This is our fourth installment of our “Idiot Of The Week” commentary. We’re still shifting around a bit, finding the best day to run this piece.
The FlashReport Idiot Of The Week Award is bestowed upon that pubic official (or high profile person engaged in politics or public policy) who does something completely idiotic. With a state as large as Californian, which seems to have a higher-than-average amount of folks who either don’t think about what they do — or even worse, they think about what they do and still act like idiots — we suffer from no shortage of potential award winners. As in previous columns, we start first with the runners-up in no particular order, and then onto the big prize.
Runner-Up #5 – Los Angeles City Councilwoman and Mayoral candidate Jan Perry – At a recent mayoral debate, Perry stepped out of the left-wing penalty box and told attendees that she would support pension reform for city employees — supporting 401k style retirement plans for new hires (GOP candidate Kevin James was the only other candidates to support this position). But wait – before you get excited about a Democrat showing an independent streak from city unions — subsequent to the debate Perry apparently put out a release reneging on her answer. Apparently there is only one candidate who is willing to take on the unions and it is not Perry.
Runner Up #4 – Senator Leland Yee and Kevin DeLeon, Assemblymembers Rob Bunta and Nancy Skinner. All four of these whacky-left legislators have introduced bills to try and crack down on liberty of law-abiding Californians to arm themselves, and to do so without having to check in with the government. Let us remember that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is that a well-armed American people should be able to protect themselves — even from a government that grows to powerful (Remember this guy?). DeLeon says register all ammunition (SB 53). Yee says regulate how people store their own guns (SB 108) and expand the definition of assault weapons (SB 47). Bunta says tax ammo (AB 180). Skinner takes the cake with her bill (AB 48) to require DOJ notification of ammo purchases of a certain amount, banning magazines that look like they have a capacity of more than ten bullets, and banning the possession of parts to repair certain magazines. This whole group of legislators who believe that making it harder for Americans to enjoy their Second Amendment rights is a good thing — total idiots.
Runner-Up #3 – Steve Maviglio. Long a senior aide to multiple Assembly Speakers and a consummate Capitol insider Steve Maviglio managed to pen an entire column in the Sacramento Bee where he verbally assaults much-needed legislation to require that all bills before the legislature be in final printed form for 72 hours before a vote. Maviglio’s main arguments — legislators rely on staff briefings (which are based on leadership talking points as opposed to reading the bill?) and the idea that going public would empower special interests (Earth to Steve, the special interests are in charge right now). Arguing against transparency and in favor of last-minute, back-room deals is idiotic.
Runner-Up #2 – Christie Hefner. As President of the lefty Center for American Progress, this daughter-of-Hef and former CEO of Playboy Enterprises, as reported by the Daily Caller, said: “Yes, last year we hit a record number of murders from guns [in Chicago]. And this year we are already outpacing last year’s numbers. Now, there are contributing factors that are not under anybody’s control and may seem odd, but it is factually true. One of them is actually the weather. There is a dramatic increase in gun violence when it is warmer. And we are having this climate change effect that is driving that.” As is pointed out in the Daily Caller piece, the summertime weather in New York City is equally as hot, but there has been no similar spike in crime rates. So lame, Hef.
Runner Up #1 – Cardinal Roger Mahony. The former Arch-Bishop of the Catholic Diocese in Los Angeles was rightfully dismissed by his successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, from any future public or administrative duties with the Church. It’s no wonder. Gomez’s pronouncement comes as, due to court direction, nearly a hundred thousand documents have been publicly released that detail enough abusive behavior by priests under Mahony’s watch, and so many examples of Mahony turning a blind eye or worse, that the Cardinal probably should be drummed out of the Church all together. Mahony gets idiot-runner-up status for his releasing of a public letter back the Gomez where he boasts that when he left his position, he had put in place “state of the art” protections against future abuse. Does this guy understand the pain and suffering of so many for which he was, in part, responsible? What a complete, total idiot.
And this week’s top honoree — the winner of the Idiot Of The Week Award is… ASSEMBLYMAN HENRY PEREA.
Assemblyman Henry Perea has grabbed our top “honor” for being the author of Assembly Bill 8, which, according to Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, would increase or extend $2.3 billion of fees on car owners until 2023. These include smog abatement fees, air quality management district fees, vehicle and boat registration fees and new tire fees. Cumulatively, the impact to citizen taxpayers will be at least $20 per vehicle annually.”
All of these various fees and taxes which were passed in 2007 are set to sunset in 2014 — at the time they passed the were billed as “temporary” — but of course nothing is temporary in Sacramento if it fills up the coffers of state government. The big bucks collected by these fees then are redistributed by government fiat to a number of sweetheart programs embraced by the left.
Insidiously a portion of the moneys collected per car are then redirected to businesses to mitigate regulatory costs associated with regulations promulgated by the California Air Resources Board. Some in business, instead of focusing on repealing the job-killing regulations, instead focus on shifting the burden to car owners, which is pretty lame.
Of course the only thing more idiotic than a Democrats introducing a multi-billion dollar car tax increase would be a Republican voting for it (especially when every GOP vote means that a targeted Democrat can lay off). Any yes on AB 8 GOP votes are sure to make a future edition of this column.
For his proposal to sock it to all ready over-taxed Californians with a regressive, punitive extension of “temporary” taxes on automobiles all of the way until 2023 — the FlashReport is pleased to award Assemblyman Perea as our Idiot Of The Week. Congratulations, Assemblyman!