Joe Mathews is a journalist, an Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation, and a contributing writer at the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of The People's Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy and coauthor of the book California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix it.

California’s fiscal crisis is mushrooming, and Governor Moonbeam seems powerless to stop it. Joe Mathews on Brown’s call for ‘stoicism,’ and why it’s not working.

California’s governor was supposed to join left and right and get his state’s budget under control. Joe Mathews on how Brown has failed on all counts.

While governors from Wisconsin to New York battle the unions over budgets, California’s Jerry Brown is giving labor what it wants now—and may ultimately win bigger budget concessions.

California's governor leaves office January 3, but he isn’t going quietly. Joe Mathews on how the action hero is sucking up all Jerry Brown's oxygen—and why Brown doesn't mind.

Forget Fiorina and Whitman. California's most influential businesswoman is Anne Gust Brown, the new governor's wife. Joe Mathews on how she keeps Jerry Brown grounded.

Schwarzenegger pressured Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown to join him for an event last night she should have skipped. Joe Mathews on why the governator turned on his own party’s candidate to succeed him.

Jerry Brown narrowly leads in the race for California’s statehouse. But bringing in 42 this weekend risks stirring up some bad memories. Joe Mathews on the Democrats’ big-name frenemies.

The ethics charges against Maxine Waters prove California has the worst congressional delegation in the country. Joe Mathews on how little the lousy team does for the troubled state.

Carly Fiorina is a near lock in today’s Republican Senate primary—and she can thank Sarah Palin for her big lead. Joe Mathews on how the Alaskan managed to prove so influential in, of all places, California.