FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Kevin Dayton

Will a Few Republican State Legislators Open Floodgates for Costly Union Control of California Water Projects?

Union lobbyists try to be discreet when they influence the California State Legislature to gain advantages in public contracting. That secrecy is now crumbling in the case of a new “urgency” bill that authorizes a Monterey County water agency to use an alternative bidding procedure to build a pipeline project.

Can unions whip this bill through the legislature before new revelations about backroom deals undermine local support for it? It depends on how many Republicans in the Assembly and Senate see construction union support as useful to their political futures.

A Mundane Objective: Awarding a Contract for a Water Storage Project

The Monterey County WaterResources Agency proposes a $25 million pipeline to improve water storage by transferring water between two reservoirs. It wants to use a construction procurement procedure called “design-build.” Instead of awarding separate design and construction contracts to the lowest responsible bidders, the agency would award one combined contract for the project based on subjective scoring criteria.

Since the early 1990s, the California legislature has passed… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Tax Help for California Seniors

Senior citizens deserve to enjoy the rewards of their life’s work, but rising taxes and inflation leave many feeling squeezed.

California seniors know about discounts at restaurants and the movies, but they may not be familiar with the tax benefits and services available to them. For example, many seniors qualify for property tax exemptions, income tax credits and free income tax preparation.

That’s why I created the new Tax Help for California Seniors webpage. This online resource provides helpful information and links designed to help seniors be aware of important tax tips relating to property tax, sales and use tax and income tax.

Please take a look at this new online resource and consider sharing it with your family and friends who are seniors.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Humane Society Charity Rating Revoked

The Humane Society’s seemingly undue influence on the legislative process last year made for an interesting story. This national, non-profit, media darling, animal rescue group was able to push through the California lead ammunition ban, as well as successfully getting all of their other sponsored bills signed into law by California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Then again, Jennifer Fearing, the Humane Society California senior state director, apparently lobbied Gov. Brown at the dog park; Fearing admitted to dog-sitting for Sutter Brown, Gov. Jerry Brown’s Pembroke Welsh Corgi — while lobbying the Legislature during the 2013 legislative session. (Note: it is unclear if Fearing is still working for the California HSUS. There were job postings for her state director position recently; her Twitter page says she is with the HSUS, but the Read More

Katy Grimes

Latino Legislators Visit Illegal Immigrants but Ignore Fresno Farmworkers

News outletsare giddy with the announcement of atour by theCalifornia Latino Legislative Caucus, of the illegal immigrant detention facilities at theVentura County Naval Base “to inspect the care immigrants are receiving.”

These same California lawmakers have ignored the plight and pleasfor help of thousands of Latino farm workers who are fighting to decertify the United Farm Workers labor union, and the state Agricultural labor Relations Board.

Ironically, this same group of people – Hispanic farm laborers – are the very demographic the Democratic Party is so eager to register to vote in local, state and national political elections. But when it comes to the farm workers not wanting to work under an oppressive union contract, state… Read More

Katy Grimes

‘Husband and Wife’ now gender neutral in California Constitution

“I now declare you legal partners,” will be whatCalifornia judges say at weddings in California. “You may now kiss your gender-neutral partner.”

California’s historic decline is not just limited to bad economic policy; California politicians have been meddling in people’s bedrooms, churches, women’s wombs, classrooms, kitchens, autos, bank accounts, and the courtroom.

In the spirit of this creepy meddling, Gov. Jerry Brownsigned a bill on Monday to do away withCalifornia’s legal references to traditional marriage between a husband and wife.SB 1306by state Sen.Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, replaces references to “husband and wife” with “gender-neutral” language in… Read More

CARB: Killing Them Softly

By Tom Tanton and Jean Pagnone

When California makes the news, it is typically an example of what not to do. It is a state with high unemployment, out of control spending, and high taxes. Therefore it should be no surprise that California is in the news again thanks to California Air Resources Board and AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act.

Additional revelations about ‘scientists’ fudging underlying data have surfaced and advocates for the poor are awakening to the economic devastation wrought by CARB’s implementation. Now CARB has issued a legislatively required update to its ‘scoping plan.’ Discussions have reignited about the need, the mechanism and the overall benefits of this bureaucratic attempt to do something about the weather. Most significant perhaps is the application of cap and trade rules to transportation fuels which are scheduled to go into effect January 2015. This new, permanent hidden gas tax created by CARB and implemented without legislative approval will likely cost Californians 15 cents to over a dollar more per gallon of gas, with that amount continuing to increase. That adds up to $3 to $9 billion dollars taken out of… Read More

Ed Ring

How to Create Affordable Abundance in California

California has one of the highest costs of living in the United States. California also is one of the most inhospitable places to run a business in the United States. And despite being blessed with abundant energy and an innovative tradition that ought to render the supply of all basic resources abundant and cheap, California has artificially created shortages of energy, land and water, and a crumbling, inadequate transportation and public utility infrastructure.

The reason for these policy failures is because the people who run California are the public sector unions who control the machinery of government, the career aspirations of government bureaucrats, the electoral fate of politicians, and the regulatory environment of the business community. To make it work, these unions have exempted government workers, along with compliant corporations and those who are wealthy enough to be indifferent, from the hardships their policies have created for everyone else.

Here’s just a taste of what California’s middle class, too rich to qualify for government handouts and too poor to be indifferent, has to endure compared to the rest of the United States:… Read More

Murrieta Incident Highlights Need President And Congress To Act

[Publisher’s Note: We are pleased to offer this original commentary from Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone. Stone is also candidate for State Senate. — Flash]

As the immigration crisis at our border continues to grow, the President and Congress need to consider the short and long-term impact on local communities of their inability to enforce our laws and control our borders.

As the County Supervisor who represents Murrieta, California, I am deeply concerned about the lack of enforcement of the U.S. border. Mexican Cartels are now involved in human trafficking and bringing frightened and traumatized women and children on a dangerous journey through Mexico to the U.S. border where they are promised safe haven. The government of Mexico is aiding and abetting this process by issuing thousands of work visas to… Read More

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