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This war is the result of the Bush Administration's failed diplomacy. | Uh, we support the troops. | A tax cut in wartime is a risky scheme. | We could have probably brought down that statue for a lot less. | Sure it was a quick victory, but the occupation will be brutal. | What's so called "liberation" in the face of the loss of humanity's antiquities? | We’re not extreme, our ideals represent the ideals of ordinary Californians.

OC Register Budget Index
$65.3 million: The amount needed per day through June 30, 2004, to balance budget.
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CRO Blog
contributor commentary
Chronicle Woes: Uh, you can have liberal bias, but it’s a problem when you demonstrate and get arrested. The SF Examiner details that the Chronicle has cracked down on reporters who make the news with their views.
| Good Riddance: In LA radio hosts John and Ken at KFI went on a campaign to get rid of a website that hosted slurs, innuendo, and gossip about high school kids. And they did it. The Times reports that it’s gone. They couldn’t take the heat and they are whining about it with their last posting.
[Nicholas X. Winter]
Berkeley Bazaar: Mock suicide bombers and checkpoints from competing sides of the Israel/Palestine debate. Jews vs. Jews. Mass confusion at Berkeley as ideologically confused Jewish students defend Palestinian terrorism reported at FrontPage. An “atta girl” to one Miya Keren wearing a sign that said "Wherever I stand, I am standing with Israel."

go to CRO Blog

“The policies that turned a $9 billion surplus to a $24 billion deficit in just 18 months are continued and expanded in a state budget which, though just three weeks old, is already unraveling before our eyes."
-Tom McClintock 2/23/02
In defense of Proposition 13. If keeping it intact is unfair, how fair is an $8,400 property tax bill?

The plea to save police and fire services is a disinformation scam to let loose the Car Tax.
A history lesson: raise the sales tax and watch retail sales plunge.
go to Shadow Controller

A Bad Attitude
Hostility to Private Enterprise Impedes California’s Economic Recovery
by Carol Liebau 4/25/03 | Even Hans Blix and his gang of merry inspectors wouldn’t have any trouble finding evidence that California’s economy is in a mess. The signs are everywhere. Last year’s budget deficit – $23 billion – was staggering, especially given that the combined deficit nationwide of all state governments totaled $40 billion. And this year, of course, California’s projected budget deficit is set at $35 billion. | The reasons are many, including the impact of a slow national economy and the bursting of the tech bubble. But occasionally, the simple act of reading the newspaper can shed light on more than just the events of the day. Take two headlines from last week. Up north, in The Sacramento Bee, the headline read, “Capitol staffers get pay raises”; down south, a San Diego Union-Tribune piece was titled “Plan would push exec pay reform.” [more inside]

From OC Register

Call It Must-'Fee' TV
The All Tax Increase Channel, a.k.a. the Legislature, is now on the air 24/7
by Jon Coupal 4/25/03
| With the advent of cable television, Americans have an extraordinary array of viewing choices. In the old days, we only had three networks. Because of the limited choices, each network had to provide a variety of programs in an effort to reach the broadest audience.
| Not any more. We now have channels devoted solely to narrow interest groups. Who would have thought back in the 1970s that we would have a single channel devoted to golf? Or to cooking? | Now there's a new alternative broadcasting from your state Capitol: the All Tax Increase Channel, a.k.a. the California Legislature. Yes, indeed - we now have tax-increase proposals 24/7. Currently, more than 100 such measures are powering their way through the legislative process. [more at OC Register]

From LA Daily News

Undermining Prop. 13
Bit by bit, government agencies are undoing taxpayer safeguard
The Editors 4/24/03
| It's always for a good cause. | First it was the schools and community colleges. | That was Proposition 39. At the time, it was argued that when Proposition 13 was passed, no one could have foreseen what it would do to education. The bar was too high, almost no community could muster the support to overcome Proposition 13's requirement that tax increases have to pass by a two-thirds majority. | There were not enough schools, there was colossal overcrowding, the old schools were in such bad shape that learning could not take place in them. Roofs leaked, paint was peeling and air conditioning was needed desperately. | It's for the children [more at LA Daily News]

