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


  • 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.


  • 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.
27 Jun

Brown Signs Budget and Guts Right to Recall


Today Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2017-2018 Budget and with a stroke of his pen made recalls in California more expensive and more burdensome. This is owing to the trailer bill, SB96, which was added by Senate Democrats at the last minute.

SB96 is nothing more than cynical ploy to protect freshman Senator Josh Newman from the ongoing recall effort which was launched after his vote on SB1, the controversial transportation tax that was never put to voters. Polls show that SB1 is so unpopular and would never have passed in this tax-friendly state and the Democratic Party of California will do anything to maintain their super-majority in order to guarantee that they can continue to run roughshod over we the rate-payers.

Josh Newman currently represents California 29th Senate District which he won by approximately 2,500 votes over his (R) challenger.

The recall effort being led by Carl DeMaio of KOGO600 in San Diego is on track to gather enough signatures to force a vote on the question of recalling Newman. The reporting deadline of 30 June fast approaching and time will tell how the whole issue will play out.

Senate District 29

19 Jun

Episode 9 – Turning Dirty Tricks for Higher Pay

The prostitutes are dirty. So dirty.

This episode is just chalk full of dirty tricks. In it we get into a pretty lengthy update on the recall in state senate district 29. There are dirty tricks afoot. We also get into the pay raises that our legislators and constitutional officers just received from a governor appointed committee. Then there’s the findings of the grand jury in the OCDA/OC Sheriff jailhouse informant scandal. Oh, did you know Rep. Ed Royce has a new challenger for his congressional seat? Well he does, and we delve into that. Finally, we get into the burgeoning ecological and health related nightmare that’s brewing in the Salton Sea.

Recall Update – Dirty Tricks


  • NBC 4 interview with Carl DeMaio on Sunday 6/18
    • Claims the assertion that Reform California and the signature gatherers are misleading voters about the nature of the recall is flat out wrong.
      • He says they’ve been upfront from the beginning in their strategy to recall Josh Newman to send a message to Sacramento that increasing taxes on working families without their consent is not ok.
      • He brings up the instance of the vice-chair of the OC Democratic party harassing him and other LGBT signature gatherers in Fullerton.
      • There is a pending lawsuit against the recall effort and Reform California claiming they are misleading voters about the nature of the signature gathering effort.
        • Talk about our feelings on the messaging of the recall effort.


  • NBC 4 interview with Josh Newman on Sunday 6/18
    • Counterpoint to Carl DeMaio’s interview.
      • Claims SB96 was not intended to save him.
        • Instead claims he’s had several hundred constituents call his office saying they wanted to know how to remove their names from the recall petition because they claim they were misled about what they were actually signing.
        • Also asserts the recall effort is misleading people about the petition.
        • Makes a point to say that the recall effort has professional signature gatherers who are paid per signature.
          • As if no other petition in the history of petitions has had professional signature gatherers.
      • When asked about confrontations counter-protestors are engaging in, Newman had this to say.
        • “Well, we do have people going to supermarkets to explain to people that the petition they’re signing is not to repeal the gas tax, it’s actually to repeal their state senator. Are they professionals? No. Are they from out of state? No. Have there been some heated interactions? Yes, and I think that’s unfortunate. But it starts with the broader question about the basis for this effort: Whether or not my vote was the thing that people were responding to or whether, as you mentioned earlier, whether it’s a pretext for a larger effort from Republicans throughout the state to target a member — in this case, me — to try and change the math in the state senate and to reverse an election that was held almost, what, 7 months ago.”
      • This whole process has been dirty on both sides.


  • Op-Ed by Jon Coupal of the HJTA on Saturday 6/17
    • Criticizes the legislature for passing SB96, effectively allowing for, in his estimation, a 2-6 months delay of any recall effort.
    • He also claims the language in the bill that requires the Department of Finance to produce a report on the cost of a recall could potentially delay a recall vote indefinitely.
      • “Here’s the kicker. The Department of Finance is part of the governor’s office and the bill does not require the governor’s office to prepare that analysis under any time limit. Gov. Brown, who has already come out against the recall, can simply delay that report indefinitely, which, in turn, would hold up certification of the recall effort and the ultimate election.”
        • Under this law, any governor who is against a recall, for whatever reason, could stall the recall vote simply by having his or her Department of Finance delay the analysis.
          • This may sound like dirty pool, but this is Sacramento. Dirty pool is par for the course.


  • Op-Ed by Steven Greenhut on Sunday 6/18
    • Claims Josh Newman is playing dirty when it comes to fighting the recall effort.
      • Newman’s people sent out a mailer with misleading and downright false information about Carl DeMaio, stating that DeMaio’s “political career ended when he was accused of sexually harassing numerous members of his staff and masturbating in front of a campaign aide.”
        • “DeMaio has denied these allegations. And as the Register’s Martin Wisckol wrote, the accusation was made by a former aide during DeMaio’s 2014 congressional race. “The district attorney investigated and found insufficient evidence to file charges against DeMaio,” he wrote. “The case also attracted the attention of the FBI, which turned its attention to the accuser, Todd Bosnich. … Bosnich was found guilty of obstruction of justice for fabricating anonymous threatening emails that had appeared to come from DeMaio.”
        • When asked about the tactics both his people and his surrogates are utilizing, Newman famously said that he is “not pleased to be part of this kind of politics,” but that he’s “playing a game by their rules.”
          • He has no moral standing anymore.


