14 Aug

Episode 16 – Score One for the Good Guys

Where California gets its appeals.

California’s appellate court has come down with a surprise ruling on SB96. They’ve put a stay on the law pending further clarification from our own Secretary of State Alex Padilla. That means that it’s entirely plausible, and, indeed likely that, should the signatures be certified by Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties, we might see a recall election as early as the fall. That would be great news for those of us who are aching to oust Newman from his seat.

Recall Update – Josh Newman is the #1 Fundraiser in California

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article165966302.html

  • “State Sen. Josh Newman has spent only eight months as an elected official, but his campaign cash during the first half of 2017 topped all California lawmakers, according to state disclosures filed last week.”
  • In the first half of 2017, Newman has raised over $1.5 million for his war chest.
    • He got most of that in June – $1.1 million.
      • This will certainly help him combat the recall effort.

Recall Update – Dems Call in a Ringer to the FPPC

http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article166581877.html

  • In March, Sec. State Alex Padilla appointed Brian Hatch to the FPPC.
    • Hatch has been a lobbyist in Sacramento for firefighters unions for 40 years.
  • “As detailed by The Sacramento Bee’s Taryn Luna, Hatch secretly met with a lawyer for Senate Democrats who is urging the commission to reverse a policy in a way that could benefit Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, as Newman fends off a recall orchestrated by the California Republican Party.”
  • “Former lobbyist Hatch conferred with a Democratic lawyer, seemingly encouraging steps that could lead to the policy reversal that would benefit Newman. At Hatch’s urging, and over the objections of Fair Political Practices Commission Chair Jodi Remke, the commission is considering changing the rule at its meeting next (this) week. The effort reeks of politics.”
  • “But if legislators believe the Denham-Newman rule is unfair, they could pass legislation specifically stating that legislators can give unlimited sums to recall-related campaigns, or they could sue to invalidate the rule.”
    • Before, I would have argued that the democratically controlled legislature wouldn’t vote for such a blatantly partisan bill designed specifically to help one of their own, but they’ve already passed SB 96 that did exactly that when they changed the law to impede the recall process. I don’t know why they don’t just take the next logical step and pass a law saying they can donate unlimited funds to Newman. Why the song and dance? They already control everything.

Recall Update – Appeals Court Stays SB96?

https://twitter.com/joncoupal/status/897242801280139264

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-a-recall-election-for-state-sen-josh-1502755663-htmlstory.html

  • Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association tweeted that the California Court of Appeals has ordered Sec. State Alex Padilla to justify SB96’s manipulation of recall election rules.
  • SB96 is stayed for now.
  • “Justice Vance W. Raye’s order issued Monday requires state elections officials to set aside the new law until the case is resolved in court. That delay would probably mean a recall election could be held in Newman’s Southern California district in November.”
  • “A spokesman for Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the court order is still being reviewed. A spokesperson for the Newman anti-recall campaign did not immediately return a message seeking comment.”

Local Story – Asm Chen Proposes Increase to Homeowners’ Exemption

http://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/12/want-to-improve-housing-affordability-increase-the-homewowners-exemption/

  • Phillip Chen and Jon Coupal argue that immediate financial relief is needed in lieu of a solution to California’s housing crisis.
    • The homeowners’ exemption on property tax hasn’t been increased in California in over 40 years.
      • In 1972 when the median home price in California was $28,000
      • The current median home price is $500,000.
        • That’s nearly an 1800% increase, with no increase to the property tax exemption.
    • Chen’s bill would increase the exemption to $25,000
    • It would also raise the renter’s credit according to inflation.
      • Why doesn’t this happen currently?
  • “Californians are paying some of the highest taxes in the nation, exacerbating the ability of ordinary citizens to afford a home. Even with Proposition 13, which has proven effective in limiting the growth of homeowners’ property tax bills, California still ranks in the top third of all states in per capita property tax revenue.”
  • “Moreover, high taxes and unaffordable housing are taking their toll on the California economy. In the last decade, California has lost more than 1 million people in net domestic out migration to other states. We all know at least a few people who have moved to Nevada, Texas, Oregon, Florida or Arizona to find a less expensive place to live.”
  • AB1100 was introduced back in February and was approved by the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee with bipartisan support back in May. When the legislature gets back from their summer break it will be able to take up AB1100.
  • This doesn’t actually do anything to address the housing crisis. It’s a shortage crisis. While increasing tax exemptions and renters credits will put more money into people’s pockets, it doesn’t do anything to increase the amount of available housing units on the market. Any solution taken up by the legislature needs to be multi-faceted.

