Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

July 8, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California's economic growth tempered by unemployment

unemploymentdelay.jpgNot all Californians are sharing in the state's improving fortunes, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Binders full of resources at the Employment Development Department office in Sacramento on February 14, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

July 7, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Time running out on water bond

AmericanRiver.jpgDespite California's pressing drought crisis, lawmakers aren't showing much urgency on a new water bond, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: A pair of fishermen stand near the shallow water of the American River below Watt Ave on January 11, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

July 3, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Senators show hypocrisy in concern over civil service

RBCapitolDome.JPGThe Senate should examine its own hiring practices before turning its focus to those of the state workforce, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The Capitol dome on December 11, 2006. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

July 2, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Drama continues in state controller's race

Perez.JPGThough the votes have finally been counted, the state controller's race is probably not over yet, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez speaks about Gov. Jerry Brown's 2014 State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature on Jan. 22, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

July 1, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California's aging population has profound impact

Elderly.JPGAs California gets older, the whole structure of the state will have to change, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Ben Shaffer is escorted by driver Stacy Hatton to the Elephant Bar restaurant in Sacramento on August 13, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

June 30, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Bond efforts at odds with Brown's image

micsjerrybrown.jpgTwo efforts to place bond measures on the November ballot complicate Gov. Jerry Brown's campaign platform of fiscal responsibility, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown talks to members of the press after speaking at a rally for crime victims on April 23, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

June 27, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California credit rating uptick is only small step

capital_gains.JPGDespite improving state finances, California still has one of the worst credit ratings in the country, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown holds up poster boards with graphic information regarding revisions to his budget during a press conference at the state Capitol on May 13, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

June 26, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Water politics complicate drought response

DroughtFarmer.jpgLawmakers are scrambling to craft a deal on a new water bond, the state's most confounding and contentious political issue, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Farmer Tom Muller walks out to a fallow field at his farm in Woodland on February 13, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

June 25, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Kashkari's chances may hinge on high-speed rail

kashkarisits.jpgRepublican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari is trailing in the polls, but the controversial high-speed rail project presents an opening, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Neel Kashkari speaks at an interview with The Associated Press in Sacramento on Dec. 4, 2013. The Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli

June 24, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Lake County will determine controller's race

Lake_County.JPGThe state controller's race has come down to thousands of votes in one rural Northern California county, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Trees and clouds are reflected in the calm water of Cache Creek in Lake County, Calif on September 25, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

June 23, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: How big is the budget?

budget_signing_2014.JPGWhen it comes to California's budget, size is in the eye of the beholder, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: California Gov. Jerry Brown, center, signs the 2014-15 state budget on June 20, 2014, in San Diego. Looking on behind are, from left, state Sen. Ben Hueso, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, and Senate leader Darrell Steinberg. The Associated Press/Gregory Bull

June 20, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Top-two primary brings political anomalies

voter.JPGThe quirks of the top-two primary system have elevated Republicans in at least one Democratic-leaning district, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Charles Rich, 61, of West Sacramento votes in a room at fire station #45 on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 in West Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

June 19, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Legislative activity booms before summer recess

20130530_HA_LOBBYIST0097.JPGThe Legislature is hurriedly pushing through hundreds of bills before a month-long break, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Sacramento lobbyists Terry McHale and Carl London walk away from the Senate member entrance on May 30, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

June 18, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Legislative process lacks transparency

RBCapitolDome.JPGIn contrast to the judicial branch, little disclosure is required for the communications that inform the Legislature's policy-making, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The Capitol dome on December 11, 2006. The Sacramento Bee/ Randall Benton

June 17, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Keep an eye on LA County supervisor race

Sheila_Kuehl.JPGA rare open seat on the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors provides a high-stakes race in this low-key election year, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Senate Health Committee chairman, Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, listens to Senate Pro tem, Don Perata, D-Oakland, following the failed vote on AB X1, inside the Capitol on Jan. 28, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

June 16, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Vergara decision boosts state schools chief debate

rally_tom_torlakson_resize.JPGA court ruling striking down California's teacher protection laws shakes up this year's race for state superintendent of public instruction, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, urges legislators to support the tax extension proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown on March 14, 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

June 13, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: McCarthy ascension could doom high-speed rail

Kevin_McCarthy.JPGRep. Kevin McCarthy's likely ascension to House majority leader is bad news for California's high-speed rail proponents, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, at the Republican National Convention inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 1, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

June 12, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Is budget deal something we can all be proud of?

LSBUDGETSIGN4.JPGWith the budget deadline looming, the Legislature is bound to reach a deal with Gov. Jerry Brown this week, Dan says. But will it be a good one for California?

