In governance, as in many things, experience matters. Having been down a challenging path once or twice or many times before makes a tremendous difference in how one navigates that path again. Experienced politicians know the players, the motivations and the range of reasonable possibilities…

One and done. That ought to be Terry Maxwell’s record in the Bakersfield City Council ledger. One term, four years and several thousand hours of mostly misguided obstruction.

Bakersfield has the good fortune of having two solid candidates to replace Harvey Hall, the only mayor many first-time voters will have ever known. Hall, legendary for both his long stint of dedicated service to the city and his array of tailor-made suits, leaves after a city-record four terms.

An eye-popping $1.5 billion in local school bonds will appear on Kern County ballots in November. Voters are being asked to help finance the construction of new schools to accommodate an increasing number of students, expand existing schools and repair decades-old deteriorating schools.

Making a recommendation about a ballot initiative is not the same as handicapping a race. Even when the polls seem to indicate voters’ strong support, it is sometimes necessary to swim against the political tide.

Sex and money. What more could catch your attention when sorting through the many candidates and measures on this November’s huge ballot? How about also worker safety and the control of sexually-transmitted diseases? All of that is at stake with Proposition 60, an initiative that would requi…

We asked this before, we ask it again. Why is Proposition 59 on the November ballot? When California legislators passed a bill way back in 2014 to grandstand and put an “advisory measure” challenging the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission on the Cal…

With California now having one of the nation’s lowest tax rates on cigarettes, the state is long overdue for a raise. Proposition 56 on the November ballot proposes to add a $2 state tax to buying a pack of cigarettes. The rate would be somewhat higher for other tobacco products. And for the…

A deal is a deal, right? When California voters passed Proposition 30 in 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown promised that the sales and income tax increases it authorized would be temporary, short-term stopgaps to prop up the state’s recession-battered budget.

Representing the people of California should not be done in secret. It should not be done thoughtlessly. But that is what often happens at the end of legislative sessions, when politicians meet behind closed doors, “gut and amend” legislation, and then ask their colleagues to vote “yes” on s…