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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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James V. Lacy

CRA’s Greig’s power grab resolution illegal: Voights legal opinion

Lake Forest City Councilman Scott Voights, who is a Vice-President of the venerable California Republican Assembly, just shared with me the release of a legal opinion from the Sutton Law Firm, a prominent and very high-quality Republican-oriented election law firm based in San Francisco, that analyzes an emergency "policy resolution" promoted by incumbent CRA President Celeste Greig and former Placer GOP chief Tom Hudson, that would perpetuate them in CRA offices in the face of overwhelming local unit and delegate opposition at the up-coming CRA convention to be held in mid-April. The independent legal analysis concludes that the Greig/Hudson resolution is hyper illegal. The whole situation is quite pathetic for Greig, Hudson and the CRA. It is an invitation for lawsuits. A copy of the legal analysis Scott released is attached.… Read More

Ray Haynes

Zen and Retribution

Jerry Brown richly deserved his "Governor Moonbeam" moniker in his first incarnation as Governor (in the 1970’s). He emphasized his Zen ways, talked about the "era of limits" (before Reagan blew the top off of those limits in the 1980’s), and, with his unusual style, and odd public pronouncements, left the impression that he had more than his fair share of that "wacky tabacky" the use of which seemed to be on the rise in those days.

Before Jerry Brown was Governor, California had the best school system in the country. California had a freeway system that was envied throughout the world. 80% of Californians could afford a median price home. Gasoline was 22 cents a gallon, and water was prevalent, and cheap. Farmers didn’t worry about Delta smelts or fairy shrimp. We weren’t a welfare magnet, and bruceros crossed the border to work legally in the fields, and then went home. The state budget was $8.6 billion general fund. Things weren’t idyllic, but they weren’t bad.

After he left office, the state’s general fund spending had nearly tripled.… Read More

Jon Fleischman

No Drought, Time To Pull Water “Porkulus” Bond Measure Off 2012 Ballot

As has been anticipated the last couple of days, Governor Brown has declared the three-year long drought in California officially over. With the state’s reservoirs quite full, and the snow pack in the Sierras at 165% of normal, ending the drought declaration is probably a good idea.

Hopefully the readily available supply of water will translate to some reductions in water rationing and perhaps the lowering of costs for end users (one can but hope).

But there is certainly one very bright, positive political aspect to California’s drought being over — it means that it will be harder than ever for the massive $11++ billion water bond package, due to appear on a 2012 ballot near you, to go down in defeat.

The "Water Porkulus" bond package, as I called it when it was being crafted by the legislature a couple of years ago, is literally 3 or 4 times bigger than what is actually needed to responsibly address our state’s water infrastructure issues (it depends on whom you speak, as to exactly how "too big" it is). The process of watching sausage get made is supposedly very gross and… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Tax Freedom Day Two Days Later This Year

According to the Tax Foundation, California’s Tax Freedom Day won’t come until April 16 this year, a full two days later than last year and four days later than the average state.

Tax Freedom Day, calculated annually by the Tax Foundation, is the day Americans have earned enough money to pay theirRead More

James V. Lacy

Mike Spence to Celeste Greig: time to resign from CRA

The annual convention of the California Republican Assembly is scheduled for next month, where a new leadership election is scheduled. CRA is and always has been, since the 1930s when it was founded by among others former Governor Earl Warren, the most important Republican volunteer organization in the state. Almost all the leadership of the California Republican Party have had a run threw the chairs of CRA. But while the recent election of leadership in the CRP was quite harmonious, the situation in CRA is hardly the case. Just after the "record date" closed this last week for selection and disclosure of delegates to next month’s convention, the current leadership group, lead by President Celeste Greig, former Barbara Alby aide Tom Hudson, and Orange County volunteer Craig Alexander, apparently determined that they were destined to be turned out of office; so in what would have been their limited time left on the CRA board, they have concocted an emergency "bylaw" amendment that will disenfranchise scores of delegates to the convention and thereby, they hope, perpetuate what has become a very pathetic term of office for all three. An unusual, and… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Leading Taxpayer Advocacy Groups Sign Letter Concerning State Budget Crisis

The following letter from major taxpayer advocacy organizations was distributed yesterday in the State Capitol to the offices of Republican legislators… (The link below opens a .pdf of the formatted letter complete with logos of the various organizations and signatures of their representatives.)

March 29, 2011 Dear Republican Legislators: Re: Expiration of the 2009 Tax Increases; Restoring California The undersigned taxpayer leaders are writing to reiterate our position that the 2009 tax increases hurt California; why they should be allowed to expire; and whyRead More

Jon Fleischman

No Budget Deal Is Much Better Than A Bad Budget Deal

Yesterday we saw the most recent and highest profile “cessation of negotiations” between Governor Brown, legislative Democrats, and the GOP “Rogue 5” as we call them. There is plenty of analysis available on the web for those who want to dig into the specific policy issues that were being horse traded in return for jamming taxpayers with yet another election held for the purpose of reaching into their pockets. Suffice it to say that my position, which is the position shared by a whole group of taxpayer protection groups in a letter published on the FlashReport today, and the position of 30 Senate and Assembly Republicans – there is NO public policy trade off that makes it okay to then vote to place taxes onto a special election ballot.

It is my sincerest hope that this latest “break” in negotiations is not just more posturing, as some budget kabuki dances take longer than others, but that it really means that the idea of Republicans putting up at least two votes in each chamber to put taxes on the ballot is extinguished.

As I have written before, if the very large tax increases passed as part of… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

$4/gallon, $4.50/gallon, $5/gallon or More

I was home in California last week and I paid $4.29 for premium fuel while I was there. And, as I write this, the price of oil is still rising. $4.50 or $5.00 per gallon of gas is certainly in sight and possible. And, remember that the price of oil is denominated in dollars, but it is a world market. So, when the value of the dollar drops, as it is doing now due to printing money and deficits and such, the price of oil in dollars will rise even if the world supply/demand equation remains stable. We have seen this movie before. I remember very clearly in August and September of 2008 that Republicans (including this Republican) took to the floor of the House during August recess to talk about the recent rise in gas prices and to send a "drill, baby, drill" message. I also well remember one day in September when I was scheduled to lead that floor effort, but the financial crisis was about to burst and overwhelm the issue of gas prices. I asked to see then minority leader Boehner and was able to convince him that we should not be talking about gas prices when a much bigger crisis was going to be upon us within days. He heeded this advice and we went out and held a short… Read More

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