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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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John Hrabe

$2.1 Million Redistricting Campaign Flips California the “Bird”

While everyone’s attention has been focused on candidate finance reports, an important campaign finance number has been ignored: the total cost of the Republican redistricting referendum.

According to its fourth quarter campaign finance report, the Republican group Fairness & Accountability in Redistricting spent a whopping $2.1 million on its effort to put the new state Senate maps to a vote in November. The committee collected $1.7 million, or 80 percent, of its funding from the California Republican Party. That’s money that a cash-depleted party could have invested into voter registration programs for the three competitive state Senate districts.

Over at, I’m flogging the redistricting horse one final time. Why?

Because there were real problems with the commission that Republicans tried to expose. Moreover, the Capitol press corps is so busy attacking Republicans that they’re missing… Read More

Richard Rider

As Super Bowl Shows, Build Stadiums for Love and Not Money

Speaking of Super Bowls (and everybody is, as today’s the day!), here’s a timely article on building new stadiums to draw such “profitable” events to a city. As one might expect from a well-referenced, objective analysis (such as this opinion piece), it’s a BAD idea financially. There might be other “rah rah” reasons that voters would approve such projects, but proponents’ bogus economic claims of riches (shades of CA HSR!) should not be among them.

Here’s the comment I posted under the article:

A binding public vote (not just an “advisory” vote) on such boondoggles is essential. But the election spending on such matters is VERY one-sided. Those who profit from a new sports stadium (and not just the team owners) will spend a bundle, whereas there is no “special interest” in opposition. It’s the usual problem of “concentration of benefit, dispersal of cost.”

It should be noted that the media (especially TV and the daily newspaper) have a HUGE vested interest in pro sports. It’s a major draw of local viewers and readers — both the gamesRead More

Jon Fleischman

Charles Munger, Jr., A Donor Who Seeks To Reduce Role of Political Parties To Now Head One Up

Charles Munger, Jr, the wealthy son of Warren Buffet’s close business partner, who has emerged as one of the most divisive players in California Republican politics will be ascending to the Chairmanship of the Republican Party in Santa Clara County. Recently Munger played a huge role in driving an inter-mural battle within the California Republican Party, seeking to gut the party’s platform. Party regulars from around the state rallied and overcame Munger’s finances to prevail. Prior to the assault on the party platform, Munger weighed in as a support of Proposition 14 which was championed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abel Maldonado. Right in the arguments for supporting Prop. 14 in the Secretary of State Voter Information Pamphlet was, “The best part of the open primary is that it would lessen the influence of the major parties…”

So according to the rumor mill, Munger’s first act as Chairman will be to replace the Republican Elephant on the Santa Clara County GOP with a photo of a puppy dog. All joking aside, it is worth noting that someone who seeks to reduce the influence of political parties is now going to be… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Celebrate Reagan Day

I invite you to join me in celebrating Ronald Reagan Day this Monday, February 6 in honor of our former California Governor and U.S. President.

In these challenging economic times, we can learn much from our former governor and president. Ronald Reagan believed in the American people, and he was confident that our nation’s brightest days are ahead of us.

In 2010 I authored Senate Bill 944 making Mr. Reagan’s birthday, February 6, a special day of significance in his honor. Monday will mark the second annual Ronald Reagan Day since my legislation became state law.

This special day for Reagan, which began last year on his 100th birthday, does not create a state holiday, nor does it cost taxpayer dollars.

Instead, Reagan Day is what is called ‘a day of special significance’ just like other days celebrating John Muir, California teachers and the California Poppy.

Please take a moment to visit to share a favorite memory, quote, photo or video… Read More

Mark Standriff

The Greatest Conservative Movie of All Time

My family loves tradition. Every February 2nd, we gather together in front of a roaring, wood flamed, environmentally-unfriendly fire and watch The Greatest Conservative Movie of All Time.

For the record, it’s not “The Ten Commandments.” It’s not even “Red Dawn.” It’s “Groundhog Day” featuring Bill Murray as his snarkiest.

Murray’s movies have always been quotable; in fact, I believe you risk breaking several local and federal regulations if you don’t invoke at least one Caddyshack quote during every round of golf. (I’m especially proud of the fact that I was once able to use the phrase, “Your honor, Your Honor,” with true intent and boundless glee while golfing with a Superior Court judge back in Ohio.)

“Groundhog Day” is filled with the kind of language that should make every conservative heart sing: • “Don’t drive angry.” • “Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.” • “This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.”

“Groundhog Day” displays timeless conservative themes.… Read More

John Hrabe

US Senate 2012: Jones Endorses Emken

Businesswoman Elizabeth Emken appears to have the Big Mo in her campaign for the GOP nomination for US Senate. In the past few weeks, she’s brought on former CRP communications director Mark Standriff to coordinate her press, announced her statewide finance team, and now has a big endorsement.

Former California Secretary of State Bill Jones, a former US Senate nominee, endorsed Emken yesterday. The campaign press release is here .

“Elizabeth’s experience in financial management and beating back state and federal bureaucracies gives her the background necessary to fix Washington and advocate on our behalf. California is ready for the type of leadership and perseverance that Elizabeth has demonstrated through her tireless efforts on behalf of children with autism,” Jones said in the campaign press release.

The Jones name still carries weight in the Central Valley. And while political endorsements are over-hyped, this is a solid indication that the CA GOP establishment is consolidating behind Emken.

Emken campaign manager Jeff Corless probably had something to do… Read More

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