Local Story – CA Lawmakers and Jerry Brown Are Given a Pay Raise


  • Our legislators and governor were given a 3% raise by a citizen’s panel.
    • This is slightly less than the raise given to rank and file government workers.
    • The governor’s pay goes up to $195,803 and legislators’ pay will go up to $107,238, with $183 per diem while they’re in session.
      • $13,064,363 and $21,963 per day for the legislators’ per diem allocation.
        • That doesn’t include staff salaries. 33 pages of staff salaries for just the assembly alone.
    • The commission (appointed by the governor) also gave 3% raises to 11 other constitutional officers, including the attorney general, lieutenant governor, and treasurer.
      • The commission admits that legislator and constitutional officer salaries in California are greater than they are in most states.
        • In fact, our legislators are the highest paid in the country and make about $21,000 more than the next highest state (Pennsylvania).
        • Finding out how many days they are in session any given year is no easy task, so finding out how much they are paid in per diem pay is difficult. The California constitution is a little vague on the subject.
    • The governor and legislature also granted a 4% raise to the state’s largest public employee union (SEIU).
  • All of this after they vote to raise our taxes by $5.2 billion annually.


Local Story – OC District Attorney and Sheriff NOT GUILTY


  • An OC grand jury found that there was no systematic “cheating” with jailhouse informants.
    • They did assert that there were isolated problems, but that they didn’t indicate widespread activity.
      • “Although the use of in-custody informants does occur, it is generally organic in nature, case specific and does not represent a conspiracy between the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Orange County District Attorney’s office.”
      • The jury foreman said the real issue was “a few rogue deputies who got carried away with being crime fighters.”
        • The grand jury claims they took up the case because of an “erosion of public trust” that had generated a “witch hunt.”
      • Though the jury did not single out the top brass in either department, they did say that a lot of the problems stemmed from “laxness in supervision” in both departments.
        • “It is clear to the (grand jury) that had individuals charged with supervising prosecutors been more aware of how those prosecutors were conducting business, their high caseload and shoddy record-keeping habits, this entire episode could have been avoided,” the report said.
        • This reminds me (Sean) of the explanation by James Comey of the misdeeds done by Hillary Clinton.
      •  “It is clear to the (grand jury) that had individuals charged with supervising prosecutors been more aware of how those prosecutors were conducting business, their high caseload and shoddy record-keeping habits, this entire episode could have been avoided,” the report said.
      • — Per the OC Grand Jury Website which hasn’t been updated since redevelopment agencies were abolished — The grand jury is mandated by law to inquire into the conditions and management of public jails.
      • When interviewing the jury after the decision, Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders said they were troubled by the lack of an “official” informant program.
        • “When you hide evidence in jails, you usually don’t create an official program,” he said.  “So the fact that the grand jury thought you needed one of those or you don’t have a jailhouse informant program is troubling.”
      • He also didn’t think they actually studied any of the information in the case.
        • “When I sat down with them it was a shocking moment where I realized that they had not studied any of it. I’m bringing up cases, I’m bringing up names, I’m bringing up the informant index – and I’m being met with blank stares.”


Local Story – Ed Royce Gets Some Competition


  • Phil Janowicz, a former chemistry professor at Cal State Fullerton who now runs an education consulting firm, is a first-time candidate. He’ll start his campaign Tuesday.
    • “People have become disgusted by the current state of our politics in Washington, D.C. Partisanship and gridlock, never-ending conflict, and promises to ‘drain the swamp’ that are broken as quickly as they are made,” he said in a statement. “Our country and our communities deserve better.”
    • This is part of the Democrats’ campaign to unseat several Orange County Republicans, because of how many districts voted in the 2016 presidential election.
      • This throws a wrench in the campaign of Mai Tran from Fountain Valley, who sought to carpetbag her way into Royce’s congressional seat.
    • Janowicz is already trying to tie Royce to Trump, accusing Royce of voting “in lock-step with Trump 96% of the time,” seemingly referring to the score the website FiveThirtyEight has assigned members of Congress based on how often they vote in line with Trump’s positions.
      • This will be difficult. Royce has been in congress for 20+ years and is the chairman of the powerful House Foreign Relations Committee.
        • The Republicans will throw tons of money at this election.

California – The Salton Sea is Drying Up


  • The Salton Sea is California’s largest lake, which has been shrinking for years. It will begin to shrink much more quickly at the end of this year.
    • Because of a water transfer deal, more water from the Colorado River will be diverted to San Diego and the Coachella Valley.
      • In 2003, California promised to start dealing with the issue of the lake shrinking.
        • So far, lawmakers have done little to nothing.
  • In 10 years, around 60,000 acres of lakebed will be exposed.
    • This increases the salinity of the lake, killing the birds and fish that call the lake home.
    • This also exposes toxic dust to the air, which gets kicked up and blown around the surrounding areas.
      • The asthma rates for Imperial County (where the Salton Sea is located) is double that of the rest of California.
  • This isn’t the only instance of water transfer deals causing lakes to dry up, exposing carcinogenic particles.

