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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Richard Rider

CA Fire Foundation counts deceased retirees as “fallen firefighters.” Shame!

CAUTION: The following commentary will trigger intense feelings of hatred (of me) among some firefighters. My apologies in advance.

Firefighting has always been an honorable profession. It’s a job that, from time to time, definitely can be more dangerous than most occupations. But the “problem” for the California Fire Foundation (CFF) and other boosters of firefighters is that — these days — toofewfirefighters are dying on the job.

Now, MOST of us think fewer firefighter deaths is a good thing. I suspect most firefighters strongly agree. Better equipment, safer procedures, better exercise programs, less firefighter cigarette smoking and — MOST IMPORTANT — significantly fewer fires have all contributed to this drop in the firefighter mortality rate.

But the problem that trend presents is that — for those groups trying to justify high pay and benefits for firefighters — lower mortality experience doesn’t help the cause. So they have been getting — shall we say — “innovative.”

It… Read More

Michelle Steel

A Hammer in Search of a Nail

Recently, the Orange County Board of Supervisors considered two competing proposals to establish an ethics commission to oversee campaigns and elections for county offices. Of course, there was no dispute for the need to ensure that our County elected officials and candidates conduct their campaigns with the highest level of integrity and ethical standards.

The issue at hand was whether the county actually needs an ethics commission at all, and if so, how much would it cost. For those of us living in Orange County, not only do we demand to know that our elected officials are honest in how they conduct themselves; but equally important, we also need to know that elected officials are honest and ethical in how they spend and manage our hard-earned tax dollars.

A primary concern about creating a new government bureaucracy to oversee campaigns and elections is that it would only affect a relatively few number of candidates running for the 12 county offices – Supervisor (5 districts), District Attorney, Sheriff-Coroner, Auditor-Controller, Treasurer-Tax Collector, Assessor, Clerk-Recorder and the County Superintendent of Schools.

Many people incorrectly… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Democrats’ Political Culture of Death

California Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill to authorize medical aid-in-dying in the Golden State. Those in their ‘Golden Years’ should be very worried.

It is often said a society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members. The disabled, the terminally ill, the elderly, infants and the unborn are among the most vulnerable in our society. The weakest among us deserve the most attention and care, and not doctors helping to end their lives — or by removing a fetus from the mother’s womb before it can survive on its own.

Assisted Suicide: Your Dying Is Making Me Uncomfortable

One of the myths about the assisted suicide practice in Oregon is that it is highly regulated and has strong safeguards. However, proponents gloss over the serious lack of safeguards in Oregon’s law.

The… Read More

Follow-Up on Top 20 Bills to Veto

At the conclusion of the 2015 Session, Senator Joel Anderson and I selected the twenty worst bills on the Governor’s desk, with a little help from publisher Jon Fleischman (see

http://www.flashreport.org/blog/2015/09/22/flashreports-top-twenty-bills-to-veto-2015-edition/).

By the end of this last weekend, Governor Brown vetoed 40 percent of the bills we thought were the best candidates for veto.

Bill

Summary

Status

AB … Read More

Ed Ring

Moral Values That Underlie Opposition to Government Unions

Often missing from entirely legitimate criticism of government unions is an accompanying explanation of the moral values that underlie the criticism. Last month we published a post entitled “Deceptive and Misleading Claims – How Government Unions Fool the Public,” which listed ten myths that government unions use repeatedly in their propaganda campaigns. Missing in that post, and added here, are the moral values that underlie the need to expose each of these myths.

TEN GOVERNMENT UNION MYTHS AND THE MORAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST THEM

Myth #1: Government unions are protecting the middle class.

Reality: Government unions are protecting government workers at the expense of the private sector middle class. The agenda of government unions is more wages and benefits for government workers, and more hiring of government workers. To adhere to this agenda, failure of government programs still constitutes success for these unions. More laws, more regulations, and more government programs equates to more unionized government… Read More

Katy Grimes

How Jerry Brown Has Undermined The Rule of Law in California

A recent report from the FBI claims to offer proof that violent crime is down in cities throughout California. However, the FBI stats do not include the affect of Proposition 47, passed in November of 2014.

Recent local data show crime is rising in 2015 throughout the state, and particularly in large cities.

Recidivism is a huge problem with prison realignment. Yet, Liberals will likely use the FBI report to argue crime is down in California – but nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s look at how Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats are dismantling California, and undermining law and order.

Illegal immigrants will be registered to vote, thanks to a bill Gov. Jerry Brown just signed. Sex offenders are out on the street, increasing violent crime. The state has reduced prison time, and released many dangerous… Read More

Lance Izumi

WHAT DO THE COMMON CORE TEST RESULTS REALLY TELL US?

When the California Department of Education recently released the results of the 2015 Common Core math and English tests, officials attributed the low student scores to the increased rigor of both the new standards and the new test. However, the real reasons are not so simple, and much more worrying.

Statewide, student performance on the new test, named the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which is aligned with the Common Core national education standards, was abysmal, especially in mathematics. Overall, only 33 percent of California student test-takers scored at or above the proficient (met standard) level on the new math test. While performance lagged among Latino and African-American students, a majority of white students also failed to score at the proficient level on the math exam.

The English results were only slightly better with just 44 percent of students tested scoring at or above proficiency.

In contrast, results on California’s previous state exams, the STAR tests, were higher. In 2013, the last year the STAR tests were administered, 51 percent of students tested scored at or above proficient in math and… Read More

Jon Coupal

CITIZENS EXHAUSTED BY HYPOCRISY

Exhaust is what was emanating from the idling 3 ton SUV bearing state license plates sitting at the curb outside the Griffith Observatory. The parked vehicle’s engine continued to run for over an hour, according to news reports.

Inside the observatory, overlooking downtown Los Angeles, a ceremonial signing of major legislation was taking place. Amidst self-congratulation by members of the political class in attendance, Governor Brown added his signature to legislation mandating that half of California’s energy come from renewable sources within 15 years.

The bill by Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, originally contained language requiring a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2030. This draconian feature contained no specific formula for reducing gasoline use, leaving it up to the unelected California Air Resources Board (CARB) to implement restrictions that could have included massive fees, gas rationing or driving restrictions. Moderate Democrats and Republicans united in opposition to adding to the burden on working families already paying the highest gas prices in the nation, and de Leon was compelled to remove the… Read More

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