FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Justice for Gerawan Farm Workers in the hands of Underhanded ALRB

One of the most significant labor relations fights in the country is currently taking place here in California. Proceedings have turned ugly, with many questioning the legal tactics and scruples of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

As the United Farm Workers labor union and the state Agricultural Labor Relations Boardhave found themselves on the brink of extinction and future irrelevance, they have joined forces to reverse their misfortune by targeting one of the biggest non-union farming operations in the state. Should they succeed in unionizing the 5,000 total Gerawan Farming employees, it would more than double union membership, and certainly boost the ALRB’s status.

The UFW won an election to represent Gerawan Farming’s workers 23 years ago. But after only one bargaining session, the union disappeared and wasn’t heard from for more than 20 years.

In October 2012, the union reappeared to impose a contract on Gerawan Farming and its employees — without a vote of the workers.

But the workers don’t want the union.

The wrangling with the United Farm Workers Union began again in October of… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Gas Tax Cut is Good News for California

Today, I joined my fellow Board of Equalization members in a 5-0 vote to lower the gasoline excise tax 3.5 cents per gallon as of July 1, 2014.

Our vote today is good news for California taxpayers. This much-needed tax relief will arrive as Californians are on the road for summer vacations.

Lower gas taxes are good for our economy and good for jobs, but even with this cut Californians will continue to pay one of the highest gas taxes in the nation.

Unfortunately, some in the Legislature want you to pay more taxes, rather than less. Just last week a leading lawmaker proposed raising your gas tax by up to 43 cents per gallon.

Rather than plotting to raise taxes at a time when the state is already awash in cash, lawmakers should be finding ways to simplify our tax laws and make life easier for California taxpayers.

Lawmakers could start by scrapping the confusing and complicated gas tax formula they enacted in 2010 and replacing it with one that is simple, straightforward and easy to understand.… Read More

Congressman Buck McKeon

My Speech on the U.S. Mission in Afghanistan to the National Press Club

Yesterday I spoke at the National Press Club on the importance of our Commander in Chief communicating with the American people on the critical value of our mission in Afghanistan and the victories we have won.

Traditionally, it is right and proper that these stories come from the Commander-in-Chief. But he has talked about Afghanistan only a handful of times during his Presidency. And each time, President Obama praised his run for the exits or pitied our wounded, instead of lauding the accomplishments of our troops and the importance of the mission they were given to fight. So, if the President of the United States won’t give this speech, I will.

Click the image below to watch the speech on the C-SPAN website. Or below that is the full text as prepared for delivery.

“For nearly 13 years now, the United States has been at war in Afghanistan.We’re there because Afghanistan was used as a launch pad for attacks that killed Americans.We have a responsibility for the safety and security of our… Read More

Kammi Foote

AB 2206 – Another Attempt to Weaken Property Rights

A barrage of new bills was introduced into the California Legislature this past week including a bill that masks a huge blow to property rights under the guise of increased public protection. Assembly Bill 2206 by Assemblyman Gomez is almost identical to AB 2299 introduced in the 2011/2012 legislative session by Assemblyman Feuer. The bill would shield the names of public safety officials from land records, which are currently open to public viewing. The reason put forth is to protect these individuals. However, County Recorders and others familiar with the public land records system, recognize the harmful effects this bill would have on property rights.

Under the provisions of AB2206, certain documents that contain the names of public safety officials would no longer be open to public review. Today anyone can research property records and see every document recorded to evaluate its authenticity. This is crucial with the rise of mortgage and real estate fraud that often financially… Read More

Jon Coupal

IN WITH THE “IN” CROWD

It’s good to be in with the “in” crowd, especially when the “in” crowd is made up of Sacramento politicians capable of doling out millions of dollars in tax credits.

Those currently in with the “in” crowd include any industry or company that can somehow attach “green” to their credentials. This helps explain why the state just provided the successful Tesla electric car company a $35 million tax subsidy. Yes, contrary to Kermit the Frog’s song “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” in California, it is easy being “green” because lawmakers are anxious to lavish benefits, at taxpayer expense, on those who claim a chlorophyll connection.

While the rumors that Kermit has applied for tax credits based on his being green are probably… Read More

State Senator Mimi Walters

The Road to Reliable Water

Driving from the foothills of El Dorado County through the majestic heights of the Grapevine, to the Restored Mission in San Juan Capistrano, today is a much different experience than it was just a few years ago. Where once there were abundant orchards and farms plush with economic opportunity now lies a dry, fallow moonscape. This reality is having a devastating impact on California’s families and its economy.

Water has always been and continues to be a precious resource and the source of great division in California. It is an integral part of our economy and cannot be underestimated or undervalued.

Agriculture has historically been the bedrock foundation for California’s wealth and the “food basket of the world.” California leads the nation in the production of fruits, vegetables, wines and nuts. The state’s most valuable crops are nuts, grapes,… Read More

Richard Rider

Many “permanent” minimum wage workers actually make $12-$30 an hour

What’s missed in the “minimum wage” brouhaha is that a large segment of those who stay at the minimum wage level actually make $12-$30+ an hour. That’s because — in states such as CA — a full minimum wage must be paid to ALL employees — including “tip” employees. Waiters, busboys, valets, hotel room cleaners, casino employees, etc. make much — often MOST — of their living off tips. In some other states, these job categories often can be paid a reduced minimum wage — understanding that their total compensation includes tips. Not so in California.http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm And because these employees make so much in tips, they will NEVER be paid more than the mandated minimumRead More

Jon Fleischman

With 9th Circuit Ruling, CA Becomes “Shall Issue” – OC Sheriff Adjusts Policy

A significant legal victory took place last week for those of us who strongly believe in the Second Amendment rights of Americans to keep and bear arms. A three-judge panel of the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, on a two-one vote, overturned a lower court ruling in the case of Peruta vs. County of San Diego and, without going into all of the whys and wherefores, ruled unconstitutional California’s law that required the issuer of a permit to carry a concealed firearm to provide a reason (beyond simply desire, or self defense) for wanting the permit, which had to be approved by the issuing authority (typically a county Sheriff). The ruling is a bit more nuanced than that and you can get more information here, but that… Read More

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