FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Lance Izumi


When the California Department of Education recently released the results of the 2015 Common Core math and English tests, officials attributed the low student scores to the increased rigor of both the new standards and the new test. However, the real reasons are not so simple, and much more worrying.

Statewide, student performance on the new test, named the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which is aligned with the Common Core national education standards, was abysmal, especially in mathematics. Overall, only 33 percent of California student test-takers scored at or above the proficient (met standard) level on the new math test. While performance lagged among Latino and African-American students, a majority of white students also failed to score at the proficient level on the math exam.

The English results were only slightly better with just 44 percent of students tested scoring at or above proficiency.

In contrast, results on California’s previous state exams, the STAR tests, were higher. In 2013, the last year the STAR tests were administered, 51 percent of students tested scored at or above proficient in math and… Read More

Jon Coupal


Exhaust is what was emanating from the idling 3 ton SUV bearing state license plates sitting at the curb outside the Griffith Observatory. The parked vehicle’s engine continued to run for over an hour, according to news reports.

Inside the observatory, overlooking downtown Los Angeles, a ceremonial signing of major legislation was taking place. Amidst self-congratulation by members of the political class in attendance, Governor Brown added his signature to legislation mandating that half of California’s energy come from renewable sources within 15 years.

The bill by Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, originally contained language requiring a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2030. This draconian feature contained no specific formula for reducing gasoline use, leaving it up to the unelected California Air Resources Board (CARB) to implement restrictions that could have included massive fees, gas rationing or driving restrictions. Moderate Democrats and Republicans united in opposition to adding to the burden on working families already paying the highest gas prices in the nation, and de Leon was compelled to remove the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Non-Profit State

Talking incessantly about climate change as “the most important issue of our time,” has allowed politicians to avoid focusing on serious failures and incompetent leadership. With California Gov. Jerry Brown lobbying for and signing the controversial Senate Bill 350 – even with the gas reductions amended out – he has thrown up a huge diversion, while simultaneously helping to sink our economy even further.

“This law should be called the California Economic Cooling Act, because SB 350 puts California’seconomic recovery on ice,” said Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. “By almost every measure, California is already the most expensivestate in which to build a businessand raise a family.SB 350 is projected to double California’s electricitycosts, which are already among the nation’s highest.”

“What… Read More

Richard Rider

Poway earns RARE top firefighting rating while deploying only 3 man crews on trucks

Fire departments are rated for the insurance industry as to their fire suppression efficiency. The lower the rating, the better. These ratings ARE important, as they are considered by the companies that issue fire insurance. Higher ratings translate into more costly fire insurance. The certifying outfit is the Insurance Services Office, and so it’s called the ISO rating.

VERY few departments get the best ISO rating — a “1.” In the entire state of California, only 10 fire departments achieve that rating. Only 97 of the 47,000 fire agencies nationwide merit a “1″ rating.

In San Diego County we are fortunate to have TWO such agencies. One is the Heartland Fire Agency, which serves the communities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove and El Cajon. But the one that really surprised me was the Poway Fire Department. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/jun/18/heartland-fire-top-rating/

Unlike almost all the other fire departments in San Diego County, Power deploys 3 man trucks. Well, they use the same type of fire… Read More

Richard Rider

Here perhaps is the final nail in the Golden State’s coffin

Just when you think things can’t get any worse in California, it gets worse. A bill was just signed into law by Governor Brown that will register maybe 6 million low information people to vote. People who go to the DMV (supposedly limited to citizens, but no one will check) for licensing or ID will be AUTOMATICALLY registered to vote unless they specifically opt out. No stinkin’ registration form needed, apparently. http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/10/10/3707288/breaking-california-will-automatically-register-millions-of-voters

California already has the lowest voter turnout (percent of registered voters) in the nation. This will LOWER that percentage.

The good news is that most of these new registrants will not vote. The bad news is that too many will, overwhelmingly voting Democrat and swinging more elections for the progressives. The effect will be felt a bit in 2016, but will grow in subsequent elections.

I suspect this is the edge needed to give… Read More

Katy Grimes

Prevailing Wage Scams: Easy Fix is Killed

This is Part lll of Prevailing Wage Scams Between State DIR and Unions. Part ll is HERE. Part i is HERE.

In what world does a janitor get paid $48.50? In the world of California politics, driven by corrupt labor unions and greedy state agencies.

Janitorial company owner Jeff Baron is in trouble with the state of California because large general contractors who hire him as a subcontractor charge the state, the union prevailing wage rate of $48.50 per hour in their bids on public works projects, but then pay him the going rate of $10 to $15 per hour. Taxpayers are on the hook for paying $48.50 per hour for janitors on public works projects, while subcontractors like Baron’s janitorial clean up company, are paid less, and general contractors pocket the difference.

The Riverside District Attorney has had criminal charges filed against Baron for five years. They just announced they plan to bring his case to trial within… Read More

Katy Grimes

Prevailing Wage Scams Between State DIR and Unions: The Destroyer

This is Part ll of Prevailing Wage Scams Between State DIR and Unions. Part l is HERE

Janitorial company owner Jeff Baron is in trouble with the state of California because large general contractors who hire him as a subcontractor charge the state the union prevailing wage rate of $48.50 per hour in their bids on public works projects, but then refuse to pay him that rate. Taxpayers are on the hook for paying $48.50 per hour for janitors on public works projects, but in reality, subcontractors like Baron’s janitorial clean up company, are only paid the going rate of $10 to $15 per hour, and the general contractors pocket the rest.

Some say the Riverside District Attorney is going after Baron Services because it’s easier to go after small subcontractors — low-hanging fruit.

The Destroyer

In the middle of all of Jeff Baron’s troubles is… Read More

Ed Ring

Silicon Valley Moving Toward Alliance With Big Labor

Back in the late 1970’s something happened to the Santa Clara Valley. Increasingly it became referred to as the Silicon Valley, because the emerging silicon based semiconductor industry found its first home in plants nestled along the southern shores of the San Francisco Bay.Boasting what are among the finest universities in the United States – Stanford and Cal Berkeley – and the best weather in the world, high technology companies began choosingthe San Francisco Bay Area in the 1940’s and never looked back. Where once there wereendless orchards of Prune, Apricot and Cherry trees, a sprawling ecosystem of high tech companies and venture capital firms now attracts talent from everywhere on earth. The Silicon Valley became, and remains, the epicenter ofthe most dramatic technological advances in history.

For the first 25 years or so, certainly through the end of the 20th century, the mantra in the Silicon Valley was “better, faster, cheaper.” Entrepreneurs were creating entire new industries, as digital technology enabled “mini-computers” to replace mainframes, and “work-stations” to replace mini’s, which were in-turn replaced by PCs and… Read More

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