From SD Union Tribune

Structural Reform Needed To End The Cycle
The Editors 4/24/03 | One way or another, California will climb out of the fiscal hole it has dug for itself. Doing so with a combination of deep spending cuts, a spending limit, and evenly distributed tax increases will reduce the risk of a prolonged crisis. But an even greater risk would be to let this moment pass without implementing structural reforms that end the cycle of boom-or-bust state budgets. | Earlier in this series, we cited two structural reforms essential to getting the state back on a sound fiscal footing and keeping it there. First, California must enact a constitutional spending limit that will stop the Legislature from blowing money the state doesn't have, or from spending money that ought to be tucked away in reserve or refunded to the people in flush times. Second, the volatile tax system must be overhauled to broaden the tax base. | What's more, state government needs to undergo a fiscal reality check. Zero-based budgeting, which would require each department to justify its existence each year, would ensure operations are at peak efficiency. [more at SD Union Tribune]

From Sacramento Bee

Doubled Bottle Deposits Might Help Balance Budget
by Daniel Weintraub 4/24/03 | Most Californians, I suspect, are at least vaguely aware of the state's beverage container recycling program. They know they pay something like a deposit on most drinks they buy at the supermarket, and they see those funny looking igloos in the grocery store parking lot where they can return the empties if they like. Ambitious kids and the hungry homeless surely know that they can get cash for containers at grimy, smelly collection centers next to the junkyard in the inner city. | But the "bottle bill" -- as the program is known in the Capitol -- is more than just a recycling program. It is a $500 million-a-year operation that has spawned a cottage industry of lobbyists, consultants and others who wrestle behind closed doors over the structure of the program. Their goal is to get a piece of the millions of dollars left in the state's custody by shoppers who pay the deposit and then throw their cans or bottles in the trash rather than returning them for a refund. | Now comes a University of California study that suggests doubling the deposit -- and the potential pot of gold at the end of the recyclers' rainbow. The idea, if adopted, might actually improve the recycling program. | But it has also triggered a feeding frenzy over the extra money it would produce. And one result, in the short term, would likely be another couple hundred million dollars contributed, unknowingly, by Joe Six-pack to help balance the state's deficit-burdened budget. [more at Sacramento Bee]

SAVE SADDAM – The Celebrity Brigade
From American Spectator

by The Prowler 4/23/03 | Gonzo filmmaker Michael Moore is claiming that liberal news outlets like ABC and CNN doctored the sound levels of the chorus of boos that rang out during his Oscar diatribe against President Bush. He claims that a careful analysis shows many of these news outlets (which actually give him aid and comfort) redubbed his acceptance speech so that the boos would be seem louder.
| What's good for the visibly overstuffed goose is good for the gander. A number of serious charges have been lodged against Moore with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, among them that Moore's award-winning film should not be considered a documentary because he staged scenes and concocted statistics and information that have proved to be false. Moore, as well, based his anti-gun screed on disgraced historian Michael Bellesiles' book, which has now been shown to be almost wholly fiction. The academy has thus far declined comment, but the fact that it is looking into the complaints would indicate the charges are being taken seriously, at least initially. | As for Moore's contention that the boos were bulked up, an ABC New producer says Moore is more full of it than usual. "Given his track record, he probably doctored the tapes himself to get more attention. He knows he's unpopular and revels in it." [more at American Spectator]

From OC Register
High-Poverty But High-Performing
Schools offer proof that minority students from poor families can thrive
By William E. Simon Jr. and Lance T. Izumi 4/23/03
| Can minority students from poor families excel in school? Some in education claim that bad test scores reflect these students' low-income backgrounds, an explanation that lets schools off the hook too quickly. | However, the tremendous academic success of a handful of public schools with large populations of students from high-poverty backgrounds explodes the "too poor to perform" myth. Such success is attainable even in these times of budget austerity. [more at OC Register]

From SD Union Tribune

Tax Reform
by the Editors April 23, 2003 | Sen. Tom McClintock is not alarmed by California's monstrous budget crisis. To the contrary, the conservative Republican from Thousand Oaks believes the crisis will finally compel California to control its runaway spending with the passage of a constitutional amendment. | Gov. Gray Davis has basically conceded that a constitutional spending cap will be part of any budget deal. And, indeed, there is growing support even in the Legislature for the notion that a constitutional limit on spending should be the first priority as Sacramento claws its way back to fiscal stability. The second, flowing from the first, should be budget cuts. And, as a last resort, tax increases. [more at SD Union Tribune]