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown holds up the state budget he signed during a ceremony at the Capitol on June 27, 2013, in Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee/Lezlie Sterling

June 11, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Court advances tenure issues long ignored by lawmakers

RP_School_TEST_SCORES_JENNIFER.JPGA judge's ruling that California's teacher tenure system is unconstitutional puts pressure on the governor and Legislature to resolve an issue they've long avoided, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: A California Middle School teacher helps a student with a district test during class in Sacramento on Dec. 5, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

June 10, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: State controller's race down to photo finish

swearengin_controller_resized.jpgAs California finishes counting hundreds of thousands of ballots, the top two in the controller's race changes daily, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin gives her State of the City address at a lunch meeting at the Fresno Convention Center Wednesday, June 1, 2011. The Fresno Bee/Craig Kohlruss

June 9, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Low-turnout election fodder for bigger debate

Historically paltry turnout numbers in Tuesday's primary election spur Dan and others to ask: how did this happen, and is our political system in trouble?

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

June 5, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Leland Yee has surprisingly good election night

yee_press_resized.jpgDespite a federal indictment on corruption charges, state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, performed strangely well in Tuesday's secretary of state primary, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, leaves Federal Court in San Francisco on March 26, 2014. Bay Area News Group/Karl Mondon

June 3, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Plenty at stake in primary election

GenericVoters.JPGDespite what media reports would have you believe, there's a lot at stake in today's primary election, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Election officials process the ballots by machine as a last step after the hand count at the Sacramento County Elections office on November 13, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Renée C. Byer

June 2, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Attention returns to budget negotiations

Brown_signing_bills.JPGExpect lots more wheeling and dealing before a final budget deal is reached in two weeks, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown signs bills making $11.2 billion in cuts to California's budget, raising community college fees and slicing support for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill on March 24, 2011 in Sacramento as Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco stand behind him. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

May 30, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Vote-by-mail is future of elections

pollingplace.JPGIs there a future without traditional polling places?, Dan wonders.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Voters cast ballots at the polling place in the Bible Baptist Church in El Dorado on November 6, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

May 28, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Legislative 'crunch week' instructive for public

last_day.JPGWith hundreds of bills facing a Friday deadline, the Legislature resembles more a sausage factory than a deliberative body, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, center right, celebrates with Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva on the Assembly floor during the last day of the legislative session on September 12, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Renee C. Byer

May 27, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Low estimates for Monterey Shale won't cut interest

oil_rigs_sunset.JPGThe only thing that will stop the oil industry from pursuing California's Monterey Shale formation is economics, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Oil rigs pump oil from the ground in Baldwin Hills of West Los Angeles on Sept. 29, 2006. The Sacramento Bee/ Brian Baer

May 23, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Pre-kindergarten expansion remains unresolved

kindergarten.JPGState Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has scaled back his proposal, but it's still unclear whether pre-kindergarten expansion will make it into the final budget, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

May 22, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Do Senate ethics reforms go beyond image?

steinberg.jpgOnly time will tell if new ethics rules make substantial changes to the scandal-ridden state Senate, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, right, pumps his fist after one of the state budget bills was passed by the Senate on June 14, 2013. The Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli

May 21, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Board of Equalization building is cautionary tale

HSRail.jpgIf the state can't get small construction projects right, how are we supposed to trust them with major endeavors like high-speed rail?, Dan asks.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: A view of a high speed train moving through a wind farm in the proposed high speed rail network. Rendering by Newlands and Company Inc.

May 20, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Schools chief race reflects education policy battles

rally_tom_torlakson_resize.JPGCalifornia's growing battle between teachers unions and education activists has raised the stakes in this year's race for state superintendent of public instruction, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, urges legislators to support the tax extension proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. on March 14, 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

May 19, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Medical malpractice initiative promises big-money battle

MICRA.JPGA ballot measure to raise the cap on medical malpractice damages is the culmination of a decades-long, big-money battle, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: This West Sacramento billboard launched this year's fight to overturn a state law capping pain-and-suffering damages in medical negligence cases. Courtesy of Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit advocacy group.

May 16, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Budget serves as political bargaining chip

brownjanbudget.jpgThose holding the purse strings can push their favored policies in final budget negotiations, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference at the California state Capitol in Sacramento on Jan. 10, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton.

