FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Medi-Cal Reach Exceeds Grasp of Real Coverage

[Publisher’s Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, we are pleased to present this column from Senator Jeff Stone.]

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for? – Robert Browning

Reaching out with a promise of benefits that can’t be delivered is no way to run good government. However that’s exactly what’s happening in Sacramento right now. Some 12 ½ million people, roughly one in three Californians, now rely upon it for their medical coverage. Today many of those newly enrolled in Medi-Cal can’t even find a doctor for treatment.

Despite this, the just-passed state budget actually increases Medi-Cal coverage to hundreds of thousands of children. When so many can’t grasp treatment now, why would we increase our reach even more?

There’s much more to providing health care than simply signing up people to get coverage. People also need access to real health care services. And the primary reason so many Californians covered by Medi-Cal can’t get medical services is because health… Read More

Ed Ring

San Ramon Fire Protection District Pay and Governance Exemplifies Union Power

In a democracy, the assumption is that civilians exercise the ultimate authority over their government. The citizens elect representatives who will act in the public interest. But what happens when government agencies are disbursed over thousands of jurisdictions, and the people who run these local agencies are virtually unknown?

Evencitizenswho follow politics and vote diligently are challenged to make an informed selection when considering the many candidates vying for obscure boards and commissions and special district elected positions. In some cases they will know about a particular obscure race, but in most cases they will not. So they either don’t select a candidate, or select a candidate almost randomly based on the brief ballot description, “small business owner,” “retired teacher,” whatever.

Only one group of voters consistently makes informed choices in these elections to supposedly minor elected positions. The people who these elected officials are going to manage and negotiate with over pay, benefits, and work rules.

The problem with dismissing these bottom-of-the-ballot elections as inconsequential, of course, is that these… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sen. De Leon’s Renewable Energy Bill: Inevitable Rationing Ahead

Can California really reduce petroleum-based fuels by 50 percent and still have any sort of economy? Most of California’s businesses and residents rely on oil and gas for day-to-day transportation needs. But a bill currently in the legislative committee process, SB 350, would compromise the availability of transportation fuels.

TheRenewable Portfolio Standard, passed in 2011, called for 33 percent of electricity retail sales be served by renewable energy resources by the year 2020.

However, the President of the California State Senate, Kevin de Leon, no student of economics, is pushing a bill through the Legislature at breakneck speed to mandate the reduction of 50 percent in the use of petroleum-based fuels, 50 percent reduction in energy use by existing buildings and increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent — notably as… Read More

Jon Coupal

WILL CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS DANCE WITH WOLVES?

Jerry Brown, who as a candidate for governor in 2010 repeatedly pledged he wouldn’t raise taxes without a popular vote, has called for a special session of the Legislature for the purpose of raising taxes. This despite the fact that general fund revenues have outstripped estimates by almost $6 billion. So now we have the very real possibility of higher gas taxes, higher registration and vehicle license fees with proceeds promised for roads – all without a vote of the people.

That a politician would change his views on adding to the public’s tax burden is hardly a surprise. Those of a certain age will clearly remember presidential candidate George H.W. Bush proclaiming, “Read my lips, no new taxes,” before his later, as president, breaking his pledge.

In his effort to increase the tax burden on motorists, Brown is receiving support from the usual suspects including Democrats in the Legislature who have become the party of the public employee unions favoring more revenue for higher pay, and radical environmentalists for whom the price of fossil fuels can never be high enough. Even some in the business community are signaling that they, too, could support… Read More

Barry Jantz

San Diego better without the NFL? — It’s certainly better to be able to ask.

Local political watchers generally fall into two camps when it comes to the tenure of the immediate past ownership of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Some believe Doug Manchester and John Lynch at the reins (or reign) was a refreshing return to the paper’s conservative roots, a philosophy that had been lost since the Helen Copley days. They also now fear what the SDUT’s political leanings are to become under new, liberal-leaning ownership.

Alternatively, others are glad to see the recent change, at least from a political if not geographical perspective. They strongly believe the paper under Manchester was too stridently conservative, pointing to its unabashed support for Carl DeMaio’s mayoral campaign in front page editorials as a prime example.

What strikes me as not fitting within the simplified context of those polarized views is one significant issue. Manchester and Lynch at the outset in late 2011 basically threw down the gauntlet when it comes to the need for a new football stadium in San Diego, saying the newspaper would be used as a mouthpiece… Read More

Katy Grimes

American Independence Is Relevant And Worth Fighting For

As a young child,I was fortunate to be able to live in Newport, Rhode Island, the firstBritish colony in America to formally declare its independence, and the first state toguarantee freedom of religion.

We lived a short time in a very old home in downtown Newport, which survived the Revolutionary War. Soldiers fought the Brits from the upstairs windows of our home, according to local lore.

Newport was rife with constant reminders of The American Revolution. I used to imagine what life was like in 1776 Newport, when the staterepealed its allegiance to King George III of England.

Reflecting upon Independence Day, it’s so important to remember the Revolution wasn’t just a rebellion against the King of England, it was a rebellion against being ruled by a monarchy. Our forefathers and many of our ancestors gave up everything and shed their… Read More

Richard Rider

Texas per capita GDP now HIGHER than CA — liberal press will NOT report this!

As I’ve noted before, the progressives have latched on the fact that California is the 7th(or 8th) largest economy in the world. It’s a “so there” rebuttal, intended to prove that all the bad economic policies in our Golden State have had little or no negative effect. But of course, this grand assertion is accompanied by zero analysis.

I’ve ripped this this misleading fact apart before — adjusting our state’s GDP for population and COL in other states. But now we have new, updated GDP state figures (mid-2014) to consider:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_GDP

Let’s just look at California vs. Texas for now:

Latest GDP: California — $2,287 trillion

Texas — $1.503 trillion.

But, of course, this ignores the difference in population. California has about 44% more people than Texas.… Read More

Richard Rider

Latest Texas stats prove that the 800,000+ concealed carry permit holders seldom murder anyone

Again and again we hear the usual laments from the uninformed gun haters about concealed carry — how it would transform — DOES transform — a civilized society into the Wild West. You know the mantra — shootouts at fender-benders, bars ablaze with gunfights, etc.

It’s always fun to inject a dose of reality into such gun haters — it’s toxic to their wellbeing. Here’s a sharp needle-full of facts for your favorite anti-gun friends.They never actually check the empirical results of people legally carrying firearms — that just arrogantlyassumethat they know what the results are.

The short article below highlights the URL-available stats about the ACTUAL experience of concealed carry in Texas. People pack heat with great frequency in the Lone Star State — about 4.26% of the adults haveRead More

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