FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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.


This spread is more important when one considers the population of these two mega-states:

California 38,333,000

Texas 26,448,000


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

Jon Fleischman

Fresno Bank Coughs Up $350K To Settle After Wiring Depositors Cash To Mystery Ukrainian Bank Account

How many times have you gotten one of those e-mails asking you to send vast sums of your money to someone in a far off country letting you know that they have a deal you just can’t pass up?

Well over a year ago on this page I penned a pretty extensive column after I got more than a little incensed that a some cyber-thieves from the Ukraine were able to send information to Fresno-based United Security Bank [italics added for emphasis] which caused the bank to literally wire close to $3.5 million of funds TRC Operating Company without the knowledge of TRC, to a bank account in the Ukraine. Apparently three separate wires (with many more pending) were complete before someone with a heartbeat at United Security Bank thought to intervene.

After some sort of claw-back, the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Government Manipulations Create Unemployment Purgatory

Nearly every news outlet in California has been gleefully reporting that the state economy is bouncing back. While recent newsreports show unemployment has slightly dropped, the facts show otherwise — particularly telling is how the Legislature is so focused on increasing the minimum wage, rather than improving the business climate.

Unemployment in the state, and across the country, is worse than is being reported. And, it is far more complicated than a slight economic uptick, or slight “drop” in unemployment.

We’re creating jobs at a slower pace now than at the same time last year. And with the supposed drop in unemployment, the underemployed and those “no longer in the labor force” are issues rarely reported. There is no coincidence between dropping… Read More

Katy Grimes

Arena Derangement Syndrome Update: Whining About Legal Costs

The Sacramento arena deal has prompted questions over the lack of public debate about key details, dubious financial numbers from the city and the public subsidy the project requires. And, last-minute legislation last year by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, is allowing the arena’s construction proceed without a credible environmental impact review.

Last week, the city of Sacramento announced it expects to spend up to $750,000 to defend a lawsuit related to the planned downtown arena. The lawsuit accuses city officials of making a secret deal to provide an extra $80 million of public money to help the investors’ group beef up its offer against a well-funded Seattle group that wanted to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle.

I have… Read More

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