FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Ray Haynes

The Loser Mentality of California Republicans

A few years ago, when I voted for the majority vote budget idea, because I thought it would be better for Republicans if Democrats owned the budget, I was told I was hurting Republicans, because “a two thirds vote was the only way for Republicans to have a voice in the budget.” (we never had one, anyway).

Later, when I opposed the formation of the “Citizens” Redistricting Commission, I was told I was hurting Republicans because the Commission was the only way Republicans could get a majority in the Legislature.

In the midst of those efforts, I proposed the “Adopt a District” program, in which sitting Republican elected officials would go into neighboring Democrat districts and develop Republican election infrastructure well in advance of an election. Too much work, I was told, we will be saved by the “Citizens” Redistricting Commission (oops, we were wrong on that).

I proposed changing the rule on how the California Republican Party chose its delegates for President in the Republican National Convention. It would hurt our influence in the Presidential primary, I was told (as if we had any).

We are… Read More

Michael Der Manouel, Jr.

Teacher Layoff Protection A Poison Pill For Local School Districts

Just when you thought they coudn’t be stupider….

The Democrat State legislature and Governor have enacted a budget that apparently denies local school districts to set their staffing levels based on financial conditions and enrollment. This is being heralded as good public policy?

Republicans have been accused of having a “religious” opposition to tax extensions. Isthe Democrats opposition to pension reform and government employee cost structure reform not “religiously fanatical” in its own right?

Republicans in Sacramento, in a small way, set us up for this. We’ve been drinking the “preserve education funding” Kool Aid for 20 years, going along with massive increases in spending and staffing, with no appreciable or commensurate benefits in student performance. Even this year, we hinted at our devotion to maintaining K-12 educations spending levels.

Why? The State is broke and enrollment is declining. Is this not the perfect time to challenge the old broken sacred cow? I guess not.

So, as the CTA begins another nine figure campaign war chest designed at picking up the last few seats they… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Santa Clara County Exec Blasts Cupertino Councilman Barry Chang, The Guy Who Confronted Steve Jobs

Back in the early 1990′s, I was a political science student and active in the student government at San Jose State University. While there, I lived in a suburb of San Jose called Cupertino, whose largest employer was and still is today Apple Computer. In fact, in order to pay my bills, I actually worked part time at Apple. So, my interest was profoundly piqued when it was announced by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs that the company he founded had been buying up swaths of property in Cupertino and announced plans to build a massive new campus with a new building that will have a larger footprint than the Pentagon, and serve as a home to over 12,000 employees. The single, four-story circular building is shaped in a vast ring — that looks like a giant spaceship. Check out this ABC news clip – pretty amazing stuff:

Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Jerry Brown Signs Away Affiliate Jobs

Even as Governor Jerry Brown lifted his pen today to sign the so-called “Amazon Tax” into law, thousands of affiliates across California were losing their jobs.

Major out-of-state retailers like Amazon.com and Overstock.com are terminating their California affiliate advertising programs in response to this legislation. I’ve been warning for months that this would happen, but apparently these warnings fell on deaf ears.

The so-called ‘Amazon tax’ is truly a lose-lose proposition for California. Not only won’t we see the promised revenues, we’ll actually lose income tax revenue as affiliates move to other states.… Read More

Bill Leonard

A Battle Won

Republican legislators achieved two great victories this week. The newly adopted budget has cut some spending so it is closer to being balanced and even more importantly taxes on working families and businesses are going down. Political battles are rarely clear cut victories and I am sure that our legislators are exhausted and perhaps wondering if all of this effort was worth the outcome. Most definitely.

Despite the best efforts to trade a tax election vote for reforms it was never going to be a clean deal. Getting liberals to vote for real reforms on pensions, CEQA, regulations or any of the other messes they created is like asking them to invite Sarah Palin out to dinner. It is not going to happen. And if the Reps did get 6 Dem Senators and 13 Dem Assemblymembers to vote with them (assuming all the reforms could be done with majority votes) there would be nothing stopping the others and their allies from sponsoring a referendum to repeal all reforms even before they take effect. The reforms proposed also are quite common sense. Nothing radical like abolishing CEQA or abolishing pensions for government workers. Therefore the impacts of these modest reforms… Read More

James V. Lacy

Make California greener by chopping down trees and encouraging wood burning fireplaces

I’m in London en route to Monaco for this weekend. The Royal Wedding will occur while we are in Monte Carlo, with a two hour fireworks show. Do I have a wedding invitation? Well, I assure you, I will indeed see the fireworks.

However, an article in The Times of London intrigued me today. The British Government has an official policy to promote a more-greener United Kingdom by authorizing the chopping down of an additional two million trees a year in English forests. The idea is that clearing denser woods out a little will encourage the growth of bluebells and entice back endangered bird species. After all the trees are chopped down, the government will then guarantee payments to people and businesses to burn the wood for heat, to save on electricity and gas usage, and reduce carbon, which the government says is reduced using burning wood compared to a utility even though burning wood emits smoke. What a novel approach to reducing pollution. I still recall when California’s air resources board thought that the Boudin Sourdough Bread bakery in San Francisco needed to be fined because people had to put up with the smell of baking bread… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Assemblywoman Diane Harkey on the Democrat Budget

This in from Assemblywoman Diane Harkey… So true…

The Democrat majority in the Legislature just passed another unbalanced budget that includes deferrals to education, early release of state prisoners to our counties, phantom revenue projections and legal challenges waiting in the wings. By any calculation, it also adds to our state’s wall of debt, that the Governor claims to want to reduce.

Unless of course the Governor and the Democrats are relying on the decrease in taxes that Republicans fought for, to pump up the economy another $4B this year? Have they turned into supply-siders? If so, the anticipated projected revenues are certainly beyond any multiplier effect ever seen. Unfortunately without structural reforms, the Governor and his cohorts in the Legislature appear to be setting the stage to punish the people until they agree to pass taxes which we expect to appear on the ballot in 2012.

Will the controller deem this budget balanced? Probably so, butRead More

Jon Fleischman

WSJ’s Allysia Finley on Democrat Budget

A great, succinct recap on the new California budget from the Wall Street Journal’s Allysia Finley…

California Dems Pass Budget California Democrats have asserted for the past six months that it wasn’t possible to close the state’s $9.6 billion budget gap without raising taxes. Yet the budget deal that Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrat lawmakers struck this week does just that.

The budget agreement, which passed without Republican support, cuts $450 million from higher education and the courts and defers $2.8 billion in payments to K-12 education. It also takes $1.7 billion from local redevelopment agencies that use property taxes to subsidize private developers.

The deal assumes an additional $200 million in extra tax revenue from the collection of sales tax on online purchases, which is likely on the high side since Amazon has threatened to sever its relationships with its California affiliates if the state starts collecting online sales taxes. Democrats also want to increase fees on vehicles and rural homeowners by another $450 million, but they will need the support of atRead More

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