Orange County Story – Supes Authorize Payout to Voice of OC

http://voiceofoc.org/2017/08/county-supervisors-vote-to-pay-voice-of-oc-121396-in-legal-costs-after-losing-public-records-case/

  • Last week, the Board of Supervisors lost a Freedom of Information Act case against the Voice of OC.
    • In 2016, VoOC sued the county to obtain information on a public statement Supervisor Todd Spitzer wanted to make concerning his handcuffing and citizen’s arrest of a preacher at a Wahoo’s restaurant back in 2015.
    • “After more than a year in court, Superior Court Judge Walter Schwarm ruled in May the Wahoo records are public and ordered the county to release them. The ruling became final in June. He allowed the county to keep from the public a separate set of emails related to a county contract with the preacher’s employer.”
  • However, not all the records concerning this incident were released.
    • “In its statement the county said “On County Counsel [Leon Page]’s recommendation, the County litigated this Public Records Act lawsuit to protect an important right known as the deliberative process privilege. This privilege exists to protect creative debate and candid consideration of policy alternatives within an agency.”
    • Basically, the court said the unreleased statement should be public, but the emails and written discussion that occurred in the leadup to the statement being drafted were still protected. This is similar to the process privilege lawyers and clients enjoy. That information, as far as I know (and correct me if I’m not) is not discoverable.
  • “The records released by the court showed Spitzer repeatedly tried to issue a public statement suggesting he would have been justified using “deadly force” against the preacher, who Spitzer handcuffed on Good Friday 2015 for allegedly staring suspiciously at the supervisor and a nearby table knife.”
  • “The records also showed that the county’s then-spokeswoman urged Spitzer not to issue his statement – which was titled “I WILL NEVER TURN MY BACK ON THE PUBLIC OR ITS SAFETY” – saying it could expose the county to a lawsuit. Spitzer, who is running for District Attorney, ultimately backed off.”
  • Ultimately, the VoOC won the publication of Spitzer’s statement and the emails related to that. They weren’t awarded the emails associated with the Boys Town organization, for which the preacher worked.
  • The VoOC was awarded all their legal fees and 4 of the 26 requested items.

California Story – Chad Mayes Doubles Down on his Decision

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-republican-california-climate-change-20170814-story.html

  • Asm. Leader Chad Mayes only had one regret about California’s Cap and Trade bill – that he didn’t attend the bill signing in person.
    • “The perception was, ‘He didn’t go because he was getting heat.’ That’s not how I operate,” Mayes said, explaining his absence as a scheduling conflict. “When you do the right thing, it’s a good idea to stand by that.”
  • Mayes and those other Republican legislators that voted for the bill used their vote to show California voters they are serious about issues that matter to the general public.
    • This supports the idea that they were just sick of always being on the losing side of every vote.
      • ““There is historically a tension between being relevant as the minority party, and achieving success on the margins — as opposed to being 100% doctrinaire,” said Rob Stutzman, a former Schwarzenegger advisor.”
  • “But for conservative critics, the entire episode was a betrayal of party principles and a tactical blunder. In their eyes, Mayes did nothing more than help liberals increase costs for California businesses and then take a victory lap. They accuse him of providing political cover to Democrats in the state Capitol while ignoring the wishes of his caucus, the majority of which opposed the legislation.”
    • For someone who acts as the Republican leader in the Assembly, this was literally the worst thing he could have done.
  • Many local and county GOP committees have already voted to remove him from his leadership position, including the San Bernardino County GOP committee – his home county.
    • The only way Mayes can actually be removed from his position is if the Republican members of the assembly vote him out. They are currently on their summer recess.
  • Mayes isn’t the only one who is facing criticism.
    • “Although Mayes has been the focus of criticism, some of the seven other Republicans who voted for the legislation have been under fire as well. Right-wing activists entered the district office of Assemblyman Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga) and didn’t leave until the California Highway Patrol arrived. Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia), who drew attention for his emotional speech before the vote explaining his support for cap and trade, faced angry comments from constituents during a town hall meeting last month.”
  • However, those beleaguered Republicans might find solace, both politically and financially, in the many business leaders who supported the Cap and Trade bill.
    • Mathis was flanked on stage at his recent town hall by business leaders who described his vote as “courageous” and called the legislation “a hell of a deal.” Dorothy Rothrock, who supports the legislation as president of the California Manufacturers and Technology Assn., described their presence as a “show of force.”
  • Regardless, many in their districts feel betrayed by their votes. The job of an assembly person is to represent their community. It’s clear many of those Republicans who voted for Cap and Trade may have misread their constituency.

