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Katy Grimes

50 Shades of Brown: Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrat Party Rule

As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to sign another climate change agreementwith “government leaders from around the world,” as his office announced, remember the recent agreement Brown got into with the scandalized Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber. “In October 2013,California Gov. Jerry Brown, together with the Governors of Oregon and Washington and the British Columbia Premier,signedthePacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, “to align climate change policies and promote clean energy,’” I wrote in February.

The Pacific Coast Collaborative links with theWest Coast Infrastructure Exchange(WCX), a compact betweenCalifornia, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, formed in 2013 to promote “the type of new thinking necessary to solve the West Coast’s infrastructure crisis.” And the WCX is linked to… Read More

Katy Grimes

New Technology Facilitates Transparency, Openness in CA State Govt.

‘Transparency’ is probably the most overused word in political speech, while at the same time, the most underutilized in practice.In a free society, transparency in government means openness, accountability, and honesty. It is the obligation of government to share information with citizens, yet is increasingly difficult to access – even in California, home to Silicon Valley.

Without transparency, citizens are unable to hold public officials accountable. And that’s the problem –government is responsible for making itself available to be accountable. It’s unnatural. While the true statesman values principle above popularity, today’s era of politics in California doesn’t breed an abundance of statesmen.

However, one of the good guys – a real statesman – former State Sen. Sam Blakeslee, has tackled the problem of transparency in politics. The Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy, under the leadership of Blakeslee, officially launched the Digital Democracy Project, to provide a searchable database of all legislative hearings. “This package… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacramento’s Billion Dollar 
Budget Fairy Tale

Subtitle: The Fleecing of Sacramento’s Taxpayers

Sacramento’s City Manager John Shirey released the proposed 2015/2016 budget last week. It’s clear that this city manager, the mayor, and the city council members are cavalier with their spending of other people’s money.More is never enough. And the word “austerity” is not in their vocabularies.

The other important issue to note is even with his latest attempt to become a strong mayor squashed (again) by the voters last year, Mayor Kevin Johnson is the driving force anyway behind this budget and the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Farm Employees Want ‘Right-To-Work’ In Union Dominated California

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently signed a right-to-work bill into law. This is significant because a“right-to-work” law is a statute that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment.

In California, Gov. Jerry Brown has ignored thousands of farm workers who don’t want to be unionized. Apparently there is no “right-to-work” in California under this governor.

The significant labor reforms enacted by Walker have struck many important blows against organized labor, effectively ending collective bargaining for Wisconsin public workers. In the four years since these reforms were enacted, the state’s most influential labor unions have been forced to… Read More

Katy Grimes

UFW Contracts Pay Less than Minimum Wage

The United Farm Workers unionrecently admitted that their contracts do not provide a living wage. They did it in a room full of people.

I attended the conference UC Davis held April 17 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the the Agricultural Labor Relations Act. I nearly didn’t make it, as the conference was supposedly sold out prior to the deadline. But it quickly became apparent that leaders of the United Farm Workers union manipulated the event registration. The United Farm Workers labor union claimed it was bringing busloads of workers to the event, and reserved the seats. The day of the event, six workers showed up; there were more UFW employees at the conference than actual workers.

These are the tactics used by the desperate UFW, clinging to relevance by a thread. UFW membership is hovering at 3,300 members, according to Philip Martin, UC Davis Professor of Agricultural and Resource… Read More

Katy Grimes

UFW Inflates Membership Numbers – A Lie, or Premature Calculation?

The United Farm Workers labor union is either lying about how many members it really has, or is boastfully counting future farm worker members, while assuming it will win the fight over the workers.

Gerawan Farming employees are under assault by the United Farm Workers labor union, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, and by Democratic politicians up and down the state.

The workers don’t want to be members of the UFW, and held an election in 2013 to officially decertify the labor union. But the ALRB locked up the workers’ ballots, refused to count them, and has instead assisted the UFW in its takeover attempt.

Gerawan Farming is a third-generation family farming operation, growing peaches and grapes in the Fresno area. The farming company is well known as a favored employer, and currently employees 5,000 workers. Gerawan has a history of paying the highest wages and compensation package in the industry, according to the many employees I’ve spoken with.

It is apparent the UFW labor union is trying to gain what they can no longer win through the secret ballot process and sincere labor negotiations with… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Still Ranked At Bottom of Economic Competitiveness Report

The 2015 report on economic competitiveness between states is out, and it still doesn’t look good for California. The Rich States, Poor States report by the American Legislative Exchange Council annually ranks states on economic competitiveness. For the 8th year in a row, Utah wins. And for the 8th year in a row, California ranks poorly on the economic freedom and competitiveness scale.

‘Rich States’ embrace free market reforms and cut taxes.

‘Poor States’ raise taxes on income, have high property taxes, are not… Read More

Katy Grimes

Bill Gives Special Privileges To ALRB Lawyer

The epitome of special interest legislation was recently introduced, but the special interest is state government.

“Sacramento’s Worst Boss” may be carrying legislation for Sacramento’s worst state employee. Assemblywomen Nora Campos, D-San Jose, hasauthored legislationon behalf of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board General Counsel, to grant the general counsel unheard-of authority.

AB 561would grant Sylvia Torres Guillén, the ALRB general counsel, “primary authority with respect to the calculation and litigation of makewhole awards, backpay calculations, and other monetary awards in compliance proceedings of agricultural employers before the board.”

In other words, Torres Guillén would have unlimited authority over the contract negotiations with agriculture employers and farmworkers.

Keeping an apparent wicked agenda, Torres Guillén has targeted several big farming employers with a vengeance, as well as some ALRB… Read More

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