FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Pension Day of Reckoning: Taxpayers on the Hook For Outlandish Pension Promises

A public pension crisis of epic proportions is brewing in California. The state’s public pension disaster is the greatest financial challenge California has faced since the Great Depression.

A new book by economist Lawrence McQuillen, exposes the true magnitude of the unfunded liability disaster, and focuses on the critical policy actions that drove California’s public pension debt to these heights. In California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis, McQuillen, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, also examines the perverse political incentives of elected lawmakers and pension officials that reward them for not fixing the problem, rather letting it escalate. McQuillen studies the immorality of the crisis, the crucial reforms needed to fix the problem, and the long-term benefits of a permanent solution. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Unapologetic Assemblyman Hernandez Silenced Assembly Colleague

Two weeks ago, a Democrat on the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee defiled the legislative committee process again by forcing another job-killing bill through without full debate.

Senate Bill 3 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, calls for repeated automatic increases in the state’s minimum wage, and is just one of his many attempts to force costs on employers that their businesses cannot bear.

Committee Chairman Assemblyman Roger Hernández, a Democrat from Los Angeles, abruptly cut off a witness midsentence. Before taking another breath, Hernándezquickly called for a vote on the bill, even though members of the public had not testified, and other lawmakers on the committee wished to speak.

When Committee Vice Chairman, Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach, tried to speak, Hernandez shut off Harper’s microphone. When Harper objected, Hernándezreached across the desk of an Assembly staff member, and physically tried to shut off Harper’s microphone. Then Hernándezordered Assembly Sergeants to remove Harper’s microphone. Hernándezimmediately forced the vote on the bill, ending along party lines.

Assemblyman Jim… Read More

Katy Grimes

CA Vaccine Bill Unleashed Recall Elections, Statewide Referendum, Amid Rights Violations

Senate Bill 277 by Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, unleashed a passion and a rage in California voters not seen in for years. The bill angered so many parents, Assembly and Senate recall elections are underway across the state, and a referendum to repeal the mandatory vaccination bill has been launched.

Parents say the new law violates Constitutional rights, as well as their right to choose what’s right for their children. Aren’t Democrats all about the right to choose, or is that only for abortions?

There are three important issues at stake in this… Read More

Katy Grimes

Judge Halts Sacramento Officials’ Mass-Deletion of City’s Emails

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has put a halt to the City of Sacramento’s plan for a mass-deletion of millions of e-mails deemed “non-public record,” following two California Public Records Act requests — one of which was mine.

The California Public Records Actrequires judges to balance the publics’ right to access records with the public interests in not accessing records.City officials said that the email being deleted does not qualify as public record and is mostly “transitory in nature.”

I filed my PRA request June 25, 2015 specifically in response to the recent public statements by City Officials, including City Attorney James Sanchez, that the City will be destroying all emails in its possession, two years or older on July 1, 2015. My requests are, among other things, to obtain copies of those electronic messages prior to their deletion by the City.

Richard Stevenson, a grass roots community… Read More

Katy Grimes

Following Scandal, Irvine City Council Shows How To Run, and Fix Government

Conservatives on the Irvine City Council have abolished a million dollar business license tax, to reduce the taxes levied on local businesses. This move followed the council’s recent vote overturning the city’s mandated “living wage” ordinance. Mayor Pro-Tem Jeffrey Lalloway authored the issue, with votes in support from council members Christina Shea and Lynn Schott, all Republicans.

While the business tax amounted to only $51 per business, these changes are exactly what every city and town in the State of California should be doing – whittling away at business-killing regulations, policy, taxes and fees.

In an interview with Irvine City Council member Christina Shea, she explained… Read More

Katy Grimes

Pope Francis: Climate Change is Officially A Religion Now

Last week, Pope Francis called for a cultural revolution to correct what he calls the “structurally perverse” economic system of the rich exploiting the poor that is turning Earth into an “immense pile of filth.” Under the sub-heading “Climate as a common good,” hedisparaged free market principles while indicating “global governance” as a solution to the politically created climate change crisis. The Pope also said that governments should redistribute wealth to the poor, advocating socialism, and he even gave communism a backhanded compliment.

Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said it is the pope’s wish to directly influence next year’s crucialUN climate meeting in Paris, when countries will try to conclude 20 years of fraught negotiations with a universal commitment to reduce emissions.

Read More

Katy Grimes

Whistleblower at ALRB Exposes Manipulated Evidence Against Gerawan Farming

State superior court delivers a stunning rebuke to Agricultural Labor Relations Board’sTop Staff Attorney Sylvia Torres Guillén, citing “deficiencies in its investigation” and staff “embroilment” in worker termination.

An employee whistleblower at the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board has exposed wrongdoing by the activist attorneys in the state agency responsible for protecting the rights of farmworkers. The charges, made by an insider who participated in an ALRB investigation of Gerawan Farming, were brought directly to the office of the Board’s chairman, William B. Gould IV. The whistleblower employee alleges that the ALRB General Counsel and staff submitted false or misleading sworn statements to the Board in order to get agency authorization to file enforcement proceedings against Gerawan.

These charges could reveal the extent to which theGeneral Counsel TorresGuillénand staff manipulated evidence in administrative and legal proceedings in order to tip the scales – even perhaps illegally – in favor of the United Farm Workers.

The ALRB General Counsel’s… Read More

Katy Grimes

State’s Ag Labor Board Involved In Intimidation, Harassment of Latino Farm Workers

Labor unions target many non-union businesses across the country for takeover; some businesses successfully fend off the unions, and others succumb. But in California, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, a state agency, works in cahoots with the United Farm Workers labor union, intimidating, fear-mongering, threatening, and uses legal actions filed against farming employers to force them into submission to the United Farm Workers labor union.

But recently, the ALRB has been dealt several legal blows to its efforts to malign Gerawan Farming, and force its farm workers into unionization.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board was created following the signing of the Agriculture Labor Relations Act in 1975 by then-Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, to restore peace in the fields. The California Labor Act states:

It is hereby stated to be the policy of the State of California to encourage and protect the right of agricultural employees to full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment, and to be free from theRead More

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