FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Fleischman

San Diego Pension Reform Group Turns in 145K+ Signatures to Qualify for Ballot

In a striking blow to the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council and Labor Union bosses around the state, the San Diego Pension Reform measure appears to be on its way to the ballot box this morning.

Comprehensive Pension Reform (CPR) for San Diego is announcing at this moment that the campaign turned in a whopping 145,027 signatures to the San Diego City Clerk’s office early this morning to qualify the measure for the June 2012 ballot.

More than 120,000 of those signatures have been verified already using a 100% signature verification method, according to the CPR campaign. The 145,000+ signature turn-in is well in excess of the 94,346 valid signatures which are required to place the measure on the ballot.

In a failed effort that received much media attention, public employee union bosses attempted to keep this and other measures off the ballot by running phony radio ads to scare people from signing, over fear of identity theft. Today’s overwhelming turn-in proves that labor’s efforts to intimidate and deceive voters were trumped by the desire of citizens to achieve real pension reform.… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Conforming Loan Limits

I’m a car guy. Most of you know this. However, I’ve recently become the housing guy in Washington. This is not due to any direct background or experience. I have only bought 3 and sold 2 houses in my life, all of in which the captivating Mrs. Campbell and I have lived. It is partly because I serve on the committee that deals with such issues. But, it is mainly because I know we never go into recessions without housing and cars leading us in, and we never recover without housing and cars leading us out. These two industries are just too big a part of the economy and too important to the psyche of consumers. The car business is doing better of late, but housing is not. There are many reasons our economy stinks, but one of them is certainly because the housing market is still in a decline. The economy will not be strong again until we turn it around.

When you have a sick patient, the first rule is, “Do no harm”. The housing market is sick. Much of what is causing this sickness is the fact that the housing finance system, anchored by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, failed. We have to replace that system. As many of you know, I have a… Read More

Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner

Arguments Nobody Makes

I don’t usually comment on federal issues, finding as I do enough material in the strange stuff going on around me in Sacramento. But with the Legislature out of session and your pocketbook safe for a while, I thought I would note a bizarre comment recently from our beleaguered president. It’s worth noting, I think, both because it is typical of the arguments we often hear from the left, and because of what it says about the president’s respect for the intelligence of the American people.

The subject the president was addressing was immigration, specifically, the federal version of the so-called Dream Act. More generally, he was defending himself from the charge that he was somehow to blame for the current confused immigration situation that satisfies neither the left nor the right. And according to the White House web site’s transcript of the president’s comments, the comments I find curious, he said in defense, “I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true.”

Now, of course, precisely NO ONE of any sense, stature, or IQ above room temperature has ever expressed “this notion.”… Read More

James V. Lacy

Cal Buzz accuses Howard Jarvis Assn. of “lies, damn lies” in poll while illegally using copyrighted picture of Howard Jarvis in same post

CalBuzz has a lead item in today’s website entitled “Lies, Damn Lies: Howard Jarvis and Small Biz ‘Poll”. However, the picture of Jarvis that they use to punctuate their accusations includes an illegal and unauthorized use of the famous picture of Howard Jarvis that appeared in Time magazine, which is copyrighted material and privately owned by the HJTA and another organization. We were told the picture was sourced from the Google Images Library. The Google images Library clearly instructs any potential user that the picture “may be subject to copyright” and reports the picture back to a website that firmly, very clearly asserts a copyright on the picture and states “All material on this website is copyrighted.” One would think the experienced journalists at CalBuzz would understand copyrights for journalistic materials, including those clearly marked as such. CalBuzz says they will remove the offending material “by noon,” but all the damage will be done by then, when the website has received the majority of it’s page views. Beware a message of “lies, damn lies” that comes from a source… Read More

Jon Fleischman

“Legion of Acceptability” Meets on KFI Radio’s John and Ken Show

Yesterday at 5pm, KFI radio talk show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou hosted Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s Jon Coupal, and yours truly for a fun segment — united a group of anti-tax leader that were dubbed by Governor Jerry Brown as the “Legion of Acceptability” — Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about that here.

The premise of Brown’s assertion is that our group of taxpayer advocates is responsible for stopping his play to put taxes increases on a special election ballot this year. The reality is that the vast majority of GOP legislators opposed these tax increases because they are bad public policy, not because of anything printed here on the FlashReport or spoken on the John and Ken Show. Those few GOP legislators who were willing to put taxes on the ballot were thwarted by the public employee unions,… Read More

Ron Nehring

The Solyndra Green Jobs Fiasco

Solyndra is the kind of company certain politicians love because it provides a concrete example that can be used to justify a particular philosophy. It turns an abstract idea real.

In this case, the philosophy is one which liberals have developed to rationalize all types of regulations and subsidies of the kind America has otherwise spent fifty years moving away from. “Green jobs,” the story line goes, will be our future.

It sounds great. And politically, it’s even better: it’s suddenly acceptable to crush all kinds of businesses with regulations and taxes because the jobs that are destroyed will be replaced will all kinds of new “green jobs.” Everything will be fine. In his 2010 campaign for Governor, Democrat Jerry Brown citied such idealistic, clean, high-tech jobs almost daily.

Yet, “green jobs” is an abstract concept, and one which has proven to be largely a failure in the real economy. At best they occupy a niche, and no credible economic analysis can demonstrate a roadmap by which such jobs become anything more than a tiny sector of our giant economy.

The “green jobs” concept is an important one to keep the… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Neither Snow nor Sleet nor Dark of Night…

We all are familiar with the rest of the variations on this phrase describing the dedication of the US Postal Service (USPS) in delivering the mail. Well, snow and rain may not be keeping the Post Office from delivering the mail, but financial problems within the USPS may soon halt delivery.

This has not gotten much publicity, but the USPS is in real trouble. The USPS is an independent, but wholly-owned entity of the federal government. It is designed to be self-supporting such that the rates it charges will cover the costs of delivering the mail. This worked for a long time. Obviously, for over 200 years. But, not so now. After earning modest profits from 2004-2006, the agency started hemorrhaging money in 2007. Between 2007 and 2010, it has lost over $20 billion. These losses are now accelerating in 2011 with a loss, in the first 3 quarters of this year, amounting to $5.7 billion. The USPS has already borrowed the maximum $15 billion it is allowed to borrow under the law and has already deferred another $4 billion in payments to its employee retirement fund to cover these losses. The Continuing Resolution adopted by the House last week… Read More

James V. Lacy

Obama California “ATM” spitting out more cash today

Barack Obama continues to ring-up his California Automated Teller Machine. despite record 12.1% unemployment here punctuated by almost 50% employment among high school age black men, with fundraisers planned in the higher employment environs of San Diego County and Hollywood.

Today the President of Hope, whose current Misery Index economic number here is higher than the number that inspired Jimmy Carter to use the data to defeat Gerald Ford for President in 1976, lunches at noon at the mansion residence of Elizabeth and Mason Phelps in the 1400 block of La Jolla Rancho Road in La Jolla. (Maureen Guffanti of the Tea Party informs us that a public protest is planned down the street.) After that, Obama will fly up to LAX to make it to another fundraiser at the snappy House of Blues on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood. Hopefully the presence of all those police and secret service accompanying the… Read More

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