Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut is a senior fellow and Western region director for the R Street Institute. Write to him at sgreenhut@rstreet.org. His political views are his own.

They’re Coming After the Prop. 13 ‘Loophole’

 

Sacramento The award for the most ridiculous opening paragraph in a news story, this week anyway, goes to CBS Sacramento for its coverage of a 2020 ballot measure that the secretary of state has recently approved for signature gathering: “A ballot measure that would close a loophole in property taxes for commercial businesses has qualified for […]

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Surprise! DMV May Have Registered Non-Citizen Voters

 

We never could have seen this one coming. News stories in recent weeks show that a new California motor-voter law that requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to automatically register people who have California driver’s licenses or state identification cards (unless they opt out) is rife with errors, potentially allowing ineligible people and noncitizens to vote in elections. It’s turned into a major scandal, even in Democratic-controlled California.

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Outrageous Public Pay Is Cause of Bad Roads

 

Sacramento California conservatives thought they were riding the cusp of a populist wave when they qualified Proposition 6 for the November ballot. If passed, that statewide initiative would repeal the Democrats’ cynical and unnecessary increase in gas taxes and vehicle-license fees. As I argued last week, the governor and his allies always shortchange infrastructure funding as […]

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Who Is Being Cynical Here?

 

Sacramento Many Californians have this weird notion that the rest of the country is like some kind of Third World backwater, yet those of us who travel around the country are always struck by the alternate reality. You can drive through Texas, Colorado, South Dakota, and elsewhere and find beautifully maintained freeways and bridges. Congestion […]

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Dems to Farm Workers: ‘No, No Puedes’

 

Sacramento It’s taken nearly five years of administrative battles, legislative interference, and lawsuits, but the California state government has finally counted farm workers’ votes in a union election at the state’s largest fruit grower, Fresno-based Gerawan Farming. The final verdict, tallied on Tuesday, explains why the Jerry Brown administration and Democratic statehouse leaders did everything […]

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Dallas Shooting Cause for Outrage

 

Sacramento The recent shooting death of Botham Jean by a Dallas police officer ought to send a chill down the spine of anyone who believes in limited government, property rights, and other conservative principles. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of unarmed, law-abiding people shot to death by police as they were trying to […]

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Renewables Goal Is All About Posturing

 

Sacramento There’s an old saw about government officials and activists who want to scare the public into embracing some big life-changing policies. You don’t want the predicted catastrophic event to be too far out into the future, because people will shrug and not worry about it. But you don’t want the predicted event to come […]

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Bailing Out on a Just Solution

 

Sacramento I’m not the only non-leftist who believes that the nation’s criminal-justice system is badly in need of substantive reform. I’ve covered it at the state and local level and, quite frankly, conservatives ought to be far more concerned about the way things operate and far less willing to instinctively side with police and prosecutors, who […]

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Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

 

Sacramento At a conference examining California’s housing crisis, one of the more liberal audience members expressed her frustration at those of us who even talked about free markets. I don’t recall her exact words, but the mere mention of such ideas were a non-starter. Apparently, such notions shouldn’t be raised in polite company given what […]

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Money for Nothing and the Rent’s for Free

 

Sacramento After debating rent control in Santa Monica on Monday with a leader of a liberal community group, I was left thinking about a great quotation from a famous left-wing Californian, author Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” In this […]

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