William Bradley, a California-based political analyst, has served as a
senior advisor to Democratic presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, a
chief consultant to state legislative committees, and a Los Angeles energy
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. -- As the imminence of war in Iraq has increased -- and even as American public opinion has become more supportive of that war -- opposition emerged
as the central theme of a California Democratic Party convention last
weekend that was visited by a half-dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls. In
the first major campaign "cattle call" outside Washington, the
opponents of war with Iraq, most notably former Gov. Howard
Dean (D-Vt.), were rapturously received. The supporters of war, widely regarded as the
leading candidates in the nascent campaign, were not.
California Gov. Gray Davis' signature on legislation that would bring far more power to the state's legendary farmworker union has capped and brought into focus a stunning year of progressive accomplishment in the Golden State. Together, a very liberal Legislature and a very calculating governor have enacted the most extensive renewable energy requirement in the country, the first law to fight global warming, the first law authorizing state funds for stem-cell research on fetal and embryonic tissue and the first comprehensive paid family-leave program. But nothing is more dramatic than the first major legislation in a quarter-century helping the farmworkers, who are not covered by national labor law.
He's been called the harbinger of a "New Republicanism," a West Coast Michael Bloomberg who can customize the GOP for a Democratic California much as Bloomberg has for a Democratic New York. But for all the hype and hope that's been invested in Richard Riordan, the former Los Angeles mayor who's trying to eke out a victory in the March 5 Republican gubernatorial primary, his stumblebum campaign has revealed a candidate who has trouble defining himself, let alone redefining Republicanism.
After two decades of drift and a year of crisis, the
Democrats have finally proposed a serious, future-oriented energy policy. The
Energy Policy Act of 2002 (Senate bill S1766), introduced by Senate Energy
Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, does not come a moment too soon:
The lack of a coherent Democratic energy doctrine has played to the benefit of a
particularly oil-intent Republican White House. Notably, House Democrats helped
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney beat back amendments on auto fuel efficiency and
Alaskan oil drilling last summer. Of the two parties' long-term energy
strategies, Bill Wicker, communications director for the Senate Energy Committee,
The spectacular fall of the house of Enron would have
been a huge news story were it not for the terror war. Just a few months ago,
Enron Corp. ranked number seven on the Fortune 500. But in little more than 15
months, it managed to lose over 99 percent of its equity. As the nation's biggest
electricity marketer in the late 1990s, the company led the way for the energy
industry--taking advantage of deregulated markets, boldly forging ahead into new
ventures around the globe, and impressing uncounted business commentators with
its "innovation" and "brand-new thinking." Enron's vaunted CEO, Kenneth L. Lay,
emerged as one of the principal backers of, and advisers to, George W. Bush.