May 15, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: After decades of battle, a Prop 13 compromise

no_taxes.JPGIt's only a modest change, but after decades of fighting over Proposition 13, this week's compromise is a surprising step forward, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The Sacramento "tea party" drew more than 5,000 protesters to the state Capitol on March 17, 2009 to oppose higher taxes in California and the Obama administration's national policies. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

May 14, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown engages in budget trash talk

capital_gains.JPGGov. Jerry Brown took some oblique shots at his predecessors in his May Revision announcement, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown holds up poster boards with graphic information regarding revisions to his budget during a press conference at the state Capitol on May 13, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

May 13, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Richard Pan plays down political career

Richard_Pan.JPGYou wouldn't know that state Senate candidate Richard Pan is already a member of the Legislature by looking at his campaign materials, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento during the first day of session at the Capitol on Dec. 3, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

May 12, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Realignment creates budget battle over new jails

Supreme_Court_California_Prisons.jpgLiberal legislators are pushing funding for rehabilitation programs over new jail construction to address prison overcrowding, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Several hundred inmates crowd the gymnasium at San Quentin State Prison on May 20, 2009. The Associated Press/Eric Risberg

May 9, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California enters new era of 'politics of plenty'

Assembly_chamber.JPGWith tax revenue exceeding expectations, the Legislature's budget battles will center on what to do with all the extra money, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Twenty-eight of the new Assembly Members undergo orientation inside the Assembly Chambers on Nov. 12, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

May 8, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Debt-dodging continues for California government

Nine thousand dollars per Californian: That's the scale of the sprawling financial shortfall the Legislature and the governor continue to ignore, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

May 7, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Azerbaijan conflict doesn't need Legislature's input

Azerbaijan_president.JPGThe California Legislature has a long and pointless history of weighing in on foreign affairs, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev arrives for a meeting on the 5th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic on April 24, 2014. The Associated Press/Petr David Josek

May 6, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: With home prices rising again, so are taxes

MC_REALTOR_04.JPGThe recovering real estate market isn't all good news for homeowners, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Real estate agent Pat Quan of Coldwell Banker puts flyers in front of one of his home listing in El Dorado Hills, Calif, on October 9, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

May 5, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: June primary promises few exciting races, low turnout

pollingplace.JPGWhat happens if they held an election and nobody came?, Dan wonders.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Voters cast ballots at the polling place in the Bible Baptist Church in El Dorado on November 6, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

May 2, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Dim prospects for undocumented immigrant health care

20131016_healthcare0022.JPGThough a bill to extend California's health care exchange to undocumented immigrants passed out of policy committee this week, there is no viable plan to fund the proposal, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

May 1, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California programs have high costs, lackluster results

gasprices.JPGThere is a vexing gap between the cost of some state programs and the quality of the services they provide, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

April 30, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Prop 13 battle returns with parcel tax bill

no_taxes.JPGA proposal to introduce differential parcel tax rates could renew fights over Proposition 13, California's landmark tax measure, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The Sacramento "tea party" drew more than 5,000 protesters to the state Capitol on March 17, 2009 to oppose higher taxes in California and the Obama administration's national policies. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

April 29, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: It's crunch time at the Capitol

Padilla_hearing.JPGHundreds of bills could meet their end this week if they don't make it out of their policy committee, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Senator Alex Padilla, chair of the Senate Energy Committee, listens to testimony on why the state Energy Commission has been unable to spend millions of federal stimulus dollars on August 1, 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Jose Luis Villegas

April 28, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Modest revenue increases boost Brown budget proposal

brownbudgetrevise.jpgState revenue is up this year, Dan says, but the moderate increases favor Gov. Jerry Brown's more conservative fiscal approach over his fellow Democrats' calls to restore spending.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his revised budget plan at a news conference at the Capitol on May 14, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Renée C. Byer

April 25, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown gaining Republican support for reelection

browncounties.jpgFacing unknown rivals in his reelection bid, Gov. Jerry Brown looks to have the support of even many Republican voters, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

April 24, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Debra Bowen leaves legacy worth changing

Bowenha_APAPA13992.JPGEvery major candidate for Secretary of State is campaigning to overhaul the office, an indictment of Debra Bowen's two terms of stewardship, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Secretary of State candidate Debra Bowen talks to the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association during a candidates forum at Sacramento State. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

April 23, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Ethical issues abound with money in politics

Capitol_repaint.JPGAs the state Senate prepares for a "day of reflection" on ethics, legislators should consider not just how they fund their campaigns, but the policy decisions they make, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Construction workers erect scaffolding around the Capitol dome on May 1, 2002 in preparation for painting. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

April 22, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: It's all about the money in session's second half

RBCapitolDome.JPGAs the Legislature returns from spring recess, funding battles will take focus and could determine policy for years to come, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

April 21, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Legislature returns from recess facing big problems

Assembly_chamber.JPGAfter a week off for spring recess, the Legislature returns facing ethics violations and funding questions that must be dealt with, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

