FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Shawn Steel

Scott Walker, Rick Perry Shine at RNC Meeting in San Diego

Two governors shined at the Republican National Committee’s 2015 winter meeting, as RNC ChairmanReince Priebus was easilyreelected to a third term.

It’s been more than two decades since a chairman has served as long as Priebus. And he celebrated his victory by enjoying a few cigars with San Diego’s stellar crew of GOP activists, led by SD GOP Chairman Tony Krvaric.

There weren’t any major controversies at the GOP’s first meeting of the new year. Co-Chair Sharon Day, who faced a challenger, cruised to reelection by a115 to 50 vote.

The real business at hand was not a victory lap for the 2014 elections but to prepare for the all-out struggle for the White House in 2016. Priebus made it clear: if the… Read More

Katy Grimes

EPA Used Children in Illegal Diesel Exhaust Experiments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency paid the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles to conduct experiments on children, to determine whether exposure to diesel exhaust harms humans. These experiments are illegal under the Nuremberg Code, California state law, and federal regulations, concerning the protection of human subjects in medical research, according to Energy and Environmental Legal Institute attorney David Schnare.

The EPA along with the USC and UCLA, illegally used children in diesel exhaust experiments 2003 through 2010, after the EPA and the California Air Resources Board had concluded inhaling diesel exhaust can cause death within hours.

According to Schnare, this is still going on, even though Schnare sued the EPA to stop these… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Falling Gas Prices Mask Hidden Tax

So why is it that while other states are now enjoying gas prices of less than $2 per gallon, California is still paying higher prices?

Due to high taxes and costly regulations, our state’s gas prices are higher than other states. It’s been that way for years.

But what’s new is that the gap between California’s and other states’ gas prices has grown.

To get a sense of the change, compare California gas prices with those of the nation as a whole. According to GasBuddy.com, even while overall prices have fallen, the gap has grown from about 32 cents per gallon just a month ago to as much as 47 cents this January.

That’s a 15 cent increase in just one month!

The likely culprit is a new “hidden gas tax” that took effect January 1. The new regulation expands the state’s cap-and-trade program to include transportation fuels. The expansion is the latest in a series of sweeping and costly regulations developed by the California Air Resources Board as it implements the California Global Warming Solutions Act.

Luckily for the Governor and his Air Board appointees, gas prices barely budged when the new rule kicked in; in fact,… Read More

Ed Ring

Is Deficient Recruiting the Real Reason for Police Understaffing in San Diego?

Whenever there is a shortage of police personnel in a California city, a common reason cited is inadequate pay. When officers at a particular agency are paid less than their counterparts at some other agency, so the theory goes, they quit in order to start working where they can make more. This seems to be sound logic. But is it supported by facts?

According to a new study “Analysis of the Reasons for San Diego Police Department Employee Departures,” released last weekby the California Policy Center, the answer to that question is a resounding “no.” Authored by Robert Fellner, research director for theTransparent Californiaproject, the study’s findings contradicted the conventional wisdom. They were:

Claims that SDPD officers were leaving to join other departments misrepresented the data on attrition, by focusing on the 10% who left to join other departments, instead of the 60% who retired. These claims also misrepresented the overall data regarding staffing and … Read More

Rep. Darrell Issa

SOTU Response: Obama’s Partisan Wish List is DOA

[Publisher's Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, we are pleased to present this column from Rep. Darrell Issa.]

If you are new to the FlashReport, please check out the main site and the acclaimed FlashReport Weblog on California politics.

For the first time in six years, President Obama gave his State of the Union address to a new audience, a Republican controlled House and Senate. His reception was tepid. This was his chance to set… Read More

Silvia Lopez

Governor Brown, Please Help Us

[Publisher's Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, we are pleased to present this column from Silvia Lopez.]

If you are new to the FlashReport, please check out the main site and the acclaimed FlashReport Weblog on California politics.

This week we celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who expanded civil rights through peaceful protest and by daring elected officials to live up to America”s founding ideals.

Governor Brown, we… Read More

Katy Grimes

Decades-Absent Union Reappears In Ugly CA Labor Union Fight

One of the most significant labor relations fights in the country is currently taking place in California, yet much of the media has tried to ignore it. I’ve been writingaboutand covering this alarming situation for several years.

Reminiscent of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who was notorious for nationalizing private industries and businesses in true Marxist-Leninist form, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board is also aggressively going after Gerawan Farming,Read More

James V. Lacy

Gas tax increase will make California’s poor, poorer.

State Senators are considering legislation to increase California’s special taxes on gasoline at the pump. Current low gas prices make the idea of a gas tax hike seem more acceptable to Sacramento’s politicians, expecting the impact of the tax will not be felt as much by taxpayers as oil prices in general spiral downward. But for California’s growing poverty class of 24% of the state, the largest in the nation, any hike in the gas tax would be an economic tragedy.

Known as “consumption taxes”, California’s gas taxes are already among the highest in the nation. In 2013, the state Board of Equalization, which has some administrative powers over gasoline at the pump, raised the state excise portion of the tax by 9%, to 39.5 cents a gallon, only to jerk more modestly to adjust the rate downward last year to 36 cents a gallon. Other sales taxes and fees raise the overall gas tax in California another 14 cents, adding at least 50 cents per gallon in state taxation when you fill up your tank. Added on top of that are Federal taxes as well. Gasoline is already a very heavily taxed retail commodity in California.

With all the… Read More

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