Winners Take All

Runoffs, independents and the open primary

California’s polls will look decidedly different in June. Instead of the customary partisan primary ballots, this year’s options will include all the candidates for a particular office, and voters can choose any candidate, regardless of their own party registration.

May 1, 2012 Tony Quinn

Let’s Twist Again

Banks struggle with large debt and minimal borrowers

The Federal Reserve calls it Operation Twist, named after the 1961 Chubby Checker hit that sparked gyrating hips in dance halls across America. That was also the first year the Fed embarked on a mission to purchase long-term Treasury notes in an effort to drive down interest rates on long-term loans.

Feb 1, 2012 Allen Young

Redistrict Remix

New district lines mark big opportunities

This year, for the first time in a decade, California is likely to see seriously contested races for Congress. That is because the new Citizens Redistricting Commission dismantled the 2001 congressional gerrymander that kept almost all districts safe for incumbent parties.

Feb 1, 2012 Tony Quinn

Contract Killer

Local businesses struggle with dwindling government deals

Companies in the Sacramento region have long counted on government contracts to smooth out the gyrations of economic cycles. Local, state and federal governments had deep pockets and a seemingly unending appetite for goods and services.

Companies in the Sacramento region have long counted on government contracts to smooth out the gyrations of economic cycles. Local, state and federal governments had deep pockets and a seemingly unending appetite for goods and services.

Feb 1, 2012 Robert Celaschi

Gaining Control of Pensions

Public pensions are draining public coffers

When it comes to the California public pension system, one thing is crystal clear: it absolutely must and will change. The question is when and how. Practically every expert who has analyzed the state’s pension figures uses the word “unsustainable” to describe the system.

Jan 1, 2012 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Compensation Boomerang

An overcorrected workers' comp system seeks balance

In 2003, California’s workers’ compensation rates led the nation, setting off a debate about the cost of doing business here. Enter former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his sweeping 2004 reforms to the system — everything from disability payments to medical care guidelines to return-to-work benefits got an overhaul.

Jan 1, 2012 Samantha Bronson