April 11, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Leland Yee arrest harms Legislature's fragile image

yee_press_resized.jpgThe California Legislature has bounced back from record low approval in recent years, but the March arrest of state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, immediately reversed some of those gains, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, leaves Federal Court in San Francisco on March 26, 2014. Bay Area News Group/Karl Mondon

April 9, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Controversial SeaWorld bill gets 'soft kill'

SeaWorld.jpgA controversial bill that would ban orca shows in California was held in committee to die quietly, Dan says, probably so as not to cause trouble for incoming Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins of San Diego.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: A SeaWorld trainer performs with a killer whale on Feb. 27, 2010, during the first show after an orca killed a trainer at theme park three days earlier in Orlando, Fla. The Associated Press/Phelan M. Ebenhack.

April 8, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Aging Jerry Brown shows graying government

010311_HA_brown_inaug_01.JPGAs Gov. Jerry Brown's recent passing of the three-quarters-of-a-century mark demonstrates, California's representatives aren't exactly spring chickens.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

April 7, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Name game backfires for unlucky candidates

BettyYee2010[1].jpg

Pity state controller candidate Betty Yee, Dan says, who has the misfortune of sharing a last name with another lately-in-the-news politician.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

April 4, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Diminished Dems change course

Correa.JPG

Now that they need Republican votes on some measures, Dan says, Senate Democrats have agreed to accommodate their conservative counterparts.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

April 3, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: FBI follow-up shows Capitol on edge

tony_beard.jpg

It's a sign of the times how people reacted to federal authorities returning to Sacramento on Tuesday, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

April 1, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Special election loss haunts Senate Democrats

IMG_Vidak_Joins_Senate.j_2_1_GS16NV3D_L27966883.JPG

From affirmative action to water bonds, the agenda of Senate Democrats will suffer now that Dems have lost their supermajority, Dan Walters says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, left, gets advice from Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, on his first day in the Senate, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. The Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli.

March 31, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Election year politicizes Leland Yee scandal

YeeCalderon.jpgThe state Senate's latest scandal is more ammunition for an election year battle over the Democrats' supermajority, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, left, speaks on a bill, while his seat mate Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, works at his desk at the Capitol on March 26, 2014. The Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli

March 28, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: State's new financial management system on the right track

computer_system.JPGBreaking with California's ignoble tradition of failed tech upgrades, a new financial management system appears headed for success, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The Los Angeles Regional Transportation Management Center Oct. 18, 2013. The Associated Press/Reed Saxon

March 27, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Another Senate indictment puts Republicans back in mix

Leland_Yee.JPGWith Democrats in the state Senate now below the supermajority threshold, Republican members could swing some key issues this session, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, speaks to members of the press in his office at the Capitol in Sacramento on February 14, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

March 26, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Legislators push for more restrictions in new school funding

education_march.JPGSchool districts and civil rights groups have been at odds over how to spend new school money to close California's "achievement gap," Dan says. Now Democratic lawmakers have weighed in.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Students, parents and advocates from across the state march around the California Department of Education building on January 16, 2014 in Sacramento, Calif. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

March 25, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: State debt should account for crumbling highways

RP_HIGHWAY_49_SIGN.JPGThe budget may be balanced on paper, but we're running up debts with deferred maintenance on our crumbling highway system, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: California Highway 49 sign. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

March 24, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Legislators avoid California's teacher pension woes

CalSTRS_building.JPGBillions in unfunded liabilities for teacher retirement grow every day, but California lawmakers just keep putting off the problem, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: A bicyclist rides in the shadow of the CalSTRS headquarters building on Riverwalk Park in West Sacramento on September 30, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

March 20, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: High-tech California flubs computer upgrades

computer_system.JPGCalifornia leads the way in technological advances, Dan says. So why does state government have such a poor track record with updating its computer systems?

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The Los Angeles Regional Transportation Management Center Oct. 18, 2013. The Associated Press/Reed Saxon

March 19, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Los Angeles squandering charter school promise

LAUSD_protest.JPGDespite evidence that charter schools are outperforming their public counterparts, California's largest school district is discouraging their development, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Parents protest a Los Angeles Unified order to reorganize elementary school classrooms by English language fluency on October 18, 2013. Los Angeles Times/Al Seib

March 18, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California has fallen behind on open access

RB_Capitol_Dome.JPGOnce a leader with public records and meetings, California is now playing catch-up to other states, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The California Capitol dome. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

March 17, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Politicians' legacy projects often spell trouble

Bay_Bridge.JPGFocusing on big ideas at the expense of what needs to get done has been a costly problem for California, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on December 4, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

