FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Kevin Dayton

Preparing for California’s Life Cycle of Bond Measures and Proposed Tax Increases

Every Four Years, A Golden Opportunity for Revenue Enhancement

November 8, 2016 will likely be a triumphant day for Californians who believe individuals, households, and businesses aren’t giving enough of their money to the government.

The recent deliberation and turmoil in the California legislature about tax increases will be handed off to voters, who will make quick decisions based primarily on deceptive ballot titles. Meanwhile, as many as 150 local K-12 school and community college districts will ask voters for authorization to borrow money for construction via bond sales. In addition, voters will get to consider local parcel taxes, utility taxes, transportation taxes, San Francisco Bay Restoration taxes – all sorts of taxes.

Why is this election going to be so special? Political consultants assume that Californians inspired to vote because of the historic candidacy of Hillary Clinton for President will extend their excitement to the approval of taxes, borrowing, and spending farther down the ballot.

This assumption is based on performance of bond measures and proposed tax increases in the past two presidential… Read More

California Trailblazers Alumni: Protecting Californians from Higher Taxes

When the 2015 legislative session began, 13 Republicans entered the Senate and Assembly chambers as California Trailblazers alumni. While they are all very different individuals, their success was based on a shared commitment to running smart, running hard and never letting up until all the votes were counted. It wasn’t easy, but today, it’s paying dividends for their constituents and all Californians.

Young Kim, Janet Nyguen, Catharine Baker and David Hadley illustrate how California Trailblazers is making a difference in the state legislature. Trailblazer candidates stopped Democrat supermajorities in both houses, and just last week, they helped block Democrat efforts to raise taxes during the final days of the legislative session. These lawmakers, along with James Gallagher, Ling-Ling Chang and other Trailblazer Alumni represent the new Republican wave in California and diverse districts… Read More

Richard Rider

Ten IMPLICIT Fallacies [still being] Used To Justify Opulent Government Pensions

EXPLANATORY NOTE: I published this column on FlashReport about four years ago, but I’m seeing the same fallacies coming up again and again, compliments of the public employee labor union bosses. Remediation is in order. Here’s my updated version.

What is an “implicit fallacy?” Well, I made up the term, because I can’t find an exact definition that fits. It’s sometimes more formally referred to as an “Unwarranted Presumption.”

As I see it, it’s an assertion based on a flawed premise — but a premise that is NOT stated. It is just assumed — implied, if you will. In the field of government pensions, I have noticed that many a labor unions assertion is based on such an implicit fallacy. Often when the assumption is actually stated (as I do below), it becomes ludicrous on its face.

Not all ten of the union assertions below fit this definition perfectly, but they all have one thing in common — they are inaccurate statements — if not outright lies. And… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacramento City College Shooters Result of AB 109 Realignment

How would parents react if they knew their kids were attending community college with convicted violent criminals and gang members?

This is today’s reality and a result of Assembly Bill 109, passed in 2011, and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

There are 55 known street gangs in Sacramento, CA. Two of these gangs clashed at Sacramento City College Sept. 3, leaving one man dead, two others seriously injured, and a college campus in fear.

But the recent shooting at Sacramento City Collegewasn’t about rival college students in a feud – it was between two rival Crip gangs – the Tongans and Nogales.

Many want to know how and why two convicted criminals were attending the same college as neighborhood kids, instead of serving sentences in jail — because after serving relatively short… Read More

Ed Ring

California’s Pensions Are An Economic Burden, Not Benefit

Last month an article entitled “Pensions as Economic Stimulus” was posted toFox & Hounds Daily. The author,Charles Beckwith, is a former CalPERS senior financial manager. Beckwith’s article, while thoughtful, invites a response. Because California’s pension systems may stimulate the economy in some ways, but equally significant ways, they are killing the economy.

Beckwith’s primary argument is this: California’s pension systems pay out over $3.0 billion per month to retired state and local government workers, who go out and spend this money, “at auto repair shops, home improvement centers, tuition for grandchildren, hair salons, rent, and at a thousand other small and large businesses.”

The problem with this reasoning rests on a fundamental assumption Beckwith makes, which is that all the money taken from taxpayers to fund these pension investments would not have created a similar economic stimulus if they had been free to spend it themselves. Mr. Beckwithgoes on to extol the virtues of professional financial managers placing pension fund… Read More

Richard Rider

U.S. freedom rank is dropping, and at an accelerating rate

The United States is widely considered the most desirable country in the world. In many respects that is true — some objective, and some subjective.

But one area that we definitely are in decline is freedom. The Frazier Institute has been grading the countries of the world for many years, and have documented our decline since the turn of the century. In 1980 we ranked #2. In 2000 we were ranked #2. In the new 2015 report (using 2013 data), we rank 16th,3 slots lower than the year before.

Sure, we’re still ranked much better than most countries. But the direction we are heading is disturbing, to put it gently. Even worse, the RATE of our decent seems to be accelerating. http://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/economic-freedom-of-the-world-2015.pdf– the detailed U.S. history is on page 188 of the PDF file… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Legislature Passes Physician-Assisted Suicide Bill

When it comes to carrying out the death penalty for convicted murders, the California Legislature finds the lethal drug cocktails “cruel and unusual punishment,” which they say is a violation of the Eighth Amendment. Yet lawmakers were more than willing to approve a lethal drug cocktail to allow sick people to kill themselves.

After months of contentious and difficult wrangling, the California Legislature has finally passed the controversial physician assisted suicide bill, which now awaits Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature or veto. But many argue that passage of legalized physician-assisted suicide would provide perverse incentives for insurance carriers to choose the cheapest, quick fix option – particularly in publicly-funded healthcare.

Twelve states so far this year have rejected the same bill, sponsored by “Compassion and Choices” (formerly the Hemlock Society), and overall 29… Read More

Katy Grimes

Jessica Arciniega: From “Union Agent” to ALRB Attorney

In 2003, an Agricultural Labor Relations Board administrative judge identified Jessica Arciniega as “UFW staff member” at its Oxnard office. ALRB administrative law judge Nancy Smith even called her a “union agent.”

Today, Arciniega is one of the ALRB’s top staff attorneys. And with the recent shakeups in the ALRB general counsel’s office that resulted in the sackings and sudden resignations of top lawyers, people are wondering why Arciniega remains on the job.

The lawyer has come a long way since getting her law degree as an “apprentice” of longtime UFW lawyer Barbara Macri-Ortiz, who in fact calls Arciniega “my apprentice.”

State law requires all ALRB personnel to be worker advocates with no partiality for or against either employers or unions. Arciniega is anything but objective. Her title at the UFW was “lead organizer.” The Militant, published by the Socialist Workers Party, reports Arciniega being a UFW boycott leader as far back as 2000.

In Oxnard more than a decade ago, the Los Angeles Times profiled Arciniega under the headline, “… Read More

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