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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Schools Superintendent Horse Race Provides Stark Contrasts

Only ten months ago, I wrote a story about the California Schools chief who at that time announced he wanted to extend Proposition 30’s “temporary” taxes. Only one year into Proposition 30’s five-year life, Democratic State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson called for an extension ofthe 2012 ballot initiative.

Set to expire in 2018, Prop. 30 was sold to voters as a temporary tax.

Today, Torlakson has many Democrats lined up with him, pushing for the tax extension, essentially lying to the public.

The 2013 Brown budget plan blamed “economic uncertainty” as the result of “global economic developments that tempered investment” and “Hurricane Sandy.”

“’We need to renew Prop. 30,’ Torlakson, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, said at a coffee meeting with local PTA leaders in a Sacramento home,” theSacramento Beereported in January.

TorlaksonRead More

Katy Grimes

Humane Society Controversies Loom Large, Despite Claims of Virtue

Last week I wrote about the recent revocation of the Humane Society’s charity rating by Charity Navigator. Thursday, Sacramento Humane Society lobbyist Jennifer Fearing responded. However, Fearing did not address the primary issues in my story with the HSUS: $25.7 million of charity money in offshore investments, an IRS lawsuit against the Humane Society for inflating revenue on its tax return by writing off fundraising costs as charity, and the omitted key details from her explanation of the Ringling Bros. lawsuit which led to the charity rating revocation.

Fearing wrote:

The recent piece attacking The Humane Society of the United States (Katy Grimes, July 9) is full of inaccuracies. These invented facts come straight from the playbook of Richard Berman, a Washington-based spinRead More

Katy Grimes

Humane Society Charity Rating Revoked

The Humane Society’s seemingly undue influence on the legislative process last year made for an interesting story. This national, non-profit, media darling, animal rescue group was able to push through the California lead ammunition ban, as well as successfully getting all of their other sponsored bills signed into law by California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Then again, Jennifer Fearing, the Humane Society California senior state director, apparently lobbied Gov. Brown at the dog park; Fearing admitted to dog-sitting for Sutter Brown, Gov. Jerry Brown’s Pembroke Welsh Corgi — while lobbying the Legislature during the 2013 legislative session. (Note: it is unclear if Fearing is still working for the California HSUS. There were job postings for her state director position recently; her Twitter page says she is with the HSUS, but the Read More

Katy Grimes

Cal State teachers ‘bulldogging’ for Prop 30

Even after California State University instructors received a mild rebuke for campaigning for Proposition 30 during class time, Gov. Jerry Brown is now making rounds to the state’s colleges and universities trying to convince students to vote for his tax increase ballot measure.

Despite the rebuke, state college instructors and professors continue to promote Prop. 30 during class time, according to Daniel Harrison, a student at California State University Fresno, and president of the Fresno State College Republicans. “From talking about Prop. 30 during irrelevant class time, to student fees funding campaign materials, to giving an essay exam question mandating students explain the rationale and virtues of Governor Brown’s tax initiative, Fresno State is using taxpayer dollars for illegal political advocacy,” Harrison said.

In a press release this week, Harrison said, “The use of college campuses around California to promote Proposition 30, a current ballot initiative that people in California will vote on next month, has crossed the line of legality.”

Harrison said during a CalWatchDog.com interview that he became concerned about the college… Read More