March 14, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Election year raises create conundrum for legislators

Assembly_chamber.JPGThe possibility of pay raises in an election year is tricky political ground for a Legislature that is still unpopular with many voters, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Twenty-eight of the new Assembly Members undergo orientation inside the Assembly Chambers on Nov. 12, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

March 13, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Wright, Calderon are legislative 'non-persons'

MC_CALDERON_05.JPGEven as they continue to collect their salaries, the Senate's refusal to acknowledge Sens. Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, and Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, is rather Orwellian, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, at right with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg on June 10, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

March 12, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Lawmakers use hearings for personal electoral gain

Padilla_hearing.JPGMany informational hearings are just an opportunity for legislators to promote their re-election campaigns, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Senator Alex Padilla, chair of the Senate Energy Committee, listens to testimony on why the state Energy Commission has been unable to spend millions of federal stimulus dollars on August 01, 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Jose Luis Villegas

March 11, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Anti-fracking activists score points for Jerry Brown

brownconventionspeech.jpgA noisy demonstration at the California Democratic Party convention over the weekend helped Gov. Jerry Brown boost his image as a moderate, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown addresses the California Democratic Convention on March 8, 2014, while a protester holds a sign against hydraulic fracturing. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

March 10, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Health care another looming liability for California

hospital_mask.JPGThe state has billions of dollars in unfunded healthcare costs for public retirees, but it's not doing anything about the problem, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Jose L. Beltran, an RN and Assistant Nurse Manager in the telemetry unit, wears a face mask while working at Sutter General Hospital on February 17, 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Autumn Cruz

March 7, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Gift-giving reforms miss the mark

Democrats are touting a package of political-ethics reforms, but Dan says they're avoiding the central issue.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

March 6, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California is own biggest employer

DMVoffice.jpgAnnual salaries and benefits paid to state workers equal the entire economy of Vermont, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The DMV office on La Mancha Way in south Sacramento on June 27, 2007. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

March 5, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Legislators' financial reports reveal political dirt

RB_Capitol_Dome.JPGThe annual filings show who is trying to influence whom in Sacramento, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

March 4, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Ron Calderon's leave shakes up Senate plans

MC_CALDERON_02.JPGWith the Democrats unlikely to regain their supermajority this term, hopes for raising taxes or placing constitutional amendments on the ballot have gone down the drain, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento on Monday June 10, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

February 28, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Hard to imagine Jerry Brown not winning re-election

micsjerrybrown.jpgThere was never any doubt Gov. Jerry Brown would seek a fourth term, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown talks to members of the press after speaking at a rally for crime victims on April 23, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

February 27, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California's transportation system is out of whack

freeway_traffic.JPGDespite some of the highest fuel taxes in the country, California has among the worst roads and congestion, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Late morning traffic travels on Interstate 5, in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2014 photo. The Associated Press/Damian Dovarganes

February 26, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Democratic supermajority evaporates in Senate

Dem_caucus.JPGAfter much speculation over its potential, the Democratic supermajority may just be an asterisk in California political history, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, walks to a Democratic caucus meeting on Feb. 3, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

February 25, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California's Legislature has turned into soap opera

rod_wright.jpgThe latest dramatic twist in this tale of corruption and scandal is that the Senate Democrats may lose their supermajority, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Sen. Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, sits in the state Senate on Feb. 3, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

February 24, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Democrats' legislative wish list will have to wait

Dem_caucus.JPGIn an election year, Gov. Jerry Brown doesn't want to rock the boat, Dan says, so a very liberal agenda is unlikely to become law.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, walks to a democratic caucus meeting on Feb. 3, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

February 21, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California cap-and-trade faces legal challenge

California_Greenhouse_Gases.jpgWide-ranging proposals for using cap-and-trade funds have prompted the California Chamber of Commerce to challenge the fee program as an illegal tax, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: A tanker truck passes the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond on March 9, 2010. Associated Press/Paul Sakuma

February 20, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California coming to grips with pension problems

CalPERS_building.JPGThe state has been slow with solutions, but at least it's finally addressing the massive unfunded liabilities of its employee retirement systems, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The CalPERS building in Sacramento.The Sacramento Bee/Anne Chadwick William

February 19, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Instead of legislating, Legislature busy playing political games

Bob_Wieckowski.JPGNot much has happened in the Legislature so far this session, Dan says, except publicity-grabbing hearings that benefit politicians in an election year.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski asks a question during an Assembly Insurance Committee oversight hearing at the Capitol on Nov. 6, 2013. The Associated Press/Genevieve Ross

February 14, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown needs to show us the money

anti_rail.JPGNo one has come up with the tens of billions of dollars needed to build the high-speed rail or the Delta water tunnels, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

