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BOE Member George Runner

Video of Near Tragedy at Board of Equalization Building

Today I released security camera footage showing a pedestrian nearly struck by falling glass in a January 2012 incident at the Board of Equalization’s downtown Sacramento high-rise.

View video

As the video shows, this building is a safety risk for both state workers and the public. In addition to falling glass, we’ve experienced toxic mold, leaking sewage pipes, methane gas, water leaks and more. It will cost millions more to address these problems, and it’s impossible to do so expeditiously while the building is occupied.

That’s why I’m calling on Governor Jerry Brown to back an effort to move the Board of Equalization out of its problem-plagued headquarters in downtown Sacramento.

The state has been wasting millions of taxpayer dollars throwing good money at a bad building. It’s time for the Governor to finally solve this problem by moving everyone out of that building to a new location.

Located in my district, the 24-story headquarters building at 450 N Street is designed to house… Read More

Katy Grimes

Ethics and government: Is it possible?

Ethics, even in politics, is based on adherence to moral principles. Honesty, integrity, loyalty, fairness, respect for others, lawfulness, pursuit of excellence and accountability, are principles.

G. K. Chesterton explained why: “Morality is always terribly complicated – to a man who has lost all his principles.”

The fundamental purpose of the American project was and still is individual freedom.

While many American freedoms have been eroded, we still hold the sanctity of the individual sacred in America. Americans believe that man is inherently free, whether a gift from God, or a fact of nature.

However, with freedoms and individual liberties increasingly plundered, many ask what the proper role of government is, as well as the proper role of the politician.

Especially in California, suffering under the cloud of recent scandals in the State Senate,… Read More

Katy Grimes

California gives rise to ‘income inequality’

As I walked out of the Capitol Thursday, May 1 at just after 5:00 pm, I noticed a fledgling labor rally beginning.

It was May Day, the date chosen by the Socialists and Communists for International Workers’ Day.

But there weren’t any of the usual purple shirt-wearing protestors – this crowd was a real potpourri of odd people, including a group of leathered, old hippies, acting as if their brains had been fried years ago by drugs.

As I was walked past, guest speaker Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, was introduced.

Dickinson, a Democrat from Sacramento, is known as a good friend to labor. Dickinson took the microphone and began to speak as if there were thousands of purple-shirt SEIU members in the crowd.

“The direction we are going is putting the wealth of this country in the hands of fewer and fewer, at the expense of everyone!” Assemblyman Roger Dickinson said.

So compelling was his statement, I stopped to write it down. But that was about as much as I could take; I didn’t stick around for the rest of the speech. I knew where it was going.

Income “inequality”

Democrats across the country… Read More

Katy Grimes

California’s business ‘leakage’ becoming a deluge

The list of businesses leaving California for greener pastures is long and growing. And now we can add Toyota to it.

The word ‘leakage’ is the new politically correct term used by legislators, the Governor, bureaucrats and the California Air Resources Board, to describe what happens when California businesses leave the state because of tax increases and stupendous regulations… as if any of them really know what it means for a business to make the difficult decision to close a location, terminate hundreds of employees, and physically move equipment, machinery, offices and records. And, the CEOmust figure in the cost of business interruption, as a business’s productivity will be undoubtedly be reduced after a move.

Who is “leaking?”

Apparently California is ‘leaking’ businesses… as if businesses and middle class families are dribbling away, or just accidentally… Read More

Katy Grimes

Environmentalists sue to halt Kern County mining over snail

Another Earth Day has come and gone, and with it, a great deal more environmental hypocrisy. Most of the practicing Earth Day disciplesare largely hypocritical, and are just as likely to be as significant consumers of the Earth’s resources as anyone else.

But hell hath no fury like a righteous environmentalist with a big budget and a bevy of… Read More

Katy Grimes

What’s good for union is bad for laborer’s civil rights

Many have recently observed there appears to be collusion between the United Farm Workers union and the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, in an effort to boost the shrinking labor union by targeting one of the biggest non-union farming operations in the state.

Should they succeed in unionizing Gerawan Farming employees, adding the 5,000 Gerawan farmworkers would more than double union membership, and certainly boost the UFW’s economic status, and the ALRB’s worth to the state.

Conundrum

Several thousand-farm workers in California’s Central Valley have so far failed to get the state agriculture labor board to count their votes on a standard, legal labor union issue.

Why? Because the vote the farm workers took was to de-certify the United Farm… Read More

Katy Grimes

Biofuel bill morphs into gun control bill – this is how it’s done

Yesterday morning, Senate Bill 916 by Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, was a bill about mandating use of bio-derived lubricating oil. But by yesterday evening, biofuel is off the table and gun control is back on.

California’s obsession with the most extreme environmental issues, and belief that if a new “green” product sounds good, it must be good, means the bill probably would have passed through the Legislature with flying colors.

Yesterday, the bill was gutted and amended into a gun control bill. “Talk about pyrrhic victory…” Tom Tanton emailed to me. Tanton, a Director at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, wrote an op-ed about it in Fox and Hounds recently. Tanton warned, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

It turns out Tanton was right.

The new gun control bill, SB 916

The new bill language is clearly not done cooking. Anticipate more amendments, as this bill appears to be a placeholder.

“Existing law prohibits the manufacture, importation, and sale… Read More

Katy Grimes

ALRB legal abuse — where’s legislative oversight?

The general counsel of the Agriculture Labor Relations Board went to court last week to impose a union contract on Gerawan Farming employees, without proper input from the farm workers, and without counting the ballots of a recent United Farm Workers union decertification election, held in November 2013.

The ALRB’s latest state-sponsored union bullying effort comes mere weeks after longtime Gerawan Farming employee, Silvia Lopez, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against ALRB board members and top staff, for their refusal to count the ballots from the November election.

Many in the farming community claim the ALRB and UFW have joined forces to boost the union by targeting one of the biggest non-union farming operations in the state. Should they succeed in unionizing Gerawan Farming employees, adding the 5,000 farmworkers would double union membership, and certainly boost the ALRB’s status.

This latest abusive overreach by the ALRB and its general counsel shows growing desperation in the trending anti-union sentiment in the private sector, and the vast agriculture industry of… Read More

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