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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

How many tax increases will ‘fix’ California?

There are 230 bond, tax and fee increase proposals on the 2012 ballot in California. Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increase measure is the least of voters’ problems this election.

There are 100 school bond measures on the ballot throughout California. There are more than 30 sales tax increase initiatives, business tax increases, parcel taxes, utility taxes, and hotel taxes. There are even tax increase measures for sodas and abandoned-cars.

How many tax increases will “fix” California?

The answer is easy. None.

What’s really wrong California?

Local governments would have everyone in the state believe that they are struggling to make ends meet. But they grossly misuse the word “struggle.” The only downsizing done in local government has been to cut the lower paid employees who probably weren’t eligible for pensions anyway.

In Sacramento, the City Council is pushing hard to pass several ballot initiatives:

* Measure Q: Sacramento City Unified School District;

* Measure R: Sacramento City Unified School District;

* Measure T: Sacramento (City of) Mandates on Garden and Yard Refuse… Read More

Katy Grimes

Reform for California only a vote away

Anyone who still has the hope of reforming California knows that it must begin with the political system. Far too many politicians in California are so heavily influenced by big money that constituents seem to be nothing more than an afterthought and a group to pander to for political advertisements.

For many years politicians have sought political contributions from corporations and unions, then voted the way those special interests ordered.

And, unfortunately, too many politically ambitious Republicans have gone along with the big-government party plan instead of thwarting the political dominance from unions and big corporations.

The only way to begin real reform in the Golden State is to neuter the money influences. Proposition 32, the “Paycheck Protection” ballot initiative, could begin the reform process.

Big bucksRead More

Katy Grimes

New small biz survey supposedly supports tax increases

A new survey of 500 small businesses claims that a majority of small business owners want high income earners to be taxed more. This is difficult to believe, and amazing timing with the election less than two weeks away.

I participated in an early morning conference call on Thursday with Small Business Majority. They just published the survey titled, “Scientific Opinion Poll Finds Majority of Small Businesses Support Letting Tax Cuts for High Income Earners Expire.”

But during the conference call, when I heard the CEO claim that the majority of entrepreneurs “see a productive role for government in helping small businesses achieve success,” I nearly flipped.

John Arensmeyer, the founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, also claimed nearly six in 10 small business owners “agree that government can play an effective role in helping small businesses thrive.”

The Small Business Majority is a liberal Democratic group based in San Francisco. They… 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

Katy Grimes

Global warming is baaaack

First there was “global warming.” Then it became “climate change” when warm temperatures cooled.

But in California, the California Environmental Protection Agency is promoting global warming again.

“State releases plan to deal with extreme heat caused by global warming,” the CalEPA press release stated. “In the wake of the hottest July ever recorded in the United States, California state agencies today released a plan to deal with extreme heat caused by global warming,” the CalEPA warned.

The hottest July ever recorded in the U.S.? What about California? It wasn’t that hot in our state in July.

“Every year people in California succumb to extreme heat,” said California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matt Rodriquez, who chairs the state’s Climate Action Team, the press release reported.

Demonstrative of an agency looking for a problem to solve, the CalEPA’s proposed plan states:

“Some of the proposed recommendations in this draft document… Read More

Katy Grimes

Government ‘investing’ in government

In order to stimulate the inert economy, we now have the government investing in government. The public sector is trading public dollars for public dollars.

“How will you spend your future?” the California State Teachers Retirement System logo asks. I wouldn’t spend it on a solar plant. Nor would I voluntarily spend my future with CalSTRS.

‘Infrastructure investments’

Nearly every time I pick up the newspaper, the headline screams that another solar plant has closed and the business gone under. Yet I see that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is investing $42.8 million in a large solar plant in Sacramento.

“Investing” was… Read More

Katy Grimes

Beware Prop. 31: a wolf in sheep’s clothing

With all of the focus on the November ballot initiatives to raise taxes, Proposition 31 seems to have quietly avoided heavy scrutiny in the main stream media thus far. But this initiative is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be much-needed reform.

There is growing confusion about ballot title and summaries on California’s ballot initiatives. It’s almost impossible to know how to vote on something. A “no” vote may mean “yes,” and visa versa, given the way the California Attorney General’s office plays fast and loose with writing the titles and summaries of ballot measures.

This is the case with Proposition 31 –what’s up is down, and what appears to be reform, is not. Equally disturbing is how so many of the state’s newspapers are jumping on board this phony “reform” measure. Even the California Republican Party officially endorsed Prop. 31.

However, most voters have grown suspicious of anything… Read More

Katy Grimes

Steyer defends Prop. 39 to raise taxes on business

cross posted at CalWatchdog

Most of us would think that wealthy people would be more interested in sponsoring ballot initiatives to cut taxes, not to increase them. But of the three tax-increase ballot initiatives on the November ballot to significantly raise taxes, two were sponsored by very wealthy individuals, Proposition 38 by attorney Molly Munger and Proposition 39 by hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer.

The third is the Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increase.

Prop. 39 is getting noticed. But it’s is just another retread of the 2010 Proposition 24, which voters killed.

Prop. 39 would require businesses headquartered out of the state to use the “single sales factor method,” in which their tax liability is based solely on their amount of sales in the state.

They would no longer be allowed to use the other option, known as the “three-factor method,” which bases tax liability on a combination of the sales, property and number of employees a business has in the state. That option was a tax-cut part of the budget deal in 2009… Read More

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