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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Labor Kills Bill To Help Farm Workers

Labor unions are still running the show in the Democratically-controlled California Legislature. Despite hearing from more than 50 farmworkers on Wednesday, the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee denied the farmworkers the right to vote on their own labor negotiated contacts, even though this right is enjoyed by other union members in California.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson and Assemblywoman Shannon Grove presented ABRead More

Katy Grimes

New Technology Facilitates Transparency, Openness in CA State Govt.

‘Transparency’ is probably the most overused word in political speech, while at the same time, the most underutilized in practice.In a free society, transparency in government means openness, accountability, and honesty. It is the obligation of government to share information with citizens, yet is increasingly difficult to access – even in California, home to Silicon Valley.

Without transparency, citizens are unable to hold public officials accountable. And that’s the problem –government is responsible for making itself available to be accountable. It’s unnatural. While the true statesman values principle above popularity, today’s era of politics in California doesn’t breed an abundance of statesmen.

However, one of the good guys – a real statesman – former State Sen. Sam Blakeslee, has tackled the problem of transparency in politics. The Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy, under the leadership of Blakeslee, officially launched the Digital Democracy Project, to provide a searchable database of all legislative hearings. “This package… Read More

Katy Grimes

Farm Employees Want ‘Right-To-Work’ In Union Dominated California

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently signed a right-to-work bill into law. This is significant because a“right-to-work” law is a statute that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment.

In California, Gov. Jerry Brown has ignored thousands of farm workers who don’t want to be unionized. Apparently there is no “right-to-work” in California under this governor.

The significant labor reforms enacted by Walker have struck many important blows against organized labor, effectively ending collective bargaining for Wisconsin public workers. In the four years since these reforms were enacted, the state’s most influential labor unions have been forced to… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Brown Jumps-the-Shark on Climate Change Policy

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order Wednesday for a new target for greenhouse gas emissions cuts. Brown said it was critical to address what he called “an ever-growing threat” posed by global warming to California’s economy and well-being. Brown’s order goes even further than Pres. Obama’s radical proposals, but aligns with the European Union and United Nations proposals. Jerry Brown hasjumped-the-sharkon climate change (Origin of this phrase comes from a Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped a shark on waterskis. Thus was labeled the lowest point of the show).

Senate Republican Minority Leader Bob Huff correctly replied to Brown’s latest edict:

“The state already has the nation’s most stringent goals. Before moving the goal post, we should be careful about the impact of increased energy costs. These higher costs will hurt the low income and working poor the hardest and will create an even greater divide between the haves and have nots. At what point does being on the leading edge of climate change and… Read More

Katy Grimes

UFW Contracts Pay Less than Minimum Wage

The United Farm Workers unionrecently admitted that their contracts do not provide a living wage. They did it in a room full of people.

I attended the conference UC Davis held April 17 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the the Agricultural Labor Relations Act. I nearly didn’t make it, as the conference was supposedly sold out prior to the deadline. But it quickly became apparent that leaders of the United Farm Workers union manipulated the event registration. The United Farm Workers labor union claimed it was bringing busloads of workers to the event, and reserved the seats. The day of the event, six workers showed up; there were more UFW employees at the conference than actual workers.

These are the tactics used by the desperate UFW, clinging to relevance by a thread. UFW membership is hovering at 3,300 members, according to Philip Martin, UC Davis Professor of Agricultural and Resource… Read More

Katy Grimes

Water Released From CA Dams Is For Kayakers and Trout

California once built dams to store water from the wet years so there would be plenty in dry years. But radical environmental laws have squandered our existing water supply, and obstructed the construction of any major dams, while the population has nearly doubled.

Gov. Jerry Brown and President Barack Obama have the authority under the existing Endangered Species Act to convene a process to suspend environmental laws during the drought. Governor Brown also has the authority to request the president to act. Despite repeated calls to do so, neither has responded to requests from Congressman Tom McClintock.

McClintock told me in an interview Wednesday… Read More

Katy Grimes

Can California Expect Dem Apparat Thugs Like Wisconsin?

It is day 713 of the IRS scandal and no one has been fired or prosecuted. The recent reign of terror inflicted upon ordinary Americans by the Internal Revenue Service and IRS official Lois Lerner remained largely unreported until Tea Party groups around the country started comparing notes about being personally and professionally terrorized by the taxing agency.

And now we learn that tyranny is also in Wisconsin.

Democratic prosecutors… Read More

Katy Grimes

Fish or Food: Govt. Credibility Gone On Drought Restrictions

While Gov. Jerry Brown has issued record-breaking drought emergency executive orders to California residents to stop watering our “little green lawns,” and take shorter showers or face a $500 fine, other government agencies are draining the state’s reservoirs and sending millions of gallons of precious water to the Pacific Ocean.

Last week, a federal fisheries agency ordered the California branch of the Bureau of Reclamation to release 15,000 acre feet of water (4,800,000 gallons) from the New Melones Dam so 23 fish could swim to the Pacific Ocean. This order came right in the middle of California’s record-breaking drought, as people and farmers are threatened with fines for using… Read More

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