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The day the music died

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The day the music died

Every election cycle in California there emerges at least one person who decides, for the good of the state and to advance public policy, to spend millions of dollars. The expenditure typically accomplishes nothing, because it is an exercise not in philanthropy but in vanity. These folks spend their millions to try to get themselves elected.

Well, here's a better idea for what Al Checci, Jane Harman, Bill Simon, Steve Poizner, Darrel Issa, Steve Westly and Michael Huffington (if he has any left), might do with their money to advance public policy in California. They could underwrite a nonpartisan foundation that would publish a lively, provocative magazine on California government and the issues that confront it.

As it happens, just such a magazine has existed for the last 35 years. It's called California Journal, and on Wednesday it was placed on life-support. Its board of directors voted to suspend publication in the absence of sufficient private financing to subsidize the magazine's continued operation. About half of California Journal's annual $850,000 budget is covered by subscriptions and advertising. The rest comes from foundations and private underwriting.

Editor A.G. Block holds out hope that a funding source will be found within the next few months so that the magazine can resume publication and be rescued from its deathbed.

It seems a terrible irony at a time when the entertainment press and others are focused on Sacramento to provide gossipy coverage of the comings-and-goings of the state's celebrity governor, that a serious journalistic institution that has long provided thoughtful and substantive coverage of the Capitol would be so threatened. If the Journal folds, somehow Variety just won't fill the void.

54 Comments

I like to consider myself a common sense Republican and so I tend to take umbrage at politicians like Tony Strickland who cast stones in glass houses. In his recent letter to the Star about the need to redraw legislative districts for State office he talks about the need for reform and voter choice. Ironically, Mr. Strickland swamped the voters with thousands in lobbyist money to foist his wife Audra Strickland in the seat he had to give up because of term limits. Whats worse after giving us a even more right wing candidate than himself, his wife then choose to stoop to the practice of bigotry by insulting the patriotism of her democratic opponent Ferial Masry with phone bank messages saying she supports terrorism. These charges were leveled against a woman whose son recently returned from serving our nation while in Iraq as an Army Reservist. Mr. Strickland tenure in the State Assembly was at best innefectual, including votes supporting drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

Had it not been for the jerrmandering of the 37th District allowing him to use the Republican majority to his advantage his rhetoric would have little chance for survival. I, like many residents of Ventura County do support reform of our State district boundaries but prefer to do without false prophets.

Dang.... Masry move on!

Then again redistricting will be great. It will mean crooks like the Stricklands wont have a chance to win since they would have to win over some dems and most decline to state voters. So far Tony nor Audra has ever accomplished either

Flap, its disgusting how Audras campaign launched that last minute smear. Really shows a lack of values. Even worse they refused to admit it at first. Cowards and bigots have no place in ventura county. I invite you to defend the actions and message, or do you simply resort to childish attacks?

What's a non-partisan, anti-tax group like California Club for Growth fomenting redistricting fever anyway?

I can guess.

i don't know. maybe tony is thinking of higher office....but the districts here are already pretty one sided.

maybe he realizes this is truly a problem. too bad we can't trust either party to make fair districts.


and as far as the last minute smear. how come the star didn't cover it much?

From what i know working for a paper out in vacaville a long time back, papers wont cover last minute smears right around election day, its a long standing policy.

Tony ran for congress once but pulled out right at the filing deadline and probably has his eyes on McClintocks state senate seat since he is leaving.

The cal club for growth is clearly right wing , supply side-failed-reaganomics oriented. Besides that Strickland is in tight with christian fundamentalist groups, pandering to them with bills he introduced to allow a pregnant woman the ability to drive in the carpool lane.

In the words of one state assemblywoman "tony is just...dumb".

can you source your quote on being "dumb"

also, the star didn't cover the smear so how can we know you didn't just amke it up.

In addition to Tim Herdts blog entries there is this article from LA City Beat:

the Strickland campaign’s automated phone calls tried “to connect me to terrorism.” One call said, “Ferial Masry wants to give illegal immigrants California driver’s licenses, despite warnings from the 9/11 Commission saying it will only help terrorists.” Masry denies that she supports giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, but says she’s tired of the current system’s hypocritical hush-hush reliance on illegal workers, and advocates a federal solution.

http://www.lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=1380&IssueNum=75

Audra Strickland a poster child for corruption. Hiring each other with campaign funds. Lets not forget taking 26,600 from State Republicans to give to her husbands group. The California Club for Growth. Only that money was then used by DMH printing in Irvine to send attack mailers against Nicole Parra in the Central Valley (all a violation of proposition 34's rules on independent expenditures). One day the FPPC and good ole boy D.A. Totten might actually slam the two shysters over it...

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The day the music died - 95 percent accurate

Highly energetic post, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

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95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com
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