From LA Daily News
Myopic Oversight
Millions of dollars have been wasted in the LAUSD's crash school building program
The Editors 4/23/03
| Earth to Roy Romer: Please come home. | Indeed, it's time the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District came back to earth and ended his wild spending spree on his mad rush to build new schools. | Inspector General Don Mullinax's investigation of the LAUSD's spending on real estate consultants hired to find properties for new schools adds more disturbing evidence to the proposition that taxpayer money means nothing to Romer and his colleagues. [more at LA Daily News]

From The Remedy
Sexcapades the Business of the Day in Sacramento
by Thomas Krannawitter 4/22/03 | With a state debt now in the tens of billions of dollars, with a Democratic governor whose unpopularity has soared to record levels and who may soon be recalled from office, with a host of domestic problems such as embarassing schools, unaffordable housing, and businesses fleeing to other less-regulated, less-taxed states, what is occupying the minds of Democratic California legislators today? Making sure that men who want to dress like women and other perverts cannot be fired from their jobs!
| As reported in today's Los Angeles Times, the California Assembly passed a bill that authorizes the state to fine an employer up to $150,000 for "discriminating against people who have changed their gender or whose gender is not exclusively male or female." So if you own a children's bookstore, and some male employee decides he needs to wear girls' clothes to express himself, you either allow him, or pony up big bucks to the state. | As reported in another story, when California Democrats are not busy endorsing license through legislation, they hold parties to celebrate people who get their private parts medically altered. On March 24 the California State Assembly hosted their annual Woman of the Year ceremony, where they named Theresa Sparks "Woman of the Year." The funny thing is, Ms. Sparks was not always a Ms., being the first transgender woman to receive the award. | Being a midwesterner most of my life, I find this odd, to say the least, as do probably most people. I guess this is why the rest of the nation laughs at California as the land of fruits and nuts. [more at Claremont’s The Remedy]

From Claremont Institute
The Stark Facts
by James R. Harrigan 4/22/03
| For years abortion advocates have presented themselves as "pro-choice," trying to distance themselves from the stigma of supporting the killing of unborn children. NARAL Pro-Choice America—formerly called National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League—parrots this position in its literature, stating, "Pro-choice means respecting and supporting the right of every woman to make personal choices regarding pregnancy, childbearing, and abortion. It is not which choice she makes, but rather that she is free to make the choice that is right for her." But the endless refrain of "pro-choice, not pro-abortion" cannot hide the real agenda of abortion activists. | When the bodies of Laci Peterson and her unborn son Connor washed up on the shores of San Francisco Bay late last week, the defenders of women's rights did not see two murders that cried out for justice. They saw one murder and one problem. The initial comments of the pro-abortion lobby prove that they are indeed pro-abortion, and not pro-choice as they universally claim. [more at Claremont Institute]

SAVE SADDAM – The Celebrity Brigade
From Media Research Center

Peter’s Sympathy for Hollywood Hypocrites
ABC Covers Anti-War Actors By Playing Up Their “Punishment,” Not Their Errors or Radicalism
by Tim Graham 4/22/03
| The war against Saddam Hussein may be over, but if you watch ABC, you might worry about the alleged oppressors still on the loose: President Bush and his supporters. On ABC last night, World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings heavily promoted their final segment on how the successful Iraq war would end badly – at least for Hollywood radicals. Jennings promised: “When we come back this evening, being against the war and in show business. And the people who want to punish you for that.” | Jennings avoided tackling the issue that America’s vast pro-war majority might find interesting – how anti-war Hollywood actors were obviously incorrect in predicting doom, gloom, and repression “loosed by the Bush administration” – and instead reliably implied President Bush and his supporters were craven censors of courageous dissidents. [more at Media Research Center]

