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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Ed Ring

Average Costa Mesa Firefighter Makes Nearly $250,000 Per Year. Why? Pensions.

Does that fact have your attention? Because media consultants insist we preface anything of substance with a hook like this. It even has the virtue of being true! And now, for those with the stomach for it, let’s descend into the weeds.

According topayroll and benefit datareported by the City of Costa Mesa to the California State Controller, during 2015 the average full-time firefighter made $240,886. During the same period, the average full-time police officer in Costa Mesa made $201,330. In both cases, that includes the cost, on average, for their regular pay, overtime, “other pay,” the city’s payment to CalPERS for the city’s share, the city’s payment to CalPERS of a portion of the employee’s share, and the city’s payments for the employee’shealth and dental insurance benefits.

And if you think that’s a lot, just wait. Because the payments CalPERS is demanding from Costa Mesa – and presumably every other agency that participates in their pension system – are about to go way up.

We have obtained twoinnocuous… Read More

Jon Coupal

What Took So Long to Reinstate Program for Low Income Seniors?

Property tax assistance for low income seniors, the blind and the disabled is available again. In 2009, the Legislature ended the Property Tax Postponement (PTP) program that for 40 years had allowed low income seniors, the blind and the disabled to defer payment of theirpropertytaxes.

That the PTP program is back is good news, but the question begs to be asked, why was a program that for vulnerable homeowners could mean the difference between remaining in the homes where they had resided for decades or being forced out into the street, canceled in the first place?

The answer is a sad commentary on how Sacramento works when political insiders think no one is looking.

To read entire column click hereRead More

Ed Ring

If Police Unions Were Abolished and Police Associations Were Restored

Earlier this month the New York Times ran an editorial entitled “When Police Unions Impede Justice.” They make the point that collective bargaining agreements for police employees often make it very difficult to hold police officers accountable for misconduct. When you have nearly 1.0 million sworn police officers in the United States, you’re bound to have a few bad apples. According to the NYT, these collective bargaining agreements discourage citizens from lodging misconduct complaints, micromanage investigations, and minimize disciplinary sanctions.

This isn’t news. It’s one of the reasons collective bargaining agreements for police officersare especially problematic. The other big problem with collective bargaining agreements for members of public safety are theoften excessive and unaffordable benefit packages they’ve “negotiated” with the politicians whose careersare made or broken by these same unions. So what if police unions were abolished?

One may argue that abolishing police unions in favor of police associations – which… Read More

Tom Scott

Small Businesses Call Governor Brown To Act On Six Bills

Although there are many legislators celebrating what has widely been regarded as a ‘very successful year for progressive legislative priorities,’ small business owners have little to celebrate as the 2015-2016 legislative session officially comes to a close. And while small business may not have been invited to the negotiation table on minimum wage, family leave, agricultural overtime, or many other issues, NFIB now urges Governor Brown, on behalf of our 22,000 small business members, to hear and consider the concerns of small business as he signs or vetoes over 500 remaining bills on his desk.

There is a serious problem in this state and with our legislative process when the voice and concerns of our job creators are wholly shut out and ignored when considering sweeping public policy that will have a direct negative impact on the ability of small businesses to thrive. For… Read More

Jon Fleischman

FlashReport 2016 Top Bills Worthy Of The Governor’s Veto

Introduction from FlashReport Publisher Jon Fleischman

This is the 11th year that we have presented for your viewing displeasure the worst pieces of legislation sitting on Governor Brown’s desk. Of course there are a great many bills on the Governor’s desk – most of them worthy of a veto. Thus the task of trying to cull through those bills and single out just the twenty worst is not easy. This year’s list comes to us courtesy of both State Senator John Moorlach and Assemblymember Matt Harper. With appreciation to them both, and with counsel that before you review this list you may want to find some anti-nauseas medication, here is this year’s list of the worst.

The FlashReport Top 25 Bills Worthy Of The Governor’s Veto

As compiled and described by State Senator John Moorlach and Assemblyman Matthew Harper

The headline in the Sacramento Bee on September 1st aptly described the end to this session: “Democrats dominating California Legislature advanced a broad liberal agenda.” Liberal LA Times columnist, George Skelton, also lamented that while the… Read More

Jon Coupal

DOWN BALLOT MEASURES COULD COST YOU BIG BUCKS

Election month is rapidly approaching. That’s right, “election month” because, since 2002, California voters have been freed from casting ballots in person on the official Election Day, which this year is November 8. Voting by mail begins October 10.

Polls show that many voters are disenchanted with the coming election because the major candidates for president are held in such low esteem. However, whether you are a strong advocate for a candidate or are disillusioned, it would be a huge mistake to ignore the ballot measures. Besides candidates, voters must decide on 17 state propositions and hundreds of local tax and bond measures designed to dip into taxpayers’ wallets.

A number of the state measures will impact taxpayers. Propositions 55 is an extension of California’s highest state income tax rate in the nation, which was sold as “temporary” when approved by voters in 2012. Proposition 56 would increase tobacco taxes to fund ongoing programs that will demand funding, even when the number of smokers declines. Proposition 53 is also important as it would expand taxpayers’ right to vote on major state bonds for megaprojects costing more than $2… Read More

Richard Rider

Indian and Chinese U.S. immigration EACH are higher than Hispanic immigration

Conservatives who oppose immigration (legal and illegal) lament that such new arrivals vote lockstep for Democrats. It’s never been “lockstep,” but it’s true that overall Hispanics DO vote Democrat much more frequently vs. Republican.Gosh, Hispanics vote against people who rave about (or fail to speak out against) deporting 11 million Hispanics. Stunning.

But what has been missed by the immigration opposition has been the pronounced change in the country’s immigration pattern this past decade. Today the combined Chinese and (Asian) Indian immigration — legal and illegal — easily outpaces all Hispanic migration to the U.S. Indeed, EACH Asian group now outpaces Hispanic immigration.

And guess what? Chinese and Indians have fiscally conservative values — and constitute good hunting grounds for Republican candidates seeking votes. They are overwhelmingly CAPITALISTS.

Sadly, our xenophobes are making it clear that — for U.S. nativists (let’s ignore those original Native Americans) — ALL immigrants are unwelcome in America. An excellent source of pro-U.S. voters is being… Read More

Ed Ring

California Needs Infrastructure, and Unions Should be Helping

“Infrastructure” is a perennial topic that enters and leaves California’s public consciousness in the following manner: A politician says “we must rebuild our crumbling infrastructure,” journalists report it, almost nothing is done, and the infrastructure continues to crumble. The talking point is made. Check the box. Repeat. Decades pass.

If you’ve driven west on Interstate 580 from California’s central valley into the San Francisco Bay Area, “infrastructure” becomes more than a hard-to-pronounce, sort of awkward sounding four syllable word that emanates from the mouths of politicians every election cycle. Because the divots, pot-holes, fissures and bumps on Interstate 580 west are impossible to ignore. The road is literally falling apart.

It isn’t enough to marvel at how Californians tolerate this negligence. Because it harms our quality of life. Today the failure is measured in terms of how many cars and trucks require far more frequent maintenance to repair their battered suspensions because we can’t fix our roads. Today it’s short showers and annoying light switches that turn off automatically because we won’t build new water and… Read More

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