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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Richard Rider

If Cam Newton loses the Super Bowl, his California state taxes will be 199% of his earnings

This article is a reminder to all pro athletes why they don’t want to make California their home, and why they don’t want to play for a California team. Indeed, from a tax standpoint, they’d be wise not to play in a western conference — given that many of the games will be with California teams. Cam Newton is learning this lesson the hard way — and doubtless is thanking his lucky stars he plays in an east coast NFL conference.

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FORBES

California Taxes Will Eat Up All Of Cam Newton’s Super Bowl Earnings By K. Sean Packard

Remember when Peyton Manning paid New Jersey nearly $47,000 in taxes two years ago on his Super Bowl earnings of $46,000? Manning has nothing on the state taxes facing Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif. Newton is looking at a tax bill more than twice as much, which will swallow up his entire Super Bowl paycheck, win or lose, thanks to California’s tops in the nation tax rate of 13.3%.

Before we get into the numbers,… Read More

Hector Barajas

Celebrating Rubio’s 3rd Place Iowa Finish

In the past few days, presidential candidate, Marco Rubio has picked up several key endorsements and hauled in over $2 million in donations. He has become the talk of the town among the political commentators, the rank-and-file Republicans, big donors and party leaders. While he is a smart young, optimistic Latino senator from Florida, with a campaign built around the American-Dream narrative and high expectations for generations to follow, he has also become the closet alternative to the top two vote getters — Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

The fear and angst of having either Cruz or Trump as the Republican nominee for president has center-right Republicans cheering Marco Rubio’s 3rd place finish and here are a few reasons why:

Donald Trump’s bombastic approach, while attractive to some, gives heartburn to those who know the process of running for… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Brown’s Latest Tax Increase May Have Republican Support

“If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

~Ronald Reagan

Despite California’s highest-in-the-nation taxes, a couple of Assembly Republicans have allegedly agreed to vote for Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax on health plans in the State of California.

Even if Brown is able to convince health insurers, he needs a two-thirds majority vote from the Legislature. And this is where Republican votes come in. Currently, Democrats do not have a supermajority, and need to peel off a couple of Republican votes for tax increases.

Predictably, Brown has been trying to convince Republicans his health plan tax is really “tax reform.”

“This is not a tax increase, no matter what anyone tells you,” he said during his State of the State address.

“It will be pretty easy to tell if this is a tax increase, or some sort of revenue neutral swapping of one tax for another,” said Jon Fleischman, publisher of the Flash… Read More

Ed Ring

California’s Pension Contribution Shortfall At Least $15 Billion per Year

“Pension-change advocates failed to find funding for a measure during the depths of the 2008 recession and the havoc it wreaked on government budgets, so they won’t pass (a measure) when the economy is doing well.” – Steve Maviglio, political consultant and union coalition spokesperson,Sacramento Bee, January 18, 2016

It’s hard to argue with Mr. Maviglio’s logic. If the economy is healthy and the stock market is roaring, fixing the long-term financial challenges facing California’s state/local government employee pensions systems will not be a top political priority. But that doesn’t mean those challenges have gone away.

One of the biggest problems pension reformers face is communicating just how serious the problem is getting, and one of the biggest reasons for that is the lack of good financial information about California’s government worker pension systems.

The California State Controller used to release a “Public Retirement Systems Annual Report,” that consolidated all of California’s 80 independent… Read More

Ron Nehring

Decisive Iowa win proves Cruz is the courageous conservative America needs

Last night’s dramatic and decisive victory in the Iowa caucuses wasn’t just a victory for Senator Ted Cruz — it was a victory for the American people who have spent nearly eight years suffering under the failed leadership of President Obama. Now, we are past the end of the beginning of the process to elect a new Republican president, one who will put our country on a new, and better, path.

Ted Cruz proved that he could take on a powerful special interest — in this case, the ethanol lobby, which threw everything it could at him — and prevail. That’s the kind of leader I want to see in the White House. Not a leader who is intimidated by entrenched and powerful interests, but one with the courage to challenge them when we have better ideas rooted in our party’s principles.

In the days leading up to the vote, it was clear that others were getting desperate. Canadian! Loans! He’s not nice! Give me a break. I wondered what would be next — unreturned library books? Most of those claims came from Donald Trump, who clearly didn’t have a good night. It’s never a good idea to build your… Read More

Katy Grimes

National Security Experience Key, for U.S. Sen. Candidate Rocky Chavez

Rocky Chavez, a CaliforniaGOP candidate for U.S. Senate,isn’t just another empty suit or pretty face in politics. Chavez, a Republican Assemblyman from Oceanside, CA,served 28 years in the United States Marine Corps, rose to the rank of Colonel, and commanded 22,000 troops.

He later served as the acting Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, and then as the Vice Chairman of the Assembly Veterans of Affairs Committee.

Chavez wants to take this leadership experience to the U.S. Senate, to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer, one of two ultra-liberal senators from California. “This isn’t about participation – I don’t want a participation trophy – its about being the champ,” Chavez said in an interview. “I’ve never been… Read More

Jon Coupal

ATTORNEY GENERAL REINS IN SHADY BOND PRACTICES

It’s not often that taxpayers get good news, especially in tax-happy California. Even more surprising is when the good news is an official opinion from the state’s Attorney General, someone not normally associated with friendly treatment to taxpayers.

Last November, this column noted that local governments, especially school districts, were prone to engage in questionable campaign activity to secure an unfair advantage in bond elections. Although it is illegal for officials to use public resources (including public funds) to urge a vote for or against a political issue, consultants frequently advise tax proponents to wage one sided “informational” campaigns. This includes sending out material stating all the good things a bond or tax measure will do, but usually they stop just short of violating the law by telling people how to vote. (Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has had multiple successes in obtaining court injunctions against school districts that cross the line into advocacy, but by the time the court rules, the political damage has already been done). And to top it all off, the “consultants” compensated with taxpayer dollars are frequently… Read More

Ray Haynes

Donald Trump = Arnold Schwarzenegger, Part II

Not long ago, I said I believe that Donald Trump will be as President just as Arnold Schwarzenegger was as California Governor. Leaving aside the recent brouhaha about the debate (I will only say that if Trump cannot handle a little attack from Megyn Kelly, Vladimir Putin and ISIS will eat him for lunch), everything that Trump has done since I wrote the article has convinced me I was exactly correct. Once again, I start with the disclaimer I support Ted Cruz. That, however, does not change my observations and comparisons.

Schwarzenegger’s leftist lackeys rejected my premise, claiming Schwarzenegger practiced the politics of “inclusion,” whatever that means. They said Schwarzenegger reached out to his opponents, wanted to include his opposition, not demonize them as Trump has done. Schwarzenegger, say his apologists, was nice and fuzzy.

I don’t know how calling your opponents “girly men” is being inclusive. In fact, when he was running for office, Schwarzenegger called the Sacramento crowd corrupt, and he was going there to clean it up. I was at a rally in Sacramento, where the theme song was the Twisted Sister song… Read More

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