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Katy Grimes

What I didn’t hear from Republicans this week

While Gov. Jerry Brown announced a balanced budget and the magical economic recovery of California this week, too many Republicans fell all over themselves to praise him for it. It was difficult to see much of a difference between the two parties, yet there is a ideological chasm as wide as the state.

Brown’s State of the State address Thursday was predictable. He’s nothing if not consistent in his ability to give a speech. However, a fantastic opportunity was blown by Republicans to get out their message… any message…

What is evident is Republican lawmakers don’t seem to be on the same page.

There were a few tidbits worth noting, but most of the Republicans, whether newly elected or seasoned, espoused mediocrity. And we all know how that has been working for them.

There’s polite, and there is rolling over. Instead of agreeing with Brown’s “inner Republican,” more should have pointed out that what Brown says and does are often very different. And perhaps noting that Brown’s speech was peppered with Democratic talking points wouldn’t have hurt either.

Instead, statements praising the governor’s address were the apparent… Read More

Katy Grimes

Regulation is the enemy of freedom

The U.S. Constitution provides for certain government regulations, but actually stresses minimum involvement. Regulations are merely a way for the government to implement social change and impart control.

But government intervention usually causes more harm than the problem the regulation sought to correct; most government regulations don’t work.

During a dinner party discussion with friends this weekend, the subject of gun control came up. “No one needs an assault rifle,” one friend said. “No one should be allowed to have one. I mean, who really needs… Read More

Katy Grimes

Prevailing wage scams steal from taxpayers

In what strange world do janitors get paid $45 per hour? In California, the land of the prevailing wage.

The dirty secret is that janitors often are not really getting paid $45 per hour, but the taxpayers are being charged this amount on public works projects.

Designed to help the worker, the prevailing wage was created to set a minimum hourly rate paid on all public works projects, primarily for construction workers. But the classification has been expanded and greatly abused.

One contractor’s saga

I recently met with a Southern California contractor who has owned a final construction cleanup business for more than 25 years. Final cleanup on government construction projects is always the last task in the project, and usually takes place within days of the occupants moving in, depending on the size and scope of the cleanup. The contractor said that the work he and his crews do includes cleaning the construction dust off of walls, washing and polishing floors, cleaning windows and mirrors, power-washing all surfaces, wiping down fixtures and hosing down the roof and parking lots.

He is hired as a subcontractor by large… Read More

Katy Grimes

Assembly Speaker limits press access

As the new legislative session began Monday, there was a quite buzz in the Assembly. But it wasn’t just about the many new lawmakers. A rumor was going around that Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez had ordered the Capitol Sergeants to prevent reporters from accessing Assembly members in chambers.

Then I saw one longtime reporter standing near the entrance to the Assembly floor, where reporters position themselves if they are waiting to speak to a lawmaker. But the Sergeant told the reporter that he could not speak to lawmakers.

“News reporters will be barred from interviewing legislators in the Assembly chambers under new rules ordered by Speaker John A. Pérez before Monday’s first session of 2013,” Jim Sanders of the Sacramento Bee reported. The prohibition is among several rule changes imposed by Pérez that restrict press movement… Read More

Katy Grimes

Pravda laughs at American global warming hysteria

Imagine my surprise when I found an article in Pravda mocking Western academics, scientists, environmentalists and government elites for using the cause célèbre of “man-made global warming” as a way to “control the lives and behaviors of their populations.”

“Now, with their economies in a spiral of debt laden, non-manufacturing recession (if not out and out depression), the Elites, who sense they are loosing their grip or toe hold on key economic regions outside their home regions, are once again calling out… Read More

Katy Grimes

Calif. economy: Ya sure, you betcha, we’re fine!

The latest barrage of “news” reports that California is enjoying an economic recovery is evidence that this is most likely being driven by Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

Ya sure, you betcha, we’re fine.

Given that the California Department of Finance works only for the governor, the pressure is on to provide numbers and information which presents a picture favorable to the governor.

This was never more clear than when a report showing the unemployment rate in the U.S. fell below 8 percent in order to boost to President Obama’s re-election campaign right after his first dismal debate performance with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

It was the numbers from California that gave the boost needed.

Conveniently, the Labor Department reported in Sept. that the nation’s jobless rate improved to 7.8 percent. The unemployment rate had not been that low since Obama took office in January 2009.

The latest monthly jobs report was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the first week of October. The unemployment rate miraculously decreased to 7.8 percent in September, the BLS reported.

According to The Associated Press, “the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Right-to-work is a real economic stimulus

In Michigan, game-changing right to work legislation was just passed. The change will make it legal for employers to pay workers who choose not to be union members, and would make paying union dues voluntary.

Currently, Michigan employers are required to fire unionized workers who do not pay dues.

Despite the left claiming that big bad business will stop paying living wages to workers, the opposite will happen. There will be a leveling of the unrealistic, skyrocketing union wages that unions demand, and hopefully, employers can once again be competitive.

When unions and governments demand that business owners and employers pay employees higher wages than the market will bear, ultimately it renders the business non-competitive. But when businesses are allowed to fairly compete, often times everyone wins. If… Read More

Katy Grimes

CEQA needs an overhaul, but don’t count on it

In the wee hours of the night, at the end of the last legislative session, language was added into a bill to push forward reforms to California’s 40-year old environmental policy, the California Environmental Quality Act.

The reforms were sponsored by the CEQA Working Group, a business-labor-government coalition. Intended to reduce frivolous environmental litigation and duplicative government oversight, the reforms ended up being part of a smoggy deal.

Before anyone could stop them, the Democratic leadership swooped in on the bill and changed it.

SB 317

Because of California’s stringent environmental laws and project-killing local planning requirements, nearly all public and private projects in the state are legally challenged under CEQA, even when a project meets all other environmental standards of state law.

SB 317, co-authored by Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, a gut-and-amend bill, would not have actually changed CEQA, but instead would have introduced a companion law to dictate how CEQA is enforced. The new legislation would have restricted certain types of lawsuits, and would have exempted some projects from CEQA… Read More

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