Los Angeles Times

Jim Newton

Columnist

Jim Newton is editor at large of the Los Angeles Times and writes a weekly column for the Op-Ed page on the policy and politics of Southern California. 

Newton came to the Los Angeles Times in 1989, having previously worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and as a clerk at the New York Times, where he served as columnist James Reston's assistant from 1985-86. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the recipient of numerous local and national awards. He was part of the Los Angeles Times' coverage of the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and the earthquake of 1994, both of which were awarded Pulitzer Prizes to the staff. 

Newton also is the author of two critically acclaimed, best-selling biographies, "Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made," and "Eisenhower: The White House Years."

Recent Articles

  • How good environmental legislation goes wrong

    How good environmental legislation goes wrong

    The California Environmental Quality Act is a valuable protector of this state's resources. It guides planning by forcing agencies to consider the environmental implications of proposed projects. CEQA is also a woefully blunt instrument that thwarts economic growth and, perversely, can actually...

  • Why 'The People v. O.J. Simpson' should be required watching for America's police chiefs

    Why 'The People v. O.J. Simpson' should be required watching for America's police chiefs

    "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," FX's new miniseries about one of L.A.'s most spectacular celebrity trials, isn't perfect. It gets some details a little wrong — it conflated Nicole Brown Simpson's funeral with the viewing of her body in the first episode, for instance, and exaggerated...

  • 'Influence Machine' reveals how U.S. Chamber of Commerce oils the engine of politics

    'Influence Machine' reveals how U.S. Chamber of Commerce oils the engine of politics

    Nearly 50 years ago, California Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh famously compared campaign cash to mother's milk. Though money and influence have always shaped American politics, the nature of that power is changing. Driven by the rise of political action committees and a Supreme Court that has conflated...

  • Political consultant David Axelrod delivers in revealing 'Believer'

    Political consultant David Axelrod delivers in revealing 'Believer'

    As President Obama's political consultant, David Axelrod was guarded and disciplined when he appeared on the weekend talk shows. He stayed on message, with little hint of humor or personality. But the Axelrod we meet in his autobiography, "Believer," is a different creature altogether. This Axelrod,...

  • A journalist's recipe for fixing L.A.

    A journalist's recipe for fixing L.A.

    Efforts to improve local government and the services it provides have come and gone over the 22 years I have covered Los Angeles for this newspaper. Some have been successful: The Christopher Commission reset the accountability systems at the LAPD, and two charter reform commissions joined forces...

  • Drones and the LAPD

    Drones and the LAPD

    A narrow debate over the LAPD's proposed, limited use of a pair of unmanned aircraft — popularly known as drones — is prompting a broader community conversation about the tension between technology and privacy in a city where police have not always traversed that boundary well. ------------ FOR...

  • Thanks to the election, big opportunities arise for L.A.

    Thanks to the election, big opportunities arise for L.A.

    In the aftermath of last week's elections, most commentary naturally focused on the changing balance in the U.S. Senate. But the effect of that shift on the lives of most people is likely to be negligible: A body where a minority of Republicans could thwart progress now becomes a body where a minority...

  • Gridlock in Congress? Act locally

    Gridlock in Congress? Act locally

    The voters casting ballots in Tuesday's election will disagree on many things. But on one thing, at least, Americans are in agreement: They're frustrated with gridlock. But here is something to consider. While the intense partisanship in Washington has stymied almost all progress at the federal...

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