February 13, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: 2014 could be good year for California Republicans

Kevin_Faulconer.JPGA big victory in the San Diego mayoral race suggests that things could be turning around for California's struggling Republican Party, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: San Diego mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer speaks to his supporters outside his campaign headquarters on Feb. 11, 2014. The Associated Press/Lenny Ignelzi

February 12, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown receives stay of execution on prison cuts

CaliforniaPrisonsHungerStrike.jpgFederal judges have given Gov. Jerry Brown more time to reduce prison population, but with some caveats that could be politically damaging.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: A correctional officer is seen in one of the housing units at Pelican Bay State Prison near Crescent City on Aug. 17, 2011. The Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli.

February 10, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California is experiencing eruption of corruption

MC_CALDERON_05.JPGWe're not New Jersey or Chicago, Dan says, but California politics are far from squeaky-clean.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Senator Ron Calderon speaks to the media outside Senate chambers on June 10, 2013, at the State Capitol. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

February 7, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown undermines his credibility on pension issues

CalPERS_building.JPGBy encouraging the public employees' retirement system to address its unfunded liabilities while avoiding action on the teachers' pension debt, Gov. Jerry Brown undermines his own credibility, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The CalPERS building in Sacramento.The Sacramento Bee/Anne Chadwick William

February 6, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Caltrans has lost its way

RP_HIGHWAY_49_SIGN.JPGAs the transportation picture has gotten more complicated, Caltrans no longer knows what it is supposed to do, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: California Highway 49 sign. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

February 5, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Millions spent on lobbying is just a drop in the bucket

JD_CAPITOL_LOBBYISTS_02.JPGWith hundreds of billions of dollars on the line in California's budget, interest groups will spend big to reap even bigger rewards, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Lobbyists crowd the halls outside of Assembly and Senate committee rooms on the fourth floor of the Capitol on August 18, 2003. The Sacramento Bee/John Decker

February 4, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California's Internet gap reflects broader disparities

computer_girl.JPGBoosting Internet use among black and Latino Californians could help with the "achievement gap" in test scores, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Valeria Cuevas, 10, plays a learning game at River Oaks Elementary School on July 25, 2013 in Galt, Calif. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

February 3, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Less water means more water politics

delta_aerial.JPGFriday's major announcement on water deliveries is just the latest major policy consequence coming out of California's drought, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Aerial photos of the region to be affected by the Delta water tunnels and intakes in the Courtland area on Wednesday, April 10, 2013. Highway 160 and Randall Island Road are seen near the top of the frame. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

January 31, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: California falling behind in critical infrastructure

truck_driving.JPGThe state's beleaguered transportation system deserves more attention from the Legislature than the trivial issues they focus on day in and day out, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Drivers navigate their vehicles through blowing sand east of Owen's lake on Highway 136 near Lone Pine, Calif. on November 21, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

January 30, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Assembly seeks solution for teacher pension debts

CalSTRS_building.JPGUntil the state figures out how to deal with its massive unfunded liabilities, any claim of a balanced budget is wishful thinking, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: A bicyclist keeps her sweater handy with dark clouds looming as she rides in the shadow of the CalSTRS headquarters building on Riverwalk Park in West Sacramento on September 30, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

January 29, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Rod Wright's conviction could be blow to state Senate

Rod_Wright.JPGIf state Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, loses his seat after being convicted of perjury and voter fraud, it would be a major loss of knowledge and common sense, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Senator Rod Wright, D-Inglewood listens to the vote on the budget plan on Feb. 18, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

January 28, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: New school construction bond wouldn't gibe with Brown's budget priorities

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for HA_SCHOOL_BUS2565.JPGThe bond fund that finances school construction and repairs has run out, but Gov. Jerry Brown is unlikely to support placing a new one on the November ballot, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Pleasant Grove High School students get off their bus onFeb. 20, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

January 27, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: New leadership not Legislature's only big change

de_Leon_Wright.JPGWith Southern California politicians set to take control of both houses, new term limits and a majority freshman Assembly, the California Legislature could begin to look very different, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Senators Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles talks with Senator Rod Wright, D-Inglewood during legislative informational hearings on gun laws on Jan. 29, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

January 24, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Net emigration slows California population growth

citizenship_oath.JPGThough births and foreign immigration keep California growing, more residents are leaving the state than coming these days, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Immigrants take an oath of citizenship at a naturalization ceremony at Raley Field in West Sacramento on July 10, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Renee C. Byer

January 23, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown's speeches have lost their way

Brown_card.JPGGov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address this year illustrated how he has become too staid and cautious with age, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown shows a card with the state budget as he delivers the 2014 State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature on Jan. 22, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

