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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Desperate United Farm Workers Union Steps Up PR Campaign

The United Farm Workers labor union just received advertising and public relations help, thanks to several pro-UFW stories published in the Sacramento Bee last weekend.

Sept. 24, Kerry Kennedy wrote about her father Robert Kennedy’s involvement with Cesar Chavez in the 1960’s. Sept. 26, the Bee ran a story about the 50thanniversary of the UFW’s grape strike in Delano, CA. Rounding out the pro-UFW public relations and marketing campaign was a story on Sept. 27 about Phil Serna, son of late former Mayor of SacramentoJoe Serna Jr., who was also aUFW organizer.

This interestingly timed PR move comes on the heels of the order to destroy farm worker’s ballots from the 2013 labor union decertification election, rather than allow them counted,by Administrative Law Judge Mark Soble, employed by the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Thousands of farm workers in California must now abide by an unwanted unionization deal struck decades ago and never ratified or enforced. The workers’ votewas expected to… Read More

Katy Grimes

EPA, CARB To Blame For Cheating Car Emissions

In the early 1970’s, the Environmental Protection Agency forced automakers to cut emissions. And the cars were awful. I remember a 1972 Chevy Caprice station wagon, 140 horsepower, 4300 lbs. Chevy claimed the horsepower was 160 – even at that, it was still grossly underpowered.

Prior to the EPA, that particular engine was rated at 250 horsepower. The EPA took 40 percent of the engine capacity away. When you’re pushing a 4300 lb car with only 140 horsepower, the gas mileage is terrible. Cars didn’t run well. They were unreliable. The only thing that saved the car industry was fuel injection – something Porsche, Mercedes and BMW were already moving to.

Car manufacturers were lying then, and they’ve been forced to lie again.

Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy just published a new study, which verified California’s 2011 Greenhouse Gas Emissions were just one percent of emissions worldwide. According to the study, even if California’s emissions dropped to zero from now until 2050, which is the year Brown there would be no significant effect on the environment because of greenhouse gases generated by developing nations… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sen. John Moorlach: The Fiscal Conscience of the CA Legislature

Former Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach won his Senate race in March, and already has become a standout. Now-Senator John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, has waged challenges to Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown’s May Budget revise, minimum wage hikes, Democrats’ lack of fiscal restraint and perpetual overspending.

Moorlach, eloquently, but authoritatively, has become the Legislature’s outspoken expert on California’s Department of Transportation’s 3500 unneeded engineers and gross careless spending, while the governor simultaneously asked taxpayers to foot the bill for even more transportation taxes.

In 1994, Moorlach accurately… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacramento City College Shooters Result of AB 109 Realignment

How would parents react if they knew their kids were attending community college with convicted violent criminals and gang members?

This is today’s reality and a result of Assembly Bill 109, passed in 2011, and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

There are 55 known street gangs in Sacramento, CA. Two of these gangs clashed at Sacramento City College Sept. 3, leaving one man dead, two others seriously injured, and a college campus in fear.

But the recent shooting at Sacramento… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Legislature Passes Physician-Assisted Suicide Bill

When it comes to carrying out the death penalty for convicted murders, the California Legislature finds the lethal drug cocktails “cruel and unusual punishment,” which they say is a violation of the Eighth Amendment. Yet lawmakers were more than willing to approve a lethal drug cocktail to allow sick people to kill themselves.

After months of contentious and difficult wrangling, the California Legislature has finally passed the controversial physician assisted suicide bill, which now awaits Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature or veto. But many argue that passage of legalized physician-assisted suicide would provide perverse incentives for insurance carriers to choose the cheapest, quick fix… Read More

Katy Grimes

Jessica Arciniega: From “Union Agent” to ALRB Attorney

In 2003, an Agricultural Labor Relations Board administrative judge identified Jessica Arciniega as “UFW staff member” at its Oxnard office. ALRB administrative law judge Nancy Smith even called her a “union agent.”

Today, Arciniega is one of the ALRB’s top staff attorneys. And with the recent shakeups in the ALRB general counsel’s office that resulted in the sackings and sudden resignations of top lawyers, people are wondering why Arciniega remains on the job.

The lawyer has come a long way since getting her law degree as an “apprentice” of longtime UFW lawyer Barbara Macri-Ortiz, who in fact calls Arciniega “my apprentice.”

State law requires all ALRB personnel to be worker advocates with no partiality for or against either employers or unions. Arciniega is anything but objective. Her title at the UFW was “lead organizer.” The Militant, published by the Socialist Workers Party, reports Arciniega being a UFW boycott leader as far back as 2000.

In Oxnard more than a decade ago, the Los Angeles Times profiled Arciniega under the headline, “… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Jerry Brown Compares Christian Persecution in Syria To Inaction On Climate Change In California

Think this title evokes a strange comparison? It is no stranger than Gov. Jerry Brown’s press conference Wednesday with legislative leaders admitting defeat of a measure where they sought to cut your gas usage by half. Judge for yourself – here’s the actual quote:

“We look at the Middle East and see the desperate migrants trying to escape the hell of the Middle East wars, and are now inundating Europe,” Brown said. “We will get a foretaste of what climate change will mean, not just to Europe, but to California… mass migrations, untold suffering, rising sea levels, extreme events. Now I know that’s big, it’s not insiderism, it’s not tomorrow, but it’s real.”

Gov. Jerry… Read More

Katy Grimes

California’s Culture of Corruption Passes Assisted Dying Bill

The California State Assembly passed the assisted suicide bill Wednesday. Itwill be heard next in the State Senate,whichhas also previously passed a prior assisted suicide bill.

The bill passed 42-33 during hours of often emotional versus rational debate… anddespite being revised during an extraordinary legislative session having nothing to do with the bill. The special session was called to address funding health care and Medi-Cal.

However, the bill passed with the help of three Republicans.

Assembly members Catharine Baker, Brian Maienschein, and David Hadley voted… Read More

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