The Take: KJ is departing and Darrell Steinberg is moving in

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Our take


Kevin Johnson’s legacy as Sacramento mayor: After eight years as mayor, Mayor Johnson leaves Sacramento in much better shape than he found it. On Tuesday, he hands off to Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg a more confident city on the rise.

Steinberg arrives with big goals and high hopes: Darrell Steinberg intends to start rolling immediately once he is sworn in as Sacramento’s mayor Tuesday at the California Railroad Museum, and anyone who has watched him over the years would expect nothing less.


Dan Morain, Tesla is playing the tax subsidy game, and winning: Remember back to 2010, when California’s unemployment rate was 12.5 percent, and Toyota sent 20,000 wage earners in Fremont and environs to the unemployment lines by shutting what was the last car factory in California, the old NUMMI plant.

Joyce Terhaar: Will Sacramento’s new city officials continue to keep secrets? When Darrell Steinberg isn’t talking plans for the city or public policy, he’s committing to greater public transparency once he steps into his new job at Sacramento City Hall this week. That would be a welcome change from the recent reality of the Kevin Johnson era.

Dan Walters: Economic reality – huge shortfalls in pension fund earnings assumptions – and a tactical error by union officials may create immense changes next year in how California’s public pensions are calculated and financed.


Markos Kounalakis: Where will Donald Trump go first? Japan, Russia, China, Italy, Germany, France – maybe even India, Australia or Argentina? Tipping favor toward any of the G8 member countries other than Canada for a “first visit” would create new foreign policy opportunities and challenges.

Pat Talamantes and Dave Lucchetti: The Sacramento region must focus on jobs to ensure a brighter future.

Jim Mayer and Bill Mueller: Addressing income inequality is critical to California’s prosperity.

Mike Males: Why do California’s whites vote so differently than whites elsewhere?

Ralph Hexter, Brian King and Robert S. Nelsen: Despite immigration policy, higher ed leaders in the Sacramento region stand with Dreamers.

Rob Turner: Sacramento’s Powerhouse Science Center, a bold architectural statement on science, education and the power of urban design, has been unceremoniously reduced to a wish list item. Unless we act now.

Their take

Fresno Bee: The California water package – negotiated by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco – is a worthy effort that reflects years of negotiations and compromises by many interests.

Modesto Bee: Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, California’s two illustrious senators, have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in so many battles, it’s sad they are now at odds. Only water could cause such a rift.

L.A. Times: The water is bad for California’s environment: Dianne Feinstein’s effort to add some flexibility to Delta rules to provide more water for farms and urban areas in times of drought – despite serious concerns that they could weaken species protection – might still be worth the risk if they were part of a final compact between environmental and agricultural interests on Delta water.

San Diego Union-Tribune: Marty Block’s make-work job is California democracy at its shabbiest.

Las Vegas Sun: Las Vegas-area lawmakers should protect Nevadans by pushing to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines.

Raleigh News & Observer: As university presidents’ pay rises, so should questions about how much is enough.

Charlotte Observer: After six years of vowing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Republicans still haven’t figured out the second part. In large part, that’s because they can’t come up with an alternative that provides the benefits Americans have grown fond of.

Miami Herald: Donald Trump could have the last laugh on his critics and score a major victory for his own presidency if he were to make comprehensive reform his own cause and thus solve the immigration problem once and for all.

National Review: Donald Trump has managed to assemble a strong Cabinet that balances various competing interests on the right. Andy Puzder could be a valuable part of that team. But Republicans should demand that Puzder follow Trump’s lead when it comes to immigration.

Syndicates’ take

Frank Bruni: Pity Donald Trump’s end of his search for a secretary of state.

Timothy Egan: Trump’s inauguration day walk.

Kathleen Parker: What kind of evil is Dylann Roof?

Dana Milbank: How Chuck Schumer and the Democrats are preparing to fight.

Ruben Navarrette: A creep was elected president; get over it.

Paul Krugman: Bad air days.

David Leonhardt: The American dream, quantified.

Tweet of the day

“It must be clear that Donald Trump is not a loyal American and we should prepare for the next four years accordingly. @realDonaldTrump” Evan McMullin@Evan_McMullin