Remember, you can find all of our social media contacts at our homepage TheHourlyStruggle.com.

13 Jun

Ling Ling Change Tries to Crush Newman Recall


Today word broke on the Twitters that Ling Ling Chang was planning to run in the recall against Senator Josh Newman. She has since denied this story.


If she isn’t running then why was a leak put out that she was running? Because it’s trial balloon to gauge support for her second bite at the D29 apple. She’s a terrible choice for the recall. First of all she, as an incumbent, lost to a candidate in a bear suit in a district that had been held by the GOP for generations.

Second to that her running takes the narrative of #ResistNewman and #ResistTheGasTax to #MulliganforLingLing. It turns a recall over tax and spending lunacy and flips into the sour grapes narrative that the CA (D)s have been claiming since the paperwork against Newman was pulled.

I have it on good authority that Ling Ling was balked at by donors and that she doesn’t have much support in the party. Word on the street is that her people leaked this #FakeNews as a way to try and suck all of the oxygen out of the room and keep other potential candidates from getting in her way to her second loss by KO.

This is a desperation play by Chang and she is not, according to my source, set to be the anointed candidate.

12 Jun

Episode 8 – Democracy in Peril

This is an insult to democracy.

There is an important update on the recall of Josh Newman. Our illustrious legislators are trying some underhanded tricks to try and improve Newman’s odds of surviving the recall. Our very democracy is under attack. We also discuss how Californians love to get new entitlements, but not when we have to pay for them. We also took question submitted by locals via the Nextdoor app and Facebook questions. Don’t forget to check out our website for more articles and information on the stories we talked about in this episode.

Lead Story – Legislature Passes Bill that will Neuter the Recall



California State Senate amended and passes SB-96, which, among other things does the following:

  • Allows for 60 free days for the signatures to be verified
    • 30 days for recall signers to withdraw their signature
    • 30 days for the Department of Finance to estimate the cost of the recall election
      • The Department of Finance then has 21 days to publish their cost estimate
    • Random sampling of signatures to prove validity would no longer be accepted. Each signature must be verified.
      • The random sampling method was 3% of total signatures or 500, whichever was larger.
  • This would be applied retroactively, which means it would affect the recall of Josh Newman.
  • Election officials would also have to put the cost of the election in the voter guide.

Californians Don’t Like the Gas Tax


A new survey from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies found that 58% of registered voters in California oppose SB-1, the gas and car tax.

  • Opposition is widespread
    • 39% strongly oppose and 19% somewhat oppose
    • “Voters in all major regions of the state other than the Bay Area, all listed races and ethnic subgroups, and all age categories over 30 are unhappy about it. Strongly liberal voters are the only group in which a large majority supports the law.”
  • This could be disastrous to legislators who supported the bill and are up for reelection in 2018

Local Story – Brea is full of Racists, I guess


Gustavo Arellano doubles down on the Brea is full of racists story.

  • “The KKK was terrorizing minorities as recently as last summer. And now there’s this: a Brea eighth-grader told a black classmate that because of Trump’s presidential victory, she would have to ‘go back to Africa—where you belong.'”
  • Arellano asserts Brea was founded by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
    • He claims the names of these Klansmen can be found on membership rolls available at the Anaheim History Room.
    • This has set off a firestorm of angry comments from residents, both against the incident at the school and against Arellano for the tenor and direction of his story.
      • Essentially, it’s “Hey Brea, you know your city was founded by racists? Looks like nothing much has changed.”
  • My (Sean’s) issue with this whole story is just because a city was founded by a group almost 100 years ago doesn’t mean that group or their beliefs still influence the citizens in any way.
    • Arellano’s story is purposely inflammatory, and insults a lot of good people.

Laguna Beach Requires $100+ Permit for Any Kind of Public Photo Shoot


  • If you want to take non-commercial photos in public areas of Laguna Beach, you have to purchase a $100 (minimum) permit.
    • “‘Film Permits are required for all motion pictures, video and still photography when filming activity takes place on City of Laguna Beach property including parks, beaches, streets, sidewalks, and buildings,’ the city’s website states. ‘We offer two types of film permits: Non-Commercial Still Photo Permits and Commercial Photo Permits.'”
    • The fee is a minimum of $100 for a 2-hour shoot, and $50 for each additional hour.
  • A commercial photography permit (wedding photos, etc.) will run you $150 PLUS a $440 day use fee. A grand total of $590!
  • Josh can bring up his experience with a “professional camera” at ARTIC.

Californians Like Universal Healthcare…Unless They’re Taxed For It


  • A new poll shows 65% of Californians are in favor of a single payer healthcare system
    • However, the same poll showed that the support drops to 42% if the system would require new taxes to pay for it
      • This is obviously going to be the case.
        • Even the rosiest of projections include the necessity of a tax increase to make the program feasible.
  • This just shows that Californians are ignorant when it comes to entitlement programs
    • We like getting stuff, we just don’t like paying for stuff