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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Edward Ring

How Can California Reduce the Costs of Incarceration?

California Governor Gavin Newsom has agreed to give state prison correctional officers a 3 percent raise. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, there is “no evident justification” for this raise.

Arecent articlein theSacramento Beesummarizes portions of the LAO report, writing “The last time the state compared state correctional officers’ salaries to their local government counterparts, in 2013, state correctional officers made 40 percent more than officers in county-run jails, according to the LAO analysis,” and, “Since 2013, salary increases for state correctional officers have increased by a compounded 24 percent, according to the LAO.”

Within theLAO report, it is made clear that the rising cost for pensions is a major factor in escalating compensation costs for California’s prison guards. In theory, the cost to provide pension benefits is reasonable. The so-called “normal cost” of a… Read More

Ray Haynes

Don’t Blame Republicans, Blame Me

Last week, George Skelton, the decades long LA Times columnist, and long time Democrat apologist and attack dog, wrote a column titled “Don’t Like the Budget, Blame Republicans.” Intriguing headline.

Consider, Democrats have controlled the both houses of the Legislature since 1996, and the Governor’s office since 1998 (except for a brief stint in 2003-4, when Arnold Schwarzenegger actually acted like a Republican). In 1996, the total state general fund expenditure was approximately $53 billion, the 2019-20 budget estimates next year to spend $147 billion. School spending has increased from approximately $26 billion in 1996 to $55 billion in 2019. Despite a nearly 300% increase in spending in 20 years, our schools are still failing, and our state government is falling apart. Despite a 300% increase in available funds, the Democrats still feel a need to increase taxes on basics like gasoline, water, and telephones. And Mr. Skelton said “Blame Republicans.”

Of course, reading the article shows that what Mr. Skelton means is that Republicans are just not liberal enough, so it is their fault they are losing elections. And that… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

How the Press Blew Review of Presidential Candidates’ Tax Returns

The Festival of Tax Returns occurred as the vast majority of Presidential candidates released their personal tax returns. Much can be learned from them, including some glaring mistakes and issues that should be addressed. Not a single of these has been noted in the press, but they will be here.

Senator Kamala Harris released her returns first … or did she? They were released to limited members of the press perhaps to obtain a positive analysis. A logical question would be why are you releasing your tax returns if you don’t want the public to see them?

Many candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders, Robert (Beto) O’Rourke and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have readily-accessible links for their returns on… Read More

Richard Rider

Find out how much your state pays for police and firefighters. Compare.

UPDATED JUNE 2019

BOTTOM LINE: OLD FIGURES — “The average CA firefighter was paid 60% more than paid firefighters in other 49 states. CA cops was paid 56% more.”I just did the updates, based on the latest BLS statistics. It’s gotten worse!

NEW FIGURES: The average CA firefighter is paid 77.4% more than paid firefighters in other 49 states. CA cops are paid 66.3% more than their counterparts in other states.

Yet the CA 2017 median household income (including gov’t workers) is only 19.0% above the national average. Clearly, in the Golden State, the private sector workers are the serfs, and the public employees are the new aristocracy.

***

What’s killing California’s state and local governments is the huge cost of overpaying and over-pensioning public employees. ESPECIALLY our public safety employees (mostly police and firefighters). Some cities have declared… Read More

Ray Haynes

AB 539 – Politicians and Pay to Play; How Bad Actors in the Small Loan Market Are Attempting to Manipulate the Law to Eliminate Competition

I’m a free market guy. Government regulation generally fails to protect the consumer, and more often benefits market actors by eliminating competition, current or potential. This article is about how a set of market actors are using government regulation to eliminate competition, and actually hurt consumers.

In the last several years, we have seen the rise of small dollar loans, usually made by lenders who are not banks, and who loan to people with less than perfect credit, people who need a small bridge loan to take care of some important reason. The consumer needs the money, the lender has the money, and the lender charges a high rate of interest, a rate of interest the borrower is willing to pay because of the need to the borrower. The fast growth of these businesses shows that there is a great need for such loans, and plenty of businesses who are willing to meet that need.

I have no problem with such loans, which can have interest rates of 40% to 100%, as long as everybody knows the terms and knows what they are paying for. AB 536 attempts to limit the interest rates on these types of loans to 36%. A noble cause you would think. 100% interest on a… Read More

Ray Haynes

We Have Met The Enemy, Part VII

This will be the last in the series on why the Republicans in California are the real enemies of Republicans in California. I have talked about our party, consultant, and political issues, and what to do to correct them. What follows in what I believe it will take to fix it.

We lost an unprecedented number of offices in 2018. The question is why? Some of my Republican colleagues here in California wish to blame Trump. The problem is: It’s not Trump. In fact, when Trump was on the ballot in 2016, in a non-battleground state, Republicans in California saw unprecedented turnout. Rank and file Republicans like Trump (this coming from someone who didn’t support Trump in the 2016 primary). It is “establishment” Republicans, that is, either Republicans who are too sophisticated for a rough and tumble candidate, or Republicans who have spent too much time in the Washington swamp (and who really do need to be drained with the rest of the swamp things), who don’t like Trump. I am neither. Trump is the most conservative president I have seen in many years, and he has converted me. I like his policies, and I like his rough and tumble style.… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Are Dems Having a Convention or an Anti-Semitic Conclave?

Issues seem to explode onto our radar out of nowhere these days and then become very consuming. Yesterday thinking I had survived Mueller week, I received alerts that the Dems were considering multiple anti-Israel resolutions at their California convention this weekend. With all the sizzle of having a slew of presidential candidates at the convention, who would have thought that attacking the Jews would become a hot topic?

For those of you who have never attended a party’s state convention, they serve many purposes. One is to establish the political philosophy of the party through resolutions that address hot-button issues. With the rise of anti-Semitism in the world, it is not shocking that something popped… Read More

Richard Rider

San Diego voters overwhelmingly oppose huge public transit spending plan

Here’s a crucial survey concerning San Diego County transportation and spending. Not surprisingly, most people OPPOSE the very nut-ball mass transit plan that SANDAG bureaucrats are desperately trying to get their board of directors (all local politicians) to approve.

Summed up, SANDAG wants to spend about 50% of their HUGE funding (billions and billions of dollars) on mass transit to urban AND rural county areas — and bike lanes. Public transit and bike lanes serve 3% of commuters. SANDAG wants to limit future spending on roads for the other 97% — and congestion fee pricing for those who have the audacity to still use hated cars.

Indeed, as the survey reveals, the opposition to this insane mass transit boondoggle constitutes a SUPERmajority of San Diego city voters. The results not even close. See the press release below with the questions and response percentages.

One other point. The survey is of the CITY voters — who are more urban and Democrat than the county as a whole. As the news has reported, the opposition to the SANDAG proposals are most concentrated in north and east San Diego County — Poway, the north… Read More

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