FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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

What in the World Happened to Anna Bryson?

A good independent expenditure thoroughly understands the ongoing campaign dynamic. Otherwise, its just simply adding election noise which voters ignore.

In this year’s California primary election, independent expenditure committees spent $475,000 to support Republican Anna Bryson in California’s 73rd Assembly District. Bryson’s own campaign added another $150,000 on top of that.

In March, I was retained to help Dana Point Councilman Bill Brough – one of three other Republicans running for the 73rd. From that point forward, I had approximately $35,000 to spend on voter-contact and help Brough attain a top-two result.

That’s $625,000 for Bryson. $35,000 for Brough.

The result? Brough… Read More

Ed Ring

The Financial Impact of Pension Obligations on Ventura County

“The rare problem of high pensions going to top public executives was solved last year by state legislation. Pensions will now be based on the salary cap for Social Security taxes: $117,000… The highly exaggerated “unfunded liability” problem is resolving as the stock market and tax revenues recover from the recession.The Ventura County Taxpayer Association’s “reform” scheme was hatched as a Wall Street scam to convert well-managed public pension portfolios into thousands of individual IRA’s. These are more dependent on mutual funds and lose more of their value to broker’s fees…” - Excerpt fromrecent commenton UnionWatch Editorial “Pension Reform Comes to Ventura County.”

Using Ventura County as an example, it would be instructive to respond in detail to this comment. Because Ventura County’s pension system is, relatively speaking, one of the more financially stable systems in California, and because the benefits they pay their retirees… Read More

Catharine Baker

Renewed GOP Energy and Resources Support GOP candidates

Three weeks ago Californians took to the polls to cast their votes in primary elections. The result was commanding Republican victories in districts across the state. Observers noted the impressive, and some said surprising, number of Republican candidates moving forward to compete on the November ballot, many who will be challenging Democrats in key legislative seats.

The outcome of Republican candidates isn’t a mistake and shouldn’t come as a surprise. The victories are largely the outcome of renewed efforts and collaboration among the state’s Republican leaders to identify and train quality candidates to challenge Democrats, restore GOP representation in Sacramento and fend off the Democrat supermajority.

I’m very pleased with the election results. Not only did I finish in the top two, but I came in first and outperformed Republican registration numbers in my district. The other three Democrat candidates… Read More

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