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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Ed Ring

California’s Official Antipathy to Educational Innovation and Accountability

“With a hearing now scheduled for Aug. 21, LA Unified’s teachers union, UTLA, will have the chance to argue before a neutral party that Alliance College-Ready Public Charter Schools, violated state education law by blocking the union’s efforts to bring Alliance teachers into its membership.” – Mike Szymanski, “UTLA outlines accusations against Alliance for anti-union efforts,” LA School Report, August 6, 2015

The “neutral party” to which Szymanski refers is California’sPublic Employee Relations Board(PERB), “a quasi-judicial administrative agency charged with administering the eight collective bargaining statutes covering employees of California’s public schools, colleges, and universities, employees of the State of California, employees of California local public agencies,” etc.

“Neutral.” Really?

A quick look at the directors of PERB provides yet another example of just how stacked the deck has gotten in favor of public employee unions. Following their names… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacramento City Council’s Taxpayer-Funded “War on Women”

Three women in the past 18 months have filed claims against three different Sacramento City Council members. The real “War on Women” is taking place in Sacramento, in whichpowerful officeholders use a combination oftaxpayermoney and their own personal wealth to avoid any public accountability for claims against them for egregious sexual harassment and other workplace abuse towards low power women.

In 2013, a former staffer of Vice-Mayor Angelique Ashby’s sued her in federal court for wrongful termination when Ashby fired her after she requested a day off to go to a doctor’s appointment. According to court documents, Ashby was working her 67 hours a week.

In May, its was revealed that a former staffer in the city manager’s office had filed a sexual harassment claim against Mayor Kevin Johnson. The city attorney and an outside law firm hired by the city attorney,supposedly investigated. They… Read More

Jon Coupal

BELEAGUERED TAXPAYERS INDEED

BELEAGUERED TAXPAYERS INDEED

Especially in California, the word “taxpayer” is frequently preceded by the word “beleaguered.” Given our large tax burden and the tragic level of government waste, perhaps there should be a grammatical rule that these two words must always be combined.

While some California taxes are hidden, most are unfortunately and painfully obvious. But the same is not true for the level of wasteful spending by government. The unstated rule of politicians and bureaucrats is that average taxpayers must be kept in the dark about how their money is being spent.

Ask the average man or woman in the street what they think the 87 cent tax on a pack of cigarettes goes for and they will likely respond that it goes for anti-smoking programs – like those scary TV spots – and for health care.

Because of the detrimental impact of smoking on health, most Californians will agree that there seems a logical connection between what is being taxed and how the money is being spent. However, most of the tobacco tax does not go to these programs. Of the 87 cents, 50 cents goes to children’s programs… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Moonbeam Uses Global Warming To Control People, Power and Money

When politicians crash and burn, they create diversionary tactics to disguise their failures. A perfect example is California Gov. Jerry Brown, and his impious policy on climate change. Just a few days ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown said the Lake County wildfire is evidence that global warming already has created dangerous conditions in California. Yet, if the climate really hasn’t really changed in twenty years, and the rainfall is actually normal (four of five years historically are below average, with one in five ‘wet’, according to a scientist friend) how does Brown get away with this garbage?

Climate realities: Sydney, Australia has snow this summer for the first time since 1836. The Big Island of Hawaii had snowfall in July. In California, it snowed in the Sierra Nevada… Read More

Richard Rider

Coyotes and NFL team owners — are they evil?

Last night my wife and I watched two coyotes in our back yard, diligently sniffing and pacing, looking for something to eat. It immediately caused me to think of the Spanos family — owners of the San Diego Chargers. But not for the reasons you’d think.

This morning (Sunday, 9 August, 2015) there’s an insightful op-ed in the SAN DIEGO U-T, further verifying that the owners of the Chargers want to move the team to Los Angeles — a far bigger and more “big corporation” market than “branch office” San Diego. While the piece makes many good points, the article takes the low road when this assertion is highlighted –it is all about ego and greed.”

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/aug/08/fourth-and-long-chargers-want-los-angeles-in-the/

Really? Are Chargers owners evil people? Well, are the coyotes evil?

Consider: If a coyote jumps into… Read More

Katy Grimes

ALRB Quietly Getting Rid of Another Problem Employee

The ALRB has been a quiet state-sponsored accomplice for the United Farm Workers in the union’s combative relationship with Gerawan Farming, as well as many other California farming and ranching businesses. And since 2011, the ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres Guillén was been behind most of the combat – until she was recently reassigned to Gov. Brown’s inner office sanctum, rather than firing her, and filing charges against her with the California Bar Association.

Now it appears that another of the ALRB antagonists, Silas Shawver, the ALRB Regional Director in Visalia, is also becoming someone else’s problem, rather than firing him, and filing charges against him with the California Bar Association. According to a source close to the ALRB, Shawver, a lawyer, is leaving the ALRB and going to work for the department of Fair Employment and Housing, where he can continue to terrorize California employers under the protection of another state agency.

“Governor Brown is known for moving his controversial appointees to other government positions to get them out of the limelight, rather than firing them for misconduct,” the Los… Read More

Ed Ring

Tough Education Reform, not More Borrowing and Spending, is What Students Need

Last week the California Policy Center published amajor new studythat compiled, in exhaustive detail, both the amount that Californians have borrowed to finance public school construction and upgrades, as well as documented the abuses that have diminished the return on these substantial investments. Californians simply don’t realize how much borrowing is going on.

“For the Kids,” Construction spending of $10 billion per year for the last 14 years, despite enrollment in slight decline.

In 2001, voters passed Prop 39, which lowered the threshold for passage of a school bond from 66% to 55%. Prior to the passage of Prop. 39, only 42% of school bond proposals would pass – since then,88%… Read More

Ron Nehring

Guide to understanding 2016 Presidential polling and reporting

When I arrived in Des Moines, Iowa just before the 1996 Republican caucuses, New York publisher Steve Forbes was first in the polls. Nine days later, he finished fourth.

A lot of lessons can be drawn from that campaign, and every other. How to use and interpret polling data and political reporting are two of them.

As a former candidate, state party chairman and member of the Republican National Committee, I’ve spent plenty of time with pollsters, looking at data, and seeing political stories both in the media and behind the scenes. Unfortunately, some of what we see in the political press and social media concerning polling in the 2016 race for the Republican presidential nomination ranges from misleading to useless.

Here’s a guide to making some sense of the polling and reporting.

Political reporting is written by political people, who tend to overestimate how well the candidates are known. Who’s following the 2016 contest closely? Not normal people. Most people are more focused on living their daily lives than following the machinations of a race where not a single ballot will be cast for six more … Read More

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