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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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

Katy Grimes

Twisted Eco-Socialism in Sacramento With ‘Free’ Zipcars For the Poor

The City of Sacramento, under the short reign of former State Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D), now Sacramento Mayor, just approved free electric Zipcars for residents of Sacramento’s public housing projects. Wow!

But don’t worry taxpayers – “The program is funded through a $1.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board using cap-and-trade funds that businesses pay to offset their carbon emissions,” according to the Sacramento Bee. In other words, the money extorted from California businesses for the privilege of being allowed to… Read More

Jon Coupal

Taxpayers need sanctuary from foolishness

Grandstanding California politicians seem intent on outdoing each other in finding new ways to appear to be resisting the policies of our new president. Efforts to ban cooperation by local agencies with the federal government on immigration issues include working to make California a “sanctuary state.”

As prominent elected officials beat their chests in defiance of federal law, they ignore the fact that their actions could jeopardize the wellbeing of millions of Californians who depend on the hundreds of billions of dollars Washington provides our state, the majority of which goes to support vital services to our most vulnerable citizens.

While the governor and the majority of the members of the Legislature seem intent on putting California’s share of federal dollars at risk — sort of like playing Russian roulette only the gun is aimed at the heads of taxpayers and the needy — there is an alternative. Assembly Bill 536 (by this column’s coauthor Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez) would protect the billions of dollars California currently receives in federal funding.

Read the entire piece… Read More

Ron Nehring

Republicans repeal $1 trillion in Obamacare taxes

Republicans in Washington are moving forward with keeping the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Right on cue, Democrats and their allies in the media are rallying to defend legislation that has proven so unpopular it’s hard to keep track of the number of Democrats who have been defeated since they imposed the “Affordable” Care Act on the American people.

I was one of the million Californians whose health insurance policy was made illegal by Obamacare – directly contradicting President Obama’s claim that “if you like your plan you can keep your plan.” That promise was swept away in order to make health care “affordable.”… Read More

Katy Grimes

Who Cares About Janet Napolitano’s Worthless Apology To CA Legislators?

There are numerous news articles about University of California President Janet Napolitano apologizing to legislators this week over a state audit which found $175 million squirreled away in a secret account, while the UC universities were increasing tuition costs on students.

The problem is, her apology is hollow, meaningless, worthless, or any number of synonyms for her senseless drivel. She knows nothing will happen to her.

“UC President Janet Napolitano apologized to a joint legislative oversight committee on Tuesday, a week after a blistering state audit of… Read More

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