California Story – Sanctuary State Sue Trump Administration

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-san-francisco-sues-trump-administration-1502729412-htmlstory.html

  • Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed suit against the Justice Department over threats of withholding federal funding from Sanctuary Cities.
    • Last year, California cities and municipalities received around $28 million in federal law enforcement funding.
      • He claims the Trump Administration is trying to “bully” California.
        • “It’s a low blow to our men and women who wear the badge, for the federal government to threaten their crime-fighting resources in order to force them to do the work of the federal government when it comes to immigration enforcement,” the attorney general said at a San Francisco news conference.
    • There are several points of contention with the Trump Administration’s newly imposed rules:
      • Cities would have to provide federal immigration officials with access to detainment facilities (prisons) to interrogate suspected illegal immigrants.
      • Cities would have to give Homeland Security 48-hours’ notice before releasing an individual they’ve identified.
  • Becerra sees this as the Trump Administration forcing local police departments to act as de facto immigration enforcement.
    • “Our police and deputies are focused on fighting crime, not breaking up hardworking families.”
  • I’m confused. Do the states not want anything to do with federal enforcement of any crime, or is it just immigration crime? If they take this stance with Homeland Security, they shouldn’t cooperate with and/or assist the FBI, ATF, CIA, and any other federal agency to help them enforce federal laws. At least not if they want to be consistent. Is it just because it’s Homeland Security and they’re dealing with illegal immigration? Probably.

Crazy California Story – Let’s Get Rid of Gasoline Powered Cars

http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/California-should-phase-out-gas-powered-cars-11743326.php

  • The reasons given for eliminating gas powered cars by 2030 are as follows:
    • It would fight climate change.
    • It would improve our health.
    • It would create jobs, lift the economy, and increase energy independence.
  • We’re ready because…
    • We already have two great electric cars! Tesla and the Chevy Bolt! They have a long range and there are 11,000 public charging stations out there, with more being added every day.
      • Unless there are charging stations as frequently dispersed as gas stations that can charge a car as quickly as you can fuel it, this will never be practical.
      • Anyone who lives in an apartment or who doesn’t have access to outlets to charge their vehicle won’t benefit much from electric cars.
    • Electric cars are economical!
    • California drivers want electric cars! Because so many people ordered Teslas!
  • Here’s what we can do!
    • Ask your legislator to introduce or support legislation to phase out gas cars by 2030. Tell your legislator to support AB1184, introduced by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, which would allocate $3 billion in subsidies for electric vehicles to increase demand and speed up innovation.
    • Decide that your next car will be gas-free.
    • Advocate for your city council member and county supervisor to introduce and support building ordinances that require charging infrastructure in new construction and retrofits.
    • Ask your employer, your landlord, your supermarket, your shopping center to put in charging stations.
  • California: Living in the freaking clouds.
07 Aug

Episode 15 – Fanfare for the Common Man

Jerry Brown's Magnum Opus.

We are back! After a brief work vacation, we’re back at it jumping into all the important stories around Orange County and California. We have an update on the latest news concerning the recall of State Sen. Josh Newman. We also dive into some economic news about California’s future. The common man is a big topic of interest for our own Jerry Brown. He want to appeal to us common men to get the democrats more seat at the table. As if they don’t have enough already.

Recall Update(s) – Ling Ling is in the Race + FPPC Ruling

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-former-assemblywoman-ling-ling-chang-1501285858-htmlstory.html

  • She obviously feels that she is the best choice to challenge Newman (even though she’s lost to him once already).
    • She lost to him by less than 1% of the vote during the last election
    • She feels her voting record (anti-tax) stands in stark contrast to Newman’s (Cap and Trade, SB1)
  • Newman campaign spokesman Mike Roth responded: “This is political opportunism to the extreme – just 8 months after voters fired Ms. Chang she’s betting her political future on them believing the bucket of lies they’ve been fed about the recall.”
    • Hey, I agree with him here. Chang has no business running in this recall.

http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/bill-whalen/article164877247.html

  • Bill Whalen is against the recall.
    • “Recalls are also a symptom of the political disease that ails this state and the nation: exaggerated outrage and inappropriate remedies.”
    • He basically makes the same arguments everyone against the recall has been making.
      • Newman is low-hanging fruit.
      • Recalls are ineffective and waste money.
      • “In Newman’s case, does voting for a tax increase rise to the level of Doris Allen, who was recalled by Orange County voters in 1995 for scheming with Willie Brown to give Assembly Democrats half the committee chairs and the operating budget despite Republicans having a majority?”
    • “The same is true of the movement to oust Newman. He voted at his party’s beck and call. If that’s a hanging offense, good luck getting a legislative quorum.”
      • Basically, if you recall politicians for voting with your party, there will never be a winning coalition in Sacramento again.
        • HELL TO THE YEAH.

