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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

CA Gov. Jerry Brown Rejects Feds’ Initial National Guard Border Plans

After sitting silently on his hands for days, last week Gov. Jerry Brown finally agreed to allow the California National Guardto send400 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, but would not allow guard members to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country illegally, in exchange for money from the Trump administration to beef up the state’s guard.Gov. Brown defiantly declared his troops “will not be used to enforce federal immigration laws.”

The troops will remain under state control, but the deployment costs will be covered by the Defense of Department.

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Congressman John Campbell

Lessons Learned from Afghanistan

The world is an unstable place. If this seemed at doubt even a few years ago, it certainly is no longer. Some instability is a result of violence fueled by radical religious views or by aggression born of extremist ideology. Some of it is caused by long-standing ethnic conflicts or, as we are seeing in Ukraine, by the centuries-old desire of some to conquer neighboring countries simply because they are more powerful and want to expand their territorial footprint for any number of reasons.

In Washington, it seems as though there are only two reactions to all of this. One choice is to intervene everywhere. The other is to intervene nowhere. I think both of these strategic frameworks are equally flawed. To intervene everywhere will overwhelm both our military and financial resources, not to mention potentially lead to unrest at home as a result of the inabilty to accomplish our desired goals. To intervene nowhere assumes that the conflict and violence across the globe will never reach a point where it directly threatens us, which the lessons of history belie.

The great question, of course, is when do we intervene and when don’t we? And, how far should we go… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

NSA and Veterans Update

I told you in my last missive that I would next write you about income inequality. I pulled an Obama…..and lied. I will get to the income inequality issue in a future edition. But, I’m taking an operational pause in my “Farewell Series” to address a couple of important issues that bubbled up last week in Washington on which I feel compelled to opine. So, here are my thoughts on two current hot topics:

NSA/ FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act): Last Thursday, the USA Freedom Act, a bill to reform some of the now well-known practices the NSA has employed to intercept our personal communications, passed the House by a vote of 303-121. I was one of the 51 Republicans and 70 Democrats voting against this bill. This is one of those times when people on the right and people on the left unite to stop what we believe to be an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. However, in my view, those in the middle have proven to be somewhat less passionate about this duty. Don’t get me wrong, this bill is better than current law. But, it does not stop the practices of the NSA in question and does not limit future action to what I… Read More

Scott Carpenter

Orange Mayor Denies Navy Captain Spot Back on City Planning Commission After Deployment

At last week’s City Council meeting in Orange the Mayor, Tita Smith, took a former Planning Commissioner’s service in the military as an opportunity to deny him his spot back on the Commission. Mike Merino, a Republican and former candidate for City Council, vacated his post on the Planning Commission while serving our nation in the Navy at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. Upon Captain Merino’s return home was greeted by the news that he was no longer welcome to serve on the city’s Planning Commission. Mayor Tita Smith, a Democrat, blocked his appointment and offered little reasoning beyond saying she thinks he’s served on the Commission long enough. It’s absurd that the Mayor would suggest that it’s okay for Mr. Merino to serve his country on a military base that borders a Communist adversary and houses some of the world’s most violent terrorists, yet she doesn’t grant him the courtesy to return to a post he vacated to defend her way of life.

This is not the first time this issue has come up in Orange County, the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council sought to replace Councilman Jesse Petrilla, albeit… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

On Syria

“What is this president thinking?” “Why is he trying to push American into a war in Syria?” “What exactly does a “red line” mean and who are we supposed to be helping?”

These are the kinds of questions I receive from all of you each day. They are the kind of questions you should be asking and, frankly, they are the questions the president has not answered. Instead, he has come to Congress asking for a blank check to entangle our precious military resources in one of the more tenuous, convoluted, and treacherous threat environments in the world without bothering to provide anything even remotely close to a plan.

I am firmly against any military intervention of any kind in Syria. Not only has the president failed to present a strategy with measurable objectives for success, his desire for authorization to use U.S. military force to intervene in the Syrian civil war represents misguided and dangerous foreign policy.

This morning, The Orange County Register published an op-ed I wrote explaining my position on U.S. intervention in Syria. I’m including it below for your review in hopes that it will help to begin to answer some of your… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

9 Reasons to Keep the Sequester in Place

The Sequester: I would wager that just a few months ago very few of you knew what the word “sequester” meant. Maybe you didn’t know how to pronounce it either (see-kwes-ter). I can tell you that I had never heard the word before I was elected to Congress. And, it took me a couple of terms on the budget committee to become familiar with it.

But, now we all know. It is a budgeting mechanism by which across-the-board spending reductions are enforced. And, it went into effect on March 1st.

Listening to the president, you would think that the Mayan calendar was off by a couple of months and that the end of the world was really coming as a result of the Sequester. From the dramatic rhetoric in his perpetual campaign swing, it sounds like life as we know it will cease because of a 2% reduction in the growth of planned government spending. What you are not hearing is that even with the Sequester cuts in effect, total federal spending this year will be higher than last year. So, why all the drama? Because it is clear that the president wants to increase spending and increase taxes and he wants you to think that the… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

CAMPBELL: Biggest National Security Threat is Debt

As an addendum to my “Fix It” episodes, I thought I’d share an op-ed I wrote that was published in the Orange County Register last Friday.

The Orange County Register: Opinion CAMPBELL: Biggest National Security Threat is Debt

Conservatives should not oppose attempts to makes cuts to defense, homeland security.

By Congressman John Campbell

As conservatives, we are always trying to reduce federal spending because there is a lot of waste and inefficiency in government, because more government spending often does not result in better outcomes, and because there are many things the federal government simply should leave to “the States respectively or to the people,” as the 10th Amendment instructs.

Clearly, spending for the “common defense,” enumerated in the preamble to the Constitution, is one of the unassailed responsibilities of the federal government. No argument there.

But, why is it conservative orthodoxy to assume that defense spending is immune from waste and inefficiency or that more spending in this area alone is… Read More