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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

CA still worst run state in nation; Sacramento not far behind

For the third year in a row, California has been named the worst-run state in America, by 24/7 Wall Street. Is it any wonder? With at least10 Californiacitieson the verge of municipal bankruptcy, a $24 billion budget shortfall in 2012, including a mid-year shortfall of $930 million and $8.2 billion carried over from the year before, California is a mess.

“California carries an A credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, and an A1 from Moody’s — both worse than any other state except for Illinois. Explaining its rating, Moody’s pointed to the state’s history of one-time solutions to resolve its budgetary gaps,” 24/7 Wall Street reported inThe Best andRead More

Katy Grimes

Anti-UFW farm workers seek help from Gov. Jerry Brown

Roll over, Cesar Chavez, here comes Silvia Lopez.

Silvia Lopez is a quiet, thoughtful 15-year Gerawan Farming employee, and the de facto leader of thousands of Central Valley farm workers who have been protesting for nearly a year to oust the United Farm Workers union from the farming company.

Seven hundred Gerawan farm workers took a day off without pay and descended on Sacramento Wednesday to attend a meeting at the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Then they walked to the State Capitol to meet Gov. Jerry Brown.

Six of the farm workers tried to ask Brown to intervene with the ALRB to allow them to vote on whether to keep or oust the UFW from Gerawan Farming. “Jerry Brown, we want an election at Gerawan Farming,” Lopez said, as she approached the governor’s office.

While waiting in the Capitol hallway outside, one of Brown’s employees poked her head out and asked, “Are you guys with… Read More

Katy Grimes

New America: Parent tossed from public meeting for speaking

“Is this America?” the father of school-aged children asked as he was forcefully removed from a was forcefully removed from a Baltimore County School District meeting during the question-and-answer portion of the forum.

The parent, Robert Small, concerned about the school district’s plan to use Common Core standards in its curriculum, dared to verbally question school board officials after being told they would only take written questions from the parents, the Baltimore Sun reported this week

“However, Small began speaking out against the district’s use of Common Core, prompting a security guard, who was also a police officer, to approach him and order him to leave,” the Sun reported. “’Let’s go!’ he said sternly.”

“When Small didn’t immediately comply, the officer began pulling his arm and pushing him towards the exit. Some audience members gasped at the cop’s use of force.

“’Don’t stand for this,’ the father said as he was dragged out. ‘You are sitting here like cattle! Is this America?’” Elected officials everywhere do this

Elected officials are increasingly closing off the public, all across… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacto arena deal violates public policy and public trust

The dubious arena deal in Sacramento has strange bedfellows aligning. The lack of public debate, the fishy numbers put out by the city, and the deceit about the growing public subsidy has angered many voters. Now legislation by Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento would let the stadium developers avoid a real environmental impact review in order to forge ahead without public debate.

But it gets even uglier. I have written extensively about this bad “public-private deal” — a bureaucratic expression which should always generate skepticism.

The Steinberg bill, which will be formally introduced today, would allow the city to bypass addressing real traffic impacts in its Environmental Impact Report on the arena project. According to several analysts I’ve spoken with, the bill… Read More

Tab Berg

Arena Subsidy: Take the online survey

Although professional polling has clearly shown voters want to vote – especially when politicians want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on subsidies and economic stimulus.

CLICK HERE to complete the short survey and share your view!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/62VY526… Read More

Tab Berg

Remarks to Sacramento Press Club on Arena Subsidy

First I will correct the misrepresentation that support for a public vote and a better accounting of hundreds of millions of public dollars is somehow opposing Sacramento or an Arena. It is not.

To start, we need to understand what taxpayers are being asked to subsidize. The subsidy proponent’s talking points characterize the NBA arena as a job-creating economic engine … a phrase that polls well, but is just not true.

The evidence, the data – the science – overwhelmingly tells us arenas don’t create the jobs promised and don’t create an economic boom.

Humphries & Coats, Baade, Ford, Florida,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Controversial Napolitano’s new UC job; entre’ to CA politics

A startling announcement early Friday morning caught many Californians off guard: Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is resigning and moving to California to head the University of California system.

This is a real eyebrow-raiser, and just more proof that everything in California is political, including our college system.

UC regents obviously made this decision behind closed doors.

Some say Napolitano’s career with the Obama administration has run its course, particularly given her lack of success with always contentious immigration issues. And where does a career politician go when that career has run its course? Right to California to become the first female president of the already broken University of California system.

There is the possibility the UC system… Read More

Katy Grimes

Fracking survives CA Legislature — for now

SACRAMENTO — After sitting through several recent marathon sessions in the Assembly, it was shocking to witness the powerful California environmental lobby lose its attempt to ban oil and gas hydraulic fracturing.

For this, Californians can be thankful.

That got me thinking. What if California’s powerful environmental lobby had been as powerful during the 1849 Gold Rush as it is today? Back then, they would have harassed gold pioneer James Marshall so much he would have quit. California never would have become the Golden State.

Hydrolic fracking for oil and gas has the potential to become the next Gold Rush — this time of black gold, Texas tea. But will the environmentalists stop it? Not yet — but maybe in the future.

A University of Southern California study, “Powering California: The Monterey Shale & California’s Economic Future,” looked at the development of the vast energy resource beneath the San Joaquin Valley known as the Monterey Shale. It found that hydraulic fracturing could create 512,000 to 2.8 million new jobs, personal income growth of $40.6 billion to $222.3… Read More

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