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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Fleischman

Grover Norquist: Tax Hikers Damage The Republican Brand

In the last election, Californians elected more than enough Republicans to the state legislature to give the GOP the ability to block Democratic efforts to raise taxes in Sacramento.

Grover Norquist

This is one key job for Republican legislators in California:Stop the never-ending push from Democrats for billions in higher taxes.

California has nation’s the highest marginal income tax rate, the 8th highest corporate tax rate, and the 6th highest overall tax

Read More

Katy Grimes

How To Make A California Slush Fund Even Slushier

While the state of California is extracting billions of dollars from businesses and utilities through the California Air Resources Board’s cap-and-trade program auctions, the Legislature can’t decide how to spend the billions.

Instead, lawmakers have been arguing over how to direct the monies into their own districts on some rather dubious projects, and predictably, on public transit and light rail trains.

Gov. Jerry Brown has his own dubious project: He carved out more than $1 billionof cap-and-trade revenue for his unpopular high-speed-train-to-nowhere.

Brown expects to have more than $3 billion in auction proceeds available to spend this year, but on what?

This state’s cap and trade program, born out of… Read More

Ron Nehring

Major campaign training program for conservatives coming to SoCal

Citing the importance of getting conservative candidates, operatives and activists the training needed to win on the political battlefield, the Leadership Institute is bringing its comprehensive Campaign Academy to Orange County for a five month program that kicks off on March 5.

Learning the skills involved to effectively organize and communicate in a winning campaign can’t be done in just one weekend “campaign bootcamp,” so the Leadership Institute developed a program that provides in-depth training and exercises for participating conservatives in a program that takes place one Saturday each month for five months. Each session is focused on a specific area of campaigns: strategy, communications, candidate development, fundraising and voter contact. The program is taught by faculty members who are experts in their respective fields, so participants learn that skills that can be applied in the real world right away.

Three times the Campaign Academy program has run in San Diego, with now well over 100 conservatives prepared to develop a campaign plan, build effective campaign communications, raise funds, build a winning narrative, and more.… Read More

Jon Coupal


Like rampaging Godzilla in all those Japanese monster movies, the unpopular and expensive bullet train has proven almost impossible to kill. However, the project’s critics may have a new weapon that will stop it dead in its tracks. Using the initiative process, opponents hope the public will be willing to trade the train for an increased and more reliable water supply, a seemingly attractive proposal after years of drought.

Looking back, it is clear the 2008 campaign that convinced voters to approve a $10 billion bond to kick off the bullet train, was a con. It was built on fantasy. You can almost hear the cigar chomping carnival barker calling out, “Step right up, get on board, we’ll whisk you between Los Angeles and San Francisco in only couple of hours for the inconsequential sum of just 50 bucks.”

Additionally, voters were promised the entire project would come in at less than $35 billion, the balance of which would come from private sector investment and the federal government.

To read the entire column click here … Read More

Katy Grimes

CA Air Resources Board Ignoring Deadly Truck Fires

California truck and business owners initiated a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board because of exploding trucks and roadside fires, due to the CARB’s mandatory, faulty diesel particulate filters, they say. Ironically, the filters even fail at cleaning the air.

The Alliance for California Business, a voluntary group whose purpose is to protect and promote business interests throughout California, says Diesel Particulate Filters have started more than 31 fires in the last two years, including several in areas of the state parched by the drought. The Diesel Particulate Filters are the result of environmental regulations created by the California Air Resources Board, and were based on a deeply flawed study led by a researcher accused of faking his Ph.D. credential. The CARB was aware of employee Hien Tran and his phony Ph.D. credentials and flawed research, yet instead, rushed head-on to meet its self-imposed… Read More

Ed Ring

The Future of Unions in the Post-Scalia Era

“The ‘Scalia Dividend’ Is a Rare Opportunity for Unions.” – Shaun Richman, In These Times, February 16, 2016

The implications of Antonin Scalia’s sudden and tragic death have already been painstakingly explored by anyone involved in union reform. There’s not much to add.But what members of the labor movement have to say about this new reality may be worth a look. And despite the title of the above-notedarticleby Shaun Richman,for the pro-labor publicationIn These Times,most pro-labor pundits are not optimistic about the future of the labor movement. Richman writes:

“Labor’s crisis predated Friedrichs and will live on after it. The ‘Right to Work’ agenda, and the gutting of public sector collective bargaining laws, will continue to be pressed at the state level. And if the general financial commitment and philosophical approach to new union organizing remains the same, union density will surely continue to decline.”

In the pro-labor publication Workday Minnesota, in a… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Invest tax dollars in roads, not public transportation

As seen in The Sacramento Bee

“I take public transit, but I hate it,” says a student intern who works in my downtown Sacramento office.

In a perfect world, there would be nothing wrong with investing in public transportation. We’re told by government that infrastructure projects like high-speed rail will make travel cheaper, more accessible and better for the environment. It’s supposed to be a win-win for everyone.

But we don’t live in a perfect world. And you probably know a few people who have a nightmare story to tell about their time catching the bus or train. The reality is most people don’t have positive opinions about public transit. That raises the question: In our ever-changing-millennial-driven economy, does it make sense to continue diverting billions of dollars to underutilized mass transit systems?

Many people have given up on public transportation because of the long delays and wait times and, in some cases, unclean and unsafe conditions. In Sacramento, the latest number from Regional Transit show total ridership is down nearly 7 percent… Read More

Jon Coupal


IT’S A BIRD! IT’S A PLANE! IT’S A TAX INCREASE! Tax Hike on Health Plans Causing Major Angst in Sacramento

Currently on the front burner in the State Capitol is the extremely contentious (and complicated) issue of taxing “managed care organizations.” Because of federal requirements under Obamacare, California must alter the manner in which it taxes healthcare plans or risk losing billions in federal money. But the question everyone is asking is whether the proposed legislation constitutes a tax increase. That question is not merely academic because its answer has significant policy and political ramifications.

While the determination of whether a legislative act imposes a tax may not be that important in other states, it certainly is in California. A requirement imposed by Proposition 13 is that “tax increases” be approved by a two-thirds vote of each house. Thus, although the majority Democrats have almost a two-thirds majority, they lack the power to raise taxes without at least some Republican support. And because most Republicans run for office as fiscal conservatives, they are loath to vote for anything that raises the tax burden on… Read More

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