CA Dem update

Due to problems with the wireless setup, I was live-notetaking but not actually liveblogging from the convention today. I’ll post several items as time allows. Short version: Edwards was great; Richardson was pretty bad in the hall and worse in a presser; the two of them agreed that “earned legalization” ought to include learning English; the CodePink folks got their out-now resolution (which read literally wouldn’t even have allowed funds to pay for gasoline to get the troops out of Iraq) blocked by a quorum call and went home mad.

One important correction: a Sacramento insider gave me the lowdown on why the head of the prison guards’ union suddenly started ranting against the “prison-industrial complex.” Instead of the 78,000 new prison beds the Gubernator wanted, and CCPOA supported, the Guv and the Democrats in the legislature agreed on some short term money to hire 20,000 out-of-state private correctional beds, just to avoid a federal court order capping prison population. So the cynical view sould be that he wasn’t mad about putting more human beings in cages, just about doing so without paying his members $100,000 a year to watch them.

But the cynical view isn’t obviously right. It seems possible that Schwarzenegger’s stab in the back convinced him that the strategy of working with conservatives to cut education funding and boost prison funding is a mistake, and that CCPOA will now make common cause with the teachers’ union. Color me skeptical, but odder things have happened.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com