FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Richard Rider

California business electricity rates SOAR in 3 month period

The good news is that, from March to June of this year, the California average residential electricity rate has DROPPED some compared to the other states — down to “only” 30.6% higher than the national average (from 33.7% higher in March).

But the California rates have SOARED in the two other major sectors. Commercial rates went from 27.0% higher than the national average in March to 53.8% higherin June. Industrial rates rose from 54.2% higher to 72.5% higher. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_06_a

Further major “cap and trade” California electricity rate increases are expected in the next 12 months. SDG&E, SoCal Edison and PG&E are all significantly higher than the CA statewide average.

BOTTOM LINE: Just when you think California can’t be a more unattractive place for businesses to locate, our Golden State exceeds your expectations. BIG-time.… Read More

Ray Haynes

Jerry Brown 2.0 – Passive, Uninspired, Bereft of Vision

No matter what you may have thought about the ideas of Jerry Brown 1.0, at least he had some. In his first two terms, Brown didn’t just think outside the box, he thought outside the solar system. He earned the moniker Governor Moonbeam. Today, he is a wisp of smoke, blown from side to side by the hot winds emanating from the Capitol.

Governor Deukmejian, elected in some small part because he wasn’t Jerry Brown, still had ideas, each year he had an initiative, get rid of liberal judges, cut taxes, fix the transportation system, build prisons, and the like. Pete Wilson had a budget to fix, he tackled it, then took on education, racial preferences and illegal immigration. Gray Davis began with education initiatives, then sort of sputtered out, leading to his recall. Governor Schwarzenegger began with energy and ideas galore, finally running out of gas in 2005, and collapsed, basically hiring the Gray Davis staff, and sinking into oblivion, spending money and alienating everyone.

Jerry Brown 2.0 seems to have decided to copy the last five years of Schwarzenegger. He is lifeless, a shadow of his former self, quite literally the anti-Jerry Brown.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Left Coast Rules CA On Plastic Bag Ban — and Other Political Issues

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture of the cities and counties within the state of California that have already passed plastic bag ordinances, implemented bag bans and taxes, proves one point: Most of California is being ruled by the liberal coastal regions.

Is it any wonder the people up in the counties of Modoc and Siskiyouhave submitted a petition for the right to form a 51st State of America, which they want to callthe State of “Jefferson?”

Voters in Yuba, Sutter, Glenn and Tehama counties plan to present declarations soon, according toMark Baird, one of the State of Jefferson founders.

It’s easy to assume, judging by this map, no one in the State of Jefferson is interested in banning or taxing plastic bags.

“No New Taxes”

Governor Jerry Brown has repeatedly said, “There will be no new taxes for the foreseeable… Read More

Katy Grimes

Democrat Women’s War on Intelligence… and Decency

While the media is atwitter with the video of NFL player Ray Rice beating his then-girlfriend in a hotel elevator, they’ve completely ignored another chronically abusive public figure, whose words and behavior are as vile.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., defamed Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker last week. But this is politics in 2014, and they can hold their own against each other, right?

Wasserman Schultz’s attack on Walker wasn’t just aimed at him. While attempting to denigrate Walker’s reputation, Wasserman Schultz proved she’s desperate.

Criticizing Walker’s record on women’s issues at a roundtable in Milwaukee last week for giving “women the back of his hand” after he signed a bill that prevents victims of employment discrimination from seeking punitive and compensatory damages in state courts, Wasserman Schultz took it even further with her domestic violence metaphor:

“What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbingRead More

Ron Nehring

9/11 Anniversary: As terrorists again threaten America, is California prepared?

Today marks the 13th anniversary of 9/11, and the rapid deterioration of several nations in the Middle East and North Africa has taken many Americans and our leaders by surprise. Iraq, Syria and Libya have all seen terrorist groups spread their influence and grow in both military power and sophistication. Yemen, Egypt and Nigeria each have a substantial Islamic terrorist presence. North Korea possesses nuclear weapons while Iran continues to develop them together with the means of delivering them.

In the event of another large scale terrorist attack on the United States, it is the responsibility of state and local governments to deal most directly with the domestic consequences.

America was already under terrorist attack during the decade leading up to 9/11: the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the bombing of the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam in 1998, the attack on… Read More

Katy Grimes

Part ll: State Government Corruption: Groundwater and Gun Control

Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private gain. Malfeasance and graft thrives in California’s state government. The well-documented corruption at the Employment Development Department, State Parks Department, Fish and Game, Air Resources Board, Coastal Commission, CalFire, and this year, in the State Senate, seems to continue, with business-as-usual by the Legislature.

This is Part ll about the unelected bureaucrats on state boards and commissions passing laws, and the Legislature which appears to condone this. Part l covered: 1) the Coastal Commission, 2) Air Resources Board, and 3) Parks Department. Part l isavailable here.

4) Groundwater monopoly

Despite California’s… Read More

Ed Ring

Governor Brown – The Bailout King

“What a salesman,” he said, mockingly. “I guess that’s what you learned … selling that stock that went south.” – California Governor Brown, to challenger Kashkari, during televised debate Sept. 4th, 2014 (ref.SF Gate)

If anyone wants to know what the theme of Governor Brown’s attacks on GOP candidate Neel Kashkari is going to be over the coming weeks preceding the November 4th, election, his remarks in their debate last week would probably provide accurate clues. At least a half-dozen times, Governor Brown smeared Kashkari with accusations of being beholden to his banker friends on Wall Street. You know, those guys who shorted the investments of millions of small investors and turned America into a debtors prison? The sharks at Goldman Sachs? The banker bullies who took taxpayer funded bailouts and then collected billions in personal bonus checks? It will play well.

But Governor Brown is the king of taxpayer bailouts. Because pension funds, the biggest players on Wall Street, are getting bailed… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

DMV Needs to Stop Robbing Taxpayers

If you recently purchased a car from a private party, you may have paid too much tax to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

I’ve been hearing complaints from constituents that DMV charged them a higher city tax rate when they don’t actually live within city boundaries.

These constituents were forced to jump through hoops to prove they didn’t owe the higher tax. As their elected representative, I was happy to assist them in obtaining refunds, but DMV should have never overcharged them in the first place.

What’s worse is that these overcharges are not isolated incidents, but rather a systemic problem resulting from DMV’s bizarre reliance on zip codes to determine tax rates.

Sales and use tax rates vary widely across California and change over time. In addition to the statewide sales and use tax rate of 7.5 percent, many cities and counties add voter-approved local taxes. The result is some cities have sales tax rates as high as 10%.

Unlike typical retail transactions, the tax rate for a vehicle sale is based on the address provided to the DMV by the registered owner, not where the sale took place. If you buy your car at a… Read More

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