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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Richard Rider

UC Berkeley institutes $15 minimum wage, then fires 500 employees

Rather than waiting for the new California $15 state minimum wage law to be phased in over five years, UC Berkeley decided to accelerate its own minimum wage to $15, starting this coming September (2016).

Naturally the Progressives celebrated. Shortly after making that decision, the administration announced the layoff of 500 workers, as the school now has a $150 million deficit to contend with.

Can someone explain to me how a organization bleeding a $150 million annual deficit planned to pay for a 50% minimum wage increase? Do they teach Economics 101 at Berkeley?

Sadly, the answer is that like all colleges, Berkeley has an Economic Department. They have very expensive and self-important Econ professors. But they don’t teach common sense economics. Far from it.

“Common sense” mayRead More

Barry Jantz

Sunday San Diego: Pete Kanelos, RIP

The worst, or maybe the best thing about being Pete Kanelos’ friend was his dedication to the Raiders. Sure, I’ve had other friends who like that team, but in Pete’s case it was a personal badge of pride and honor. Almost as if being able to shove it in his friends’ faces was the real motivation, not so much a love for the team itself.

Pete was relentless about it. If the Chargers lost, the text would arrive about how lousy they were. If a San Diego player was arrested for assault, or drugs, or a shooting or something — not unlike any other team in the NFL, including the Raiders — he’d make sure to point it out.

It never mattered how lousy the Raiders were at the time (they were, often), or if any of their players were in jail for the night, Pete always had the last word, which simply couldn’t be answered: “Yeah, so how many… Read More

Tony Francois

Earth to feds: Your “green” power-tripping hurts people and the environment!

It’s Earth Day, and our federal government is here to help. Browse any agency’s website to see press releases crowing about the good being done for our big blue marble. Take the United States Army. Seriously. According to the Pentagon, in an April 7, 2015 press release, “taking care of the Earth is an everyday mission for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.” Setting aside the irony of history’s most destructive fighting force boasting of protecting bunnies and bushes, how true is this even?

Northern California’s Sacramento Valley hosts several million acres of America’s most productive farmland: rice fields, orchards, grain and vegetables, and rolling pastures that feed people across this nation and around the world. One of those farms, in Tehama County, owned by Duarte Nursery, has been closed by the planet-protecting Army Corps of Engineers.… Read More

Senator Jim Nielsen

Sacramento Liberals are proposing a deceptive scheme for higher local taxes and increased state spending

Rather than support a statewide school bond to build new and update older school facilities, many Sacramento liberals want to shift the entire cost of funding classroom repairs and new school construction onto the backs of local school districts – forcing them to raise taxes or cut programs. By off-loading the state’s responsibility to the locals, liberals want to free up state resources to grow pensions and create new government programs rather than support school facilities.

For nearly two decades and with the support of many Republicans, California has provided matching school funds to local communities for classroom repairs or new school construction through the approval of statewide school bonds. This approach has been equitable, protected local taxpayers, created jobs, and helped keep massive new state spending in check.

But now with California’s state school bond fund is depleted, there is an effort by Sacramento liberals to shift the funding of school facilities to taxpayers in the form of higher local property taxes – hitting seniors and young families especially hard.

Don’t be fooled by this scheme!

There is a better way to… Read More

Richard Rider

CA sheriff spends $761.24 at Costco to solve a $20,000,000 security problem

Here’s an upbeat (if rather bizarre) story from a California jail. When faced with an inmate security problem in the jail, there was the $20,000,000, two year government solution, and then there was the $761.24, one week Costco solution. Kudos to the sheriff for making the right call, and putting it on her own credit card!

But sadly, this story has a dark side. The prison guard union president decried the sheriff’s purchase because “it hurts morale.” Not clear why. Never mind that the guards recently had beaten a mentally ill inmate to death under questionable circumstances and away from cameras.

Perhaps even worse, the county is STILL going to install the $20,000,000 “Cadillac” surveillance system! After all, the money is already budgeted. And what government bureaucrat would rethink this spending — perhaps putting in a comprehensive camera monitoring network for one-tenth the cost (a “paltry” $2 million dollars).

NOTE: I first saw this story in the free weekly blog “This Is True.” But for copyright reasons, I’ve changed the reference to the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Part ll: Ag Labor Board Orders Employees’ Ballots Destroyed To Silences Farm Workers

Part ll ofAg Labor Board Orders Employees’ Ballots Destroyed To Silences Farm Workers. Part l is HERE

Friday April 15, 2016 the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board voted to set aside the November 5, 2013 decertification election petitioned by the farm employees at Gerawan Farming, and allow the ALRB to destroy the Gerawan employees’ ballots.

ALRB Administrative Law Judge Mark R. Soble, ordered the Gerawan workers ballots to de-certify the United Farm Workers union be destroyed.

Soble also ruled that controversial ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma will not be removed from the ALRB despite her bias and… Read More

Katy Grimes

Ag Labor Board Orders Employees’ Ballots Destroyed To Silences Farm Workers

On Friday April 15, 2016 the three-member California Agricultural Labor Relations Board voted to set aside the November 5, 2013 decertification election of the United Farm Workersat Gerawan Farming, and destroy the Gerawan employees’ ballots.

In other words, the ALRB is saying, “We will protect employee’s rights by destroying their ballots?”

Acting as an arm of the union, the ALRB did this to not to protect the farm workers – as is the ARLB mission – but to protect the flailing United Farm Workers labor union. Against every bit of evidence to the contrary, in doing so, the ALRB has declared by default that the employer has somehow violated the law. But in reality, the ALRB has violated the law, as I’ve chronicled in hundreds of stories, for nearly four years now.

This decision punishes the Gerawan workers, and demonstrates just how… Read More

Jon Coupal

Billions in New Bonds Should Not Escape Voter Approval

Former Speaker Willie Brown once said, “In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment.” The strategy, he noted, was to start construction of a project quickly so it would be hard to stop once people learned of the real cost which, in many cases, could be many multiples of the initial price represented to citizens.

Constant cost overruns and a lack of unaccountability plague California’s infrastructure projects. Politicians casually throw “millions” and “billions” around like a game of monopoly, leaving hard-working families and future generations to pay the debt they so flippantly create.

Over the last 20 years, $50 billion in revenue bond debt has been issued without voter approval. A loophole in state law allows politicians to commit taxpayers to repaying enormous revenue bond debt without voter oversight.

To read the entire column click here http://www.hjta.org/california-commentary/billions-in-new-bonds-should-not-escape-voter-approval/Read More

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