FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Dan Spencer

On perchlorate, regulators have abandoned duty to public

In California, the state’s financial and weather outlooks are in many ways the same: all dried up. Now, environmental lobbyists and restless government regulators aim to worsen the forecast for both.

The duo have managed success largely as a consequence of the complicated nature of the issue, relying on an uninformed and distracted public — like cattle to the slaughter, taxpayers and consumers won’t know what’s happened until it’s already over.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)—think of it as red tape ground zero—recently revised the state’s public health goal for perchlorate, from six parts per billion (ppb) to a unnecessary and expensive standard of one ppb. Perchlorate is a manufactured chemical that also happens to be present naturally at low levels.

Don’t get lost in the science of parts per billion: a tighter standard simply means that the state regulators would force water utilities, consumers and farmers to cover the hundreds of millions of dollars in… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Hobnobbing with the Pope to Stop Climate Change: The Inside Scoop

Californians on vacation in recent weeks may not be aware that their Governor Jerry Brown attended a conference about climate change on July 21-22, 2015at the Vatican, with Pope Francis in attendance. In addition to arranging for the attendance of Governor Brown, the Vatican also invited mayors of cities “of international importance” to attend the conference.

The mayors of San Francisco and San Jose accepted their invitations, along with mayors from eight other American cities. (The Mayor of Los Angeles did not attend but participated in a joint statement of support.) All attendees were Democrats, although the Vatican claimed that Republican mayors had been invited but declined.

Governor Brown also attended, and he came bearing a gift from the California… Read More

Katy Grimes

Real ‘Income Inequality’ Is In UC, CSU Academia

Those on the left who wail incessantly about “income inequality” need look no further than California academia. While the left focuses like a laser beam on private sector CEO salaries, the salaries in government and state run academia are soaring.

There’s no risk being a public official; the real risk belongs to CEO’s who can be tossed out of their jobs on the whim of boards of directors. Private sector employees are subject to performance reviews and standards — it’s called merit. When was the last time anyone in government was terminated for poor performance? The faulty Oakland Bay bridge… no heads have rolled yet on that.

Income Inequality Belongs to California Academia

The UC Regents approved 3 percent raises for 15 of the University of California’s highest-paid executives. The new pay scale for the five UC chancellors are: $772,500 for UC San Francisco’s Samuel Hawgood; $516,446 for UC Berkeley’s Nicholas Dirks; $441,334 for UCLA’s Gene Block; $436,120 for UC San Diego’s Pradeep Khosla; and $424,360 for UC Davis’ Linda… Read More

Catrina Rorke

Proposed Changes to California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

[Publisher’s Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, we are pleased to present this column from Catrina Rorke.]

Hard as it may be to believe, we’re beginning to hear rumblings of sensibility from California’s electricity markets. Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison both have written to the state’s Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce to request a smart and much-needed change to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

As the rules are currently defined, power generated from so-called distributed resources – smaller, decentralized sources that produce power at the point of use – does not count as… Read More

Katy Grimes

The Next State Scandal: California Fish and Game Commission

The Fish and GameCommission Ignores California State Legislature – So, Who Has Oversight?

Given the recent criticism surrounding the California Fish and Game Commission, it’s only a matter of time before a state investigation is launched looking into their actions.

Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, addressed the California Fish & Game Commissionin February about legislation dealing with Bobcat trappings. Gray explained the legislative intent of Assembly Bill 1213, dealing with bobcat trappings, and said the legislature voted on the bobcat trapping bill with the anticipation that any decisions would be scientific and fact based. Gray asked the commission to hold to the Legislature’s findings, which narrowed the bill from a complete statewide ban “…because of the lack of reliable Bobcat assessments in California, and impact on local businesses which rely on hunting and trapping,” Gray explained. See the video:Read More

Richard Rider

NEWSFLASH! San Diego water rates among highest in nation. Well, not exactly a newsflash . . .

A 2015 U-T survey of home water bills for the 30 largest U.S. cities found that for 200 gallons a day usage, San Diego has the 3rd highest cost – 73.7% higher than the median city surveyed. At 600 gal/day, San Diego was again 3rd highest – 81.7% higher than the median city.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/jul/27/drought-water-prices-rise/

Here’s a couple interesting tables from the story:

Read More

Arnold Steinberg

The First Debate/10 Days and Counting

[Publisher’s Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, we are pleased to present this column from Arnold Steinberg.]

Only ten candidates will participate in the first Republican presidential debate, ten days away, hosted by Fox News in Cleveland. The remaining six may be awarded a lesser debate, an improvement over excluding them entirely.

The decision is based on the placement in averaging five recent polls. It’s still unclear which polls will be selected. But we do know that these polls have different sample sizes. Further, the number of actual Republican registered voters likely to vote in the primary election is only in the 150-300 range for each survey, with a substantial margin of statistical error – perhaps plus or minus five to eight percent, and that doesn’t even count non-sampling error. For example, the surveys have different methodologies and even ask the ballot question differently. Most do not even indicate whether the candidate is a governor or senator. Reading just the names of the sixteen candidates favors those candidates… Read More

Katy Grimes

Are CA Abortion Clinics Illegally Trafficking Aborted Baby Organs?

California Assembly members want Planned Parenthood investigated for the illegal trafficking of illegal aborted baby organs — especially now that athird video has been released of Planned Parenthood doctors, Katherine Sheehan and Savita Ginde casually discussing the sale of aborted baby body parts, while negotiating, and making the arrangements.

The revelation of the two previous videos catching senior medical directors atPlanned Parenthood explaining how the abortion clinics sell aborted baby’s fetal organs and tissue to biotech firms, have elicited nationwide outrage and disgust at the depths of depravity… But… Read More

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