FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Coupal

THE EVER SHRINKING HOMEOWNERS EXEMPTION

During the holidays, most Californians are focused on their homes. This is the time when homeowners – and renters too – are decorating and extending hospitality to friends and neighbors. But heavy taxes and fees imposed on homes by the Grinches in government make it hard for Californians to hang on to their homes .

Homeowners, who work hard to pay for and maintain a house, pay property taxes that often do not fund property related services. These revenues go into local government coffers and can be spent for any purpose. To pay for services to property, like sewer, water and refuse collection, the homeowner pays extra through fees, assessments and other charges added to the property tax bill. Additionally, homeowners throughout California are also hit hard with bonds. Virtually all bonds for schools that must be repaid by property owners pass due to Proposition 39 that reduced the two-thirds voter approval requirement to 55 percent.

Even now, there are lawmaker Scrooges in Sacramento who want to make it even easier to load up your property tax bill even more. They argue that because of Proposition 13’s low property tax rate, they should be allowed… Read More

Hadley Election a Victory of Political Fundamentals

Businessman and Assemblyman elect David Hadley pulled off the upset of the election cycle in California politics, defeating Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi in the Democratic leaning 66th Assembly district, breaking the Democratic supermajority in the Assembly, and by the thinnest of margins. Some say this victory shows fiscal conservatism is still appealing in the Golden State. Hopefully that’s true. But more than anything it demonstrates fundamental elements of successful politicking that Republicans in California will have to re-master if they are to become competitive again statewide.

Mr. Hadley began campaigning for Assembly in the South Bay district less than a year and a half before his unexpected victory. But he began laying the ground work well before that. David Hadley initially became involved in politics by joining, and not long thereafter accepting the presidency of, the Beach… Read More

Katy Grimes

How Solar Leases Scam the Homeowner and Solar Contractors Keep the Subsidies

The solar energy rage is all over the media. Radio and television advertisements scream “No money down!” “Turn sunshine into savings.” “Make your electricity meter run backward!”

And the common theme of, “Everyone knows that solar power is better for the environment than fossil fuels,” is bandied about as if it is gospel.

With energy prices climbing rapidly, largely because of severe alternative energy mandates imposed by state and federal governments, consumers across the country are seeking ways to save on utility costs. In doing so, many are unwittingly becoming victims of consumer fraud.

While the consumer is looking for ways to save on energy bills, solar companies found that instead of trying to hard-sell the pricey rooftop solar systems outright, leases were a much more appealing option for the homeowner, with less out-of-pocket investment. However, this has… Read More

Barry Jantz

Breaking: Padilla ends Chula Vista recount, McCann can for now rest easily as Council member

Word from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters this morning is that Steve Padilla supporters have called off the balance of the recount in the Chula Vista City Council contest, thus cementing John McCann’s prior win. In the last few days Team Padilla shifted gears from the recount effort to contesting disallowed ballots (see prior post), then back to the recount, all to no avail.

In fact, one contested ballot that Padilla wanted included in the mix yesterday ended up being a vote for McCann. Unless the entire City is recounted, however, the final tally stays with the certified result. The closest race in Chula Vista history thus ends officially with a two vote victory by Republican McCann.

“We are pleased with the results and looking to getting to work to represent the people of Chula Vista,” said Derrick Roach, who’s been at the Registrar’s office every day of the recount in support of McCann. “We understand this was a close and contested race and we are appreciative for the… Read More

Tom Scott

California Again Named among worst “Judicial Hellholes” in the United States

The 2014-2015 “Judicial Hellholes” report has been released, and California again is ranked among the least-balanced lawsuit jurisdictions in the nation. Why? California incentivizes trial lawyers to file abusive lawsuits against businesses and governments with promises of easy money. This report touches on just a few of them, including:

Lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Despite attempts at reform, these lawsuits keep on coming, forcing businesses to cut hours, lay off workers, or close down altogether. “Shakedown” Proposition 65 lawsuits. In 2013, these lawsuits cost businesses more than $17 million – and attorneys … Read More

Katy Grimes

Fed Govt. Hid Report On Lead Ammo In Condors, Opting Instead For Gun Control Law

The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently double-crossed the National Shooting Sports Foundation, as well as voters. Following a Freedom of Information Act public records request to the Fish and Wildlife agency, the shooting sports foundation obtained emails that prove the federal agency withheld pertinent, official data in its annual report on the California Condor’s lead blood levels, until well after the California state legislature passed a law in 2013 to ban all lead ammunition.

The annual update, which had been previously issued annually every June, found little change in the condor’s blood lead levels. TheCalifornia state legislatureacted, despite previous data, at the insistence of animal activists groups, led by the Humane Society, which have long said the California condor is poisoned by lead shot. I’ve been following… Read More

Ed Ring

Final Results: 81% of Local Bonds Passed, 68% of Local Taxes Passed

It took over a month to count the provisional ballots, but the results are now in for every one of the 118 local bonds and 171 local tax increases that were voted on by Californians on November 4th. Prior to counting most of the provisional ballots, as reported on November 11th in our editorial “Californians Vote for More Taxes and More Borrowing,” here were the results so far:

November 11th provisional results: “At last count, of the 118 local bonds, 72 were passed, 15 were defeated, and 31 remain too close to call. Of the 171 local tax proposals, 98 were passed, 45 were defeated, and 28 are still too close to call.”

And here is the impact, five weeks later, with all ballots counted, including provisional ballots:

December 15 final results: Of the 118 local bonds, 96 were passed, and 22 were defeated. Of the 171 local tax proposals, 117 were passed, and 54 were defeated.Final results: 81% of local bond measures passed; 68% of local tax… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sen. De Leon’s Green, 21st Century California Economy Not ‘All That’

From Lima, Peru at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Sen. President pro Tem Kevin De Leon has had very busy Tweeting fingers.

“California is a world leader in actions to address climate change,” De Leon Tweeted.

“California and Québec sign agreement on Zero-Emission Vehicles!”

“At @UN_ClimateTalk in Lima, transforming the transportation sector is a big topic of discussion.”

“California is driving the development of a green economy,” said De Leon in a press statement… as if that’s a good thing. De Leon called this development “a 21st century economy.”

“Our entrepreneurs have opened more green businesses, created more new jobs, and garnered more clean energy venture capital funding than those in any other… Read More

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