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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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

‘Jock Tax’ is Ill-Gotten Revenue Windfall for California

Regardless what a punk Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton may or may not be, the ugly news that he will owe $137,900 in taxes — for losing the Super Bowl – shouldn’t be the thanks he gets.

The thanks is courtesy of California’s highest-in-the-nation tax rate of 13.3 percent, known as the “jock tax” – the nonresident income taxes that states and cities enforce on athletes performing in their jurisdictions.

As Kurt Bedenhausen explained in Forbes last week, “Newton will pay California 86.3% of his Super Bowl earnings if the Panthers win. Losing means his effective tax rate will be a whopping 172.2%. Oh yeah, he will also pay the IRS 40.5% on his earnings.” This… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gerawan Farm Worker Files Lawsuit to Oust ALRB Board Member for Bias

In a provocative and electrifying legal move, Gerawan Farming Company employee Silvia Lopez filed a legal brief to disqualify ALRB Board Member Genevieve Shiroma from the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, for bias and conflicts of interest.

Lopez cites evidence of Shiroma’s close political ties with the United Farm Workers union, and long time Democrat political operative Richie Ross. Silvia Lopez, a San Joaquin Valley farm worker, filed legal documents detailing payments over $120,000 from Shiroma to United Farm Workers’ Lobbyist Richie Ross, and documented Shiroma’s financial support of the author of a bill designed to help the UFW force itself on workers. UFW is the same union trying to force itself on the employees where Lopez works, as Lopez has fought for two years for her co-workers right to vote. Shiroma made the payments to the UFW’s lobbyist while she sat in judgment of issues directly involving that union, and while the workers ballots remain uncounted in a government vault

In 2013, I did an investigation of Shiroma and found some startling conflicts.

“In 1998, voters… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacramento Shoppers Furious Over Plastic Bag Ban and Tax

Sacramento grocery shoppers are livid. Even the liberals.

While shopping Jan. 3 at two Sacramento stores, I witnessed mounting shopper anger as they were told they’d be charged .10 cents per grocery bag. One woman screamed back at the checker, “This is ridiculous!” as she tossed all of her items back into the cart on her way out of the store. She then angrily threw the same loose, un-bagged items into her trunk and drove off… with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker.

At another large retailer, most shoppers were also caught off guard, and angrily acquiesced to the bag charges. And they weren’t silent about their anger. “Ten cents for this piece of &*#t?” one woman asked another shopper, holding up a new bag. (No, I wasn’t at WalMart)

Wait until these shoppers discover that California’s coddled welfare recipients won’t be charged for grocery bags. I hope… Read More

Katy Grimes

California’s Department of Business Prevention Strikes Again: Another Minimum Wage Hike

From the State of California’s Department of Business Prevention comes another random minimum wage hike to help kill off more businesses.

The final phase of the 2013 Assembly Bill 10 went into effect Jan. 1, bumping the minimum wage to $10-per-hour statewide. AB 10 is the final step of a two-stage increase. California and Massachusetts are now the states with the highest minimum wage. Only California is also home to the highest income taxes, sales taxes, and high property taxes.

Bureaucrats Interfere

Work should be valued only between those who… Read More

Katy Grimes

Another Fractured Fracking Fairytale Debunked

An horrifically inaccurate opinion article claiming fracking is making people sick in Kern County ran Saturday in the Sacramento Bee, without any fact checking, and without a counterpoint article.

In “Oil runs amok in Kern County,” author Rosanna Esparza, a community organizer in Kern County and Sierra Club member, takes issue with the Kern County Board of Supervisors’ November vote to approve a zoning change to streamline Kern oil and gas permitting. “California continues to be a leader on climate with actions such as the passage of SB 350 by the Legislature, which seeks to increase our renewable energy mix to 50 percent and double the energy efficiency of existing buildings,” Esparza wrote.

I am pro-environment and a conservationist.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gerawan Farming Update: First Amendment Advocates Call ALRB a Threat to Free Speech

After years ofintense government and union harassment by theAgricultural Labor Relations Board and the United Farm Workers labor union,Gerawan Farming Inc. notified its workers that effective February 25, 2016, the company will fully close its entire table grape operation, in the County of Fresno. Pursuant to the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as the WARN Act, Gerawan has been forced into a position of closing an entire arm of its farming operations because of California government assisting a labor union attempt to take over a large company.And Gov. Jerry Brown has not once intervened to stop the unlawful harassment by the union or his own state agency.

The table grape operation closure does not affect any of the employees’ employment in other Gerawan farming operations, but now thousands of farm workers will lose well-paying farm jobs because of California’s corrupt state government. Gerawan always exceeds industry average wages and are the first to increase wages. Gerawan’s website shows their hourly wage for grape packline as $16.27, and upwards of $20.00 per… Read More

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