By George Skelton | Los Angeles Times May 21, 2018 at 12:15 pm By George SkeltonLos Angeles Times When a state regulatory body decrees that all new homes must have rooftop solar starting in 2020, my temperature rises. Big Brother is intruding too deeply into my personal life, I’m thinking. Shouldn’t it be my call alone whether to invest in solar panels, perhaps incentivized by state tax credits or rebates? Should solar buying be simply mandated by a government bureaucracy without even a vote by our elected representatives in the Legislature? One additional very real concern: California is mired in a housing crisis. Buying a home already is unaffordable for far too many families. And now the state is going to add the cost of a rooftop solar system to every new home purchase, like it or not. The latest median price for a home in this state is $538,640, according to the California Assn. of Realtors. The minimum annual income required for a mortgage is $111,500, the … [Read more...] about Skelton: Big Brother is intruding too deeply into personal lives with new mandate
By George Skelton | Los Angeles Times PUBLISHED: May 10, 2018 at 6:15 am | UPDATED: May 10, 2018 at 6:21 am You’ve got to wonder what goes through a candidate’s head when his first TV ad contains an indisputable, major falsehood. Maybe nothing goes through it. Maybe he doesn’t recognize the falsehood and it’s not an intentional lie. Maybe he didn’t even see the ad — just overly relied on handlers who got sloppy or thought no one would notice what they regarded as a typical, within-the-bounds political exaggeration. Whatever. It’s not the kind of tactic that builds public confidence in a gubernatorial candidate’s credentials to lead the nation’s most populous state and, because of his relative youth —50 — and charisma, automatically become a potential contender for president. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, front-runner in the race to succeed termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown, ran a TV ad claiming he was “the first to take on … [Read more...] about Skelton: Newsom says he was ‘the first’ to take on the NRA and win. Not quite
Harrison Smith, The Washington Post Published 4:09 pm, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 George Deukmejian, a two-term Republican governor of California who championed low taxes and small government but crossed party lines to sign a ban on military-style assault weapons, died May 8 at his home in Long Beach, California. He was 89. His daughter Leslie Deukmejian Gebb confirmed the death but did not cite a precise cause. Deukmejian (pronounced duke-MAY-zhee-an) was a California state assemblyman, senator and attorney general before being elected governor in 1982. As the highest elected official in America's most populous state, he occupied an office that launched predecessors Earl Warren and Ronald Reagan to national political prominence. Yet he shunned the media spotlight, avoiding appearances on talk shows that helped make peers such as Mario Cuomo - the liberal governor of New York elected the same year as Deukmejian - powerful forces in debates over the scope and role of government. … [Read more...] about George Deukmejian, two-term California governor who espoused law and order, dies at 89
LOS ANGELES — George Deukmejian, a perennially popular two-term Republican governor of California who built his career on fighting crime, hardening the state’s criminal justice stance and shoring up its leaky finances, died Tuesday. He was 89.Deukmejian, who was elected governor in 1982 and 1986, died at his home in Long Beach, according to a statement from his family.During his many years of public service, including 16 years as a state legislator and four as state attorney general, Deukmejian sponsored the successful “use a gun, go to prison” bill, oversaw development of a workfare program for welfare recipients and negotiated with the Democrat-controlled Legislature to create an $18.5 billion, 10-year transportation plan.The son of Armenian immigrants, Deukmejian had years of public office on his resume before winning election as governor and emerging as the most prominent Armenian-American politician in the United States.His identification with Armenians, … [Read more...] about George Deukmejian, popular two-term California governor, dies at 89
By George Skelton | Los Angeles Times PUBLISHED: May 4, 2018 at 6:15 am | UPDATED: May 4, 2018 at 6:16 am Modernizing California’s archaic, unstable tax system is one of the most important tasks the next governor will face — or should. But it’s not a burning topic on the campaign trail. That’s because Democrats feel it’s an issue that can only cause grief. Republicans like to rail against high taxes and call for them to be lowered. But they no longer seem capable of winning the state’s highest office. The biggest problem with California taxes is that they were designed for a retail economy that no longer dominates. We’ve become a service economy that basically isn’t taxed. To make up for it, state income taxes have been raised to the sky, particularly on the rich. California’s top rate is 13.3 percent, astronomical for a state. And that tax revenue is volatile and unreliable because it’s tied largely to capital gains. Those … [Read more...] about Skelton: Do governor hopefuls know California taxes aimed at retail are an issue?