About George Skelton

Political columnist George Skelton has covered government and politics for The Times since 1974. Through the years he has been a political writer in Los Angeles, Sacramento bureau chief and White House correspondent. He has written a column on Sacramento politics, "Capitol Journal," since 1993. Prior to joining The Times, he was the Sacramento bureau manager for United Press International. His other jobs include political writer for The Sacramento Union, state capital writer and sports writer for United Press International, and local government reporter for the Sunnyvale (Calif.) Daily Standard. He received a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1959 from San Jose State College in San Jose, Calif. A Santa Barbara native, he is married and has three daughters.

Old Jerry Tries to Fix Young Jerry’s Mistake

Hang around long enough and you might see things turn full circle. People included. Like a comet, they come back around. Gov. Jerry Brown is a comet. He dominated the Capitol cosmos two generations ago, floated off and circled back. Now one of the major public policy issues of 40 years ago also has returned, meteor-like. It concerns criminal sentencing. Like too many things involving government, however, the jargon is wonky: "determinate" and "indeterminate." Put simply, it's … [Read more...]

Gov. Jerry Brown Wins Big on Prison Crowding Compromise

Any way you score it, the compromise legislation on California prison crowding is another sweet victory for Gov. Jerry Brown. The governor, in fact, hasn't suffered a major defeat at the Capitol in two years. Credit four factors: Fellow Democrats control the place. Budget bills now require only a simple majority vote. Brown carefully picks his shots, focusing on just one or two issues at a time. He's not exactly a rookie. He's 3-for-3 on big at-bats in the Legislature this … [Read more...]