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What’s The Matter With California?

by Bradley Matthews

Congratulations to Jim Lacy and Katy Grimes on their new book California’s War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins, Who Loses? We asked Grimes some questions about the book, and California’s long-time political problems. Read the interview below for more!

What is the underlying problem with California — why can’t it get its act together?

California’s coastal and political elites make laws and set rules for others but exempt themselves. They celebrate rampant lawlessness from illegal aliens, which they see as future progressive voters. In California, the middle class has become an endangered species, vanishing due to the bad schools, unassimilated immigrants, costly entitlement programs, dangerous ‘no-go’ neighborhoods dominated by violent gangs, a serious government-created upsurge in crime, and staggering poverty — all the consequences of the state’s own policies, set by the progressive elites.

What are two or three solutions you believe that would most help California?

Immigrants must assimilate into California’s culture, which is most cases, is far better than what they fled. And the coastal and political elites need to delve into 1950’s – 1960’s California and study how good state government was then, and why. If not, Californians will never again have affordable water, electricity, or housing; safe freeways, roads, levees and dams; or healthy, vibrant schools.

What inspired you to write this book?

I am a California native, and Jim Lacy is a long-time resident of the state. We love California and have no plans to leave. However, the Golden State, which once was the beacon of opportunity, now has the highest poverty rate in the nation, and is home to one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients.

California has become Two Californias: we have the largest number of billionaires and the largest number of people below the poverty line. California has the highest income taxes in the nation, the highest state sales tax, the highest gas taxes, and the highest state corporate tax west of the Mississippi — and our politicians continue to impose even more tax schemes.

California, which once was known for its remarkable public school system, now has one of the worst school systems in the nation: abysmally low reading and math test results, a high dropout rate and the highest number of pupils per teacher in the country..

Yet with all its problems, California’s liberal leaders have decided that rather than working on fixing their own state, it is more important to grandstand politically, and declare war on Donald Trump and his policies.

Tell us more about you.  What is your personal and professional background?

I am a longtime credentialed political investigative journalist, covering the California state legislature and the governor’s office, state agencies, and the regulations and policies imposed on California businesses and residents.

Much of my interest in California business is first hand… I worked for 20 years as a labor law specialist and Human Resources Director for my husband’s large commercial manufacturing business. He closed his 40-year business in 2010, largely due to harsh state-imposed labor laws, excessively high taxes and oppressive regulations, no longer able to compete with businesses in less regulated, lower tax states. From 2001-2013, California lost more than 700,000 manufacturing jobs.

I’m a proud Navy mom; my son is a United States Naval Academy graduate, now a Lieutenant in the US Navy. I’m an everyday gourmet cook, a gardener, a runner and power walker, and have two dogs – a German Shepherd and an Australian Shepherd.

And, most importantly, I don’t want to leave my beautiful native state.


Tell us a little more about yourself! 

  • Favorite Movie: Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Favorite TV Show: Sherlock (with Benedict Cumberbatch)
  • Favorite Band:  Pat Metheny Group
  • Favorite Food/Drink: Mediterranean cuisine, Chardonnay
  • Where do you get your news from primarily? I read anything and everything, from the WSJ to Pravda, BBC, Daily Mail UK, all California newspapers, to the smallest local newspapers.
  • If you could meet any person, dead or alive, who would it be?  Socrates – I’d learn Greek for Socrates.
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Eastern Europe: Czech Republic and Hungary


  1. Ben

    Bruce, a Pack Rat is known for collecting or pilfering things to stash away in its lair. California gives more to Washington DC in taxes than it gets in services back. It helps to “subsidize” other states that are poorer. At the same time it supports more services to the people living within its borders.
    It appears California is the victim of Pack Rats that take more than they give!

    September 25, 2017,6:20 pm

  2. Bruce

    Update the California Flag to show the state animal that is a Pack Rat!

    September 25, 2017,4:56 pm

  3. Ben

    Wow, so much to debate here! I could take issue with almost every sentence. Yes, California was a very different state in the fifties and sixties, so was the entire USA. How much was due to the governance by the governor or state legislature, impact of federal government, national economy, other social forces can be and will be debated for decades.
    Yes, California does have high taxes and as a native who moved away after college I would have a hard time now in my social security years being able to afford moving back. Keep in mind, the state also can provide a higher standard of living for its citizens, on balance than states that are more poor and cannot collect more tax monies. New York also taxes high, but they also provide more.
    California may have lost jobs in some sectors, (manufacturing is mentioned), but has gained in high tech fields.
    Cost of living is higher in the state (overall), but so are paychecks (overall). The state cannot be doing all bad as it has a higher GDP than over 150 countries in the world. Without California the entire country would hurt economically.
    Finally, socially, California has a long history of assimilating and being assimilated into the many cultures of people who have moved there from the earliest Europeans, Asians, Latinos, Africans, displaced Americans. All have made contributions that makes the state rich, diversified, exciting and wealthy.
    Personally I would rather live in such a place than some other areas I have lived where generations never move away from their birth counties, are not introduced to other peoples and cultures and have less opportunities to expand their minds.
    I do sometimes wish I again lived in California, but to do so on my retirement income would mean I would live a poorer life than I have here in the Southwest.

    September 24, 2017,10:21 am

  4. Bob Uda

    At one time before, Kalifornika used to be a great state under Republican governors Reagan, Deukmejian, and Wilson. Schwarzenegger was a RINO joke. After four terms, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown has destroyed California, which is now Kalifornika.

    September 23, 2017,10:22 pm

  5. Jane

    Well said Fran.

    September 23, 2017,4:36 pm

  6. Larry

    Brenda appears to have a very limited vocabulary…consisting primarily of four-letter words. This womyn is no doubt a product of California’s Third World education system…sad…

    September 23, 2017,1:32 pm

  7. Fran Tatsch

    Question: What’s right with California?
    Answer: Nothing

    September 22, 2017,4:29 pm

  8. Laura G. Holmes

    Brenda, again with the obnoxious, uneducated vitriol. GET SOME HELP! Your anger will be your downfall. No one can erase history. I don’t think anyone would want to. However, your former president will go down in history as one of the worst, if not the worst president in history. If the history books tell the truth (if the liberals do not write them), the truth will come out loud and clear. You are the sad, pathetic and angry individual who needs some serious help.

    September 22, 2017,9:43 am

  9. Ivy Rivard

    First off,you’re a troll.Uneducated,filled with hatred,spewing propaganda,probably unpaid,but ever ready to hate Trump and rant about lies while you are obviously unable to look at the rampant corruption of O Bama and the Democratic party.
    Oh,by the way,don’t bother with messages back to me.They hit the trash without being read.
    Your hatred is perfectly obvious without a need for more communication.

    September 21, 2017,4:10 pm

  10. Brenda Hatfield

    This guy is a fucking moron. And all of what he is saying are LIES, just like trump lies every single day. Totally pathetic and seriously what the fuck is he still railing about President Obama. He won (albeit because he cheated) but drop it all fucking ready. He will NEVER erase President Obama from history, and everything he does shows his true racist self, which is what will be written in history books about him, along with his being an idiot savant.

    September 21, 2017,3:52 pm

  11. Laura G. Holmes

    I thank GOD everyday that I no longer live in California. They need to follow through on their threat to pull away from the union. They can have as many illegals as they want. Their taxpayers need to be on the hook to support them. They can even have Crooked Hillary as their president. They would deserve everything that would befall them.

    September 21, 2017,8:54 am

  12. Bill

    It would be interesting if they gave some concrete examples of their what’s wrong. I have lived in California for 50 years and do not see the problems the same at all.

    September 20, 2017,6:04 pm

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