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BOE Member George Runner

Ploy to Block “Amazon Tax” Vote Outrageous

On the very day Governor Brown spoke about job creation, legislators are concocting an outrageous ploy to prevent the people from voting to overturn the ‘Amazon Tax.’

Clearly these lawmakers are afraid the public is poised and ready to vote down the failed ‘Amazon Tax’ that is costing our state jobs.

Instead of continuing their attack on out-of-state online retailers, the Governor and Legislature ought to be asking these companies how we can work with them to get Californians back to work.… Read More

Meredith Turney

California Congressman Xavier Becerra ‘Resides’ in Maryland?

The Huffington Post broke news today that California Rep. Xavier Becerra signed an affidavit claiming, for tax purposes, that his second home in Maryland is his primary residence. After Becerra purchased the $1 million Chevy Chase home, he took advantage of the homestead tax credit and saved roughly $4,000. According to a spokesman for the congressman, the legal designation is permissible because the tax breaks were claimed by his wife. The HuffPo article mentions three other instances of congressmen–including California’s Pete Stark–of claiming similar out-of-state residences for tax breaks.

Whether this is all legal mumbo-jumbo or a serious matter, it exposes one of the many reasons Americans have reason to be so suspicious of their elected representatives. When voters send one of their own to represent them in Sacramento or Washington, DC, they expect that legislator to still be a member of their community. Using voters as a stepping stone to power and influence on the other side of the country and forgetting where you came from is the… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Breaking: Patricia McKeon To Run For State Assembly; Smyth Termed Out

We have confirmed that Patricia McKeon, the wife of United States Congressman Buck McKeon has decided to seek election to the California State Assembly in the 38th District, which is a “safe” Republican seat (41.4% R, 34.7% D – see the map here) Patricia McKeon will come out of the gate with two of the most prominent endorsements in the area for a GOPer — her husband, who is immensely popular in the area — and also longtime Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich.

McKeon has retained well regarded GOP political consultant Joe Justin to handle her race. No doubt she will also benefit from the fact that longtime time senior Republican strategist Bob Haueter is on the scene (Haueter serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Congressman).

While it is unusual to have the spouse of a Member of Congress run for (let alone serve) in the State Legislature, Patricia lives at home and no doubt already used to seeing Buck on weekends (or maybe even less, given his responsibilities as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee).… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Senate Republicans: Referendum or Irrelevance

A few days ago it happened that I was sitting down with former Senate (and Assembly) Republican Leader Jim Brulte. While we talked about a number of things, when the topic came up of redistricting, and the recently announced plans of the Senate Republican Caucus to qualify a referendum on the Senate District maps created by the California Redistricting Commission, Jim was very clear — he said that referring the proposed lines was critical, and that there was simply no choice. He told me, “I have reviewed in detail the Commission lines for the California State Senate, and I can tell you that it will be nearly impossible for Republicans to block aDemocrat super-majority.”

Many readers of this column know Senator Brulte, though the vast majority of you do not. Brulte has a reputation both for being a keen political strategist — and an equally strong reputation for not talking out of school, or making widely speculative statements.

I wrote about the importance of qualifying the referendum on the State Senate lines last week, but it is… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

California Falls to 50th in New Business Startups

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a new study provides even more bad news for California’s job creation prospects and overall budget picture. According to Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., California has fallen from first in the nation for new business formations to a dismal rank of 50th.

According to the report’s authors:

California’s economic woes and instability have been well-documented, and this data makes another case for how bad things have gotten there. California had the most net new business establishments in 2009 (more than 12,500) and 2008 (32,000-plus); in fact, it ranked either first or second from 2001 to 2009. But the Golden State sank all the way to 50th in 2010 with more than 4,600 fewer new establishments than the previous year.

Could it be that California’s business climate has become so hostile that entrepreneurs now feel they mustleave the state in order to successfully launch a new business endeavor? This news should be a wake-up call to Governor Brown and the Legislature.… Read More

Richard Rider

San Francisco building useless 1.7 mile subway for $1.6 BILLION

Many of us simply marvel at the idiocy underlying California’s high speed rail (HSR) project. It was sold to the public with what are now obvious lies, falsehoods and — well — more lies. The backers are in it for the billions of profit, yet the left loves these “green” corporatist conmen. Knowing what we now know, how can any sane person still support HSR?

The answer is a mystery, but to me, “mindset” seems to best describe the underlying mentality. And we can see this mindset with the current insane, useless, wasteful subway project proceeding in San Francisco. San Francisco is determined to build an unneeded 1.7 mile subway for $1.6 billion (likely more). If you read this story, you’ll simply shake your head in dismay.

If it were ONLY the left wing loonies in the Bay Area who were paying for this boondoggle, perhaps this modern pyramid to lunkheads could be ruefully enjoyed. Sadly, we all will be paying for 60% of this deal via the federal government, which apparently has money to burn — or, in this case, to bury forever 100 feetRead More

Erica Holloway

San Diego Mayoral Candidates: Debate This

A debate’s raging in San Diego. A debate over debates.

It’s a curious thing. The moment San Diego mayoral candidate Councilman Carl DeMaio turned down a Voice of San Diego hosted candidates debate, among others already accepted by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and Congressman Bob Filner, suddenly he was the target of much speculation (District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is also not expected to participate).

The result was what we media consultants lovingly call organic news. Suddenly, DeMaio’s name was everywhere – on social media, in headlines and churning in the poliwonk rumor mills. Then, the situation took an even stranger move – Fletcher and Filner sent DeMaio and Dumanis a letter asking them to join them in three upcoming scheduled debates.

In the letter, the pair wrote: “You haveRead More

Jon Fleischman

AB 1215 – Mandating That A Fee Cannot Be Called A Fee – Seriously

Sometimes it is a royal pain to write about proposed bills sailing through the Democrat-controlled legislature because they are so convoluted that it takes a lot more space to explain the legislation than the time it would take to opine about it. That having been said, this is definitely the “silly season” in the Capitol, where hundreds upon hundreds of bills, largely ranging from bad to extraordinarily terrible are winding their way to the Governor’s desk. With the exception of an occasional bad bill authored by a Republican, the only bills authored by GOPers that are still in the hunt now are either very small in their scope or impact, a study, moving the boundary of a local sewage district, a new commemorative license plate, or perhaps a resolution honoring someone for something. Any attempt by a Republican to substantively reduce the size or scope of California’s government died an unceremonious death long ago.

This time of year my email in box is flooded with example after example of egregious bills. My eyes seriously start to glaze over – and I think to myself, “We SO need a part-time legislature.”

One of the many suggested bills… Read More

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