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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Steve Greenhut

State quietly pushes cost-raising insurance regulations

California political observers are understandably fixated on the goings-on in the state Legislature, which is the living embodiment of what New York Judge Gideon Tucker wrote in an 1866 ruling: “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” Reporters and commentators also focus on major legal cases, which can at times pose an even greater danger to our liberty and property.

But unless they do something particularly egregious, the state’s myriad regulatory agencies rarely get much notice. Sure, the little-known California Agricultural Labor Relations Board became the subject of much debate recently after its union-friendly officials refused to count the ballots of farm workers who were trying to decertify a union. That was the exception that proved the rule. How often are “rulemakings” the subject of public… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Republican Legislative Candidates Use AD 31 Special Election as Opportunity to Gear Up for November 2016

By Clint Oliver

Last weekend I had the privilege to participate in a California Trailblazers campaign training in Fresno – in the heart of a Central Valley district that will host an upcoming, and critical, election for Assembly District 31.

During the two-day training, California Republican leaders and strategists shared their knowledge, insight and expertise with nearly three dozen Republican candidates and Campaign Managers. Instructors taught candidates how to build authentic grassroots support and a solid campaign foundation. For me, it was a well-received opportunity for current and prospective Republican lawmakers to join me in the community I hope to represent in the state legislature.

The first day of training kicked off with a motivating testimony by Trailblazer alumni, Assemblyman Frank Bigelow. He provided tremendous advice, and his enthusiasm for the program and legislative candidates was contagious. We also heard from a fellow Central Valley leader,… Read More

Katy Grimes

CA Assembly Public Safety Committee Doesn’t “Pay Too Much Attention to the Constitution”

The California Legislature has demonstrated once again how irrelevant and unnecessary it is as a full-time body.

The Assembly Public Safety Committee just passed a bill making illegal gun sales “illegaler,” according to Sam Paredes, Executive Director ofGun Owners of California.

AB 1695,“The Stop Illegal Gun Sales Act,”by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, passed the Assembly Public Safety committee on a party line vote. “The Act takes aim at the flow of guns onto the black market—just like the guns used in San Bernardino,” he said.

Bonta knows it is already illegal, but never mind that.

“Oakland was home to 89 murders last year—among the highest rates in the state. We must end these… Read More

Ron Nehring

California, Here We Come

It’s been asked countless times: Will this be the year California finally “matters” in the race for the Republican nomination for President?

We now have an answer: Yes.

Put another way: California, here we come.

Last night’s contests reshaped the landscape in three ways.

First, Florida Senator Macro Rubio withdrew after losing his home state, bringing the number of contenders down to three. Second, Ohio Governor John Kasich was mathematically eliminated – he would have to win 112% of the remaining delegates to become the nominee, an impossibility. And finally, the race was functionally reduced to a two-man contest between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

While at the moment Donald Trump has about 200 more delegates than Ted Cruz, he is well short of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination. In fact, he only has about half the delegates he needs, at around 640. Ted Cruz has a little over 400.

California’s 169 delegates – the largest state delegation in the nation – are now essential for victory.

Appearing on CNN this morning, I was actually encouraged by the spin the Trump supporter was putting… Read More

Ed Ring

Investing in Infrastructure to Lower the Cost of Living

California’s civil infrastructure was once the envy of the nation. During the 1950’s and 1960’s the state wisely invested in transportation, water and power infrastructure, delivering capacity well in excess of the needs of the state’s population at the time. Even today, the scale of California’s network of aqueducts and pumping stations to transfer water from north to south, east to west, is one of the largest in the world, and California’s vast network of interstate freeways has few rivals.

Moreover, Californians in that era had planned to continue to expand these infrastructure assets to accommodate a growing population, but that all came to a halt in the 1970’s. During the 1970’s not only were the plans for additional water storage and distribution assets abandoned, but state-owned right-of-ways and land acquisitions both for water and transportation were sold to private interests. California now has a population of 40 million people living in a state with civil infrastructure designed to accommodate 20 million people.

The new political alternative to infrastructure development is conservation. By zoning ultra-high density infill in urban… Read More

Richard Rider

MAR 15 More scarce CA manufacturing jobs moving to TX — and WHY they are moving

It’s a story too common to even make the news in California anymore: Pegasus Foods, a Los Angeles firm, announced it is building a new food plant in Texas, employing 325 people. It’s unclear if the company’s CA HQ will also move — but it seems likely, based on the CEO’s positive comments:

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally be here in Texas,” said Jim Zaferis, principal of the Los Angeles-based company that supplies food for restaurants such as Chili’s, Panda Express and Cinnabon.

Zaferis said he was inviting many of his California-based employees to relocate with the company, saying the quality of life here is much better.

“It’s the kind of place where you really want to raise a family,” he said.

For a company like Pegasus, though, the main attraction isTexas’ business-friendly climate, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. Texas has low taxes, is a right-to-work stateand protects companies from large settlements from litigation, he said.

“It all makes Texas aRead More

Jon Coupal

Hospitals Inflict Pain On Taxpayers

In 2012, those of us who opposed Proposition 30 were told that the measure, which was the largest state tax hike in American history, was just a “temporary” fix to address the emergency of a severe budget shortfall. But just as Milton Friedman noted that “nothing is so permanent as a temporary government measure,” here in California it appears that nothing is so permanent as a temporary tax increase.

However, in their journey to extend the Prop 30 tax hikes, the tax raisers started tripping over their own greed. Even the public sector union bosses weren’t reading off the same page and different proposals began to emerge, each targeting billions of dollars of tax revenue to their respective constituencies. And compounding the problem was the fact that the “emergency,” which was the entire justification for Prop 30 in the… Read More

Richard Rider

CA per capita GDP — adjusted for COL — is worse than all but 13 states

UPDATE WITH 2014 FIGURES:It’s common for the remaining California boosters (almost ALL far to the left of center) to smugly assert that “California is the 7thlargest ‘country’ in the world.” Using GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as a benchmark, it is a true assertion. It’s also an incomplete assertion. And certainly a misleading assertion. Indeed, a more detailed analysis cuts the legs out from under the booster bunch.

To begin with, that 7th(or 8th– it’s very close) place rank is DOWN from 1999, when CA was ranked 5th. We are in a stately decline.

Moreover, our three immediate “competitors” are India, Italy and Brazil — three economic basket cases. This fact should alert one that using simple GDP as a measure of a country’s prosperity can be remarkably misleading.

Touting CA (vs. other states) as the best state simply because… Read More

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