SD29 Story – Industry’s Solar Farm

http://www.sgvtribune.com/government-and-politics/20170805/how-industry-could-lose-a-9m-bet-on-solar-farm-at-tres-hermanos-ranch

  • City of Industry has spent $9+ million (and plans to spend more) to acquire the 2,450 acre Tres Hermanos Ranch, which sits between Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties.
    • Consequently, it’s just north of where I live in Brea.
    • They are trying to buy the land so they can build a 444-megawatt power generating solar farm.
      • The problem is they haven’t acquired the land for the project yet.
        • “Still, in an unusual public criticism from within Industry’s City Hall, one council member has warned the multimillion dollar outlays could be a ‘waste of taxpayer money’ if Industry’s bid to purchase a historical, 2,450-acre Chino Hills ranch, Tres Hermanos, is rejected.”
          • They’re spending millions of taxpayer dollars to bid on construction for the solar farm, but if they don’t acquire the land, that money will have been spent for nothing.
  • One major issue about the project is the secretive nature of the planning.
    • “Elsewhere, State Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, has asked for a fuller accounting of public spending on the solar farm project, proposed outside Industry’s city limits. Hernandez made the request in a letter to former state attorney general William Lockyer, who was appointed to monitor a series of financial reforms in Industry following a highly critical state controller’s audit of the city’s contracting and spending practices.”
      • In a city of around 100 residents and tons of businesses, how much oversight is there for government spending? Who will stop them from doing whatever they want?
    • “Industry’s bet on San Gabriel Valley Water and Power hinges partly on acquiring Tres Hermanos. But a state oversight board tasked with selling the land has delayed voting on Industry’s $100 million offer for nearly eight months. Members of the panel have demanded — and not yet received — details on Industry’s plans for the land.”
      • The two cities whose jurisdictions cover Tres Hermanos (Diamond Bar and Chino Hills) do not allow zoning for solar farms.
        • They aren’t opposed to solar farms, but they have criticized Industry for not being transparent about their plans.
      • There are also questions about the environmental impact of building the solar farm on the native animals in the area.
        • Industry apparently completed an impact report, but has not yet released it publicly.
  • This is a story with tons of information. We should read up more on it and continue reporting.

California Story – Democrats and the Common Man

http://amp.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article165757322.html

  • Jerry Brown has advised California Democrats to avoid concentrating on traditionally divisive democratic talking points like abortion and concentrate instead on the problems facing the “common man.”
    • “If we want to be a governing party of a very diverse, and I say diverse ideologically as well as ethnically country, well, then you have to have a party that rises above the more particular issues to the generic, the general issue of making America great, if I might take that word. The litmus test should be intelligence … (and) caring about the common man. We have to rise above some of our most cherished ideological inclinations and find a common basis.”
      • Basically, he’s saying ideological talking points are meaningless to most people.
        • It’s weird when Jerry Brown has moments of salience.
    • His suggestions come as several Southern California Republican congressional seats are under assault from Democratic challengers.
      • Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher, Darryl Issa, and Ed Royce.
    • “And as a candidate, when you’re running in a Republican district, if you’re a Democrat, you better be extraordinary. And you have to relate to a very different kind of constituency than we have here in San Francisco or in New York City.”
    • He also made a point to say that Nancy Pelosi isn’t to blame for the Democrats’ losses in the few special elections that have been held across the country since Trump has been elected.
      • If it’s not her fault, whose is it?

California Story – Are the Boom Times Coming to an End?

https://calmatters.org/articles/californias-economy-booms-slowdown-looms/

  • When Jerry Brown released his budget back in May, he was very cautious about the state’s economic future.
    • “Moreover, by the time the budget is enacted in June, the economy will have finished its eighth year of expansion – only two years shorter than the longest recovery since World War II. A recession at some point is inevitable.”
    • So what economic indicators are out there that might signal a recession in California?
      • Income tax revenues are falling short of projections
        • We get a lot of our state revenue from income tax.
      • California’s economy only grew by 1/10 of 1% in the first quarter of 2017, year over year.
        • This is the slowest growth rate of any pacific state except Hawaii.
        • It is the 42nd slowest growth rate in the country.
          • Texas is number 1.
      • California’s labor under-utilization rate is 10.7% — the 4th highest in the nation.
        • This statistic reflects those who are unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons.
      • The expansion of California’s economy can be almost directly traced to Silicon Valley.
        • “Such dependence one region and one sector of the economy increases the potential downside, as we saw 17 years ago when the ‘dot com’ bubble burst, plunging the entire state into recession.”
    • The economic history of California over the past 50 years has been boom and bust. An economic correction is inevitable.

