Tag Archives: Joe Mathews

California Loses a Major Asset in Prop Zero

Journalist with a keen insight on California politics moves on

by Brian Leubitz

Prop Zero, the insightful blog from NBC and Joe Matthews, is calling it quits:

Over the past three years, we’ve offered thousands of posts from leading authorities on California within the NBC universe (your lead blogger has contributed 1,512 posts, the NBC computers tell me). Terrific editors at NBC stations in LA, San Diego and the Bay Area shaped the site and in many cases saved your lead blogger from himself.

It has been a wonderful run. But after this election, I was exhausted, and had come to feel like the blog had run its course. NBC, which had supported Prop Zero strongly despite its relatively small audience, saw things the same way.

The state is in a different place than it was three years ago — still facing profound challenges and governance problems, but with different leaders, a different political context, and different burning issues. After a rash of ballot measures and reform efforts, we may be entering a lull in efforts to fix California — and those efforts were a focus of this blog. And on a personal level, I’m eager to focus more time and energy on my rapidly expanding duties at Zócalo Public Square. (Prop 0)

To be completely honest, Calitics is now the creaky oldster of the California politics blog world. Not sure how that makes me feel, but I certainly understand where Mr. Matthews is coming from. However, his was, and remains, an insightful voice on California politics.

On a related note, if you would like to write for Calitics, from any progressive perspective, this is your forum.  If you give me a heads up, I’ll work with you to get your work more attention. As you have noticed, I’ve been a bit scattershot on my own posting on the sight, and I’m sure new voices would be more than welcome.

Joe Matthews: $11Mil Dumbest Donation Ever

Calls out Yes on 32/No on 30 “Small Business Action Committee” for hypocrisy

by Brian Leubitz

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You may have already heard the news about the $11,000,000 donation from the “Americans for Responsible Leadership,” a group that refuses to discloses its contributors. In fact, last week we posted about the Sacramento Bee calling out both the group that gave and received the anonymous cash.

However, Joe Mathews, a noted California political journalist and analyst, points out how the secretive money puts the lie to the notion that Proposition 32 is about campaign finance reform.

Seriously, do you remember a more counterproductive donation than this one? In this case, the $11 million is being given in such a way that it destroys whatever chances Prop 32, the measure that anonymous donors are supposedly supporting, might have had of passing.

Prop 32 is being sold as campaign finance reform. An anonymous donation steps on that message; the huge, overwhelmingly negative publicity the donation has drawn to 32 has to be worth more than the $11 million. And in a larger sense, the donation exposes the core of what’s wrong with Prop 32 and other attempts at what is sometimes called “Paycheck Protection” as a way to blunt union power. … Instead, they are giving and accepting an anonymous donation, an act that will confirm the worst stereotypes about critics of public employee unions. If the backers of Prop 32 want true political reform, and less domination by public employee unions, they should give the $11 million back. Right away.(emphasis added, Fox and Hounds Daily)

As Mr. Mathews states, the secretive $11,000,000 tells a lot more about what Prop 32 really is. It is a measure to silence working Californians, while allowing for the proliferation of secretive SuperPACs like the “Americans for Responsible Leadership.”

Read the full column at  Fox and Hounds Daily.

Note: Brian Leubitz, the editor of this blog, works for the No on 32 campaign. Please like the campaign on facebook or follow on twitter.