SAVE SADDAM – The Celebrity Brigade
Tim Robbins Doesn't Get It

by Joseph Perkins 4/22/03 | Robbins, Sarandon and their fellow Hollywood lefties need to understand that the rules have changed since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The American people no longer are willing to give them a free pass for comments, for actions that border on sedition. | I, for one, will never pay to see another movie featuring Robbins, Sarandon or any other outspoken anti-war actor. Not even at matinee prices. Nor will I purchase another CD by any outspoken anti-war musical artist. | And I am not alone. Millions of Americans have had it with the anti-American sentiments of the entertainment industry. And they are punishing the biggest offending "artists" at that box office, in the Nielsens and on the Billboard charts. [more at SD Union Tribune]

SAVE SADDAM - The Western Front
From LA Times

A Faculty for Misstatement
Three who back Iraq liberation decry their UCLA senate's antiwar statement.
by Kenneth N. Klee, Daniel Lowenstein and Grant Nelson 4/22/03
| We believe the liberation of Iraq was just and necessary. But last week, we told President Bush that we deplored the war. | Was it flagrantly inconsistent for us to make this statement, so contradictory to what we believe? You bet. | Why did we do it? | We were mugged. | We were mugged by about 200 of our faculty colleagues at UCLA. These colleagues condemn the liberation of Iraq and wanted to say so publicly. But they were not content to speak out in their own names, as they had every right to do. Instead, they insisted on speaking in our names — and in the names of the more than 3,000 people on the UCLA faculty. [more at LA Times]

From LA Daily News

Muddled State
Lawmakers need to step beyond their ideologies and show real leadership in California
From the Editors 4/22/03
| With barely two months left in the state of California's fiscal year, the Legislature remains as paralyzed as ever in dealing with the monumental financial crisis it helped create. | It is a given, after five years of watching him in inaction, that Gov. Gray Davis is incapable of providing the leadership that the state needs. | So the burden is on our lawmakers, who have proven themselves far better at pandering to special interests in exchange for campaign contributions and finding new ways to spend the public's tax dollars than in actually finding solutions to real-life problems. | We, of course, have no one to blame but ourselves. We elect these people and will undoubtedly ignore their disgraceful performance in office when they come up for re-election. [more at LA Daily News]

From Sacramento Bee
Going Outside the Box
U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin is getting a close look as a moderate Latina answer to Sen. Barbara Boxer in '04.
by David Whitney 4/21/03
| U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin is the highest-serving Latina in the Bush administration, with a spectacular corner office in the U.S. Treasury building overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House. | But the 44-year-old former mayor of Huntington Park, a 3-square-mile enclave in the midst of Los Angeles sprawl, often is not there. | Instead, she is traveling the country, using her largely ceremonial post to reach out to and advocate for fellow Latinos, whom President Bush hopes to lure in his 2004 re-election effort. | Marin's ethnicity, an animated and energetic personality and her moderate political views -- conservative on spending, in favor of abortion rights -- are making some California Republicans think that Marin could be the party's answer to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in a primary field that has no obvious front-runner. [more at Sacramento Bee]

From Washington Monthly
Castro's Casting Couch
In Hollywood's love affair with Fidel who is using whom?
by Damien Cave (4/03 Issue)
| When I arrived last November, Cuba felt like a private paradise. Thanks to a steep decline in tourism, empty white-sand beaches were easy to find. My favorite Havana restaurant--a seven-table outdoor café with cheap beer and the best picadillo in town--contained only Cubans. I could even walk the Malecon, a wide seaside avenue that rings Havana, without hearing anything but Spanish, salsa music, and the heavy growl of old American cars. Everything slick, new, consumer-friendly, and advertised--everything from home, in short--seemed to be not just miles but also decades away. I thought I'd finally found the perfect escape, a true island apart. | Then someone asked me if I had arrived with Steven Spielberg. A few days later, during the Latin American Festival, a friend pointed to an old man shuffling across the marble tiles of Havana's Hotel Nacional and said, "That's Grandpa Munster." (It was, indeed, actor and Green Party gubernatorial candidate Al Lewis.) Later that week, I listened to Harry Belafonte rail against a lack of press freedom in the United States--but not Cuba--and then found myself in the odd position of fighting with Matt Dillon for a taxi. By the time Danny Glover and Julie Taymor crossed my path, I thought I'd seen it all, until I discovered that Oliver Stone had spent three days with Fidel Castro a few months before I arrived. [more at Washington Monthly]


