Public Policy

Taking down the Hunter political crime family

Last week, a woman approached me at lunch. “You inspired me to vote for the first time,” she said, pulling out her phone for a selfie. “So what happened, did you win?” I replied, “Not this time.” The final count — 48.3 percent versus 51.7 percent. After running for two long years in a district President Donald Trump won by 15 points, my first election…


Don’t kick climate change down the road

Mankind has only 12 years left to make unprecedented cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions if we want to stave off unimaginably catastrophic effects of runaway global warming. This is the warning detailed in October’s report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the recognized global climate authority which represents the investigations of hundreds of climate scientists and 195 participating nations. A…


San Onofre Nuclear Plant ticking time bomb

What to do with the 3.6 million pounds of highly radioactive waste at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station by Camp Pendleton remains an epic problem, pitting concerned citizens against Southern California Edison, the California Coastal Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  San Onofre’s seaside nuclear reactors were permanently shut down in 2013, following steam generator malfunction. Edison operates San Onofre while the Coastal Commission…


California working, UC Berkeley report says

Between 2011 and 2016, California enacted a set of 51 policy measures addressing workers’ rights, environmental issues, safety net programs, taxation, and infrastructure and housing. Critics predicted that these policies—collectively called “the California Policy Model” (CPM) in this paper—would reduce employment and slow economic growth, while supporters argued that they would raise wages for low-wage workers, increase access to health insurance, lower wage inequality, and…


No taxation without representation, Hunter

Spoiler alert. Rep, Duncan Hunter (R-50th Congressional District), like his President idol (for now) Donald Trump should do everyone a favor and resign. Considering Hunter’s multiple transgressions, topped off by breaking the law by spending campaign finance $$$ for his, and his family’s, personal expenses, self-admitted by Hunter: The vape, on-the-take, Hunter managed to outdo himself last week. Hunter VOTED FOR THE GOP TAX PLAN…


End Citizens United begins GOP ditch drive

A major democratic political action organization that’s working to get big money and all of the temptation it offers out of politics recently released a list of 20 Republican Congress members that it intends to target next year. The organization on attack is End Citizens United, and it is calling its targeted Congress members the “Big Money 20.” A Group that Favors Its Special Interest…


Plastic ocean pollution and climate change

Although burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of global warming, fossil fuels could also be driving climate change via a completely different mechanism involving ocean plastic debris and tiny, bioluminescent fish living hundreds of meters beneath the ocean’s surface. Lanternfish (aka myctophids) are only a few inches long typically but so ubiquitous that they account for over half the ocean’s total fish-mass. They are…


After tax cuts derailed the ‘California dream,’ is the state getting back on track?

In 1978, the year I graduated from college with a degree in economics, most voters in my state chose to turn their backs on the “California dream.” Not unlike the American dream, California’s iteration focused on the limitless possibilities awaiting anyone who moved to the state. It was the state’s basic philosophic footing, a social compact that connected generations, geographies and economic classes in a common destiny….


Collective action will solve climate crisis

I fancy myself an environmentalist.  I recycle, backyard compost, have rooftop solar, rarely use AC or heat, drive a hybrid, don’t have a lawn and eat vegetarian. Yet the truth is I am as responsible for climate change as the next guy. Here’s why. Doing those things makes me feel good about myself, but they don’t move the world measurably closer to solving the climate…


Post-Paris Climate Accord: What’s next?

The City of Escondido should do what 46 other local jurisdictions across the country have done, pass a resolution telling Congress to step up and lead the rest of the world in addressing the crisis of global climate change — Sarah Mosko Although President Donald Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, this is no time for the 70 percent of…