FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Coupal


Would-be reformers have filed an initiative that, if adopted by voters, would make the California Legislature one of the largest – if not the largest – legislative bodies in the world. The Neighborhood Legislature Reform Act (NLRA) would require one Senator for every 10,000 Californians and one Assembly representative for every 5,000. This would mean that the Senate would increase from 40 to 3,850 members while the Assembly would balloon from 80 members to 7,700.

The stated goal of this proposal is to reduce the influence of special interests, make our system more democratic and provide greater access to legislative representatives.

While proponents of NLRA may have their hearts in the right place, the plan raises a number of concerns. Special interests, who spent $48.5 million to lobby in just the first quarter of this year, are not likely to be deterred by the greater numbers of lawmakers. Lobbyists, and those interests which employ them, will still have the capacity to track all the members and, because the numbers will provide a certain amount of anonymity, bribery and influence peddling could very well may be more difficult to detect. On the other… Read More

Richard Rider

Here’s some monster new/higher taxes that California politicians are anxious to impose

Below is a pretty good summation of the major potential California tax increases now being proposed by Sacramento politicians. Here’s alinkto even more proposed CA state taxes. And there’s a link below to “Californians AGAINST Higher Taxes” — seeking funds, of course.

While my grassroots taxpayer group San Diego Tax Fighters has joined their coalition opposing this potential avalanche of higher taxes, we take no position on this taxpayer group’s effort vs. other fine tax fighting outfits in our state. This is not a fundraising pitch.

I DO recommend that you not spend much effort writing our politicians about this matter (as the pitch suggests) — their vote (EITHER way) is already pretty much locked in most of the time most of the time. If you write any politico, write a Republican — they sometimes need spine strengthening.

A better option would be letters to the editor, which reach thousands — including the politicians. But clearly we shouldn’t stand idly by while California… Read More

Katy Grimes

Following Scandal, Irvine City Council Shows How To Run, and Fix Government

Conservatives on the Irvine City Council have abolished a million dollar business license tax, to reduce the taxes levied on local businesses. This move followed the council’s recent vote overturning the city’s mandated “living wage” ordinance. Mayor Pro-Tem Jeffrey Lalloway authored the issue, with votes in support from council members Christina Shea and Lynn Schott, all Republicans.

While the business tax amounted to only $51 per business, these changes are exactly what every city and town in the State of California should be doing – whittling away at business-killing regulations, policy, taxes and fees.

In an interview with Irvine City Council member Christina Shea, she explained… Read More

Katy Grimes

Pope Francis: Climate Change is Officially A Religion Now

Last week, Pope Francis called for a cultural revolution to correct what he calls the “structurally perverse” economic system of the rich exploiting the poor that is turning Earth into an “immense pile of filth.” Under the sub-heading “Climate as a common good,” hedisparaged free market principles while indicating “global governance” as a solution to the politically created climate change crisis. The Pope also said that governments should redistribute wealth to the poor, advocating socialism, and he even gave communism a backhanded compliment.

Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said it is the pope’s wish to directly influence next year’s crucialUN climate meeting in Paris, when countries will try to conclude 20 years of fraught negotiations with a universal commitment to reduce emissions.

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Ron Nehring

Republicans: The Party of Civil Rights Since 1854

Presidential campaigns are unpredictable, as the sudden national debate about the Confederate flag that flies over the South Carolina state capitol demonstrates. At a time when America is threatened by ISIS, expansionist Russia, and China, plus a dreary economy who would have guessed we would be thrust into a discussion of flags and symbols from a long concluded conflict?

Yet, when a story like this makes it into the national headlines there’s a reflexive struggle to define the narrative. Republicans who fail to engage in the debate risk being defined by our opponents – just ask Mitt Romney.

This isa great opportunity to discuss and compare the history of the two political parties. If we’re going to have a debate about history, that’s one our team will win if we have the courage to do so.

First, let’s remind people of how the Republican Party came to be. At its origin, the Republican Party was a single issue party founded on the idea of abolishing slavery across the entire nation. We fielded our first Presidential candidate in 1856 with Californian John Fremont (yes, the city of Fremont, California is named for him). Something of a… Read More

Richard Rider

Overseas manufacturing jobs “reshored” to the U.S. seldom end up in California

Recently there’s been a nationwide effort to get some overseas manufacturing jobs “reshored” to the United States, apparently with modest success. But California has received only 2.4% of those jobs — a pretty dismal result.

It’s particularly distressing when one considers that CA holds 12.18% of the nation’s population. That means that, per capita, on average the other 49 states got more than 5.5 times the “reshoring” jobs that California received.


California Attracts 2.4% Of U.S. Reshored Jobs

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Hugh Nguyen

AB 1335 Tax Hike Undermines American Dream

Owning your own home is a part of the American dream. And if you cannot own your home, having affordable rent is the next best thing but sometimes legislation is introduced with the best of intentions but has the opposite impact from what was intended. The bill AB 1335 has been introduced by Assemblywoman Adkins with the intent of providing affordable housing, however, the funding mechanism is profoundly flawed.

AB 1335 proposes a new $75 tax on certain recorded documents, of which only 20% would go directly to fund affordable housing. The current base fee to record a document in the State of California ranges from $6 to $10. AB 1335 would increase that fee to between $81 and $85 dollars, amounting to a tax increase of up to 1,250%. The fee is expected to generate $500 million with the hope of securing an additional $2 billion in federal funds. However, the bulk of the money would… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Will Achieve AB 32 Goals On Time – So Why Move the Target?

Nearly every climate change and clean energy expert admits that California will achieve the legislatively mandated policy goals of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which said the state has to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

So why is the California Air Resource Board and Legislature seeking to move the target before the deadline?

The Assembly Select Committee on Clean Energy was asked to address how Californians can reduce on-road petroleum use by 50 percent, by 2030. Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, the Committee Chairman, asked, “Which is, how do we get to using 50% less fuels in transportation by 2030?”

Amber Mahone, the expert who testified before the committee, is the director of Climate Policy Analysis at Energy and Environmental Economics, known as E3, a San Francisco… Read More

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