From OC Register

Cut charter schools? Hardly
They deliver better results with less funding, so put away that budget ax
by Dr. Alan Bonsteel 4/20/03
| California's budget crisis is forcing some agonizing choices on our public schools. We have no choice but to cut funding, but where? What is more important: arts programs or the marching band? Counseling or classroom teachers? Libraries or sports programs? | There is one choice, however, that is a no-brainer: We should be dramatically expanding our charter schools because they offer higher quality at a lower cost than traditional public schools. |
Charter schools are schools of choice that operate within our existing public school system. They are a locally governed return to our long standing ideal of public schools that are run by concerned parents. They offer the kinds of educational options that can encourage bright but bored children to learn, and to keep kids at risk from dropping out of school. Best of all, since they are freely chosen by the families they serve, they must offer superior service or face closure. [more at OC Register]

Governor Davis: Smarter than He Looks!

I'm sorry, I thought he was destroying the state through mere incompetence.

by Assemblyman Ray Haynes 4/19/03
| It appears I owe Governor Gray Davis an apology. Over the last four years I’ve been accusing him of recklessly destroying our budget, our business climate and our power system with no strategy or concern for long term costs. A recent report from the California Independent System Operators (Cal-ISO, our state’s incredibly effective energy managers) has now led to me to believe that I haven’t been giving our governor enough credit—he’s smarter than he looks! | In our state budget, we’ve gone from a $12 billion surplus to a $36 billion deficit in four short years. The system of tax and fee increases and some of the budget cuts the Governor has proposed seem designed to deliver the coup de grace to our ailing economy, almost like he’s putting it out of it’s misery. [more inside]

Just Another Face in the Crowd

Barbara Boxer and the Perils of Internationalist Group-Think
by Carol Liebau 4/18/03 |
One of the first lessons my father ever taught me was based on the classic “The Oxbow Incident,” a tale illustrating the tragedy that can result from mindless mob rule. The moral of the story, according to my father, was “Always think for yourself – never go with the crowd.” | It’s a lesson that stuck – which is why Senator Barbara Boxer’s decision repeatedly to criticize the President for being willing to “virtually go it alone” in Iraq seems inherently mindless. Of course, Boxer is a knee-jerk liberal, and her jibe fits neatly into the left’s current obsession about the opinions of France, Germany, Russia and “the world” more generally (conveniently defined to exclude our extensive “coalition of the willing”). But the reasoning of so-called “internationalists” like Boxer has been bewildering for a while – apparently, for them, it’s perfectly legitimate for our troops to die to prevent Saddam Hussein from obtaining weapons of mass destruction he might use against the United States . . . but only if France (or Cameroon, or Guinea, or Syria) says so. | Never one to “go it alone” herself on behalf of any unpopular principle, Barbara Boxer has been a prominent member of the chorus of liberal naysayers. [more inside]

From American Spectator
California Muscle

by The Prowler 4/18/03 | Rumors were flying on Capitol Hill earlier this week that Sen. George Allen had persuaded Hollywood muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for the Senate against Sen. Barbara Boxer. The two met after the actor spent time with Karl Rove, presumably talking about his political future in California. | But word out of California is that Allen and Rove already have spoken to former California governor and senator Pete Wilson about running again for the seat. "For the good of the party, he'd do it," says a longtime Wilson aide and adviser. "It would put him back into the political game in a big way." [more at American Spectator]

SAVE SADDAM - The Celebrity Brigade
From FrontPage

Listen to Tim Robbins Whine
by Michael Reagan 4/18/03 | Poor Tim Robbins. He thinks his rights are being stripped away– that he can no longer speak out, that he’s being gagged by a president he despises- yet he managed to cry about this assault on his rights to free speech in front of the nation’s media, which gleefully broadcast his views. | He’s talking about his first amendment rights being violated, but where does he make this complaint that he’s being prevented from stating his views publicly? Why before the National Press Club in Washington, about the most public forum around. Moreover, that speech last Tuesday has been rebroadcast and rebroadcast all across the nation. Some gag. [more at FrontPage]

