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Richard Rider

CA prisoner firefighters saves us $80-$100 million a year

CA state and local governments deem inmate brush firefighters a valuable asset that makes good sense. But the idea of forming CIVILIAN VOLUNTEER brush firefighting brigades to fight the fires and protect homes when these fires approach housing areas is somehow not safe — for union firefighters. Few people realize how big our California prisoner firefighting effort is. There are 196 inmate fire crews that perform more than 3 million hours of emergency response work annually.It’s estimated to save California $80-$100 million a year — combating CA brush and forest fires. The story below about this program is illuminating (sorry), but should result in some heated (again, my bad) debate.

In my subdivision (Scripps Ranch in San Diego) we lost 330 homes to the 2003 Cedar brush fire — mostly abandoned homes burned down by embers. Many homes were saved — by homeowners who stayed behind and put out the ember fires before they grew. The fire trucks arrivedhourslate — in large part the result of too many called-up union… Read More

Senate Republicans Fight for California Families

With the 2015 Legislative session now in the rear view mirror and my sights set on leading Senate Republicans into 2016, it is clear to me that the principles and values of this great party of ours align quite well with the hard-working residents of this state.

As we move forward we must make sure we state those goals effectively to Californians and stand with them shoulder-to-shoulder to fight to for those common goals – most importantly, the ability for those residents to hold on to as much of their earnings as possible.

As an eternal optimist, I believe California is, and always has been, the Golden State. Over-taxation and heavy regulation still threaten our economic recovery, but California’s economy is on the rebound. As the Senate Republican Leader, rather than looking for new and innovative ways to take more of your hard-earned money, I’m committed to finding new and innovative ways to safeguard your pocketbook, while ensuring that each and every tax dollar sent to Sacramento is spent as efficiently and effectively as possible.

This past legislative session was an excellent example of Republicans fighting to ensure middle-class Californians… Read More

Katy Grimes

Desperate United Farm Workers Union Steps Up PR Campaign

The United Farm Workers labor union just received advertising and public relations help, thanks to several pro-UFW stories published in the Sacramento Bee last weekend.

Sept. 24, Kerry Kennedy wrote about her father Robert Kennedy’s involvement with Cesar Chavez in the 1960′s. Sept. 26, the Bee ran a story about the 50thanniversary of the UFW’s grape strike in Delano, CA. Rounding out the pro-UFW public relations and marketing campaign was a story on Sept. 27 about Phil Serna, son of late former Mayor of SacramentoJoe Serna Jr., who was also aUFW organizer.

This interestingly timed PR move comes on the heels of the order to destroy farm worker’s ballots from the 2013 labor union decertification election, rather than allow them counted,by Administrative Law Judge Mark Soble, employed by the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Thousands of farm workers in California must now abide by an unwanted unionization deal struck decades ago and never ratified or enforced. The workers’ votewas expected to… Read More

Kammi Foote

Oath of Office: Elected officials’ promise to uphold rule of law

When I was elected to the office of Inyo County Clerk-Recorder, my first official act was to take an Oath of Office. Not only have I taken the Oath, but one of my responsibilities as a County Clerk is to administer Oaths of Office to other public employees and elected officials.

All public servants, from the President of the United States, to the part-time file clerk, take the Oath in one form or another before assuming office. In California, the Oath includes the affirmation that we will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. By swearing to defend the Constitutions against domestic enemies, we are promising to administer the laws as decided by the body politic and not to undermine our system of governance by acting under our own sovereignty.

Lately we have seen a number of examples of… Read More

Katy Grimes

FILIBUSTER: New App for Political Junkies, Wonks and Voters

For most voters, making your voice heard by candidates and politicians feels like a lost cause. You fax, write, phone and email your elected officials, and at most, receive a form letter reply.

Those days look to be over… finally, a way to get your political voice heard. Derek Garnier has written a new political social App called “Filibuster” to make your political voice count.

Filibuster: an effort to prevent action in a legislature (such as the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives) by making a long speech or series of speeches.

It’s a way for the average person to chime in on politics instead of just Tweeting and arguing on Facebook. “Filibuster is the social app for all things political. Tell… Read More

Jon Coupal


According to press reports, Fresno Assemblyman Henry T. Perea is off to Spain to study high-speed rail while accompanied by business and labor representatives. He is being joined by his father, Fresno County Supervisor Henry R. Perea.

Out-of-state travel by California politicians is common. Lawmakers say such trips are valuable in learning about programs and policies in other states and countries. Other times travel is justified as an opportunity to attend conferences with those facing similar issues. That the destinations of these trips are so often 5 star hotels in desirable vacation spots is dismissed as coincidence by the journeying elected officials. Still, it seems strange that so many “important” conferences take place in locations like Hawaii and not in Narvik, in northern Norway, during the fall and winter. A few years ago, a number of Los Angeles City Council members jetted off to Paris in the springtime, explaining that the trip was necessary to study public toilets. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

In fairness to Assemblyman Perea, who is termed out next year, there is no suggestion that taxpayers are footing the bill for his weeklong trip… Read More

How AB 109 Jeopardized Public Safety

In 2011, the leadership of the California State Senate and Assembly crafted one of the most damaging pieces of legislation in recent memory for public safety throughout our state.

AB109, the so-called “realignment” act, relieves the State of all responsibility for imprisoning and supervising criminals convicted of most felony crimes, and imposes those responsibilities on California’s counties. Instead of serving in state prisons and facing parole boards, felons convicted of most felony crimes serve their “prison” sentences in the local county jail and are supervised by the local county probation department. This legislation is a transparent scheme of passing the buck, and tragically, it has made our communities less safe.

AB109 took effect in February of this year, and since that time, Los Angeles County alone has seen over 26,000 inmates sentenced to county jail instead of… Read More

Katy Grimes

EPA, CARB To Blame For Cheating Car Emissions

In the early 1970’s, the Environmental Protection Agency forced automakers to cut emissions. And the cars were awful. I remember a 1972 Chevy Caprice station wagon, 140 horsepower, 4300 lbs. Chevy claimed the horsepower was 160 – even at that, it was still grossly underpowered.

Prior to the EPA, that particular engine was rated at 250 horsepower. The EPA took 40 percent of the engine capacity away. When you’re pushing a 4300 lb car with only 140 horsepower, the gas mileage is terrible. Cars didn’t run well. They were unreliable. The only thing that saved the car industry was fuel injection – something Porsche, Mercedes and BMW were already moving to.

Car manufacturers were lying then, and they’ve been forced to lie again.

Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy just published a new study, which verified California’s 2011 Greenhouse Gas Emissions were just one percent of emissions worldwide. According to the study, even if California’s emissions dropped to zero from now until 2050, which is the year Brown there would be no significant effect on the environment because of greenhouse gases generated by developing nations… Read More

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