FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Arnold Steinberg

The First Debate/10 Days and Counting

[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 Arnold Steinberg.]

Only ten candidates will participate in the first Republican presidential debate, ten days away, hosted by Fox News in Cleveland. The remaining six may be awarded a lesser debate, an improvement over excluding them entirely.

The decision is based on the placement in averaging five recent polls. It’s still unclear which polls will be selected. But we do know that these polls have different sample sizes. Further, the number of actual Republican registered voters likely to vote in the primary election is only in the 150-300 range for each survey, with a substantial margin of statistical error – perhaps plus or minus five to eight percent, and that doesn’t even count non-sampling error. For example, the surveys have different methodologies and even ask the ballot question differently. Most do not even indicate whether the candidate is a governor or senator. Reading just the names of the sixteen candidates favors those candidates… Read More

Katy Grimes

Are CA Abortion Clinics Illegally Trafficking Aborted Baby Organs?

California Assembly members want Planned Parenthood investigated for the illegal trafficking of illegal aborted baby organs — especially now that athird video has been released of Planned Parenthood doctors, Katherine Sheehan and Savita Ginde casually discussing the sale of aborted baby body parts, while negotiating, and making the arrangements.

The revelation of the two previous videos catching senior medical directors atPlanned Parenthood explaining how the abortion clinics sell aborted baby’s fetal organs and tissue to biotech firms, have elicited nationwide outrage and disgust at the depths of depravity… But… Read More

Ed Ring

The CTA Empire Strikes Back

Emperor Palpatine: There is a great disturbance in the Force. Darth Vader: I have felt it. Emperor Palpatine: We have a new enemy, the young Rebel… Darth Vader: How is that possible? Emperor Palpatine: Search your feelings, Lord Vader. You know it to be true. He could destroy us.The Force is strong with him. - Quote (edited for brevity) fromStar Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, 1980

There are indeed great disturbances in the force. There are indeed challenges to the imperial monopoly that, for nearly 40 years, has eroded the quality and escalated the costs for California’s system of public K-12 education. And the imperial stormtroopers who enforce their educational edicts on California’s state legislature, its thousands of public school boards, and by extension, millions of parents and children, are all part of an evil empire called the California Teachers Association, or CTA. In plain English, the teachers union.

A comprehensive summary of just how harmful the CTA… Read More

Mike Morrell

Sanctuary Cities Can’t Be Allowed to Harbor Felons

In recent weeks, our country has been rocked by the tragic death of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle, a young woman who was senselessly gunned down while visiting San Francisco. She died in her father’s arms.

The alleged killer was in the country illegally and had been convicted of seven felonies, deported five times, and ultimately given a safe haven by local law enforcement. Media reports indicated that he chose to remain in San Francisco because of its status as a “sanctuary city.”

Throughout the nation, cities like San Francisco have enacted policies and ordinances granting themselves this designation in an attempt to shelter undocumented immigrants. But in doing so, these cities have refused to enforce the laws of the United States and, whether through direct or indirect action, have also harbored dangerous felons who flout our laws.

One of the primary… Read More

Katy Grimes

Pension Day of Reckoning: Taxpayers on the Hook For Outlandish Pension Promises

A public pension crisis of epic proportions is brewing in California. The state’s public pension disaster is the greatest financial challenge California has faced since the Great Depression.

A new book by economist Lawrence McQuillen, exposes the true magnitude of the unfunded liability disaster, and focuses on the critical policy actions that drove California’s public pension debt to these heights. In California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis, McQuillen, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, also examines the perverse political incentives of elected lawmakers and pension officials that reward them for not fixing the problem, rather letting it escalate. McQuillen studies the immorality of the crisis, the crucial reforms needed to fix the problem, and the long-term benefits of a permanent solution. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr.… Read More

James V. Lacy

Have Most Californians, Especially Republicans, Just Given Up on Voting?

Sure, it’s been more than half a year since California’s last statewide election. But Californians’ remarkable failure to participate still deserves some attention today as we start focusing on the 2016 elections. In last November’s midterm Congressional election, the largest state in the nation had about the lowest voter participation of any state in the country. Hardly more than 42% of California’s registered voters bothered to mail-in their ballots in the conveniently provided pre-addressed envelopes, or even show up at the polls. This dismal voter participation was even worse than voter disinterest in one of the state’s other previous bad showings in 2002 when just over 50% of participants elected Gray Davis, the Democrat, over the GOP’s Bill Simon. In neighboring Oregon, voter participation in the November 2014 election at 69.5% was more than half again by percentage the level of participation of California voters in the same… Read More

Asm. Bill Brough

For Republicans, Special Session is a Singular Opportunity

[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 Assemblyman Bill Brough.]

In the State Assembly, numbers are part of the everyday vocabulary.

The “Rule of 41” necessary to name an Assembly Speaker; the “supermajority of 54” gave Democrats outsized control in 2013 and 2014; the “Big 5” represents the governor, majority and minority leaders of the Legislature, and their sort of annual floating budget summit.

But despite this obsession with numbers, can Sacramento do basic math?

In January, Governor Brown said it was a 2015 priority to address $59 billion worth of unmet maintenance for California’s transportation needs – a shortfall that took decades to… Read More

Jon Coupal

APOLOGY ACCEPTED, BUT WE STILL DON’T TRUST YOU

The Sacramento Bee wrote, “Finally, war on Proposition 13 breaks out” and the paper is correct, attacks are coming from all directions.

Tax raisers, primarily an alliance of government employee unions and Bay Area radicals, are pushing attacks on Proposition 13 in the Legislature and through the initiative process.

In the Legislature, Senators Holly Mitchell and Loni Hancock have introduced a bill, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5, to alter Proposition 13 so as to increase property taxes on businesses. Then there is Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4 by Assemblyman Jim Frazier. ACA 4 would lower Proposition 13’s mandated two-thirds vote to 55 percent to increase certain special taxes.

On the initiative front, a measure that would increase property taxes on both business and residential property has been filed with the Office of the Attorney General. With the benign title of “Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act” it proves, once again, that children are used like “human shields” by tax raisers to deflect criticism as they try to wring more out of already beleaguered California taxpayers.

Click here to read… Read More

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