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Justice System

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  • The principled lobbyist: George Steffes explains why real people think the government's for rent

    The principled lobbyist: George Steffes explains why real people think the government's for rent
    George Steffes was a boy standing on Wilshire Boulevard when Dwight D. Eisenhower rolled by in a motorcade, and he was mightily impressed. But that's not what got him into politics. He went to 5 o'clock Mass one day in 1966 and ran into an acquaintance who was working on Ronald Reagan's gubernatorial campaign. Steffes volunteered. He went to Sacramento as Reagan's legislative aide and has been there ever since. He helped to found the first multi-person lobbying firm in Sacramento, Capitol Partners, where he's now “senior advisor,” no longer running the firm day to day. Almost 50 years in Sacramento have given him a long view of its roller-coaster politicking, including low points like the recent indictment of state Sen. Leland Yee. The ride has left him a bit queasy.
  • Why putting photos on Social Security cards won't save voting rights

    Why putting photos on Social Security cards won't save voting rights
    A certain William Wachtel, the co-founder of WhyTuesday, an election reform group chaired by former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, wrote me over the weekend to complain that I treated Young harshly by criticizing his proposal to require Social Security to...

    Window opens to curb legal corruption

    Window opens to curb legal corruption
    SACRAMENTO — The most shameful habit of California legislators arguably is their annual summer shakedown of lobbyists. But it finally may be ending, at least in the Senate. Senate leaders — rocked by the corruption scandals of two fellow...

    Ron Galperin, L.A.'s new city controller, wants to be right on the money

    Ron Galperin, L.A.'s new city controller, wants to be right on the money
    Two opposing forces squared off last week in the latest round of a long-running battle over a $40-million mystery. In one corner was one of the most powerful heavyweights in the history of local politics: Brian D'Arcy of the International Brotherhood of...

    Some thoughts on four ballot measures

    Some thoughts on four ballot measures
    SACRAMENTO — It's time to stop vacillating. Election day is almost here. There are still a few loose ends to straighten out on the California ballot. Things such as auto insurance, sex slavery and food labeling. Also an obscure legislative...