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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Mike Spence

Proposition 32 lost the election in October… 2011

Much has been said about the defeat of Proposition 32 in California. Much of that has focused on the GOTV operation of the labor unions, the Democrats and the Obama campaign. Not sure the difference between the but they trulydid a stupendous job. It was do or die and they did it.

The Proposition 32 campaign lost the election over year ago when a decision was made not the place a referendum on the ballot challenging Governor Brown’s signing of Senate Bill 202. SB 202 moved all initiatives to November ballot. As a side note it broke a previous budget deal with Republican squishes and moved a “rainy day” fund measure to 2014.

Clearly, if you look at the results of the June primary it was a much more conservative electorate.

Duh! That’s why the Democrats wanted to move all initiatives to November.

Had the referendum qualified In June we would have voted on Proposition 32 language, of course a different number.

The better turnout model would have arguably given the Proposition 32 folks had … Read More

Jon Fleischman

The House Foreign Affairs Committee Is In Strong Hands With Royce

This week House Republicans gathered and, among other things, confirmed Orange County Congressman Ed Royce to be the new Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In making this decision, the 113th Congress will convene in January with one of the most qualified, hard working, and committed conservatives in the House of Representatives at the helm of this key committee with oversight of the federal government’s role and legislation impacting the foreign affairs of the United States.

To meet Ed Royce for the first time, you might immediately assume that he must be a freshman. Because the high energy level and excitement that he has for his role as a Congressman really come across, and as you start to talk with him, you are struck with admiration for his fierce love of this country, and his outright optimism for its future. If you spend more than a little time with the California Congressman in his 10th term in the House, it becomes pretty evident, pretty quickly, that Royce is an ideologue and an intellectual, with a strong aptitude for public policy. When I first met Royce back in the late 1980’s, he gave me my first copy of former Arizona… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Taxes and Culture

Taxes and Culture: Being a CPA and all, I often opine in these pages about things fiscal, financial and economic. Today, in the mainstream, establishment press, all you hear about is the “fiscal cliff” and taxes and such. I care a great deal about taxes and the deficit, as you regular readers well know. And, you will hear much from me about these issues in the coming months. But, the underlying issue before us right now with the so-called “fiscal cliff” is, in my opinion, not actually fiscal or financial. It is cultural.

As you may not be aware, I have always believed that the culture of an organization is the biggest single attribute that will determine the success or failure of said organization. In my 25 year business career, I was obsessed with the culture of our company and with that of companies we might acquire or with which we might do business. A business with a strong culture of customer service will empower people with service skills and will change or weed out those people who don’t care how they treat others. If a company has a culture of dishonesty, even an honest person will cheat now and then because… Read More

Richard Rider

Why Prop 30 Will Decimate CA Pro Sports

Recently “my” San Diego Chargers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — employing the patented Charger second half meltdown. No surprise. But my concern is that this loss might be the harbinger of what we can expect in future years–for a surprising reason.

First some background: Our star Charger player Vincent Jackson recently became a free agent, and Tampa Bay won the bidding war. After Sunday’s Tampa Bay victory, Jackson was a classy guy, saying all the right things about respecting the Chargers while being happy with his new team–and home. I bet he is!

Jackson is now WELL paid for his services. He makes $5.2 million a year, guaranteed for 5 years. Depending on incentive payments for how well he performs, he can make as much as $11 million a year. The Chargers could not come close to matching that offer–or at least chose not to try. But there’s an additional reason Jackson is so broadly smiling all the way to the bank. IF he were still in CA, he’d be paying 13.3% state income tax (easily the highest in the nation) on most of his $55 million, 5 year salary … Read More

Congressman Tom McClintock

Common Sense After A Close Election

“Now let’s pull up our socks, wipe our noses and get back in this fight.”

After listening to ten days of hand wringing and doom saying from the usual suspects that Republicans must abandon our principles if we are to survive, we need a little of Mark Twain’s common sense. I suggest we all take it to heart.

He said, “We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it — and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again — and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.”

So it is in that spirit that I will begin with three incontrovertible truths about this election.

First, the same election that returned Barack Obama to the White House also returned the second largest House Republican majority since World War II – bigger than anything Newt Gingrich ever had.

Second, according to polls before, during and after this election, the American people agree with us fundamentally on issues involving the economy, Obamacare, government spending, bailouts… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Random Thoughts On The California Political Scene

– My family has just recently returned from an extended post-election vacation to the Island of Oahu, in Hawaii. While we were there, we took a trip to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. So many Americans lost their lives that fateful Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. When a survivor of the Arizona passes away, their family may choose to have them “buried” at the Memorial, to rejoin the crew. If so, they are cremated and navy divers drop the urn with the ashes into the ship. The soldier’s name is then added to the memorial wall.

– Congratulations to the many readers of the FlashReport who were elected, or re-elected to part-time local office. We encourage all of you to remember that part-time office should not come with taxpayer funded health-care and pensions, but many local governments offer them. You can and should turn them down.

Read More

Ray Haynes

Once You Make A Promise…

When I first ran for State Senate in 1990 (the race for the Legislature I lost), I had a meeting with Senator H.L. Richardson, the man who was the conservative movement in California for many decades. In that meeting he gave me the look that only he could give and said “When you make a promise to the voters in an election, it is a covenant. You vote the way you promised until the next election, even if you come to believe the promise was wrong when you made it. You then explain to the voters in the next election why you think that promise was wrong, and that you changed your mind. If they re-elect you, then, and only then, can you vote in the manner that you believe is correct based upon your changed position.” I took that advice to heart. In my time in the Legislature, I voted in accord with my promises as long as my election lasted. If I changed my mind while in office, I still voted the way of my original promise until the next election, and then only after I informed those who voted for me of my changed position.

These days, the debate is over the Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge not to vote for new taxes. I signed it the first year Grover… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Many Online Sellers Don’t Have to Collect Sales Tax

There’s been considerable confusion surrounding California’s new online sales tax law (AB 155), and Cyber Monday was no exception.

Some media reports have suggested that all online sellers must now collect California sales tax. That’s a gross overstatement that creates needless confusion for both taxpayers and consumers.

Even under this new law most major out-of-state online retailers, like L.L. Bean and, are not required to collect sales tax as long as they don’t have a presence in California.

The new law, which became effective September 15, requires out-of-state sellers to collect tax if they make more than $1 million in annual sales to California consumers and at least $10,000 of those sales come through referrals from California-based affiliates.

Earlier this year the Board of Equalization mailed letters to more than 200 out-of-state retailers notifying them of the new law. To date, only a handful have responded by beginning to collect sales tax.

When out-of-state retailers do not collect tax, California consumers are still required to… Read More

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