FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Food or Fish: Political Honesty Needed in CA Water Wars, Part ll

The long time political dispute between California farmers and state and federal water regulators predates the latest drought and will continue long after, unless some political honesty takes place. This is Part ll of “Food or Fish: Political Honesty Needed in CA Water War.” Part l is here.

California farms and businesses are starved of water. Lawmakers and federal environmental regulators have authorized more than 81 billion gallons of water to flow out to the ocean, instead of being used for human consumption, the Pacific Legal Foundation recently explained following the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ adverse decision in March.

This is environmental… Read More

Ed Ring

Watsonville, California – Another Tax That’s Really Just For Pensions

The city of Watsonville lies nestled among some of the most verdant farmland on earth. Just a few miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the moderate, moist air nurtures endless fields ofstrawberries, apples, fresh flowers, cauliflower, broccoli and artichoke. Fragrant forests of redwood carpet the Santa Cruz Mountains to the north; some of the most abundant and diverse marine life in the world spawn in the Pajaro estuary to the immediate south. Watsonville is surrounded by agricultural abundance and scenic beauty. But like many other agricultural towns in California, Watsonville’s economy has struggled. The average household income in Watsonville is $47,442 per year, well below the California average of $58,328, and the city’s17.8% unemployment rateis nearly twice the state’s average.

None of this stopped Watsonville’s civic leaders from putting onto the June 2014 ballot aPublic Safety Sales Tax, Measure G, which in an election with 30% turnout, squeaked through with just over the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Food or Fish: Political Honesty Needed in CA Water Wars

The long time political dispute between California farmers and state and federal water regulators predates the latest drought and will continue long after, unless some political honesty takes place.

By focusing on worn-out political balderdash, many in the media have bypassed sincere analysis of the drought, the causes, long-standing battles, and long-term ramifications.

California uses 40 percent of the water from the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers, for “endangered fish.” The water is diverted to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, leaving much less for irrigation.

The Modesto and Turlock water districts currently provide 10 percent of unimpaired flows for the environment. But the State Water Resources Control Board is considering a demand for four times that amount, despite the 135-year water rights of Turlock and Modesto,… Read More

Jon Coupal

Amazing! Something Good from the California Legislature

The phone call was from a frightened older woman in the Central Valley. “I can’t afford to pay my property taxes and I may lose my home by the end of the year if nothing is done in Sacramento.” While this call was eerily reminiscent of the years just prior to Prop 13’s enactment in 1978, it wasn’t. The call was made this summer.

Back in 1978, many seniors on fixed incomes were experiencing the heartbreak of foreclosure, despite having paid off their mortgages, because they couldn’t afford the property taxes. While Prop 13 has provided amazing property tax relief for all California homeowners, there remains a segment of society for who not even Prop 13’s protections provide sufficient security.

For that reason, a valuable program known as Property Tax Postponement was… Read More

Richard Rider

California business electricity rates SOAR in 3 month period

The good news is that, from March to June of this year, the California average residential electricity rate has DROPPED some compared to the other states — down to “only” 30.6% higher than the national average (from 33.7% higher in March).

But the California rates have SOARED in the two other major sectors. Commercial rates went from 27.0% higher than the national average in March to 53.8% higherin June. Industrial rates rose from 54.2% higher to 72.5% higher. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_06_a

Further major “cap and trade” California electricity rate increases are expected in the next 12 months. SDG&E, SoCal Edison and PG&E are all significantly higher than the CA statewide average.

BOTTOM LINE: Just when you think California can’t be a more unattractive place for businesses to locate, our Golden State exceeds your expectations. BIG-time.… Read More

Ray Haynes

Jerry Brown 2.0 – Passive, Uninspired, Bereft of Vision

No matter what you may have thought about the ideas of Jerry Brown 1.0, at least he had some. In his first two terms, Brown didn’t just think outside the box, he thought outside the solar system. He earned the moniker Governor Moonbeam. Today, he is a wisp of smoke, blown from side to side by the hot winds emanating from the Capitol.

Governor Deukmejian, elected in some small part because he wasn’t Jerry Brown, still had ideas, each year he had an initiative, get rid of liberal judges, cut taxes, fix the transportation system, build prisons, and the like. Pete Wilson had a budget to fix, he tackled it, then took on education, racial preferences and illegal immigration. Gray Davis began with education initiatives, then sort of sputtered out, leading to his recall. Governor Schwarzenegger began with energy and ideas galore, finally running out of gas in 2005, and collapsed, basically hiring the Gray Davis staff, and sinking into oblivion, spending money and alienating everyone.

Jerry Brown 2.0 seems to have decided to copy the last five years of Schwarzenegger. He is lifeless, a shadow of his former self, quite literally the anti-Jerry Brown.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Left Coast Rules CA On Plastic Bag Ban — and Other Political Issues

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture of the cities and counties within the state of California that have already passed plastic bag ordinances, implemented bag bans and taxes, proves one point: Most of California is being ruled by the liberal coastal regions.

Is it any wonder the people up in the counties of Modoc and Siskiyouhave submitted a petition for the right to form a 51st State of America, which they want to callthe State of “Jefferson?”

Voters in Yuba, Sutter, Glenn and Tehama counties plan to present declarations soon, according toMark Baird, one of the State of Jefferson founders.

It’s easy to assume, judging by this map, no one in the State of Jefferson is interested in banning or taxing plastic bags.

“No New Taxes”

Governor Jerry Brown has repeatedly said, “There will be no new taxes for the foreseeable… Read More

Katy Grimes

Democrat Women’s War on Intelligence… and Decency

While the media is atwitter with the video of NFL player Ray Rice beating his then-girlfriend in a hotel elevator, they’ve completely ignored another chronically abusive public figure, whose words and behavior are as vile.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., defamed Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker last week. But this is politics in 2014, and they can hold their own against each other, right?

Wasserman Schultz’s attack on Walker wasn’t just aimed at him. While attempting to denigrate Walker’s reputation, Wasserman Schultz proved she’s desperate.

Criticizing Walker’s record on women’s issues at a roundtable in Milwaukee last week for giving “women the back of his hand” after he signed a bill that prevents victims of employment discrimination from seeking punitive and compensatory damages in state courts, Wasserman Schultz took it even further with her domestic violence metaphor:

“What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbingRead More

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