Atkins, David

Jason Hodge: A Republican in Democrat's Clothing

By David Atkins

Remember Jason Hodge, the corporate-backed Democrat running for California's 19th Senate District who "doesn't think you need higher taxes", running against progressive Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson?

Well, I just got a nice big glossy mailer from an organization called the California Senior Advocates League, saying that Jason Hodge would be the Democrat most capable of defeating the Republicans and calling Hannah-Beth Jackson the derogatory nickname "Taxin' Jackson."

What is the California Senior Advocates League? Well, it's a group that only seems to exist come election time. It runs a now-defunct blog called the Silver Dog Blog, whose latest post trashes the Affordable Care Act. And its funders? Mostly the San Diego and California Republican Parties, big oil and pharmaceutical interests. Most recently it received $20,000 from something called JobsPAC. And who funds JobsPAC? Mostly Philip Morris, Chevron, Anheuser-Busch, Anthem Blue Cross, PG&E and a host of similar companies and institutions.

One Possible Solution for a Sustainable Budget

By David Atkins

As anyone who hasn't been living under a rock in this state probably knows by now, California politics are at an unsustainable impasse.  Californians support extending taxes to balance the budget, and in particular support making the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share. On the other hand, when phrased generally, Californians prefer budget cuts to tax increases, but oppose any specific cuts to the budget that would make the slightest impact on the state's fiscal health. Additionally and more importantly, Californians don't support a repeal of Proposition 13, which creates the need for a 2/3 supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature to actually raise taxes.