FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Ian Adams

Why AB 24 is a Bad Idea

Just as a cook’s creation is only as good as the ingredients she uses, so too is public policy only as good as the premises that undergird it.

That’s why, when it comes to judging food or policy, it’s best to have someone other than the creator evaluate the end product. Aristotle encapsulated this sentiment in 350 B.C.E. in his work Politics, and the old Greek was on to something.

It’s through that prism that one should judge the latest attempt to quash California’s ridesharing industry, this time by state Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D–Sherman Oaks. His rotten premise is that transportation network companies engage in “high-tech hitchhiking.” This betrays a willful ignorance of how the industry operates.

If Nazarian’s A.B. 24 (now a two year bill) had passed in anything resembling its current form, Californians would have been served a hearty helping of constrained… Read More

Katy Grimes

Redevelopment Monster Is Aliveeee!

Like the Creature of the Walking Dead, a diabolical scientist with an unquenchable thirst for blood, California redevelopment agencies are also back from the dead. Redevelopment was developed in the 1970’s to fight urban blight, but quickly transformed into a corrupt scheme to divert county and state taxes to cities. What could possibly be wrong with “urban-renewal agencies” which float massive debt and routinely misuse eminent domain to seize private property? Ahem. But I digress.

Assembly Bill 2, by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, and co-authored by other big-government Democrat Assemblymen and women, Garcia,Brown, Chiu, CristinaGarcia, Holden, McCarty, Mullin, Perea,Read More

Katy Grimes

Administrative Judicial Council Enriches Staff, Wastes Billions, While Depriving Trial Courts

A scorchingreport from California State Auditor Elaine Howle found that the Administrative Office of the Courts, now called the Judicial Council, spent $386 million over four years on statewide services that nearly half of California’s 58 trial courts don’t use – including $186 million on contractors and consultants.

Remember that the Administrative Office of the Courts was responsible for the debacle of the failed $2 BILLION Californiacourts computer system, paid with money allotted for state trial court operations. Thisunbelievably high costwas spent on the faulty computer system while courtrooms closed, courthouse employees furloughed, and criminal and civil cases take record time to come to trial.

The AOC’s primary function is to provide services to the courts. However, rather than making immediate corrections as the State Auditor recommended, following the damning report, the Administrative… Read More

Mike Morrell


Almost two weeks ago, Governor Brown released his revised state budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. It clocks in at a record-setting $267 billion – nearly $13 billion more than last-year’s record-breaking budget, expanding the size and reach of our ever-growing government.

At the current rate of spending, the Department of Finance projects that California will go right back to operating deficits in excess of $2.5 billion by 2018-19. Yet that figure is still somewhat misleading since it does not account for hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities.

Recent census numbers also show that California’s state spending is well above the national average for state governments. We are approximately 12 percent of the population but represented 13.8 percent of state-level spending for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Despite these facts, the majority party continues to call for more spending of our money, or what they are referring to as “investing.” The problem is the increases they want to make in social services and programs are ongoing expenses and will likely put pressure on the budget in years ahead when times are leaner, making… Read More

Jon Coupal


Those who follow the political machinations in Sacramento might well conclude that not much good emerges from the California Legislature. Gas taxes, attacks on homeownership, a tax increase on commercial property, ever expanding pension deficits, high speed rail, there seems an endless list of proposals for which the average taxpayer is supposed to foot the bill, while others receive the benefit.

With all this bad news, it is easy to overlook some relatively obscure bills that could have an oversized beneficial impact on taxpayers.

Assembly Bill 809 by Assembly Member Jay Obernolte (Hesperia) is a proposal that will aid local voters deciding on tax measures by providing some much needed transparency. Under current law, there is no word limit requirement on the ballot label – the… Read More

Richard Rider

CARTOON: Woman kills man? Hilarious! Man kills woman? Not so much.

Lots of funny captions provided by readers for this U-T cartoon. But my wife made an interesting observation: Reverse the roles — make it two MEN with the big gun — and an empty pair of smoking WOMEN’s shoes.

I suspect that would NOT be deemed funny, or even offered up for caption-adding to the public. If it were published, letters would pour into the paper from people “deeply offended.”

Such is the double standard of today’s (selectively) sensitive society.


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Let the Voters Control Congressional Districts

[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 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Huntington Beach, and Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long-Beach.]

If you are new to the FlashReport, please check out the main site and the acclaimed FlashReport Weblog on California politics.

Depending on how the Supreme Court rules in the next couple weeks, partisan gerrymandering could become the only way that congressional districts are drawn. The Court heard arguments on March 2 in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, a case challenging Arizona’s non-partisan, citizen-run redistricting… Read More

Katy Grimes

State Auditor Issues Scorching Report to Admin Authority of CA Courts System

A scorchingreport from California State Auditor Elaine Howle, found that the Administrative Office of the Courts, now called the Judicial Council, spent $386 million over four years on statewide services that nearly half of California’s 58 trial courts don’t use – including $186 million on contractors and consultants.

Now, the Administrative Office of the Courts is trying take away the authority for decision making of trial court funds from the independent Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee, and give it to the Judicial Council’s Committee on Accountability and Efficiency — the same committee that approved big raises for top AOC officials as its first official action under its then-chair, Justice Cantil-Sakauye.

It’s akin to City Councils voting for their own… Read More

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