FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Coupal


Suppose you pick up your typical California newspaper and see headlines like, “State Unemployment Far Below the National Average” and “State Running Healthy Surplus; Gov. to Return Money to Taxpayers.” You just might find yourself paraphrasing Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “Sutter Brown, I’ve got a feeling were not in California anymore.” (For those not acquainted with Sutter Brown, he is California’s charming First Dog, who sometimes joins Governor Brown at press conferences.)

No, we certainly would not be in California where the unemployment rate is far above the national average and, although we are running a modest surplus, the only plans coming from Sacramento are for more government spending paid for by yet higher taxes.

Californians are telling pollsters they… Read More

Michael Der Manouel, Jr.

Hrabe Piece on Swearengin is Inaccurate

The ink was not yet dry on Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s surprising announcement for State Controller when a ratherridiculous oped pieceappeared over at Calnewsroom.com. Titled “5 Reasons Why Ashley Swearengin Isn’t Qualified for State Controller“. First of all, I live in Fresno, I’ve worked with Ashley on numerous issues, and opposed her on many issues. No matter what side of an argument she takes, her preparation, work ethic and determination are unquestioned by even her most strident opponents. I have no idea whether she’s qualified to be the State Controller, but I look at the Democrats on the ballot and I know they aren’t.

Let’s take Hrabe’s piece apart based on his statements. First, he cites “Swearengin’s Fiscal Mismanagent”, which need much more explanation. She inherited a complete fiscal disaster from her predecessor and the Obama recession on top of that. Every example he cites as her… Read More

Jon Fleischman

GOP Voters Should Be Wary As “Nanny State Republican” Shirley Horton Files For BOE

Southern California Republicans who believe in a limited role for state government, and maximizing freedom and liberty for the people should be VERY alarmed that at literally the last minute former GOP Assemblywoman Shirley Horton (“R” – San Diego) filed papers to run for the Third District Board of Equalization seat currently held by Michelle Steel (who is termed out).

Not too long ago, conservatives faced a tough choice between two rock solid conservative votes in the legislature — Senator Mark Wyland and Assemblywoman Diane Harkey. But recently Wyland dropped out of the race.

But Horton’s entry sets up a clear contrast between a fiscally conservative Republican in Harkey, and a “nanny state” big government Republican in Horton.

Here is Horton’s highest profile and most egregious vote pulled straight off her own Wikopedia page: “In August 2006, Horton was the only Republican to vote for the landmark global warming legislation, AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.”

I had just started the FlashReport in late 2005 and I remember writing about my disbelief about… Read More

Barry Jantz

Rep. Hunter staffer Harrison announces for Assembly in 2016

Today may be the qualification deadline for the June primary this year, but Mike Harrison is getting the jump on a deadline still two years away. The longtime staffer to both Congressmen Duncan Hunters (father and son) tells me he is running in 2016 to succeed Brian Jones in the State Assembly. I requested Harrison provide a comment, but he did one better, sending me the following:

Achieving a Better California by Mike Harrison

A better California is something we not only deserve, it’s a goal I want to help us achieve in our great state. After much prayer and discussion with my family, I have made the decision to run for California State Legislature’s 71st Assembly District in 2016.

I believe it’s important that we continue to have leaders in Sacramento fighting for the ideals and values that allow us to reach our full potential. For the past 20 years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve the San Diego community by working for Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his father, former Congressman Duncan L. Hunter, both in Washington and here at home. During this time, I have learned many valuable lessons,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Paper, plastic or bacteria?

The plastic bag ban bills are back.

With introduction of the thirteenth bill to regulate plastic bags in more than 10 years, consumer choice doesn’t stand a chance in California.
 And, unemployed Californians looking for a job can forget it – plastic bag companies will be just one more industry in manufacturing to get the boot out of the most business-unfriendly state in the nation.

I have been writing about the attempts to ban plastic bags for years. In June 2009, I wrote this story for the Washington Examiner, about how the eco-friendly shopping bags are Petri dishes of disgusting bacteria, and many stories at… Read More

John Kabateck

Join the Fight to Keep Jobs in California and Keep Sacramento Out of Your Wallet

Publisher’s Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, I am pleased to present this column from John Kabateck, Executive Director of the California NFIB – Flash]

California has some of the highest taxes. I’m sure you already feel it every time you open your wallet, every time you fill up your gas tank and when you see what’s left of your paycheck after government takes its share.

Once again, there’s a renewed effort at the Capitol to increase your taxes through an oil severance tax. Senate Bill 1017, by Sen. Noreen Evans, would add a 9.5% tax to every barrel of oil extracted in-state, effectively tripling our oil taxes and further cementing California’s status as the most taxed state. All of the oil drilled in California is used here, so any cost increase will only hurt consumers everywhere, particularly small businesses. A severance tax will also hurt production and jobs in California as small companies simply will not be able to compete in the marketplace.

Recently, business groups that include NFIB, taxpayers, and consumers have joined together to form a… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

California’s Gas Tax Nightmare

California taxpayers don’t have to fall sleep to have a nightmare. They experience one each and every day when they encounter a costly, confusing and constantly-changing tax system. Unfortunately, most efforts to change this system only make matters worse.

Take the gas tax, for instance.

California consumers currently pay 71 cents per gallon in taxes every time they fill up their tanks. That’s the highest gas tax rate in the country. The average American pays less—about 50 cents per gallon. That translates into hundreds of dollars a year in higher taxes for Californians.

Adding insult to injury, Californians are double taxed for gas. Sales tax is calculated after excise taxes have already been added. That means we pay a tax on a tax, which is just plain wrong.

Double taxation aside, most California motorists wouldn’t mind paying high gas taxes if it meant we could drive the nation’s finest roads. But that’s not how things work. Instead of seeing our tax dollars invested wisely, we’re constantly told we should pay more. Our freeway system, once the envy of the world, has become an embarrassment.

Further complicating matters, in… Read More

John Graham

Latinos Can Do Without Covered California’s Obamacare Coverage

Obamacare has been unpopular since it passed in 2009. Since launching last October, it has been recognized as a national threat to health, well-being, and jobs. And yet, here in California, Obamacare’s boosters don’t complain about those who have lost health insurance because of Obamacare, but that not enough Latinos have enrolled.

Leave the Latinos out of it.

Covered California, the state’s Obamacare exchange, reports 625,000 enrollees, just shy of its first year target of just under 700,000. By one measurement, it is a remarkable achievement: Nationally, seven million are supposed to enroll this year, but only three million have. That is, although Covered California was only supposed to account for ten percent of the country’s Obamacare exchange enrollees, it has actually enrolled over one fifth of them.

This explains why Covered California was the toast of luminaries –… Read More

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