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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Coupal

Will California’s Outlier Status Accelerate Exodus?

After recovering from the shock of the presidential race, California pundits began absorbing what all this actually means. There is broad agreement that the rightward movement by the rest of America has only increased the political divide between the nation as a whole and California.

This divide has widened so significantly that Governor Brown joked about building a wall around the state to protect it from nasty conservatives. And a handful of ultra-progressives, distressed at the thought of a Trump presidency, are planning an initiative they hope will lead to California seceding from the United States. (Newsflash for backers of this “Calexit” effort: That a state can’t secede from the Union was resolved in 1865 when General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox).

Putting the jokes and unrealistic fantasies aside, there are real world implications for the increasing chasm. First, if it were evident prior to the election that California has “go it alone” policies on climate change, it is even clearer now. Sure, Washington will continue to pay lip service to greenhouse gas reductions, but broad, draconian laws and regulations perceived to be… Read More

Ray Haynes

Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles

As an occupant of the basket that contains the deplorables, I breathe easier today. We got really lucky. Donald Trump won by less than 100,000 votes in three states that do not traditionally vote Republican, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We had an unusual candidate on our side, and the Democrats chose the worst possible candidate they could have chosen, and we barely squeaked by.

Yes, California delivered 2.6 million votes to Clinton, and Trump never came here and asked people like me for my vote. We are in trouble here in California. As a state, we are retrograde. We are out of step with the country. Californians are leaving this state, and leaving it to the folks who screwed up the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (based on their philosophy). As a country, however, we were barely saved from a Clinton presidency. We will be rid of the Clinton crime syndicate…finally, but we were saved by a few votes in a few states, states Republicans have lost every single time since 1992. It was a wonder of wonder, a miracle of miracles.

If you are a person of faith, this win can only be attributed to divine intervention. As political activists, however,… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Grover Norquist: High Stakes for California Taxpayers this Tuesday

Grover Norquist

On Election Day, we all vote for politicians and then wonder what they will do. When we vote on initiative questions, we know the good or bad news with certainty.

Three of the initiatives on Tuesday’s statewide ballot would impose new and higher taxes on Californians. They are all bad news for taxpayers, consumers, and employers.

Prop. 55 Means Damage to Small Business & Less Predictable Budgeting

Remember the “temporary” income tax hikes voters approved in 2012? Proposition 55 would extend those higher income tax rates for 12 years. Such an effort to extend the higher rates was widely predicted at the time of their approval… Read More


Why do city officials raise taxes? The answer, in some cases, is as simple as “because they can,” or at least they think they can.

In recent weeks, a number of California cities announced plans to extend their utility user tax to media streaming subscriptions and online rentals. So, if you subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Sling TV, etc., your bill could soon increase by the amount of your city’s tax. Utility user taxes average about 6% but are as high as 11% in some cities.

If you don’t remember voting to tax Internet services, you’re right. Then why do these cities think they can get around Prop 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act?

To read the entire column click here california-commentary/will- cities-increase-the-cost-of- internet-services/Read More

Katy Grimes

Anti-Charter School Labor Union Controlling San Diego County Board of Education

How does the San Diego County Board of Education become dubiously entangled with the owner of a solar company and a labor union boss?

It’s For The Children… Yeah, right.

In 2012 and 2014, the American Federation of Teachers labor union local 1091, led by union boss Jim Mahler, financed the take-down of community based San Diego County Board of Education board members, and installed his own labor union members.

In 2014, an independent board member, Doug Perkins, beat the union candidate, Rick Shea, but Perkins fell ill and resigned. The union-dominated board jumped on the opportunity and appointed Shea, giving the labor union 100 percent control of the board.

However, in the 2016 June primary, pro-reform candidates supported by the Charter Schools Association, won two seats. The third and deciding vote on the five-member board will be determined in a run-off between pro-reform candidate, former State Senator Mark Wyland, and labor union supported and appointed,… Read More

Ed Ring

The Credibility of Public Service

California’s government unions are nothing like private sector unions. Their bosses are selected via elections where these unions are the dominant campaign contributors. They get their money through compulsory taxes and therefore don’t have to run efficient operations. They run the machinery of government which lets them intimidate their opponents and act as gatekeeper to business interests. Their agenda – more government workers and more pay and benefits for government workers – is intrinsically at odds with the public interest, which must focus on achieving an optimal government, not bigger government for its own sake.

For these reasons, government unions are not only drivers of government inefficiencies and financial challenges, they discredit government itself. In three parts – local, state, and federal – here are ways that government unions have taken away much of the credibility once enjoyed by government agencies, and the good people who staff these agencies.

Part One – Local Government Credibility

A friend of mine just got a ticket for making a right turn on a red light. They weren’t… Read More

Michelle Steel

Placing Politics Before Our Children

Using deceptive language Sacramento politicians are trying to push an initiative that would threaten our children’s future. While most of us are interested in improving the lives of our children, politicians in Sacramento are playing politics by overturning a previous initiative that would disrupt their education and hurt their chances for success.

Under the illusion of helping students Senator Ricardo Lara, author of proposition 58, wants Californians to waste tax dollars and essential learning time by allowing alternative programs to replace the English-only classrooms. Replacing them with bilingual courses that would make it harder for students to learn English and reach their goals.

To help persuade voters, politicians are using the misleading title of “English proficiency” in order to gain support for their initiative. However, these changes would actually allow for “English Language Learners” (ELL) to go for years without being taught in English.

Californians in 1998 understood how important it is for students to learn English as quickly as possible and designed the education system to do so. We passed proposition 227 so that our schools… Read More

Jon Coupal

Debt Addicts Spend Big Opposing Prop. 53

The usual suspects are digging deep into their pockets to make sure that California’s borrowing binge remains unchecked. Contractors, unions and bond houses that benefit from state debt are contributing millions to defeat Proposition 53, the Stop Blank Checks initiative. This straightforward proposal simply requires voter approval of state issued construction bonds larger than $2 billion.

These insiders are being joined by the ultimate insider, Gov. Jerry Brown, who has contributed $4.1 million left over from his 2014 reelection campaign. So far, over $15 million in campaign cash is being used for a massive television buy featuring the governor calling for Prop. 53’s defeat because, he says, it will increase the cost of “roads, bridges and hospitals.” This claim is ludicrous on its face. Prop. 53 creates no new costs, but allows taxpayers to approve new debt.

Even if he believes his own words, Brown may have a less obvious motivation for wanting to defeat Prop. 53. He is concerned about his legacy and fears that allowing voters to decide important spending issues might make it more difficult to build that upon which he has seized as his ticket to… Read More

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