California Story – More Voters than Legal Residents in 11 Counties

http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/08/05/judicial-watch-warns-california-11-counties-voters-voting-age-citizens/

  • Judicial Watch has sent a letter to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla informing him that there are 11 counties in California where there are more registered voters than there are residents of legal voting age.
    • “NVRA Section 8 requires states to conduct reasonable list maintenance so as to maintain an accurate record of eligible voters for use in conducting federal elections.1 As you may know, Congress enacted Section 8 of the NVRA to protect the integrity of the electoral process. Allowing the names of ineligible voters to remain on the voting rolls harms the integrity of the electoral process and undermines voter confidence in the legitimacy of elections…As the top election official in California, it is your responsibility under federal law to coordinate California’s statewide effort to conduct a program that reasonably ensures the lists of eligible voters are accurate.”
  • In the letter, Judicial Watch threatens to sue the state if the voter rolls are not cleaned up in a timely manner.
    • The letter states that “persons who have become ineligible to vote by reason of death, change in residence, or a disqualifying criminal conviction” should be removed from the voter rolls, and to also “remove noncitizens who have registered to vote unlawfully.”
  • The following counties have more registered voters than they do citizens of legal voting age:
    • Imperial (102%)
    • Lassen (102%)
    • Los Angeles (112%)
      • The letter notes that LA County might be as high as 144%
    • Monterey (104%)
    • San Diego (138%)
    • San Francisco (114%)
    • San Mateo (111%)
    • Santa Cruz (109%)
    • Solano (111%)
    • Stanislaus (102%)
    • Yolo (110%)
  • There haven’t been any claims of illegal voting, but the implication in there. This doesn’t mean that illegal aliens are voting. It could just be that those people who have moved or have died were not removed from the voter rolls. Secretary Padilla should make this a priority.

Orange County Story – Santa Ana River Trail Homeless City

Homeless Town AKA the Santa Ana River Trail Anaheim/Orange California

California Story – Nipton? More like Budton.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/06/us/california-town-bought-by-cannabis-company-trnd/index.html?sr=fbCNN080617california-town-bought-by-cannabis-company-trnd1106AMStory

  • The entire town of Nipton, California was purchased by American Green, Inc., a marijuana focused technology and growing firm based in Arizona for around $5 million.
    • They plan on making Nipton a destination resort town for marijuana enthusiasts.
      • “American Green said it will initially focus on bottling cannabis-infused water in the town. The production of marijuana edibles and the cultivation of cannabis won’t be far behind in American Green’s 18-month, $2.5 million development time frame.”
    • I honestly had no idea you could just buy a town.
25 Jul

Episode 14 – Bust a Cap and Trade

Cap and Trade

Episode 14 – Bust a Cap and Trade

Tonight we talked about the insanity that is Cap and Trade and the betrayal of the California Republican party. There’s at least there’s one Republican who hasn’t lost their mind, but she decided to give up her leadership position as a form of protest. We also delve into the lie that is Cap and Trade and the horsetrading nonsense that went on to pass it. We also talk about the lie the Republicans told themselves (and the rest of us) to justify their vote for Cap and Trade. We finish with a story about how some California legislators plan on dealing with the affordable housing crisis. Stay positive out there. All hope is not lost.

California Story – Cap and Trade

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/21/assemblywoman-blasts-gop-leader-for-cap-and-trade-vote/

  • Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) resigned as assistant Republican leader because of Chad Mayes’ vote on Cap and Trade.
    • “Californians are struggling to make ends meet and unfortunately, what I have witnessed by the Assembly Republican Leader is a dereliction of duty to preserve and promote the American Dream for every single Californian. Assemblyman Mayes’ actions on cap-and-trade demonstrate we no longer share the same leadership principles. I was elected by the people of my district to fight for a more affordable and decent California, a place where every Californian knows their child will have a better life than their own. Regrettably, I can no longer, in good conscience, serve as the assistant Republican leader.”
  • Apparently, Mayes has become an environmental warrior.
    • He claims extending the program to 2030 would clean up the environment while saving “ordinary Californians” around $16 billion a year.
  • It’s nice to see at least some Republicans in Sacramento haven’t sold their souls.
  • The 8 Republicans who voted to extend Cap and Trade have said extending the program might actually help kill high speed rail.
    • “In extending California’s cap-and-trade system of controlling greenhouse-gas emissions through 2030, lawmakers approved a Republican plan this week to put a constitutional amendment before voters that seeks to give the minority party more say over how the program’s money is spent. One-fourth of that money — more than $1 billion so far and $500 million projected a year in the future — goes toward high-speed rail, a project that Republicans widely oppose.”
    • “This absolutely calls into question the viability of high-speed rail going forward,” said Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga (San Bernardino County), who voted to extend cap and trade in part because of the proposed constitutional amendment. “If the bullet train can’t prove its worth, (this amendment) provides a pathway to ending the funding for the boondoggle once and for all.”
      • If this isn’t a pie-in-the-sky day dream scenario, I don’t know what is.
      • For high speed rail to be defunded, a number of things would have to happen:
        • Voters would have to approve a constitutional amendment in June, which would provide for a one-time increase the voting threshold needed to decide where the cap and trade tax monies are spent…in 2024.
          • Until 2024, high speed rail would continue to receive funding (likely a lot of it).
          • By that time, would the legislature actually vote to defund it? After years of construction? Maybe, maybe not.
          • However, the potential for state funding to be cut off might be enough of a deterrent to keep outside funding from materializing.
  • http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-jerry-brown-climate-change-law-20170725-story.html
    • Jerry Brown signed the Cap and Trade bill into law.
      • He is so proud of himself. They all are.
      • Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was there to support him and to talk trash on Republicans across the country.
        • Does Schwarzenegger still consider himself a Republican?
    • “The program, the only one of its kind in the country and an international model in the fight against global warming, is designed to provide a financial incentive for companies to pollute less. It requires oil refineries, power plants, food processors and other facilities to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.”
      • Do they really think these companies won’t pass on these costs to consumers?
    • “Cap and trade was slated to expire in 2020, but the new law extends it until 2030, turning the five-year-old program into a more permanent fixture of California’s environmental agenda. The state will also continue generating billions of dollars by selling emission permits, providing a source of funding for building the bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles, another priority for the governor.”
      • The balls on this guy.

California Story – Affordable Housing

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/07/21/california-lawmakers-looking-for-ways-to-close-affordable-housing-gap/

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article163042068.html

  • There are a number of potential solutions for the housing crisis being bandied about in Sacramento.
    • SB2 would levying a new fee of $75 – $225 on real estate transactions.
    • SB3 would put a $3 billion general obligation bond to voters.
    • SB35 would streamline the approval process for new construction.
    • AB71 would eliminate the mortgage deduction for second (and third, fourth, etc.) homes.
17 Jul

Episode 13 – Cause of Death: Cap and Trade

The cause of death was Cap and Trade

Cap and Trade has been extended in California until at least 2030, and Jerry Brown couldn’t be happier. He sold his soul to ensure California businesses and, most importantly, residents will be forced to struggle for their very existence. We aren’t very positive in this episode. Yet again, a Republican has broken rank and sold out the rest of the state in order to ensure Jerry Brown’s legacy. We break down what will probably happen, and it isn’t good.

California Story – Cap and Trade Passes Out of Committee

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-cap-and-trade-1500319846-htmlstory.html

  • The bill has already passed in the Assembly 75-0 (with 5 assemblymen not voting)
    • Everyone voted for it. This is the extension of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
      • “The two measures would extend the cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions, and require tougher regulations on pollution in disadvantaged communities.”
  • Jerry Brown has been pushing hard for this bill to pass.
    • Several environmental groups are opposed to it ostensibly because they feel it isn’t hard enough on the polluters like oil companies and such.
    • I’ve heard the “polluter” companies are actually in favor of it because it provides them with clear rules and regulations, rather than being subjected to the whims of unelected air resources boards (which have traditionally been fairly draconian in their regulations).
  • This bill is part of Jerry’ Brown’s legacy.
    • He’s always pushed for environmental reforms.
      • That’s what got us the bullet train to nowhere.
    • These “reforms” have created an economically unbalanced playing field when it comes to commerce.
      • Companies outside of California do not incur as many costs as companies inside California, so their margins are going to be better.
      • I also wonder how people in areas like the LA Basin and the Bay Area would react if the solar and wind farms and whatnot that will have to be used to achieve Kevin de Leon’s plan to use 100% renewable sources to provide California’s energy were erected in their backyards. It’s fine when the people in the desert or in the Central Valley have to shoulder the costs and cede space for these projects, but what if they had to “pay” for them? Would their attitude change?
  • In all likelihood, this bill will pass. It will be considered a “bi-partisan victory” and everyone will pat themselves on the back.
    • Basically, the argument is doom and gloom if it doesn’t pass.
      • This is Jerry Brown’s go-to argument. It’s always “if you don’t pass this, the system will fall apart.”
    • If it does pass, there is a strong chance it could raise our already ridiculous gas prices another $0.45!
      • If we’re trying to recall Josh Newman over a $0.12 increase, among other things, then every single person who votes for this Cap and Trade bill should be recalled as well.
        • I’m all for this.
  • If you want a list of reasons why this bill is a bad deal for California, head over to the Flash Report.

California Story – We Need To Build More Homes. Like Now.

http://www.modbee.com/opinion/state-issues/article161303283.html

  • From 2009-2014, California only added 308 housing units per 1,000 new residents.
    • That is a recipe for disaster.
      • Housing costs have risen to 2.5 times the national average.
      • In some areas of the state, there’s no feasible way for a working or even middle class family to afford housing.
        • Average rents of nearly $3,000-$4,000 in the bay area.
        • A recent story about the need to make over $100,000 to rent a 2-bedroom apartment in some parts of LA.
  • Prop 13 (passed in 1978) is the cause of much of this.
    • It incentivized cities to zone areas for commercial development, rather than residential.
      • Cities could collect more revenue in the form of sales taxes than they could from property taxes under prop 13.
        • As a result, many areas of cities are zoned for commercial developments.
        • I know Brea gets a good deal of revenue from sales tax, especially from the Mall.
  • Environmental regulations also create a barrier to building new housing units.
    • “The California Environmental Quality Act was created for good reason, and it helped prevent sprawl. But it’s now being used to prevent new developments for reasons unrelated to the environment. A recent study found that nearly 80 percent of CEQA lawsuits targeted urban infill projects, including dense, transit-oriented units that would have lowered housing costs while helping the environment.”
  • Finally, the author argues that a change to California’s tax code is warranted to create more revenue for affordable housing.
    • Basically, if we eliminated the mortgage interest deduction for second (or third, fourth, etc.) homes, the increased revenue from those taxes could fund the construction of affordable housing units.
      • Or it could prompt those owners to sell those second homes, thus increasing the available housing stock.
  • If we don’t do something to address this through market means, we might end up with people arguing for statewide rent control.
10 Jul

Episode 12 – Democrats vs Democrats

The battle of the century!

Episode 12 – Democrats vs Democrats

The Democrats really decided to screw the pooch on this one. Instead of arguing policy or politics, they chose to go low and sue college students. Classy. We discuss the democrats’ lawsuit against CSUF’s College Republicans in their latest effort to invalidate the recall of Josh Newman. But it doesn’t stop there. Apparently, some democrats aren’t democraty enough for the progressive wing of their own party. There is a civil war a-brewin’ in the democrat caucus, and we’re all getting seats to watch the fireworks. As we discuss the civil war, we also bring up the fact that the democrats didn’t really plan out SB562, the universal healthcare bill, very well. Prop 98, the mandatory school funding measure passed in 1988, kinda puts a damper on any increase in the budget to pay for single-payer. Finally, we way the merits of declaring 4 different nuts the official state nut. Super important work going on in Sacramento.

Recall Update – CA Democratic Party Sues CSUF Students

http://www.dailywire.com/news/18343/california-democratic-party-sues-conservative-peter-van-voorhis

  • Three members of CSUF’s College Republicans group were named in a new lawsuit filed by the California Democratic Party.
    • The lawsuit claims the offending young conservatives purposely misled voters into signing the petition to recall Josh Newman.
    • “The suit names Amanda McGuire, Brooke Paz, and Ryan Hoskins as defendants in the suit, for volunteering their weekends to talk to constituents about the cost of Newman’s vote to the district’s taxpayers.”
  • Quotes from the Daily Wire:
    • Amanda McGuire, who is Vice-President of the College Republicans, asserted that “the lawsuit is a shameful and frantic attempt to silence voters of the district. The intimidation tactics espoused by the California Democrats should no longer be tolerated. It’s gone too far when college students are being dragged into court for becoming involved with the issues faced by their local cities. I’m proud to be a part of the party that fights to fix our government on every level.”
    • “This lawsuit is the definition of frivolous, and more than that, an obstruction of the very processes that every Californian should hold dear,” Ryan Hoskins, Secretary of the College Republicans said in a written statement. “By naming myself and my fellow club members as defendants on this lawsuit, the California Democrats are attempting to scare us into backing down from this signature gathering effort. They will not succeed in breaking our spirit, and with the support of the California Republican Party, we will fight it in the court of law.”
  • This is a bad look for the Democrats.
    • They seem like bullies. They seem petty.
    • This is just another in an ever increasing line of desperate attempts to maintain their power and supermajority.

