FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Ed Ring

Union Grip on California’s Government Still Stronger than Ever

Before anyone gets out the balloons and starts celebrating theHarris vs. Quinndecision too much, step back, sober up, and reflect on the scope of what happened, and where it puts us in this war. To use a WWII analogy, we just won the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe no longer dominates the skies over London. That’s significant. This is, perhaps, as Churchill once said, “the end of the beginning.” But from Al Alamein to Stalingrad to the Beaches of Normandy, our ultimate destiny still hangs in the balance.

To carry this metaphor further, California today might be compared to Nazi occupied Europe in 1941, where the possibility of liberation was years in the future, if ever. While across America the forces of freedom celebrate what is indeed a strategic victory, in California, an occupying army continues to build their own 21st century version of Fortress Europa.

To appreciate the undiminished political supremacy public employee unions still have in Sacramento, the State Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee hearing on June 23 provides… Read More

Katy Grimes

Berkeley interferes in farmworkers’ campaign on behalf of UFW

On the heels of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board refusing to count thousands of ballots collected by farmworkers cast six months ago to decertify the United Farm Workerslabor union, the City of Berkeley has decided to weigh in on the contentious labor issue.

This is the same Berkeley City Council which in 2008 approved a measure which told Marine recruiters to vacateRead More

Ron Nehring

California’s hardest hit regions, forgotten by Sacramento Democrats, need reflief

California’s lagging and uneven economy is leaving millions of people behind. This isn’t the election year spin coming from members of the Ruling Party in Sacramento, but it’s the harsh economic reality being produced by their policies.

Our state’s high 7.6% unemployment rate is well above the national average of 6.3%, and even worse when compared to the 5.1% rate in Texas, California’s toughest economic competitor. These aren’t just numbers: every percentage point means hundreds of thousands of more Californians who are out of work and struggling.

Many Californians have given up looking for work altogether, a fact reflected in what is called the Labor Force Participation Rate, which measures the number of people who can work and are actually in the labor market. The unemployment rate doesn’t take into account those workers who are no longer seeking work. California’s rate is only 61.8%, the lowest in 38 years and 1 point worse than the national rate.

What little statewide improvement we see in joblessness isn’t statewide improvement at all: Silicon Valley is doing well, and the counties with the lowest unemployment rates are… Read More

Jon Coupal

ENJOY THE BARBECUE

It’s an American tradition to gather with family and friends on the 4th of July. A barbecue, trip to a beach or just a modest family get-together are all appropriate ways to celebrate Independence Day.

Our Founding Fathers would approve. While most of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, committing their “lives,” their “fortunes” and their “sacred honor” to the cause, they also knew how to enjoy themselves. They would be pleased to know that Americans still acknowledge their courage and sacrifice and, as part of their legacy, most Americans next Friday will take pleasure in a day of celebration and leisure.

But I hope we all take a moment to reflect on all we enjoy because of what these brave souls accomplished. Our nation was founded on the radical notion that all… Read More

Katy Grimes

Voice of OC – A Public Employee Union’s “News” Website

The troubling trend towards mono-political news viewpoints is a well funded project. Activist groups masquerading as news outlets have very clear agendas, and big budgets. Any actual journalism happening along the way appears to be more of a byproduct by well-meaning employees.

Many of these groups focus on environmental, economic, and “social justice” issues, and receive commensurate, sizable grants.

Former McClatchy journalist David Westphal posed the question of who will pay for the news with so many newspapers shrinking, in a 2009 story. Westphal suggested “non-news organizations”, trade associations, businesses, governments and labor unions, should step up with funding. “At the recentHarvard session on new business models for news,I offered an off-the-beaten-path idea to the question of who will pay for the news,”Westphal said. “OneRead More

James V. Lacy

CA Teacher Firing Ruling Has National Implications

The decision of a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge early this month in the “Vergara case,” finding California’s teacher tenure and retention rules unconstitutional, must have been a real shocker for the California Teachers’ Association (“CTA”). Yet the decision, which is subject to appeal, is based in part on the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the historic “Brown vs, Board of Education” case in 1954, establishing that every child is entitled to equality in education, will likely have implications beyond California, as school districts across the country reconsider how they retain and discipline bad teachers who deliver poor quality education.

Since 2000, the California teachers’ union has become the biggest lobbying interest in the state, dwarfing all of Chevron’s, AT and T’s, and the California Chamber of Commerce’s lobbying efforts combined. The union has spent moreRead More

Richard Rider

Texas now receiving well over DOUBLE the per capita investment of California

Three years ago, California lost its #1 status as the state with the most new private business funding — Texas took over the top spot. Since then the disparity between the two states has grown dramatically. In 2013, $87.4 billion was invested in Texas by private equity funds. California businesses received $54 billion.

http://www.privateequityatwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/PEGCC_InfoGraphic_051512b.pdf

This spread is more important when one considers the population of these two mega-states:

California 38,333,000

Texas 26,448,000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population

Hence even with California having a population 44.9% bigger than Texas, Texas businesses scored 61.8% more private investment dollars.

Stated differently (and more starkly), Texas received $3,304 of new investment per capita, while CaliforniaRead More

BOE Member George Runner

California’s Tax-Cutting Legislature?

As seen in the Los Angeles Register and Orange County Register

Drop by the California State Capitol at just the right moment and you might be surprised to hear liberal legislators sounding like tax-cutting conservatives.

In support of a multi-million dollar tax cut for business, one liberal lawmaker argues, “We need to send a message to New York… and other states competing for our jobs and say, ‘It stops here.’”

Adds another: “We can’t afford to let any more jobs abandon our state.”

One more chimes in: “Right now we’re getting our lunch handed to us by these other states.”

You’d be right to scratch your head. For years lawmakers have voted for tax hikes and burdensome regulations that drive jobs away from our state. As a consequence, Californians pay some of the highest tax rates in the nation.

Given this grim reality, any sign that tax-and-spend lawmakers might see the error of their ways is cause for hope, if not outright celebration.

A few recent developments are encouraging:

In May, Governor Brown signed legislation to help boost California’s economy … Read More

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