By Wednesday, I was feeling cautiously optimistic about my ability to make it though an entire day without disaster.
I got up early to check out the responses to the two speeches the night before: Ann Romney and Chris Christie. Read More
The Tampa Convention Center ballrooms have been converted into a series of stalls for the news outfits in attendance. Each is separated by makeshift walls of fabric through which you can make out tables, computers, food and phones. Walking through the labyrinth of media pens, I was struck by how many other nations have outposts at this convention. News organizations from Japan, Italy and Morocco are all here, covering an event many Americans regard as somewhere below “Toddlers & Tiaras” in the queue of shows to watch. Read More
On Tuesday of the Republican Convention, the rain had stopped, so they put the tents up. Just take a minute with that.
After my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day on Monday, getting out of bed on Tuesday seemed like an altogether dumb idea, but the fact that a course of action is ridiculous never stopped me before, so I got up and called for a taxi. "Not a shuttle ok? I need a real, actual, taxi cab," I (over)explaind to the bewildered concierge. Read More
Cody Morgan could barely vote when he was chosen by members of Maine’s Republican Party to be a member of the electoral college. At his age, I was just starting to study politics in college, but Morgan is getting an education that is as distinguished as it is depressing.
You see, Morgan is a Ron Paul supporter, and he was chosen as an alternate to come to Tampa, Fla., and vote for Ron Paul for president. Read More
I called for a taxi. I feel like this is an important part of this story. It was 8:15 on Monday morning and I had to be at the convention center for a 9:45 AM segment for KPIX CBS 5. My hotel is 15 or 20 minutes away from the bulging perimeter of the Mother Ship. Big hair? Check. Sensible shoes? Check. Rolling bag of gadgets? Check.
Instead of a taxi, a shuttle pulled up. A van full of journalists driven by a nice local woman who regarded Tampa as “the big city.” Read More
On Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention, we’ll all be treated to a tribute video. The Cecil B. Downhill Lifetime Achievement Award will go to U.S. Rep. Ron Paul. I’m hoping for slow-motion podium bashing and soft-focus moments of Paul telling Mitt Romney to read the Constitution.
At 77 years old, Paul isn’t likely to run for office again, though he hasn’t ruled it out. An informal poll on his website asks, “What should Ron Paul do now?” Where more than 50 percent of respondents said “prepare for an independent run,” only 9 percent want him to support Romney. Read More
Let other writers complain about how boring the Republican National Convention is this year; I, for one, am thrilled to be in Tampa. Every four years athletes get the Olympics and nerds get political conventions.
On Sunday, I actually overheard a man bragging, “I’ve been the head parliamentarian of my delegation for eight years.” These are my people. Read More
The Friday deadline for the state Legislature to pass a pension-reform measure is fast approaching, and the aptly named “special” committee on public pensions has allotted a whole two hearings on the matter next week.
This can’t come a moment too soon for Stockton City Manager Bob Deis, who wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown last week pleading for statewide pension reform. Deis warned Brown that if a bankruptcy judge forces Stockton to ratchet down pension benefits, there will be an exodus from the city’s police department and the result will be “municipal chaos.” Read More
Just days after the Board of Supervisors unanimously endorsed a measure that would change The City’s business-tax structure from a payroll tax to a gross-receipts tax, I got an email from a dear friend with the subject line, “HA HA!”
It contained a link to a column written by the president of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce titled, “Let’s wave goodbye to the gross-receipts tax and hello to new jobs.” Read More
Proposition 34 on November’s ballot would end the use of the death penalty in California and convert the sentences for all 725 people on death row to life imprisonment without parole. In a well-intentioned bit of bribery to prevent public safety groups (read: unions) from opposing the proposition, it creates a $100 million fund from which law enforcement agencies can get grants to investigate homicide and rape. Read More
Today, the Ethics Commission is set to issue its final recommendation on the matter of suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. No one knows for sure how this will turn out, but there is at least one compelling reason for the commission to recommend removal, even without getting into disputed facts. Read More
In the weeks leading up to the June election, a campaign ad in support of the ballot’s tobacco tax measure blasted a doctor who spoke against the tax, telling voters to “Get a Second Opinion.”
And that’s just what one man is doing.
The $1 tobacco tax, Proposition 29, failed by the narrowest of margins — 24,076 out of 5,161,506 votes cast. Now San Francisco doctor John Maa is demanding a statewide recount, the first in California history. Read More
San Francisco is often rated No. 1. This is the No. 1 place to trick or treat, with the No. 1 city park system and the No. 1 healthiest city for women. Well, we have a new distinction to add to the list. Read More
Santa Clara County is in financial trouble.
On July 25, the credit-rating firm Moody’s downgraded $143 million in lease revenue bonds backed by the county’s general fund two notches, from A1 to Aa2. “The downgrades reflect the county’s significantly weakened financial position, following three consecutive years of general fund deficits (2009-2011), and the limited prospects for rebuilding the county’s balance sheet in the current economic environment,” Moody’s said. It also cited the county’s high unemployment rate. Read More
The first round of campaign contribution reports have been filed for November’s Board of Supervisor elections and they are full of fascinating information. One of the most interesting questions suggested by all the data is which supervisors could vote in favor of suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi when the board soon considers whether to sustain his suspension for official misconduct. Read More