FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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BOE Member George Runner

Shouldn’t California Have the Best Roads By Now?

If high taxes guaranteed results, then California should have some of the best roads in the nation. For years we’ve had one of the highest gas taxes, yet our freeways consistently receive failing grades.

It makes no sense unless you admit that high taxes don’t guarantee good roads. That’s one of many reasons I had no trouble voting with my State Board of Equalization colleagues to approve a 6 cent cut to the state’s gas tax. Under a confusing and complicated law commonly known as the “gas tax swap,” the state has been over collecting tax dollars as gas prices have fallen. The new rate helps solve this problem.

Any tax cut is a rare bit of good news for overtaxed Californians. This gas tax cut also has the added benefit of partially offsetting the cost of a new hidden gas tax that took effect January 1 to help fund high speed rail and other so-called anti-global warming efforts.

California will still have one of the highest gas tax rates in the nation, but even so not everyone is pleased to see the tax go down. In fact, some government officials are devising new schemes—like mileage taxes and road user fees—aimed at getting even more of your… Read More

Katy Grimes

Bill Would Allow Farm Workers Voice in Contract Negotiations

As Wisconsin is set to become the 25th Right-to-Work state, California Gov. Jerry Brown is ignoring thousands of farm workers who don’t want to be unionized.

In one of the most significant labor relations fights in the country proceedings have turned ugly, with many questioning the legal tactics and scruples of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

The workers at Gerawan Farming have been trying since October 2012 to decertify the United Farm Workers labor union. The workers are not only being fought by the UFW union, Brown’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board has thwarted them at every turn. And pleas to the Democratic Governor and Legislature have fallen on deaf ears, despite their claims to care for farm workers.

The only help the Gerawan workers have received is from state Assembly members Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, and Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield.

Patterson has introduced AB 1389,theFair… Read More

Katy Grimes

‘Lefty Billionaire’ Tom Steyer Manipulates Climate Change Policy and Governors

This is Part ll ofBrown Administration Tied To Scandal That Took Down Oregon Governor.

Recent revelations resulted in the Feb. 13, 2015 resignation of Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber over collusion between the California and Washington State governors’ offices, Kitzhaber’s office, and environmental groups, to force climate policy coordination and collaboration across the U.S., I reported in my story last week.”

Emails from 2013 and 2014 reveal Kitzhaber agreed to a deal with the governors of California and Washington, to implement low-carbon fuel standards and develop a scheme to foist green-energy agendas on multiple… Read More

Katy Grimes

LGBT Republican Group Wins Charter in California Republican Party

The California Republican Party convention this weekend was devoid much drama until Sunday. A vote on whether the Log Cabin Republicans would be officially chartered as a Republican volunteer organization elicited excitement and furor. The Log Cabin Republicans are a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Republicans, won the delegate vote overwhelmingly 861 to 293. It wasn’t even close, which begs the question, “why not just change the bylaws?”

Skipping Formalities?

There have been news stories recognizing that in order for the Log Cabin Republicans to make any change within the Party structure,they knew they neededthe Republican Party to formally change or remove the CRP bylaw that excludes groups advocating for “certain lifestyle preferences or orientations” from holding a position… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Chris Christie Tells CA GOP: “Don’t Rush To Pick a 2016 Nominee”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sounded very much like a presidential candidate at the California Republican Party convention Saturday in Sacramento.

Christie, who enjoys a higher approval rating in blue state New Jersey than President Barack Obama, said he’s built trust and confidence by being a conservative. And he was critical of Obama for dividing the country during his time in office.

Christie said media in the coming months will say Republicans can’t afford a long nomination battle and should “unite behind whatever candidate appears to have the most money, the most endorsements or the best press coverage.”

He reminded the Republican audience that former President Ronald Reagan didn’t win the presidential nomination until May of 1980, and Barack Obama didn’t win the Democratic nomination until June 2008, and added that Republicans do not need to rush to choose a 2016 presidential nominee under… Read More

Katy Grimes

Jerry Brown’s Green Jobs Scheme Killing CA’s Middle Class

Recent revelations resulted in the resignation of Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber over collusion between his office, California and Washington State governors’ offices, and environmental groups to force climate coordination and collaboration across the U.S.

Emails from 2013 and 2014 reveal Kitzhaber agreed to a deal with the governors of California and Washington, to implement low-carbon fuel standards and develop a scheme to foist green-energy agendas on multiple states.

Coincidentally, Gov. Jerry Brown, D-California, has made climate change one of his top priorities. During his January inaugural address Brown said he plans to require that 50 percent of all energy use come from renewable sources, and automobile gas consumption be reduced by 50 percent.

Yet last month,… Read More

Katy Grimes

CA Plastic Bag Ban Halted As Initiative to Repeal Qualifies for 2016 Ballot

After eight years of failed legislative attempts to ban plastic grocery bags, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill in September to ban and tax plastic and paper grocery bags. The new statewide plastic bag ban is scheduled to go into effect July 15, 2015… but not so fast…

Immediately after the bill signing, the American Progressive Bag Allianceannouncedit would gather signatures for a November 2016 ballot initiative to repeal the bill to block implementation of the statewide ban.They got their wish – thebag initiative just qualified for the 2016 ballot, with at least 555,236valid voter signatures on the referendum petition. Implementation of the law will be frozen until the November 2016 vote.

SBRead More

Katy Grimes

Brown Administration Tied To Scandal That Took Down Oregon Governor

Corruption and scandal resulting in the recent resignation of Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, appears to be just the tip of a very big iceberg. The ho-hum media coverage of the story made it sound like just another unscrupulous governor and first lady. But the Kitzhaber scandal has evolved into much more — multiple governors and high-level staff involved in shady green energy deals, with national entanglements.

Washington D.C. attorney Chris Horner discovered ingrained collusion with top level staff in Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s office who enlisted other top level staff in California and Washington State governors’ offices to “spread climate coordination and collaboration to a larger group of governors across the U.S.”

The Art of the Deal

Emails from 2013 and 2014 reveal Kitzhaber agreed to a deal with the governors of California and Washington, to implement low-carbon fuel standards and develop a scheme to foist green-energy agendas on multiple states.

Oregon’s “first lady” Cylvia Hayes played a key… Read More

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