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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

California Gov. Jerry Brown ‘Exit Interview’ is Classic Jerry

At CaliforniaGov. Jerry Brown’s “Exit Interview” Tuesday, the Sacramento Press Club auctioned off autographed souvenirs from his years in the Governor’s office, including cartoons of his budget press conference presentations of charts and graphs, Proposition 30 memorabilia increasing sales and income taxes, and graphs showing state government living within its means. Other charts showed record spending levels.

Gov. Jerry Brown is known for his infrequent and rather unscripted press conferences, often making glib remarks, or quoting Zen Buddhism, Latin theology, philosophy, and “ontology” – the nature of being. Tuesday Brown did not disappoint during his “Exit Interview,” as he prepares to leavethe Governor’s office for the last time on Jan. 7.

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Katy Grimes

Where in the World is Gov. Jerry Brown?

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. Dwight D. Eisenhower

California is in a crisis. Actually, California has many crises taking place, including a crisis of leadership. This lack of leadership has led to glaring misplaced priorities, and now, a crisis of tremendous proportions of aging and severely damaged infrastructure.

Oroville Dam, Levee Breaches, Flooding

The Oroville Dam Spillway hole appears to be much larger than state officials originally let on.

Levees throughout the Central Valley, Carmel Valley, and Northern California, have breached and flooding is forcing residents to evacuate.

And now a large portion of Highway 50 in El Dorado County in the Sierras has… Read More

Katy Grimes

California’s Political Water Wars Heat Up

Water wars are historic undertakings in California. Countless other publications have written recently about the proposed ballot measure that would redirect High Speed Rail bond money for water-related projects and prioritize the use of water, But what makes this story interesting is the coalition of opponents, their motivations and techniques being employed.

The Committee to Stop the Special Interest Water Grab, led by David Guy, president of the Northern California Water Association,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Brown’s Farcical High Speed Train to… Bakersfield

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to give the Legislature more oversight over the California Air Resources Board. Some say lawmakers then retributively amended language out of Senate Bill 350 by Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, which was Brown’s proposal for a 50 percent cut in petroleum use for transportation that the CARB was all set to enforce.

The CARB holds cap-and-trade auctions, which extort and extract money from California businesses deemed polluters by the state. In his 2016 budget, Gov. Brown carved out more than $1 billionof cap-and-trade revenueto pay for his High Speed Train to nowhere.

The high-speed rail project, expected to be finished in 2033, was originally supposed travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two hours and 40 minutes. That was the ballot initiative promise in 2009, which intoxicated voters who narrowly approved $9… Read More

Katy Grimes

How To Make A California Slush Fund Even Slushier

While the state of California is extracting billions of dollars from businesses and utilities through the California Air Resources Board’s cap-and-trade program auctions, the Legislature can’t decide how to spend the billions.

Instead, lawmakers have been arguing over how to direct the monies into their own districts on some rather dubious projects, and predictably, on public transit and light rail trains.

Gov. Jerry Brown has his own dubious project: He carved out more than $1 billionof cap-and-trade revenue for his unpopular… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Brown Holding Road and Hwy Projects Hostage for Tax Votes

California state budgets no longer require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to be passed, butthere are still budget games, deals and hinky promises that happen in the process.. However, tax increases do still require two-thirds vote.

This year, Gov. Jerry Brown had proposed tax increases – a gas tax hike, a road tax for miles driven, a car registration hike, and a health plan tax… to name a few.

In order to get these tax increases approved, Brown and his administration use arm-twisting and extortive tactics on lawmakers who show resistance.

In January, the California… Read More

Katy Grimes

Resolute Fresno Councilman Announces Run For Assembly

Clint Olivier just announced he’s running for California State Assembly for the 31st Assembly District. If Olivier’s name isn’t familiar, be thankful. He’s not the son of a politician. He’s not from Hollywood. He didn’t get independently wealthy as a hedge-fund manager on oil and coal investments. He hasn’t sold rocket launchers to Filipino Muslim separatists, or offered bribes to FBI agents.

Clint Olivier is a member of the Fresno, California City Council, representing District 7, first elected to the council in 2010, and a former television news reporter. He’s married and has two kids.

What makes… Read More

Ed Ring

Desalination Plants vs. Bullet Trains and Pensions

Current policy solutions enacted to address California’s water crisis provide an object lesson in how corruption masquerading as virtue is impoverishing the general population to enrich a handful of elites. Instead of building freeways, expanding ports, restoring bridges and aqueducts, and constructing dams, desalination plants, and power stations, California’s taxpayers are pouring tens of billions each yearinto public sector pension funds – who invest 90% of the proceeds out-of-state, and the one big construction project on the table, the $100B+ “bullet train,” fails to justify itself under virtually any credible cost/benefit analysis. Why?

The reason is because infrastructure, genuinely conceived in the public interest,lowersthe cost of living. This in-turn causes artificially inflated asset values to fall, imperiling the solvency of pension funds – something that would force them to reducebenefits. Beneficial infrastructure is also a threat to crony capitalists who don’t want a business climate that attracts competitors. Affordable land, energy, and water encourage economic growth. Crony capitalists and public sector unions alike hide… Read More

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