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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

What I didn’t hear from Republicans this week

While Gov. Jerry Brown announced a balanced budget and the magical economic recovery of California this week, too many Republicans fell all over themselves to praise him for it. It was difficult to see much of a difference between the two parties, yet there is a ideological chasm as wide as the state.

Brown’s State of the State address Thursday was predictable. He’s nothing if not consistent in his ability to give a speech. However, a fantastic opportunity was blown by Republicans to get out their message… any message…

What is evident is Republican lawmakers don’t seem to be on the same page.

There were a few tidbits worth noting, but most of the Republicans, whether newly elected or seasoned, espoused mediocrity. And we all know how that has been working for them.

There’s polite, and there is rolling over. Instead of agreeing with Brown’s “inner Republican,” more should have pointed out that what Brown says and does are often very different. And perhaps noting that Brown’s speech was peppered with Democratic talking points wouldn’t have hurt either.

Instead, statements praising the governor’s address were the apparent… Read More

Katy Grimes

Prevailing wage scams steal from taxpayers

In what strange world do janitors get paid $45 per hour? In California, the land of the prevailing wage.

The dirty secret is that janitors often are not really getting paid $45 per hour, but the taxpayers are being charged this amount on public works projects.

Designed to help the worker, the prevailing wage was created to set a minimum hourly rate paid on all public works projects, primarily for construction workers. But the classification has been expanded and greatly abused.

One contractor’s saga

I recently met with a Southern California contractor who has owned a final construction cleanup business for more than 25 years. Final cleanup on government construction projects is always the last task in the project, and usually takes place within days of the occupants moving in, depending on the size and scope of the cleanup. The contractor said that the work he and his crews do includes cleaning the construction dust off of walls, washing and polishing floors, cleaning windows and mirrors, power-washing all surfaces, wiping down fixtures and hosing down the roof and parking lots.

He is hired as a subcontractor by large… Read More

Katy Grimes

Pravda laughs at American global warming hysteria

Imagine my surprise when I found an article in Pravda mocking Western academics, scientists, environmentalists and government elites for using the cause célèbre of “man-made global warming” as a way to “control the lives and behaviors of their populations.”

“Now, with their economies in a spiral of debt laden, non-manufacturing recession (if not out and out depression), the Elites, who sense they are loosing their grip or toe hold on key economic regions outside their home regions, are once again calling out… Read More

Katy Grimes

California health exchanges – ‘Mo Money’

The Obama administration has a lot riding on California’s implementation of Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. How the state implements the new insurance exchanges, and whether or not it is done successfully, will be an important test of nationalized health care.

But a state-run health exchange puts the burden onto the state and the expense ultimately on the taxpayers. The state loses the authority and flexibility needed to best meet the needs of its people… Which is why more than 30 states have told the Obama government that they will not… Read More

Katy Grimes

Calif. economy: Ya sure, you betcha, we’re fine!

The latest barrage of “news” reports that California is enjoying an economic recovery is evidence that this is most likely being driven by Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

Ya sure, you betcha, we’re fine.

Given that the California Department of Finance works only for the governor, the pressure is on to provide numbers and information which presents a picture favorable to the governor.

This was never more clear than when a report showing the unemployment rate in the U.S. fell below 8 percent in order to boost to President Obama’s re-election campaign right after his first dismal debate performance with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

It was the numbers from California that gave the boost needed.

Conveniently, the Labor Department reported in Sept. that the nation’s jobless rate improved to 7.8 percent. The unemployment rate had not been that low since Obama took office in January 2009.

The latest monthly jobs report was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the first week of October. The unemployment rate miraculously decreased to 7.8 percent in September, the BLS reported.

According to The Associated Press, “the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Right-to-work is a real economic stimulus

In Michigan, game-changing right to work legislation was just passed. The change will make it legal for employers to pay workers who choose not to be union members, and would make paying union dues voluntary.

Currently, Michigan employers are required to fire unionized workers who do not pay dues.

Despite the left claiming that big bad business will stop paying living wages to workers, the opposite will happen. There will be a leveling of the unrealistic, skyrocketing union wages that unions demand, and hopefully, employers can once again be competitive.

When unions and governments demand that business owners and employers pay employees higher wages than the market will bear, ultimately it renders the business non-competitive. But when businesses are allowed to fairly compete, often times everyone wins. If… Read More

Katy Grimes

Legislative fractured fairy tale

The swearing-in of new legislators is usually a party atmosphere. Lawmakers feel celebratory after long campaigns. Yesterday’s swearing-in was not a disappointment however, along with the celebratory mood, there was an air of fantasy and fairy tale.

This is the largest freshman class, with 39 newly elected lawmakers, since 1966.

Perhaps the party mood was because of the new Democratic supermajority. While Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg insists that Democrats will not go hog wild with their unobstructed power, not everyone believes that. “I just don’t think we should come hurtling out of the gates talking about a bunch of new taxes,” Steinberg told media Monday.

“It’s in their DNA,” one Capitol staffer told me, but asked to remain anonymous. “It would go completely against everything they stand for. They can’t help themselves.”

Fractured fairy tales

When it came time to nominate the Assembly Speaker, the Capitol sergeants should have handed out airsick bags.

Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Humbolt, nominated current Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles. Chesbro said Perez… Read More

Katy Grimes

Business closings bring huge losses

When a business closes it’s doors forever, the impacts are far-reaching.

The announcement of the upcoming closure of the Campbell’s Soup plant in Sacramento will have regional and statewide impact.

Econ. 101

I may have been a political science student, but my husband is a longtime Sacramento manufacturer. For many years I lived and worked Econ. 101 lessons alongside 250 employees.

My businessman husband was an economics major in college and frequently reminds me that economics education in college has seen a dramatic shift. There weren’t many Keynesian economists in universities back then. Unfortunately, today, Keynesian economics seems to be the only economic theory coming out of universities.

Keynesian economics is an economic theory stating that aggressive government interventions in the marketplace and monetary policy are the best way to ensure economic growth and stability.

Economist Walter Williams has explained for many years the reality of the free market economy in which businesses must make a profit in order to survive: ”In the market, when a firm fails to please its customers and fails to earn a… Read More

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