FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Fleischman

FlashReport’s Annual Top 20 Bills To Veto – 2014 Edition

Introduction from FR Publisher Jon Fleischman

When we go through hundreds and hundreds of bills to find the ones that we consider to be the most egregious, harmful or inappropriate, it is our hope that a responsible Governor would veto all of them. Remember, we’re talking about the worst bills. If the Governor signs any of the bills listed below, it is bad news for the people of California. This is our ninth year in a row featuring this column. Each year, we partner with two conservative members of the State Legislature — this year is no different. Our thanks go out to both State Senator Joel Anderson and Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, and to their staff members, for their hard work in selecting the terrible bills below out of hundreds and hundreds on the Governor’s desk.

On a final note — targeted to our friends in the mainstream media. Some stories have been written asserting that somehow this last legislative session was more “moderate” than some others. I’m sure once you peruse this list you will agree that any such assertion is lacking a basis… Read More

Katy Grimes

The Lull of State Government Corruption, and Approval by the Legislature

Part l of two parts

Corruption is the misuse of public or private power. Whether it is a state bureaucrat or a company CEO, corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private gain.

During the gubernatorial debate last week, Democratic Gov., Jerry Brown chided Republican challenger Neal Kashkari for having worked at Goldman Sachs.

Brown should remember the old proverb, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” There is likely far more malfeasance and graft in California state government than in the multinational investment banking firm; government bureaucrats are not elected, and accountable to no one, while Goldman Sachs is at least accountable to its shareholders and regulators.

I’ve written extensively about the well-documented state corruption at the Employment Development Department, State Parks Department, Fish and Game, Air Resources Board, Coastal Commission, CalFire, and this year, even in the State Senate.

Scandals and corruption appear to be standard operating procedure for government agency employees at the top. Why else would state lawmakers make it easier for unelected… Read More

Doug Lasken

Governor 2014 Debate: Neel Kashkari’s last chance to beat Jerry Brown?

The good news for Neel Kashkari, GOP candidate for CA governor against incumbent Jerry Brown, is that he has shrunk Brown’s lead from 20 points after the June 3 primary (http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-brown-kashkari-field-poll-20140625-story.html) to 16 points as of September 4 (http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-California/2014/09/04/Brown-Lead-Over-Kashkari-Shrinks-to-16-Points). The bad news is that no political watchers anywhere expect Kashkari to win.

Kashkari deserves credit for the four-point improvement, as it likely derives from his forceful campaigning. In early July, Kashkari stood outside the American Federation of Teachers convention in Los Angeles and challenged the AFT and Brown to respond to the Vergara ruling in CA, which found that teacher tenure rules are permitting substandard teachers to stay in the classroom, particularly in underserved… Read More

Jon Coupal


Two years ago, when 2013-14 legislative session began, things looked very dark for California homeowners. Democrats, many hostile to Proposition 13, achieved a super-majority in both the Assembly and Senate. Many publicly expressed their hostility to the landmark property tax initiative and one even said he would like to “nuke” Prop 13. Others were a bit more subtle, saying only that it was time to “examine” it. Of course, in this context, “examine” is a euphemism for “dismantle.”

However, for a variety of reasons, it now appears that Prop 13 has survived unscathed and, in fact, emerged stronger than ever. This is great news for all California taxpayers who rely on Proposition 13’s protections.

But it wasn’t easy. Here are some examples of what Proposition… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson Conflict of Interest on Oil Drilling Issue

California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara,authored a bill this legislative session to ban offshore oil drilling from an area of state waters in the Santa Barbara Channel known as Tranquillon Ridge. Jackson claimed her bill would do away with a “loophole” in state law.

But there is a hitch — Following Jackson’s time in the California State Assembly 1998-2004, prior to being elected to the State Senate in 2012, she lobbied to get an off shore drilling project approved off the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base. Jackson teamed up withLinda Krop, the chief counsel of the Environmental Defense Centerto try… Read More

Ed Ring

Reinventing America’s Unions for the 21st Century

Critics have suggested that leaders of the labor movement suffer from economic illiteracy that has made them the architects of their own demise. The unwillingness of unions to make concessions in the face of global competition starting in the 1960′s was a major factor in Americans losing millions of union jobs. In the present day, unions push for minimum wage hikes well beyond what inflation might justify (about $9.00 to $10.00 per hour), with “fight for fifteen” campaigns which, if successful, will carry the unintended consequences of higher unemployment and accelerated small-business failures. Today only about 7% of America’s private sector workers belong to unions.

One can also make the case that unions are becoming irrelevant because much of what they fought for is now enshrined in law. Labor laws protect workers from wrongful termination. OSHA standards ensure workplace safety. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and a host of other social welfare programs all provide a safety net for the aged, disabled and unemployed. The Affordable Care Act, fraught with flaws that will hopefully either get repealed or replaced, at least guarantees anyone can purchase… Read More

Richard Rider

Without Texas, we’d still be mired in the Obama recession

A stark demonstration of the uneven nature of our “recovery” from the longest recession since the Great Depression. Texas is carrying the nation!

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/09/dallas-morning-news-editorial-writer-william-ruggles-coined-the-term-right-to-work-on-labor-day-in-1941/ Since 2007, employment in the state of Texas has increased by more than 1.3 million jobs (and by 12%), compared to a net deficit of more than 1.2 million jobs over that same period in the rest of the country.

Read More

Jon Coupal


Once again, Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg has thumbed his nose at the working class and other Californians of modest means by blocking legislation that would have slightly delayed implementation of carbon emission fees charged to oil companies. The fees are part of the state’s “cap-and-trade” program, California’s one-of-a-kind effort to reduce word wide carbon emissions. These fees are really taxes that will be passed on to consumers.

California drivers need to brace themselves. We already have the highest gas tax in the nation and this silly scheme will add between 15 and 40 cents a gallon after the first of the year. Bigger increases are a near certainty after that.

The effort to postpone the harm to citizen taxpayers was no right wing conspiracy. Indeed, its… Read More

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