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Jon Fleischman

Wednesday Random Thoughts

–   Last night voters in the 4th Assembly District elected Beth Gaines — Congratulations!  Despite her healthy margin of victory, Democrats will invariably try to spin that Gaines should have won by a bigger number of votes, making the case that voters in that conservative district suddenly are sour on conservatives.  The unspin is that Gaines just went through a nasty, negative campaign against a well financed Republican opponent who opted not to endorse Gaines when he lost.

–  It appears likely that California Democrats will work to mitigate the negative impacts of Proposition 14 by having in place a system where local Democrat Committee Members will be able to endorse a candidate for partisan office (Congress, State Senate, State Assembly) going into the June elections.  This will put Democrats at a strategic advantage to Republicans who adopted a very restrictive system that will likely lead to the GOP sitting out most races until after June.  Since the new rules no longer guarantee that each party will have a candidate on the November ballot, this could be a big boost for Democrats.

– Apparently “nice” and “attractive” are now part of the lexicon of banned, politically incorrect adjectives that one may not use to describe public officials — or so Assemblyman Charles Calderon has been informed by his colleague, Senator Noreen Evans.  According to this report, Calderon used the words in reference to California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.  I wonder if Evans, apparently the head of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, bothered to ask Cantil-Sakauye if she minds it if she is referred to in that way — I suspect she is just fine with it.  Evans should hold her objections until one of her colleagues crosses the line and calls her nice or attractive…

–  Not to belabor the point, but Beth Gaines looks to have gotten around 55% of the votes on the heels of a nasty campaign that split Republicans.  Ted Gaines ran successfully in that seat three times.  The first and third times he only got 58% of the vote.  The other time he had no opponent, thus got 100% of the vote.

–  All eyes should be on the Assembly PERS Committee today, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 4-2.  Assemblyman Curt Hagman’s AB 738 would prohibit newly elected individuals to any off of any kind from receiving any form of government retirement benefits.  Dubbed the “No Pensions For Politicians Act” — this legislation should garner bi-partisan support as it is good public policy.  Don’t hold your breath.

– After much controversy erupted over the very overt look that Maloof brothers, owners of the Sacramento Kings, made about possibly relocating their NBA franchise down to Orange County, they had made the decision to stay put in the Capitol city for at least one more season.  Sacramento Mayor and former NBA basketball player Kevin Johnson held a press conference yesterday at which he apparently announcing his commitment to figuring out a financing plan to build a new arena-home for the team.  Translation: taxpayers all around the Sacramento Area had best be very worried as “smart people” decide that it is in your interest to tax you to provide you with – local basketball entertainment!

–  There is no better example of the complete and total fealty of Democrat legislators to the will of public employee union bosses than the defeat of Senator Tony Strickland’s SB 115 in the PERS Committee yesterday.  It would have required any public employee who has been convicted of a felony for conduct arising directly out of his or her professional duties to forfeit public pension benefits.  Republicans on the committee supported the bill, while Democrats voted no or laid off.  I guess the idea of former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo cashing in tens of millions in pension income, quite possibly from a prison cell, is just fine with the majority party.

–  The 2009 budget deal included a number of tax increases, some of which (like the income tax increase and cut in the child tax deduction) have already ended.  The increase in the vehicle license fee is set to expire on June 30th.  The Department of Motor Vehicles typically sends out car registration renewal notices about two month out from their due date — this gives car owners plenty of time to renew, and since many people pay such bills right when they get them, it is a way to bring in tax revenues sooner than later.

–  Last week GOP Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty made a stealth visit into Orange County — where he gave a luncheon speech to the moderate Orange County New Majority donor club.   We made some inquiries and it would appear that no effort was made by T-Paw to reach out to any conservatives during the trip — not the County GOP, the Lincoln Club, nor the Family Action PAC.  This has caused a lot of grumbling, and speculation that Pawlenty either isn’t seeking grassroots support, or is taking it for granted.

–  Democrats are still hoping beyond hope that Republican legislators will actually vote not just to place taxes on a hypothetical special election ballot, but they will vote to once again increase the car tax starting July 1st.  Because of this, as June 30th approaches, they do not want the DMV sending out renewal notices to 2.5 million car owners with July registration deadlines, and then another 2.4 million car owners whose renewal dates are in August — because the renewals would be for the lower rate.  Unbelievably Democrats in the legislature and the Democrat Governor are poised to actually delay the sending out of renewal notices.  Good grief.

–  Prolifically tweeting State Senator Ted Lieu has burnished his credentials as a leader in the “Nanny State” with his legislation, SB 746, to make it a crime for a minor between the ages of 14-17 to…use a tanning bed.  Current law already bans kids under 14 from doing so, and 14 – 17 year olds already need the written consent of their parents to use a tanning machine.  We’re waiting for Lieu to follow up with a bill to ban minors from purchasing candy, which is clearly bad for their health.

–  Someone recently asked me for my biggest problem with local redevelopment — a fair question since the topic of abolishing Redevelopment Agencies is a big one in the State Capitol.  While I have a number of issues, number one is the fact redevelopment put local politicians in the business of picking winners and losers.  It is a gross manipulation of the free market where some individual, specific business interests get sweetheart deals and support from government while others do not.  That, in my opinion, is un–American.

– Of course anyone who thinks that spray tans are a batter idea than a tanning booth needs to spend six minutes watching this.

One Response to “Wednesday Random Thoughts”

  1. Aaron F Park Says:

    Jon – don’t forget the late $70K that helped Beth get over the line in the Primary.

    Beth outspent her well-financed opponent 2-1.

    Being on the ground here in AD04 – there are some disturbing patterns emerging and it has far more to do than just with one person not endorsing. We have had a string of Republican candidates with issues.

    Please note that McClintock recently carried Placer by 20 points as did LaMalfa.