FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Coupal

JERRY’S LATEST BOONDOGGLE THREATENS PROPERTY OWNERS

You’d think that with all the well deserved bad press heaped on the High Speed Rail debacle that Governor Brown would be a little more circumspect about mega-infrastructure projects which, presumably, he wishes to be the cornerstone of his legacy. Unfortunately, it appears that his legacy may be that of an inflexible politician who has saddled California with projects that are financially suspect and downright wasteful.

His latest adventure is the pursuit of the “Twin Tunnels,” a massively expensive water conveyance project. This project, part of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), envisions two large tunnels 40 feet in diameter to take water from the Sacramento River and send it to the southern part of the San Joaquin delta to be connected with both the California Water Project… Read More

Katy Grimes

Humane Society Controversies Loom Large, Despite Claims of Virtue

Last week I wrote about the recent revocation of the Humane Society’s charity rating by Charity Navigator. Thursday, Sacramento Humane Society lobbyist Jennifer Fearing responded. However, Fearing did not address the primary issues in my story with the HSUS: $25.7 million of charity money in offshore investments, an IRS lawsuit against the Humane Society for inflating revenue on its tax return by writing off fundraising costs as charity, and the omitted key details from her explanation of the Ringling Bros. lawsuit which led to the charity rating revocation.

Fearing wrote:

The recent piece attacking The Humane Society of the United States (Katy Grimes, July 9) is full of inaccuracies. These invented facts come straight from the playbook of Richard Berman, a Washington-based spinRead More

Humane Society: Accountable, Fiscally-Responsible and Leading Nation in Animal Protection

The recent piece attacking The Humane Society of the United States (Katy Grimes, July 9) is full of inaccuracies. These invented facts come straight from the playbook of Richard Berman, a Washington-based spin doctor. Berman runs, and profits handsomely from, a shadowy web of nonprofits that are secretly funded by big corporations. These attack The HSUS, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many other organizations. He launched this line of work initially by taking money from tobacco companies to battle those seeking restrictions on smoking. His dealings have been exposed numerous times by respected news organizations.

Here’s the truth: The HSUS is approved by the… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

“Increasing Income Disparity”

State of the Economy, Part 3 – “Increasing Income Disparity”: Last week, I laid out for you the case that “income inequality” should really be called “increasing income disparity” and suggested that it is a worldwide phenomenon. I also debunked commonly expressed “solutions” for this problem you often hear from leaders in Washington. However, I have not yet presented solutions of my own. Before I do, let’s first examine the factors at work here that I believe are causing this phenomenon.

There were a number of serious recessions during the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. No one alive today has ever talked to anyone who experienced the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. So, with the exception of historians, it doesn’t get as much coverage in contemporary discussion as say, the Great Depression. What you may not know is that the Industrial Revolution caused a large job displacement at first. When the jobs on the farm went away, they were not immediately replaced in a factory. It took time before people figured out what to do with the extra disposable… Read More

Ed Ring

Detroit’s Pension Reform Sets an Example for California Cities

“I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss.”

– Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities

Traveling through suburban Detroit, a sprawling city of 143 square miles whose population has dropped from nearly two million to less than 700,000, you can often imagine you are in rural Tennessee. Rutted narrow roads bend past groves of cottonwood, oak and silver maple. Deer and jack rabbits forage in tall grass. Until you pass a burned out ruin of a home, not yet removed, obscured by greenery, it is difficult to imagine that these neighborhoods once were filled with homes, set 35 feet apart and carpeting the land for mile after mile.

According to the so-called “right wing propaganda machine,” the tale of Detroit’s demise is attributed to the unchecked power of labor unions. Private sector unions were inflexible in the face of foreign competition, driving Detroit’s auto industry into irreversible decline. Public sector unions gobbled up every dime of taxpayer revenue they could bully and intimidate politicians into granting, further straining the finances of an already imploding city. Financially unsustainable… Read More

Katy Grimes

LAUSD Teachers Demand 17.6 Percent Raise… Don’t Yawn, read on

Does a salary increase of 17.6 percent translate into 17.6 percent better job performance? Chances are, it does not.

The Los Angeles Unified School District and Service Employees International Union recently cut a dubious deal to increase 33,000 minimum-wage non-teaching workers’ pay to $15 an hour, nearly doubling some workers’ salaries. I wrote about it July 7 in “Dubious Deal Between Los Angeles School District and SEIU.

Only 10 days later, the newly elected president of Los Angeles Unified School District’s teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, announced a demand for a 17.6 percent… Read More

Katy Grimes

What Drought? Govt. Doesn’t Live By Drought Rules

If 80 percent of California is in extreme drought, as the Los Angeles Times just reported, where is the data and evidence?

City and county governments are still running sprinklers and wasting water as though there is no drought, yet threatening and even imposing penalties on citizens who violate unclear water policies.

The State Water Resources Control Board adopted new drought policy and regulations to give local agencies the authority to fine water wasters up to $500 a day.

Who are these board members,comfortable with imposing fines on citizens?

Water Board memberDorene D’Adamo, was also on the… Read More

Neel Kahskari: A Candidate Without A Party

Of course, Neel Kashkari, the GOP candidate for California governor against incumbent Jerry Brown in the November election, is a member of the Republican party and is officially endorsed by it. When I say that he is a candidate without a party, I mean that he is not backed by his party in a way that could promote his victory.

Kashkari, who trailed Brown by 35 points in the June 3 primary, is not expected by anyone to win, and that includes his own party leadership, as I prove below. He is playing the time honored tradition of candidate expected to lose, for the sake of giving his party some representation. My point is that what the state party needs now is a GOP candidate to win a statewide office, not just run a show-campaign designed to manage the party as a shadow of its former self. A losing candidate will not give California what it needs: a viable opposition party.

Kashkari did take some advice I offered in Flashreport concerning… Read More

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