the state. It’s a high income state (although also one with high cost of living), so it should be expected to pay more than your average state. With that said, when discussing California’s budgetary abyss and potential funding solutions, it’s certianly something that should be brought to the table.

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California Court Upholds Prop 8

Posted by Eric on May 26, 2009

Not a huge surprise, but back in my home state the Supreme Court has ruled that Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages, is not a revision of the State Constitution, and therefore legal. Same-sex couples who have already married, however, will not have their marriages nullified.

My suspicion is that ultimately the fight for same-sex marriage may benefit from this ruling. Prop 8 will be overturned in 2010 or 2012 by Californian voters. That is, the most populous state in the union will legalize gay marriage by public fiat, not by a court decision and not by a vote in the legislature. The “judicial activist” attack will have lost all force and the significance of this cannot be overstated. With that said, today’s ruling really does suck for those couples who would like to be married now (and they should certainly have that right), but let’s not forget that this is a temporary set-back. The side of progress will prevail sooner, rather than later.

Posted in California, Gay Marriage | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »