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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Alameda County ‘secretary’ will retire wealthy

Is anyone still buying the idea that government workers are “public servants,” and so valuable they must be paid so much more than their counterparts in the private sector? Or are some just better scammers?

Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi is currently paid more than $420,000 in pay and benefits… and she will receive more than $420,000 annually for the rest of her life.

“The County Administrator is responsible for the implementation of policies and decisions of the Board of Supervisors,” the Alameda County website says. She’s the top secretary. It’s what we used to call today’s ‘administrators.’ Her office is responsible for managing the clerical support work for the County Supervisors.

ABC News in the East Bay reported Susan Muranishi is paid a base salary of nearly $302,000. And Muranishi is allowed to pile on more than $121,000 in other compensation,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacramento growth plan: more low-income housing

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. But not in downtown Sacramento. There isn’t anyplace to shop in Sacramento’s downtown any more, other than the one remaining Macy’s in the wilting Downtown Plaza shopping mall. But even that store is on the chopping block, should Mayor Kevin Johnson’s vision of a “world-class city” with a downtown arena, actually come to fruition.

But now, there is yet another new plan to “save” downtown and the K Street Mall.

The historic K Street Mall

K Street, along with J Street, was Sacramento’s original main street, chosen because it was the most direct route to Sutter’s Fort from the river.

During the gold rush, K Street became the main business street. Dry goods stores and hotels appeared along K Street to sell goods to new arrivals and miners. Many of Sacramento’s first fortunes were made… Read More

Katy Grimes

Obamacare coming to a politician near you

SACRAMENTO — Californa’s desire to be the first state to do everything has never been more evident now that Obamacare has been signed into law.

And California lawmakers haven’t let any grass grow under their feet since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. In January, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation to convene an extraordinary session of the Legislature to continue the work of implementing the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare cheat sheet

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as federal health care reform, or Obamacare, the state has the option to expand its Medi-Cal Program to cover over one million low–income adults who are currently ineligible.

Unlike some states, which have refused to implement the Obamacare health exchanges, California has embraced the federal health care plan and already began the process of implementation.

This means beginning January 1, 2014, the federal government will pay all of the costs associated with the Medi-Cal expansion, and do this for three years. Beginning January 1, 2017, the federal government will begin to decrease its portion,… 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

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

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

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