FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

- Or -
Search blog archive

BOE Member George Runner

Shouldn’t California Have the Best Roads By Now?

If high taxes guaranteed results, then California should have some of the best roads in the nation. For years we’ve had one of the highest gas taxes, yet our freeways consistently receive failing grades.

It makes no sense unless you admit that high taxes don’t guarantee good roads. That’s one of many reasons I had no trouble voting with my State Board of Equalization colleagues to approve a 6 cent cut to the state’s gas tax. Under a confusing and complicated law commonly known as the “gas tax swap,” the state has been over collecting tax dollars as gas prices have fallen. The new rate helps solve this problem.

Any tax cut is a rare bit of good news for overtaxed Californians. This gas tax cut also has the added benefit of partially offsetting the cost of a new hidden gas tax that took effect January 1 to help fund high speed rail and other so-called anti-global warming efforts.

California will still have one of the highest gas tax rates in the nation, but even so not everyone is pleased to see the tax go down. In fact, some government officials are devising new schemes—like mileage taxes and road user fees—aimed at getting even more of your… Read More

Katy Grimes

Bill Would Allow Farm Workers Voice in Contract Negotiations

As Wisconsin is set to become the 25th Right-to-Work state, California Gov. Jerry Brown is ignoring thousands of farm workers who don’t want to be unionized.

In one of the most significant labor relations fights in the country proceedings have turned ugly, with many questioning the legal tactics and scruples of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

The workers at Gerawan Farming have been trying since October 2012 to decertify the United Farm Workers labor union. The workers are not only being fought by the UFW union, Brown’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board has thwarted them at every turn. And pleas to the Democratic Governor and Legislature have fallen on deaf ears, despite their claims to care for farm workers.

The only help the Gerawan workers have received is from state Assembly members Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, and Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield.

Patterson has introduced AB 1389,theFair… Read More

Katy Grimes

‘Lefty Billionaire’ Tom Steyer Manipulates Climate Change Policy and Governors

This is Part ll ofBrown Administration Tied To Scandal That Took Down Oregon Governor.

Recent revelations resulted in the Feb. 13, 2015 resignation of Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber over collusion between the California and Washington State governors’ offices, Kitzhaber’s office, and environmental groups, to force climate policy coordination and collaboration across the U.S., I reported in my story last week.”

Emails from 2013 and 2014 reveal Kitzhaber agreed to a deal with the governors of California and Washington, to implement low-carbon fuel standards and develop a scheme to foist green-energy agendas on multiple… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Court Decision Allows Child Molesters to Live Next to Kindergarten Classrooms

Voters overwhelmingly approved Jessica’s Law on the November 2006 ballot. Today, the California Supreme Court substituted the opinion of the court over the will of the people.

The court’s decision strikes down mandatory residency restrictions on San Diego County sex offenders under Jessica’s Law and would allow a child molester to live across the street from a school or park where children gather. It puts San Diego families at risk and sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of the state.

My wife, former Senator Sharon Runner, and I are the authors of Proposition 83, otherwise known as Jessica’s Law. In addition to mandatory residency restrictions for sex offenders, the law includes many important public safety reforms such as strengthened sexually violent predator laws and increased parole terms. The California Supreme Court’s decision only relates to the residency requirements in Jessica’s Law.

Knowing sex offenders might challenge Jessica’s Law, we introduced… Read More

Jon Coupal

WHETHER POLITICIANS LIKE IT OR NOT GASOLINE IS CALIFORNIA’S LIFE BLOOD

The Field Poll reports that for the first time in seven years more California voters believe the state is moving in the right direction (50%) than feel it is on the wrong track (41%). Those living in coastal California are much more likely to have a positive outlook on our state’s future than inland residents. And Democrats are more optimistic than Republicans, so it may be safe to assume that Democrats living in Malibu, Silicon Valley and the Bay Area are much happier than Republicans living in Central Valley and other areas with high unemployment.

Like politicians everywhere, California’s governing class will attempt to claim credit for this reversal of what had been nearly unanimous pessimism. Moreover, they will also claim that this is vindication of progressive policies that have given California one of the most harsh tax and regulatory environments in the nation.

However they explain the voters’ optimism, they are unlikely to bring up the one thing for which they can claim no credit whatsoever; the lower gas prices that existed during the period the poll was conducted, January 26-February 16, just before the cost of a gallon of gas began to vault… Read More

Katy Grimes

LGBT Republican Group Wins Charter in California Republican Party

The California Republican Party convention this weekend was devoid much drama until Sunday. A vote on whether the Log Cabin Republicans would be officially chartered as a Republican volunteer organization elicited excitement and furor. The Log Cabin Republicans are a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Republicans, won the delegate vote overwhelmingly 861 to 293. It wasn’t even close, which begs the question, “why not just change the bylaws?”

Skipping Formalities?

There have been news stories recognizing that in order for the Log Cabin Republicans to make any change within the Party structure,they knew they neededthe Republican Party to formally change or remove the CRP bylaw that excludes groups advocating for “certain lifestyle preferences or orientations” from holding a position… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Chris Christie Tells CA GOP: “Don’t Rush To Pick a 2016 Nominee”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sounded very much like a presidential candidate at the California Republican Party convention Saturday in Sacramento.

Christie, who enjoys a higher approval rating in blue state New Jersey than President Barack Obama, said he’s built trust and confidence by being a conservative. And he was critical of Obama for dividing the country during his time in office.

Christie said media in the coming months will say Republicans can’t afford a long nomination battle and should “unite behind whatever candidate appears to have the most money, the most endorsements or the best press coverage.”

He reminded the Republican audience that former President Ronald Reagan didn’t win the presidential nomination until May of 1980, and Barack Obama didn’t win the Democratic nomination until June 2008, and added that Republicans do not need to rush to choose a 2016 presidential nominee under… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Runner Sponsors Legislation to Refund Illegal Taxes

This year, I am sponsoring legislation to extend common sense protections to taxpayers. Assembly Bill 867, authored by Assemblyman Donald Wagner, would require the state to provide a full refund to all individuals who paid a tax later declared unconstitutional or illegal.

AB 867 is identical to AB 2510 (Wagner) and SB 1327 (Knight), legislation I sponsored in 2014. Legislative committees blocked both bills from advancing last year.

It is criminal that the State of California can keep money it illegally collects from its citizens. Anyone who in good faith pays what ends up being an illegal tax should get their money back. It’s as simple as that.

Currently, taxpayers are only eligible to receive refunds if they have exhausted all their administrative appeals remedies, even if the tax they paid is later declared illegal or… Read More

Page 1 of 1,62912345...102030...Last »