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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

California Autocrats Accelerate State Gun Grab

The California Senate just passed 11 anti-gun, and quite possibly anti-constitution bills, which will likely be tied up in court for a very long time. The bills were rushed through by Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, infamous for his bill to paint all BB guns bright colors so they wouldn’t be mistaken for real guns.

This is what oppression looks like. And, it’s just plain stupid.

Even more dubious, the bills were gutted and amended“zombie bills” left behind by Assemblyman Henry Perea, a fellow Democrat, when he abruptly left the Legislature in… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Exposed: The Fraudulent CA Small Business Association

I keep getting campaign mail where candidates are touting their support from the California Small Business Association. Sounds like a good endorsement, right? WRONG.

I’m pretty involved in politics here in the Golden State – and I have to scratch my head. Because this group – well, it’s a fraud. I am aware that they host a big lunch in Sacramento each year (coincidentally that is today) but otherwise they do nothing that I am aware of to actually help small business. On the contrary, as you will read below, they actually throw their organization’s endorsement, with its misleading title, around on various political candidates, many of whom are left wing progressives who author and vote for more and more taxes and regulations that are adverse to small businesses in California.

A legislator should have to… Read More

Ed Ring

Government Unions and the Financialization of America

Financialization – “a pattern of accumulation in which profit making occurs increasingly through financial channels rather than through trade and commodity production.” - Greta Krippner, University of Michigan (sourceWikipedia)

If you want one word to describe the biggest threat to the American economy, “financialization” would be the prime candidate. This is a threat that has no ideology. The left tends to blame economic challenges on the excessive power of oligarchs. The libertarian right tends to blame economic challengeson excessive regulations emanating from oversized government. But financialization empowered the oligarchs. And financialization is the toxic remedy that has, for a time, enabled oversized government.

Krippner’s analysis of financialization goes beyond its obvious manifestations – the most obvious being the loophole that allows hedge fund managers to avoid payingordinary income tax on the billions in bonuses they earn when they get lucky placing bets with other people’s money. An excellent in-depth article… Read More

Jon Coupal

TAXPORTATION: Profligate Waste Negates Justification for Transportation Tax Hike

A personal digression: My father was head of the Iowa Department of Transportation (then called the Iowa Highway Commission) in the late ’60s and early ’70s before he was appointed by President Ford to serve as Deputy Federal Highway Administrator. (Of course, he lost that job when Jimmy Carter became president, but he continued to work in the private sector for a transportation think tank).

When I was in high school, I remember him coming home from an ASHTO conference. That organization, the Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, was a pretty well respected group and still is. He was complaining bitterly about what was going on in California. I don’t recall his exact words, but the gist of it was that the new head of California’s transportation agency, called CalTrans, had been taken over by a certifiably crazy person (with no background in transportation policy) by the name of Adriana Gianturco. According to my father, in the 1950s and ’60s, California had the best transportation agency in the entire world. But all that changed with the election of a new, anti-growth, small is beautiful, governor by the name of Jerry… Read More

Richard Rider

CA ranked the worst state for revealing spending data

California gains another “superlative.” We are ranked the worst state for “online access to government spending data.” We make less spending data available than any other state.

Two things to note about this latest CA “award.”

1. The study was done by U.S. PIRG, a decidedly left wing outfit that would LOVE to present the Golden State in a positive light. Eventheycould not save California from itself.

2. Three states earned an “F” score in the ratings. But CA won that match-up — it wasn’t close. Looking at the numerical scores, the 49thstate (Alaska) is still 26.5% better than California.

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.masspirg.org/reports/map/following-money-2015-how-50-states-rate-providing-online-access-government-spending-data

SALIENT EXCERPT:

Figure ES-1: How the 50 StatesRead More

BOE Member George Runner

California Needs More Homes

Just one decade ago California’s housing market crashed, resulting in mass foreclosures and dramatic declines in home values. Today, we face a very different problem—a severe housing shortage.

There just aren’t enough homes. Supply is low, demand is high and home prices continue to rise. In fact, home prices in California are so high that middle and lower income families are being priced out of home ownership.

The average California home price of $450,000 is twice the national average.

In order to meet the demand for housing and to make homes more affordable, California developers would have to build millions of new homes—a million in Los Angeles alone—just to keep up. And it’ll be hard to keep up if California’s ultra-strict environmental regulations continue to get in the way.

Right now, there’s little incentive for builders to build homes, since excessive regulation has made it very expensive. To build a home, one must navigate a labyrinth of bureaucracy and follow a layer cake of rules. Builders are forced to price their homes higher, which then reduces the number of buyers who are able to afford the finished… Read More

Katy Grimes

The Artificial Outrage of Paid Protestors and Rent-A-Mobs

Every day on the news there are stories of well-organized protests. I report from the California State Capitol which almost daily is ground zero for some group protesting a grievance. Asapoliticaljournalist,Iam skeptical of most protests. It does not matter if the protestors arewearinghardhatsandorangevestsand standalldayinfrontofanofficebuildingunder construction,oraprominentrestaurant feigning outrage showcasing a giant inflatable rat to passersby.

The recipe is always the same whether it’s a faculty walkout, a nurses walkout, minimum wage protests, Wall Street protesters, union members, or recently, students protesting University of California, Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.

While every citizen is entitled to his or her own voice for a cause, the professional paid protesters who appear at protests all across the state and even across national borders are mercenaries.

The average employed American does not have the time to protest, yet we often see the same people at different protests around the state. Where does the funding for these rent-a-mobs come from?

Wealthy Foundations FundRead More

Ed Ring

Public Safety Unions and the Financial Apocalypse

Imagine for a moment that two premises are beyond serious debate: (1) That there will be another financial crisis within the next five years that will equal or exceed the severity of the one experienced in 2009, and (2) That the political power of public safety unions will prevent local governments from enacting pension reforms sufficient to avert a financial disaster when and if the next financial crisis hits.

What will these public safety unions do?

It’s distressingly easy for politicians to dismiss both of these premises, but since for the moment we’re not, imagine the following: Major European banks have declared insolvency because their debtors have all defaulted on payments, the Chinese stock market has collapsed because their export markets are shrinking instead of growing, and the deflationary contagion reachesAmerican shores. Across the nation, speculative buying is replaced by panic selling. Housing prices fall, defaults accumulate, and the pension funds lose half their value overnight. In a cascading cycle reminiscent of 1929, deflation sweeps the global economy.

Meanwhile, pension reform has been limited to incremental adjustments to the… Read More

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