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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Fleischman

Consequences of the “Short Term” Ed Cuts

The more I think about the idea of approved roughly $3 billion in stand-alone cuts to education in the 2008-09 FY, I am gelling on the fact that to the extent that these cuts that represent just over 10% of needed cuts to fix the state's fiscal imbalance, they also push out any imperative to make other cuts for at least a month…

I am NOT a “policy” guy, I admit that. So that gives me license to do some generalizing. In the Governor's proposal to deal with the $24 billion problem, rougly $17 billion of his proposals are cuts, with a presumption that said cuts will go into effect on July 1. If we were to approve the $3 billion “kick the can” proposal advocated by Capitol Democrats and Assembly Republicans, this would ensure that Dems wouldn't have to face more cuts for at least a month…

So, 1/12 off of $17 billion… (I'm not near a computer or calculator). Let's call is $1.5 billion.

So already the “savings” from the immediate non-comprehensive cut has been “discounted” by 50% before you add in inevitable other costs associated with pushing out a real… Read More

James V. Lacy

Liberal latino activist facing felony voter registration charges

Well, I guess Debra Bowen and the Los Angeles District Attorney are being bipartisan in enforcing voter registration rules. Last week they nailed a GOP voter registration collector, Mark Jacoby, for voter registration fraud and this week they filed charges against well-known southern California liberal Latino activist Nativo Lopez for allegedly fudging on his own voter registration. According to Martin Wisckol’s well researched article in the Orange County Register today, Lopez is facing felony charges for being registered to vote at a Los Angeles address while actually living in Orange County.

Bowen and the DA did the same with poor Mark Jacoby, a guy who makes his living collecting signatures on petitions, (a dirty business) and he plead out to a misdemeanor. But his plea surprised me. "Voter registration fraud" is really not the same as "voter fraud." "Voter fraud" is about stopping dead people and illegals from voting. In these "voter registration fraud" cases, Bowen and the LA District Attorney are enforcing laws that require people who are registered to vote to… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Budget Kabuki – Senate GOPers Stand Tall!

Praise is due this morning to Governor Schwarzenegger and Senate Republicans for putting the brakes on a partial budget fix yesterday that would have kicked the proverbial can on fixing the budget shortfall projected for the coming fiscal year. As we have said, the top priority of Capitol Republicans must be a $24 billion comprehensive fix — lest we end up back at it in the Spring, with pressures high to raise taxes.

I get that there are some decent policy reasons to want to enact this particular group of cuts now. But, guess what? There is always and excuse or a reason to look to the short term instead of the long term.

Hopefully today the leadership teams of Senate and Assembly Republicans are meeting with each other and with the Governor. Republican unity and focus on the end goal with be required to protect taxpayers in this crisis.

Democrats have hopefully learned that they will need to put up a complete fix to this budget situation if they want GOP approval. Delaying this, whether for weeks or months, is not an option.… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Michael Jackson’s Death Takes Down FlashReport

Last night around 7pm I started to get a flurry of emails from FlashReport readers — they couldn’t get onto the website! I tried it out myself and, sure enough, it was slow as molasses. I quickly reached out to our ace team of programmers at Cloudspace (they are located in Orlando, Florida so it was a bit later there) — and they got on it right away.

Their first report to me was that the site had ground to a virtual standstill because of a massive volume of traffic coming to the site. I thought this to be a little odd, for a Thursday night.

Soon after that first report, the answer came back. It turns out that in a commentary I wrote for FR a couple of weeks ago I had a graphic image of the cover of Michael Jackson’s 1984 "Thriller" album — and for some reason, when one did a Google images search for this, the image on my site came up number two! Anyways, as folks around the web sought out that particular graphic they would start to link from their websites and emails to that file. This then led to others grabbing the link and so on and so on. The exponential effort led to a site overload.

The problem has… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Weekly Standard Hit With eBay Advertising Blitz After eMeg Story Runs

I am sure most California politicos didn’t miss the above-the-top "I love Meg Whitman" piece penned a couple of months ago by Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard. I think it is ironic that one of the most prominent advertisers on the Weekly Standard’s website is now eBay. I know because every day that I compile links for the FR’s main page, the Standard’s website is one of my stops.

This morning I had to refresh my browser on their page exactly once to ditch the Joe Scarborough ad, and get the eBay ad you see below. Now to be fair, perhaps they were there before the cover-story puff-piece on eBay’s former Chief Executive Officer — and I just wasn’t looking for them.

My favorite theory is that the eMeg story gets forwarded around to all of Whitman’s former employees and such, and someone in advertising says, … Read More

Jon Fleischman

The Latest On The Budget Kabuki Dance

My apologies — I am running around a bit today and not by the computer much. A quick data-download. The Senate and Assembly passed out two bills today, on votes of 54-0 in the Senate, and 69-0 in the Assembly, which include a few billion in cuts. No where near the $24 billion that needs to be cut to see California State government not end up back in a crisis-mode sometime in the upcoming fiscal year.

The argument that Assembly Republicans make in supporting these particular bills is that they represent cuts that need to be made in the current fiscal year budget (so within the next five days). Cuts made to some areas, such as education, have extra impact as the required levels of funding for some areas in next year’s budget are based on what those areas received this year.

The argument against these bills made by the Governor (who has pledged to veto the bills) and State Senate Republicans (except for a couple who bolted the caucus to vote with the Dems) is that it is imperative that we pass a comprehensive solution only, and nothing that allows Democrats to push out the tough cuts until later — when it is harder to have the impact of… Read More

Jon Fleischman

GOP Legislators: Approval Of Partial Cuts Today Will Increase Pressure For Tax Increases

Today the Democrats will put up some bills calling for cuts in state government spending — but cuts that are far short of what is needed to get us through the 2009 – 2010 fiscal year. Or put another way, if we approve only these cuts, this Spring will find us back in a crisis. But, of course, in the Spring, the ability to make cuts to resolve the shortfall will be significantly more difficult — it takes some time to realize the savings from reductions — time we will have with cuts adopted now, but necessarily in the Spring.

There are a lot of cuts that literally need to take place by the end of this fiscal year (such as cuts to education) or else it would mandate even more spending due to funding formulas set in the State Constitution. I get that. But the top priority of Senate and Assembly Republicans, like by a factor of ten, is to avoid a short-term fix that will have us all staring down the barrel of tax increases this Spring.

The politics of the State Capitol is confusing to me. And I have to admit that perhaps my advice to GOP legislators would be different on this subject if I hadn’t, to my disbelief, watched… Read More

Jon Fleischman

House Republicans Unveil New Video Opposing Democrat Energy Tax (“Cap and Trade”) Bill

This morning, Congressman Kevin McCarthy sent over a link to a new video created by House Republican Whip Eric Cantor — McCarthy serves as Chief Deputy Whip. Here is an intro to the piece by McCarthy, followed by the video…

FROM CONGRESSMAN KEVIN MCCARTHYAs unemployment climbs, Speaker Pelosi’s top priority is passing a cap and trade bill, which imposes a national energy tax (aka “cap and tax”) that is predicted by economic experts to result in more American job losses and cost all Americans more in utility and energy bills. Now is the time to focus on job creation and cutting spending. There is also a better energy approach called the American Energy Act that does not impose a burdensome national energy tax on American families and small businesses, helps create American jobs, and puts America on a path towards energy independence by producing more American energy –Read More

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