Californians once embarked on a quixotic crusade to help change a nation and succeeded, thanks to a politician who was anything but a dewy-eyed liberal.

Tom McClintock used the occasion of a 2005 hearing into state pensions to denounce government workers' rich retirement benefits, as was his wont back when he was in California's Senate.

In one of most divisive civil rights issues of the day, California Gov. Brown resisted the electorate by refusing to defend an initiative that had stripped minorities of basic rights.

Steve Blank made enough money from Silicon Valley startups that he could retire at 45, buy 660 acres south of Half Moon Bay and build a mansion above one of California's most pristine beaches.

In a week when love, marriage and legal proceedings were in the air, it seemed perfectly fitting that Sean Parker would be on the phone.

The California Legislature has decreed that it is within its rights to approve legislation that specifically targets one particular business.

California has laws protecting against gun sales to felons and people who have a history of severe mental illness. But people so inclined can drive to a Reno gun show, find a private individual with a weapon to sell and throw down sufficient cash to cover the price.

No matter whether it's called budget dust, Christmas tree ornaments or bling, the massive $145 billion state budget and 22 trailer bills that implement it are crammed with stuff, much of it added with little public airing.

After determining that Paul Weston was neither a danger to himself nor gravely mentally disabled, Sacramento County jailers released him at 11:13 p.m. Weston started walking.

Talk about mission creep.

Sen. Ron Calderon, whose Capitol office was searched by the FBI last week, may never be indicted or see the inside of a prison cell.

Bill Lockyer has been one of the most driven, flawed and incredibly talented politicians of our time.

Bill Lockyer has been one of the most driven, flawed and incredibly talented politicians of our time.

In the past five years, 29 states have imposed new restrictions on abortions. California headed in the opposite direction.

Dr. Roger J. Foster's examination room is in a seedy office next to a boarded-up Sacramento city incinerator in a scruffy Alkali Flat lot of warehouses and used car dealers.

Money flowing through Sacramento lately can mean only one thing: Gambling is front and center again in the Capitol.

Americans for Job Security, a political operation with a name that is a cross between pabulum and platitude, did what it was set up to do: help a rich man hide his multimillion-dollar donation to a campaign.

Abel Maldonado couldn't get elected lieutenant governor when he ran against Gavin Newsom in 2010 and failed to dislodge Rep. Lois Capps from her Santa Barbara-area congressional seat in 2012.

Tim Crews was in his element, chatting up lawyers, felons and other courtroom denizens, and waiting for a judge to rule on whether he needed to comply with the Glenn County district attorney's demand that he turn over notes from some of the muck he had raked.

Steve Glazer's fight with Democrats might be a footnote to the 2012 election, except for what it shows about the dominant party in California and the new political order of the top-two primary.

Rep. Ami Bera, one of two Democratic physicians in the House, doesn't want Obamacare to fail.

At least some of those grease spots on the Assembly and Senate floors are what's left of grand legislation to raise taxes on the oil industry.

The Marquez Brothers fight will get rougher and spread as workers like Rosaura Mendoza seek better wages and benefits from bosses like Gustavo Marquez.

Attorney General Kamala Harris has a Google issue.

Gov. Jerry Brown hopes that voters don't focus on the $68 billion for high-speed rail, or on the debacle in which the state Department of Parks and Recreation hid $54 million.

Delaware has a reputation for being friendly to corporations. It has now landed one that received a $200 million subsidy, courtesy of the state of California.

Dan Morain, editorial page editor

Dan Morain

Dan Morain, editorial page editor, has been a columnist at The Sacramento Bee since 2010. As a news reporter, he covered the California Supreme Court when Rose Bird was chief justice, the Legislature when Willie Brown was speaker and the Governor's Office during Gray Davis' tenure. He spent 27 years at the Los Angeles Times, where his final assignment was to be part of the team that covered the 2008 presidential campaign. He and his wife, Claudia Morain, have three children, each of whom attended public schools and California's public universities.

Email: dmorain@sacbee.com
Phone: 916-321-1907
Twitter: @DanielMorain

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