January 22, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Republican gubernatorial battle is internal

Tim_Donnelly.JPGWith Gov. Jerry Brown practically unbeatable, Neel Kashkari and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, are really running to determine the future of California's Republican party, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, announces he's running for California Governor, in Baldwin Park, Calif., on Nov. 5, 2013. The Associated Press/Nick Ut

January 21, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Crises define a leader's legacy

AmericanRiver.jpgNow that Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a drought emergency in California, he will be held responsible for how it turns out in the long run, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: A pair of fishermen stand near the shallow water of the American River below Watt Ave on January 11, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

January 17, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown will dominate November election

brownup.jpgWith a viable challenger yet to emerge, could Gov. Jerry Brown approach the record re-election rate of former Gov. Earl Warren?, Dan wonders.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown talks to members of the press on April 23, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

January 16, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Affluence is no excuse for bad behavior

Thumbnail image for Gatto.JPGA new bill from Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, would outlaw "affluenza" as a legal defense, but that's just common sense, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D- Los Angeles, leaves a hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. The Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli.

January 15, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Government owes better access to public info

Senate_website.jpgNew website plans from CalPERS and the state Senate obscure, rather than reveal, how they're using taxpayer money, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: The recently redesigned and relaunched state Senate website.

January 14, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Congressional retirement sets up game of musical chairs

George_Miller.jpgU.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, has announced that he will step down at the end of the year, shaking up the entire conversation around California's legislative leadership, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Rep. George Miller talks about his 40-year career in the U.S. Congress at his Martinez, Calif., home on on Jan. 12, 2014. Bay Area News Group/Jim Stevens

January 13, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Brown's debt talk is no action

brownbudgetrevise.jpgSimply acknowledging the state's billions in unfunded liabilities is not enough, Dan says. Gov. Jerry Brown must do more than hold a poster above his head at a press conference.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his revised budget plan at a news conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Renée C. Byer/Sacramento Bee

January 10, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Budget leak is a political game

budget2.JPGPoliticians try to keep secrets and journalists try to figure out what they are, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: California Governor Jerry Brown addresses members of the press about the State Budget for 2014-2015 at the Capitol in Sacramento on January 9, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

January 9, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Legislature's refusal to deal with pension debt is irresponsible

Creating new programs instead of dealing with unfunded liabilities is like skipping a house payment to buy a sports car, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

January 8, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Legislative leaders break with budget tradition

Announcing their budget priorities before Gov. Jerry Brown presents his 2014-2015 budget was an unorthodox--and highly political--move by state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

January 7, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: New legislative session is like first day of school

Lawmakers were like eager students on the first day of session, Dan says, though one has already been sent to detention.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

January 6, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Lawmakers also have an eye on internal elections in 2014

With both Senate and Assembly leadership up for grabs, internal politics will play a big role in the Legislature this year, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

January 3, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Inside Capitol and out, groups push for new taxes

Dan asks whether 2014 will be the year to raise taxes in California?

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

January 2, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: New year promises dividing lines over fiscal priorities

With additional money to either save or spend in the 2014-15 budget, there are sure to be policy battles between Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature in the new year, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 31, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: New law spotlights California's poverty

It says a lot that a state as rich as California has so many poor students, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 30, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Unemployment rate belies California's real job problem

As California gets back to work, the increasing disparity between coastal and inland communities is troublesome, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 20, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Special election reform has undercurrent of power grab

There have been an unusually large number of special elections this year, but that's no reason to give even more control to the governor, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 19, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Brown presidential rumors are nonsense

Gov. Jerry Brown wants to end his career on a high note, not a fourth failed campaign, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 18, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Prepare for a crowded ballot next November

With nearly 50 initiatives seeking to qualify for the November 2014 ballot, next fall could be overloaded with multimillion campaigns on hot-button issues, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 17, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Education establishment and reformers battle

Dan says a big battle is looming between California school districts and reformers over education spending.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 16, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California's slowing population growth has huge effect

California's current population growth is at less than half the rate of its peak, which affects everything from education to real estate, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 13, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Californians have mixed feelings about life in the state

Poll numbers are on the upswing, but enthusiasm for California living is still soft, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 12, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Budget season kicks off with new spending plans

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez would like to use most of next year's projected budget surplus, but will Gov. Jerry Brown be on board, Dan wonders?