Front Page Index
The Week: 4/13/03 – 4/18/03

Just Another Face in the Crowd Barbara Boxer and the Perils of Internationalist Group-Think | California Muscle Rumors were flying on Capitol Hill earlier this week that Sen. George Allen had persuaded Hollywood muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for the Senate against Sen. Barbara Boxer. | Listen to Tim Robbins Whine Poor Tim Robbins. He thinks his rights are being stripped away– that he can no longer speak out, that he’s being gagged by a president he despises. | Looney Clooneys One of the gratifying developments of President George W. Bush's World Crisis is the intellectual transformation of Hollywood, California. | Down and Out Baseball's Hall of Fame committed a grievous error… | Latest From Kooktopia: Ban On Frowns In Golden State's northern half, silly season evidently goes year-round. | UCLA ANTI-WAR RESOLUTION So about 200 of my UCLA colleagues… | Bay Area's Silent Majority TALK about pathetic. Last week, anti-war protesters were reduced to picketing KQED -- that's right, San Francisco's left-leaning PBS television and radio station. | Californians' Tax Burden Is About Average, But Variances Are Wide Are Californians paying too much or too little in taxes? | Welcome To The Party The City Council joins the rest of the world in condemning Saddam Hussein | First, Eat Your Vegetables I guess the Governor’s mother never made him eat his green beans at dinner. | Columnist Decries Name-Calling, Then Calls Names Anyone who disagrees with Mr. Greenhut is labeled a demagogue, an "inflammable spirit" or as one of the "Purple People." | New Taxes Proposed For State's Residents Unpleasant though the specter of tax-day April 15 is, Californians ought to relish the moment. They'll never have it this good again. | Prescription For Disaster Forcing all California employers to offer health insurance sure to backfire
[go to Front Page Archive Index]


And some
Lingering Observations

From OC Register

In Defense of the Indefensible
Sacramento can't bring itself to cut even obvious waste, outrageous perks.
by Assemblyman John Campbell 4/9/03
| It's tax time, that depressing period where we all compute what we owe to the federal and state governments as their pound of flesh for the privilege of earning a living. As a CPA who once prepared other folks' tax returns, this has always been a time of special significance for me. | But now that I am in the state Legislature, it has added significance. That is so because I have seen up close what my state taxes, and yours, are paying for. [more at OC Register]

SAVE SADDAM – The Western Front
From Front Page

Robert Scheer, Gucci Marxist
From his perch at the Los Angeles Times, Berkeley radical Bob Scheer fires scuds at his native land.
by John Perazzo 4/2/03 | For nearly two decades Robert Scheer has been a "national correspondent" and then regular columnist for the Los Angeles Times, where he has specialized in national security issues. | From one of the most powerful press platforms in the country, Scheer articulates, on a weekly basis, the left's corrosive assertions about the moral deficiencies of our nation, our president, and our efforts in the war on terrorism. [more at Front Page Magazine]

SAVE SADDAM – The Western Front
From Weekly Standard

Hear No Victory, See No Victory, Report No Victory
The Los Angeles Times goes to war.
by Hugh Hewitt 3/31/03 | The Los Angeles Times, often called the Lost Angeles Times or the Left Angeles Times, escapes the sort of scrutiny that Andrew Sullivan and others apply to the New York Times because the "West Coast's leading newspaper" simply doesn't matter much on the East Coast (and increasingly not so much in its own back yard). [more at Weekly Standard]


Kuehl-Care is wrong Rx for Californians
Sally C. Pipes
Pacific Research Institute

Boycott Jim Hahn's L.A.
by Arnold Steinberg
The Washington Times

Feds Shouldn't Bail Out State
Aid from D.C. would only prompt lawmakers to overspend even more
by Richard Vedder
OC Register


Why Hollywood Hates Conservatives III
by Steve Feinberg
more at FrontPage Magazine

Saving Democracy in California
by Ken Masugi

A Boy Catches a Terroist Gang
SLA brought to justice
by Adam Sparks SF Gate

Eight Ways To Solve The Budget Crisis
by Adam Sparks SF Gate

Why Simon Lost
From the beginning, and in the end.
By Arnold Steinberg National Review

The Authoritative Guide to Why Bill Simon Lost
What Really Happened in California
By Arnold Steinberg Human Events

Simon Should Have Won
The state GOP has lost track of its responsibility to voters, letting extraneous concerns crowd out attending to political basics.
by John Kurzweil
California Political Review


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