FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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John Wood, Jr.

Forging the Black-GOP Alliance in California

On Sunday, January 18, 2015, two interesting things happened in the history of Republican outreach to the black community in Los Angeles. The first is that, at 3:00 in the afternoon, the libertarian leaning Republican Liberty Caucus held its first meeting in South Los Angeles, (featuring addresses from inner-city figures such as host of Compton Politics Lorenzo Murphy). Then at 6:00, officers were elected to fill seats for the first chapter of the conservative California Republican Assembly ever established to represent Inglewood and South Los Angeles.

Neither of these events are earth shattering in their significance in and of themselves. Yet they represent a trend portending the possibility of important realignments of political coalitions in Los Angeles and perhaps California, and that is the bubbling up of a dynamic Republican presence in urban L.A.

It is a slow bubble, to be sure. But… Read More

Richard Rider

A Surprising Defense of Proposition 13

A Defense of Proposition 13 Property Tax Revenues by Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters ***Updated 28 January, 2015*** Phone: 858-530-3027 Email: RRider92131@GMail.com Blog:www.RiderRants.BlogSpot.com When it comes to gathering sufficient property taxes, Prop 13 is no problem at all–except for profligate spenders. Look at the history of my San Diego County–a history which pretty much reflects the history of property taxes in theurban/suburbancounties that hold over 85% of California’s population. According to San Diego County, in 1977–the year BEFORE Prop 13 took effect (when everything was working great, … Read More

Ed Ring

Parent Trigger and Open Enrollment – Ways to Cope With Union Controlled Schools

In January 2010 the California’s legislature passed into law, perhaps uncharacteristically, an excellent new law. Entitled “Public schools: Race to the Top,”SB 54created two mechanisms for parents to exert greater control over the education of their children.

There are two components:

(1) The Open Enrollment Actmandates that the California Department of Education to annually create a list of 1,000 schools ranked by their Academic Performance Index. Parents whose children are enrolled in these schools have the right to transfer them to a better performing school.

(2)The “Parent Trigger” Law, which allows parents to transform their own schools if 50% of parents sign a petition to seek a change at their chronically underperforming school.

Open enrollment has had an immediate benefit to California’s parents in poor schools, both because individually parents have been able to get their children out of poor schools, and also because the mere ability of parents to remove their students from poor schools provides a powerful… Read More

Katy Grimes

We’re From the UFW and We’re Here To Help

The political left always talks about the importance of counting every vote, right up until they don’t want the result of that vote, as in the case of the workers at Gerawan Farming, Inc.

Despite chilly, foggy temperatures, Gerawan Farming workers traveled from California’s Central Valley, to the state Capitol last Thursday to hold yet another rally and meet with lawmakers. But it wasn’t your average worker rally – these farm workers want the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to count the workers’ votes from the November 2013 election to decertify the United Farm Workers union.

UFW founder Cesar Chavez must be rolling over in his grave.

The UFW is working with the ALRB to force the farm workers into a collective bargaining agreement that the thousands of workers don’t want. The United Farm Workers narrowly won an election to represent Gerawan Farming’s workers 24 years ago. But after only one bargaining session, and no contract in place, the union disappeared and wasn’t heard from for more than two… Read More

Ron Nehring

San Diego County Prepares Rule to Force Campaign Money Underground

San Diego voters have a right to know who is trying to influence our local elections. Yet a proposal going before the County Board of Supervisors will mean more dark money and less transparency in our local politics.

Our local political parties are broad based, democratically governed and transparent. In fact, our political parties are the only organizations involved in local elections with these important qualities that make them accountable.

The proposal would sharply curtail the ability of political parties to directly contribute to county candidates, with a limit of about 1 cent (not dollar, cent) per voter for countywide candidates, and about 3 cents per voter for supervisor candidates. Donors and special interests who wish to support candidates in excess of these limits will shift their funds elsewhere. Often, that’s under ground. And everybody knows it.

Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, the First Amendment protects every American’s right to make unlimited contributions to so-called “independent expenditure” committees.

These “IE’s” conduct… Read More

Richard Rider

Average San Diego homeowner saves over $600 a MONTH, thanks to Prop 13

It’s an educational (and scary) exercise to consider what our property taxes would be if Prop 13 had NOT passed in 1978 — and no subsequent reforms in property taxes occurred (a fair assumption, given Democrat dominance of the state legislature since 1970).

Most people have forgotten the following aspect: “In 1977, the average property tax rate in California was **2.67 percent**. Proposition 13 fixed the rate at 1 percent of the purchase price [plus a 2% annual increase, or the COL, if less]. On top of the 1% is whatever additional rate is approved to cover voter-approved indebtedness, such as bonds. Although the additional rate varies around the state, it generally runs at about one-tenth of 1 percent, setting the overall Proposition 13 rate at 1.1 percent.” http://www.caltax.org/WhatProposition13Did.pdf — page 1

Actually most people today will find that this article’s “1.1%” property tax rate understates what is actually paid. Looking at my own property tax bill, my annual “1%” tax on our 1993 purchase is $4,526.13 in 2014. The other… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Union Power Extends Into Healthcare

California taxpayers know that bad things come from allowing unions to become too big, too powerful, and too well-moneyed. California conservatives are even more attuned to the ills that unions cause. So, as we think about what crazy schemes will be pushed by union-backed politicians in the California legislature this year, as well as the 2016 Senate race and congressional races, it’s worth paying attention to what unions are up to outside of the strictly political arena to try to enhance and entrench their power here.

Last week, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) concluded the first of what could be a series of statewide strikes against Kaiser Permanente. This may seem like a non-sequitur, but there’s a reason for taxpayers and conservatives as well as Kaiser customers to care about this: If the NUHW gets its way in its negotiations, it will mean a stronger… Read More

Jon Coupal

PUBLIC SECTOR PAY: TRANSPARENCY AND PERSPECTIVE

Public sector labor leaders in California would rather that the public remain relatively ignorant about how well their members are compensated. But they are fighting a losing battle.

Because of California’s massive unfunded pension liability and other scandals, the public is demanding answers. Interests diverse as taxpayer groups, business organizations, the media and some elected officials have moved aggressively, not only to address these problems, but also to ensure that there is much greater transparency about public sector compensation than we have seen in the past.

For example, attorneys at Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association won several Public Records Act lawsuits against government interests – mostly at the local level – who were attempting to shield their compensation data from the public. And Pension Tsunami is a website which for years has been a clearinghouse for articles on pension abuses. But it is not just conservative interests who are shining the light. Left of center newspapers like the Sacramento Bee and San Jose Mercury News, have fought very hard to expose the truth on employee compensation. Self-styled progressive John Chiang… Read More

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