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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Richard Rider

REVEALED! Rider’s secret GOP cabal meets in his home.

My wife Diane and I had a spirited debate about whether or not I should write this piece. Only when I ASSURED her that our co-conspirators names’ would be redacted and no faint electronic trail would remain did she reluctantly agree to allow me to proceed (in case anyone wants to know who REALLY rules the roost in my house).

Brace yourselves.

In April onextremelyshort notice we held a clandestine meeting in our home. Diane invited a VERY small number of neighborhood Republican couples to come over for a “wine and cheese” celebration of Neil Gorsuch making it to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was scheduled to be sworn in the next day.

Only two other couples could make it. Well, DECIDED to make it.

While we had them come to our front door in the normal fashion, there was no outward indication of the purpose of our meeting. No one sported “Trump” bumperstickers. They left their “deplorable” attire at home. By all outward appearances, it was just an informal gathering of friends. Little did my neighbors know . . . .

I had not met one of the couples.… Read More

Jon Fleischman

HOMEOWNERS WE HEAR YOUR VOICES, AND TAX RELIEF IS ON ITS WAY

By: Assemblyman Phillip Chen (R-Brea) and Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach)

California is in a housing crisis. Simply put, the prices of homes are very high compared to individual salaries.

The current homeowner’s exemption in California is $7,000. This is taken off the value of a homeowner’s primary residence, amounting to $70 annually off your property tax bill, or one percent.

The homeowner’s exemption hasn’t been increased in 40 years. The last time the exemption changed was in 1974, Ronald Reagan was still Governor of California, Mohammed Ali had just knocked out George Foreman to regain the Heavyweight Boxing title, Apple Computer and Microsoft had yet to be founded, and the median home price in the Golden State was $21,000.

A lot has changed since then. Read More

Richard Rider

How high are CA home prices vs. the other states? About TRIPLE.

California natives (and long time residents — DE FACTO “natives”) have no idea how and WHY housing in other states is far less expensive than in the Golden State. Indeed, many don’t even grasp the magnitude of the price gap. When it comes to the price gap, I’m here to help.

Many folks love (or HATE) to compare California with Texas. Let’s start there with home prices.

According to Zillow, here’s the median price of homes as of March, 2017:

TX: $163,500 CA: $493,800 U.S.: $196,500

Hence CA homes are roughly TRIPLE the cost of Texas homes. And consider this — there are 18 states with median home prices lower than Texas!

https://www.zillow.com/research/data/

Let’s look at the big picture. The CA median home price is 151% higher than… Read More

Richard Rider

California has “only” the 2nd highest state gasoline prices — but not for long

Here’s the latest “point in time” state-by-state comparison of gasoline prices. No surprise, but CA is #2, almost tied with #1 Hawaii. Hawaii gas is only 3 cents a gallon more expensive than CA “gold.”

Because so much is imported into Hawaii, EVERYTHING is more expensive there. Even so, the Golden State is seeking to exceed Hawaii’s high gas prices.

And will. With the passage of the huge new CA gas tax (not to mention auto registration fees), we’ll vault past Hawaii in 2018, if not before.

NOTE: The graphic includes only the best and worst 5 states. But the source they use for the comparison has all 50 states listed. Here’s that URL. Moreover, the prices at this source (GasBuddy.com) are constantly updated:

https://www.gasbuddy.com/USA

The graphic below includes a breakdown of the major component factors in the price of gasoline. What I WISH they included would be Evil Oil’s profit per gallon.

Many people “figure” that oil companies make a $1.00 to $1.50 profit per gallon.… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Political Scams Are the Norm in California

Con artists deceive their victims by manipulating emotions and exploiting vulnerabilities. Some con artists are so skilled, their victims are unaware they’ve been scammed. Once a con artist gains your trust, it’s highly probable you’ll be the victim of a scam.

The same is true of some politicians.

Californians pay close to the highest amount of taxes in the nation and continue to demand better roads in return. Despite being overtaxed, we continue to drive on the worst roads in the nation. Politicians tell us they can improve our transportation infrastructure if we simply pay an additional $52 billion in taxes and fees.

Another egregious example is the state’s so-called Fire Prevention Fee—an illegal tax passed by the Legislature in 2011. The name indicates that taxpayers are getting fire prevention services in order to generate widespread support. However, in reality the tax only backfills a budget cut; no new fire prevention services have materialized. Sadly, these types of political scams have become common.

Consider the elimination of California’s Enterprise Zone Program in 2013. Although not without complications, the 42 enterprise… Read More

Jon Coupal

Why the Newman recall is justified

State Sen. Josh Newman, who has been in office less than six months, is the target of a credible and well organized recall election. The recall effort was instigated by reform and taxpayer interests over the passage of Senate Bill 1 which imposes a permanent $5.2 billion annual tax on gasoline and vehicle registration. That tax increase, never approved by voters, has generated vocal public criticism.

But why Josh Newman? Shouldn’t all legislators who cast a yes vote for this regressive tax on California’s middle class be held accountable? That is arguably true and there may be more recall efforts launched in the near future.

Nonetheless, there are several legitimate reasons why Sen. Newman deserves to be at the top of the list.

Read the entire piece here.… Read More

Richard Rider

The case against taxpayer funding of the arts

At the SAN DIEGO U-T’s request, I wrote an op-ed, making the case against taxpayer subsidies for the arts. It’s one of those “pro and con” op-ed face-offs on an issue. It’s in response to the city of San Diego’s decision to cut its arts budget 31% — a decision I support. For most readers here, my commentary is available online without a subscription. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sd-utbg-taxpayers-arts-funding-rider-20170510-story.html Comments from arts subsidy boosters will be coming fast and furious (mostly furious) in the paper, so don’t hesitate to put in your two cents worth as a commenter below the U-T article. In addition, you can read (and comment about) the proponents’ vapid rationale for more arts funding at this link: … Read More

Scott Baugh

James Comey’s Termination Long Overdue

By Former Assembly Republican Leader and former Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh

The firing of James Comey unleashed a flurry of comparisons to the Saturday Night Massacre when President Nixon ordered the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was investigating the Watergate scandal. The comparisons are misguided.

In 1973, President Nixon ordered his then Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, to fire Archibald Cox who issued a subpoena for the famed Nixon tapes. Richardson refused the President’s order and resigned. Nixon then ordered the Deputy Attorney General, Williams Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. Ruckelshaus refused and likewise resigned. Eventually, Nixon found somebody in the person of Solicitor General Robert Bork to obey his order and Bork fired Cox.

The injustice to Cox was that he was fired for doing his job. Comey was fired for not doing his job.

Mr. Comey’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email scandal received bi-partisan praise, until he announced on July 5, 2016, that there would be no prosecution of Secretary Clinton. While he trashed Secretary Clinton for her conduct and extreme… Read More

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