FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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There actually are worse things than profligate government spending. One is profligate government spending paired with abuse of private property rights. Unfortunately, a new proposition is circulating that both increases property rights abuse and adds new profligate spending by Sacramento and California local governments.

The California Jobs and Education Development Initiative Act (the “JEDI” for short), has been likened by some as a return of the Empire. However, any signature gatherer that approaches you with a petition to ballot qualify this initiative should be resisted with all a Jedi’s powers of Force lightening.

For decades, Californian’s suffered property rights abuse when 425 redevelopment agencies roamed free to use eminent domain powers to take private property. It gave elected officials tremendous power to affect real estate development by pursuing “land assembly”, to take land… Read More

James V. Lacy

Democrats take Political Party Registration lead in San Diego County

Democrats have the plurality of registered voters by party registration in San Diego County after the state reported its pre-election breakdown of political party registration in the state. Democrats comprise almost 35% of registered voters in San Diego County, with GOP voters sliding to second-place with a little more than 33% and “no party preference” making 26.52%.

Statewide GOP registration is slightly down to about 28.55% with Democrats at about 43.48%. Orange County remained a strong GOP county with a 10% lead over their Democratic rivals, in fairly stark contrast to the neighboring San Diego County statistics. Orange County is at 41.21% Republican registration, with Democrats at 31.56% and “no party preference” at 22.73%.

There are plenty of pockets of Republican dominance in California, especially in North State and the Central Valley. Republicans outnumber Democrats in Butte, Modoc, Lassen, Placer, Tulare, Shasta, Amador, Kings, Colusa, Glenn, Madera, Mono, Plumas, Kern, El Dorado, Del Norte, Sutter, Yuba, Toulumne, Trinity, Tehama, Stanislaus, Inyo, Calaveras, Nevada, San Luis Obispo, Sierra, Siskiyou and Mariposa… Read More

Katy Grimes

What’s good for union is bad for laborer’s civil rights

Many have recently observed there appears to be collusion between the United Farm Workers union and the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, in an effort to boost the shrinking labor union by targeting one of the biggest non-union farming operations in the state.

Should they succeed in unionizing Gerawan Farming employees, adding the 5,000 Gerawan farmworkers would more than double union membership, and certainly boost the UFW’s economic status, and the ALRB’s worth to the state.


Several thousand-farm workers in California’s Central Valley have so far failed to get the state agriculture labor board to count their votes on a standard, legal labor union issue.

Why? Because the vote the farm workers took was to de-certify the United Farm… Read More

Ed Ring

How Will “Ambush” Union Elections Affect Silicon Valley’s Libertarians?

Despite being one of the biggest strongholds of Democratic power in the United States, there are almost no unions representing private sector workers in the Silicon Valley. But a new NLRB ruling that takes effect next month is going to make it much easier to organize workers. Here, quoting from a March 26thInside Counselarticle entitled “Proposed ambush election rule from NLRB said to favor unions,” is a summary of the new rules:

Opponents to a union drive would have as few as 10 days to campaign against unionization – as opposed to the 42 days now given to them. Employers have to file a “Statement of Position” within seven days or lose the right to pursue any issues. Requiring nonunion employers to provide employee personal information such as home addresses, e-mail addresses, home phone numbers and cell phone numbers to the union. Ending a 25-day waiting period before holding an election. Letting workers vote even if eligibility is challenged. Legal action would have to wait until after the … Read More

Katy Grimes

Biofuel bill morphs into gun control bill – this is how it’s done

Yesterday morning, Senate Bill 916 by Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, was a bill about mandating use of bio-derived lubricating oil. But by yesterday evening, biofuel is off the table and gun control is back on.

California’s obsession with the most extreme environmental issues, and belief that if a new “green” product sounds good, it must be good, means the bill probably would have passed through the Legislature with flying colors.

Yesterday, the bill was gutted and amended into a gun control bill. “Talk about pyrrhic victory…” Tom Tanton emailed to me. Tanton, a Director at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, wrote an op-ed about it in Fox and Hounds recently. Tanton warned, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

It turns out Tanton was right.

The new gun control bill, SB 916

The new bill language is clearly not done cooking. Anticipate more amendments, as this bill appears to be a placeholder.

“Existing law prohibits the manufacture, importation, and sale… Read More

Ashley Indrieri

Celebrate the environment and its stewards – the people of agriculture

Today, Earth Day, April 22, is a time for renewed commitment to protecting the environment in a serious, commonsense way that balances the interests of people and the economy with the need to preserve nature’s vitality and variety.

It is also a time to celebrate the people who grow the food and fiber for our nation and the world, because environmental protection is a priority for them, day-in and day-out.

For farmers, ranchers and dairyman, being stewards of the earth is part of the job; it comes with their calling. They are dependent on the land and water not only to provide a healthy, safe food supply, but to support their own families and communities.

Far too often we hear negative rhetoric about impersonal, indifferent “corporate agriculture.” But let’s not forget that in California 97 percent of farms are family owned and operated.

And consider all the environmental benefits that agriculture brings: open space; habitat for birds, animals and fish; food sources for countless varieties of species. The air is purified by crops and trees, through photosynthesis. In fact, agricultural land throughout California currently boasts more than 150… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Celebrate Earth Day: Trees-for-Shade and Cap-and-Trade for California High-Speed Rail

Earth Day 2014 deserves a detailed report on the environmental achievements of California High-Speed Rail, the spine of the mass transit connectivity system that will one day transport you between your own home transit village and another transit village.

And yes, you WILL ride, because artificial government cost barriers will discourage you from driving and flying. A governor and legislators who today are merely students protesting at a University of California campus somewhere will enact such policies between 2028 and 2041.

Trees-for-Shade and Other Schemes for “Net Zero Emissions”

The California High-Speed Rail Authority claims it will achieve “net zero emissions” when it builds its “First Construction Segment” from Madera to Bakersfield by 2017. This program will allegedly allow the Authority to avoid adding to the state’s carbon footprint already imprinted by the lifestyles of Hollywood celebrities and other top Democratic Party campaign contributors.

Net zero emissions means lots of free and discounted stuff to the San Joaquin Valley. The Authority plans to plant 5,000 trees, buy new school buses for school… Read More

Jon Coupal


In filing his tax returns, Donald Rumsfeld included a letter to the IRS stating, “As in prior years, it is important for you to know that I have absolutely no idea whether our tax returns and our tax payments are accurate.” Now critics of the former secretary of defense and member of Congress may not be sympathetic, but they overlook the fact that Rumsfeld’s problem is shared by almost every American taxpayer.

The U.S. Tax Code is currently 73,954 pages long and a few more pages are probably being added as this is written. Every year, members of the Washington, D.C. political class pay lip service to the goal of tax reform, but usually all Congress does is tinker around the edges in an effort to please special interest supporters and to increase revenue, or “raise taxes” in the… Read More

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