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 11, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California tackles its hostile business environment

California politicians deny that the state's high taxes and extensive regulations discourage business investments, but actions speak louder than words, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 10, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Gov. Jerry Brown can't afford his legacy

California's proposed high-speed rail system and Delta water tunnels could be the signature achievements Gov. Jerry Brown is looking for, Dan says, but not if they remain in funding limbo.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 9, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Legislature's rising popularity not its own doing

The Legislature's once-dismal poll numbers are turning around, but that's simply a reflection of the state's economic health, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 6, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Ridley-Thomas elected because of father

Dan argues that a family connection is the best path to an Assembly seat these days.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 5, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: San Bernardino's police salary increase makes no sense

Bankrupt San Bernardino is mandated by its city charter to raise police salaries by $1 million this year, a move that Dan says is dumb.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 3, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Newsom's higher ed report lacks solutions

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom commissioned a new report on postsecondary education by the Committee for Economic Development that identifies plenty of problems with California's higher education system. But Dan says it lacks meaningful insight into possible reforms.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 1, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Democrats push back on education funding plan

After backing the governor's plan for a new school funding formula, Democratic lawmakers are raising questions about how the money will be spent.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 29, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown election watch continues

Regardless of coy Gov. Jerry Brown has been about his plans to run for another term, Dan says four more years is close to a sure thing.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 26, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Will high-speed rail keep rolling ahead?

Dan breaks down how a mixed ruling will shape the fate of California's controversial high-speed rail project.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 25, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Health law fractures California Democrats

A decision to let Californians's health insurance plans get canceled has Democrats running for cover, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 22, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: A day the other news halted

Dan remembers where he was, then a young reporter, on the day the president was shot.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 21, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California Dems face ballot backlash

Dan finds some signs that the Democratic grip on California politics is loosening a bit.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 20, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California's slippery sales tax stats

What's my sales tax again? Calculating the answer in California has become an increasingly convoluted exercise, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 18, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Political hijinks a source of guilty pleasure

It's hard not to smile a bit at politicians running for cover in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 15, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown gets real with UC regents

Dan takes a look at the harsh funding truth that Gov. Jerry Brown offered to leaders at the University of California.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 14, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Playing with California's poverty numbers

Accurately gauging California's poverty rate can be a slippery process, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 13, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Legislature's selective ethics on display

While Sen. Ron Calderon is under scrutiny for allegedly taking bribes, Dan notes that some lawmakers have had no trouble packing their bags for Hawaii.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 12, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown's predicament on poll numbers

How can a California electorate seemingly pleased with Gov. Jerry Brown's performance be so lukewarm about giving him another term? If nothing else, Dan says, it shows the political distance Brown has traveled.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 11, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Stockton not only California city in trouble

Rising pension costs continue to imperil California's cities, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 8, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Funds among 'Capitol's dirty little secrets'

A whopping fine could change how California politicians think about spending the money they pull in from donors, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 7, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Federal, state governments flub tech projects

A hearing on California's unemployment insurance issues, coupled with the probe of the federal healthcare website's failings, has Dan shaking his head.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 6, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Why Maldonado, Donnelly are really running

Republican gubernatorial candidates Tim Donnelly and Abel Maldonado don't really stand a chance of unseating Gov. Jerry Brown, Dan says. Instead, their campaigns will reflect internal Republican Party dynamics.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 5, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Sacramento no stranger to scandals

Sordid revelations have Dan wondering whether things ever really change in California's capital city.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 28, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California courts compete in clamor for cash

With a new agency aimed at ginning up cash, Dan notes, California's court system joins other state agencies in scrambling for a slice of the general fund pie.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 25, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California National Guard going too far

Years after a Sacramento Bee investigation found lapses at the California National Guard, Dan says the guard has reacted overzealously.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 24, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California bungles Napa veterans home

Dan wonders why California continues to maintain an antiquated veterans home rather than converting it into some assets to build a new one.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 23, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Bond sale tests California's finances

Financial markets are closely watching California's ability to pay off bonds given an increasing dependency on wealthy Californians for revenue, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 21, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Gavin Newsom goes to pot

Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to position himself for his next move with a new push to legalize marijuana, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 18, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California consumers changing car customs

Despite California's population soaring over the last few decades, gasoline consumption hasn't kept pace. Dan takes a look at why.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 17, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California's shrinking burden of bills

Despite Gov. Jerry Brown grumbling about a mountain of bills trapping him in the California Capitol, Dan points out that historically things used to be a lot worse.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 16, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown's prison problems persist

Gov. Jerry Brown continues to spar with the federal courts over California's prisons, and Dan says the feds just recorded a victory.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 15, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California flubs another technology project

An unemployment benefits backlog shows California's latest blunder in rolling out a state computer system, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 14, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California teacher termination bill tanks

Once again, Dan says, California has failed to enact a law making it easier for school districts to ax bad teachers.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.