FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Lance Izumi


If one asked most people a couple years ago about the Common Core national education standards, the response would have been a blank stare. Now, Common Core is a front-burner political issue because parents are discovering that their children are struggling under the new standards.

Common Core is a set of national math and English standards, which most states, including California, have adopted because of the funding incentives and strong-arm tactics used by the Obama administration. There have been much “big picture” criticisms of Common Core: the lack transparency and public input when Common Core was developed; the middling quality of Common Core; the high cost of implementing Common Core; and nationalization of education under Common Core. Yet, these critiques are now being overshadowed by the anger of parents at how Common Core is negatively affecting the learning of their children.

Columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan has written that Common Core’s Achilles heel is implementation: “implementation – how a thing is done day by day in the real world – is everything.” Take, for example, new Common Core-aligned curricula and… Read More

Katy Grimes

Jerry Brown Welcomes Latino Illegal Immigrants, But Not Vietnamese Boat People in 1975

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday he’d like to build shelters for the thousands of young immigrants from Central America, currently illegally flooding California’s southern borders.

However, this is the same Jerry Brown who in 1975 complained vociferously about the Federal government plan to “dump Vietnamese on” California after the fall of Saigon.

This week Brown said, “Certainly I’d do everything I could to make sure California will do its part to shelter any young children that are in need of protection,” Brown told reporters.

However, in 1975, Brown had a very different view on large groups of homeless, foreign refugees; “We can’t be looking 5,000 miles away and at the same time neglecting people who live here,” Brown said about Vietnamese refugees, Breitbart’s Kerry Picket… Read More

Michelle Steel

Gov. Brown’s Misguided Assault on the Second Amendment

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed legislation that makes California’s gun laws – already the most restrictive and confusing in the nation – even more restrictive and more confusing.

Assembly Bill 1964, according to the Sacramento Bee, “is designed to limit the exemption for single-shot pistols from the state’s unsafe handgun roster, excluding semiautomatic pistols altered to not fire in semiautomatic mode.”

This new law, which doesn’t even make sense unless you are versed in the Newspeak of California bureaucracy, will further limit the types of semiautomatic pistols that Californians who are not public safety officers are allowed to buy.

Our state severely restricts the types of semiautomatic pistols that can be sold to the general law-abiding public. Californians in general can only purchase pistols that are approved and listed on the state’s “not unsafe” handgun roster. This bars Californians from buying hundreds of different types of handguns that are readily available to the citizens of almost every other U.S. State.

Often the types of guns that are included in the “unsafe” or “not unsafe” list are made by… Read More

Ed Ring

Golden Gate Transit District Median Compensation $129,708 per Year, Union Threatening Strike

“No one wants the inconvenience associated with transportation workers taking action, but the District is leaving these workers little choice.This is about the middle class. We want the public to know what’s going on,” Tonisson said.– Alex Tonisson, co-chair,Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition,SF Appeal, July 24, 2014

If you were receiving a pay and benefits package that averaged $125,678 per year (ref.Transparent California), in exchange for working a37.5 hour week, would you feel exploited? What if along with that, you got13 paid holidays per year, five weeks annual paid vacation (ref.MOU, page 20), and 12 paid… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

California Would Create More Jobs Without Prop 30

In his recent piece for The Sacramento Bee, “State’s job growth defies predictions after tax increases,” David Cay Johnston argues that California’s recent job creation numbers prove recent tax increases embodied in Proposition 30 aren’t killing jobs or slowing economic growth.

Yet the evidence Johnston presents is less than convincing—surprising for an academic and former investigative journalist. He points to recent positive job growth numbers but neglects to mention that California’s “unemployment rate” remains tied for fifth worst in the nation.

Thirteen counties in California still have double-digit unemployment rates, the highest of which is 22%.

Due in part to California oppressive tax and regulatory climate, the recession was markedly worse in our state. As a consequence, we ended up with a bigger jobs hole, and we now need more jobs than other states to fill that hole.

Yet in the past year, states with lower unemployment rates like North Dakota, Utah, Texas, Delaware, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Indiana and Washington… Read More

Katy Grimes

Labor Unions Swindle Workers and Shakedown Employers

Labor unions are bad for workers and employers. But sometimes the good guys prevail.

The lawsuit filed by a Fresno farmworker against members of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board alleging civil rights violations will move forward to trial, a federal judge just ruled last week.

In February of this year, Gerawan Farming worker Silvia Lopez sued the gubernatorial appointees and regional staff of the ALRB alleging that their refusal to count the Gerawan farmworkers’ decertification votes violated her 1st and 14th Amendment rights.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board says it exists to protect the rights of all agricultural employees, including those not wanting labor organization representation, as is the case with Gerawan Farming employees. However, Gerawan farming employees say they have not received any assistance from the ALRB.

Whenever they can, labor unions historically try to gain control over entry into the labor market. “Such measures… Read More

Jon Coupal


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

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