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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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

Fear and loathing of charter schools

I received an distressed phone call yesterday from a reader about a starling accusation of school cheating.

This reader, whose children attend the Oxford Preparatory Academy, which runs charter schools in Mission Viejo and Chino, CA, said that after months of diligent, time-consuming preparation for the mandatory May Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR exams testing), and months of teachers putting in 12-hour days, the Oxford charter school students reached an outstanding score of 997 out of 1000 possible points on the Academic Performance Index.

What should be good news has turned to controversy, because someone on the Capistrano Unified School district School Board has now accused the charter school of cheating.

The parent said that she and other parents are flabbergasted, especially after having worked along side the children and teachers, and said that the cheating accusation is likely motivated by the local teachers union.

No stranger to controversy

Capistrano Unified School District’s Superintendent Joe Farley informed charter school officials that the school’s charter could be revoked in the face of… Read More

Katy Grimes

Calif. business leakage is a bummer

The word ‘leakage’ is the new politically correct term used by legislators, the Governor, bureaucrats and the California Air Resources Board to describe what happens when California businesses leave the state because of tax increases and stupendous regulations… as if any of them know what it means for a business to make the difficult decision to close a location, terminate hundreds of employees, and move a business.

As The Dude in the Big… 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

Katy Grimes

Ding, dong, tax bill is dead!

The California Senate killed Assembly Speaker John Pérez’s AB 1500, which would have taxed out-of-state businesses. Ding dong, one more tax measure is dead… for now.

Perez worked like a mad man on Friday to try and nab enough Republican support for his “middle class scholarship” bill. But it wasn’t about the scholarship–it was just one more attempt to tax businesses for another type of California welfare program.

When Perez saw that he didn’t have the votes at the eleventh hour, he gave in.

Single Sales Factor

AB 1500 was a $1 billion tax increase on out-of-state businesses that create jobs, pay taxes on their property, sales and payroll receipts, and have thousands of employees in California.

As California Employers Against Higher Taxes correctly pointed out, “Proposition 24 sought to make this change in 2010, and California voters overwhelmingly rejected it by two million votes.”

Perez said that a tax loophole is costing California $1 billion per year. But it was not really a loophole: Until the 2011 tax year, corporations had been calculating income taxes using property, payroll and sales for more… Read More

Katy Grimes

Is CA about to become a sanctuary state?

Immigration issues within states are becoming more prevalent. The usual complaints are that the federal government isn’t doing enough to enforce U.S. policy.

California is different. Earlier this year, it already embarked into uncharted territories, with the state Legislature voting to allow the children of undocumented aliens to attend the state’s public universities and colleges, at estimated costs of $65 million a year in financial aid and scholarships.

California: Sanctuary State

There have been many failed attempts to pass state laws allowing undocumented immigrants to live and work in California without the constant threat of deportation. Many say that this should have sent a clear message to lawmakers. Even a ballot initiative, the California Opportunity and Prosperity Act, failed to get enough signatures to quality for the November ballot.

“But noooooo,” as John Belushi used to say on “Saturday Night Live.”

Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Sylmar, together with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, revived the attempt. In one of the most repugnant moves legislators can make, they gutted and… Read More

Katy Grimes

Legislators use muscle on grocers over plastic bag recycling

Katy Grimes: The plastic bag activists are at it again, and they are nothing, if not persistent. With the eleventh bill regulating plastic bags in less than 10 years, grocery stores don’t have a chance in California.

Passed today by the Assembly, SB 1219, the latest plastic bag regulation bill, by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, will require grocery stores to implement, manage, and report on the “At-Store Recycling Program” to the Cal Recycle state agency.

Besides imposing more rules and regulations on privately-owned grocery stores, SB 1219 which appears to be aimed at large grocers like WalMart, Target and other large supermarket chains, will require that stores “place recycling bins in a readily accessible location for consumers, assure the collected bags are recycled, and provide reusable bags. Additionally, stores track the collection, transport, and recycling of plastic carryout bags and regulated manufacturers provide educational materials to assist in recycling (see requirements).”

This could be the work of a… Read More

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