The Inside Politics column incorrectly reported that Ralph and Norma Hernandez of Antioch were recalled from the City Council. They are former Antioch council members, but neither was recalled.
Venerable journalist and author Peter Schrag perfectly summed up California's 11 state ballot measures a few days ago.
"State government: The more we fix it, the worse it gets," he wrote in the Sacramento Bee.
Coincidentally, the Public Policy Institute of California's survey last week on voters' attitudes toward improving democracy contained two pertinent findings:
In other words, people who don't know the first thing about state and local government finances think they are making great decisions.
That explains a lot.
Don't you be one of those uninformed voters.
Yeah, the state voter guide is roughly 50,000 words but it's not exactly Tolstoy's "War and Peace." (588,000 words.)
Here's a tip veteran finance policy expert Fred Silva gave to the Contra Costa Leadership Alumni in Walnut Creek when the group met Thursday for a discussion about the statewide tax measures: Don't bother reading the whole voter guide, just the three or four pages per measure from the nonpartisan legislative analyst.
Sorry, there's no 140-character Twitter version. Yet.
speaking of time: A jury found Clayton Vice Mayor Joe Medrano guilty last week of felony embezzlement and put a hitch in his re-election hopes.
Medrano's former business partners portrayed him during an eight-day trial as an insurance broker who twisted information and stole money from their company, wrote Contra Costa Times reporter David DeBolt.
Medrano's council colleagues must now decide whether to remove Medrano from office immediately or leave his fate up to voters.
campaign heats up: Chevron clearly believes in helping fate along when it comes to voters' choices in the fierce 11-candidate Richmond City Council race.
The oil company-funded political action committee sent out a second blistering mailer targeting progressive peace activist Marilyn Langlois, a close ally of Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.
The first flier detailed Langlois' refusal to pay her federal income taxes as an anti-war statement.
The second mailer features four published statements, where Langlois writes that there is "sufficient evidence to indicate" that "elites" within the U.S. "military industrial complex" and the Central Intelligence Agency helped facilitate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Langlois isn't alone. The 9/11 Truth movement has plenty of followers.
But for most folks, the suggestion that the U.S. government helped orchestrate the death of nearly 3,000 of its own citizens is pretty far out there.
AND FINALLY: Former Antioch councilmembers and married gadflies Ralph and Norma Hernandez have topped themselves.
In the pair's published voter guide opposition argument to the Antioch Unified School District's $56.5 million bond measure, they wrote:
" ... AUSD continues to want more money no matter what! Bending over and taking it from them isn't the answer either!"
It's bad enough that any citizen would choose to use this appalling language on a school bond measure, of all things.
But how on earth did this crass and offensive sentence survive the voter guide editing process?
As it turns out, county election clerks cannot legally edit pro and con statements submitted for publication in the voter guide.
The statements are made available for a 10-day review and if someone objects to the content, the clerk's office will evaluate the request, said Registrar of Voters Steve Weir.
That's too bad.
Well, one can always consider the source and vote accordingly.