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Katy Grimes

CA GOP calls for immediate healthcare reform

BURBANK — The California Republican Party convention is taking place this weekend in Burbank, CA. While there have been guffaws and snickers about the relevance of the Caalifornia Republicans, the party made significant gains in the June primary, but this was largely ignored by most of the California media.

The convention agenda is not packed as full as previous meetings given that many politicians are campaigning for November races, but there is still plenty of red meat being offered.

Repeal Obamacare

A forum on “The Future of Health Care” was an excellent panel presentation to a packed room. Health care insiders presented facts about the impacts of Obamacare, and John Eastman discussed Obamacare following the recent Supreme Court decision.

Eastman, an attorney, Professor and Dean at Chapman Law School, and former candidate for State Attorney General, asked audience members, “What happened on June 28, who did it, and why?”

“There was this little case up at the Supreme Court,” Eastman said. “28 states sued the federal government. Eastman said that liberals predicted case wouldn’t even get to Supreme Court.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Air Resources Board dodges accountability – again

The California Air Resources Board seems to be on everyone’s list of what not to do in state government. Charged with implementing AB 32, the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, CARB is under increasing scrutiny for operating as a rogue agency, appearing to be accountable to no one.

All attempts to reel in the agency have failed, including another attempt to audit its operations and finances–thanks to Democratic legislators who clearly are getting marching orders from Assembly and Senate leaders.

A Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing on Wednesday brought CARB close to accountability with the threat of the six-month state audit. But the committee chairman, Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, surprised everyone when he nixed the plan after having made the pretense that he was on board.

CARB and AB 32

In 2006, the Legislature promised that AB 32 would help clean the environment while still protecting the economy. Supportive legislators promised that utility and gasoline costs would not increase with the implementation of the climate change law.

The opposite has happened, and businesses are now… Read More

Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner

I Can’t Keep Up

I’m really trying. But I just can’t keep up with dumb ideas from the other party.

On the campaign trail, I’ve told the story of a meeting last year with some plaintiffs’ lawyers who specialize in employment law. I mentioned the idiotic and counterproductive Labor Code requirement that bars ten hour work days, even if the employee wants them. In a flight of what I thought was hyperbole, I added that Democrats act as if, without that law, “there would be 12 year old urchins in basements sewing garments again.”

“Oh, no, Mr. Wagner,” one of the lawyers earnestly replied, “that’s exactly what would happen.”

What I took as an obvious exaggeration, she took as a very good argument for a very bad law.

A couple of weeks ago, Democrats on the Assembly Education Committee complained about the narrow scope of a bill by State Senator Bob Huff. They objected to it because it didn’t completely fix a big problem (ironically, a big problem of Democrats’ own making with faulty legislation they passed a few years ago – but I digress). Instead, the bill dealt only with a small piece of the larger problem, and supposedly was objectionable for… Read More

Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner

California’s Phantom Budget

On Friday, the Legislature passed the state budget and, while I don’t want to sound like a crank, I have to ask: Really? This is how we do things in Sacramento? This is how we govern the nation’s most populous state? This is how we pass the budget – the single most important piece of legislation we’ll consider all year?

I serve on the Budget Committee and thought we had scraped the bottom of the procedural barrel last year. The committee hearing on that final budget lasted only about 45 minutes before the committee chairman cut off questioning to take a vote so that Democratic members of the committee could “catch airplanes.”

But we hadn’t hit bottom. This year, incredibly, the process was worse.

For example, the Budget Committee never even held a hearing and vote on the budget we passed on Friday, so I guess last year’s 45 minutes wasn’t bad. Instead, we had an “informational” presentation of a budget “framework.” In some news reports, Sacramento’s ruling Democrats called it a “concept” for the budget. In any event, there was no vote, even on the “concept” for this year’s budget. Moreover, the language of the budget… Read More

Shawn Steel

Enviro Wacks vs. Enviro Wacks, Blythe, Ca

Reports just published that a $1 billion showcase solar energy project under construction may be threatened by old bones and sick foxes.

Taxpayers will get stuck with this Obama Stimulus monster. The 250 megawatt plant, being built by the Federal Bureau of Land Management is backed with an $825-million Department of Energy loan guarantee.

“Native” Indians from a nearby reservation are trying to muscle in to get their piece, claiming they have some relationship with the pre-historic settlement. When it was likely their ancestors were responsible for the ancient settlement’s—violent demise.

The article didn’t explain who was representing the the… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Heartless Republicans

Those of us who have spent our political careers trying to keep taxes low and rein in government overspending are often called “heartless” by the opposition. I remember a time in the California Assembly when a Democratic colleague went to the floor and accused me of killing children, an accusation which she was forced to retract. Another time on that same floor, a different Democrat inquired how blood ran through my body since I clearly had no heart to pump it.

It is unfortunate that many in society seem to find fiscal responsibility and caring for the needy to be mutually exclusive objectives. It is so unfortunate because it is not true. In fact, I firmly believe that one is necessary to do the other.

As regular readers of this missive know, I believe that it is our moral imperative to care for those in need around us. But, where I differ from some of our more liberal friends is on the means to accomplish that goal. President Lyndon Johnson declared “war on poverty” back in the 60s. Tons of new programs were set up and tens of trillions of dollars have been spent on this “war” in the intervening 40+ years. And,… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Democrats Fail to Thwart the Voice of the People

I’m pleased to report that Senate Republicans yesterday held firm against an attempt by Democrats to strip California voters of their right to hold a referendum on the “Amazon Tax.”

AB 155 would have cemented the failed policy of AB 28X into law, but the measure fell five votes short of the required 2/3rds vote. In his floor speech, Senator Sam Blakeslee rightly described the measure as “an attempt to thwart the voice of the people.”

Opponents of the “Amazon Tax” have already collected more than enough signatures to force a referendum vote next year. And as I recently warned the Governor and legislative leaders, the $200 million they are counting on in “Amazon Tax” budget revenue is certain not to materialize this fiscal year.

Even so, the Governor and Democrat leaders have spurned an offer by Amazon.com to collect the tax in two years and voluntarily bring thousands of jobs to California in exchange for a repeal of AB 28X.

Republicans must continue to… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

A Temporary Tax That Never Went Away

California taxpayers are celebrating a rare victory. Despite Democrat efforts to extend them, the sweeping “temporary” tax increases of 2009 have gone away. This is an uncommon treat, as many prior tax hikes sold as “temporary” are still with us today.

As Californians enjoy the benefits of this victory, today marks the 20th anniversary of a prior sales tax increase that is still with us. On July 15, 1991 Californians were impaled with a “temporary” sales tax increase of 1.25%. This measure was enacted by the Legislature to address the state budget shortfall during the early 1990s economic downturn.

Fast forward to June of this year. A 2009 sales tax rate increase of 1% was set to expire on July 1, 2011. Despite a vote of the people against extending this and other temporary tax increases, Governor Jerry Brown and Democrat legislators unsuccessfully sought a five year extension of these taxes.

These higher taxes amounted to billions of dollars per year out of the pockets of struggling Californians and into the hands of wasteful government. Combine the 2009 temporary sales tax increase with the 1991 temporary sales tax increase, and… Read More

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