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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Ed Ring

Unionize the Personal Assistants to the One-tenth-of-one-percenters

It came as a shock to learn that some of those who were around when unions first started infiltrating local and state governments actually welcomed the process. These were the days when unions were driving jobs overseas because of their unwillingness to negotiate new contracts in the face of foreign competition. “Let them come,” some observers said, “they’ll finally show these politicians what it’s like to try to run a unionized organization.”

We know how that turned out. The unions took over the government. Now they run nearly every city and county in California. Business and finance leaders play ball, or they’re targeted. And where the corpses of bankrupt industries once littered the American landscape, we now face the prospect of bankrupt cities and counties.

So here’s a modest proposal: Let’s embrace the process. Forget about the fight for a $15 minimum wage. That’s small thinking. Forget about unionizing home care professionals. That’s retail politics. Let’s aim for the pinnacles of power. Let’s force the elite of the elite to embrace unions where they live. Let’s force them… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Free Speech Prevails; Activist AG Rebuked by Court

Despite the best efforts of Kamala Harris, the First Amendment is alive and well in California.

Federal Judge Manuel Real made that much clear recently when he ruled against California Attorney General Kamala Harris in a lawsuit brought by Americans for Prosperity Foundation. It serves as a reminder that constitutional rights can never be taken for granted, and must be defended at every turn.

Starting in 2013, Ms. Harris began arbitrarily demanding that AFP Foundation turn over a list of its supporters to her office, or the organization would basically be kicked out of the Golden State. She also threatened the organization’s officers and directors with civil penalties and fines.

Ms. Harris claimed her office needed to know who supported AFP Foundation to help police potential fraud. However, her openly hostile stance to members and supporters of free-market organizations made it highly likely this would ultimately result in harassment and intimidation by the Attorney General and her ideological allies.

In his recent ruling, Judge Real rejected Ms. Harris’s argument that having the names of supporters was necessary for law enforcement. Evidence… Read More

Jon Coupal


So much of what comes out of the Capitol hurts average Californians. Efforts to impose new taxes, onerous regulations or laws that dictate lifestyle choices like how much soda one drinks, have citizens ducking for cover. But every now and then, bills are introduced that cut against the stereotype by providing genuine benefit to average folks who don’t have the “juice” in Sacramento as do powerful, well-funded special interests.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto has introduced Assembly Bill 2586, legislation that would make parking, which has become a nightmare in many communities, a bit easier. Titled the “Parking Bill of Rights,” the common sense measure features a package of reforms that include requiring cities to promptly make spaces available to motorists after street-sweeping activities have concluded, prohibiting cities from ticketing motorists who park at broken meters, preventing valet-parking operators from excluding motorists from metered spots, and prohibiting cities from hiring private companies to act as parking “bounty hunters.”

“Occasionally the state needs to step in and remind our local governments that parking a vehicle should be an… Read More

Elevating Republican Legislative Candidates in a Presidential Election Year

As hundreds of Republicans gather in Burlingame this weekend, state and national media will focus on the Presidential election, but it is important GOP supporters remember that state legislative races are consequential this election cycle. The fight to thwart a Democrat two-thirds supermajority continues, and Republicans must stay vigilant, even while the attention of political pundits is on who will clinch the GOP Presidential nomination. Otherwise, we fear losing the ground we gained two years ago, when California Trailblazer wins enabled Republicans to break supermajorities in both legislative houses.

California Trailblazers and program partners, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller, and Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes, work year-round to identify, recruit and train Republican candidates to develop and run strong campaigns. We are committed to… Read More

Katy Grimes

Who is Blocking 29 Million People in Los Angeles From Getting Water, and Why?

In my last article, Why Can’t California Farmers Get the Water They Need?, exposed were Gov. Brown’s appointees at the State Water Resources Control Board who ordered the release of massive amounts of water from the New Melones Reservoir and Lake Tulloch, to save a dozen fish, and Gov. Brown who has systematically booted a number of qualified people off of the California Water Commission, the body that decides how to spend $2.7 billion in Prop. 1 Water Bond water storage money.

Now we all need to know who is blocking 29 million people in Los Angeles from getting water, and why?

A “slough” of enviro-sounding non-profits claiming to be for waterfowl, ducks, trout, fish, nature, natural resources, and the environment, oppose shifting $8 billion in uncommitted rail bonds… Read More

Tom Scott

NFIB Unveils 2016 “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” Bill List

When one takes inventory of the beyond dismal business climate in California, it is important to remember that we did not get here overnight.

Decades of bad bills churning out of the California Legislature have made this state one of the worst to do business with the highest taxes and most hostile legal climate in the nation. Only by proactively tracking and advocating on the most significant current legislative issues in the State Capitol do we have a chance of moving the needle in favor of job creators in California.

On Tuesday April 19th, at our annual Day at the Capitol lobby day in Sacramento, NFIB California unveiled our 2016 “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” list of bills which will have the most significant impact on small businesses across the state. This list is comprised of bills from the 2015-2016 legislative session, and as bills develop or are potentially gut-and-amended, the list will be regularly updated. Currently there are 36 bills total listed; 13 good, 7 bad, and 16 ugly and the current version can always be found at

As the leading voice of small business under… Read More

Mend, Don’t End, California’s Death Penalty

Child killers. Rape-torture-murderers. Cop killers and serial murderers. These are the worst of the worst.

It takes an evil person to kill another innocent human being, but it takes an especially depraved mind to commit acts so utterly heinous that you earn a spot on California’s death row. Depraved minds like that of Charles Ng, who over the course of 1983 to 1985, committed as many as 25 murders in Calaveras County. Ng kidnapped families, tortured then murdered fathers and infants while forcing the mothers to watch. He then repeatedly tortured and raped the mothers, before finally killing them as well.

It has been over 30 years since his last murder.

Ng fled to Canada where he fought extradition for over six years. Finally sent back to California, he engaged in a series of legal maneuvers to delay his trial for seven more years. His time in court did not begin until… Read More

Ed Ring

The Bell Syndrome Afflicts More Cities Than Just Bell

Remember Bell, California? Back in 2010 the Los Angeles Times reported thatBell city officials were receiving unusually large salaries, perhaps the highest in the United States. For example,Robert Rizzo, the City manager, had received $787,637.By September of that year,as reported on CNN, the California Attorney General filed charges againsteight former and current city officials. The public was outraged.

Not generally known however was the process whereby the City of Bell employees managed to pay themselves so much money. Earlier that summer theLos Angeles Times covered this part of the story, reporting “The highly paid members of the Bell City Council were able to exempt themselves from state salary limits by placing a city charter on the ballot in a little-noticed special election that attracted fewer than 400 voters.”

This use of barely legalmaneuvers to extract ridiculously generous salaries and benefits from taxpayers is not restricted to Bell, however. The Bell Syndrome… Read More

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