California Story – Democratic Civil War

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/10/california-democrats-elections-240341

  • California’s Democratic Party is engaged in a civil war.
    • On one side there is the establishment democrats – moderate corporatists like Nancy Pelosi.
    • On the other is the much more left-wing Bernie Sanders-type democrats who advocate for far more socialist programs.
      • Like the universal healthcare bill – SB562
  • With no real opposition from the CA GOP, democrats are left to fight with each other over policy.
    • “We’re on the same team,” said Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, chairman of the Assembly’s progressive caucus. “We should not be fighting one another. We should argue with one another. … It should not devolve into something where it could tear the party apart.”
  • The more progressive wing of the party is banking on the anti-Trump sentiment in California to fuel a sprint to the far left.
    • We essentially have democrats trying to out-democrat each other.
    • “It’s more than a disappointment, watching how it plays out there in California,” said Donna Smith, executive director of Progressive Democrats of America. “For Democrats, for progressives, [health care] really encompasses everything that’s going on in the country at the moment. And California … is so critical, and California is this incubator of what happens in Democratic politics.”
  • A lot of this stems from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelving the Single-Payer Healthcare bill.
    • The Nurses Union has said they will fund primary challenges against Rendon in the next election.
    • Basically, if you aren’t the right kind of Democrat, some group will fund the campaign of someone else who is.

California Story – Prop 98 Is Blocking Single-Payer in CA

How California’s Prop 98 Is Blocking Single-Payer

  • Prop 98 – passed in 1988, requires that a minimum of 40% of California’s general fund spending is to be spent on education and the actual percentage of the general fund spent on education is over 50%.
    • This was an unintended consequence of Prop 13.
      • When the property taxes that made up the bulk of education funding started drying up after Prop 13 was passed, education activists pushed Prop 98 to ensure education was always funded.
  • Basically, if Single-Payer is passed in California and the budget is increase by $200 or $400 billion dollars, 40%-50% of that new budget is required to be spent on education.
    • Any new amounted added to the budget is subject to the requirements of Prop 98.
      • Prop 98 can be suspended by a 2/3 vote of the legislature, which it has been twice during economic downturns.
      • It cannot be suspended indefinitely because each time it is suspended it requires the funding lost due to the suspension to be made up next fiscal year.
        • Continually suspending Prop 98 would lead to an ever-increasing debt obligation that would be forced onto future budgets.
        • Someone would inevitably sue over continued suspension of Prop 98.
  • The only way to get around this would be to pass another initiative to revoke Prop 98.
    • I suspect the California Teachers Union might have something to say about that.

California Story – CA GOP Sweats Trump Effect

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/09/california-republicans-sweat-trump-240307

  • Assemblyman Travis Allen is proud of his vote for Trump in the 2016 election.
    • Of the 3 republicans who have announced their intent to run for Governor in 2018, he is the only one who voted for Trump.
  • He claims the 4.4 million people who voted for Trump in California will respect and appreciate his vote for Trump.
    • Nearly double that voted for Clinton, so maybe touting your vote for Trump isn’t the best way to get elected governor.
    • Thanks to Trump — whose approval rating in California is just 27 percent and who lost the popular vote by 4 million votes here — getting to the governorship is “almost an insurmountable mountain for Republicans to climb,’’ said USC political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe.
    • Couple that with the Top Two Primary system we have in California and he’s basically killed his chances by highlighting his presidential vote.

California Bill AB1067 Names 4 Nuts the “State Nut”

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1067

  • Existing law declares the official state animal, rock, mineral, grass, insect, bird, and marine fish, among other things.
  • This bill would make the almond, walnut, pistachio, and pecan each the official state nut.
    • None of which are botanical nuts.
    • Jerry Brown signed it into law today.
    • https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19868
    • While the Assembly had 6 and the Senate had 7 “No Votes Recorded” not a single legislator voted against this “State Nut” bill. Because California cannot have enough nuts apparently. Even on ceremonial nonsense bills used for marketing purposes the State can’t make tough calls and just pick something.
    • Do we really need a State Nut? Let alone 4?